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92: How to get over the hump and scale up?

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This is the answer to a Flipping Junkie Podcast #Just Ask question. Kyle Burnett asks:

I’ve been full time in the flipping business for about a year and I feel like I need to get over the hump. I’ve done 4 deals in the last year and am behind on my goals. My wife and I have our first kid due in December and I have to ramp this business up to support our family.

Danny Johnson replies:

I’ve thought about this a lot and recently gave it more thought as I moved offices.  Melissa and I switched offices in our suite and I went through a lot of my old training courses and meeting notes from years ago.  What struck me was how many different things I got interested in and tried to learn.  

I had books on land investing.  Books on real estate taxes.  Books on investing in IRAs.  Books on raising private money.  Granted all have been helpful but I realized that the success came from when we had focus.  Focus on marketing.  Focus on working the hell out of just 3 or 4 lead sources.  Putting out bandit signs religiously.  Driving for dollars religiously.  Making the effort to get the phone ringing.  Making  a plan and sticking to it.  Not constantly thinking about new ways to get leads.  Just ways to being consistent and working the sources that have worked for decades for successful investors.  Investors that struggle almost always do so because they didn’t master a handful of marketing strategies that the stayed consistent with.  

If you can’t be consistent with your marketing and focused each week and thinking about what to tweak WITHIN that same marketing channel, you’ve got to hire someone even if just part time to do it. 

If you have a question that you want answered, post it in the group with the hashtag #JustAsk, and tag me @DannyJohnson. I’ll make a podcast episode to answer your question for you!

Thank you again for the question, Kyle. Hope this helped!

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Danny Johnson: Hello, flipping junkies, welcome back to the Flipping Junkie podcast. I have a Just Ask episode, it’s a great one. I got a great question from Kyle Burnett. Thank you for sending that question over to me, I’m happy to help out. And it’s one that I was happy to answer because I kind of was thinking a little bit about this as I was switching offices because we have multiple suites and Melissa and I actually changed offices and believe it or not, now she has the bigger office than me.

So a little bit of background for Kyle. Kyle has been flipping houses for the last year full-time and he’s going to be a father in December and wants to get over the hump and ramp up his flipping business. He was mentioning that he had read some of my earlier material on some of the struggles that we had in getting going and really getting that business to be more consistent and ramped up. That’s a really common struggle especially when you are first getting into full-time flipping because you’re just wanting to make sure that you’re going to be able to provide for your family and keep everything going.

It all boils down to your funnel and having the leads and deals coming in and having a process for having that happen. The reason why I say that, that kind of came up and I was thinking about that recently as we were moving offices. I had a bookshelf full of different courses that I had from years and old Ron LeGrand courses and all kinds of stuff. I think there was probably about like 20 of these courses and different books and stuff like that and I was looking through and I was amazed because I had books on land investing, books on investing using IRAs, books on real estate taxes, on land lording, on everything. I remember I got most of those in my first couple of years in this business and it was one of the things where I just wanted to dive into all of it and learn all of it and it wasn’t helping me and it wasn’t helping me to be consistent.

So when I got the question from Kyle, I was thinking, okay, what was it then? What got everything consistent? What was the focus then? Where was I? What was I thinking about? And really, what it was, was sitting down and thinking, well, what needs to happen right now? Order these new books or this new course about probing and investing or whatever. Let me focus on what I know works, okay? I’m going to stop looking for all these new ways to get deals and for different ways to do things. I’m going to focus on the core things that investors for decades have been using to get deals and to get a lot of them and consistently, and I’m going to try to just stick with it, I want to be persistent.

And so back then we were doing a lot of bandit signs and disclosure that in most places those are illegal so you need to determine whether you’re going to want to put those bandit signs out or whether you need to get permits and all that kind of stuff. So check with your local city about that. But bandit signs, driving for dollars, direct mail and just different like that. So we had those different lead sources that I was really focused on and committed to and it wasn’t like I’m going to order a hundred bandit signs, put those out and then wait. Like it was, I’m going to put out a hundred bandit signs every week or every two weeks and keep and going and change areas and map out where I had them, and I’m going to drive for dollars and I’m going to build a system around that where I’m mapping out where I drove this day, tomorrow I’m going to drive this day and I’m going to try to make it so where I can mail 200 properties every week or something like that, and just sticking with that. The problem with consistency with that is you have a big push to do these things, to do the bandit signs, to do drive for dollars and sending a letter to the owner and you get some calls and you get a couple of deals or a deal. Then you get focused on working that deal and you stop doing those things where you’re doing the bandit signs, putting them out and doing the driving for dollars and all that kind of stuff.

So you need a way to make sure that that’s going to happen. So whether it’s part-time help, friend, family, or hiring somebody even part-time to do those things, to put the bandit signs out, to do some of that work. And we waited too long before we hired people to help us out with things and it just felt like I had to do it. I didn’t have the time. Like I felt like I needed to keep marketing and doing this stuff or working on this rehab and didn’t want to take the time to try to find somebody. I urge you not to do that. I think the key is to kind of set it up yourself and figure out how to best do it, so put those signs out yourself or map out where they’re going to go. Find the best, you know, the fact that you’re going to put them on busier intersections and not in the middle of a neighborhood somewhere where not as many people are going to see it, the signs, and then driving for dollars like which neighborhoods are best, which ones are you getting best responses from as you’re driving for dollars. Do you stop when you see a truly vacant house you know is obviously vacant? And do you knock on the neighbor’s doors and do you talk to them and say “Hey, do you know where the person who owns this house lives? Do you have contact information for them? I’m interested in buying it and fixing it up and turning this eyesore into a beautiful home again?” And they’d be likely to help you. So doing things like that and leaving a business card or a postcard or a trifold brochure with information about your business and testimonials on that vacant house or with the neighbor to give to the person who owns it if they do ever stop by their house to check on it.

And building out those processes, doing that work yourself and then having somebody help you to do that as you get into changing hats because this is all about just getting started in the business and getting that full-time consistency where you feel good about doing things and then you can ramp it up. But the thing not to do is to start doing a little bit of bandit signs and then saying, “Well, I only got one call. I’m going to try to do driving for dollars. I’m going to try to do probate.” And you spend hours and hours in learning how to try to get the probate listings and mail to them and you find it kind of hard so you decide on something else, you can get on Bigger Pocket, you get somewhere else and you say “I need some other deal source.” And doing all those things like that, spread yourself thin and you’re not focused in building out a good consistent deal flow through just the small number of deal sources that have been proven to work for decades and decades. That’s why people talk about them, is because they work. I gave those examples of bandit signs and driving for dollars but if you want to do direct mail, do direct mail and try to become the best at it.

I did some recent podcast episodes talking about that same thing about being focused and choosing on just a couple and becoming an expert in those and moving on. That’s really the key to being consistent. Getting over the hump and really ramping up your business and as you do that looking always at what can you offload, who can you hire to help you. And a lot of times it’s people really willing to work as an independent contractor for $12 an hour and it’s kind of crazy that for so long we did a lot of this stuff that we could have had somebody else do even better than us because that was their focus and that’s what we hired them just to do, not to do all these other things that we’re trying to do and not going out there and spending so much time staying in your comfort zone and just learning new techniques of deal finding. It’s just picking those and being real solid at those.

So that’s the answer that I gave him and I wanted to share this with everybody else to help other people that are looking into getting full-time and or maybe full-time and finding that getting consistent has been hard and being consistent with the deals that are coming in and so that’s how you do it. Now, if you want some more support with that, I have specific questions, by all means join our Flip Pilot Facebook group. It’s a private group but you can get an invitation over at and join what we like to say as everybody in there that are real estate investors trying to keep a 30,000-foot view of their business and working more on their business instead of in it. So join us there please and subscribe on iTunes and leave us a rating and review, it’s what keeps this going and I appreciate everybody that does leave those rating and reviews. Everybody listening out there, thank you so much and we’ll see you next time.


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