This time something special happened on the REsimpli Podcast, where Brandon Barnes hosted 2 amazing guests instead of 1 who paired up years ago to prove that ‘Teamwork makes the dream work.’ Jay and Paula appeared on the show to share their secrets about the real estate business.
Want to know how they are making things happen and working in a duo to conquer the world of the real estate business? If so, bear with us!
Working as a real estate investor is an overwhelming and roller coaster journey, but it becomes easy when you have good partners. Jay and Paula are the perfect example in this regard.
Jay is a well-known real estate investor and business development & revenue enhancement specialist at FortuneFire. Paula is a real estate number expert – Fortnune Master.
They have been in the real estate business for the last 28 years, helping each other and others in investing. They started wholesaling and made good connections, and are also good at flipping. Now, by using the FortuneHacking systems, they are creating deals and building fortunes not for themselves but for others too.
Want to know how they made $47000 in just 3 years? Keep scrolling!
Brandon Barnes 0:06
Hey, everybody. I want to welcome you to the REsimpli podcast. I’m your host Brandon Barnes, and we have very special guests. Jay and Paula welcome to the podcast today!
Brandon Barnes 0:19
How are you all doing?
We’re doing great. Having a lot of fun. Just out there making things happen and working for that next paycheque.
Brandon Barnes 0:26
There you go. Yeah. We bonded before we started the podcast on both of our kids being at home today for slight tummy issues. Yours might be real. I think my kids playing hooky. I think my four year old, she’s taking advantage of it today. Well, cool deal. Well, Jay, Paula, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, we have been investing we’ve been in real estate for about 28 years, and Paula has been an underwriter and working for banks and finance companies for about 18 years. So we got into it. We started helping other people invest, and then we noticed that they were making $30,000 cheques while we were making our little $3,000 paycheques. So we started looking into it, and we worked with our partners that helped us get some deals under contract.
And then we started flipping. We got really good at it. We got good at finding motivated sellers. And then they introduced us to a tool that saved our bacon. One of these times, we nearly lost one of our properties because we’re doing a lease option or one of those seller finance deals, and the bank almost called our note due. They tried to call our note due, which means we would have had to give them about $300,000 in 30 days or they were just going to come take our property.
So we were introduced to our title holding Land Trust, which is kind of what we use on all of our properties now. It’s our asset protection. It’s the way that we protect ourselves, and it’s the legal way that we do all of our wholesaling and put all of our deals together to protect ourselves.
Brandon Barnes 2:17
That’s awesome. Yeah. I don’t imagine that’s a fun letter or phone call to get to be like, hey, I need you to come up with the full amount of this loan in 30 days.
Well, it’s not, especially when you’re new to investing, because that could just end the investing career that you’re doing anyway. It was scary, and they were not nice about it at all. But letters, emails, knocking on the door, all kinds of just harassment came from the bank because they just wanted to collect their money.
Well, remember, we have a background. Both of us worked at four banks for years, and so we’re familiar with banks. But banks are nasty, horrible entities when it comes to when they want something, when they’re going to repossess your home or call your note due, they want to raise your interest rate, whatever it is, they come after you, and it is out and out harassment. It was horrible, terrifying.
Brandon Barnes 3:14
I’ve always heard it, I’ve only met a couple of people that have ever had to deal with it. Tell me, how did you get into you see, you’ve been in the real estate investing space for 28 years. How did you all get into it from banking into doing it yourself? What was the thing that led you there? Was it just seeing the bigger cheques or?
Well, that’s what we wanted to okay, so Paula, actually, she saw one of those little flyers and said, hey, come learn how to real estate invest. And they took us to a little luncheon. We got free lunch, right? And they told us all the cool things that could happen. And we’re like, well, we’ve been in real estate forever. We know what this space is. They said, okay, listen, come pay us it was like $25,000. Come pay us $25,000.
They put us in a classroom, and they taught us ARB, and they taught us ROI, and they taught us vocabulary. Yeah. Formulas and calculations, which is great, because that’s Paula’s background. She knows all that stuff, and she got to learn a lot. And I was able to learn, but at the end of this, it was like this week long workshop. We didn’t have any deals to show for it. I got a great education out of it, so I call that tuition. It was, like, $25,000.
And then I went out and I did everything they told me to. I worked on the hey, go put some signs in the yards and go walk around, drive for dollars. And we did all the marketing things they told us, which were obviously outdated strategies, because I didn’t get any deals from it. And then they said, okay, well, hey, look, if you’d like some help with this, pay us another $30,000, and we’ll get you into you’ll have a personal coach.
And I went, well, okay, because this isn’t working. I can’t do this on my own. So we paid him that, and again, now they gave me this hotline to this person that I could call up, and I could tell that this person had less experience than I did, because we’d ask him a question and say, hey, listen, I did what you told me. It’s not working. What do I do? And I’d hear them flipping through the pages, and it was some kid, I’m sure, but he’s like, hey, listen, here’s the deal. Go read chapters three through seven of Rich Dad, Poor dad. I’m like, Are you kidding me? This is how I’m going to and obviously, it wasn’t working, but they taught me a lot of vocabulary and terms, and just none of their strategies were working because they were outdated. They were, like, 30 years ago.
Yeah, well, and that’s why we do call it tuition, because we did learn from it, but we didn’t get any deals from it. And that’s where Jay decided he needed to go find somebody who was actually in the trenches doing the work. And he found a couple of people, one that was doing 100 wholesales a year to learn from, and then another individual that was just doing tons and tons of flips. And from there, we were able to learn from them and start learning how to actually get deals and get them done. And that’s where we started getting our traction.
Yeah, these were people that were in the trenches. They were actually closing deals every single month. They were doing 100 flips and 100 wholesales. They’re two separate investors. But the thing that we learned real quick is they started getting some traction where we were able to close our first deal. It took us three to six months, right? But we got our first deal. We made about 20,000, I think $20,000 on our first split. But we started making some traction.
We got really good at it. But what we found out really quick is that the way that they’re doing multiple deals every single month, and not just like one a year like we were doing, you have to have teams of people to do that. We found out real quick. Paula and I, even with our background in real estate, we weren’t able to manage that. That’s why it took us six months, because we focused on that one project, the whole six months. And then when we closed it, we got our $20,000 paycheck.
And then I had no prospects, I had no leads. We had to start all over. So that’s where we started working with these mentors, right? Our mentors got us and they said, hey, listen, okay, now you need to start doing multiple deals. And here, let me introduce you to our team. Our people that are doing acquisitions and people that are doing analysis and people that are doing the funding and the due diligence and all the stuff that goes into doing a deal.
And so they were taking care of all that stuff, and we were able to go and just continue to find deals. So we had our marketing, and when we built all that, then we started sharing it with other investors. Because word gets around when you’re actually doing quite a few deals. Word gets around because everybody, even if they find a deal, they’re not even sure what to do with it. So analysis becomes a big deal.
Brandon Barnes 8:24
Yeah, it’s amazing, A, how many people teach it that don’t do it or haven’t done it. How it’s being done now? Because marketing, sales, everything is yeah, there’s the basics. Answer your phone, do those kind of things. But some of the strategies to finding new properties or motivated leads are changing constantly. And then to hit on your point of focusing six months on a deal, get done with that deal, you get paid well. If you don’t have another one ready, then you’re probably another six months from getting paid again.
And then if you make $20,000 on one and $20,000 on the other make $40,000 for a whole year’s worth of work, which it’s not very fun. My wife and I did same thing. We bought our first flip, and we’re like, we’re going to do a lot of the work ourselves. And we did all this stuff, and we had the opposite effect. We actually lost money on it and then spent a ton of time doing it. And I was like, this isn’t the way to do it.
Brandon Barnes 9:40
That’s awesome. So you got some traction and then were you mainly wholesaling flipping? What were you doing when you started?
Yeah, we started out wholesaling, and we made some good connections. Actually, one of the best things that coaching program that seminar company gave us said, go sign up for your local RIA, your real estate investing association. And we did. We went to our local one there in Salt Lake City, and it’s actually one of the stronger ones in the nation. So it was really good because we made lots of connections. I found attorneys there. We found Paula, got her license as a real estate agent. And so we found one of the top brokers where he has like 300 agents, but they’re all focused on real estate investing.
And so he let her hang her license with him. And so anytime she had a question about being a real estate investor as a real estate agent, and he was able to answer those questions for her and kind of guide her through and navigate through those waters of real estate. The National Real Estate Association, they can be really real sticklers, and they don’t like real estate investors. But he was able to help us navigate through that. So we made a lot of connections.
We were able actually to wholesale straight to him because he has an investor, too.
Yeah, he had funds and money. That’s a big thing, right? When you get out there and you work your b*** off to actually find a deal, and then you don’t have money to go and buy the flip yourself. That’s why most people wholesale, because they don’t have the connections. We were able to get a lot of those connections, which allowed us to transition into flipping faster because wholesaling is great, but you know, you make your big money if you’re going to do the flip yourself.
Brandon Barnes 11:47
Yeah. If you’re wholesaling good deals, there’s usually a good assignment and a good flip on it. And so if you can do both, then you generally make a lot more money, for sure.
And that’s to your point there. That’s one thing that we learned early on is that if you’re going to wholesale a deal, you have to do the work. You have to analyze this and make sure it’s going to be a good deal for the end investor. And see, that’s where Paula’s underwriting background came in. It was very helpful that way. But we ran into somebody. We were networking at an event, and they came and they were talking to us about they had a property and, oh, I’m going to make $20,000 on this wholesale, and I’m going to kill it with this one.
I’m going to make a big, huge paycheck. And we’re like, oh, that’s amazing. How much is the end investor going to make? He’s like, I don’t care. As soon as I make my money, I don’t care what happens to them. And we were just like I was, like, backing out the door as fast as I could because you will get yourself such a bad reputation. You’ve got to make sure that you are, like, looking out for the other guys. Yeah, run the numbers.
Investors, they’re a good, nice, tight network, and they will help each other out, and they’re willing to help each other out. But if you start sending out bad deals, well, then you’re going to lose the people that you can sell to or even work with. So you want to make sure that you’re doing your due diligence and making sure that the person that you’re going to sell your wholesale to is getting a good deal too. So they’ll continue to buy from you again and again.
Yeah, we do. We’ll buy from wholesalers, but I don’t like to do it very often because most wholesalers, they do a shoddy job of running the numbers. They really just don’t care what I make. But I don’t care if they make $20,000 on their deal as long as I make 40. Right?
Brandon Barnes 13:44
Because I’m the investor taking all the risk. I’m doing the flip, and they’re going to make just basically just for handing a deal to me. It’s a referral, basically. Right? And this is where they get in trouble with the law, with the Board of Realtors, because they’re basically just acting as a real estate agent and handing me a deal that I take all the risk on, and they’re going to make $20,000 on it. Well, that’s fine as long as it’s a good deal for me.
Brandon Barnes 14:15
I think that’s a good transition into what I think would be great to talk to. So obviously, one of the hot buttons in Wholesaling over the last two years, but mainly you’re hearing more about in the last year is the National Board of Realtors making Wholesaling illegal. And so every state I think some states have already started passing laws.
I haven’t really heard of any big crackdowns on it yet, but I think somebody’s going to get made an example of eventually that we’ll all hear about. And so what are you all doing right now to avoid the, I guess, perception by the Board of Realtors that Wholesaling is illegal.
Okay. And it really is a gray area. So it’s kind of hard to argue that wholesaling is not illegal when it’s so close to I mean, it’s just everybody goes out there and what they’ve been trained to do is just say, oh, I’m not selling a house, I’m actually selling my contract. Right, well, okay, that’s the gray line. The reality is that you’re selling a purchase contract where you’re acting as an agent.
So the way to avoid that and the way that we’ve got around this is with our title holding land trust. These allow us to place the property in trust and the seller remains a beneficiary of that trust. Okay? So now title is held by the trustee of that trust.
As long as the seller remains a beneficiary, we’re a beneficiary of that trust and we can legally help him sell off that contract. There’s no gray area anymore because we’re all a beneficiary. Go ahead.
Brandon Barnes 16:15
I think because you’re essentially partners with the seller. In trust terms, you’re partners.
Well, and legally we are an owner of that home because it’s the beneficiaries that control what happens to that property and we mandate to the trustee what to do with that. Can you pull up your little infographic there? I don’t know if she can share her screen, but we’ve got a little example of the way this trust works. And this not only protects you in a wholesale situation because now, legally, I can go out there and I can sell this property and not the contract, but I can sell the property for sale by owner.
Because again, what’s happening is the trustee holds title to the property. And the one that controls the property is you’ve got the seller that remains a beneficiary and then you have the investor beneficiary, which is us. And then you have a resident beneficiary. This is what we call that sandwich lease, the lease option, seller financing. Heard all those. This is the way we do it. And again, we got in trouble for this when we weren’t using these trusts.
But there’s a little thing where they’re able to call your note due which means basically they can come not even repossess your home. And they being the bank, yeah, they don’t have to foreclose. We had a property where they came out and they have teams of people that go through and they’re just checking title. And the way they teach you to do these sandwich leases or these lease options is that you take the title and you transfer it over to the resident and you put it in their name, and then you have a quick claim deed back behind the scenes, and it’s all secretive, and it’s this little shell game hoping that the property.
But what happens is they checked the title, and they saw that we moved the title from the seller’s name over into the beneficiaries or the resident’s name, and they immediately contacted us, and they said, hey, listen, you’re in violation of your do on sell clause, which every guru out there will tell you, oh, don’t worry about it.
It doesn’t happen very often. They won’t do anything. If they do find it, yeah, they did something to us. And what happens is they’ll come take your house from you and they don’t have to foreclose, you don’t have to be behind on payments. That’s the thing. They don’t tell you 30 days to.
Pay the full balance of the mortgage, and in this case it was about $300,000. And if you don’t pay it, well, then they just take the home and say, well, thanks for working with us, this is ours now.
So the way we got around this or the way we protected ourselves is we put this in a title holding land trust. And there’s legislation, federal law says it’s the Garn St. Germain act of 1982. This is important legislation because federal law says that as long as the seller, the original seller, or the owner of the property remains a beneficiary and they have to have at least a 10% ownership stake in this as a beneficiary. As long as they remain a beneficiary, the bank cannot call the note due. As long as you’re up on payments, they can’t foreclose on it.
The IRS cannot show this as a sell because when you do it this way, these little lease options, they don’t tell you about this. This is actually what they call a delayed or a disguised sell because we’re taking money up front, which is classified as a down payment, and then we’re predetermining a sales price. Anytime you do any of those things, basically you’re saying, well, I’m going to sell the property, but I’m going to sell it three years down the road, right? Well, that’s a delayed or disguised sell according to IRS and the banks and the law.
So you can get in a lot of trouble for doing this. And the way that the trust protects against that is federal law says as long as the seller or the owner remains a beneficiary in their own trust, you can’t call that note due, you can’t come take the property, you can’t tax them and hit them for capital gains taxes or whatever. So all these legal issues, you avoid those by basically putting this in a trust that remains with the beneficiary. They have ownership interest, we do as the investor and the resident does. This is how you can see that as the investor, we now are an owner of this property legally.
Well, and by putting this in the trust like that, we were able to have our attorney send off the paperwork to the bank showing that the seller was still a beneficiary and all of the harassment stopped. They just quit contacting us. This is still a property we have today that we’re working with our resident with. So these hugely beneficial to put properties in the trust and we do all of our properties with trust.
Yeah. Well, to your question of how do we do wholesaling, right, because that’s how you avoid asset protection. The wholesaling part of this is I’m not just selling my contract because if the seller puts their property into a trust and we become a beneficiary of that trust, we now are an owner in all legal terms and aspects of that we are an owner of that property. So I can now legally go and I can go up on Craigslist and I can put my property because it is my property and I can for sale by owner.
I don’t have to say that I’m an agent, I don’t have to have a license, I can avoid all of the agent fees and the risk of getting in trouble with the NAR, the National Association of Realtors, right? Yeah. So we can avoid all that based on the legislation, the Garn St. Germaine act of 1982, very important. It’s like key to everything we do but it allows us to act as the owner and actually sell the property. So we’re legit.
Brandon Barnes 22:44
So the sellers, they’re part of the trust is when it sells, let’s say an instance of wholesaling and the property sells, they’re just getting what you agreed upon as the beneficiary of the trust. Let’s say you were going to give them $100,000 or whatever it was and you sell it for 150, then they would just get 100 and then you’re part of the trust, you would get your 50 or whatever the profit was.
Yeah. And we have analyzers that allow Paula to very quickly go through.
And just a quick other benefit to that is when you have investors that they want to purchase their home using the traditional loans, when we put these properties in trust and sell them off that way you don’t have that 90 day flipping rule and other things that can cause issues when you go to a bank. So another huge benefit of using that trust.
Brandon Barnes 23:40
Right. Well there’s that one but there’s also if you go to banks and try to get financing, you try to finance, they’ll usually give you what, ten maximum properties. Remember when these get put in a trust it’s not real property so you don’t have mortgages on all these properties or possibly you don’t but the trust is holding the property so it becomes personal property that’s taxed on it differently. You don’t have that’s why you can sell, you can sell it and not be hit with capital gains. So I can actually have one of my properties I could sell to you by just giving you ownership ownership to one of the trusts that one of my properties are in.
And then you can take that, and now you own the trust, but the property never left possession of the trust. So you’re just the new owner of the trust, which is personal property. And then you can do what you want with the property that’s inside of that trust. You can now move it outside the trust and it’s yours or you can just keep it in that trust and you continue to operate as the owner and the beneficial interest of that trust.
Brandon Barnes 25:06
Because what you’re doing is you’re selling your beneficial interest of the trust. You’re not necessarily selling a property. You’re not selling the trust, just happens to hold a property. So who do you use as your trustee?
Well, we have our own trustee, our company, because they have to be formed properly. They have to be a certain type of trust. They have to be put together a certain way and the trustee has to follow certain rules. You can’t just go out there. A lot of attorneys don’t understand how trusts work and how it has to be a particular revocable title holding land trust. I believe it’s a Chicago, Illinois title holding land trust.
So again, we have our full legal team, our trust team. They put these together for us. They actually manage them with our escrow services. They’ll collect payments, they’ll disperse payments, they’ll track things for mortgage records. So our residents that we put in place, for some reason right now, they can’t get financing, can’t get a traditional mortgage right now, but they have lots of money in the bank, and they need certain amount of time for, like commissions or bonuses or time on job, things like that, that the bank won’t give them right now.
So we actually collect those payments and make the payments for them and then we show them a history so they can go in now and refinance that and we collect all the money, and all the money is credited to them. So if they want to buy the home for $300,000 right now, anything that they paid towards us, including what we call a contribution to the trust, that is all credited to them. It’s not like a regular lease option where they just lose that money. It’s like renting. No, by law they have to be given back anything they contribute to the trust.
So this becomes a huge it’s a big savings plan for them where they’re able to go in and they get 300,000. If they paid us 50,000 during the time, the three, five years, whatever, then 50,000 is credited towards them. And their principal loan amount is only 250,000. So it pays their closing costs, it can pay their down payment. They can even get a check back. Paul has even had it where they get checks back at closing. It’s a huge benefit to the residents that move in and take care of these homes.
And that’s the thing. When we do our deals, we want to make sure that everybody’s going to win in the deal. Whether it’s the homeowner that’s selling the property or the investor we’re going to, or even the resident we’re working with. We want to make sure everybody in the deal is a win. That way word gets around, like I was saying earlier, and the more good vibes you put out there, the more work you’re going to be able to do and the more success you’re going to have.
Brandon Barnes 28:07
100%. And for the people that don’t watch this on YouTube, before we go anything else, the little flyer that you showed, the little kind of graphic, you said that you got paid three ways. And so the three ways I think I know they are, but can you explain the audience kind of what the three ways of doing these sandwich release option kind of thing that you’re doing?
Yeah. Okay. So starting out, what we do the first way we get paid, when we get one of these under contract, we call this it’s our full price offer. Because instead of low balling a seller, we can now come in, and if they want $500,000 on their $200,000 house, it’s completely unrealistic. But we can get to them. Like this one, for example. This one is an actual deal that we’re working on right now. We give them $325,000 even though the present market value is only 305.
So we’re going to give them $20,000 more than what they’re even asking for the property. And the reason we do that is because we’re going to run this contract for three years. That gives us enough time for that appreciation to catch up with us. And now we can pay the seller $325,000 for a home that’s only worth 305. Now they don’t have to do any repairs. They don’t have to do anything to it. We’re going to give them more money than the home’s worth, and we do that.
So the blue areas are the way we make money, right? So we have this under contract now, and we’re going to put a resident in the property, and they’re going to give us a contribution to the trust for $21,000, $783, all that fun stuff, right? The reason that this is a contribution to the trust, you got to be really careful. This is not a down payment.
Brandon Barnes 29:58
I was about to ask that is how some people would call a down payment. But the way you guys do it, it’s a contribution to the trust. Got it. Okay.
It’s buying into that trust so they can be a part of not only that, asset protection, but then we can legally and safely do this transaction with them.
And you got to remember, though, it’s really important that you don’t call it a down payment, because that’s where you run into troubles with the law, is when you go out and you collect a down payment because there’s certain things that you cannot do. Or it’s called a delayed or disguised sell. Collecting a down payment is one of them. Charging more than market rents? Higher than market rents. Which market rents here are 2100.
And as you see, we’re charging 2500 for our market rent because it’s inside the trust, and they’re making payments to the trust. Those are contribution payments.. It’s not rent on the house. Yeah. Alright, so there’s a contribution to the trust, $21,000 if you make higher than monthly rents, if you require the resident to do any of the repairs, which all of our residents do all of their repairs on, all the properties.
Going to become their home. We want them to make it the way they want it.
But most people, when they do these lease options, they do, they actually have the resident, the person that’s doing the lease option with them. They have them do all the repairs and take care of the house because it’s going to be their property. It’s a disguised sell. So the first one is $21,000. And that’s their contribution. That allows them to buy in and become a beneficiary of the trust. Remember, for all intents and purposes, they are now an owner of that property because they’re a beneficiary.
Brandon Barnes 31:58
How did you come up with that number?
What is that, 5% of the agreed purchase price? Mutual agreed purchase price that we have 340,000 you can see down here.
Brandon Barnes 32:18
Okay. That’s 5% of that. And then it’s usually two months. 21,000 comes from got it.
Brandon Barnes 32:29
Okay. Got you!
What you would see on other lease options for the down payment. Right. But in this case, the contribution that goes in. And as Jay was mentioning earlier, unlike other lease options, this money all gets refunded back to the resident credited back then, money that we can use right now, which is one of the three ways that we get paid for other properties that we’re working on or whatever, but at the end, this will get credited back to our residents.
Yeah, got it. Well, okay, so change the full price. Change it to like 500,000 or 400,000 or something because now it’s saying 19 years. So we can pay them as much as they want, no matter how ridiculous their number is.
Brandon Barnes 33:25
They just got to be a partner with you for 19 years.
Brandon Barnes 33:30
The other thing here is the contribution of the trust went up to 30,000. Again, it’s based on how much we’re going to actually end up charging. The resident is going to end up paying that at the end of their 19 years. So if we change that back to the 353, 25 is fine. So what we get is that 21,000 is paid up front. That’s our money that we can use right now because the money has to go back to the resident that’s in there, but that goes back as a credit out of the equity.
So instead of $340,000, it’s going to drop their payment down to about $319,000. So it just reduces what their principal balance is then the investor monthly profit. This is our money because we’re going to pay the seller $500 a month because mortgage payment right now is $1,600. And we’re going to turn this into an income property for them by paying them $500 a month.
And they don’t have to do any of the landlord headaches, any of the maintenance, anything like that. We take care of all that for them. And they get $500 check every single month. It’s dispersed by our escrow company, and then the $400 a month is what’s left over from that 2500 they pay us.
Which is typically about what you want to be as an investor. Three to door. We have $400 a door.
Yeah. And you can change this around. This analyzer is really helpful. Somebody just with a few couple of tries and practicing help. Paula’s team helping can learn how to use this analyzer real quick. But that’s $400 a month for the next three years, right? Until the resident goes in, refinances, and pays everybody their money at the end, we’re estimating there’s going to be an estimate of $24,000 of appreciation, equity increase, and we’re going to split that with the resident. So we’re going to take 12,000 of that as our money, and then the resident gets another $12,000 that can be credited towards their principal balance when they refinance their loan.
So for the total of the three years, we’ve made about $47,000.
Brandon Barnes 35:57
Yeah. So just over 10,000 a year. It’s not bad, right? I mean, we don’t have to do the flip. We don’t have to do any repairs or maintenance. No changing light bulbs or going on unplugging toilets. By the way, just so you know, I hate being a landlord. We’ve done it before, and that’s a nightmare. But this way, it’s their home. They take care of everything and they don’t default because, see, they gave us that money.
And if they default, stop making payments. If they trash the home, they basically just took the money from themselves because all that money would have been theirs. And they have to get that money back. Even if they don’t finish buying the house, they have to get that money back minus any repairs or shortage.
Yeah, if they haven’t paid their rent or their payment, all that good stuff, it sets up safety net for us as well.
Brandon Barnes 37:04
So two things on that. So one thing I heard you mentioned escrow companies. It sounds like you use a servicing company to do all this, which for anybody out here, doing it is majorly key and important because it tracks, keeps everybody above board. And then part two is I’m imagining underwriting is very important for the resident participant in the trust.
Yes, very much so. We want to make sure that everything is I’s dotted, T’s crossed, and again, that’s why the trust has to be set up correctly to make sure that everybody is safe in that transaction.
Brandon Barnes 37:50
Got you. So how’s the conversation go with the seller? I find it pretty interesting that kind of the deal works out. You know, exactly how long we’re going to be partners, or whatever it is. So is it kind of a conversation, hey, I’m willing to give you your price, but you’re going to give me my terms kind of thing. And then it leads into explaining kind of the benefits of what you all are doing.
Yeah, and we’ve kind of fine-tuned this over the year because a lot of people, when they start learning about this, the first thing they do is they throw the trust at people. Don’t ever….Just the trust is our vehicle. That’s how we do. But the way I always approach a seller is I say, hey, listen, are you willing to lease this to me right now and let me get my financing in place and I’ll buy it from you down the road? And that’s the question you just want to ask. Are you willing to rent it to me now and let me buy it from you down the road?
And if they’re open to that conversation, to that concept, then I can get in. And we have a proposal of terms that it lays out all the terms and you owe this much to the bank and we’ll pay you this much money and you’re going to get this much at the end. We get all those legal stuff in place and we’re going to check their mortgage statements because we’re going to take over everything like….
Mortgage, HOA, water rights. Any of the things that are tied to that home we are going to now be responsible for paying for on that property. And again, that goes back to the underwriting. You were talking about making sure that we have all of our bases covered. As far as when you first start talking to a seller, confused mind says no. So you want to keep it as simple as possible.
Brandon Barnes 39:38
I learned that very early, like sub to owner. Let’s not talk about that. Hey, let’s just talk real basic. Are you willing to do X for me to get X in order and that’s it? And if they say yes, then you can evolve the conversation more into some things that you need to.
Yeah, and that’s been my script, if you will. Whenever I see that there’s an opportunity there, like if they want $500,000 for their $200,000 property, I just say, hey, great. If I give you your full asking price, will you rent it to me now long enough for me to get my financing in place and then I’ll buy it from you down the road? Because see, now that financing can be anywhere from six months to six years, right?
But as long as they’re okay with the concept of doing a seller carry or seller financing, just long enough for me to put together whatever contract I need or a way for me to create a deal out of nothing, because I can’t do a flip. I just can’t pay them $500,000 on a home that’s nowhere near that.
Brandon Barnes 40:50
Yeah, because all flippers, we just buy it. We flip it and we make tons of money. It’s that simple. We can pay any price. I showed somebody a video yesterday. We bought a house, and we were really hoping not to have to change the LVP in the house. And it just turned out there’s no other way. Like $17,000 later, we had budgeted for it, but it’s painful regardless if we did everything we thought the smell was, and then it ended up being floor glued on another floor glued to the slab. So then it’s a machine, and I was like, man, flipping. I 100% understand that. And so we also talked about you have multiple offers that you can give people, so let’s touch on that a little bit.
Well, okay. So you just mentioned one about having your flip costs go over, right? Yeah, they always go over. Right?
Brandon Barnes 41:53
It’s always even if you budget over, it still goes over the new budget. It never stops.
Let’s suppose that we have a seller right now that’s like, hey, listen, you know what? My home, it’s worth 500. The neighbor’s home sold for 570,000. So mine should go for 500 easy. And we pull our comps, and they’re 200 and 5300. Whatever, we go, okay, great. I believe you. We’re going to go off of your numbers. But if you believe that much in how much your home is worth, then you stick with us. You be the investor with us.
And we call this our partner deal, because we had a home that he was a contractor, and he was doing all the work himself. He was doing that sweat equity, which is great, but you know how that is. That’s a nightmare, right? You’re living in a war zone. It always takes longer. He ran out of money, and he was stripping the home down to the studs. He wanted to do all these high end improvements, which the area would not get his money back out of it.
So what we did was we came in, we partnered with him. He continued to pay his mortgage, and we didn’t buy him out. He became a partner with us, and we brought in it was supposed to originally be 80,000. It was 80,000?
Yeah, 80,000 for rehab costs.
And we got into it and ended up being 130,000 for rehab costs, just like you were saying. But we managed it with our teams, and he had to move out. He couldn’t live there in the place anymore. So we brought our expertise, and we did the repairs. We fixed it up, and we increased the value to where he was. Like, there was a lot of value in this home, and we were able to flip this thing.
We made $142,000 profit. We split it with him. We both walked away with a $71,000 paycheck, and he couldn’t have done it without us, and we couldn’t have done it without him. So worked out really well. That’s one of our offers. Another one that’s really important.
Brandon Barnes 44:07
I want to stop on that one for 1 second, because I have a personal experience in that same realm. The complete opposite of that scenario, though, and it goes down to paperwork, which I’m sure you guys are much more fanatical about than I was at the time. I partnered with a homeowner. Similarly, he wanted to be the flipper, but he lived 3 hours away. He had already bought another home. And our numbers were we weren’t far off.
We were like, $15,000 off in price. It wasn’t terrible, but the big difference for me is the 15 grand was me having to go get a loan. I was going to have to go borrow hard money for a part of it, and that was the difference. So I said, hey, why don’t you pay your mortgage? You carry the note, I’ll bring my cash in, I’ll flip it, we’ll sell it. Boom!
We’ll split the profit 50 50. He’s like, all right, sounds good. So we had it drawn up by an attorney. This is where I learned each person needs their own attorney. Yeah, I did not know that. And then I also should have gotten a power of attorney in order to completely sell the house. So we flipped it. The goal profit for each person was like $20,000 out a piece. So $40,000, it was super quick. And we ended up going over budget on the rehab by, I think, like, ten grand. It really wasn’t that bad.
But then we sold the house for like, $18,000 more than what we thought we were going to sell it for. So the over-watched out, and then we ended up making more. Anyways, he refused to sell the house, so I have my cash in the house, refused to sell it. And because he’s on the deed, I can’t sell it. I can take it as far as the closing, but I can’t sign the deed to sell the property. And his excuse was I went over budget and it’s my fault, and so I should pay the consequences for it.
Oh, that’s criminal, right?
Brandon Barnes 46:22
Come on. We ended up and I’m a pretty passive dude, and the lady buying it, this was her first home. She was super excited. We had kind of met her. She’d stopped by for something. We’re over there. And so I had the choice. I could blow up the deal, leave my money in it, take legal action, resell it, go through the whole thing, or bite the bullet, sell it, get my rehab money back, and not make a dollar, which is what we ended up doing.
Brandon Barnes 47:00
So when I went to my attorney, because we had a JV agreement done, two things happened. One, my fault, and then two was a learning experience. The person I partnered with never actually signed the document. And my attorney, I signed mine and sent it in. And I never thought to ask for the ratified, fully executed doc, because we turned stuff fast.
We went in, we flipped it, and then when I came to enforce the JV agreement, the attorney that I had paid to write up the JV agreement couldn’t represent either party because he represented both parties in creating it. And so now I had to go hire another attorney. And so for those of you that do it, your paperwork needs to be spot on and control everything to the point of selling the property.
Yeah. Okay, I’m going to add a suggestion there, because one of the things that would have protected you in this situation would have been a title holding land trust.
Brandon Barnes 48:17
Oh, yeah. 100%.
Because a trust is a contract. It’s a contract. And so the contract inside of that trust, now the title is being held by a trustee, not by your JV partner being held by trustee. But what happens to it at the end after the project is done is predetermined the legal is all set up before you even start the project. So as you came in with this one, if you get to the end and he goes, oh, I don’t think I’m going to sell this or I’m not going to do this or whatever, it doesn’t matter. And he doesn’t have to show up for a closing.
He doesn’t have any say in that because it was already predetermined that you guys were going to sell this property and that you were going to split the proceeds in whatever percentage. And it’s all laid out in advance when you form the trust. And then that way he can’t come back, because it has to be unanimous with all parties, anything that changes in the trust. And so he come back and change this later and go, well, you went over budget. Well, he’s with you. He went over budget just as much as you did.
Brandon Barnes 49:28
Yeah. And it was a deal we closed, like January 4 of 2020. I opened 2022 with we’re expected to get a $20,000 check for our portion of the deal, and we ended up getting Bilch, and he made 40 something $1,000. So anyways, that was my experience with it.
Paula says that’s your tuition. Do you agree with that?
Brandon Barnes 50:00
I’m in a Mastermind, but I haven’t paid for coaching program. So I took that as the one saving thing that I did do, and I did have signed early, is I did have my wife as the agent, and I did give her four and a half percent commission. And there was nothing he could do about that, because that was signed and there was no because we ended up paying like 7% commission. Four and a half to hers the listing, two and a half to the buyer.
We at least walked away with a little bit of money. But I learned there that paperwork and maybe it was a trust would have been the right answer. But, yeah, I learned very simple, like, detail it out. Everything signed, there’s no going back. We’re either going to make money or lose money together. There is no change your mind at the end.
Yeah. Well, just so you know, trusts are the same thing that all your rich people, Warren Buffett, Donald Trump, your millionaires, your billionaires, celebrities and rich people alike, they’re all using these title holding land trusts, the asset protection tools. This is something that they’ve been around forever. Like I said, there’s legislation going back to protect homeowners for this very situation back to 1982.
But yeah, these trusts are the way to do real estate. And the way everybody’s taught you to do it is it leaves you exposed. And they’re just assuming that you won’t get caught. Don’t worry about it. It won’t happen to you. Well, if it does, it’s a scary thing. And you’re living proof that that’s just not where you want to be.
Brandon Barnes 51:47
Not fun. I didn’t mean to derail it, but that was my experience with it. Alright, so the first offer, what else do you guys do?
Okay, so we’ve got the full price offer, which we shared before. We’ve got that partner offer, another one. We call it our micro flip. And a micro just basically means the amount of time that we spend in the project. And this is super important, especially right now. People need to understand that if you go out there and you get a property under contract and you’re all excited because you’re going to make $20,000 right now, but this flip takes you eight months or takes you a year to complete this flip, I don’t know what the market is going to do.
I lost my crystal ball. COVID took care of that. But here’s the thing. What happens if you get down eight months and the market crashes in eight months? And now not only are you losing, you’re not going to make your $20,000 profit, but you’re going to end up losing $3,000. It’s just a scenario, but you need to get in and out of flips as fast as possible. And that’s why we have our microflip. Because my microfips, I don’t want to be in any property that’s going to take me a year to do the flip.
No major projects, no redoing foundations or anything else like that. That’s a thing of the past, at least for right now. Right now, we’re specifically looking for properties that I want to be in and out of in four to six weeks. And you’re talking really just like paint, carpeting cleaning, just go mold the front yard or something. It needs to be very little costs and time because we’re able to do this in a way. We had one property where she was a real estate agent, so she could have put this property on the market.
She knew it was going for about 190, right? She could list this property for 190. Her marketing costs, the listing costs, there’s a cost, and it’s very taxing to put a property on the market and get their commissions. So she says, listen, you guys are investors. Pay me $100,000. I’ve got problems with family issues. She was fighting with family about another property. She says, I need $150,000 to pay off this other property.
If you give that to me, you can have it and I’ll be done with it. And we said, we rent. And we said, okay, great. Here’s your $150,000 market. The next day we had a closing, put it back on the market the next day. And we actually had that under contract three days later, and we made $18,000 on that. We did not. I mean, this place was trashed. Let’s move out on her. It was dirty. Disgust!
They took all her fixtures, all off, her appliances.
All they ripped out copper piping out of the bathroom. So they destroyed this place. We did not do anything. We didn’t sweep up. We didn’t clean. We just turned around and sold this to a young couple.
First time home buyer. They’re all excited. They watch the shows on TV they want and make it off of ourselves. Deal with her family issues by just giving her hunter she needed.
Brandon Barnes 55:37
So those microflips are about amount of time. Go ahead.
Brandon Barnes 55:43
No, yeah, that’s key there.
Okay, so microflips and then zombie properties are one I call these in the rough because these are really super rare to find more of these banks are now that the moratorium has been lifted, they’re going to start foreclosing on homes as soon as rates start going up more. Right? So what we’re looking at is these homes that the bank has come in and foreclosed on the property, and the sellers already they gave up. Well, I lost that home.
And they pick up their life and they move on. They’ve moved somewhere else when we get a hold of them because we’re for pre foreclosures and foreclosure homes, and we’re calling them up and saying, hey, listen, I’d like to buy your house at One two, Three Main Street. And they’re like, oh, no, I lost that home. The bank took that home three years ago. And we’re like, oh, I got news for you. The bank never finished that foreclosure.
Your name is still on Title, which is a huge liability issue. And risk, like financial risk for them, because if something happened and when we explain the liability risk that comes along with that, if somebody walks along, their property slips and falls in the snow and cracks their head open and their family sues them for a million dollars, they’re going to sue the person that’s on Title. They’re not going to sue the bank because the bank never finished the foreclosure. And that’s why the bank does that.
As soon as I explain that to the bank and say or no, explain that to the seller and say, hey, this is still in your name. You’re still liable for that property. They’re like, I’ve moved on. I’m living somewhere else. How do I get that out of my name? What do I do? I’m like, great, I’m going to send you over the paperwork. That moves that into a trust. It moves that into a trust, our title holding land trust. And now it takes the title out off their name.
So now they’re protected legally, right? Now what I can do is, now that it’s in a trust that I’m on, I’m now the owner of that property. I can now put somebody into that property, and I can start leasing that property out.
The fun part is, since the bank has started the foreclosure process, they can’t collect any money off that property. So any funds that we receive as rent all goes into our pocket because the bank can’t take it.
Yeah. So if we put somebody into a property and we start collecting $2,500 in rent for this property, we don’t have to do any repairs, we don’t have to fix it up, but we start collecting $2,500 a month and it’s all ours. The bank can’t have any of it legally. They cannot take any money except for the whole thing for the foreclosure. Then what we do is we go back to the bank and we approach the bank and say, hey, listen, I want to do a short sell. I want to buy that property for less than what is owed on the mortgage.
And those things drag out for years. They can drag out forever. We’ve got one that she’s been in it for five years. She’s been living in the property. She’s not having to pay the mortgage for the past five years. And the bank still hasn’t decided if they’re going to accept the short sale. But two options there one, I can continue to just collect $2,500 a month rent free. That’s all my money. Or I go in, and if they accept my offer now, I just got that property at a still. I just got it for a fraction of the price of what was put on.
I already have a buyer for the property, so they can come in and they can buy it. Or if they say, no, I don’t want it, I’m not going to sell you the property short sell it to you. I’m just going to take the property back and I’m going to finish the foreclosure. Okay. In the meantime, for the past six months, eight months, a year, whatever, I’ve been collecting the rent, and I’ve been transparent with the resident that we moved in there, that this is a foreclosure situation, and the bank could come back at any time.
And if they do, you’re going to have 30 days, and you’re going to have to move out. We’ll go find you another place. And they’re usually pretty cool with that. And then in the meantime, I made a lot of money. The resident had a place to live and the bank comes and takes their home back. But we’ve never had the bank take one back yet. They always either do the short sell or they just keep dragging along until the market conditions are favorable for them to finish the foreclosure.
Brandon Barnes 01:00:37
Because they don’t want to be property owners at the end of the day, they want to write loans.
There’s a huge liability risk to bring those onto their books. They have to hire maintenance people and security people and board it up the house and go in and do seasonal checks to make sure the water and the plumbing still works.
Brandon Barnes 01:00:56
And they also can’t write loans if they have so much in assets sitting on the books that’s when they’ll fire sell properties. Because if they have I don’t remember the numbers, but if they have so much in assets sitting on the books, they can’t write loans. They’re like, all right, we got to get rid of these so we can write loans.
Yeah, absolutely. So yes, this is that one and then one of our other ones is arbitrage, like vacation rentals, short term rental arbitrage, right. So we’ve got analyzers and everything that we can very quickly determine if it’s in a good spot for Airbnb. Get this on the books and we come in and we convert the property. This is where it’s great, where somebody doesn’t want to sell you their property right now or they want an exuberant amount for their property.
You can just come in and say, great, how about you rent it to me now and then I’ll buy it from you down the road? See the same pitch if it’s in a good place for an Airbnb. Now we just come in and usually about $15,000 to $20,000, we can convert that property into an Airbnb property. We have a full system, a concierge service that we’ve got an inventory system and we train all our cleaning people, our maintenance people. We put in furniture and we’ve got a design team.
We put in the security cameras and we do everything to convert that to an Airbnb and it’s a fully booked top producing Airbnb. We have concierge people that come in and they have an assigned Airbnb or a concierge person that will book travel to and from the airports. They’ll book restaurants and events, games and plays and other events. And if they need food delivered to the house or something, we take care of all that. We do all that delivery. It’s a full concierge service. So it’s that mint on the pillow experience.
We’re very good at it because we’re a super host. And so we’ve got properties all across the United States. Actually we’ve got properties international around the world. We’re in Brazil right now. We’re buying hotels and converting those into Airbnbs and vacation, luxury rentals, hotels and houses.
And we do all this, we buy them, but we also do the arbitrage where. You don’t have to come up with $500,000 to buy a nice Airbnb house. You’re, you’re, you’re just coming in with enough money to get that upfront. So 20, $30,000 and get yourself into a three year lease. And then you can come back in and you can buy that property or another one as you start getting monthly cash flow.
So this is kind of like the new wholesaling, right? That’s where most investors started as a wholesaler. Now you’ve got this arbitrage thing where we can get you in and we can get you starting to cash flow and then build up your reserves so you can then go and be your own bank instead of having to get hard money because hard money will live.
Brandon Barnes 01:04:27
It’s brutal. And not even the interest rate as much the monthly payments while flipping or doing whatever. So the biggest thing that I’ve gotten from this and what I want a lot of our listeners to understand is what you all have done. A, you’ve created this asset protection thing which is super important. People need to understand it and pay attention to it. As laws change, as things change. That doesn’t mean don’t take action before you understand all of this.
You can still talk to people, you can still talk to sellers, but as you start to contract properties, you need to understand these things. But two, it’s something I also learned very early on is have a bunch of arrows for your quiver. And I said, you allow people to come to you and if they want to sell, they genuinely are ready to move on for whatever capacity, whether it’s financial hardship or retirement, whatever it is, hey, we’re going to present something to you that solves your problem and in turn, we all win.
Yeah, that’s right.
And it’s so much better than just having one option, which is, hey, 70% of value, less repairs. Here’s my assignment. This is the only thing I can offer you. Take it or leave it and those happen. They exist, but at the same time, it only gives you so much to work with.
Yeah, that’s what we do is we help other investors by getting not just teaching them, giving them some videos to watch, but we partner with them, we JV with them to help them, to plug them into our systems because we are doing multiple deals every single month. And if you were to try and figure this out on your own, it took us years to put all the teams in place, the systems, everything that we’re using to just analyze and calculate a deal, to find a deal.
But now we can take somebody that’s wanting to get going, willing to put some work into it. We can just plug them into our systems, generate a motivated seller lead list, put them in where people are actually if they’re talking to we’re analyzing their deals for them. We’re helping them figure out which of these deals would be best, which of these offers would be best to make.
We make they’re learning as they’re going, and so they don’t have to know at all. So like you said, go ahead, take action. You got a team that’s backing you up and can help you.
Brandon Barnes 01:07:14
So you all teach people how to do this, partner with them, kind of. Is that what for anybody interested in learning more about kind of the style of investing?
Yeah, absolutely. And that’s the thing, is that way, again, it’s easier for us to plug you into our systems and immediately just start getting leads. But then now you have a full team that can come and analyze that. We actually fund the deals so you don’t have to go on, find your own hard money, all that stuff, because, see, if Paula’s team underwrites this, we know that this is a good deal. We know that it’s going to make money, and we’ve got the exit strategies and everything in place.
And if we’re helping manage that, I’ve got 100% confidence in our teams, so we can easily fund the deal. And if it’s 250,000 we need and 50,000 for rehab, we can put the $300,000 on the table because it’s something we’ve already underwritten. Instead of just putting some videos and a course out there. That’s what we’ve done, is we’re partnering with investors to take them to the next level and help them build their teams and their systems. But right now, let’s just do some deals and that’s how we teach.
Brandon Barnes 01:08:27
Yeah, which is such a cool way to learn. Like, it’s not the academy, it’s not the book, it’s not the binder, it’s not this, hey, read a whole bunch of stuff, learn what you can, and then go figure it out on your own. You’re kind of teaching the people while you’re doing the deals, which I think is I was very fortunate and I got into the space with a hedge fund. So we just started doing deals. I didn’t know what I was doing.
I was just calling people and next thing you know, I did ten deals. I was like, I have no clue what I just did, but I was learning and talking. I was in a different space, but it allowed me there was no time for education. These funds, they wanted to work quick, and I think that’s what helped me was learning while doing versus learning for three months, your tuition, whatever it is, and then be like, oh, now let me figure out how to do direct mail or drive for dollars or knock or whatever it is. That’s awesome, guys. Is there anything else you want to share? We covered a ton.
Yeah, we do a lot. So I would just say if you go to Info@fortunefirepro.com and also our website is Fortunefirepro.com, that will have some information that will be you can just get some more information, do some background on us see some of our other clients, other partners that we’ve worked with. You can get a good idea of what it is. Again, it’s just doing business differently.
Like you said, instead of just we want to eliminate all our competition and actually turn them into partners because we actually wholesale a lot of our stuff because we can’t handle the bandwidth. We’ll turn that over to people that were bidding on the same properties, and we won the bid because you don’t want to be the low ball cash offer, because then you’re in a bidding war with every other investor. This way we can actually work with other investors and we can all win.
Brandon Barnes 01:10:46
Absolutely. I think that’s one of the coolest things that’s come out of this space in the last couple of years. As you’ve seen a lot of collaboration, you’ve seen a lot of people working together instead of this knife fight in the living room of who can be the fastest to the bottom or whatever it is. I guess in this sense, who can be the first to pay the most. I think who gets the biggest credit for this podcast are both of our kids.
My door only opened once and she looked at me and that was it. So I was proud of her. And I know you have one at home, but thank you all so much. I learned a lot. I hope our listeners I know you guys shared a ton, which is awesome. You pull back the curtains to talk about your business and what you do, and we greatly appreciate that.
Thank you for having us!
Yeah, we appreciate it!
Brandon Barnes 01:11:43
You all have a great one!