From Realtor to Billionaire Real Estate Investor: Alex Camacho’s Journey
Real Estate Investing Podcast with Brandon Barnes Featuring Alex Camacho
Recently the versatile and everyone’s favorite host of REsimpli Podcast, Brandon Barnes, interviewed Alex Camacho – a successful full-time real estate investor and entrepreneur who is considered the leading expert in the Southern California Real Estate Market and a master connector in his circle.
In this podcast, Alex Camacho shared his remarkable and inspiring journey, talked about the key to success in real estate investing, and shed light on REsimpli, which is not only making his life easier but also the thousands of people out there.
Want to succeed in real estate investing and maximize ROI through private landing? We can help!
Undoubtedly, real estate investing is a tough row to hoe. But the right directions and pro tips (like those shared by Alex) can help investors. Before we jump into the subject matter, let’s have a bird’s eye view of Alex Camacho’s journey!
Alex Camacho originally got into real estate as a Realtor. He lost all his money in the 2008 recession. Then started making short sales and realized real estate investors were making a killing. He started his own company, now worth over $1 billion.
He lives in three places: Hawaii, LA, and then Mexico. The entrepreneur moved from Southern California to Hawaii to do real estate deals. He bounced back and forth between Maui and Mexico. Now he spends a lot more time in Southern California because his business has grown.
He is a well-respected real estate coach who frequently speaks about sourcing investment deals; collaborations and partnerships; developing the growth mindset; and work ethic needed to achieve success in real estate investing. To your surprise, in a short span of 4 years, he has closed on over $50,000,000 in just 90 deals.
Like many other successful real estate investors, Alex is also a die-hard fan of REsimpli. Wondering why? Scroll your screens down to know his opinions!
- The life-changing real estate journey of Alex.
- How to get out of real estate investment?
- MLS Vs. Cold call: How to get homes sold?
- How has REsimpli changed his business?
- Do new wholesalers get good deals?
- How to start a marketing business?
- What is the importance of getting enrolled in real estate trainings?
- What’s his number one thing for marketing, sales, data, and operations?
- Advice for investors starting their business.
- How to get in touch with him?
Brandon Barnes 0:06
Hey, what’s everybody? This is Brandon Barnes, host of the REsimpli podcast, where our goal is to put the simple in real estate. So I have an awesome guest, Alex Camacho, here today, traveling all over the world, hanging out in Mexico. How are you doing, Alex?
Alex Camacho 0:23
Amazing, Brandon! Thank you for having beyond, man. It’s a pleasure. We’ve been using REsimpli for a while, and I know we’re going to talk a lot of things real estate, so I’m excited.
Brandon Barnes 0:31
Yeah, excited! First time you and I meeting. Nice to virtually meet you! So, Alex, today we’re going to go over how we use REsimpli, marketing, all the cool strategies. Before we get into that, tell me a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, where you’re living, and what do you do in real estate.
Alex Camacho 0:45
Yeah, so thanks for asking. So to give context to the listeners in the audience, so I’m a full-time real estate investor and entrepreneur. I grew up in Southern California. However, during COVID a couple of years ago, I ended up moving to the island of Maui, Hawaii, and then after that, about a year and a half ago, which is somewhere in that whole journey, I also added Guadalajara, Mexico, where I’m at here now because of a family.
So essentially, I live in three places Hawaii, LA, and then Mexico. I kind of balance between those locations depending on my wants needs and have a bit of a location independence. But I fix and flip property predominantly in Southern California. So we do about 20 deals plus a year doing that. I don’t wholesale very much, but through making money, through flipping real estate, I get to keep some of those as rentals. So I do burrs and all that. And then, because I moved to Hawaii, I’ve got multiple properties there. I got three properties that I rent when I’m not there. And then I also have an apartment building in Phoenix, Arizona.
So I bought my first multifamily last year. That one’s kind of kicking me in the nuts a little bit right now, but it’s a learning experience with everybody in the business. In the last six to eight months, with interest rates changing, we’ve had a lot of challenges, but nonetheless, yeah, I have a great tribe of people in Southern California called the deal maker. So we host meet-ups and try to empower other people through that kind of avenue. And I just love the game, man, of real estate investing. So I’m always happy to share anything I can that might benefit somebody in whatever part of the journey that they’re in.
Brandon Barnes 2:20
That’s awesome, dude. That’s awesome. Yeah. Anybody in the last six or nine months says that real estate hasn’t been tough, then they’re not in real estate. It’s been interesting. And there could be three worst places to live. I mean Southern California, Mexico, and Hawaii. Before you get into real estate, how did you pick Hawaii from Southern California? What brought you out there?
Alex Camacho 2:40
So there’s a great story behind that. A lot of people are familiar with that podcast, bigger pockets. And so one of the hosts on there, Brandon Turner, he’s somebody that I looked up for many years as my journey developed and started and all that. I will listen to that podcast. Well, sometime in 2018, I got the opportunity to basically go to Hawaii on vacation. I think it was 19. I don’t know. It’s a blur now, but 18, 19. Yeah, 19. I’m sorry.
I got a chance to go to Hawaii, and I fell in love, and I was shocked that I had never been there, having my base be in Southern California because a lot of people go to Hawaii for vacation and such. But I went there, and Brandon was so gracious to me. We met at church, and he liked my story, and he basically said, “Hey, man, we have this Mastermind coming up in about ten days. You should come. We have one more slot available. I think you’d be a great final audition there”.
And I was honored, and I said “Yes”. And so I came back ten days there to Hawaii. I went to that Mastermind, and I can say I was definitely the smallest fish in that room, but that’s where they say you need to be because your growth potential is so much greater because of the people that you’re around and exposed to and everything you can learn from them.
So I went back from that Mastermind, super energized, focused, executed the vision that implemented or that I had thought of during that Mastermind. And then Brandon and I kind of stayed in touch. He ended up reaching out during COVID. Everything was locked down, and said, “Hey, man, I want to do some more real estate deals here in Maui. It sounds like you’re selling your primary residence and, you know, Hawaii; why don’t you come out and do some deals together”?
And so I jumped on the opportunity. He ended up switching his desire during that time because he wanted to focus on the podcast and on his open-door capital, but he left the door open for me to move over and say, “Hey, man, we’ll get you on the podcast, which would always be a dream of mine. You’ll be able to surf and snorkel with some of the cool people here on island”. And COVID, everything was ugly in Los Angeles, so I was like, Shoot, let’s do it!
So I hopped over and didn’t do any deals right away. Just started working on creating a remote flipping company in Southern California. So I did that and just lived idle life, man, for a good part of now, it’s been almost a good two and a half years, but because I was already remote, I started traveling, doing other stuff because you can get a little bit small. I’m saying I don’t have any kids, and Maui is a little bit slow sometimes.
So I started going to Mexico and saying hi to family and another traveling, and I just really love my return on investment. I’d go for two weeks in Mexico, and I just barely spend any money. I lived like a king, and so it was kind of an extension of the whole life-by-design concept that I try to live by. And I said, “Well, why don’t I just add this to where I live? And I could just bounce back and forth between Maui and Mexico, and I’ve been doing that”.
And then now I’ve transitioned to spending a lot more time in Southern California because my business has grown, the deal maker tribe has grown, and also market shifting. But I still get to go to the other places whenever I want. And when things kind of come up, And I do business in these places, so it’s not like it’s all vacation. I have a whole set up here, as you can see in every place that I live. So I’m able to still operate, and so I don’t have to feel like I can’t get work done just simply because I’m in a different location, different time zone.
Brandon Barnes 5:51
That’s an awesome mindset to have is to not be. I always admire. I live in Charleston. I flip in Charleston. In fact, I’m trying to wholesale a house literally like a minute from my primary residence. And it’s so cool to me, the people that are like, I can be anywhere and do anything because really you can you build systems and processes. You can flip houses in LA or anywhere in Southern California, from Maui, from Mexico.
Alex Camacho 6:18
Yeah. I do want to add a little context there, though. Keep in mind I’ve been doing this for six years now. In the first two and a half to three, I was mainly working in Southern California, did 60, 70 deals before I even moved. So I don’t advocate just, oh, let’s just pick a market and start doing it without any real knowledge, experience, or trusted people, boots on the ground, people that can really execute whether it be flipping or wholesaling or any of the strategies that people talk about or investors do.
So I had a lot of things that I could a solid foundation that allowed me to build it this way, but it did take a lot of time and a lot of effort. And I will say there are a lot of benefits from investing in your backyard and the focus of concentration. But for me, I value lifestyle highly. So other people, maybe they want to make more money. So I think if I was based inside of California full time as I’m seeing now, as I’m transitioning back, I see that there are opportunities may be that I’ve missed because I’ve been remote, but I wouldn’t go back and change it either.
Brandon Barnes 7:15
And I think you nailed it. And I’ll use the example of the house that, a minute from where I live, I have my truck wrapped. The guy literally drove by our house and said, “Hey, I just evicted in it. I’m selling my house. If you want it, you can have it before a Realtor within”. I walked down there with my kids, we walked it, made an offer, boom.
Those opportunities don’t necessarily come if you don’t live here, but you can return that in the sense of building a lifestyle that you want. And you see a lifestyle by design, and you’re absolutely right. Don’t just go pick some random city and somewhere else. Don’t know anybody, no contractions. Like, I’m going to flip a home.
Alex Camacho 7:47
Yeah. And because of this lifestyle, Brandon, let’s say I pop into a city like Arizona Phoenix that I invest in. I am a big advocate of using social media for a tool for your business. So I network of people, and people love my lifestyle, so they want to meet with me. I connect with people, and they’re like, oh, cool.
So I connect with people in other ways that maybe I wouldn’t if I was just calling only LA home. So there’s just pros and cons to all of it. But just make sure that you understand that and just be conscious about the lifestyle that you’re building is what I advocate for. It’s not necessarily just like everybody could live what lifestyle I do, but I think people want freedom. That’s why they get in real estate. And I love location freedom.
Brandon Barnes 8:26
And you nailed it. You executed the vision that you built for yourself. That was what people need to understand, is like, you built your vision, you executed. My vision is different. My next-door neighbor’s vision is different. Everybody’s in it. So what got you into real estate? You’ve been doing it, you said, six years now? Seven years, something like that?
Alex Camacho 8:47
YES. So originally, I got into real estate as a Realtor. I had been in the mortgage well, going back, I got into banking right out of high school, which kind of set the foundation, but there was a limit to income there. So I was there for five years, loved it. But I ended up moving on to the mortgage business, and then I did really well during the mortgage business, but I didn’t love that overall business and the mortgages and rates, and it just didn’t really resonate with me. But I made a ton of money, and then the market crashed back in 2008, and then I ended up losing a couple of houses.
I ended up losing everything I had. But I was in my early mid-20s, making a couple of hundred thousand a year, just reckless popping bottles at the nightclubs, doing all the things that someone at that age making a ton of money will do, and had no mentors, no real good habits. And then I stumbled upon real estate agents as a way of me kind of getting back into the game because it was so prevalent during the recession. Everybody was a realtor doing short sales and things like that.
So I got my license, and then I found that I love the physical asset of real estate and being able to control it, transform it, and everything it provides. And I think it impacts everybody. So I think I just found what I really wanted to be in, which it was real estate, not real estate finance. But all that experience was super valuable. And then I started doing all these short sales, and I noticed that all the real estate investors that I was selling these properties to were making a killing. I mean, they were making like 100 grand on a deal, and I was making, like, 10.
So it was simple math to me. I’m like, well, they’re making this, and I’m making that, and I’m doing all the work, the heavy lifting to get this short sale approved or these ugly foreclosure deals as an opportunity for them, then I really want to do what they’re doing. But at the time, I still didn’t have any money. I had lost it all. And so it kind of was just a seed that was planted in my head to be a real estate investor. But I didn’t take action.
I actually got lured back into the mortgage business on the wholesale side, and that didn’t really pan out, but it did lead me to do some Airbnb arbitrage, which is something that I just kind of stumbled upon because I was always a fan of Airbnb. And so, as I started doing some Airbnb arbitrage, I noticed that this is kind of on shaky ground. I don’t think I’m going to be able to scale this up. I really wasn’t making that much money. But it got to a point where it was kind of consistent.
I was making like ten grand. Well, my brother and I were making like five and five each kind of on a system. And I just decided at that point, well, this is my juncture. This is kind of like the pivotal point that I can go into investing because I came across bigger pockets of podcasts around that time. That was around 2016, 17. And so 2017 is when I went all in. Went to go work for a real estate investor.Really successful guy out of San Fernando Valley, in LA. Worked for him for like a year. Taught me a lot, but I didn’t make very much money. It was very low pay, lots of hours, cold calling, lot of failure.
But in that year, I was able to get him over a dozen deals. Kind of proof of concept and understand, like, hey man, I could find consistent deals. And then, after that, I got recruited by a bigger company, and they were doing much more volume. Their profit margins were less, but they had a lot more capital. And so I would call them kind of like a mini hedge fund, and they were flipping at a really high scale, over 150 properties annually. And so I learned a lot of systems processes from them, worked with them for like a good year and a half.
And then right at the middle of that third year is when I kind of broke through, had a huge six-figure month by doing kind of my own deals inside, working with this other company. And I had saved enough. So right around year number three, going to four, is when I decided to start my own company. And so basically, the last three years or so, I’ve had my own company, and that’s kind of in the time frame that I’ve kind of scaled it up, moved to Hawaii, and then everything else. But yeah, so it’s been a crazy run, but I’m super happy where I’m at now, and I feel like I’m just getting warmed up.
Brandon Barnes 12:33
Alex Camacho 12:33
Brandon Barnes 12:34
And you learned, I mean, 150 in this company operated out of California.
Alex Camacho 12:39
Brandon Barnes 12:37
That’s moving a bunch of homes in California.
Alex Camacho 12:43
Yeah, exactly! And that’s what was shocking. I’m like, d***, they were like a mini hedge fund because they were buying houses at such a high rate that it was shocking to me because it broke that limiting belief of like, oh, hey, buying a couple of houses a month is a big deal. Well, they’re buying sometimes a couple of houses a day from the auction, from MLS, from wholesalers, and there’s months I would buy them five, six, seven houses in one month.
And it just really helped me to see so many transactions because I saw good 60, 70 deals my first two and a half years. Plus, I saw them in that year and a half buy another 100 homes. So just in that two and a half year period of time, I saw a couple of hundred deal deals to this day. I wouldn’t be where I’m at without that experience, even though I made very little money.
Brandon Barnes 13:25
So, yeah, so you saw the limiting belief being able to expand, going from, hey, I can buy one or two a month, or whatever it is to wait, these people are buying multiple a day, which once you can see it believing it is so much easier.
Alex Camacho 13:38
Yeah, exactly! And that’s what Masterminds are about. That’s what these seminars and conferences or just getting around other people that are doing things that are far past your experience or what you expected or what you think is possible is super valuable for many reasons because, like you said, it breaks that limiting belief. So to me, buying a couple of houses a month is nothing because I’ve seen so much more than that. It really is helpful with breaking those limited beliefs.
Brandon Barnes 14:07
Awesome! So you said you were younger, you were in the mortgage world, you said no mentor. I think you have one now, or you’re in some kind of program. Tell me about that. How has that helped also shape kind of you creating your own business?
Alex Camacho 14:24
Yeah, that’s a great segue there because I believe highly in mentors. I read this amazing book called Mastery by Robert Green at the beginning of my journey, and it highlighted this. I talk about it often. I’m sure other people have listened to my podcast. I’ve mentioned it or the podcast that I’ve been on that it had this super thought-provoking chapter about being an apprentice. And since I had already made the commitment of, hey, I’m going to give this a decade of my life because I had failed in the mortgage business, but I had also succeeded, right?
And so I wanted to kind of really succeed at a high level. So I read this book, and it talked about how people back in the days, welders and carpenters and people like that, would spend seven years as an apprentice before they went and did it on their own. And by then, they had already become kind of a master of their craft. So I really took that approach. And so my journey has always been about the learning part, more so than the earning part, because I realized that the more I learn, the better skills I have, the more money that I can command, demand, and earn.
And so after I left that other company and I went off and start my own company, it’s not like they taught me how to run a company easily. I now had the skills to acquire property at a discount consistently, but I didn’t have the skills to be a leader or to manage people or to hire and train, all the other things like that. So I got into this program with Ryan Pinata. I think he said he’s a mutual friend of ours. I had met him at Brandon Turner’s Mastermind, so I was already a fan of him. And then we became friends, or we knew each other through that Mastermind. About six months after that, he called me up about a deal. He locked up in LA because he’s in Las Vegas.
And he said, “Hey, dude, can you help me vet this deal? This is kind of not really our buy box. We’re going to wholesale this thing”. That’s cool. I helped out my buddy, gave him my thoughts on the numbers, and then he says, “Hey, do you want to buy it? I mean, we’re going to wholesale this price is where we have it locked up at”. And I’m like, “Hell yeah, let’s do it”.
So he ended up making 35,000, if I recall, on that wholesale deal. And then I went and flipped the house and made, like, 93,000. So it was like, oh, man, we boys. We locked up here. And then he hit me up and said, “Hey, I think you’d be great for the program that I’m about to launch coaching program”. It was still relatively new what he was doing, and it was an easy fit, man. It just was like, let me double down on this relationship. He was doing a lot more volume than me, and he’s been a fantastic mentor.
And now, I’ve been in this program almost three years. I help a lot of the junior students. I’m a coach in the program, and through his guidance and advice and everything he works on, I’ve also kind of been able to grow my own brand and all the things that I’ve worked on in Southern California and then also brand in terms or somebody that not only did I go to Mastermind 2019, but I’ve gone to it every single year since. So you got to pay to play sometimes.
Even though I knew all this other stuff, people think, like, the learning just stops, or you just get to a point where it’s like, okay, now I know it. But it’s a moving target for yourself, for the business, for the industry, for your market. So you got to be reinvesting. And sometimes, that’s about the network, sometimes about specific tactics and techniques. And so you got to be on the hunt for the next thing because it’s always going to change. And also, you’re always evolving and growing, and things are moving. Things move at such a fast pace now I can’t even keep up with everything. Yes, I’m advanced in some aspects, but I’m also really junior at beginning and many other parts of investing as well.
Brandon Barnes 17:48
Yeah, you’re right. It’s moving so fast. You have two really awesome people in your corner in their Masterminds and their programs that can help solve a lot of those problems. And what’s cool about it is you’ll probably solve the problem on your own regardless. But if you have people who’ve been there and done it, you can speed up that process of understanding it and fixing it. So let’s talk about your brand deal maker. Tell me a little about it. So Southern California, you do a meet-up once a month, is what you said.
Alex Camacho 18:15
Yeah. So I’m a big fan of the philosophy of, like, hey, if you don’t see something in the world that you think should exist, you shouldn’t go create it. So during COVID, what happened was that we couldn’t get together in person anymore. And by then, I had already had some type of progress, success, whatever you want to call it. So I wanted to connect with other people, see what other people were up to, but we couldn’t because things were locked down.
So I created this YouTube channel called Alex Camacho TV, and we started doing a weekly webinar. And so we just started just kind of host these weekly free investor webinars. Sometimes we interview guests. Sometimes we just kind of talk about specific deals we’re working on. Sometimes we would actually go in granular detail on a subject that we wanted to teach, that we thought we knew, and it grew.
My Facebook group now has like 1000 people in there, the deal makers. And then we started also doing meet-ups once things kind of opened up. So that’s grown. Now it’s always 200, 300 people. So it’s pretty large, and it’s usually free or just like $20, $30 instead of ten since Southern California. Next one we’re having is being Hollywood. And so if people go to Alex Camacho TV, my YouTube channel, if they go to the Facebook group, they can just kind of get more information about that because it’s something I’m passionate about. It’s called deal makers because it’s funny.
My Instagram handle used to be a real estate deal maker. My backup count still is right now because I’m having some issues with my main IG, but that’s another story. And now it’s just grown because I would go into the videos and say, “What’s up, my deal makers”? Because I didn’t want to be like everybody else. And now that’s just kind of we coined the term a little bit. It’s not a new term, but I think everybody wants to be deal makers. So we create an environment for people to come in and be the very best deal maker they can be.
Brandon Barnes 19:55
That’s awesome, dude. Community is awesome. That’s a really smart thing during COVID to have moved into the webinar space. Not even necessarily a webinar, but I’m sure you allowed people to just come in and see it for free.
Alex Camacho 20:08
Yeah, it was a zoom. It was like a free zoom. But we called it a webinar, like Ask Alex webinar series, just because a lot of people to come in and ask questions by that point already worked on 100 deals or so. And then we’re able to kind of answer people’s questions, and people really liked it. And then it just kind of grew and grew, and we continued to feed into it. Well, we have one pretty much every single month, and it’s always 150 or so people at least.
Brandon Barnes 20:30
That’s really cool. It’s really smart to take an advantage of, especially in a place like California, where I imagine lockdown was nuts. Like couldn’t go anywhere, couldn’t go, couldn’t do anything. Definitely, nobody’s going to let you host an event with 100 people in a room. So that’s a really smart way to pivot and take advantage of something that people coined as negative in a sense. If we can’t meet up, can’t gain it. Hey, let me create this virtual room. We can all get together.
Alex Camacho 20:56
Yeah, of course!
Brandon Barnes 20:58
So, anybody, you’re in Southern California, and is there a certain same date, same time every month?
Alex Camacho 21:03
Yeah, every single month. We were doing it like the last Thursday of the month. So that’s typically when it is and just let people know that, hey, we’re going to have a meet-up. It’s usually in the evening time, like six to nine. And people just have drinks and then just talk about sometimes we have speakers. Other times it’s really, really about the networking because I found, through soliciting, a lot of feedback from people that attend the meetings because there are so many of them; hey, what do you like about it? And the consensus is always the same. I like networking with people that I could do business with, or I could learn from. And so we just try to minimize all the speakers and all that type of stuff to just give value. But people are here to meet other people.
Brandon Barnes 21:43
Yeah, that’s awesome. So now let’s talk about some stuff that I’m sure everybody also wants to learn about, and that’s some real estate. We’ll talk about some specifics. What is your go-to marketing channel that you’re using to get homes right now?
Alex Camacho 21:55
Yeah, so our go-to right now because it is a moving target. So I think it’s not always going to be the same. I used to be big on off-market PPC, cold calling, and all that, but that shifted. And so we’ve gone to a little bit more of the model of getting deals through the MLS, through working with wholesalers, and through social media. I would say those are kind of our bread and butter right now.
The MLS, for me has always been consistent out of the 140 deals that I’ve done. Now, at this point, at least half of those have been sourced from the MLS. But it’s because we have a system around it, and we also build contacts and connections through the MLS. And so it’s not necessarily just that there isn’t deals on MLS. If you know how to vet deals quickly, if you know how to make offers in a way that you get counters and get consideration, then you can consistently buy houses from the MLS.
Now, if you’re in a smaller market, it’s a little bit different. I think there are nuances to everything because I’m in central California, and it’s an enormous geographical area, and we’re farming deals all over the place. We have three people in acquisitions. I mean, there’s one person literally on MLS almost all day, all day, just making offers. If you don’t have something like that, then you’re not going to get deals there. So I’m happy to go and granular these on our MLS.
Strategy number two is just connecting with wholesales consistently. And that has worked for us over and over again because wholesalers go out there and do the heavy lifting. We’re more of a flipping company, more of an acquisition company than we are. Wholesalers will wholesale on occasion, but it’s just something that I found that especially newer wholesalers, that maybe I can help out in their journey, like I said through the meet-ups, through all my experience, through all my contacts. So I really try to bring new wholesalers up, and in that, they have little bit more potential commitment to do a deal with me.
I’m going to be real. They’re a really advanced wholesaler, probably; they got 1000 buyers in their buyer list. They’re probably not going to send me a deal first. So I think there’s a little context there. And then, finally, through social media, I found that there are just a ton of people on there. So I’m on there constantly promoting that we’re buying or what we’re buying or what we’re rehabbing so then people can reach out to us and send us opportunities and want to work with us through those channels as well.
Brandon Barnes 24:15
That’s awesome. I think you nailed it. A MLS, what I got out of that is you are making offers to get counters. You’re not reaching out to the realtor, and the realtor just blowing you off. It’s a hey, even if you’re 50 grand off, it’s like, hey, give me an offer, especially in somewhere like Southern California. And I think that’s the key for anybody making offers on the MLS is try to make something or create your offer to where you get a counter because then you can start talking and understanding why they’re selling.
Alex Camacho 24:46
Yeah. And if you make enough offers, you’re going to run across agents that just you resonate with, that you make connections with. And then sometimes they have another deal, unrelated, that they could send you because they like the way you conducted yourself as an investor. And so the saying of contacts, equal contracts, and if you don’t get the counter, then you’re not going to be in the, like I said, you want consideration. And sometimes you might be off a little bit, but you just really want that engagement. And then sometimes people fall off and don’t perform.
So then, guess what? If you performed well, and even if you weren’t the highest offer, they’re going to come back around and give you the deal. So there are multiple ways there that you can get that deal. Not necessarily just because you’re making a volume of offers. That means you’re getting a volume of contacts from the MLS, which are valuable. And then also, if you’re looking at a lot of properties, you’re getting better at knowing your neighborhoods better and better and better. And then these boomerang deals, we like to call them, they’ll just come back around because they fall out of escrow all day, every day. So, yeah.
Brandon Barnes 25:49
Now in California, are you all looking to add square footage, make things a little bit bigger because of the price per square foot? Have you learned how to look at a house and say, I can make this two, one, a three-two really easy, which can bring the value up in California, multiple six figures, which offers yes?
Alex Camacho 26:06
Yes. What we’re doing we’re adding small unit developments to our repertoire now. So that’s kind of our next goal is to start working on those houses that are in certain lot sizes with certain zoning, where we could tear down the house, essentially build four units. And then they’re allowing us to build two ADU concurrently, so essentially, I’m going to replace that single family with six units. And then those plays are super lucrative, and they could be done in about 18 months, sometimes as soon as one year.
So I’m going to be working on a handful of those this year because they can make 10x what I would make on a flip. And I could also either keep it or flip it for huge returns. So just to kind of diving into the developer space, although there’s a lot of barriers of entry, we’re talking about making half a million dollars, a million dollars on a deal in a year, year and a half. That’s 10x what I make on a flip. So I’m getting into that space, buddy. Let’s go.
Brandon Barnes 26:55
Yeah. And it’s nice. Have one of those sitting out every year or two, and then it’s like, oh, wait, all of a sudden, I’m going to make seven figures this month because I did the work 18 months ago, and having a couple of those laid out is always nice to have in the pipeline.
Alex Camacho 27:07
Yeah, exactly! And I was resistant because I operate more in the single-family, cosmetic, working-class kind of neighborhoods, and development doesn’t pencil out as much in those type of neighborhoods. So now what we’re doing is we’re just targeting other more mid-tier, higher-tier neighborhoods with specific zoning. And so it’s not a huge list, but it is something that’s totally within our capacity. And now I understand it, and I’m seeing other people do it because I’m spending more time in LA. So just that graduation of from investor to developer. Now I’m searching for this year.
Brandon Barnes 27:36
Nice. And then you said with wholesalers to go back on that, you kind of talked about bringing up newer wholesalers. I hear flippers. I’m a flipper primarily myself. I’ll wholesale a couple of year, maybe. But I hear so many people complain about these new wholesalers sending out crappy deals. They don’t open them. They don’t respond to them. They treat them like crap. I’m the opposite. I open the email, and I just say, hey, what’s going on? I’m the opposite.
Like, I respond to them, and I say, “Hey, this deal doesn’t make sense. What kind of traction are you getting? Can I help you with it”? That deal itself may not be a deal, but I wasn’t the person that just shut the door on them, treated them like they were an idiot, didn’t know what they were doing. Then the next time they say, “Hey, Brandon, I got one, two, three, main street kind of interested. Can you help me lock this up”?
Alex Camacho 28:28
Yes. So I have found that the first five to ten deals a new wholesaler does, they might need either help with, or maybe they underprice a little bit because they don’t have this huge, robust disposition system yet. So what I try to do is try to elevate those, help those people, and then they remember me, and they appreciate it. And there’s more of a personal connection there and a relationship that can then develop into something else where someone comes up like, hey, I got to post, click on this. I know Alex will perform. This is his buy box.
Yeah, maybe I’m going to make 10,000 less, but I know it’s going to get done, and I’m not going to have to worry about it. And then I could just start marketing more with the money I’m going to make. And so I think there’s a lot of value you from helping people early on in the journey if you’re a little bit more advanced. So that’s what the approach that I take is, hey, maybe I can help this person out more. But I work with other really advanced wholesalers as well.
I just tend to find that I had the most success with the ones that are earlier on because I can help them the most as well. So it’s just kind of like, hey, who can I work with? And I’m not really their avatar. If you’re a really advanced wholesaler that has this robust disposition system, I’m probably not your buyer. Why? Because usually, they’re looking for like a hedge fund that’s going to take a lower return on investment.
They’re usually looking for somebody that maybe might be a buy and hold investor that will pay more, or they’re using, frankly, they’re looking for an inexperienced flipper to just kind of take a bad deal. So I’m not any one of those three, except sometimes to buy and hold on certain products. But I like to make money and buy properties that appreciate in Hawaii and or multifamily and other more property owner, not tenant-friendly states.
So like Arizona, Texas and Florida, and other parts of the country, so in Southern California, I’m not going to take a really thin buy and hold deal with the tenant laws. It’s just not my buy box. But see, it’s understanding my counterpart. It’s understanding the other person. It’s understanding where the homeowner is coming from. It’s understanding where that wholesaler is coming from. It’s understanding where the people in your network where you get value and help them the most. And so I think psychology is super important when it comes to real estate investing because you have to put your shoes in the other party’s shoes. So to be able to say, “Hey, how can I really work with this person effectively”?
Brandon Barnes 30:45
Yeah, I think those are all really good points. And you’re telling me you don’t want to have to evict a tenant in California?
Alex Camacho 30:54
Brandon Barnes 30:55
I’ve heard some horror stories of non-tenant-friendly states and having to take care of that stuff.
Alex Camacho 30:59
Yeah. And then you have the holding costs and the legal costs, and it’s a big burden, and I’d rather avoid that. I have one house that I haven’t been able to get into in almost 18 months, and that hasn’t paid the rent that costs me $4,000 a month. But on the flip side of that, I bought an amazing property in Hawaii that I’m up a million dollars in equity that was tenant friendly. But I read the situation, and I can’t say that it’s all been bad because you do get those bad apples. But I’ve had some very lucrative deals come across my desk as well in California and Hawaii. So I’m not going to knock it completely.
Brandon Barnes 31:34
Yeah, alright, so you’re doing mainly MLS, wholesalers, and then social media. So how have you when you talk about social media? Are you connecting with other investors? Are sellers signing you on social media? Kind of. Who is your avatar that you’re looking for through your social media post?
Alex Camacho 31:49
Yeah, so the main avatar I’m looking for is, as I mentioned, the newer wholesalers, real estate agents in my market and contractors, and then people that potentially want to work with me. So I think as an investor or business owner, you’re mainly an investor, but you’re always looking for deals, you’re always looking for money, you’re always looking for talented people, and you’re always looking for contractors. That’s if you’re rehabbing the property. Right?
And so my target audience is kind of those four categories. However, it kind of changes. So I’m promoting an event that I’m doing in Maui, for example, at the end of this month. So I’m promoting four people that intermediate, advanced investors that want to join me in that mastermind. Other times I’m promoting just for newer people or anybody that wants to join the investor meet-ups that we have every month.
Or I’m sharing content that could help newer investors that, earlier on in their journey that, maybe can resonate with my energy or my delivery, or my channel. And so it’s just something that it’s not quantity you’re looking for. Everybody thinks, oh man, why don’t have 20,000 followers like you do? Well, I didn’t start that way. I started with one follower, just like you did. But if you’re producing content and you’re taking action, thing is being more of a producer of content than a consumer of content.
So I think that approach is super valuable and that mindset because it’s not only doing the work, it’s documenting the work that you’re doing is really the hard part, and documenting it consistently and in entertaining way is what’s difficult. But it’s a long game because once you build some type of following, some type of brand, then people then know you. And so you’re building the short, mid, and long game, right?
The short game is I’m making an offer today that I want to buy a house today. The mid-game is maybe just building a relationship, going to a meet-up, meeting some people. The long game is social media because then I’m building a whole brand around everything I’m doing. So if you’re not working on all three buckets, then you’re missing the boat or missing opportunity.
Brandon Barnes 33:39
And you said it earlier, you did almost two full years, and maybe you did two full years of this weekly webinar, zoom, whatever you want to call it, meet-up. There are not a lot of people who want to commit to that. They’re like, hey, I just want Instagram and get a blue check mark and have so many thousand followers and don’t realize, yeah, so you did a commitment to something every week.
And I’m sure there were times when not a lot of people were on. I’m sure there were times where there was a ton more people on, and you deliver the same value, same entertainment every single time. People are going to understand that, appreciate that.
Alex Camacho 34:14
Yeah. And we track our numbers. We have like 100 hours of watch time every week where basically, we know people are watching the stuff that we put out there. And it was difficult, but I think at the beginning, doing the webinar took me, like, I think, a day and a half to kind of prepare for that week. And then it turned to like 6, 7 hours. And then it got to a point where it’s the hour on the webinar, an hour of prep, and that was it.
So 2 hours out of my week. But it was a high-impact thing. We got a system around it. But yeah, man, it was difficult to be traveling full-time and doing a webinar here, there. But we made the commitment, and we saw value from it. And like you said, sometimes it would be like 12 people on, and sometimes it would be 100 people on.
So regardless, we gave the value. Now people ask me questions on my Instagram, like, hey, you know what, here’s this video that’s going in an hour in detail about the question you just asked me that’s going to help you more than whatever question or I’m not going to maybe be able to back to you. So there you go. Watch a webinar. And if you have any other questions after that, hit me back. Brandon Barnes 35:10
I love it. Yeah, it’s a one-to-many model. Hey, I answered this question. Check this out. If you watch this entire video and you have more questions, then reach out, and then we can talk further. Cool, man. So tell me, how are you using REsimpli in your business today?
Alex Camacho 35:24
Yeah, so when I went to go look for a CRM, there are all the ones you see out there. I think it’sPodia, and I don’t even know all the names of them, but it was Podia and all those, and then very simply kept on popping up as something that people like. For me, I’m all about the user interface and just say if it’s something that I wouldn’t use, then I don’t want to expect my acquisitions people to do it.
So we did research. We did research, and arguably is not the least expensive model out there. But I don’t care about cost because, for me, it’s more of like, will my team be able to use it? And I just really love the interface and then all the training and then all the models and everything I’ve seen of it, I’m like, D***, this thing’s kick ass. I like this thing.
And so we went with it, and we’ve been happy ever since just because it has a lot more just usability than all the other ones. And because of that, you’re dealing on a fast-paced business. You need to be able to just get into your CRM, boom, boom, boom, and get the information you need and set the follow-up and keep a track of all your inventory and all your opportunities. We just found that Ari simply did that for us way better than everything else we tried before.
Brandon Barnes 36:32
Yeah, that’s awesome. And it’s nice to be able to log into one software. You don’t have to get into Call Rail to then get into Mojo Dialer to then do something else and push and zap everything over. I know that was key for us is just we can go in. We all have one login. That’s it. My favorite feature in it is the renovation side scope of work, tracking all that, the numbers, because as you know, somebody who fixes and flips, man, those little $100 runs to Home Depot Lowe’s can crush a budget. It don’t seem like it. That’s awesome, dude.
So the last thing that we have is four questions. It’s kind of our rapid-fire segment. Nothing fast, nothing crazy, but it is geared towards the newer investor. And what we’re going to ask is, what’s your number one thing for data? What’s your number one thing for marketing? What’s your number one thing for sales and for operations? So first thing we’ll say is if you could give a newer investor one piece of advice on data, what would it be?
Alex Camacho 37:34
Yeah, so on data, I think you need to work on data that’s a little bit more specific, such as like a driving for dollars list where it’s very specific, that type of properties in the areas that you want to focus on. And then you also have to do the generic type, so you can’t just pull a big list absentee owners and expect that to be your end-all, be-all. And so it’s really kind of a moving target on that as well, where you’re constantly, constantly looking at the data and then seeing what’s working, what’s hitting or not.
So, for example, with our cold calling, we needed to make sure that we had fresh data for our team. But once we were able to see that, hey, we need the data to be the best numbers possible, we need to have it constantly refreshed every single month or two months because then it gets old. So I think it’s just understanding that’s something that’s like an ongoing thing, and it’s super valuable.
So somebody that’s more data-driven or more spreadsheet driven, you need to have someone on your team focus on that because managing all the list, it can get cumbersome, but again, it’s super valuable because that’s your opportunities there. So make sure that you’re constantly working on refining and improving your system for getting the best data possible and tinkering with the different filters and all that. But it’s almost a full-time job, it really is to manage all the data.
Brandon Barnes 38:58
Data management is a nuts amount of work, 100%, but it simply makes it easier with this list acting. So number two, for sale or for marketing, what would be if somebody newer, let’s say a little bit lower budget, is getting ready to start marketing? How would you advise them to start?
Alex Camacho 39:16
Yeah, so for marketing, I advocate more of an approach of, like, what’s your current bandwidth? What’s your strength? So, for example, if you’re strong, strong in sales, then I would think cold calling would be a great way to kind of do outbound marketing for yourself, and pretty simple. Now if you’re a tech kind of person, very techy, then I’ve had a lot of success with Google Ads and the Google PPC campaigns because there are less leads, but they’re super motivated.
So I think you need to kind of take close inventory of the different marketing channels and then pair them up with your strengths. So that way, you’re giving yourself the best opportunity to have success because now it just fits you. Also, some people try to do this job or try to do this business kind of on a more of a part-time basis, like you got a full-time well-paying gig. Well, if most of your days tied up with your demanding job, then you probably don’t want to be spending a lot of money on Google PPC for expensive leads. But you probably do want to be attending networking events on your off time. You do want to be making offers on MLS and things like that.
So I think there are different acquisitions channels, for example, like text message marketing. We’ve done pretty good on that as well. And if you have a demanding job but then you have some off time there, that could be a good fit. So just analyze the different marketing channels and see what your budget is and see what your strengths are, and try to match those up. And then, once you get at one or two marketing channels, don’t be afraid to get into other marketing channels because now you’ve got success going on one channel.
So start trying to stack on that add on top of that because it’s a constant growth of the marketing for us. Also, we have done well with marketing ourselves through social media. As I just mentioned, social media might not cost a ton, so that’s something that I constantly tell people that they should be doing because if you’ve had any level of success in anything in your life. You’re not sharing stuff online.
I encourage people to think of it more from like, hey, you’re withholding value from the world because you’re not out there putting yourself out there and what’s working for you, and no one else is going to kind of promote for you. Who else is going to ring that loud horn and say, “Hey, I do this. I’m great at this”? That needs to be you. And I think that’s done through social media right now.
Brandon Barnes 41:37
Awesome! I love it! And I think the takeaway I got is know your strengths and know your budget. Lean into both of those two. That’s a good place to start and add on. All right, so how about sales? You did sales, you cold calling, all kind of stuff. What would be a piece of advice you’d give for sales?
Alex Camacho 41:55
Yeah, so big piece of advice for me would be that I think sales training is important. I think there are a couple of sales trainers out there. I know Steve Trang, Maxine Mendez comes to mind. I think there’s also John Martinez. So there’s three or four, I think, sales investors, sales gurus that I don’t even like to use guru, but just sales trainers for investors. That’s valuable that you get experience with them or attend a workshop. Some of them are really affordable. Also, being around other strong closers, I am a closer, so I can help other people become a closer. I think some people have more sales personalities than others.
And I think people that I’m a fan of personality testing assessments to see if you have a sales personality. Because if you’re someone that’s introverted and doesn’t really have that type of personality, and it’s kind of like really swimming upstream for you, then maybe it’s better for you just to hire on that part for your business, although you could learn it. I think we all need to develop influence, develop persuasion. It’s valuable skill for anybody, but I think it’s easier for some other than others. And so I think it just puts yourself in this position where you can get better at it and confident. But if it’s something that’s a natural strength, then double down on that because then you can become a master at it.
Brandon Barnes 43:46
Oh, yeah. Good sales, man. And similar to what we talked about in the beginning, there’s nothing wrong with hiring mentors and getting in trainings and being in those rooms. Yeah, you’ll learn about sales, but you’re also going to be around a bunch of other people doing sales. And then, last thing from the newbie building a business from an operational standpoint, whether it be hiring, firing, training, whatever, what’s one key piece of advice you would give somebody new? Starting their business?
Alex Camacho 43:44
Yeah. So one book that I love, and I think you’re probably familiar with it is called Traction. Discusses the entrepreneur organization, I think, business model of this way of running a business, and it fits really well with the real estate investing. So I would say definitely read that book. And the follow-up book to that is called Rocket Fuel which is just described as this mindset of, hey, there’s typically going to be a CEO, a COO, or what they call a visionary in the book and an integrator.
And it just shows that we can’t build great companies or build great businesses kind of all on our own. And there is a lot of value from having a partner or somebody kind of in the seat of driving the operations of the business. For me, I’m more on the visionary side. Although I have plenty of capacity and skills within the operational part, I found that I’m better at building the big relationships and closing the big deals and working on the social media, and working on certain things than I am just going and working on spreadsheets and working on things that are systems related like the CRM.
I don’t really know how to use re simply that well because I don’t use it that much personally. But I use it enough to know that this is great for my team, and then my operations supervisor is the one that’s kind of really helped integrate them the team and always optimizing it. So just understanding that your skills are best used in certain parts of the business, and so that book has been super helpful.
Obviously, there’s other stuff in addition to that, but I think that’s a good basis for you just have that mindset of, hey, to build a business, I need to have different departments. And then everybody needs to have a role in that department. And that needs to be defined for it to have success and for me to have a real business.
Brandon Barnes 45:16
I’ve heard that book. I love the book. I’ve read it. It’s something that new business owners learning that I think Rocket Fuel doesn’t get mentioned enough. The idea of like the visionary, integrator, CEO, COO, whatever you want to call it, read that, and you instantly realize, hey, I am really kind of put yourself in a seat there. You realize I’m more this than that. Well, I appreciate your time today. Let everybody know how they can best find you, follow you, reach out to you if they want some more information about your meet-ups or whatever you have going on.
Alex Camacho 45:53
Yes. So I think the easiest way to get in touch with me currently is to go to my Instagram Handle, it’s Alex Camacho TV. My backup account is real estate deal maker. As I said, I’ve been having some challenges, but I’m very confident I’ll have the Alex Camacho TV backup or go to Real Estate Deal Maker on Instagram.
And right behind that, you can go to my YouTube channel if you’re looking for some free content, stuff that I’ve already done in the past as I talked about the webinars, and if you’re in Southern California, please come to one of our meet-ups. It’s every month, last Thursday of the month. It varies on location, so just follow my socials to see where that’s going to be at. And I’d love to meet people in person and see how I can help in their growth in their journey in real estate investing. And therefore, we could collaborate and elevate each other.
Brandon Barnes 46:39
Awesome, dude! I appreciate it. If I’m in Southern California, I’ll hit you up to come out, check out one of your meet-ups. I love it over there.
Alex Camacho 46:45
Yeah. If you ever want to visit Hawaii, let me know. I got a couple of places there in Oahu and also Maui. Or, if deals come up in Hawaii, let me know. So Arizona or Southern California or Mexico, if you ever want to come south of the border, let me know.
Brandon Barnes 47:00
My cousin lives in Honolulu, so we go to Hawaii every other year. Yeah, man. Appreciate it, everybody. You can check out the REsimpli Podcast, and if we provide any value for you today, we’d love a review. So take care!