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Navigating Short-Term Rentals and Real Estate Success with Jen Josey

Title: “Navigating Short-Term Rentals and Real Estate Success with Jen Josey”

Episode: 204

In this episode of Profit First for REI Podcast, we have Jen Josey. She is a great real estate investor and helped people grow their businesses.

She talks a lot about how she was successful in buying into one of those courses that cost a lot and how she got up and running.

Let’s talk more about money mindset, short-term rentals, and translation of numbers in business. She will also share what are the things that helped her get to where she is right now. Enjoy the show!


Key Takeaways:

[01:09] Introducing Jen Josey

[03:17] How she started on her real estate investing journey

[07:19] Jen’s first property and first project

[13:40] Finding out Profit First

[17:38] Focusing on short-term rentals

[23:00] Make sure short-term rental works as a long-term rental

[28:29] Jen’s advice

[32:12] Connect with Jen Josey


Quotes:

[06:50] “Surrounding yourself with the right people also was a huge benefit as well.”

[22:52] “Do not buy anything unless it works as a long-term rental because, in this market, you never know if they are going to oust AirBnB.”

[29:01] “Don’t be afraid of paying for coach.”



Connect with Jen:

Website: https://www.therealjenjosey.com/ 

Tired of living deal to deal? 

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

Transcript:

Speaker 1 (00:00):

We were doing exactly what so many of the people that you talk about in your book. We were comparing ourselves to others in the room and scale, scale, scale. And I honestly, I really don’t want to scale and be massive. I don’t want to have 15, 20 employees. I just want to live comfortably. I wanted to be the business owner. I wanted to get start on that path to pull myself out of doing everything, having my hands in all the baskets. And so I attended your conference when you spoke in Raleigh, and it was just to that point where I needed simple CFO in my life.

Speaker 2 (00:36):

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 (01:04):

Hey everyone, it is David Richter, profit First I podcast. Have a super amazing guest today, Jen Josie. She is hilarious. She calls herself an edutainer because her posts on Facebook are great, but also she goes through this episode and talks about how she was successful buying into one of those courses that cost a lot of money, and then how she actually got up and running and kind of proves some other people wrong that go through there. But then also just the mindset around money being a translator and actually knowing what the numbers mean, the clarity, just a lot of things that helped her get to where she is now focusing on the most profitable parts of her business. I’m excited because you are going to learn something and you’re going to get to know someone who is an absolutely incredible human being with Jen Josie on this podcast episode. Thank you so much for listening. Hey, it’s David Richter. I have Jen Josie right here. I’m super excited about this. She’s probably the person that makes me the laugh the most on Facebook, and she’s a great real estate investor, a great person. She helps a lot of people and mentors and coaches, and we’re going to talk about a lot of things. We’re going to talk about profit first, short-term rentals. We’re going to talk about translation of the numbers, but I’m excited to get Roland. So Jen, how are you doing today?

Speaker 1 (02:14):

I am fantastic, David. Thank you so much for having me on the show today. Well,

Speaker 3 (02:17):

Thanks for being on. I know we also are on here because you’ve worked with simple CFO and I know at the very beginning it’s like we pushed this off until, hey, we’ve actually done some things together and whatever. So I’m glad we have finally got it nailed down because I was on your podcast and you’re definitely one of the best interviewers that I’ve had. Thank you. Yeah, well give the name of your podcast real quick.

Speaker 1 (02:40):

It’s the Real Estate Investor Growth Network podcast, and it’s the acronym re R-E-I-G-N. But you have to actually type in all the words to find the podcast.

Speaker 3 (02:51):

Oh, fun stuff. I love the big names. That’s why I was like, when I first got simple CFO solutions and it’s still our email, I’m like, we bought simple CF, but it’s a nightmare to go from one to the other and I wish I would’ve had that at the beginning, but go type that in. If you’re listening to this podcast, you’ll love Jen’s too. So she’s got a great podcast. She’s a great interviewer, she’s a great person. So let’s get to know you. What started you on the real estate journey, Jen? Like what and how long have you been doing it?

Speaker 1 (03:18):

So I was a former middle school teacher for 16 years, and then I woke up one day, realized I hated children, so I am kidding.

Speaker 3 (03:26):

Not

Speaker 1 (03:26):

Really.

Speaker 3 (03:27):

It took 16 years. Oh man.

Speaker 1 (03:29):

16 years middle school music. I actually loved it. I’m just being sarcastic, but I absolutely loved it. And I just, towards the end, I got really burned out. So

(03:39):

I was just decided one day I got to get out of here because I’m not doing the students well because I’m just frustrated, et cetera. So I went to equally abusive industry. I went to health insurance because everybody loves health insurance. And I did that for about six years and was quickly climbing the corporate ladder to realize I was halfway up the wrong ladder. And it was a late night infomercial, one of those gurus. And we signed up for the two hour meeting and then paid 300 for their three day course. And by the end of it I was like, take my money. And it was the best decision we ever made. It was a lot of money. I’m not knocking that, but I have made it back. We made it back within the first year. So it was just one of those things where people, they look at education programs and they think it’s just so much money, but do you want to be in the same place a year from now or do you want to go out there and start taking action? So I’m very grateful that I had that experience and will never look back. I was able to quit. I was working for Aetna. I was able to quit Aetna by the end of that year within I think it was eight months. Wow.

Speaker 3 (04:53):

Wow. What got you started so quick? Because I hear a lot of people going through the education, I’m sure just like you, and then they don’t make their money back or they never do anything. So what would you say that separated you from the people that go through that program?

Speaker 1 (05:05):

It cost about $35,000 to join. And for me, the frugal teacher, I was like, I will always have that mentality. I will not buy anything unless it’s on sale. And it freaked me out. And it was one of those things where the saying, I burned the boats. I will not go back. I saw so many people in corporate America get fired, and I was just thinking, when is it going to be my turn? And thank goodness that never happened, but I went for it. There was no turning back for me, just making that huge investment.

Speaker 3 (05:38):

You’re making that huge investment, but okay, there’s some people that do that too, but that they don’t have good success after that. What made you different, I want to know, what did you do? Did you take the action? Did you buy a house and it sucked. I want to know that first year and you’re quitting Aetna. How were you able to do that?

Speaker 1 (05:57):

Just massive action. Action. I rearranged my schedule. I would go from seven to three at Aetna, so they allowed me some flexible hours and then I would go home and from three to nine I was going through the modules and the education program. I was looking up properties, I was attending local events. I think that was a huge one for me. I met you at one of our local events here in Raleigh, North Carolina, and it was just getting that core group of people around me to help push me and to see what they’re doing and having that around me all the time and surrounding myself with those people. I think that also was a huge reason as well. People get into, they’ll pay $50,000 for an education program, but they just never take that first step. And I think surrounding yourself with the right people also was a huge benefit as well.

Speaker 3 (06:55):

What I heard was the first thing you said was rearranging the schedule. I think you put it intentionally on your calendar to do this stuff of I need to move around the work schedule. I need to be able to put the modules in and look for properties. And then you went and found other people that were doing it too and surrounding yourself with good people. So that was another big step. What was your first property? Was it a wholesale deal, a flip deal? What did you do first rental.

Speaker 1 (07:19):

So I was actually at an event with two of my coaches and they’re like, Jen, do you have your first deal yet? I was one of those where I was about six months in just who’s going to sell me a house? Who’s going to lend me money, whatever it is. And I just had that analysis paralysis and was just really afraid to take that first step. And so I remember sitting at this event and they’re like, Jen, do you have a project yet? And I said, well, I’m talking to this guy on Craigslist and it’s this property in Rocky Mount North Carolina, and there was some development and stuff going on. The railroad was moving back there, et cetera. So it’s like, why don’t you have it under contract? How much is it we’re going through? And so the guy wanted, I think about 55,000

Speaker 3 (08:09):

And

Speaker 1 (08:11):

They’re like 55. It was a 4,200 square foot home built in 1910. Whoa.

Speaker 3 (08:17):

Gorgeous

Speaker 1 (08:19):

Woodwork, all this stuff. And so they said, Jen, why do you not have this under contract yet? I was like, they’re like, go call right now. So I like went out with my cell phone and as I’m walking away, they’re like, Jen, don’t forget. Everything’s negotiable. I was like, everything’s negotiable. Alright, I’m going. So I get the guy on the phone and I said, so yeah, I’d like to present an offer and by any chance is that price negotiable? And he said, sure, what’s your number? Well, I did not get that far in my thought process. I did not have a number in mind.

Speaker 3 (08:48):

And

Speaker 1 (08:48):

So literally I’m like, I picked my high school basketball number, which was number 44, and I’m like 44,000 said, okay. I’m like, alright, I’ll send you a contract and we’ll see you soon. And I hung up, I was like, I have it under contract and no plans. We would go out there and part of our education program is you have to use licensed and insured contractors.

Speaker 3 (09:11):

We

Speaker 1 (09:11):

Couldn’t get them to go to Rocky Mount North Carolina, which was about an hour and 10 minutes from Raleigh where we live.

Speaker 3 (09:16):

And

Speaker 1 (09:18):

It was stressing us out. So we literally just whole tailed it. We had it under, I’m sorry, we purchased it with our self-directed IRA, by the way. And we put a new thermostat on and we paid 30 bucks to the neighbor to mow the lawn. We scraped some paint and just put it back in the market. And so we sold it for 67,000 just a couple weeks later. So we got some good cashflow going and that was able to pay off some of our education and it was nonstop from there. So I am glad we had that experience. But yeah, our first major one was after that in Durham, which was a full gut job.

Speaker 3 (09:57):

That was a full gut job. Okay. Oh

Speaker 1 (09:59):

Yeah.

Speaker 3 (09:59):

How long ago was that? How long ago was that first deal?

Speaker 1 (10:02):

So we started our education program in 2017, April, and then it was probably October when we got that property in Rocky Mount and then the beginning of 2018 when we started our first gut job. So totally learned, and again, that network of people locally really helped us through that first project. We didn’t have a general contractor, so we found another investor who had their GC license and they gave us a very discounted rate and helped us through it. But what I loved about it was I got to make those contacts with the contractors. I did the

Speaker 3 (10:37):

Contracts

Speaker 1 (10:37):

With them, I hired them, I scheduled them, I did all that. He gave me some names to go with and I still use some of those contractors to this day. So that was, yeah, it was a great way to make connections in the community and build our business from the ground up basically.

Speaker 3 (10:52):

That’s very cool. I like that a lot. Okay, so that was your first deal and then you said your bigger deal came in Durham later on. When did you make the jump where you said, I don’t need Aetna anymore? What was that decision? Was it the number of deals you had done or some profit or you’re just like, Hey, I’m all in and I’m quitting this so I can focus on the real estate. What was that thought process of jumping out of what you were doing for your job?

Speaker 1 (11:17):

So it was at the end, we made that quick money on the hotel,

Speaker 3 (11:22):

That

Speaker 1 (11:23):

Property, and it made sense for Vance and I that I was able to run the project full-time starting in January.

Speaker 3 (11:30):

And Vance is your husband, right?

Speaker 1 (11:32):

Vance is, yes. He’s very

Speaker 3 (11:33):

Lucky people listening. Yes, he is.

Speaker 1 (11:35):

I told him, I’m like, Vance, I’ve always wanted to sleep with a gc. And I was hoping he’d say which one, but he ended up getting his GC license. I was like, that backfired on me. But anyway.

Speaker 3 (11:45):

Well, you got your wish though.

Speaker 1 (11:47):

I did.

Speaker 3 (11:48):

Careful what you wish for.

Speaker 1 (11:50):

So it was just kind of putting our energies in the right way. Vance could support us on his salary alone at that point. So I was able to work the project a hundred percent of my time and then we started getting more and more. In fact, it was funny, I would post a lot of pictures on social media just to really build my social media presence, which has definitely helped you enjoy my posts in the morning. That right? Oh, I have. Her

Speaker 3 (12:19):

Posts are nuts. It’s great.

Speaker 1 (12:22):

And I do try to, I’m an edutainer, but through that I was posting pictures with my contractors and a friend reached out and said, Hey, a friend of mine has a condo that she can’t sell. Is that something you’d be interested in flipping? I’m like a condo. I’m like, okay, I’ll check it out. And I actually loved it. We can flip condos or townhomes five to seven days. My sweet spot is built between 1985 and 1999. They typically have already had a new HVAC unit installed. They had great cabinets back then. I can just go in and replace or paint the cabinets. We would do countertops, flooring, paint, and put on the market. And we ended up doing our sweet spot was doing about five at a time, condos and townhomes and keeping those rotating and constantly marketing to townhome and condo communities.

Speaker 3 (13:18):

So

Speaker 1 (13:18):

That was a great way to

Speaker 3 (13:20):

Keep it going and to stay in the real estate world. So then tell me about the journey. So you would then started building or you started doing the different process. Sounds like condos and different things like that. So then you also told me before the show started, you’ve also made some pivots. So talk about that. When did you learn about Profit first and then how we met? Just tell that story.

Speaker 1 (13:40):

So it was funny, I was sitting at a conference in, I think it was Cancun and you were coming to speak at an event in Raleigh, North Carolina. And I said, well, I should probably read this dude’s book before he gets here. And so I downloaded it and I was reading it and you talk about this guy Gary Harper, and I was literally outside the room walking in to listen to Gary Harbor speak. That’s great. And I met his wife who was what English teacher

Speaker 3 (14:09):

Was more like cafeteria. Yeah, you want a funny story? During high school we got one of those free hours and I helped with preparing lunch and she was the one there, so it was just a goof off hour basically.

Speaker 1 (14:23):

Got it, got it. So I was like, who is this guy? David Richter? And so really I dove into the book and I think it was the introduction where you’re talking about you and your wife and how you called her the ultimate spender. You were the ultimate saver. And I was like, oh, is he in the room with me? I mean, you were talking to me, David and going through the book and I have it here with me. And I was rereading it. I was like, let me just freshen up on it before I have this interview. But you were talking about the difference between being a real estate investor and being a business owner. And so up to this point, this was about a year and a half ago, we were doing exactly what so many of the people that you talk about in your book.

(15:12):

We were comparing ourselves to others in the room and scale, scale, scale. And I honestly, I really don’t want to scale and be massive. I don’t want to have 15, 20 employees. I just want to live comfortably. I’m a little older than you just celebrate my 50th birthday. I know that’s hard to believe, but doing the difference, I was way in that column for real estate investor and I wanted to be the business owner. I wanted to start on that path to pull myself out of doing everything, having my hands in all the baskets. And so I attended your conference when you spoke in Raleigh, and I mean it was just to that point where I needed simple CFO in my life. And the reason is Vance, he’s an accountant by trade and he speaks accountant. I do not, I just trust that he’s going to do all this.

(16:05):

And so it got to a point where I started coaching with Tar El Musa with his coaching program. And as a coach, I coach with him and he’s fabulous, by the way. It’s a great coaching program if you are looking to get involved and it’s a lot cheaper than these other ones. But anyway, so Vance, we ended up hiring Simple CFO, which was one of the best moves that we did. Now we are still in the process of applying profit first to our lives and to our business. But lemme back up a little. Our goal at the beginning of the year was to get a hundred doors. We started getting into multifamily and I wanted to buy out of state so I didn’t have to deal with contractors anymore. I’ve been doing this for a couple years, flipping houses, and it was ready. And again, listening to everyone around me get into this and I joined a coaching program.

(16:57):

I started, I had hired a coach and when we met Diana, who is our CFO through Simple CFO, she first of all became the translator between Vance and I and she is fabulous. And there are things where he’s like blah, blah, blah, blah. And he just goes through and then she’s like, oh. And then she will translate it to me exactly what’s going on. So at the beginning of 2023, we said, our goal is to get up. It was really 101 doors. A friend of mine wanted a hundred doors. I’m like, well, I’m going to get 101 doors just because I’m competitive. But going through and having her break things down and then looking at what our big money makers are with short-term rentals, and I just had to back stop from it. We bought a 12 unit joining this program. It’s not making money yet. It’s cash flowing definitely, but nothing that we could retire on by any means. And so we started that process. But then looking at the books, we have a tiny cabin in the mountains of North Carolina that was bringing in as much profit each month as the 12 unit.

Speaker 3 (18:09):

Oh wow.

Speaker 1 (18:10):

It was nuts. Now the 12 unit is not, I mean it’s not glamorous by any means. We bought it for $250,000. I offered 300. He’s like, do you want seller financing? I’m like, well, no, not at 300. He’s like, well then I’ll take two 50. I was like, dude, you went the wrong direction,

Speaker 3 (18:26):

Right? Yeah.

Speaker 1 (18:27):

So then we decided midway we need to put our focus back on short-term rentals. And people are talking about how everything’s so saturated and everybody goes to air DNA and they want to see the cities that make the most money that have 85% bookings or blah, blah, blah, blah. I don’t do any of that. And I think what has been successful for us is our short-term rental. The one this cabin I’m talking about, which is our little cash cow, it is a destination cabin. We allow dogs, we don’t allow children. It’s for a couple, it’s 486 square feet and traveling with pets is one of the most requested amenities, and we cater to it. So it’s a destination. We had four short-term rentals in downtown Raleigh. And if you went on Air DNA, oh, downtown Raleigh is the place to buy, I would’ve followed it immediately and thought, this is where we need to be. But it did not produce our cabin was, and for simple reasons, it was what they call a convenience Airbnb, a short-term run. I say Airbnb, I only work with Airbnb. I haven’t worked with VRBO or the other ones, but it’s one of those things where people traveling places, they prefer to stay in Airbnbs, but it did start getting saturated, these larger markets, et cetera. So yours really has to stand out and like I said, next month, I’m sorry, October this month we’re looking at profiting $4,000 off a 486 square foot tiny cabin

Speaker 3 (20:06):

In

Speaker 1 (20:06):

The mountains. So it was Diana and Simple CFO that pulled our blindfold off and was like, Jen, you are so successful at this. We need to start putting more focus on this. So I appreciate simple CFOs so much. And again, we are not in the full profit first and running it, but we have a very clear path on how to get there, which I’m truly grateful to you and your program. It’s wonderful.

Speaker 3 (20:34):

Well, I appreciate that. And it sounds like you went down the short term route, which has been great. And then I love how you said you didn’t do it the same way as everyone else does. Go to Air DNA get on there and you’re really catering to what makes sense and what makes the most money sense as well. And you’re catering to the dog or the pet owners, the people that want to have the destination. I like that. When I go on personally for Airbnb, I’m looking for destination. When I go on business, I’m looking for convenience. So it’s like I’m two different avatars on Airbnb. If I’m going with my family, I want to cool a cabin in the woods that’s very, very nice and very secluded, where the other part, I want to be in Raleigh downtown just because it’s convenient to the other things and to the events that I’ll be at. So I totally get where you’re coming from. It’s getting into the mind of the people that you’re really trying to help and have those destinations for, which is very cool. It sounds like you’ve leaned into that. Okay, so you said you want 101 doors. How long do you have to get there? Is that just I want 101 doors until I die, or in the next year? In the next 10 years, 30 years, a hundred

Speaker 1 (21:41):

Years. So it was going to be for 2023.

Speaker 3 (21:44):

That

Speaker 1 (21:45):

Was our focus. And I was marketing to multifamily. We drove to West Virginia by the way, I sent my avatar that I look for are mom and pop properties that someone has owned for a million years. And we go in, they’re tired of maintaining the property. They haven’t raised rents in a long time. And so I sent to mom and pops not businesses in West Virginia, and I maybe sent, I don’t know, 250 postcards and I got about 20 calls, which is I was like, what is happening in West Virginia? And I found out why. So we decided not to invest in that

Speaker 3 (22:24):

Area,

Speaker 1 (22:25):

But that was my focus. And so for 2023, our goal was by the end of 2023 to have 101 doors. And we were going strong at the beginning of the year, but it was slow starting. And then our business was suffering. And thank goodness we had Diana with her eyes on everything throughout this. We had a quad in downtown Raleigh that we were short-term renting. For anyone out there who is thinking about getting into the short-term rental business, do not buy anything unless it works as a long-term rental.

(22:58):

Because in this market, you never know if they’re going to oust Airbnb. There are a lot of areas, I think it’s Manhattan that just said no more short-term rentals. I’m in North Carolina. They’re talking about removing them from the outer banks. And it’s because people who live in work in those areas don’t have rentals, long-term rentals. And the landlords are like, I can make three times as much by short-term renting it. So if you are any listeners out there that are thinking about getting a short-term rentals, make sure it works as a long-term rental. So that was our mistake with this quad that we purchased in downtown Raleigh. It was this beautiful historic home and we added HVAC, it had window units before and redid everything. We brand new kitchens, brand new baths, and it just did not take off. We thought it got to a point where things were slowing down with travel and it was that convenient and people were not traveling to Raleigh as much, or it was because so many people went on Air DNA and said, oh, I want to be in Raleigh.

(24:03):

Because a lot of people, so another thing when you’re evaluating short-term rentals is I try to only do I just go on Airbnb and I look for other rentals in the area, I want to see what my competition is. I’m like, I could totally outdo that place and make it look so much more swankier or whatever. And then I do an average of the nightly rate, and I only do 50%. I do 15 nights, the nightly rate times 15 to figure out my baseline. And then anything above that is going to be just icing on the cake. So anyway, I went off on a tangent there.

Speaker 3 (24:37):

No, no, that was good. I mean, it’s good info. It’s good info for people to go out there and to be able to, because I was asking about the 101 doors and what timeframe that was. So it’s like you switched to what the most profitable thing was, and not just for a lack of a better term, the vanity metric of having 101, which you even said, I love that. You’re like, someone else said they wanted a hundred, I’m doing 101.

Speaker 1 (25:00):

Exactly.

Speaker 3 (25:01):

Oh man. It’s

Speaker 1 (25:03):

Focusing on

Speaker 3 (25:03):

A profitable thing.

Speaker 1 (25:04):

It’s still a goal. It’s just been put on the back burner until we get our finances, until we hit that profit first level where we have all of our accounts rocking and rolling, we actually have tax savings in there. We’re putting money aside for taxes, et cetera. When we get there, we will put our focus back on it. But to get there, we have found that short-term rentals is going to be our route.

Speaker 3 (25:23):

Okay, well, very cool. It’s

Speaker 1 (25:25):

Sticking

Speaker 3 (25:25):

With the thing that, and that you can be profitable on and actually accelerate that profitability. No fun doing a lot of work and not seeing a lot of effort or a lot of doing a lot of effort, not seeing the results for it. So now I’m glad you got that clarity. I think clarity is that power just knowing, knowing which direction to be able to make decisions so you can do something for the future. So sounds like you got that and now you’re on your way to two a better 101 doors that’ll be more profitable, and how can we actually get there? And are you still going to go the syndication multifamily route? Is that what you’re thinking? Dumping the profits in from short term to go that route?

Speaker 1 (26:03):

So I don’t think I want to do syndication. I don’t think I want to buy the massive a hundred units. I could do that in one shot and then go through syndication and have pull a bunch of investors together. That sounds like a lot of effort to me. So I like the smaller ones. I try to be above five units so that we’re not having to deal with comps to evaluate our properties. If it’s five or more, we’re in the commercial level,

Speaker 3 (26:30):

And

Speaker 1 (26:30):

Then the banks are literally just evaluating your property and how it does. And I can turn a property around. I know I have the confidence to do that too, to raise the net operating income by providing a dog fee or including a whatever it is. So little things like that that I’ve learned from my coaches. So it is still on the radar. And I got to say I pivoted because Diana just revealed all of this for us in simple CFO on it. And she is fabulous, by the way. And I also know Michael Glassby. I’ve met him at a couple conferences and he’s another one of yours. And he was on my podcast. He did a renovation of a historic home that he did a condo conversion, which is pretty cool. But anyway, I digress. It’s just the goals are still out there. Long-term, having those doors, whether it be a 20 unit here, a eight unit here, it’s the long-term, five years down the road. But to get to that point, we got to focus on the short-term rentals, which is what was uncovered. Yes.

Speaker 3 (27:40):

Oh no, very cool. And I love how you said she’s the translator too. You’ve got the accountant husband who speaks accounts, and it’s like we got to be able to translate between the two, which I hear that a lot when there’s partners working together or husband and wife for it’s other financial people on the team. So I’m glad she’s also doing that for you. That can be, that’s one of the reasons why I even started this. I had people speak accountant needs to me when I was just a baby business owner. I’m like, what are you saying? What is this? What are you talking about? So I’m glad glad she’s doing that for you as well.

Speaker 1 (28:14):

Yes. Well

Speaker 3 (28:14):

Awesome. Then I just have a few last questions here. Is there any other advice you’d give to a real estate investor that’s listening to this? Anything that you’ve learned in the real estate world that you’re just like here? One last piece of advice I’d love to give.

Speaker 1 (28:29):

Be ready to pivot and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. And I’m very open to it. We’ve had to pivot quite a few times. We started with that property, that massive project, and then we started doing our full gut job. And then someone’s like, Hey, what about condos? And just be open to those things that come across your desk. And now we’re actively looking for another destination, Airbnb, a couple of them if we can.

(29:00):

And don’t be afraid of paying for a coach, because a lot of people get really stuck. I said this at the beginning, they get stuck on that price of what it’s going to cost, but how much is it going to cost you to not invest in yourself and to make that jump, but pivoting, I had friends who put all their eggs in the short-term rental basket and stopped flipping, and that’s all they did. And when Covid hit towns, shut them off completely and they lost thousands and thousands of dollars. I think having a portfolio that is yes, we still have our 12 unit, we have two long-term rentals as well in addition to our short-term and just being diverse in that we are doing a tear down rebuild, starting that in a couple weeks here. And it is just be diverse in how you invest in things and don’t just focus on one, be open to other things coming across your desk.

Speaker 3 (29:59):

Awesome. So there you go. Focus on what is the most profitable and what’s the thing that’s going to help you get to where you want to be open to those other areas. That’s really good advice. And then if you had to start your business over from scratch, is there anything you would do different?

Speaker 1 (30:14):

David? I would absolutely have rentals from the very, very beginning. We didn’t get started until about year two or three, and I would have some of these properties that we should have held onto would’ve been making a gazillion dollars now. So don’t be afraid of it, or I’m sorry. It’s the whole having those rentals so that you have that ink that monthly, you can kind of assume what’s going to be coming in per month and it will then help you support the rest of your business knowing that that’s coming in monthly.

Speaker 3 (30:53):

Well, there you go. So if you had to start over, you’d start off with more recurring revenue from the rentals and getting that foundation laid sooner. But now you’re on the hunt for the 101 for the get

Speaker 1 (31:04):

Down. I’m on the hunt. On the hunt.

Speaker 3 (31:06):

So if you have a destination place that you want to sell, this is where you can get ahold of Jen, Josie. Go to find her on Facebook and see all of her funny memes and stuff that she posts and then message her because she’ll message you back. But okay, this has been awesome. There’s been a lot of good stuff here where I from, even the beginning that you invested in yourself, even as a teacher that had the, I want to just the cheapest option and stuff, and you invested 35,000, you rearrange your schedule to make sure it happened. You did the modules and the education and all the real estate stuff on your time off. Then you were attending the local events, doing the networking, did that first deal, actually took action, went from there and did a lot more deals. Then got when we started working together, getting the clarity on what’s most profitable and really focusing on that. So don’t be afraid of paying for a coach. Be ready to pivot, have rentals from the beginning. Lots of great information and nuggets here. So how do people get ahold of you or what do you want to share with them? I know you have an Airbnb short term, like course two. So whatever you want to say here to give people that value.

Speaker 1 (32:10):

Wonderful. Thank you so much, David. So the best way to find me, you can go to the real jen josie.com and it’s J-O-S-E-Y. And I have had so many people reach out and say, Jen, because when we had that quad, we ended up selling the quad because it wasn’t performing. We thought it would, and many people were stressing out about, and they said, Jen, how are you so successful with short-term rentals? And so instead of having a thousand different conversations, I literally just put everything into this quick, it’s an evergreen online course. You watch videos. I have my contracts in there. It’s 99 bucks. I’m not looking to make, I just want to serve my community from people have done it for me. So I just want to give back. And you can find that it’s at rain mastermind.com/courses. So that’s R-E-I-G-N mastermind.com/courses. 99 bucks.

(33:02):

The best part of it, and this took me a lot longer to organize, but I made a list, a huge spreadsheet of everything that I purchase, all of my disposable shampoos that I do, my sheets, my furniture, all that stuff is in there. It’s a great reference if you are setting up a short-term rental. So check it out today. Thank you, David, for allowing me to share that. It’s just one of the, I get a little like, because I’m not a guru by any means, but it’s just one of those things like, Jen, can you help us out? And instead of me having a thousand conversations, I just put it all into this quick online course, 99 bucks just will help you get started properly. I also had to deal with bad guests and bedbugs and things like that. So we talk about all the different things that happen in there. So thank you for letting me

Speaker 3 (33:48):

Yeah, for sure. The values in the organization. So it’s like being able to go there and say, okay, what’s the first steps, or I’m having the trouble with this, or the different things for the house. So I know that, go there if you need that help. On the short-term rental side, like I endorse Jen Josie, a hundred percent. So if you go there, it was Rain, was it Rain Network mastermind.com.

Speaker 1 (34:06):

Rain mastermind, rain

Speaker 3 (34:08):

Mastermind.com.

Speaker 1 (34:10):

Dot

Speaker 3 (34:10):

Com

Speaker 1 (34:11):

Slash courses

Speaker 3 (34:12):

Slash courses. So rain mastermind.com/courses. Go there, get the course, you’ll be happy you did. If you’re in the short-term rental world, this has been awesome. And if you are like Jen and you are like, I have no idea what the focus on, or I don’t know where the clarity is and I need that clarity, or I want Profit first in my life, go to simple cfo.com, see if we’re the right fit. We can at least point you in the right direction. I just want to bring you value. If you’re out there struggling and have no hope for what’s going on, I hear all the time people for a decade or more and really have never had financial peace. So head over to simple cfo.com, schedule a call with our team. Thank you for listening. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being a part of this Profit First RAI podcast and remember to make Profit a habit in your business. And Jen, thank you for being an amazing guest.

Speaker 1 (34:59):

Thank you for having me, David. I’m a huge fan of yours and you have truly made a huge difference in my life Between Profit First for real estate investing and simple CFOs. So thank you, David.

Speaker 3 (35:12):

Aw, thank you. I didn’t even pay her to say that. This is good stuff. Thanks everyone. Have a good day.

Speaker 2 (35:18):

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.

 



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.