New Shows twice per week! Exciting interview with top entrepreneurs. I get to the bottom of their business to discover the secret to how they became successful. Every episode is full of actionable advice and tips that you can use in your business to immediately help you further your success in real estate.
203K Loans and Using the BRRRR Method for Rental Real Estate
For this episode, I am excited to welcome Stephanie Cabral, who is a buy-and-hold real estate investor and former attorney from Connecticut. Stephanie has built a portfolio over $2.25m and began investing while working at a law firm as the sole member of the probate department and also working as one of the top commercial real estate firms in the world. Stephanie now owns and operates 15 units plus multiple active flips and is responsible for all aspects of the business including marketing, acquisition, construction management, operations, and property management. She specializes in the BRRRR strategy and was able to scale her business using a detailed network of systems, standard operating procedures, automation, and virtual assistants.
Stephanie shares her background with us, pointing out that she is a lawyer by trade. While she loved and thrived in law school, once she got out, she found that she didn’t love practicing as a lawyer. As much as she appreciated her clients, she did not like how adversarial the work was and didn’t like being in an office all day. She ended up buying a duplex in order to use the rental income to qualify for a personal home loan and she fell in love with the idea of house-hacking. She worked as an agent, too, while she was working as a lawyer and continues to since retiring from her firm in December 2019.
Stephanie got a 203K loan for her first property so we explored that topic for a bit. Because the brokers are looking at the ARV, you can get a larger value loan to cover both the purchase price and the rehab estimate. In this type of loan, the contractor gets paid directly from the lender. Also, the 203K loan does not require you to have experience in investing and rehabilitation work, which can be a huge obstacle for newer investors with traditional hard money lenders. You also get a consultant that helps you manage the project and ensure the quality of the contractors’ work.
I asked Stephanie to describe the team of people she is working with to us. She said she is very involved herself, but her right hand is a virtual assistant in the Philippines who handles all of the administrative tasks, including social media and a lot of the property management tasks, including interfacing with the tenants. Stephanie also has a leasing assistant who directly connects with potential tenants and shows them around and screens them for rentability. She also has a bookkeeper who she hired through Upwork that has been working with her for years, but Stephanie did talk about the need to go through the trial and error process to find some people that are really good. Stephanie talked about the need to have great systems and processes in place, including training videos and templates, in order to simplify the training procedure.
I asked Stephanie why she self-manages her properties versus hiring a property management company. She said that it is financially beneficial for her to self-manage, mostly because she has very little turnover in tenants. She attributes this to the constant communication she has with her tenants, which is largely automated, but maintains a great connection. I asked how she handles any required repairs, and since she is having a VA handle the maintenance requests, how she is sure she is not getting over-charged. Stephanie explained that because she also does house flipping, she has a pool of contractors, and in particular, a go-to handyman who is always the first maintenance call.
We talked about mid-term rentals, the effects of COVID on Stephanie’s business, the BRRRR strategy, private money versus hard money lenders, the technology Stephanie uses to run her business, Facebook ads, and so much more! Don’t miss this honest, fun, and hard-core real estate episode with lawyer-turned-investor, Stephanie Cabral!
“Being in an o
How to Gain Financial Freedom and Retire in your 20s
For this episode, I am happy to welcome Rachel Richards on to the show! Only 27 years old, former financial advisor Rachel Richards has made a name for herself in the personal finance realm. In 2019, Rachel quit her job and retired, with over $10,000 per month in passive income! She is the bestselling author of Money Honey and Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement. Rachel is also a real estate investor with 35 rental units. Her valuable money lessons have helped thousands of millennials work their way out of financial despair. She has successfully done what no one has done before: made the topic of money management fun, entertaining, and simple!
Rachel gave us a bit of her background, telling us that she paid her way through school by selling Cutco Cutlery and therefore, had sales experience. This, coupled with her passion for teaching people about finances, is what led her to become a financial advisor. She said she didn’t last long because she wasn’t a fan of cold-calling people for clients. She had always been interested in real estate investing and had read a ton about it, so she worked for a time with another investor, and then a real estate agent. These experiences gave her the confidence to get into investing on her own and in 2017, Rachel and her husband bought their first duplex when she was 24 years old.
I asked Rachel to give us the details of her first deal - how she found it and how she financed it. Because she had her real estate license by this time, she said she had an advantage, because she had access to the MLS. She found the property she wanted, but the listing was expired, so she contacted the agent and found out that the owners were going to list it again once they had done some work to it. Because Rachel stayed in contact with the agent, she called Rachel a couple of days before it was listed again and gave her the chance to make an offer. They financed it conventionally, having both saved money after college for the down payment, and they managed to get a seller concession for the renovation that they had to do.
Rachel started writing her books while she was still working full-time and managing their rental properties, so we talked about how that came about for a bit. She said her family and friends had been asking her for financial advice for a while and she wanted to take this topic, which was normally boring and confusing, and make it fun and simple for people to understand. She said it felt like her first book, Money Honey, was always inside of her and she tried to make finances easier to learn about by sharing her own stories and mistakes. We also discussed Rachel’s second book, Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement, in which she discusses twenty-eight different passive income models that anyone can get involved with, regardless of age or station in life.
I asked Rachel to describe how she proceeded with her investing as she moved forward from the first deal. She shared with us that the different ways having her real estate license benefited her. She continued to monitor the MLS for potential deals, using subscriptions and saved searches so that she would get email notifications for properties she was interested in. She felt like this gave her a real time advantage, as she could be at a property within 30 minutes of it being listed.
Even though Rachel and her husband are no longer actively investing because they have the rental income they wanted to achieve, Rachel is still very passionate about teaching others about financial literacy so she is invested in creating online courses. The first one that she has created is called “Get Your Financial $hit Together” which you can check out by following the links below.
Join me as I interview this incredibly impressive investor and financial guru as she shares some of the secrets of how she earned financial indepe
Car Dealership Owner Wholesaling 40 Deals (Houses) This Year
For this episode, I am excited to welcome fellow 7 Figure Flipping Mastermind group member, Waylon McCulloch. Waylon started his career as a professional dirtbike racer, but after too many injuries moved on to running used car dealerships for the last 15 years. He is now the owner of Discount Realty, a real estate wholesale company located in San Antonio, TX. Along with building and growing his wholesale company that was started 2 1/2 years ago, he owns a couple of other real estate companies that invest in single-family home rentals and owner-financed sales, while running his family's used car dealerships full-time.
We started by exploring Waylon’s background and how real estate investing got onto his radar. When his grandfather moved into an assisted living facility in 2015, Waylon and his dad purchased his house as a means to get started in the business. They purchased a couple of other properties the same year and held them as rentals, but their business stalled until Waylon got very invested in lead generation.
After joining 7 Figure Flipping in April of 2018, Waylon dedicated his time to learning about and growing a wholesaling business. He spent the remainder of that year building out systems and getting things set up. In 2019, they ended up with 18 deals under contract, hired both a lead manager and an acquisitions/dispositions manager, and are hoping to hire a transaction coordinator. We discussed the importance of having certain team members in place in order to maximize your business’ potential, especially if you are still working a full-time job like Waylon.
Waylon expressed an interest in doing more owner-financed deals and so we spent some time exploring this topic, especially how these types of deals may increase due to the pandemic. We talked about how this conversation would go and what type of homeowner would benefit from this arrangement.
Since Waylon has been a member of 7 Figure Flipping for over two years, I asked him what his takeaway is from the group. He said he was so glad that he made the commitment and has met some great people. Waylon said he wasn’t sure he would be where he is today if it weren’t for involvement in this mastermind.
We discussed marketing strategies, working virtually, growing your staff, wholesaling versus flipping, and so much more! Please join me as I welcome Waylon McCulloch to the Just Start Real Estate Family!
“Real estate is dangerous in different ways than dirt bike racing, but safer physically.”
“I decided I was either going to make or break it.”
“Having someone to focus on answering all the calls and doing the follow-up made my life a whole lot better.”
“The wholesaling business sure does take a lot of work to get it up and going.”
“I think the biggest misconception in residential real estate is that wholesaling is easy.”
“You need someone in-house that is really pushing your deals through the title company.”
“If you don’t have that in your tool bag, you are missing out.”
“COVID had a big impact on my direct mail.”
“Direct mail does bring in deals as long as you are being consistent with it and mailing enough.”
“You need to deep dive and figure out what you are good at.”
“[On wholesaling] I like the idea of being able to control the deals and get to pick when I have the funds to buy another one.”
“I like speed a lot more than watching a rehab project from start to finish.”
“Some people live for the transformation of flipping, but I can live without it.”
“I like work
Long and Short Term Rentals + Nonprofit Work to Help Support Veterans with Kirby Atwell
In this episode, I’m joined by Kirby Atwell, host of the popular podcast, Living off Rentals. After serving as an officer in the US Army from 2005 – 2011, Kirby left the military to
pursue his passion as a full-time entrepreneur, launching and scaling two different real
estate investment companies in succession. Kirby holds a BA from United States Military Academy at West Point, and an MBA in real estate finance from the University of Illinois Chicago. While in the military, Kirby served as a Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General of the 94th AAMDC, and Commander of the AN/TPY-2 homeland defense radar site in Shariki, Japan.
Kirby shared more of his background with us, telling us that he had always had an entrepreneurial itch, and planned to have his own business after serving in the Army. A year after he graduated, he read Rich Dad Poor Dad and knew that he would be a real estate investor for life. When he was stationed in El Paso in 2006, the house across the street went up for sale and he decided to buy his first investment property. Once he was out of the Army, he partnered with a friend and his wife and they started flipping houses in the Chicago area.
Kirby talked about how they grew their business so that, at its height in 2015, they had thirteen team members and around twenty-two deals going every month. What he found, though, was that everyone else kept getting paid, but he wasn’t achieving his goal of building monthly passive income to have eventual financial freedom. He ended up changing his strategy in 2016, sold his flipping business to his partners, and started focusing mostly on investing with the BRRRR strategy. He found a government program called the HUD VASH Voucher, which provides housing for homeless veterans and built a new business around this niche.
I asked Kirby to explain the BRRRR strategy to our listeners with the assumption that we hadn’t used it before. I particularly wanted him to explain how the refinance aspect of this strategy works. He said he struck a deal with a local bank where they would package four properties together and they would give him a commercial loan for 75% of the appraised value. Kirby said that strategy was very effective, but now that the demand for the VASH vouchers has gone down, he is using the same system for short term rentals in the northwest Indiana area.
Kirby explained why he is buying homes in Indiana, telling us how it is almost as though Chicago and the state of Illinois is incentivizing people to move away because of property taxes and other factors. In the area he is investing in, there are several attractions, including Lake Michigan, and it is a great area to have short term rentals. He said that he and his wife are doing the property management themselves for these houses.
I then asked Kirby to talk about the non-profit work that he is involved in. Kirby said the organization is called Bunker Labs and it helps veterans start and grow businesses. He said initially when he got out of the military, he wanted his civilian identity back and was not involved at all with other veterans. But in 2014, he was in the first cohort to go through the program and was so impressed with the founder and the resources he was bringing in to help people. When he switched his investing model to rentals, he found that he had more available time, and the Bunker Labs founder asked him to come on as the COO. He later transitioned to being the CFO, and they have thirty-six chapters across the United States.
We talked about marketing, lead generation, Facebook ads, helping people, and so much more! Don’t miss this transparent, info-packed episode of the Just Start Real Estate Podcast with Kirby Atwell!
“I really enjoy talking to successful, smart people, but I love talking to
Creating a 7 Figure Business While Working a Full-Time Job
In this episode, I am excited to welcome on fellow 7 Figure Flipping member, William Morgan. Will is the owner and founder of Penny Lane Equity, a rapidly growing Real Estate flipping and wholesaling company in California’s Central Coast. Will grew what was once a hobby into a thriving business with 7 figure revenue while also having a full-time job. Will has since “cut the cord” and now leads a team of 10 talented professionals as they provide some of the most attractive Real Estate opportunities found anywhere in the region. Once an adrenaline junkie, Will now tempers his thrill-seeking by sharing his love for surfing, the mountains, and travel with his 2 young kids.
We got started as we normally do with Will sharing his background with us and how he got into real estate. He began his corporate career working in the nuclear power industry at the age of eighteen. He worked short contracts in this business and then would take the money he earned to travel and surf. After living this ideal lifestyle for about ten years, he figured he had to grow up, and took on a full-time job in nuclear operations. Real estate got on his radar when a neighbor bought a house through a sheriff’s auction and rehabbed that Will ended up buying in 2003 for his primary residence. Will was fascinated by the whole process and that propelled him into learning about investing on his own.
Will did a lot of research on how to find his first investment property and ended up buying his first in 2004 using conventional financing. The guy he bought his primary residence from turned out to be a mentor in the fix and flip process, helping Will to avoid a lot of rookie mistakes. I asked some questions about this deal and Will shared details about the rehab work and how the numbers worked out.
Will said he approached real estate investing as a hobby because he had a full-time job, so he was happy with picking up one or two properties a year. He was also investing in other ways with stocks and bonds, always studying and learning about different passive income models. Because he had a sense that real estate was part of the impending market disruption, he sold all five of his rentals and his primary residence in 2007.
I asked Will about what systems and processes he had in place in the very beginning of his investing business. He said he didn’t initially, but having very little profit margin in his first deal made it necessary to establish when he started getting back into real estate investing around 2012. He said documenting his work processes was really out of necessity because he had a full-time job and knew there were times he was going to need help, and also to maximize his efficiency.
I wanted Will to tell me what he thought were some of the biggest challenges to trying to scale a business while having a full-time job. He said time was his obstacle, as you have to grow the business in what would normally be your spare time, so you have to schedule time to do this. It may take away from sleep, or leisure time, or family time, but he prioritized the sacrifice. He found that because he was drawing a regular salary, it freed up the investment income to hire help to manage everything. We discussed the details of how Will scaled up responsibly.
Because we met through the 7 Figure Flipping Mastermind group, I wanted Will to talk about how he thought this has affected his business. Very much like me, he said he was very skeptical initially, having never paid for training of any kind. He said he cannot believe how valuable it is to have the ability to call or text, at any time, other investors in order to shorten the learning curve and avoid mistakes.
We talked about marketing, the specifics of making offers, how Will’s team divides up responsibilities, the impact of the pandemic on his business, and so much more
"Landlord for Life" Sean Morrissey, on Growing His Cashflow through Buy-and-Hold Real Estate
In this episode, I am pleased to welcome Sean Morrissey to the show. Sean began as a buy and hold real estate investor in 2003 with a two-bedroom condo in Hanover Park, IL. Having earned his Illinois real estate broker license in 2007, Sean survived the market crash and assisted homeowners throughout the Chicagoland area and opened Chicagoland Realty Group Partners LLC in 2011. Since that time, Sean has managed over 700+ rental transactions, 200+ homes, and owns and manages his own rental property portfolio in the western suburbs of the Chicagoland area. Sean focuses the majority of his time in growing and managing his real estate portfolio while hosting a podcast named Landlording for Life.
I am always so interested in how and why people get into real estate investing, so Sean started by sharing his background with us. He said he graduated from Purdue University with a BA in Restaurant Management and joined the Peace Corps where he worked in Western Kenya. When he returned home and began working in restaurant management, his dad introduced him to a book about using real estate investments as tax shelters. Sean started joining REIAs to talk to investors and landlords, and bought his first investment property in June of 2003 in the Chicagoland area.
I asked Sean to explain his experience with the Peace Corps and what led him to choose that before starting his corporate work life. He said he was involved in a student exchange program in college which got him interested in international travel and helping others. He was stationed in western Kenya at a technical college helping students work with computers and doing many community outreach projects. Sean said it was an awesome experience and he would love to go back someday soon.
I wanted Sean to explain what led him to get his broker’s license and what he considers the advantages are to do so for a real estate investor. His thought process was that he would have access to the MLS and more deals, and be a better investor. Sean said it made a lot of sense to pursue his license at that time because there was no Zillow or Redfin, which has made a lot of the property information public now. Until 2009, he was still working full-time in the restaurant business, so working more as a realtor initially helped him to figure out how he was going to transition to real estate investing full-time.
As Sean has had his own property management company in the past, we talked quite a bit about common mistakes made by investors when managing their own properties, size of portfolios, and why he sold his company. Sean’s opinion is that a newer investor should manage their own properties until they get over ten doors in their portfolio so that they understand the rigors of the job and learn from any mistakes made. He also talked a lot about what their criteria was for screening tenants, which is very helpful for those landlords who self-manage.
I asked Sean to explain why he has shifted toward an investor-centered model, rather than focusing on his brokerage work or continuing in the property management field. He went into great detail about the several ways you can benefit financially from buy and hold investing versus other types, and also the time and work investment of each.
Sean shares some of his struggles as a landlord, specifics about his business dealings, property management tactics, and so much more! You will not want to miss this fantastic, value-filled episode of the Just Start Real Estate Podcast!
“Ultimately, it is through the experiences where you get burned that you learn the most.”
“I’m more of a lifestyle-focused guy these days.”
“If you are not re-creating your business systems every five years, you are going to fall behind.”