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Investing to Learn or Learning to Invest? How Not to Be a Dinosaur With Mike Zlotnik

Episode 102: Investing to Learn or Learning to Invest? How Not to Be a Dinosaur With Mike Zlotnik

The Profit First REI Podcast

August 8, 2022
David Richter

Summary:

Mike Zlotnik has always wanted to invest in real estate. For over 22 years, Mike has been a debt and equity investor. He is a member of several mastermind groups and has taken on the role of CEO of Tempo Funding, LLC.

Mike jam-packs this episode with practical opportunities to improve efficiency and profitability in the REI realm.

Key Takeaways:

[1:35] Mike’s real estate journey

[3:13] Where is he on his real estate journey as of now?

[7:22] How does he source and manage his deals?

[11:00] Mike explains the difference between closed and open-ended funds.

[14:03] When is the right time to start a fund?

[18:39] Who are the most important and paramount people to have in their team?

[20:45] What philosophies around money have stuck with him throughout the years?

Quotes:

[22:03] “Money is essentially a commodity; it’s fungible. You basically have to have it, but you also have to invest in it. “

[25:24] “Life is all about growth. The moment you stop learning, you’re a dinosaur. And if you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward. “

Links:

Big Mike Fund-http://bigmikefund.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:

Mike Zlotnik:

The journey has been learning how to invest rather than how to, and the more progress you have in your investment journey and your evolution, the more important it to learn to invest rather than how to earn money.

Intro:

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. Thanks for listening to the Profit First REI podcast. Again, have another great episode here with Mike Zlotnik. I’ve known Mike for years now. We met at a mastermind years ago and have kept in touch with different projects and things. And he’s someone that’s very well respected in the industry. If you have any interest in funds or starting funds, this is the expert. Mike has done a lot in the real estate world and especially around creating funds and actually has several right now. I’ll have him talk about that, but he has been in the real estate world for a long time. And just gonna hear about his wisdom and hear about what he’s been doing. So, Mike, thanks for joining us today on the proper first podcast.

Mike Zlotnik:

Thank you David. Very much for having me happy to be. Yeah,

David Richter:

Really glad that you’re on here today. So Mike let’s, let’s go to the beginning. Where did it all start? Why real estate and why did you get into real estate? And when did, when did that start?

Mike Zlotnik:

Sure. My real estate journey started in the year of 2000. When I bought my first apartment here in New York city, it was my primary residence. I got married and we need a place to to live so nice. I bought an apartment and that’s the start of the journey and continue to buy here in New York for a number of years passively as a essentially technology professional. And then I went to real estate full time in 2009 starting a family of funds, but my, my journey has been passive 2000 to 2009. And then as a professional, 2009, and beyond that, we’ve done a lot of things, but just kind of big picture.

David Richter:

Huh? So two nine, that’s an interesting time to get started full time, right? That was just around the crash when everything started, correct?

Mike Zlotnik:

Yeah, it was good time and no question about incidental. I, I was burn out from the technology industry actually had a successful career as technology executive, but I was tired and I really loved real estate. So little estate became a passion and learning enough as a passive investor and being tired of the a little burnout from the te college world. I went full time. 2009 was not specifically timed by the crash of 2008. It’s just, it just worked out in my life.

David Richter:

Okay. Well, no, that, that’s awesome. So I’m glad you got into real estate. That’s your passion love that you stated that because I mean, if it’s not your passion, probably not gonna state in, in it very long, cuz it can get hard in real estate. So from where you were in two, tell us your journey to where you are now in two we’re recording.

Mike Zlotnik:

Sure. So I’ve done a number of things. Started family of funds. Actually the very first fund was not even founded by me by my good friend. He asked me to he started the fund and asked me to run it. And then I, I launched a family of funds. So we did a fund that originally financed short sales flips. Many of you are familiar with the concept. People are buying distressed properties with a short sale approval in front of the bank. So we’re financed a bunch of flips. Literally it was called transactional funding who did it for a couple of years. 2011, things got sort of slower and then transactional funding banks didn’t allow it. So we start essentially lending we’ll call it extended funding or hard money loans. So we started financing these flips, but people had to hold them 90 days, 120 days to renovations.

Mike Zlotnik:

So that whole business continued and we’ve done. The hard money funding continued to do it today. So that continued in essence until now, but on the way we’ve added a number of institutional sort of funds focused on commercial real estate. So 2017 we launched temp opportunity fund. I actually have some fixed and flip S and other businesses in Jacksonville, Florida kind of come there in 2015 on the wholesaling rentals fixed and flips, but separately the family of funds expanded quite a bit in 2017 will launch them opportunity fund our first commercial fund which is doing great today. It’s a growth and income fund and invests in broad range of multifamily storage industrial office shopping plazas. We have some niche investments such as land getting PTED for cultivation and number of really interesting other sort of niche investments.

Mike Zlotnik:

So that fund is well diversified, broad mandate, both growth and income. And then since then we’ve launched two other funds focused in on a single strategy. So we’ve launched tempo growth fund that was beginning of 2020 almost pre COVID, but it was a master blessing because we’ve gotten into a lot of projects during COVID that are just phenomenal deals as they were trading at a discount after the initial panic. So that’s the tempo grow fund. That’s our primary grow fund is closed. Then it’ll close to new subscriptions by then of this year. And then we recently launched tempo income fund in the middle of this year, focused, purely on the income strategy. The reason there separated these strategies is because in a combined manner, the growth creates a yield drag on the income. So growth has a ton of benefits.

Mike Zlotnik:

Income has the time of benefits you can do both or you can do them separately. So we have currently essentially three different funds. We’ve also done number of one off deals, indications. So commercial syndications last year again we we’ve gotten into a great deal in, in Indianapolis, almost a thousand doors, just a massive home run deal. Also during COVID this one area opportunity that we’re really picked up on is hotel conversions to multi-family that’s been a phenomenal journey. So that whole, if you, if you’re gonna ask me where the journey continues, that that still continues, even though COVID is sort of the hotels of recovered quite a bit, but still ton of opportunities we’ve seen in the space and that’s it. So we have family funds that we do one off deals. We just closed another one off deal. So it’s both funds and one of mostly commercial, we still do some hard money loans, but it’s sort of a legacy business. We do it as a relationship with all clients rather than a new thing.

David Richter:

Okay. No, I, I like that a lot. So how do you source the deals then? Do you have brokers? Do you have professional people on your team? Just actively looking all the time for that next? Like you said, you got the thousand, you know, doors in Indianapolis with thousand units. It’s like, do those just come across your desk and you’re analyzing those and from brokers or like where does a lot of that deal flow come from?

Mike Zlotnik:

Yeah, it’s a great question that I I’d say that absolutely not the brokers. We are actually trying to do some deals with the brokers, but it’s incredibly hard. The market is brutally competitive

David Richter:

Mm-Hmm

Mike Zlotnik:

<Affirmative> so I don’t recommend that my experience, you have to have a lot of money and you have to be pretty aggressive in your assumptions to pick up the deals that are listed on the market. A lot of the deal flow comes from relationships we have with sponsors and operators, years of relationships building. So the deal in Indianapolis the sponsor we’ve done business with in the past, and we’ve since done multiple other deals with same sponsor. He’s a specialist in Midwest. He markets, he finds these assets in certain cities. He’s a massive footprint and Indy. So he literally finds the projects he wants to buy. And he, you know, courts the owners until they’re ready to sell. It’s a very different approach for just, Hey, let’s see, what’s on the market today. If you approach the, the tire sellers and, and you give him a, a great offer avoiding marketing the property, this sounds, you know, you could, you could pick up a better deal for this versus a highly marketed property.

Mike Zlotnik:

So on the sales side, yeah, you typically try to market it through the channels, but on the buy side, you, you definitely wanna look for the off market deals through the special relationships. And that’s most of the buying that we’ve, you know, we’ve invested in and realize around a family of funds that is called essentially funds of funds. We are sometimes an operator, but we more often, we’re not an operator. What we do is we identify the active operators, we’ll partner with them. We’ll do GP & LP coaching. So we, we are mostly investors with the specialists in whatever they do. It may be multifamily conversion of hotel to multifamily storage, as I mentioned, land permitting for cultivation and so on and so forth. That’s the whole focus is to, is to basically identify the best operators and be programmatic and systematic capital provider for them.

David Richter:

Awesome. I love that. So you’ve used some terminology. I wanna make sure that I understand and that people are listening to understand what’s a sponsor and what’s a subscriber. I heard you use a couple different terms there, like a sponsor and then subscriber to the fund.

Mike Zlotnik:

Yeah. So the sponsor is typically the operator. Anytime you do a project, you, you find a multi-family deal. You raise capital, you are the operator or the sponsor that’s, it’s a, us is a synonym subscribers, typically a passive investor. So I, I’m not sure how else I mentioned this, but yeah. Subscribers to a syndication or a fund, the investors in a fund, just another, another term to use it.

David Richter:

Okay. So then you had mentioned as well, too, in that same sentence, that one of the funds was you were winding down on subscribers and there wasn’t many slots left for subscribers. So is, does that mean that you’re basically funded it to where you want to get the fund up to, and then it’s just gonna be like, okay, there’s no more room for passive investors in that fund.

Mike Zlotnik:

Yeah. Great. So, great question. So the temp growth fund specifically is a closed-ended fund just to differentiate temp opportunities and open ended or evergreen fund tempo income also launched as an open-ended fund. And tempo Grove is launched was launched as a closed-ended fund. What the difference, the difference is open-ended funds. They just do business, quarterly subscriber, investors, distribute income on quarterly basis, and they keep running forward. And then the the closed-ended funds they do not do quarterly process. They do quarterly statements and quarterly adjustments, but they basically have three phases. One phase is called subscription phase subscription phases. While the investors come in and then subscribe, then you have what is known as the investment phase and subscription phase often overlaps with the investment phase. So as subscriptions come in, we identify in investments for the fund and we call in the capital.

Mike Zlotnik:

So closed end ended fund works on subscriptions, which is basically I’m ready to invest a million dollars with you, but you, the fund manager don’t need the money today. So the money doesn’t go in until there’s a deal. So there’s a deal. We call in the money and then that’s when the money goes to work. And that’s when the prep starts. So the the subscriptions, when the capital is committed or pledged the capital calls is when the capital is pulled in and goes to work in deals. The reason we’re closing the fund is because the fund has maximum cap pledge period, the, the basically subscription period of two years. So we’re running out of time. Instead of extending the fund, we will close the fund to new subscribers continue to invest the capital throughout the investment period, which is another year.

Mike Zlotnik:

And that point after that, the fund starts essentially winding down any money that comes back from projects as a result of cash flow result of refinancing or sale starts going back to investors. That’s a normal, natural life cycle of a closed-ended fund. And the fund is right now is a phenomenal investment opportunity because it’s cut assets that were acquired a year ago. You almost can get into the fund as crazy as it sounds today at a prices of last year, which is not a common scenario because fund investment period was two years. There is a differentiation between old people and new people, but it’s 8% per year. It’s the pre, so the fund has institutional pre 8% cumulative prep. And then there’s a split, let us get 80% of the app site. We get 20% as a fund manager, if they write a million dollar check, and if they write a smaller check, it’s 70, 30 split.

David Richter:

Okay. That makes sense. So then the subscribers in there, are they accredited investors or do they have to be certain types of investors to be subscribers in the funds?

Mike Zlotnik:

Yeah, there are absolute credit investors. We do not take any non credit investors. We appreciate the interest if you’re not accredited but we cannot take non credit investors.

David Richter:

Okay. So then cuz there’s a lot of people, especially in the world that I’m in with the real estate investing, you know, all the time they’re thinking, should I start a fund? You know, like, I don’t know, I’ve got so many deals or so much opportunity and I need, you know, and I keep using private lenders when in your opinion is the right time for someone to start a fund.

Mike Zlotnik:

Yeah. It’s another great question. The, the answer is not binary. It depends. That’s the right answer. Of course it’s an individual circumstances and I’ve actually coached quite a number of people on starting their funds or changing or even modifying funds or setting up syndications. So I’m happy to do coaching. I’m not a ship date <laugh> so people are interested. They can reach out, I’ll give the information, but in general the fund is a vehicle. So a few use case scenarios where you, you could start a fund one you have enough one-off deals and you feel that basically the fund would be a good option to acquire small portfolio. It’d be easier for you to operate that as a portfolio. So the fund helps from diversification perspective, it’s moves the journey for investors. It reduces the risk of a single project.

Mike Zlotnik:

When is the right time when you feel like you’ve must sort of one of deals you’ve done, no one of deals starting a specialty fund. So what I’m referring to right now is a specialty fund such as sell storage fund or multi-family fund. The specialty funds require enough experience in a single project. And then the fund becomes just an easy entry point to split the journey for investors. The alternative to that is if you operate sort of the way I operate, you love multiple investment investments and you have enough knowledge in many asset classes that you want to have a fund to diversify across many strategies. Then you need a fund that that’s that’s the vehicle. Again, it is really a function of who do you envision raising capital from and for what a type of purposes people set up a fund, and then they have struggles raising capital.

Mike Zlotnik:

One of the reasons is because you haven’t thought through who you’re gonna raise capital from, if you know, who is your audience first, and you’ve talked to them and you’ve run the idea of a fund and they love the idea because they, they really trust you as the fund manager. Then it’s a consideration to raise a fund. The big difference between a fund and a single deal is a single deal as a whole lot easier to explain. So single deal you’re investing typically in the operator sponsor, which is your most, you know, important. Obviously if you invest with media, don’t mess it up. But sponsor operator number two, the single deal you are actually investing in a deal specific characteristics, right? You can explain this is a property in Memphis, Tennessee, or Orlando, Florida, or so on. So forth. You can actually explain what the property is all about.

Mike Zlotnik:

And then you have the performer, the economics, and then you have individual waterfall and individual investor economics. You could really explain what happens to the investor. You could show them worse-case scenarios. You can, you control projections and that’s easier to sell just to be very clear. One ordeal is easier to sell than a fund. Usually there are exceptions to that. The fund, typically the sales processes, you’re selling yourself as the fund manager and your team, whoever is your team, what is your track record? What your experience will, what results you’ve achieved and so on. So for some folks, and I’ve seen very successful fund operators who don’t sell one of investments because they won all. They want all the investments to go into the funds and then they just manage the money. It’s easier to manage the money for a fund manager.

Mike Zlotnik:

You don’t have to have a less minute rush. Can I raise enough capital the capital sit in a fund and you have that benefit. So if you want control of the decisions where the money goes, the fund is a really elegant vehicle, but the capital raising for the fund is a little bit harder because you are just selling, Hey, it’s sent a certain percent annual return or 12 to 18 or whatever the number and I’m that rate. I know what I’m doing. And here is the PPM that describes what what’s what’s in the box, but it could be a pretty broad box. Does that make sense?

David Richter:

Yes. Makes total sense. So I appreciate that. And just, I think that all spark some interest in conversation with people listening of like, okay, is this time to start a phone or not? And like you said, if you wanna work with an expert, who’s not a cheap date. You’ll Michael give his contact info of how to reach him at the end here. Cause it that’s, I love non cheap dates cuz then they’re worth their waiting gold of what you need to do. And when it’s this type of information that they help with. So, but I, I love that too, Mike, so then I will have one more question on a phone. Who do you say is paramount and super important to have on your team when you have a fund or like when you, you know, like, is it, you know, the processors, the people that you work with, like who all makes up that team and who would you say, like you have to have these people in place if you’re going to start a fund?

Mike Zlotnik:

Sure. So we, we outsourced a lot of our back office work and, and we use a third party administrator in my view, having a good administrator is very important when you’re starting a fund. Some point when you scale up and you get bigger, you could bring that administration work, essentially accounting and investor relations and investor statements into the house. But, but without it, you do need third party administrator. I think it’s a requirement. At least part of the planning. You should have one. In addition, obviously you need to have staff members that can help you source deals and under ideals. So you, you just wanna start a fund because it sounds cool. It’s a little rough. Where are you gonna find the deal flow? So it’s more important to actually identify the sources of the deal flow. It’s either your own relationships where you need a competent let’s just call ’em asset acquisition, executive who has the deals, or has the relationships where to get the deals.

Mike Zlotnik:

And the, on the other side, you need investor relations. So as the fund grows, but you don’t need it from day one day one, you manage to investor relations. But over time as the fund grows, you’ll need to have pretty strong executive in that area. Because when you’re running a fund, what are you doing? People ask me, what do I do? And you marry money, an opportunity. That’s the way to put it. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> right. So you need to be good on both sides. You need the opportunities and you need the capital and you need both strengths of both sides. And then you need the operating team in the middle, let and run actual mechanics of the fund.

David Richter:

Awesome. Well, thank you. I think that’s provided a lot of, a lot of good info on funds I’ve got, since this is the Profit First II podcast. Wanna talk about money a little bit. And one of the questions I like to ask is where did you learn about money or like what philosophies around money have stuck with you, you know, like over the years as you’ve, you know, grown and as you’ve learned more, so where did you learn about it and kind of like, what philosophies do you just have about money in general since we’re talking about it?

Mike Zlotnik:

Yeah. I mean, it’s a journey. It’s really not a one day thing. I’m kind of, you know, I grew up in the former Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States in 89 and there was very different journey obviously, but I started learning about money through my own hard work and kind of saving and investing. And then at some point I, I came across, obviously everyone that has read Robert Kiyosaki and, and Rich Dad, Poor Dad. That kind of got me thinking, and then this really not single single source, but being in New York and observing kind of what happens here that, that find real estate here is as long as the there’s some, some lessons I’ve learned really observing real estate and investing in real estate myself and then a series of books. I mean read obviously a lot of stuff that to stock, he put out, but many other books, there’s not a single, the journey started journey continues.

Mike Zlotnik:

I just think of kind of money as a so lemme take a step back. So money is essentially a commodity money. Money is is fungible. Money is, is something that is just, it, it, you basically have to have it, but you also have to invest it. So having money itself is really meaningless. You need to have wealth, that’s a better way to put it. So what I’ve learned about money is that essentially is you, you earn capital as you grow capital. You have to invest if, to learn how to invest. It’s more, it’s more important learning how to invest then than just having money. If you have a lot of money, it doesn’t mean anything. You just gotta be able to deploy it. Cash in the bank is a whole burning a hole in a pocket in, in a pocket that needs to be deployed. So I don’t know if I answered your question, but it’s sort of the journey has been learning how to invest rather than how to in the more progress you have in your investment journey and your evolution, the more important it to learn to invest rather than how to earn money.

David Richter:

I love that. No, I love what you said too. You look as money as a commodity. It is just a tool, a tool to build the wealth. And it’s basically showing you that scorecard, you know, like, are we helping? Are we providing that value? Are we matching opportunities with the money? You know, like with the capital and making sure that those are happening. So it’s like, that’s how I love that. Because then, like you said, it’s about investing it and doing the right thing with the right people and making sure that, you know, it is the win-win in that cycle and money is just a commodity. So I love that. I love what you gave there. Then as far as just in general, we’re winding down here, just a couple ask questions. What’s some general advice you would give to the real estate investing community, you know, either around their money or around their, you know, it could be any general advice whatsoever, but you’ve got a wealth wealth of knowledge. What would you give us some last minute advice to the listeners here?

Mike Zlotnik:

Sure. So we live in an inflationary environment. Inflation is your friend. And the kind of rule of thumb in general is that if a rate of appreciation of the property exceeds the cost of debt on the mortgage, you’ll always wind up ahead. So we live in unique times that the accelerate inflation actually accelerates the growth of the equity and devalues the, the debt. So in this, in this environment, continue to consider investments into equity, more than debt. Even though we do hard money loans and we lend money but generally returns a higher in this environment, in the equity space pick the right risk adjusted returns. And that’s the whole grail of investing. These are the, the terms that the hedge fund managers, the most experienced guys say risk adjusted return. Don’t always focused on a top line. Don’t always focus on the exciting shiny objects.

Mike Zlotnik:

Look behind the scenes and, and try to understand what are the risks investing. It’s all about the risks you could, you could be promised a great number, but if you’re taking enormous amount of risk, you’re not getting compensated for the risk, then you’re not taking the right risk adjusted return. So always look at the risks associated with whatever project and, and kind of look at the, the good, the bad, the, a ugly scenarios. What could happen if things turn now, it’s not a perfect game. It’s just, it’s a game of, of, of learning. It’s just continuously evolving your own playbook and your own rules and improving. It’s a continuous improvement like life is, is, is all about growth. The moment you stop learning, you’re a dinosaur and, and if you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backwards. So the other thing that I wanted to say, and I’m gonna crack this phrase, I just feel like this phrase and most people don’t don’t understand, but it’s a very clever phrase because it, it, it, it summarizes the essence of thinking when you invest.

Mike Zlotnik:

So the question is to the audience, are you investing to learn or learning to invest? Hmm, you’re always doing both, right? If you’re not doing both at the same time you are either old, you get too much money and you don’t need to learn anything else, which is, which is fine. And so if you are investing to learn to get better, that, that you, you expect to, to have some lessons from, from your investments, if things go perfectly, you learn very little things, go a little choppy, you you’ll learn something from that. And then the other one is obviously learning to invest means that you will practice some plan and measure seven times before you’re gonna cut once. Otherwise it’s very easy to write a check and then get stuck in it, in the wrong deal. So that, that means that my thoughts on the subject.

David Richter:

Awesome. Well, that was, there was a lot of knowledge drop there. So make sure you go back, listen to that, listen, that little clip there. He gave a lot of great information and listen to this, this whole thing again, listen about when to start a fund, the people to have on your team. There was just some really good information there when, you know, the types of funds that he’s working with right now, and the types of funds to set up, but all that information. Now, Mike, we wanna know what the cheap date is. How do we get in touch with you, you know, the non chief date. So how do we get, how do people get in touch with you? How do our listeners provide value back to you and, you know, reach back out to you.

Mike Zlotnik:

Thank you, David. So it’s fairly easy. We do have obviously a primary corporate site, TempoFunding.com, but the easy one to remember I’m known as the Big Mike and so it’s BigMikeFund.com. That’s actually the name of my podcast, but you can go to BigMikeFund.com or you can navigate from there. And if you misspell it and you forget the D at the end, so BigMikeFund.com. I promise it’s not a kinky site.

David Richter:

<Laugh> oh man, there we go. We got cheap non cheap dates and kinky sites. So here you go. So it’s,

Mike Zlotnik:

<Laugh>

David Richter:

Non kinky. Okay, good. So it’s BigMikeFundund.com and then we’ve got TempoFunding.com. If you wanna go there, we’ll make sure to put those in the show notes, if you wanna have your non chief date with Mike reach out to him. And I know that he has been, he’s done a lot of great things as you can hear here in the, on this podcast episode. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you for listening to the Profit First REI podcast and for being another great listening and to another episode here, Mike, thanks for being on. Thank you for just sharing your knowledge about funds, about investing and what you’ve seen, and then your thoughts around money too, and an awesome episode. Thank you so much for being on today.

Mike Zlotnik:

Thank you David, for having,

David Richter:

Thank you so much for listening to today’s show. If you found this episode valuable, could you do me a quick favor? Could 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 a 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 <laugh>, you’ll be able to find our Facebook group right there.

David Richter:

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 link should be in the description below. And if you’re interested in working with us in implementing Profit First in your real estate business, we offer coaching and guidance. So if you wanna 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.com/apply, or just go right to simpleCFO.com. And there’s an apply button right on there. If you, you wanna 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 private first REI podcast. See you next episode.

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Title: “Realize Your REI Potential with Jennifer Steward: Authenticity, Profitability, and Consistency”



Episode: 240

In this episode of Profit First for REI podcast, we are sitting down with Jennifer Steward of REI Data Source, to unveil the secret weapon you’ve been missing: authenticity. 


Jen will crack the code on how to project a winning image that seals the deal…But wait, there’s more! Learn the top revenue activities every entrepreneur should master and discover the power of consistent strategies to solve your REI problems.


This episode is your blueprint to a thriving virtual business. Don’t miss out!


Key Takeaways:


[0:50] Introducing Jennifer Steward

[6:07] Project an image of success from

time to time

[9:16] Some best revenue activities that every entrepreneur should know

[11:00] Leveraging every avenue that you can, get consistency, and make sure you’re solving current problems

[17:43] The golden ratio in social media marketing is: 90% business and 10% personal

[25:02] The benefits of running a virtual business


Quotes:

[4:20] “Authenticity is like a business repellant.”

[10:09]  “In a market where you can’t dind deals but there’s plenty of money, you have to be the person who knows how to find the deals.” 

Connect with Jennifer:

REI Data Source Website: https://www.reidatasource.net 

Jen’s Email: jen@reidatasource.net 

Phone Number: (469) 952-8011



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:

Speaker 1 (00:00):

You need to just be able to solve the seller’s problem and just start with one exit strategy that you’re really confident in. And then once you master that, expand from there. And like you and I talked about, it’s who not how you don’t have time. Most likely to master all of those. So have a referral partner that you can build a relationship with and trust.

Speaker 2 (00:23):

If you’re a real estate investor who’s sick and tired of living deal to deal, then welcome home. Hear from everyday real estate investors just like you, and discover how they’ve completely transformed their business by taking a profit First approach. This is the profit first for REI podcast, where we believe revenue is vanity. Profit is sanity. It’s time to start making profit a habit in your business. So here’s your host, David Richter.

Speaker 3 (00:50):

Today we have Jennifer Stewart on which she is a go-getter. She’s out there, she’s doing lots of things. She’s in the cold calling space. She’s also a real estate investor. But then she’s also someone who I think has gone through a lot in her life and has come out on the other side stronger. And you can tell just from what she talks about and what she sees as the most successful real estate investors, what they do on a daily basis, on a monthly basis, it’s just good bottom line stuff to help you if you want to become someone who’s consistent in business, no matter what the market is doing. So I think this is going to be a really good episode. She gets into the nitty gritty and also just helping you get to where you want to be and making more money as a entrepreneur. Jennifer, welcome to the Profit First REI podcast. I’m so excited you’re here today.

Speaker 1 (01:37):

David, thank you so much for having me. I’ve been looking forward to this all weekend. What a great way to spend a Tuesday at noon and thank you. Thank you so much for having me today.

Speaker 3 (01:47):

Yeah, well I’m excited because we dance around in these different groups and we’re going to these events and you’re speaking a lot, you’re helping a lot of people out there, and I see you as someone who’s just very much, I hope this comes across, but just a very mature human being that has gone through a lot, but you haven’t just been a victim. You’ve been someone who said, I’m going to grow from what I’ve gone through, and that’s what I’ve just observed. And then honestly, there’s lots of my friends that respect you a lot too. I’ve gotten to know you well, so I’m excited about this one. So many things that I feel like we could go down, lots of roads here. So again, thank you for being on the show.

Speaker 1 (02:25):

I appreciate that. That’s very generous and kind observation. I think mature is a very polite word and I am just kind of overwhelmed with that kind assessment.

Speaker 3 (02:37):

Yeah, well, I don’t want to use any rude words for you here today, so we’re going to dive into it. No, but seriously I do. I see as someone who takes a lot of those lessons and applies them right away. I would also say too that you are not scared about sharing what you’ve learned and what you’ve gone through. Where do you get that deep sense of truth to share exactly what’s going on? And I don’t know if you’re a fan of the office or if you’ve ever seen that show. I like the Office, if you like the office. Where is it? I think it’s Kelly’s, Dayton, Daryl, and she says, he said, who says exactly what they’re thinking? What kind of game is that? And I’m like, that is Jennifer to a t. And I’m just wondering how did you get that as part of you? Because I think it’s so genuine, authentic, and it brings more people to you and they resonate. You’re saying what they’re scared to say.

Speaker 1 (03:30):

My business advisors have told me to do the opposite. They said

Speaker 3 (03:36):

Genuine, sorry. That’s great. Basically the

Speaker 1 (03:38):

More money you’re going to make, you have to play the game. And so what I’ll do, David being totally transparent, is I’ll turn that on and off depending on my revenue. So I know that sounds hilarious probably, but if my revenue gets lower, I will turn off the authenticity to a certain extent and go back into my polite game, the system mode. But whenever income is plentiful, I’ll go back to being more my authentic sharing self because number one, sometimes I get more business than I can possibly ever take down, and that’s overwhelming. And so I find that authenticity is like a business repellent, but it’s so much, it’s so stressful for me to be fake. It’s so stressful for me to be something I’m not. And that’s me being a little bit funny, but also kind of realistic as a business woman. And then there’s me as a person who has a soul and that person wants to connect. That person realizes that I’m not just here to make money, I am here to help people who are suffering. And I know that sounds cheesy and cliche, but it’s true. And lemme tell you, I don’t want to be one of those people who are suffering. So I will switch into a mode that is more polished, if that makes sense.

Speaker 3 (05:09):

That makes sense.

Speaker 1 (05:10):

Because I don’t want to starve. And so I do kind of go back and forth between, okay, I need to dial it back. And I think that people notice that if I was just all the time talking about what a person can overcome or the deep parts of our why and our feelings, then I think that would really drive away a lot of business. I’ve seen people who got up on stage and talked about aligning the chakras and they were never invited back. So you have to find a balance between being a compelling human who helps people overcome these internal struggles that we likely all face, especially as entrepreneurs, depression, anxiety, slow times debt overhead, really painful things that will keep up at night and destroy your health and destroy your relationships. And then we also need to focus on, unfortunately we have to project an image of success from time to time because I’ll tell you, I always get the most business whenever I’m on vacation, I can actively ask people to leave me alone while I’m on vacation.

(06:16):

And that’s whenever I get all the messages for, Hey, I want to do business with you. Because they see the success, they see that it works. When really that’s I’m spending the money, that’s whenever I’m the least successful because I’m not putting time into my business and the dollars are just flying out the window like someone who has an open wound. And so it’s funny because it’s whenever you’re doing the best that it doesn’t show, and whenever I’m making the most money, it’s usually whenever I look the worst, I haven’t had time to groom myself. I’m probably still wearing pajamas that day. And so it’s almost always the opposite as to who has money and who doesn’t. So the person you see with the super nice house and the super nice car, those people have confided in me, Hey, I have so much pressure, I feel like I’m going to lose it.

(07:03):

But those are the people that look up to and respect. And so that being said, David, if I was financially independent, 100% I would be genuine and deep and all the time, if that makes sense. It would be like, Hey, when you woke up today, did you thank God for just waking up? And what are some ways that you can lower your overhead? What are some ways you can increase revenue? Are you wasting time on non-revenue generating activities? Are you doing too much stuff for free? Those of us who are in real estate, I think we do too many things for free. And like you and I talked about, it’s not just your expenditures that are on your books, it’s also the expenditures that are on your time. And so I talked to my attorney last week about dropping non-revenue generating businesses that just aren’t converting because there’s hope in one hand and there’s numbers in the other.

(08:02):

And after a certain amount of time, you need to realize which businesses are covering for the businesses that are taking a loss. And so my lawyer kind of sat me down and I know you do this, and we had to look at which businesses are just not generating and which are carrying the ones that aren’t. And he said, just focus on the ones that are. And so that being said, whenever we wake up every day, if we are our real selves all day, it usually doesn’t translate into revenue. But when I have the luxury of being myself, David, I always want to reduce the suffering of others because that’s kind of all I’ve done my whole life is I’ve had to overcome and overcome and overcome and overcome to a degree that just feels, it could feel really unlucky if I let myself go there. But instead of feeling unlucky, I have to see the opposite side of it. So for all the extremely low probability things that happened to me, there’s also extreme low probability things that happened for me. And you have to see both.

Speaker 3 (09:11):

Right. That’s really good. That is really good. So since we’ve gone down this road, and especially for the real estate investors listening, what would you say are some of the best revenue producing activities they could be doing or that you see in your own life that you do that translates into that

Speaker 1 (09:29):

You have to fill a niche that nobody else is filling? You have to see a problem that everyone is facing a hitch in the giddy up that’s keeping everyone from making money. What I’m noticing right now, for example, people don’t have the money for down payments on their loans. So like we mentioned before the call, I’m offering a program where you can do a hundred percent financing as long as you’re one of my cold calling clients. And it blew up because people don’t have the money for a down payment right now, and my cold callers really aren’t that expensive. And so it solves that problem for them. And in the past, the biggest problem was finding deals. And in a market where you can’t find deals, but there’s plenty of money, then you have to be the person who knows how to find the deals.

(10:16):

And so you have to find what’s keeping people from making money today in the current market and then really, really leverage your social media and go speak, like you and I talked about before, go speak on those topics, mention it on social media, put it in your stories, tell people what you do, and then be really consistent with your message because people are watching, they want to see consistency. And it’s like my lawyer taught me, who’s Jeff Watson? If they see you being erratic and all over the place and not consistent in your message, then people don’t trust that they can go to you to solve these problems. And so that’s the big key is leveraging your social media and being really consistent in your message and making sure that you’re solving the problems of today. So those three things, consistency, solving the current problems and just making sure that you’re leveraging pretty much every avenue that you can.

(11:16):

And of course, always want to be competent and run an ethical business because you can spend 10 years building a reputation. And if you hire one bad employee or someone who makes you look bad or doesn’t deliver for a client, unfortunately bad news spreads like wildfire and just whatever you’re buying on Amazon, you’re going to pay more attention to the bad review than the good reviews because we’re looking for to avoid pain for good reasons. I mean, some things could take us out and set us back a decade if we make the wrong investment. And so it’s really, really important in a capital intensive business what we’re in to be someone who’s trustworthy, competent with very high integrity. Like you and I talked last week and I told you, I was like, Hey, I can’t be consulting on a topic that I don’t know about. Thank you for the inquiry. But that would be horribly unethical. And you have to do that. You have to turn down the fast money for the long-term play of having high integrity.

Speaker 3 (12:18):

Yeah, no, a hundred percent. That’s really good. I think that’s consistency, solving the problem for today and then getting the message out. So those are three steps there. And I think that’s where it’s like, it’s so simple, but it’s like that number one, you got to do it consistently and you got to move to where the market is. So I think that’s really good stuff because I can’t agree more because I think, do you think that a lot of real estate investors build themselves into a box and then when that solving the problem of what they used to do doesn’t solve it anymore, that they have a hard time pivoting to something that will and bring the revenue? Yeah,

Speaker 1 (12:57):

I mean you have your fast movers, your highly networked people who are poised to move, but for anyone who doesn’t want to hustle 24 7, it’s hard to pivot like that. I mean, at some point, I think human beings, we all want consistency, predictability. And one thing that’s really tough about this business, and I’m sure everyone notices, is how fast paced it really is. Now, if we were in the paper business, for example, David, how much do you think things change? Speaking of office space or not office space, the

Speaker 3 (13:35):

Office office,

Speaker 1 (13:36):

Yeah, yeah. I mean if we’re a paper company, how often do you think the industry changes? Right.

Speaker 3 (13:42):

It doesn’t really change. I don’t know.

Speaker 1 (13:44):

I mean maybe a paper guy comes and messages us and said, oh, you wouldn’t believe.

(13:51):

But it seems like from the outside looking in that real estate, every day there’s some new gimmicky stuff and you’re just like, I can’t handle this. I need to step away because I can’t handle one more gimmick. I can’t handle one more big change. It’s difficult. And so I think knowing the fundamentals, because I know people who make big money just using a yellow pad for their CRMs still, and some of these people are big names, and I don’t think he’d mind me saying, Adam Johnson, Leon Johnson’s son, he does a lot of deals just using a yellow pad. Courtney Frickey, she has her paper leads that she keeps in a file and only goes through them if she needs to. So a lot of these gimmicks just really aren’t the real deal. The real deal is not necessarily what software you’re using, it’s where are we in the market, are there more deals than money or is there more money than deals?

(14:47):

Those are really the main two shifts that if you pay attention to those in the market, you’re good. And people was like, oh, I do this with AI and I do that with ai. I haven’t seen AI do anything really amazing except for Google search type stuff. I mean, I’ve listened to the AI calls and they’re still not that great yet. And I keep hearing people say, oh, AI is going to be doing our acquisition management soon. Well, yes, true, but when I haven’t seen it yet and still, which problem is it solving the low money problem or the low inventory problem? And right now I think it’s market to market. It’s kind of like mushrooms and in certain markets we still have an inventory problem and other markets are more of a buyer’s market and we have more of a money problem. So you have to take it market by market, city by city and see which problem are you solving. Those are really the main two problems in real estate. And what I’ve seen is everything else is a marketing gimmick. As someone who does marketing myself, we try to repackage it to get people’s attention, but it’s kind of all the same stuff.

Speaker 3 (15:59):

Yeah, no, that makes sense. So would you say then the people like Adam and the people like Courtney, are those three things that you mentioned before consistent solve the problem for today and then the media and the messaging is that their key to success and as long as they’re consistent doing, what’s really is that or is there something that makes them different just because they go out there, and I love how you said with their CRM is a yellow legal pad, it’s none of the fancy stuff and all that where a lot of people get trapped in that rabbit hole. So that’s where my I’m wondering, yeah,

Speaker 1 (16:31):

Courtney’s really consistent on Instagram and she gets a lot of referrals. And Adam’s been in his market for 20 years, so he gets a lot of referrals. So you talk about consistency, it’s decades of consistency in Adam’s case, and Courtney has been doing it I think for 10 years, and she really gets out there in terms of, she speaks in front of realtors groups, she speaks at rhe, she holds her radio show, and she’s very consistent in her branding. She doesn’t just show herself boating on the weekend or shopping or whatever. And if you look back through her Instagram, you can see that in the past she did have more of showing her personal life. And Connor Steinbrook taught me, don’t show your personal life, just make your entire page about business. But there is one caveat to that. You don’t want to look like one of those VA generated pages where there’s no real person behind it.

Speaker 3 (17:23):

It

Speaker 1 (17:24):

Looks like a VA just runs my page and it’s just my VA who does everything. So I do post pictures of my family and going to the gym, and if I do go on vacation, I do post that. But too much of it makes people think you’re not available for business. So I would say the golden ratio that I’ve discovered is about 90% business and 10% personal, just to add that speckle of reality that you are a real person and not a va. And I think Courtney does that very well on her Instagram for example, and she doesn’t even have to spend money on marketing. She told me she doesn’t do that anymore. She’s a hundred percent referral based now and it’s taken being consistent

Speaker 3 (18:04):

And she does a lot of creative deals or that’s all she does is the creative type deals. She

Speaker 1 (18:10):

Does kind of everything. I know her to do flips, I know her to do. She’s mostly a buy and hold investor and she will do creative when she needs to. But I think I’ve had a lot of clients come to me over the years and try to curate a marketing plan where all we do is creative for them. And that is really tough. You’re going to have a low ratio of being able to do that. Typically creative should be something that comes organically from time to time. If you make that your only goal, and this was a guy with a lot of money, by the way, the one I’m thinking of. He had so much money, yet he was super focused on just doing creative. And I understand if someone has no money and they’re just focused on doing creative, but they get it in their head that this is the way to do it and there is no the way to do it.

(18:55):

You have to just solve the problem of the current seller who wants to sell, whether it’s a listing, whether it’s innovation, whether it’s a flip, whether it’s a wholesale, whether it’s long-term buying hold subject to seller finance, and anything else I’m missing in there. It shouldn’t just be, oh, I’m going to pull this list and I’m just going to do ovations or I’m going to do this campaign. I’m just going to do subject two. You need to just be able to solve the seller’s problem and just start with one, this is something I’ve taught for years. Just start with one exit strategy that you’re really competent in. And then once you master that, expand from there, and like you and I talked about, it’s who not how you don’t have time most likely to master all of those. So have a referral partner that you can build a relationship with and trust for innovations for subject to maybe even for seller financing or maybe master two, but mastering all of the above would be insanity. Even if you had been doing this for 50 years like Leon Johnson, that would be insanity. So be ready to leverage joint venture partners that you can trust with the right paperwork behind it. Of course.

Speaker 3 (20:02):

Would you say that if you go down that road, can you build a business like that? Meaning where a business is systems and other people where eventually you have a business that runs itself or runs it with the people in the processes you’ve put in place. It seems like with real estate, like you’re saying, I have to solve the seller’s problem right then and there. So it almost sounds like you need at those higher level people, you can’t just get the McDonald’s line worker that’s there or the robot or AI or something like that. That’s

Speaker 1 (20:33):

The challenge that I’ve run into. And I feel like conceptually it can be done, but then in psychology we have something called channel factors, these little things that get in the way of what sounds good on paper. And that’s usually where the human element comes in because I have staff of 180 people in my agency and I’ve learned little tricks to managing them. For example, this is going to sound weird, I don’t do company meetings because I just meet with them as I need to. I do spend a lot of time with them upfront, maybe a few hours, and then I never talk to them again except to tell them when a job has come in. And if they need more than that, they’re probably not a good fit. And I don’t do group meetings because I’ve had them all group up against me in the past to raise wages, basically wanting to unionize whenever my clients can’t afford that.

(21:27):

And I said, I’ll let the whole company burn down before I let you extort me in this way. And I did. And I did it privately. I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t go public about it, but I just stopped the company for six months and just traveled. And it’s like I have plenty of money. And then they were suffering. And then once I was done traveling, they were like, Jen, please, please, I’ll come back. So who would think that there’s a human variable of needing to stop people from organizing against you, or it’s like Adam Johnson says, you have to make sure that you’re always in the way of a deal in order to get it done. So that’s why you can’t fully replace yourself for the most part unless you sell the company, is because at some point somewhere you need to add value. And yes, you can have an integrator, and yes, you can have a CEO, and yes, you can have a CFO, et cetera, but if you notice even in a C class corporation, you still have shareholders.

(22:24):

The shareholders are still in the way in some way because they own a part of the company. So no matter what, you have to make sure that you’re in the way of other people just taking over completely what you do and just pushing you out. And so that is the challenge. That’s where replacing, that’s what no one talks about. Everyone wants to sell these sexy business models where you’re just on the beach or whatever, but at some point you have to put yourself between yourself and someone else to make sure you’re still adding value or you’re just going to get pushed out. So another example is, I mean, you can just live like my older gentleman, friends who just own a bunch of mutual funds and they don’t manage anything. They just collect checks from the dividends, but you have to have millions in order to achieve that.

(23:17):

Lemme tell you, those are the people who have the most passive income that I’ve seen, and I know this is an REI podcast, but what’s great about real estate is you can start with a relatively small amount of money and then with appreciation, leverage that into millions, and then you can become the mutual fund, the note owner or your kids can get your portfolio, but it’s not as passive as just having your mutual fund dividends come in and as know the stock market goes up and down where rents typically, there’s not as much fluctuation in rents as there is in the stock market. And so all that being said, going back to what you asked, whenever you’re managing staff, there’s just going to be all these psychological factors that are not going to present themselves on paper with your staff is always the biggest challenge in running a company.

(24:11):

And so that’s why I don’t do company meetings because that’s whenever people get together, and pardon my language, I think it’s a poignant word. They start bitching and then that causes morale issues. All it takes is one person to start griping and then morale goes way down. And I don’t care how well you run your company, I don’t care if you are like you have in the background, I don’t care if you’re Mr. Rogers, as soon as someone starts griping and it takes hold, it’s game over. This doesn’t work if you run a brick and mortar business. But I have doctor friends, for example. They run brick and mortar businesses, and one of my doctor’s friends two weeks ago, his entire staff just walked out. They’ve been with them for 20 years and they couldn’t have organized like that if you keep them separate. If you’re running a virtual business, that’s one of the benefits is you can manage your staff. And I tell you, that has made my income extremely passive.

(25:09):

So if you take nothing else away from this by keeping my staff separated, I have generated true passive income for myself because all I do is bring the jobs, bring the clients, they work the clients, and then they do a good job and then I’m out. The only thing I have to do is keep bringing in new clients because there is always going to be some small amount of attrition no matter how good of a job you do for various reasons. So yeah, if you have a virtual business, keep your staff separate and that way they’re not coming together. And it’s amazing how peaceful things are. I have no drama. I have no complaints. I’ve known go well. so-and-so did this, and so-and-so said this, and so-and-so gets paid this and I want to get paid this. It’s like I have literally zero drama in my agency with my staff now, and that has just been amazing.

Speaker 3 (26:03):

Yeah, that’s the first time I’ve heard it put like that of keeping separate in that you don’t run meetings and you don’t get them together, which is very anti, a lot of the books out there and a lot of those systems and stuff that have the organizational meetings and that type of stuff, level 10 meetings or the level 10 meetings and all that, that goes along with it. So I love hearing a contrarian viewpoint, especially for someone who runs a virtual business like that and who’s gone through almost like you said, the utilization of that type of stuff. Yeah, I’ve been this for

Speaker 1 (26:37):

Six years, and so that’s enough time to where you’ve passed some task, kissed a lot of frogs and had every problem under the sun.

Speaker 3 (26:44):

Yeah, yeah, no kidding. So that’s very interesting. Well, this has been a lot of fun. I love the answers that you’ve given. I think there’s some really good value there too with being consistent, solving today’s problem and getting it out there, being consistent of getting out your message as well too. I also like that what you just went over that was so contrary to what other people say. That was really an interesting take. I want to, and I

Speaker 1 (27:10):

Would bet you my headaches are much smaller than theirs,

Speaker 3 (27:14):

Probably. Probably. I mean, well, most people have the headaches in business, and if you just have less than them that it probably wouldn’t take much if you just had just that many less. So that’s great. I love hearing that. What I wanted to talk

Speaker 1 (27:29):

Authentic draws better clients too. I did want to share that because I know I went on a bit of a rant and a ramble about that, but let me be pointing on one point is that by being my real self, David against my business advisor’s advice, the clients I have now, I have no drama with and I don’t know why I’m not smart enough, I guess to know why. But the ones who come to me whenever I’m going through times of being very authentic and just really sharing whatever it is, whatever business problems or personal problems that I may be facing and how I’m overcoming them, I get so many people, like you said, who may not do business immediately and it scares off a lot of people. But the clients who do come to me, we have no problems, no drama. They don’t blame me for a lack of success.

(28:13):

They just come in, show up, close their deals, and they stay long-term customers. So that is one benefit is I get fewer clients, but the ones that I do get, I have zero drama with, and we’re so simpatico that I work hard to make sure they’re successful and they don’t. Whenever I was being inauthentic and getting a lot more clients, we don’t have meetings about Jennifer, why am I spending this money and not getting any deals and then this, and they’re just being very nitpicky, but clients where I’m my authentic self, they come in and they just close deals, David, we don’t have to have awkward meetings that make me feel like crap about myself, feeling like I’m not really actually helping anyone and I’m just charging money and nothing’s happening for them. They come in and they’re like, Hey, Jen, I did this deal. I did this deal. Your staff is great. And so that was a crazy change to me. I thought, this is self-destructive behavior being this authentic, but I just felt compelled to actually help people. And then these clients are the most low maintenance clients I’ve ever had. So I would be curious what your take is on that in terms of why is it being authentic? First off, it’s interesting. It draws in less clients, but the ones that does draw in, I have zero drama, zero problems with, and they stay with me forever,

Speaker 3 (29:36):

Which is funny because what you’re describing now is in those books that tell you to have the meetings, it’s like it’s your core values. It’s the values that are shining through that. It’s people that resonate with you as a human being. So usually they’re going to be the ones, especially if you’re being authentic and being open and honest and sharing values that are just as a society, we look at and say, it’s mature what you’re doing. You draw those mature people in, so it’s like they’re going to be the ones that sit back, they do the deals, they get it done, and then they come to you and they be like, yeah, let’s keep moving forward. And that’s the low drama because projecting that out there as well too, just from what I can observe right there. But I really like that because very much of if you’re going to be yourself, you might bring in less, but you might bring more of the people that you want to work with. That’s what I took away from makes income

Speaker 1 (30:26):

More passive because that is always my goal. Low drama staff, low drama clients where we’re just doing deals. I’m providing excellent staff who are going to make sure that you’re getting in front of as many people as possible for as little money as possible, talking to those motivated sellers, getting good prices on data, getting good prices on your loans to close your deals, and just keep it simple. There shouldn’t be any insanity. There shouldn’t be a lot of complaints and craziness. And that’s not to say there’s never problems, but when there are, it’s like, Hey, Jen, we need to have a meeting because this caller’s gotten a little too lax and they’re just becoming too rote and they’re going through the motions too much. I had to have that call three months ago, but guess what? He didn’t leave. He didn’t blame. He said, Hey, let’s just fix, let’s just fix their script.

(31:12):

And so I told her, I said, Hey, you’re one of my best, and maybe you’re working too long hours. Maybe you need to take more breaks. Maybe we need to load you up with fewer clients because instead of listening to the seller, you are kind of just pushing through the script. I said, someone who started out cold calling myself, I noticed I would do that towards the end of my shift. And I said, so let’s just be aware that that’s what’s going on. But I didn’t blame or shame her. I just said, Hey, because I was sitting in that seat myself for so many years, David is a cold caller. I know what problems they face, and it makes me a better manager for them. And just say, Hey, it just sounds like you’re getting a little tired. And so take a 30 minute nap, take an hour nap and come back and you’ll see how all of a sudden, instead of just pushing through a script, you’re really an active listener.

(32:02):

But that’s the only problem client meeting I had to have in the last six months where before God, David, it seemed like it was every day. People were just pinging me with this is a problem and that’s a problem. This is a problem. And I think that’s what led to my heart attack last year at 38 years old, was just having all these clients with all these complaints and it was just driving me crazy. And now I don’t have any of that. And so just sharing my experience, whether it’s true or false or somewhere in between. It’s just my anecdotal experience.

Speaker 3 (32:36):

Well, no, that’s really good. I wish we more time, but I’m going to land the plane here. We’ll have to do another episode too about how you got through that and coming out on the other side. But if people want to get ahold of you for your cold calling and what you’re doing there and how would they get ahold of you if they want to start to work with

Speaker 1 (32:54):

You? Yeah, whether it’s the cold calling or like I said, the loans where we’re offering a hundred percent financing on both the rehab and purchase price. If they’re my cold calling client, they can just email me at jen, JEN at rre I data source.net. I’m also a really brave person who gives out my cell phone because as a cold caller, I’m not afraid to call you. You

Speaker 3 (33:18):

Can call me,

Speaker 1 (33:19):

I may think you’re a spam call and answer a little bit briskly, but my cell phone is (469) 952-8011. Feel free to call me there or Jen at REI data source.net.

Speaker 3 (33:32):

Cool. So that’s how you could get ahold of Jen, and that’s the email. And she gave your phone number as well too, so you could call her in and say, Hey, hey, just wanted to see if you answer the phone. I’m sure you will. Like you said, who does that? Right? Who? Their cell phone. Cell phone. And then who does that? And then actually answers too. I feel like today’s age, please go to voicemail. So that was good stuff. Lots of valuable information here, stuff that you could take and I think implement right away to become these type of people out there that are consistently successful. And that’s one of their keys to success is being consistent in solving today’s problem, building the message around that as well too. I really liked your insight of the type of client you draw in when you are your authentic self versus where you might get more, but it might be more headaches if you are not. So it’s like just lots of good practical things today. So that was a lot of good stuff. Thank you for sharing, Jen. I really appreciate all that you did here today.

Speaker 1 (34:26):

I appreciate it. David, thank you so much for having, thanks for asking great questions.

Speaker 3 (34:30):

And I wanted to say too, if you’re listening to this and you’re like, oh my gosh, I’m not making enough or whatever, first of all, call Jen, you can literally call her. She gave you her number. She can help you make more money if you need to keep the money too. If you’re like, I have no idea where my money’s going, don’t know what my overhead is, don’t know how much I’m making, how much I’m keeping, or I want to keep more, you can reach out to us@simplecfo.com. We want to help you get at least that stuff in place because if you don’t have any idea, you’re not running a business. So that’s where I want to help you at least be consistent in knowing where your money’s going too. That’s another consistency factor as well too there. But Jen, again, thank you so much for coming on and sharing, and if there’s anything that you need from Jen, you know how to get ahold of her. She gave you the email address and her phone number. Again, thank you so much for coming on today.

Speaker 2 (35:17):

This episode of The Profit First for REI podcast is over, but there are plenty more where that came from. Are you ready to learn how David and his team can help implement the Profit First system in your business? Schedule a discovery call@simplecfo.com right now. We’ll see you next time on The Profit First for REI podcast with David Richter.