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Mindful Money Management: Real Estate Tips Inspired by Profit First Principle

Episode 183: “Mindful Money Management: Real Estate Tips Inspired by Profit First Principles”

Entrepreneurs having trouble managing their finances is more common than you’d think. The constant feeling of stress and anxiety over your cash flow, being in the dark about where your money is going, and ending up living deal-to-deal. Our guest today has gone through the same process—until he implemented Profit First.

Alan Walker is a realtor and the owner of Origin Real Estate, dedicating his wealth of knowledge and experience to all his clients. In this episode, he shares the story of his personal struggles with money and how he overcame them with the Profit First method, and shares many insights on money management and saving. You’re in for an enlightening and inspiring episode! Tune in!

Key Takeaways:
[00:00] Introducing Alan Walker, His Background, and His Real Estate Career

[09:43] Before and After Implementing Profit First

[21:06] The Profit First Method’s Effect on His Taxes

[24:28] The Importance of Having Cash Reserves

[28:06] Connect With Alan Walker

Quotes: 

[10:27] “ When I started to read [Profit First], he broke it down in such a way that was so easy to understand. All I had to do is like create a spreadsheet, and anytime money came in it divided it for me and I just made my transfers.”

[22:59] “The biggest thing that I always hear people talking about is ‘Oh, it’s so hard to set up these accounts, there are so many online banks now.’ It is not hard to set up these accounts—you can have it done in 20 minutes, so stop making that as an excuse.”

[26:56] “As real estate people, we always think that we have to have our money working for us, and putting it in the bank is like a cardinal sin. [We call it] lazy money…it’s not lazy money. You actually need that money.”

Connect with Alan

Website: https://www.originutah.com/
Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/@alanwalkerplayyourgame

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:

So when I started to read it, he just, he broke it down in such a way that was so easy to understand, and all I had to do was like, create a spreadsheet and anytime money came in, it divided it for me and I just made my transfers. And it really like, just clarified so much by doing it. So it was huge.

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 EI 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:

We have Alan Walker on today. The whole purpose of the show is to give you hope, hope that you can get out of the financial mess. And man, Alan has a great story for you going from anxiety and stress to the other side and saying, okay, I know where my money is now. D he was in a lot of the same position as a lot of people before where, okay, I don’t know where every dollar’s going. I don’t know what’s mine. I don’t know what the, the IRS is to setting up Profit First. And I’m this one, if you listen to it, can give you practical steps and can give you what Profit First is all about. And Alan is not a numbers guy and he talks about just the whole experience around implementing. So I know this episode can help you. Thank you so much for being a listener and enjoy the show. Hey. Hey, it’s David Richter here. We have Alan Walker in the studio. Really excited about this one because he is a prophet first fan and implemented it had me on his podcast. So really excited about this. Alan, thanks for being on the show today.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, well, thanks for being on. And he was a great energetic host when we did it for his, it was Play your game, right? Is your podcast. Yes. Yeah, that’s, it’s a great podcast. Make sure to go and listen to that if you’re an agent or real estate investor. He’s got a lot of good stuff and the real estate world. But Alan, before we dive into the profit first side, why don’t you just give like a couple minute overview of like where you’ve been and what you’re doing in the real estate world today, just so people get to know you a little bit.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely. So I started my career out in technology, so as a software developer and manager of software teams for about 15 years. And then I read Rich Dad Port Ad and it turned my life upside down like it does. Nice everybody else <laugh>. Nice. Yeah, same here. So 2017, well, 2016 I started buying properties 2017 and became a realtor and then a flipper. And that’s really what I do now. I’ve got 14 rental doors and then I’m a real estate agent and a flipper.

Speaker 3:

Let’s talk about that because I think some people when they first get into real estate investing think it’s taboo to get their license and vice versa. You know, like if you’re a real estate agent, it’s like investors sometimes get, you know, like the cross hand signals. Like, no, I don’t want to go on that side. So how did you get into, it sounds like you were, you bought your first property in 2016, but then you became a realtor and then a flipper. So like how did that whole progression go and why, how was your mind open to playing both sides?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know, I’ve been going to a lot of the estate investor meetings probably since like 2014. It took me a couple of years to get to a place where I was like, okay, I can actually do this. Cause even though I owned my own home, I was still really afraid of like, I had the money. I just had this fear that like, I couldn’t do it. Right. so in 2016 I was still working at my job and I bought my first property and then a month later I bought a duplex. And it started dawning on me. Oh. It’s not as like, difficult as I thought it was gonna be. How

Speaker 3:

Did you get over that hump of fear though? Like what, what was that?

Speaker 1:

I just had to jump in. I mean, the funny thing is, is that I, I just started telling people that I was looking for my next investment property. That

Speaker 3:

Was interesting.

Speaker 1:

It wasn’t even like, I wasn’t doing some massive search or anything. I just was like, Hey, I’m looking for my next property. And I had a friend that’s a realtor that just reached out to me randomly one day and just said, Hey, I’ve got some folks that are selling their investment property. I, it’s in your neighborhood, do you want to go check it out? And I said, yeah, absolutely. So you know, I bought my first property, it was like 20% down. There was nothing about it that was a deal. It wasn’t, it was retail price, like everything. Yeah. And and I was fine with that, right. Because it was, it got me into my first property, which I still own today, so, huh. I yeah. And then the duplex I bought a month later because I was working with a different agent and she brought me a deal and I had the ability to buy that one too. And so, yeah, within like two months I had two different properties.

Speaker 3:

Well, that’s pretty cool because then you went out there, you had the fear of getting started, even though you had the money, could, could actually do it. It’s like, okay. Yeah. Then you just started telling people. I think that’s pretty cool cuz like, if you’re listening to this and you’re like, oh, I need to get my first deal. Just start telling people you’re looking for a deal, <laugh>. That’s it. Yeah. It’s amazing what comes to you from doing that. So that, that’s awesome. So then when did you become the realtor then? Well, so it was after you bought those first two?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I bought those two properties and then I got laid off from the tech job I was working ok. And they gave me a nine month severance, and I had been trying Wow. To figure out. I know, right? I mean, it was like a huge blessing. So I I had been trying to figure out how to get into real estate full-time, but it’s really hard to turn down like a high paying job with great benefits Right. To go pursue real estate. But then this just like, kind of gave me the opportunity. The universe was like, I’m just gonna kick in the butt and go do it. So I jumped into being a realtor that next year and it, you know, it was slow. I mean, like my first year I did like four transactions, I think. I mean, it was okay. It was not, I was not like this, like, oh, the moment I started doing it, it was amazing.

 But, you know, the next year I got better and that next year I bought another four rentals. And I, the funny thing that I found is, you know, like when my, when I got my first rental, I say there was nothing about it. It was a deal, but it was a deal because I got it right. Like Yeah. It was like the, you know, I think everybody in my experience and, and maybe I was probably a little this way too, I wanted it to be this amazing deal and I was like, waiting for this, you know, I’m gonna put down $500 and get something seller financed and like, you know, woo. Yeah. but that, that wasn’t my experience. What, what I found is as I started progressing deals started getting more, like better deals and more complex. Mm-Hmm. and so in 2018, like I did two seller finance deals. I did a couple of like, bird strategies. And and so like, it just, like, you have to progress it’s baby steps, right? Like, it’s, so often we look at somebody and say, oh my God, they have x I’ll never have that. It’s like, well, they didn’t start with that. You know, like that’s, yeah. That’s years of baby steps moving in the right direction and making choices. Right. So, yeah.

Speaker 3:

So that’s interesting. So then you got laid off from your job, got the nine months s average, then you went into being a realtor. Was that, do you look back as that being a pivotal moment in your life of like, this was the worst thing, best thing, you know, like, that’s ever happened to me type thing. It’s like, it seems like that’s, that could be one of those crucial points <laugh>,

Speaker 1:

I think, in your life. I think it absolutely was. I mean, I think for me, I was unhappy. I’d been in technology for so long, I was just unhappy with the field. Unlike 15 years. I just, nothing was new to me. And and it was really like, the reason I was in tech was for money. Like, I wasn’t like in in love with tech. I’m good at it. It’s one of those things where like I, you can be good at something Yeah. And make a lot of money doing it and not really enjoy it a hundred percent. And so that’s kind of where I was. And so, you know, it was really scary because like, you know, I’m coming from making like the six figure salary to making nothing mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And I really, I mean, desperation has a great way of motivating you, right? Yeah. and so I just like jumped in and, and you know, I’ve been a realtor now for six years and you know, it’s been, it’s been ups and downs. Like this market right now is ridiculous. And so everybody’s kind of like struggling with that. But it was people in the sense that I realized like, I, I don’t wanna waste any more time not doing what I love doing.

Speaker 3:

Okay. So scary and desperate. So you’re scared and desperate at this time. Yeah. So then that begs a question, like you did four deals your first year. Were you still pretty scared and desperate at the end of that first year, even with the nine month? Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Severance, absolutely severance. I think what it was though is I realized I actually loved what I was doing and the idea of having to go back to corporate felt like such a, like, soul crushing experience. Yeah. That I was just, I’m, I was willing to do whatever I needed to in order to make it work.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I, I’m right there with you. I think if anything went south, ever with real estate or like with what I’m doing, I would like do anything to stay away from the corporate world, but knock on wood there, you know, like <laugh>.

Speaker 1:

Yep.

Speaker 3:

Okay. But I totally get that. Love the real estate game. So then got into start again. Rolling, but mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, what did that turn into? So, okay, you, you now you’ve got the couple deals, you got it rolling. What did that turn into? Like, where, where did it turn into and what do you have today?

Speaker 1:

So it turned in, so I started in 2018. I started flipping I’ve probably flipped about 30 homes right now. Awesome. and and continued being a real estate agent. So I started actually building up a team within my company. And one of the things that I realized is like more is not always better. Yeah. and so I scaled it back down. So now I just, I I manage my own flips. I have my sons, but nobody’s on my payroll anymore. And and I found that that’s much better for me because I just don’t want to deal with, I mean, I, I manage people long enough, I don’t wanna do it anymore. <Laugh>.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So it was the managing of the people. I wondered if it was Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That can, that could definitely be fun sometimes. And you know, I didn’t know if that was your bottom line too. It’s like, have too many staff need to cut back. That type of thing too

Speaker 1:

Was, it was kind of like, it was so incremental, the increase in my bottom line to have all that headache, that it wasn’t worth it for me. <Laugh>, like I was making more money, but I, I didn’t enjoy it as much. And so it’s like, well

Speaker 3:

It’s, that makes sense.

Speaker 1:

It’s this much difference. So I’m gonna go back to something really simple cuz then I don’t have to have 30 flips a year. I can just do five and be quite content, you know? So yeah. That’s, that, that was what I’ve really been trying to focus on that this last year.

Speaker 3:

Well I love that cuz that’s like the profit first mindset. So where did that come into play in all of this profit first? And like was it around this time? Was it later on or earlier? I don’t know. I

Speaker 1:

Would say it was earlier. So probably like in 2020 is when I found what I found profit first and I started implementing it. I am I’m not a numbers guy. I mean, I’m technical. That does not mean I’m mathematical. Yeah. and so big difference, I, I don’t love like staring at numbers and so I kind of had I just resisted really getting into it. Right. It was like, well there’s money in the ba It was so funny cause when I read the book it was like, you know, most of us just look at our bank account and if we see money in the account. And I was like, oh my gosh, that is actually like, that was like on my phone. Like, do I have money in the account? Okay, cool. I think we’re all right. So so when I started to read it, he just, he broke it down in such a way that was so easy to understand. And all I had to do was like, create a spreadsheet and anytime money came in, it divided it for me and I just made my transfers and it really like, just clarified so much by doing it. So it was huge.

Speaker 3:

Okay. So then 2020, what? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, what period of time was that, had you been flipping at that point? Because was it 2018? In 2019

Speaker 1:

When I started flipping? Yeah. Yep. Okay.

Speaker 3:

So then what did 2018 up until profit first look like? Like was money going in and out

Speaker 1:

Or? It was okay. It was like, I ha it was, I had no security blanket. Right. Like, like I had no reserve. Oh, okay. Yeah. Cause I didn’t know what I had. So it’s like I had money in the bank, but I didn’t know if that was enough or, so there was this anxiety of like, yeah, am I gonna be able to make all my bills before my flip cells? You know? Yeah. Like, and it was like, I just didn’t know. Yeah. And that was probably the biggest, it was that cognitive burden of just like, oh man, like, do I have enough money? Like I, I’m not, can I take this vacation? Like, I don’t know. Right. So that was, that was what it was.

Speaker 3:

Okay. So I’m sure that was that was a fun time of life. You know, having the banks and just, you know, the one bank account keep rolling and like, okay, can I take money out? Can I not, can I

Speaker 1:

Do this one word of it? Yeah, that’s,

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Yeah. One word.

Speaker 1:

But

Speaker 3:

I think you hit the nail in the head. You were like a, a lot of people, you know, like when he says that in the book, a lot of people do this. So why mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, why do you think a lot of people do that? You know, like look at the bank account or like, don’t have the clarity inside of their business?

Speaker 1:

Well, I, I mean, for me personally, it was nobody ever taught me that growing up. So like, you know, I, I didn’t have any kind of financial framework. Like, we didn’t talk about money in my family. And so like, you know, I, like, I had to kind of teach myself to be comfortable talking about money. And I think a lot of that pre preceded getting to profit first because I was like, okay, I have to learn how to talk about it. And then he was like, great. Like, this is why you wanna do it. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And that’s really what like, got me interested in it because it was like, oh, it makes sense. And I still am not a huge numbers guy. Like I do my financial statements, like, you know, I’m not, I’m still a business owner, but like, I don’t I don’t feel as hmm.

I don’t feel as like nauseous when I look at them as I used to. Yeah. <laugh>, you’re right. Cause that’s how I felt. Like I was like, okay, I guess I like, is this a good thing? Is this, yeah. So but that was what it was for me. It’s like nobody ever told me how to do it. And even though I went to, I got my master’s in Information Systems management and we did a ton of like company management finance stuff. Like, I don’t remember any of that. Like, that was forever ago. Right. So so I just had to learn it all on my own, you know, which I think is common for us real estate people, right? Yeah. We’re, we’re usually movers and shakers and we wanna make stuff happen. We don’t wanna spend time looking at numbers. Yeah. and so I had to teach myself to be able to do that.

Speaker 3:

And that’s where I want to ask, because I love that you brought that up. You’re like the non numbers person. You’re the entrepreneur, the visionary, you’re the go go, go real estate, you know, investor and agent. Right? Yeah. So how was it reading the book? You know, like as a non numbers person, cuz I like how you said he put the Y in there that, so that helped a lot. But like, was it an easy read for you? Did you have to pick it up several times? Or like, was it more of a, you know, like to, I’m just wondering how the pill was to swallow when you first <laugh> heard about it. You know,

Speaker 1:

It was I read it, it was an easy read. I guess I understood the concept really quickly. Right. That’s good. That’s good. He explains it so well in the book. Yeah. and it, but it was a little harder when I had, you have to get to that place where you’re able to self search like all your finances. Right. And like identify everything that’s going on. Yeah. That was a little daunting for me. And that probably took me a little longer. I won’t, I won’t lie. Like, I definitely procrastinated through that process, like don’t have power of it today, you know, like I don’t <laugh>. So but then once I got it, like once everything was in place, then it made sense. And it’s also, it’s helped me to identify like holes in my leaky bucket. Right. Oh, okay. Because I’ve separated things out and so now I can really start to see like, okay, these subscriptions don’t, I don’t need these anymore, but I can see where they’re coming out of.

And so I’m like, okay, not gonna use those anymore. So it’s, it’s been helpful on a lot of levels, I think more than anything else. It’s the, like, when I first had my first six months of owner’s comp put away. Hmm. That was the first time I was like, wow. Like I’m okay. Like if a, if a deal falls through, it’s not the end of the world. Wow. You know? And that’s how I was like, living my life as a realtor, as a flipper. It was like, oh my gosh, if a deal fell through, it was like game over. And now I was able to go like, oh, okay. Like I’m, I’m good. Like, you know, I don’t have I just basically started taking a two week transfer as my paycheck. Yeah. And so I knew exactly how. So it’s like nothing affected my like, you know, daily living just because the deal fell through and that was really powerful. I think

Speaker 3:

That is powerful. That’s very powerful. So then how long did it take you to get to that six month of reserve mark? Like were you like, okay now that I’m managing the money, it happened real quick? Or did it happen like No, this is what, a ramp up time?

Speaker 1:

It probably took about a year. Yeah. Awesome. It probably took about a year. That’s still

Speaker 3:

Good to get six

Speaker 1:

Months of reserve. No, that’s great. I mean, like, you know, I, I think the nice thing was is that I was just, I was seeing it incrementally grow and that’s also part of it. Right. That’s powerful. If I think if I would’ve had the money and just like threw it into a six month Yeah. Account, it wouldn’t have felt as good as it did because I, like, I saw it growing over time. Yeah. and making sure that like, I was getting enough in there. So yeah. I think that it was, it was the building it up that made it feel so much more of an accomplishment, you know? Yeah. Yeah. Like, it’s like, okay, I got this. It’s all right. You know? Yeah.

Speaker 3:

So then at that point you now had clarity that you had the money that you needed, you know, to pay yourself. And it’s like, that’s great. So you got the clarity, you got your owner’s comp in place, like Okay. To, since there was a lot of fear, anxiety, the deal to deal type stuff mm-hmm. <Affirmative> on the other side and you know, now on this side of profit, first you’ve got the clarity, you’ve got the money for yourself. What other, well, you said there was a lot of different things, so I’m wondering like, I don’t know, the taxes or like the profit, like have you bought anything fun with that account or done anything fun with it? Yeah. You know, I’d love

Speaker 1:

To know. That’s thing you ask. Like, I I remember a couple, two years ago, I think I bought like a really expensive well for me expensive Yeah. Electric bike. That like, it’s like one of those things that I never would’ve bought cuz I felt like it was frivolous, but like sure. It was in, I had my, I had it at my profit account and I was like, well, like you have it, like it’s sitting there, it’s not gonna affect anything else. So that was kind of nice. And I started, I took a couple trips with it. Like it really, it changed. What I learned is even when I don’t have a ton of money in the profit account, anytime something goes in there, I do a little something with it. Okay. And that, that was just like a cultural change for me because previously it was like, I don’t wanna ever spend money cuz who knows when I’m gonna have it.

Right. so I was able to say, no, it’s okay. Like I got like, you know, maybe I like a deal went through and I got like 600 bucks of my profit or whatever. Yeah. but I’m like, okay, great. Like I’m gonna take half of that and we’re gonna go do something wrong for a weekend or, you know, like that the freedom you feel and like the lack of of stress around doing it. Yeah. Is it, that’s, that’s pretty big. I didn’t expect that that was something that like, was like, it kind of happened and I was like, oh, I didn’t expect that. I would feel so good about being able to like, spend this money without worry.

Speaker 3:

Okay. So that’s, that’s very interesting too because before Profit First or before like you had implemented it, it sounds like they had the one I, I had someone on and he called it the Black Hole account. I love that terminology. Oh yeah. <Laugh> for like the one account where it goes in and out, you know, it’s just, it gets into the black hole, but then on the other side it was more of the, now you know that things are there and it gave you the mental capacity and freedom to be able to say, yeah, I can use this money too. Yeah, exactly. So that, that’s huge because I, I see that a lot. You know, some people come and they’re like, I never wanna spend the money or they’re just spending, spending, spending all the time without any looking at it and they live on the edge no matter what. But that’s what I like about this. That was an unex. It sounds like an unexpected like bonus of Oh, it was what Prof first did, did for you. Yeah. Well that’s very cool. So then, okay, I’m just gonna keep prodding you then. Was there anything else that was either a surprise or any other like from, or any accounts that you’ve set up or anything else that is on the other side of this now, you know, has been good for you?

Speaker 1:

I think so what I also learned is marketing has always been one of those black holes for me. Like I, I spend money on it, but I don’t really know if I’m getting a return for it. And I don’t know really how much I’m spending until I’ve looked at like, the report a month later. Yeah. And so one of the things that I did is I created a marketing account. Like one of my buckets was marketing. Yeah. And anything that I was doing in marketing had to come out of that. And if there wasn’t money in that, then I had to find another way of doing it. Right. That’s the beauty of it. It’s like, it’s just like, well then you gotta find another way. Like you Yeah. You don’t have the money, it’s not in your marketing account and it doesn’t matter if you’ve got other money in these other accounts.

Like this was your marketing budget. And so that, that’s been good for me. It’s also allowed me to like do experiments. Like I’m willing to try $3,000 on this marketing campaign for, you know, two months, three months, whatever. So like set up an account that’s just for that and like it’s nice. Like I, I use like Ally Bank and so you can just basically create as many accounts as you want. I’ve got, yeah. My account, I just met with my accountant yesterday and he was like moaning about the fact that I had all these accounts. I’m like, <laugh>, you said you knew Profit first. Cause this is profit first. But I, but that’s what I, it’s been good for that like, like controlled experiments in the business. It’s been good for that.

Speaker 3:

I really like that cuz I don’t hear that as much, you know, on here. Cuz I hear a lot of the, like I get clarity, I get the freedom and the, you know, the lack of stress. I really like that perspective though of mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, it helps you do controlled experiments. Now when you’ve done that, have you, have you seen the return or has it been easier to see the return from that one specific campaign? Like if you’re doing it from that level?

Speaker 1:

It’s almost always been that I am able to determine that it’s not working. <Laugh> it’s like, it’s like every time I’ve done it, I’ve been like, okay, so it’s been three months I spent this much money, here’s my return. Nope. Turn it off. Yeah, yeah. You know, versus where I would’ve like kept it running for a year without even like, you know, just like, you know, hopeful that it would happen, you know, <laugh> and so like that, that’s powerful. That was what was good for me. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Oh man. No, that is really powerful because you’d rather do something like that and do only three months versus like, oh yeah, I just spent a whole year’s worth on this whole campaign and what did

Speaker 1:

We do? Bucks dollars this year on?

Speaker 3:

Right. Yeah. <Laugh>. Yeah. It’s like double, triple, quadruple what you would’ve spent, you know, like before. So now I love that where you have that control controlled, you know, being able to go in there and see what your returns are and then just a lot more mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. Oh yeah. Like you said, being able to see exactly what you’re getting for the money and seeing where the money goes. Awesome. Then how about the tax side? Has it helped you on the tax side, like a tax time? I don’t know if that was ever an issue before mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, but how about having that tax count? Oh, it was,

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So 2018 was my first full year as a realtor. And I did really well that year and was under the impression that because I did well, it will always be that, well, like, I’ll always do that. Good. Okay. So I bought this rental property like in December and then I didn’t have another commission for like two months. Oh. And I like had spent all my money on the repairs on this rental property. Yeah. And I just realized, I was like, oh, and then taxes were coming due and I was like, oh. So that was before I found Profit First, but since then I’ve never had to come up with extra money for taxes. Like every time, like there’s been enough in the account and my tax account also pays for my accountant’s monthly fee and my accountant’s like fees for the tax return.

Like all of it’s in the, in the tax account. And so I, I don’t even have to like really worry about it anymore. It just kind of happens from that account and that’s it. So that’s, that’s been really big because again, it’s just like, is it taking burden off of my mind? Right. I was like, right. Like am I no longer worried about it? And so like when that happens, I feel like you can start to open yourself up to different thinking and come up with like, different ideas in your business that if you were constantly worried about those things, you just never see past the noise. So that’s, that’s what it’s been really helpful for for me.

Speaker 3:

Oh man, that’s really good too because it wasn’t just about the taxes there. It sounds like it helps you like get stuff off your plate that, so that way you can focus on the things that really matter and not have to be worried about money all the time. So Yeah,

Speaker 1:

Absolutely.

Speaker 3:

Awesome. No, I love that. That’s really good. So coming down to the last few questions here, what would you say advice to someone who’s, who’s thinking about implementing Profit First? Like what would be their first steps? Or like what would you say to them if they were on the fence of if Profit First is worth it or not?

Speaker 1:

I think that, so, so the biggest thing that I always hear people talking about is, oh, it’s so hard to set up these accounts. There are so many online banks now, <laugh>. Like, it is not hard to set up these accounts. Like, you know, you can have it done in 20 minutes. Like yeah. So stop, stop making that as an excuse would be my first recommendation. And then also like, you don’t have to like, it’s not turn on a switch and everything has to be perfect. Like just start with a tax account or start with an owner’s compa. You know, like, it, like it doesn’t have to be like, oh, I got now I have all these accounts and I gotta do everything right now. It’s just like, great start with one thing a month. You know, like it doesn’t, you can build into it, you know, it’s just like when he talks about like the like the allocation percentages, you know, like start where you are and then work towards the, the like perfect allocation.

Right. So I think that’s it. It’s just like, just try it. Don’t, it’s not like it’s not like you’re signing up for keto or something and like everything has to change right now. <Laugh>, you know, it’s like you can, you can work yourself into it. And I think that’s the biggest fear is especially as real estate people, we all want to do it right now. Like we’re high implementers. We wanna like do it immediately and like, cause all this like hurricane drama within our business to like Right. All of a sudden get this all done and it’s like, it doesn’t need to be that like crazy. You can, you can literally like take say in 2023, I’m going to do this. Yeah. And then just like monthly figure out what it is you’re gonna implement until you’re there, you know? Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. A hundred percent. No, I, I love that. That’s good. Just get started. Don’t take the bite size chunks. That’s good advice. Yeah. So then what would you say up to this point has been your biggest lesson in just in real estate in general?

Speaker 1:

I don’t, what, what do

Speaker 3:

You mean? I guess I, the best thing that you’ve worn from real estate, I’m, it could be something from growing the team or it could be from doing a deal. Like anything that you’ve learned in real estate might’ve been hard, might’ve been like the biggest win. Just anything. I

Speaker 1:

Think cash reserves, that’s the number one thing, right. Especially in this market right now where like, you know, things are topsy-turvy and last year flips weren’t going as well for everybody. I think just like really remembering when times are good to save your money. Yeah. that’s been the biggest thing because like then, then you can kind of ride out the storm a little bit. Yeah. You don’t have to like be so freaked out like every moment. And I see a lot of people that are leaving the business both on the flipper side and the realtor side right now because like, they just never saved anything. Hmm. and so as soon as the market turned, like they were kind of like completely, it’s one of those like, you know, the tide goes out and you see who’s, who’s swimming naked, that kind of thing. Right?

Speaker 3:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

But I think that’s what I’ve learned cuz I’ve, you know, I’ve felt that pinch often on throughout my business and I think like that pain taught me enough to like save. Mm-Hmm. and so that, that’s my biggest learning is like, you know, because also I want to take advantage of great opportunities when they come up and it’s like the people that have saved are the ones that get to take advantage of that.

Speaker 3:

That’s awesome. So how much do you recommend, or like what would you say for people that, if they were getting into that, what what’s the first benchmark that they should go

Speaker 1:

After? I, I think it’s starting with six months of your your living expenses. Right. Okay. Like that owner’s comp stuff. Like start with that because once that’s full then you can start saving for like, longer term stuff or Yeah. You know, or even like more high risk bets, but you’ve got like your, your living expenses taken care of. I think that’s the num, it’s, it’s so not sexy. Right. It’s not a sexy answer. Like nobody’s on YouTube going like, yeah,

Speaker 3:

<Laugh>

Speaker 1:

Living expenses. But like the honest truth is like that really makes such a huge difference. And so I would say starting with that, that that’s my biggest learning. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Well it sounds like that gave you a lot of peace of mind once you had that you, you even mentioned it on the show like as a major milestone. So it’s like it’s affected you greatly know. So it’s like getting that for other people too, cuz I think a lot of people want that peace of mind. They just wanna know that they’re gonna be okay no matter what. So I thought that’s great. I wasn’t expected that, but that was awesome cuz I feel like that message needs to get out more <laugh>.

Speaker 1:

It’s also that like as real estate people, we always think that we have to have our money working for us and putting it in the bank as like a cardinal sin. Mm-Hmm. Right. Good stuff. And I fall into that too. Like I just say, oh, it’s lazy money, it’s just sitting in, but it’s like, it’s not lazy money. You actually need that money. Like Right. You know, it’s not money you can deploy, like it’s money that should be sitting there waiting for you. Right. but, but that’s it. You’re kind of at odds with feeling like an entrepreneur I think when you, when you look at it that way.

Speaker 3:

Right. It’s like the what we’re, what we’re fed versus what is reality and Right. What will really help our business. Exactly. Especially yeah. Especially with the hustle grind culture, you know, out there it’s like, ah, everything’s always a go go go. Yeah. And like you said over overachiever implementers, you know, like the, the ultra implementers. Yep. Awesome. Well this has been incredible Allen. Like I feel like with this show, my whole goal is like giving people hope a prophet first. And you have exceeded that today of like, I feel like if someone was listening to you of like, they could have a lot of hope that Prophet first could help them get to where they wanna be. Get clarity, get the, you know, fill, fill those leaks and make sure that you don’t have that, get the six months of reserves, like the peace of mind, just all that type of stuff. So that’s been incredible. How do people get ahold of you? Like what are you into right now? I know you do some coaching, you’ve got your podcast like Point people where I

Speaker 1:

Do. Yeah. So if you go to just origin utah.com, that’s my website. Yeah. that’s my realtor site, but you can get ahold of me there. And yeah, I do, I do some real estate coaching. I’m involved in crypto, like I do a lot of a lot of different things. But real estate’s my main focus. So yeah, if anybody has any questions around that, I’m always happy to chat with them.

Speaker 3:

Awesome. Well, Alan’s of Wealth of Knowledge, go listen to his podcast too. Play your game. That was it was an honor to be on there. It was an honor to have you on here and if you’re, if you’re listening to this and you feel like Alan was in 2018, 19, like, hey, all this money’s coming in, but it’s all going out the door and I don’t know what’s mine and like what’s, what can I take out or not? Or if you’re just feeling like I need a system, I just need something simple. Just a lot of the things that we talked about today, I, if you have any anxiety around money, I want you to go to simple cfo.com, get our free resources, schedule a call, listen to more of this podcast. Like, just get this information cuz it’s not being taught a lot of different places.

So get it out there. If you wanna schedule a call with us, we’d at least be able to point you in the right direction of a good, you know, bookkeeper, c p or maybe a C F O from our team, if that’s a good fit for you. Thank you so much for listening, for actually taking the time to listen to Alan and all the guests on here, but especially today, take Alan’s words and get some hope from them. Go implement, start small, like you said, start with where you are. That was such good advice. Alan, thank you so much for being on the show today. Thank you. I appreciate it. Thank you. So this was awesome. And remember, make Profit a Habit in your business. This

Speaker 2:

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.

 

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.