Case Study – Jonathan Dowler – Greensboro, North Carolina
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 Tom, 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.
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Read Transcript for “Why Did I Have To Wait So Long To Find Out About This Business?
Jonathan: I’m Jonathan Dowler and I’m from Greensboro, North Carolina and I work in that area.
Jonathan: Well, it was a for rent deal. It was kind of out in the country a little bit but it was a real successful situation for everybody involved. I was really nervous of course. It ended up being something that I just kind of learned as I went along and it was a really great property. I was pretty lucky to convince the seller, being as new as I was, but Joe helped me through it and eventually I got $4,000 out of it.
Jonathan: From the time that I sent them the first advertising to the day that the new buyer moved in or signed the deal I guess was about a month.
Jonathan: It was actually a family member of mine. My family had been doing investing in real estate kind of their own way since before I was born. My father came across Joe on the internet and really liked some of what he had to say, watched some of his videos and thought it was kind of a unique opportunity. So we looked into it together because I was interested in real estate at the time as well when he came across Joe.
Jonathan: I think the best deal is going to be the one I’m about to close as soon as this weekend is over. It’s a $10,000 lease option fee, it’s a really nice property, its waterfront, it’s got its own dock and everything and when I started all of this, I didn’t think that a property that nice would be something that I could really work with doing lease to own or for rent. It was intimidating in the beginning but Joe’s been able to show me that this system works no matter where you are and no matter what price your home is and it’s going to be very lucrative and it looks like we’re going to get one signed, like I said, for $10,000 probably in the next 48 hours.
Jonathan: I use the “Automarketer” and the clone sites have been really helpful for me, but as he said, the autoresponder and being able to be constantly be in touch with people without having to physically write out each email and to help educate the people I’m working with, both buyers and sellers – that’s probably the biggest help in all of this. Just how the whole system is set up as far as automating it – it really takes the amount of time you put in every week way down almost to a point to where you think it’s not going to work actually, and it’s actually surprising how effective it can really be.
Jonathan: It’s a really good system that he put together. You can tell that there’s been a lot of trial and error that has gone into it, and it works better than any marketing that I’ve used or heard about as far as response rates and the number of deals that I’ve been able to close as a result of marketing that way as opposed to just putting out regular ads or classifieds. It’s been much more effective than dealing with a realtor like I have in the past. It’s almost like magic – the best way to describe it. It’s the complete answer and if everybody out there knew about it, it would be a terrible thing because I’d lose my edge.
Jonathan: I basically just want to provide for my family and live a free life. I was in restaurants before. I was trading my life for almost nothing and I wasn’t really living a life – I wasn’t able to – and I didn’t want work to be everything about me. I don’t want to introduce myself and say, ‘Hi, I’m a restaurant employee,’ and that’s what I always felt like back before I met Joe. It really has brought a whole different outlook on life, opened up a lot of possibilities for me and has had nothing but a positive impact and opened up a lot of different options that I never would have known existed.
Jonathan: The whole thing in restaurants and everything – I started with dishes and busboy and went up to cofounding and owning my own restaurant, so I ran the full gamut. Dealing with the public was one of the reasons that I started looking for other ways to be happy. I wasn’t just looking for another job – I was looking for an opportunity, something that would last the rest of my life. My favorite part about all of it is that I can get as in-depth into it as I want, and I can control the amount of business and I can control the amount of work and reward. It’s truly a reap what you sow system – if you don’t follow the directions, it may not work for you and in that case, good luck on your own, but if you stay on track, you’ll be successful.
Jonathan: It’s been a great improvement. My wife doesn’t have to work. She chooses to just get away from me once in a while (which I can’t blame her for). It’s night and day. As I said, being in restaurants before, I hardly ever got to see her, and we didn’t get to spend a lot of time together doing what we want to do. Since I’ve been doing this, our relationship has gotten a lot better and I’ve been able to spend more time seeing family and going to family events that I wouldn’t have been able to get time off for when I was in restaurants. I missed a couple of weddings of close friends and things like that.
Jonathan: When I was in the job that I was, unless it was an immediate family member, you don’t get time off. I hate to say it this way, but you kind of feel like a slave to them – there’s really no other better way to say it. Yes, you’re getting a paycheck but it’s just enough to show up and it’s definitely not enough to deal with all of the problems that come. But since doing real estate investing, it’s opened up a lot of different positives in life I thought I wouldn’t see until retirement.
Jonathan: I’m 32 and I’ve got a ways to go, and I’m mostly just fortunate that I found him so early. That’s the only thing that I’ve ever heard anybody say negative about it: “Why didn’t I find out about this? Why didn’t I find out about this a decade ago?” I know exactly how that feels now.
Jonathan: Like a lot of people, I really need and want to provide for my wife and myself. We don’t need a lot of money to do that. I’m not super motivated by being a billionaire. I don’t have an end goal of doing anything like that. I want to be comfortable. I want to be able to live without stress and be able to choose where I live and we’re well on our way to do that, and so I’ll invite you to my private island when we get there.
Jonathan: The risk reward is definitely in favor of the reward. I think, based on my experience with it, it takes diligence and it takes persistence and you really have to be your own motivator, and if you can do that and stay on track, I would recommend it to anybody – I really would. If it were a family member, I would love to be able for them to have the opportunities that it’s been able to give me. I would recommend it just for that reason alone. But the first thing that I would really concentrate on is trying not to overthink it. I think that that was one of my big hurdles in the beginning – that the only thing that got in the way of succeeding was me. Once you learn how to remove that problem from the equation, it works pretty darned well.
Jonathan: It kind of comes back to reap what you sow. I think it would have taken me more than a lifetime to develop everything that I’ve been able to get from Joe that has really enabled me to make a lot of changes that I had been wanting to make and didn’t know how to before. I had an actual interest in real estate, so that helped me, and there is a learning curve, but the reward is well, well worth the effort that you put into it, and it’s certainly worth more effort than working in a restaurant for a billion hours a week for not much money.
Interviewer: Unless it’s a cookout!
Jonathan: Unless it’s a cookout! And then maybe we could reconsider because that might be worth it, but short of a cookout, real estate investing – the way he does it and how he can show you how to make money and be successful in any market when everybody else tells you that it can’t be done – he’s got a way that it can be and is being done – you just didn’t know that it was happening before. That’s it.