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Joseph & Jenn Delle Fave, The Duo Behind The Creative Finance Playbook, Share How Profit First Changed The Course Of Their Business

Title: “Joseph & Jenn Delle Fave, The Duo Behind The Creative Finance Playbook, Share How Profit First Changed The Course Of Their Business”

 

Episode 177

The Profit First REI Podcast

May 1,  2023

David Richter

Family is often a big factor in any person’s life, so when family becomes an obstacle when starting a business, it becomes a significant roadblock. For our guests today, overcoming this hurdle became a major struggle.

 

Joseph and Jenn Delle Fave are real estate investors, coaches, and the duo behind the Creative Finance Playbook—a Youtube channel where they share the wonders of non-traditional financing for real estate.

 

If you’re someone who has struggled with family resistance or fear holding you back from pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams, this episode is for you. Tune in as Joe and Jenn share their inspiring story and how Profit First has helped them with their business.

 

Key Takeaways:
[00:41] Introducing Joe & Jenn Delle Fave and Diving Into Joe’s Background

[07:35] Joe’s Past Struggles

[12:23] On Pursuing Real Estate Despite Family Struggles

[17:31] How Joe & Jenn Connected

[20:29] Jenn’s Background

[23:53] On Moving to Florida

[27:46] On Learning About and Implementing Profit First

[33:39] On Profit First Alleviating Fear

[36:55] Connect with Joe & Jenn

 

Quotes: 

[29:11] “The whole concept of [Profit First], like the envelope system, that’s something that every person needs to really implement. And so even though we were organized, things could be even more organized. ”

[21:23] “I feel like the whole time I was listening to your book, you were just speaking directly to me about a lot of the issues that we’ve been dealing with for years.”

[32:03] “[Profit First can benefit you because] of clarity of everything that’s going on in the health of your business…Just like being able to open up the hood [of] a car and find out what’s wrong with it and tinkering [with] it. But you don’t have to. It’s just showing right in your face now.”

 

Connect with Joe & Jenn

Website: https://www.creativefinanceplaybook.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CFPlaybook/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@creativefinanceplaybook

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:

And so we don’t have to spend hours looking at each other either saying, why do we have all this money? Or where did all the money go? And that’s the key. So I think mostly what it is, is, like I said earlier, I don’t think success is, it’s not an accident. Like it’s well-planned.

Speaker 2:

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 r e I 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:

Have you ever had family be a deterrent from you starting a business? Or that might be what’s holding you back or maybe your fear is pushing you the wrong direction. These are things that we’re covering today with Joseph and Jen Defe and oh my gosh, Joe and Jen are amazing people and what they’ve gone through and their backstory, holes and shoes, just crazy types of things to where they are today in the real estate investing world. And how Private First has also helped them gain clarity and making sure that they don’t go back to holes and shoes in these different circumstances and how they’ve overcome some of these difficult emotional things in their families and the friends and the people that never want them to succeed that much because they’re always like, okay, what they’re doing way more than me. If you’re ever been there, this episode’s for you. Thank you for listening. Hey, hey, this is David Richter here again on the Profit First r i podcast. Super excited about this episode. Have two of my good friends, Joe and Jen de la fave, and they are amazing people. Not just because they like Profit First, but because they’re making an impact out in the real estate investing world. So Joe, Jen, thank you so much for being on the podcast today.

Speaker 1:

Awesome. Thanks so much for having us, David. Thank you.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, well and they’re just recently four natives here, even though they don’t hail from here, they came down because of lots of good reasons. I’m gonna let them tell a little bit of that story cuz I think that’s probably gonna just help some people of like, how do you make decisions? Like a big decision moving across the country. So we’ll talk about that for sure. But they’re also in real estate. They’ve been in real estate for a while too and like doing some really cool things and then also teaching as well too because they do it really well. Just follow them on the ins, you know, Instagram, Facebook, all that good stuff. They’re posting good stuff every day and I see all that stuff that they’re posting. I’m like, man, they are just living it up in Florida. They’re like, you have really become Floridians real fast. So that was really good stuff. But let’s dive into it. Like if people don’t know your background or where you came from, can you give like what, you know, like what got you interested in real estate? What, you know, just give us a little bit of that overview.

Speaker 1:

Well thank you so much for that. Yeah, for sure. I got started into real estate by being a landlord son. Okay. I, my family had a few rentals in upstate New York, in the inner part of the city, some of the rougher areas and you learn a lot. I mean from doing cleanouts to sure, seeing evictions happen to just there and you, you get to see a lot. So growing up in that atmosphere, what I didn’t know, as I got older, all of a sudden all of the houses disappeared and I didn’t realize that my family got into financial issues because of these and, and up going bankrupt. Wow. So profit first. If they had that back in the eighties and nineties, maybe this would never have happened. Right. Wow. But once again it was a really challenging atmosphere. So seeing that and not necessarily like I was discouraged cause I saw my grandparents did really, really well with real estate.

So I was at a buddy’s house. I was 22, this is the year 2000, so I’m gonna date myself a little bit. And he bought Ron the Grands course off of late night infomercial and he never opened it, had it for like a year, never opened it. So I asked him, I begged him if I could borrow it and he let me. He was a little reluctant at first, but he let me borrow it. Yeah. Because back then it was like 300 bucks and that was a lot of money in 2000, right? Yes. Especially when you’re 20 years old. So, but a month later I got my first deal under contract. I wholesaled it, I made 15 grand. Huh? There you go. I was hooked. I mean it might as well been, you know, add a couple zeros as far as I was concerned because I, yeah, I had proof of concept that worked and the check was amazing.

So after that I just got a job. I mean I had one at the time, but my j o b what I always called just over broke was I was in the car business started off as a car salesman in 2001 and then moved into the finance office 2005, bought my own house, met a lot of people at the banks. Met Jen in 2008 and this is where things really started to change in our lives together because she had her own house. She was a teacher, I had my own house, I was in the car business and in 2008 the markets starting to get twisted up a little bit. Yeah. And this is when you could, like you kind of mentioned before, I’ve heard you say you could find deals in the MLS than we were. Yeah. Okay. For a fraction of the price of 2008, 2000 9, 10, 11, we started buying these junker houses, getting some cash that we had and then we would rehab ’em and then I’d go to one of my friends at the bank refinance out of it and then do it again bur Right.

I didn’t know even have that name. Okay. so we had the talk that eventually they were gonna slow you down and cut you off. Eventually the banks that I were using had some internal things portfolio they could lend on, but I knew that there was gonna be a limit to how many we could buy. Okay. And when Jen was working a ton and when we very first met, she was getting her master’s degree in the car business. You worked crazy hours. So there was days where like we’d say hi to each other and we’d be out the door and wouldn’t see each other till late at night. Huh. And we knew we didn’t love that and I knew that, you know, it took me till 30. I was 30 when I finally met her. So I wanted to spend as much time with her as I can.

And so the fact is, we, we wanted to have a plan, we could work together. So Jen was the first one to get to walk away from her teaching job. Oh cool. Once we were married and had kids and with me having the desire to leave, but we always figured that’s gonna be much further down the road. But then 2016 we really stumbled more into create a finance from more around the grand and learned that you could buy real estate without using banks, without using credit. And we had great credit. We had, you know, income galore. So that wasn’t an issue. But then once we realized that we could do that, that’s really what changed it. So we changed all of the single family home rentals that we had into rent to own cuz we love that strategy. Yeah. And then we started buying houses with creative finance and the first one we did was in 2017 where I had to argue nicely with the seller to take my a hundred dollars deposit cause he wanted to do with no money down.

And I said, you gotta at least let me give you a hundred. He’s like, no, no, no. He’s like, keep your a hundred. I’m like, no, take your wife out to dinner. Like, do something nice with this a hundred dollars. And he’s like, no, I insist you keep it. And I’m like, no, you must take this a hundred, solidify the account. So, but what it was, it was a it was a 0% mortgage no money down, $500 payment. We cash flow really great outta that property. And then that’s when the light bulb really went on, like, we’re onto something. And I came home with that agreement. We signed it at McDonald’s, so nowhere super flashy. And then when I got home I was smiling and cheese and so hard. Jen takes a big picture of me, I still have that picture and we share that. That’s the, that was the real start of it and that’s what kind of changed it. Okay.

Speaker 3:

Awesome. I, I have a question for you the be I want before we go any further, what was Jen’s side of the story? I want to hear that as well too. But then I, I have to ask Joe, going bankrupt, your family was in real estate. You saw your grandparents be very successful, but then you saw bankruptcy as well too. Like what made you continue going? Like what, what, what was it at that time? Did it affect you? Like, did you know what was going on? Like you said, I knew that there weren’t the properties there and you’re more like, how are you feeling at that point? And like you stuck it out with real estate and obviously that first proof of concept with that 15, you know, grand check in your hand felt really good. So like what got you to that point, even though seeing, I guess someone just as close as a parent go down?

Speaker 1:

Well, I guess I was, I was held in the dark about it. I honestly, okay, I didn’t know this to be truthful with you. This is the first time anybody’s gonna hear about this. But yeah, when I was in the car business and I finally pulled my parents’ credit, that’s when I saw the bankruptcy on there and said, whoa, what’s happening? What happened here? And that’s when I found out. Yeah. prior to that, did

Speaker 3:

You say would’ve said something to you as a kid? Or do you think that was a good decision?

Speaker 1:

Maybe leaving me kind of dumb about it was great. I don’t, I don’t know. I don’t think it would’ve changed anything, but I do know there were some financial issues. They were very, you know, upset about it, but very private about it. Yeah. so I, I really didn’t know all of a sudden the houses weren’t around and my parents really didn’t have money for extras anymore. Well

Speaker 4:

That was the thing, I think that was the proof in the pudding that you’ve always said, I won’t live like that. Like that. Right. Like, your children wouldn’t have holes in their shoes and have those, you know what I mean? Like that.

Speaker 3:

So you felt it though. You didn’t know what was going on, but there was definitely touching you at that point of your life. What, how old were you when you remember having holes in your shoes?

Speaker 1:

So I was probably, you know, seventh, eighth grade Oh wow. In upstate tough time. Yeah. Cause in upstate New York in the wintertime you get a lot of snow and so you get bus. So you’re getting into school and you walk through snow and your socks are exposed. Those things stay wet all day long. Yeah. So that was how I was living. And then to the point where I’d ask for shoes and they’d have to, you know, glue them, epoxy them and then say you gotta hang on for a couple more weeks. And so we did. We made do, I mean it just was what it was. But I, I realized at that young age, like I’d see other wealthy people. I mean my grandparents live on 50 acres and a 4,000 square foot house that’s absolutely gorgeous with ponds and a quarter mile long driveway. And I’m like, this is what I want. And okay, these people came from Italy with nothing. Yeah. So what I realized, success was not luck. It was a decision.

Speaker 3:

Ooh, that’s good.

Speaker 1:

And so then at a very young age, I just kind of had the like, why not me attitude? Like there’s other people that are rich and so like why not me? And that was my, always my attitude since a little kid. Cause I knew what I didn’t want. I didn’t wanna go through that anymore. Right. The embarrassment, the just about having wet feet all day long. So to me that was the catalyst behind like me working so hard even to this day is because some of it’s fear. Mm-Hmm. I, I work from strength, I love what I do, but if some of it, there’s that underlying fear is what it comes from is just never going back to that again.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Well and you even me, we’ll definitely get into the profit first side. Yeah. Because you even mentioned like if they had profit first, maybe it’d be a different story. So maybe, we’ll I think we’ll tie that in for sure. But I, that is, that’s incredible. So I’m guessing when you got that first $15,000 check in your hand, it meant a, like you said, you could have added zeros to it cuz it meant a whole lot more than just the money in the bank.

Speaker 1:

Well that, and you know, you have all the naysayers that say what do you, what kind of scheme are you doing? You know, this isn’t gonna

Speaker 3:

Work. Was that family members?

Speaker 1:

Oh of course. Friends and family, you name it. Aunts, uncles, you know, some of’em didn’t even understand what wholesaling, if it was, there wasn’t like YouTube back then,

Speaker 3:

Right. <Laugh>

Speaker 1:

There wasn’t Google. If it was, it was in its infancy, you couldn’t Google like what’s wholesaling. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So nobody really knew much about it wasn’t as mainstream as it is now. Right. It’s still not very, but still, you know. So they always thought I was up to some scheme and the next thing you know, I left the closing table where we did a double close and I’m literally jumping for joy like physically jumping in air in the parking garage to the point where I don’t even remember where I even parked my car. <Laugh>.

Speaker 3:

Wow.

Speaker 1:

And I’m walking around looking for this car and it’s freezing. It’s great cold out. It’s December when we’re closing. And did

Speaker 3:

You have holes in your shoes?

Speaker 1:

Not anymore.

Speaker 3:

Okay. That’s good. Oh man. Well that’s awesome that I love that. Let me ask this too, cuz I saw Jen Jen’s reaction cuz if you’re just listening to this, you couldn’t see Jen’s reaction when I asked was it also family that was the naysayers? And she kind of was like, oh yeah, <laugh> like yes it was. So let me ask this. What, what about today? What does the family think? Do they still think like you’re crazy for being in real estate and doing that stuff? Or do they kind of see like, hey this has actually worked out for you guys or do you mind going into that at all? Either one of you can answer

Speaker 4:

That question. Yeah, I think that it’s, you know, it’s mixed. A mixed bag, right? Yes. It depends on the connections that you have with the family members or friends for that. Members for sure. Some are very supportive. They’re there all the way. How can I help you? You know, even simply like sharing social media posts and then others, I think it’s because we’ve been successful and we continue to help others succeed. There does, you know, come a time where it’s not really as easy as some people may think to have support from your family. Yeah. and it comes from a very, you know, you have to become very inner, you know, have inner strength and really lean on, we lean on each other. You know, it’s faith based, you know, you lean to God but you know, whatever it is you realize that it’s not, they’re not always your friends or family aren’t gonna support you.

You know, at the end of the day, and I’m kind of giggling too because when I got into the, the business here with rent to own, everybody thought, oh you guys are a scam. What are you doing? This is crazy. You make enough money, why are you wait? You know, just slow down. You’re too busy. And I just have to tune that out because they mean well and I know they, some of them come from a pace place of love. Some may not, I’m not sure. But at the end of the day, like we are the ones who are providing for our family, for our children, for ourselves. And then now our purpose is bigger. We have other people that we know we need to serve. So, you know, it just continues to grow. As you become more successful you realize that there’s a lot of people out there that need your help and it’s not about you anymore.

Speaker 3:

So. No, I love that. That’s really good stuff. And I think that’s gonna resonate with a lot of people because if you’re listening to this now and you are like, Hey, yeah, that’s my family all the way, there’s no support. Or like maybe there’s some that are supportive but then there’s others that aren’t that supportive. It’s like a lot of people go through that, you know, Joe and Jen are not <laugh> not not the strange ones here. They’re probably the more typical of like, hey look, they went into real estate, won the world. You know, that’s, why don’t they have a j o b <laugh>? You know, that’s where I think a lot of people go down that road. But I wanted to ask too, cuz I think this is so important, you, you like briefly touched on it, where did you draw a lot of that inner strength? Do you have a background of faith or was it like how, or was it the success of doing the deals and seeing proof of concept over and over again? Like or was you said you relied on each other. Like I just wanna know how do you get through that when there are people either close to you or when tough times come no matter what it is?

Speaker 1:

So luckily for me, when I was in my teens, I got to work for a very, very wealthy man.

Speaker 3:

Oh wow. Cool.

Speaker 1:

My, one of my first like really cool jobs was I sold perfume in Colonna, the trunk of my car. <Laugh>.

Speaker 3:

That’s awesome.

Speaker 1:

And I did that for years and the guy I got to work for was a huge mentor in my life and I met him at the right time because I mean he was living in a six and a half million dollar mansion in the heart of Dallas driving a Rolls-Royce. I mean the guy. And he came from a really similar background to me. Oh wow. Even worse, even worse off. Than I started. And so he was very, a motivational speaker, lived close to Zig Ziglar, they were buddies like that kinda

Speaker 3:

Wow. Okay.

Speaker 1:

So working for him, he really taught me a lot and they can grow. Rich was one of them. Right. And it’s about having some strength. So the one thing that they always talked about was being a rhino and a rhino has tough, thick skin that you know, prevents other animals from penetrating. And if you have a charging rhino coming at you, there’s really not much that stands up to it. So I always had that rhino mentality as far as friends aren’t gonna always support you, some Wilson won’t and that just is what it is. Family will support you. Some Wilson won’t and that’s just is what it is. But if you’re doing good things and you’re making a positive impact in the community for your family and you are continue to do this and you love what you do, when you come from a place of love, then it really doesn’t matter what anybody thinks because the thoughts in other people’s heads shouldn’t determine how I feel about myself. Mm-Hmm.

Speaker 3:

And what I’m doing. That’s good.

Speaker 1:

So that’s what gives me the strength and no, I’m doing the right thing no matter what anybody else from the outside doesn’t see completely. So, you know, some of the family at first who were like, oh what are you doing? You can’t do this to now they’re like, oh well must be nice. You live in Florida, you live in this beautiful house, you have this beautiful, must be nice. And I’m like, it is nice. You’re actually right. It is fantastic. It is gonna be like 80 degrees today and I’m not freezing in upstate New York anymore.

Speaker 3:

Right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And my shoes don’t have holes cuz I wear flip flops.

Speaker 3:

<Laugh>. Right. They have one big hole. Yes. And it’s intentional <laugh>. Yes.

Speaker 1:

It’s supposed to be there.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. that’s good. Yeah. That, that was really good. It’s like, who cares what they’re saying. If you know that what you’re doing is the right thing to do and you’re taking that path, at least, you know, even if you mess up and fail, it was your choice and your decision. Yeah. Wasn’t someone else pushing you so mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, that was, that was really good man. This is good stuff. So, okay, Jen, besides Joe’s Good looks, what attracted to you to him when, when you first got married or when you were first dating? Was it and Joe seemed to have it going on, like knew where he was going doing some things in the real estate world. What, what would you say?

Speaker 1:

Well he wasn’t

Speaker 4:

Doing the real estate quite yet, but that was one of the first messages back and forth. I’d owned my house and I needed a little bit of work and he’s like, oh yeah, we could definitely, you know, fix it up. And I was like, okay. I grew up my dad owned a hardware, lumber yard so I was always, you know, there as a little girl worked there in my teens and so I’ve always known my way around that and yeah, I was kinda like, okay, like I couldn’t, I knew I couldn’t marry a guy who like couldn’t be handy and fix things. Yeah. So that was definitely a plus. He did he just always was treating me really well, honestly. Like I’d never met anybody who was just so kind and that literally we would just talk for hours and hours and like that connection of being able to sit and have conversations until 3:00 AM where he’s almost falling asleep.

And I, my driveway we’re just chatting. I had never had that connection before so we knew pretty early. It seemed like forever. But we, we got engaged in 2009. So like what, a year and a half after knowing each other. And then married in 2010. So we knew that we wanted to spend time together, like he said earlier. And once we started accumulating the properties, it was like, oh yeah, like I would love to own a business with you one day. Not really knowing what that would really look like, but it sounded great and we knew we wanted to see more of each other. And then it all kind of happened a little bit sooner than we realized it. Yeah. We were going to.

Speaker 3:

That’s awesome. So at that point you were not in real estate, but in going into like starting to ramp up, maybe do the business together and see things, I I love that. I want to dive into that in a little bit. And the

Speaker 1:

First email Jen sent me, she’s like, I hope out I’m not putting my foot in my mouth but <laugh>,

Speaker 4:

I did say that. I forget exactly what I said. Do you

Speaker 1:

Remember? She was like something to the tune of like, you know, oh remember I like person who’s, you know, trying to get more out of life. Yeah. And is a hardworking person and that’s what I seem to align best with. And I’m like, oh girl, you have no idea. Well I just,

Speaker 4:

Many people they like don’t reach their potential and they don’t for more. And I’m like, I’m not to be like an overachiever, but I just knew like there’s so much more out of life than just sitting there watching movies and you know, playing video games. Yeah. And nothing wrong with that, but I always knew even I was just teaching middle school kids, like there’s so much more out there and I,

Speaker 3:

That’s <laugh> that’s great advice cuz honestly that’s what I love about when I get couples on here and they seem to like each other, is that they found someone who has the goals. You know, like that you’re going on, you know, like this journey together, which I do. And what you said about Joe, the kindness, the hard work, you’re like, a lot of that comes through both of your posts. Like I see your posts like on Facebook and Instagram and like what you’re doing and it’s like, I could tell you care. So you care. You’re like, first I was probably there for each other. Now it’s like you’re ca now you’re making an impact on lots of people together. So Jen, I have to ask you, what was your background, you know, as a kid, teenager, like did you have exposure? Like he had a lot of exposure to <laugh>. We, as we dug in, not only was there grandparents in real estate, his parents were in real estate but then had some tough times which helped him overcome some harder, you know, like some of those circumstances up front. But then had a millionaire mentor of mine, like Joe’s got an interesting background. Not, and like did you come from j o b blue collar family or like where did you come from in all this mix?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, so my mom was a stay at home mom, which I, I loved and I knew I wanted to be one as well. I, I truly loved the impact that she had on their, I have two younger sisters as well, so I was the oldest of three. Yeah. definitely, you know, brought up I would say middle class we didn’t have a ton of money Yeah. Growing up. But I didn’t notice that, you know, there wasn’t a thing back then like, you know, name brand labeled all that. Like I was just a happy kid. Yeah. who, you know, we did go on family vacations, we did enjoy Disney World. So I definitely, our family was, you know, doing fairly well. My dad took over my grandfather’s business so he, I came from the entrepreneur world where he ran a business. He worked six days the week and on the seventh day he was running around trying to catch up on all the things that he couldn’t do the rest of the week. So my dad was like super hardworking and I think I definitely get that from him. Doesn’t, he never knows when to rest.

Speaker 3:

Right. Joe is vigorously shaking his head If you cannot see him and you’re just listening, he’s like, yes, she is a very hard worker so That’s awesome.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. but we, you know, I just feel like that, I think it’s really, I wanted to work for myself but I didn’t even know it, you know, cause I went off to be a teacher and once I got into the teaching realm I loved being a teacher but I, I don’t know, I just don’t like people telling me what to do. <Laugh>, to be honest, <laugh>

Speaker 3:

Oh the

Speaker 4:

Rules. But you know, I really like the freedom of you know, being able to do what I wanna do and make the impacts when it fits best and and how to kinda run the day. So that part of me for sure.

Speaker 3:

So you had that in you cuz then when you both wanted to start the business and get, you know it off the ground, that probably appealed to that side of who you are as well too. Like you’ve seen that from your dad but then also <laugh>. I don’t want people telling me what to do, you know, or that side of it. That’s definitely the mark of an entrepreneur. I feel very,

Speaker 4:

Very, yes. And I have to say I did have one interesting experience. It was a summer like 2004 I think it was. Yeah. and I was able to go nanny for one of the Lehman Brothers on South Hampton. So like in this big mansion down from Kelvin Klein’s house on a beach house. And so I was like the hired help and I got to see how that other half lived. So I too had a little bit of an experience. They were like Wow, okay, like this, this is what money does for you and this is what you can also provide for other people because they were constantly giving away to this charity or helping this cause. And so it was really cool to be a part of that family. And they were phenomenal people like super down to earth. Their kids were awesome. So it was kind of neat to have that little experience and I made just as much as I did teaching. Go figure, just nannying children taking them to Starbucks and tennis lessons <laugh>.

Speaker 3:

That’s great. So then you got exposure to like to that side and it could probably open your mind a little bit. It’s just like, you know, the getting around that it, if you’ve never been around it, you just don’t know that it’s out there or what’s even possible would you say, okay, let’s fast forward, we’re gonna fast forward now to where you are today. One of the reasons you moved, like even when we’ve talked or I’ve, I’ve seen you post this as well too, but I’ve also, and I don’t just stock you. I see, I see your posts. I see other people’s posts too. I feel like I keep saying that. It’s like I right. Oh my gosh here. But this is where you moved to Florida and one of the big reasons was to also homeschool. Right. And like to put your kids in a different environment as well. So do you wanna talk about like the the thinking process or the decision making process of moving from upstate to New York, you know and New York area to Florida?

Speaker 4:

Well I selfishly will a hundred percent admit I’ve had a dream to move to Florida like my entire life. It seems that’s

Speaker 3:

Not selfish to admit. That’s great. Like that’s a dream and you’ve achieved it like Yeah And I’m not gonna ask you how old you are by when you achieved it, but like you achieved it by however old you are now too. It’s like who cares? You’ve done it today. But I digress. I’ll let you keep talking.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, well I just remember coming down as a kid being like, this is amazing. Like that vacation feeling of it being warm. Yes. In the middle of February with the palm trees. It’s something about a palm tree. Right? Right. So I knew if I got him to come down for like at least a month now that we work from home, we’re like stuck inside. It’s freezing cold, it’s gray And he is like, yeah we can do that. We’ll take the kids. As we decided to homeschool cuz the whole covid thing, I was like done trying to virtual school and we knew we wanted to travel so I definitely want to travel more in our future. But the first step of our travels was to come down to Florida for one month and then it turned into three months and then I was like, I’m not leaving <laugh> definitely a little annoying to the point where he is like okay. And he started looking, we found a beautiful home to stay in down here. So we had 45 days to go back to New York, pack up our entire house for the last 15 years, sell the stuff that we didn’t need, fill a dumpster, fix what, you know, we’ve been kind of procrastinating on cause we were just kinda living there. Yeah. And made it beautiful. Sold it and here we are.

Speaker 3:

So real estate gave you that freedom too. Yeah. To be able to come down here. Hundred percent. So

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. Yeah. Cause at this point we’ve been self-employed for now three years. Right,

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

And we were, we broke the corporate shackles right, yes. Of, of having that. So when we were working from home, we were just tired of working all winter in New York. So that’s where she came up with the idea, let’s go to Florida. And I was like, well I can’t go for a week, we might as well go for a month. And we were homeschooling anyway so it just felt right. And then when we got down here it got a little awkward because we’d be walking through public shopping and she’s like, I’m not leaving. Like just randomly blurting it out. <Laugh> to the point where I had to look at the kids like, guys either we’re gonna go back to New York without mom or we’re gonna have to stay here. And they’re like, wait, what? And I’m like, we’re gonna move. And

Speaker 4:

Then so they’ve been a huge part of the process too. We’ve always checked in with them, you know, do you wanna go back to New York? And they’re like, oh I miss a little bit of my friends or the snow from time to time. But they too love being able to just run outside and be active. I mean we like, there’s just always some place to go someplace to see something new, to see the beaches, the nature. So it’s, it’s definitely been a, it’s been a lot to try to juggle it all at once. It was definitely not easy. I don’t wanna paint a picture like oh everything’s been like, you know, peachy keen. But it’s definitely been the hard work. We gotta find the right people. We opened up an office down here so that was huge. We went all virtual to an in-house employees. Finding babysitters. Oh it’s been really tricky. Like we found a great babysitter but then we hired her for an employee <laugh>. Nice.

Speaker 3:

<Laugh> always be hiring as a Yeah. Yeah that’s good stuff. Awesome. No that’s, I love it. I love what freedom that you have from real estate investing and then being able to make those decisions. Sounds like you included your family. And it’s also the things you’re not saying that teach some of the biggest lessons too of like we can do this. You know, like the, what we’re being able to provide and get open up their minds as well too as and as the little sponges that they are just soaking up every single moment of every day. So that’s great. So this is the prop first R II podcast. We should definitely talk about that. So I wanna know because oh man. But I’ve loved talking about your story cuz I feel like it touches on so many points where people struggle of like could be family that’s in the way or it could be like, could be distance of where do you want to be, what are the things that would make you a a more fulfilled person Or like making sure that you’ve got everything that you need, where you want it, when you want it.

Being able to teach your kids the different lessons and like just all the good stuff here that we’ve talked about private first. So let’s talk about that. What got you even into that? Like did you read the original book and you were like oh man this is great. Or I’ve had people read it and be like oh my gosh this is scaring the fire out of me. Like what’s going on? So what was your experience being exposed to profit first?

Speaker 4:

I think it was me, I’m a book nerd so being heavily in the Instagram community, I think somebody posted your book and I was like, oh this sounds like something I need to read. I had not read the original. Okay. And I was, I was definitely told like you need to get the one about real estate investing. I was like okay. So I remember I even ordered it and it had it sitting there in my office and we had Gary and Susan over to help us with the Sharper Solutions. Oh

Speaker 3:

Nice.

Speaker 4:

And they mentioned they knew you. I was like, I have his book. And like, did you read it? I was like, not yet. You know, you need to read it. So that’s great that, you know, I knew that there’s some concepts in there that we definitely could apply because you know, I was an English teacher so this is definitely not something like I had any education on but you know, the whole concept of as you call it, like the envelope system, like that’s something that every person needs to really implement. And so even though we were organized, things could be even more organized. Yeah. Is definitely something we took away.

Speaker 3:

So have you implemented, have you opened up any bank accounts? Have you started down that road? I, I’m gonna put you on the spot here. Right, right in front of everyone.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So we actually just spent and we are, since we moved to Florida, we are restructuring our business.

Speaker 3:

Oh cool.

Speaker 1:

Even just how we did it. You know, we had a, a lawsuit when somebody was delivering a refrigerator to one of our properties who slipped and fell in the driveway and you know, things like that. So you learn from these things, everything worked out fine but you learn from these things. So we are currently in the mode of restructuring our businesses is how we’re gonna have our, our asset protection and Yes. You know, filling your empire. And then we just spent like three hours at Chase Bank setting up new accounts and they’re like, okay listen like lady, you have to go get lunch and we do too. So we’re gonna reconvene and come back more cuz we have to set up everything more. So it’s the same thing as setting up when you talk about having the six different accounts. Because also too with private lending Yes. You know, you talk about having that sixth account for that and that’s where when we do some of our deals we haven’t yet, but I could see that starting to open up. So that’s like the next step of what we’re also gonna be doing Good. And how we have our LLCs structured by having one home llc then having, you know, sub LLCs underneath that. So between that and then we also do some ira.

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

So there was just basically, and part of it which is absolutely nuts is not only are is our business growing, we have a team here. I look at her and I’m like okay, end of this year, beginning of next year, like this is our goal. We are changing everything and the look of terror on both of our faces, it wasn’t just hers was nuts but now we’re making our way through it and it’s been cleaning up things and just making life a lot easier. Yeah. So we have to go back for another appointment and set up a ton more. But I did have a conversation with their one of their I guess bigwigs at the bank and he’s like, I can make this way easier if you just email me everything that you need. I’m like perfect. Oh there

Speaker 3:

You go. Yeah. Well that’s good. I was gonna say hopefully you got in with someone like make it easier. So use Relay or something like use something that’s gonna be a little bit easier to set these up. But No that’s awesome. I’m glad you at least started down the road. How did you make, is it okay, is it from personal experience yet that you can say if I, if my parents would’ve had this system and could have at least helped them because you made that statement a while ago while we were talking and where does that come from? Is it just because you’ve seen what I’ve put out there in the book or like now that you’re starting to set it up you could see like okay this is a good system. Like where does that, that statement, where did it come from?

Speaker 1:

Well I think it’s because of clarity, right? Ooh, clarity cause of clarity of everything that’s going and the health of your business. And so, and just like being able to open up the hood to a car and find out what’s wrong with it and tinkering it. But you don’t have to, it’s just shown right in your face now.

Speaker 3:

Right.

Speaker 1:

And I think that clarity, which is key, right? So if you have a non-performing property or things like that, you know where everything is going and I think that’s crucial. Yeah. Opposed to having it all one big pop and praying and spraying that it all goes well, right. Like it’s not, it’s not how it’s gonna be best suited because once again one project could tie this up and it just becomes a, a mess.

Speaker 3:

Right.

Speaker 1:

And I think the clarity of moving forward the way the system is supposed to be set up and the way, especially like what we have ours with our LLCs and, and land trust and things like that. Yeah. This is, it just makes life a lot easier for everybody. And so we don’t have to spend hours looking at each other either saying why do we have all this money or where did all the money go?

Speaker 3:

Right.

Speaker 1:

And that’s the key. So I think mostly what it is is, like I said earlier, I don’t think success is, it’s not an accident. Like it’s well-planned.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, right. Give yourself the, the most, the most chance for success as possible. Right.

Speaker 1:

Well and I think that’s cause if my parents obviously had either they weren’t collecting rent or one way or another had more going out than they had coming in.

Speaker 3:

Right.

Speaker 1:

And that’s the key to failure,

Speaker 3:

Right? Yeah I’m kidding. There’s the key there. You could write the key to unsuccessful business and have the little have more going out to come and man, I, I keep telling people I should write profit last and tell the stories I’ve heard of people on the phone of like how they’re making profit last. But I digress there again too. You did say one other thing Joe that said one of the things that is kind of still pushing you even today is that fear. And I’m wondering can you see if your fear is gonna be any less with a system like this on the back end? Cuz that that’s really what a lot of us fear is the fear of failing and the fear of going out of business and like not having to, not being able to provide to live in Ford and stuff. So was that kinda like for the last few years, have you kind of had that fear buzzing and does, you know, like is this gonna be some part of the light maybe of helping you work through some of that? Like I just wanna talk about that cuz you said fear still pushes you today, which I totally understand. Like I don’t want you to go back to holes in your shoes, right? And like before you or your kids or for Jen or anyone.

Speaker 1:

Well and I think that’s kind of the point is what, I guess the best lessons that you can learn are from other people’s mistakes. Yeah.

So you don’t make those mistakes yourself, right? Yeah. So what was the, what was the issue with their business, right? What was the issue with this business? What can I learn from this and then what can I implement into my business? And then you also surround yourself with fantastic people who are successful, have a great track record who have, well, you know, proven methods, obviously yourself, you wrote this book, right? So you know, you find the, the Gary and Susan Harpers of the world who are just fantastic people. We find folks like you now cuz we’re introduced to you because of them. And this is the, the power of having a great network, you know, a great set of people around you rather they come into your life one way or another. Either sometimes it’s free, sometimes you pay them, it doesn’t matter. They’re impacting your life, they’re helping you move into the direction that you wanna go, which is further from where your fear starts, right? Yeah.

Speaker 3:

So I

Speaker 1:

Don’t look behind me, I look forward and I guess I don’t let that fear scare me. I just continue to look forward and don’t look behind me.

Speaker 3:

Well that’s good stuff man. This is, and I sorry for taking you back down the path backwards, but I wanted to get your story. Just kidding. No, this is good stuff Joe. Jen, this has been awesome. I think we’ve provided a lot of value here. I probably need to get you back on the podcast like once these accounts are set up, like maybe six months, 12 months down the road we can do another one and see, see an update because this has been a lot of fun talking with you. But I love both stories here, both sides of Joe, from your background real estate and seeing honestly a pr a pretty bad situation, but then some good and then seeing, you know, taking that and running with it now and like being that entrepreneur and then Jen seeing <laugh> where you came from as well too.

Like you got to see some of that in the background, but then also of like you taking that leap as of faith as well too. It’s one thing to see your dad or someone else be an entrepreneur, but then you sit in that seat, it’s a much different feeling. So it’s like I commend both of you, but then I love that we talked about how sometimes certain close people in our life can be some of the people that are pushing us away the most from what we should be doing. And it’s like working through that, whether it’s family, friends or like, you just have to grow through that thought. That was awesome. Become a rhino. That thick skin, that was such a great analogy as well too. And then making sure that you have that clarity for the health of your business so that way, you know, whether, whether it, and I love how Joe you put it there very simply is more going out than is coming in.

We have a problem, Houston, we have a problem here. So thank you so much. I just wanna ask one more question. I also, if you’re listening to this, I endorse Joe and Jen very much like what they’re teaching and their stuff. So like how do people get more of you? So like where do they go? You, you teach people as well too and have a group and a program like, and I fully endorse that. So like where do they go? How could they get in touch with you? What’s the best way to connect with the Della Faves?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, we’re all over. You can definitely start with our website creative finance playbook.com and from there you can definitely find us on YouTube, Instagram. I post a little bit more than Joe does. Jen de Fave is my name. And then on Facebook, creative Finance Playbook with Jen and Joe. We both have Facebook presences there, but yeah, we, we love social. So send us a message, send us an email. We’d love to see how we can help. If you’re looking to do some real estate without having to, you know, go to the banks and take out loans and definitely not use your own credit <laugh>,

Speaker 3:

Right? There we go. So creative finance playbook.com is the big one where they can go to, that would be probably a one stop shop. Like that would help if you’re looking to get into real estate or do it creatively or like add this piece to your business, that’d be a good place to start. Follow them on social media. Like I said, they’re posting really good and motivational things and like their journey, but then also how to do these deals. You know, like making sure that you can see what it also affords you as a real estate investor, as a human being of like, here you go. Here’s what living your purpose looks like. So that’s where you could go to creative finance playbook.com. We’ll put that in the show notes too. This was a lot of fun. Thank you so much for being on here.

And if you’re listening to this podcast right now and you’re like, I do never want to go bankrupt and I ne and I want to make sure that I have more coming in than going out and you’re like, I have no idea if it’s coming in and out, go to simple cfo.com. We have our team there. We can help implement Profit first. We can make sure you have that clarity to make the best decisions possible when it comes to your money. Reach out there if we’re not the best fit, we’ll pay you to someone good in our network. Just like Gary and Susan, we might ping you to them if you need the operational help or if you need just bookkeeping or taxes. Like I want you to not worry about the financial side. So go to simple cfo.com, schedule a call there. Thank you so much again for being here. Remember, make Profit a habit in your business. Joe and Jen, thank you so much for a lot of the value that you provide here today.

Speaker 1:

Thanks David. Thank you so much David for having us on. It’s been a pleasure.

Speaker 2:

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 r e I podcast with David Richter.

 



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.