I believe the best way to learn the business of real estate investing is to hear how others have done it. When these interviews were recorded, I asked the interviewer to ask questions that would help the viewer see how these folks got started.
I wanted to hear the struggles, the successes and a clear path and explanation of what they had to do to make these deals happen. I did NOT want them to be a bunch of people telling you how wonderful Joe Crump was. I wanted content, examples and real life experiences.
I hope we succeeded.
Case Study – Ron Hughes – Russellville, Arkansas
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Real Estate Has Made Me More Money Than Almost Anything
Ron: My name is Ron Hughes and I’m from Russellville, Arkansas. I first heard of Joe’s program on the internet. The best deal that I’ve done so far is I bought a house subject to for $115K, sold it with $20K down on a lease option. They stayed two years and then moved back to where they came from, and they gave the house back to me. And they were paying $1,200 a month. I sold it again with $10K down and that lasted about a year and he got ill and moved back home with his parents. And then I sold it for $140K in cash.
Ron: That particular house I built for a couple. And they, when they bought the house, the husband had some medical issues. They decided to move to a town closer to where he was getting treatment and they abandoned the house. Once I found out that it was abandoned, I called them and agreed to just take over their payments.
Ron: I just bought the house subject to the existing loan. And then at that particular time, we were doing owner financing and lease options and still are to this day. And what came along with the best return was lease options. But we had offered it multiple ways.
Ron: They had already left house so they had absolutely nothing to lose. They were in foreclosure. So I got them out of foreclosure, saved their credit, and their problem went away. Well, the down payment, you know, I had nothing in the house other than making the monthly payments, which I only had to make one payment. From then on I got $20K down, that’s straight to us. The other two I only got $10K down, but that’s $40K. But over a five-year period, I had a $500 a month cash flow over what their payment was so I really, when I sold it for $140K had somewhere around $60K or $70K in the house. It took me about two hours from start to finish once the initial call was made.
Ron: We do very well. We will do six figure, mid-six figures. Well, we do several things. We also do new construction and then we have rental property and we do, still do subject to. We’ll still do half a million this year probably.
Ron: I have a son and he has a family with two young sons, one that’s only about two months old. And when my time comes I want to leave a legacy for him. Now, he works hard and he’s in the business as well. And he’s still learning just like I learn every day. But I get to work with my son. That’s why at my age I still want to get up and go to work. What it allows us to do is whatever we want to do whenever we want to do it. We have very simple tastes. We’ve lived in 6,000 square foot houses, kind of over that, you know. We’re empty nesters.
Ron: But, you know, it just allows us to do what we want when we want. In my particular case I like to work so that’s what I do. But if we want to go somewhere or we want to buy something, it’s just, we don’t have to think about it.
Ron: I do everything full time. I’m just entrepreneurial. Real estate, I’ve been in business for forty-five years. Real estate has made me more money than almost anything. But it certainly makes you more money with less headache than anything. You don’t have to have employees to any great extent even if you’re running the kind of volume we do. It’s just more freedom.
Ron: With Joe’s program it makes the phone ring and that’s the key to making money in the real estate business is to get the phone to ring. If you don’t have opportunity you don’t make money. Now, we have opportunity but it’s an expensive process with Facebook, Instagram, you know, whatever. From what I’ve read about Joe’s program, it’s a lot less intense and hands on and again, that goes back to freedom and making the phone ring.
Ron: The biggest deal I’ve ever done was I bought a commercial piece of property for $147K and sold it for $600K three years after I bought it. That was pretty much a cash deal. But the process of what Joe teaches enables you to end up with cash that if you run across a deal that you need to write a check for you can. I don’t write a lot of checks because I still like subject to deals. But if I run across something that’s major money, I’ll write a check.
Ron: Well, you have to be willing, you know? If you’re not willing, you’re wasting your time. You can get all the education you want, but if you don’t do something with it you’re wasting your time.
Ron: It’s given me a much bigger vision of what I can do. My business, my brick and mortar business, my B to B business is, while I make good income, it’s not self-sustaining. It’s, like, you know, the hamster wheel that you’re constantly on. Every year you’re starting new, every month you’re starting new. If you’re not selling you’re not making money. And I’ve been happy doing that for a number of years, but then I recently took a mission trip to Haiti and really thought that, man, this is what I want to do. How come I’m not retired? How come I’m not doing this? And so I started looking at my business and then taking some of Joe’s principles to outsource and automate a lot of it so that I can focus more on building a portfolio, income producing portfolio that we can basically retire and go do some of this kind of stuff.
Ron: We have set up some CRM systems, some automated marketing, some automated sales systems so we can follow up with prospective leads, that kind of stuff, and keep them in the loop. And then even for existing customers I can send them out a mailing, email newsletter every month and keep them up to date with what’s going on. Just keep in touch with existing customers kind of thing and so, and I’ve also outsourced a lot of those components of the business, the marketing, the writing technical quotes and that kind of stuff. Doing CRM, and those kind of – and then I’ve recently had to hire and fire an outside sales guy and I’m looking for another one right now. I’m supposed to meet with one next week. But that’s really what I’m trying to do, was outsource and automate all if not – or, most if not all of that business so I can focus on the real estate and then retire.
Ron: I went on Upworks and wrote an ad that said I was looking for a virtual assistant. And at that time I really wasn’t real familiar with a lot of virtual assistants and their different capabilities and stuff. So I hired one to do technical quotes but she was not as technical or as detailed oriented as I needed her to be, so I moved her over to marketing and hired another girl to do the technical quotes who is very detail oriented. The problem with hiring her was that she was actually just doing that part time until she could find a “real” job. And so I learned through this process of hiring that now what I do is, I’m very detailed in the job description. I go through a sequence of tests designed to find out who they are including personality tests.
Ron: And then I actually give them a project to do to find out how they’re going to work in the real world. And then when I hire them now I’ve got much better people and it’s more geared toward their personality. The girl that, I just love her to death, but she was not detailed oriented enough to do the technical stuff, but she’s doing a great with the marketing. And then she will follow me over into real estate because she’s real interested in learning how to do real estate, too. So it’s just a matter of building out the right personalities for the right job.
Ron: Well, you’ve really got to jump in feet first and that’s what we’re doing now. We’re jumping back in, focusing on real estate and I think you’ve really got to have a much bigger vision that’s going to keep you motivated to do it. I have a much bigger vision for my life and what it can be, how I can retire now and this is the vehicle to get me there. The key to doing it is building income producing assets. And so that’s what my whole focus is on this year is building teams and leadership so I can focus on the big stuff.
Ron: I’m going to Haiti in a couple months and I really want to have these teams in place that, so we can start doing the fun stuff in life and not be so bogged down in all the minutiae of running the businesses. I’ll still oversee everything, make sure everything’s going right on a weekly basis. We’ve got team meetings and everything se do, but, there’s no need for me to be spending all my time writing a technical quote or if I can outsource the sales end of it, doing that as well. But I still want to work on the big deals and keep my fingers in the mix, because I enjoy it, but, I’m looking more for passive income now, I guess.
Ron: I don’t remember when I initially found Joe, but I think it was after the big recession where we just lost all those properties and it was just a nightmare because you know, as a guy our self-esteem is tied into, you know, what we do for a living and you know, all the stuff that we do. And so it was just a real tough time. But I knew that even though it was one of the worst times in my life, that, and I knew that somewhere there was a silver lining behind all those dark clouds. And it was a tough time, but I knew that better times were coming. And so to get out of that funk I started serving. I went down to the food lines and just started serving and helping out wherever I could. And that kept my mind in the right focus to be able to go out and serve people again and start building my business again. And I’ve always had the real estate in the back of my mind, to build a passive income portfolio. And then I somehow found Joe and started watching his stuff and you know, doing his stuff here and there, but not consistently while I was rebuilding my other business.
Ron: We lost several businesses during the recession. We had a construction cleaning business and we were doing some remodels and we were buying houses and fixing those up and selling them and renting them out. And so there was a lot going on, but it made me realize it wasn’t the important things in life, you know? So that’s where my focus is now and so we haven’t done it consistently, but now I’ve got a much bigger vision since going to Haiti and wanting to go back and start doing more of that kind of stuff.
Ron: Because I think it’s just a higher purpose in life and so instead of working every day just to make a buck, I don’t see a lot of focus in that. So I think for new people getting started it’s, you’ve got to have some kind of big vision and then you’ve really got to jump in with both feet and just start talking to your sellers and for, and landlords and finding out what they’re problems are that you can go solve.
Ron: What I’m running into when I’ve called for sale by owners is real interesting because you get a lot of owners who don’t understand how the odds are stacked against them and being able to sell their own home. And then when you’re talking to for rents, you run into a lot of frustrated landlords and so there’s a lot of deals out there. Because those guys don’t know what to do with those properties either. So, I mean, if you can help solve those problems, then I think you can do well in this business.