How to Work Smarter Not Harder With Cameron Dunlap

Episode 86: How to Work Smarter Not Harder With Cameron Dunlap

THE PROFIT FIRST PODCAST

May 4, 2022

David Richter

Summary:

Keep your steam engines running for this exciting episode, and we’re bringing in a very special guest for you. We’re joined by no other than Cameron Dunlap, the founder, and CEO of Real Estate Worth Network. Today, he’ll be sharing with us his real estate journey and how he’s been able to achieve his success by using the exact REI tools to move his business forward.

Catch this genius-making action by listening to today’s jam-packed session!

Key Takeaways:

[2:09] How did he start to build up his rental portfolio?

[2:56] Cameron shares his teaching and real estate journey

[5:57] Was there ever a time in the business where he felt like he was doing a lot but wasn’t keeping as much?

[7:45] When did the financial freedom fill in and did all the work?

[11:00] Was the Profit First methodology a new concept to him?

[16:22] You can use the buyer’s money to fund a purchase for your seller

[18:41] With the cash buyer’s data fee, you don’t have to build a buyer’s list

Quotes:

[5:41] “I get a lot done, but I don’t work that hard.”

[15:50] “That was a big changer because it helped me focus my energy on the right people.”

Links:

Profit First by Mike Michalowicz – https://mikemichalowicz.com/profit-first/

Profit First REI by David Richter – https://simplecfo.wpengine.com/profit-first-david-richter/ 

Real Estate Worth Network- https://realestatewealthnetwork.com/ 

Tired of living deal to deal?

If you are a real estate investor or business owner who is tired of living deal to deal, and want to double your profits, head over here to book your no-obligation discovery call with me. Either myself or someone from my team will hop on a short call with you to get clear on your business goals, remove any obstacles holding you back, and map out a game plan to help you finally start keeping more of the money you work so hard to make. – David 

Transcript

Cameron Dunlap:

And I was so inspired. I got the book, read it. I thought, “Man, what a simple approach to a very complex subject for most folks, that anybody can deploy.”

Speaker 2:

Welcome to the Profit First REI Podcast, where real estate investors master financial management, eradicate entrepreneurial poverty, and learn to be profitable from day one. Now, for your host David Richter.

David Richter:

Hey, everyone, another exciting episode of the Profit First REI Podcast. I have Cam Dunlap here today. I’m super excited to have him on, because he is well known in the real estate game, in the real estate world, and very excited to get to know him over the last year from some groups we’re a part of. But if you don’t know him, he’s the Founder and CEO at the Real Estate Wealth Network, and he’s also done a lot of things in real estate: been in real estate since 1993, involved in thousands of transactions, teaching since 1995. He is the real deal. He’s been around for a long time, and he cares about his students. He cares about their success. And he’s built a lot of different systems that I’ll let him talk about, too, that are really awesome, and that even we use with some of our clients that we have and promote to them. So I’m really excited to have him on today, and Cam, really excited to have you on.

Cameron Dunlap:

Thank you, David, my pleasure. I’m thrilled to be here.

David Richter:

Yeah. So let’s dive right into it. What got you started back in real estate in 1993?

Cameron Dunlap:

Basically, a corporate job that I hated and them messing with my money, if I could sum it up.

David Richter:

Okay.

Cameron Dunlap:

And those are pretty compelling reasons.

David Richter:

Yeah. Yeah. No kidding. So, you dove right into real estate. What did you start with, fixing, flipping, wholesaling?

Cameron Dunlap:

I started with rehabbing. I bought Carlton Sheets’ program on an infomercial, and that’s what inspired me to go in the business. Started that, quit my job, went into rehabbing, then started to cherry pick some rentals, built a large rental portfolio. And I didn’t discover wholesaling until a few years later, when a friendly competitor and I were playing racketball. And I was lamenting about a deal I had just found and that I didn’t have the capacity to jump on right away, and what that meant in terms of debt service and vandalism if it’s sitting vacant, and he said, “Well, I’ll give you $5K for the contract.” And I was like, “What?” And I didn’t know anything, so I didn’t know what he was… And that’s how I discovered wholesaling.

David Richter:

Awesome.

Cameron Dunlap:

Yeah.

David Richter:

So then you started teaching as well, too. So how was that transition, or were you still doing… I know you still do real estate as well, too, so tell about that journey, I guess the journey from then till now, because you’ve been teaching for a while now.

Cameron Dunlap:

I have. On the urging of a great friend who happened to be Carlton Sheets, we got to know each other very well. And we were great friends for more than 20 years until he passed away in early 2019, which was a heartbreaker for me. But I only met him because I wrote him a testimonial letter, and he turned out… My brand new wife and I had moved to Florida. It turned out, he lived in the same town. I didn’t know that until he invited me to be on his infomercial, and they were filming it at his house. So I drove 10 minutes to his house. And so, we decided, “Hey, let’s go out to dinner with our wives.”

 

And we became big friends, and he urged me to create a program designed around a financial calculator because I was very good at making it work. And he could see that, because we were evaluating and analyzing deals together all the time. And he said, “You ought to design a program to teach people how to do what you do with that thing, because most folks have a real tough time with it.” So I wrote a book and included the calculator with it, and started to make that available, and doing some teaching around that. And I saw the impact it had on people, and that was really the birth of that side of the business.

 

And then I started teaching with him, and he had me doing more and more, because he felt like I could articulate myself well and people were inspired. And so, he was like, “Hey, why don’t you do tomorrow? You do chapters seven and eight, and I’m going to take a nap.” And I was like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. I don’t have any experience.” And he said, “You’re fine. Just do it.” And that’s kind of how it all became. And then since then, since 1995, those two businesses, my asset business and my teaching and software and all the other things we do now, those two businesses have been like two cakes in an oven simultaneously, and although autonomous, have a great symbiosis because what I learn on the asset side, which I’m involved with every day.

 

I got a really interesting contract accepted literally just about an hour ago, which I’m very excited about.

David Richter:

Nice.

Cameron Dunlap:

What I learn over here, in terms of frictions and inefficiencies that I go to work fixing over here with software and other tools and things like that. And then here, these things I create make it easier for me to do more deals. And then when those tools pass mustard, we roll them out to our very small clientele, and it’s been a really, really fun ride. I’ve had a blast, and I have no interest in retiring. I’ve got guys I went to college with that are like, “Hey man, I’m retiring. Why aren’t you?” And I said, “From what? I do what I love.”

David Richter:

Right. Yes. Exactly.

Cameron Dunlap:

I just love what I do, and I’m going to keep doing it.

David Richter:

Awesome. I love that. You never work a day in your life, right, if you love what you do. And that’s really true.

Cameron Dunlap:

I don’t feel like it. And I’ll be honest with you, I get a lot done, but I don’t work that hard. I’ve built great teams around me. And so, I’m going to be out wake surfing here in a little while.

David Richter:

Nice.

Cameron Dunlap:

Yeah. Because I can.

David Richter:

Exactly. That’s awesome. I love that. And if you could, since this is the Profit First REI Podcast, can you tell me then, was there ever a time in your business where you felt like you were doing a lot, maybe doing a lot of volume, but you weren’t keeping as much? Or you felt like maybe you were doing spinning your wheels, but not going anywhere. Did you ever feel like that, or did you have a good ride the whole time?

Cameron Dunlap:

No. No. I felt like that.

David Richter:

Okay.

Cameron Dunlap:

Although long before the book, and in particular, your version of it ever came out, I recognized it relatively early on, in large part because of my wife pointing out that… She’d say, “Why are you killing yourself doing so much, and blah, blah, blah.” And having that sort of voice in my ear caused me to ask better questions. How can I get this done without working so hard? How can I make this deal more profitable? The kind of questions that led me to discovering better, more efficient, more profitable, more, “Hey, focus on me first” answers and solutions. So it was a discovery process that I think every investor goes through. But now with what you’ve created, you’ve just really made it so much easier, which is why I’m so excited about your book. I mean, I can’t wait until it’s in the hands of my clients, because it’ll save them so much time and energy and angst and maybe even a divorce, for crying out loud.

David Richter:

Right. Yeah, exactly. That’s what we want to do. And we want to make sure we’re helping people get to actually keep the money. So then, do you remember a time where it kind of switched over to where you were keeping it more, or where you had the mindset of, “Okay. Now we’ve got things in place, the system.” Because now it sounds like you get to do whatever you want, whenever you want. I guess when did the financial freedom of building that team, I know you’re still a part of it, but more of that transition in your mind of, “Hey, I don’t have to be here all the time, every day. And we have the money coming in, and we’re able to do all this fun stuff, too.” Kind of remember how that took place?

Cameron Dunlap:

Yeah. There were a couple of big sort of things that happened in my life. One was I went from managing my own rental properties, and at the time I had a bunch, to turning them over to a manager. And what I discovered was that I was effectively trading my sanity for frankly, less than 10% of the gross rent. And the realization that my sanity was worth much more than 10% of the gross rent-

David Richter:

Right.

Cameron Dunlap:

… was a big one. And then, the other was when my daughter was born. She came into the world very early. She was an extreme preemie. We were at the Arnold Palmer Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Orlando, and literally living at the Ronald McDonald House in Winter Haven, right there a few blocks from the hospital. That was a real wake up call for me, because I knew it was coming, but I didn’t have any idea how hard it was going to hit me, that in an instant, everything went from being about me and my wife to being about her.

David Richter:

Yeah.

Cameron Dunlap:

And that forced me to ask better questions. That forced me to prioritize my activities and my time much differently. And honestly, it’s amazing. Since she was born, the decisions that I’ve made in large part to accommodate her being the center of our universe, have been so good and so timely, that I give her most of the credit for my success. Because if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have done that then, and that then, and that then. And because I did that then, and that then, and that then, I’m so much better off. It’s serendipitous, to say the least.

David Richter:

Awesome. No. I love that. And I love what you said, too, you started asking yourself better questions. And I think that’s what it comes down to, is really asking yourself those better questions, thinking about the future. And then you’ve got a little one there that you got to protect and that you got to nurture. And then, making sure that you’re asking yourself the questions that’ll help you long-term and short-term as well, too.

Cameron Dunlap:

By the way, that little one is 17 now.

David Richter:

Nice. There you go. So, it’s good to start asking the questions when she’s first born and getting that, rather than when she’s going off to college and doing all those different things. That’s awesome. I love that. And that’s usually some of the big mental shifts, where either a person starts a business or has a child or something, and it forces them to start asking those better questions. So I love that. It’s a big tenet that we have here at Simple CFO.

 

So, what about, as far as the actual Profit First methodology in that, I know that you like that. We’ve talked about before. But was that a new concept to you? Had you ever heard of something like that before, using bank accounts or managing the money from where the entrepreneur can manage it, basically?

Cameron Dunlap:

No, I hadn’t. And I remember I listened to, and forgive me for not remembering the name of the fellow who wrote the book, the original book.

David Richter:

Mike. Mike Michalowicz. Yeah.

Cameron Dunlap:

Yeah. I listened to him on a podcast, and I was so inspired. I got the book, read it. I thought, “Man, what a simple approach to a very complex subject, for most folks, that anybody can deploy.” And I just absolutely loved it. And it’s been a big part of my business and the people very close to me, their businesses, because I’ve recommended the book and I’ve seen the impact it’s had. But your version of it is just so exciting to me, because I have a clientele that I know can benefit so well from it. And they could benefit from the original book, certainly, but the way that you’ve put it, the context that you’ve presented it in is so perfect for them.

David Richter:

Well, good. I’m glad. So, if you’re listening to this now before the book comes out, Cam got an early release copy, so he was able to read it then. And if you’re reading this after it, you can go buy the book on Amazon. It’s Profit First for Real Estate Investing, is what he is talking about. So I really appreciate that Cam, because that was a lot of heart, soul. I’ve never written a book that long before. So I’ve written books in the past before, but that was just like, I had so much to say, it was hard to stop writing. But yeah. I really appreciate that, and really want to affect the real estate investing community near and dear to my heart. So I really appreciate that.

 

So let’s talk about more of what you do, and what you provide right now, too. Because you’ve got real estate, the Trifecta, you’ve got the Skip Tracing, the iFlip. Let’s talk about some of those things that you do and that you offer to real estate investors, because I believe in them very much, so much so, that it’s one of the tools that we have in our arsenal to be able to help with our clients. So do you want to talk a little bit, especially probably about Trifecta or any one of those, because I feel like those are very applicable for any real estate investor, and are truly a big help. And I’m not getting anything for this. Cam is not paying me a commission, an affiliate for this podcast or anything.

Cameron Dunlap:

No.

David Richter:

But I believe in this, so Cam, can you kind of explain some of those things that you have?

Cameron Dunlap:

I can. And I really appreciate your confidence and your clear endorsement. So, I discovered a long time ago that I have this deep love for technology. I just absolutely love technology. And I’m a pilot. So I watched, over the years, I’ve been in pilot for a long time. I watched, forgive me, the evolution of avionics in an airplane go from thirties, forties, vintage steam gauges, that’s a term they use to describe them, to digital tools that do a lot of the work, and make it easier for the pilot to focus on flying the airplane.

 

And so, I saw that evolution and I thought, “Why couldn’t that happen in real estate?” So I began early on to develop tools to make my business easier, more efficient, more organized. And over the years, created additional tools, and some of them have evolved, and we’ve phased some out because they didn’t make sense anymore. And so, I embarked on this whole technology crusade, if you will, to bring it to real estate a long time ago.

 

And so, today, the program that David mentioned we have, it’s effectively a bundle of several of our tools. One is called the Motivated Seller Data Feed, and what it does is it provides you… It’s a leading indicator that says, “Hey, here’s a house that’s owned by this person, where they have these potential motivations that are going on that are from a list of 20 motivations.” And then we use a proprietary thing that we created called Motivation Stacking. And if you hear that again, whoever it is stole it from me, where the more of these motivations there are in this stack, the greater the likelihood the seller is going to want to sell. And so, that was a big game changer for me, because it helped me to focus my energy, my marketing dollars, and all of that on the right people.

 

And then, we developed a very simple, effectively funding product for our clients as a result of all the stuff that happened in around 2008, 2009. It used to be when you’re wholesaling, if you were doing a back-to-back closing or a simultaneous closing, you could use your buyer’s money to fund the purchase from your seller. And what happened was, title companies all decided, kind of all at once, they moved the darn cheese. Basically, they said, “No, no. If you want to buy a title insurance policy on the first transaction, the A to B, you can’t be using your C buyer, that B to C transaction, you can’t be using your C buyer’s money.”

 

So we got into the business of transactional funding, where we provide that the money required for the A to B transaction, where the client doesn’t happen to have that sitting in their bank account. And then that evolved, in a large part, because of Dodd-Frank, to where we literally do that for our clients with no fees. There are no funding fees whatsoever. There’s no application fee, there’s no points, interest, nothing. It’s literally free. Now, you do need to be a member of our community.

 

And then, we also provide proof of funds, which is verifiable. So if the seller or the seller’s agent wants to see a bank statement, we’ll send that on your behalf. And it’s almost like having my six-figure bank account be yours, even though it isn’t, because it’s backing you up and giving you the credibility that a six-figure bank account would. And so, we’re very proud of that. And we fund a ton of deals, and our clients love us, because you go elsewhere, you pay two points, a point and a half, sometimes more, whatever. Here, no funding fees at all.

 

And then the third part, and why we call it, the Trifecta, is because there’s really three things that any real estate investor needs to really get their arms around in order to be successful. One is, you’ve got to have motivated sellers. Right? You’ve got to have sellers to be making offers to, in a steady stream. You’ve got to have funding. You’ve got to have the money, and proof of funds in most cases. And then you need buyers.

 

So, the third part of the Trifecta is a software tool called the Cash Buyer Data Feed, which is where we pull massive data, and that’s how we do this. We basically bring in billions of records that we then run through our proprietary algorithms to make these assumptions and reach these conclusions about people’s propensities and their activities. And so, with the Cash Buyer Data Feed, you have a buyer’s list. It’s right there. You don’t have to go build it, it’s handed to you. And so, now you have motivated sellers, you have the money, and you have the buyers. And you needn’t look anywhere else for those three most critical tools for any investor to be successful.

 

And what we do is we charge a one-time, nominal fee to come on board. And then, that gives you unlimited access to all of that for a year. So we’ll fund an unlimited number of deals for you for one full year with no funding fees whatsoever. And then, to renew is even less expensive than to get on board. And you can stay with us for as long as you want. And if we fund one deal for you, it probably pays for the darn thing for 10 years.

David Richter:

Yeah. It’s incredible, the value that it brings. And because of the incredible value here, I know you were explaining what you have, but in there were gold nuggets, too, the three main things you need inside of a real estate business. And then, what so many people get hung up on is that analysis paralysis and not pulling the trigger on some of this stuff. And this gives you the tools to be able to do that. And it is, it’s a very nominal fee whatsoever to get into that.

 

So, wrapping this up here, is there any way that our listeners can provide that value back to you because you gave it so much? How do they get a hold of those things? Where do they find you, if they want more information on you or what you are offering here? Because I definitely believe in it.

Cameron Dunlap:

Sure. Real simple. Like you mentioned at the beginning, I’m the Founder and the CEO of the Real Estate Wealth Network. So you can find me at realestatewealthnetwork.com, or even better, and I’m so glad we acquired this domain, rewn.com.

David Richter:

Oh wow.

Cameron Dunlap:

Real Estate Wealth Network. So Real Estate Wealth Network, rewn.com. And you can learn about me and you can meet our team, fire up a live chat. You can learn about Trifecta, all our other tools. And love to have you come and visit, and hope we can do business together. Because I know I can help you do more deals because of what we’re doing for so many folks.

David Richter:

Awesome. Yep. And Cam is the real deal. I’m in a lot of these masterminds behind the scenes, where you don’t get to see maybe some of the people like Cam. And everyone respects Cam, everyone does. So he is the real deal. He’s been in this business a long time. And he’s-

Cameron Dunlap:

I’m an OG.

David Richter:

Right.

Cameron Dunlap:

I’m an OG.

David Richter:

He is an OG.

Cameron Dunlap:

I hate that. I am.

David Richter:

He is an OG. So he is someone that you need to… I would at least follow his content, too. He is giving back a lot, and this is another way that he’s created these things for you to be a more successful real estate investor. So, Cam, thanks for sharing your story, the things that have helped you get to where you are, those asking yourself those key questions at the key points in your life. And then, I hope people go from here and go to rewn.com, and look you up, and look up what you have going on. So, Cam-

Cameron Dunlap:

You’ll love my blog there, by the way.

David Richter:

Okay.

Cameron Dunlap:

We have a great blog with a lot of really, really cool, timely content.

David Richter:

Cam is super professional, too. So just look at his stuff. You’ll see exactly what I’m talking about if you go to his site, go to anything. So, Cam, great having you on today. Thank you so much for sharing with our listeners.

Cameron Dunlap:

My pleasure, David. Thank you for having me on as a guest. And get the book if you don’t have it. Get the book. It will be a game changer for you. I can say that from reading it myself. You’ll love it.

David Richter:

Awesome. Thanks, Cam.

 

Thank you so much for listening to today’s show. If you found this episode valuable, could you do me quick favor? Can you give us an honest rating within iTunes. And be honest, you could say whether you liked it or not. And obviously, with iTunes, the more reviews and ratings we have, the better it is for other people that are searching for Profit First and our podcast. So we’d love to be ranked on there, and that’s thanks to your help. So we would really appreciate that if you would like to go give us a rating.

 

Also, if you’re looking to connect with us further, I would highly recommend checking out our Facebook group, Profit First for Real Estate Investors. And that’s literally what it’s called, so you can type in Profit First for Real Estate Investors, and you’ll be able to find our Facebook group right there. So come join active real estate investors who are supporting each other and growing their businesses and profits together. That’s what that group is all about. The links should be in the description below.

 

And if you’re interested in working with us and implementing Profit First in your real estate business, we offer coaching and guidance. So if you want to work with someone who’s actually Profit First certified, and who works right now currently with real estate businesses, you can actually go start your application process by going to simplecfo.wpengine.com/apply, or just go right to simplecfo.wpengine.com, and there’s an apply button right on there. If you want to actually start your Profit First journey with someone who can actually walk you through those step by step, and help you know and grow your cash flow. Thanks again for joining us for another episode of the Profit First REI Podcast. See you next episode.

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