JF1042: Simple Networking Has Made Him Over $100,000!!!
If you’re struggling to find your next deal, try attending meetups – or even start your own! That’s exactly what Anson has done and he credits the meetings to over $100,000 in revenue from deals he would have missed out on otherwise. Something so simple that anyone can do, can have major returns! If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!
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Anson Young Real Estate Background:
-Owner of Anson Property Group LLC Real estate investor with over 10 years experience
-Specializes in wholesaling and flipping with a robust background in construction
-Launching first real estate investing book
-Based in Denver, Colorado
-Best Ever Book: The Obstacle is the Way
Click here for a summary of Anson’s Best Ever advice: How to Make Over 6-Figures with This Simple Networking Strategy
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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any fluff.
With us today, Anson Young. How are you doing, my friend?
Anson Young: I’m doing great, how are you, Joe?
Joe Fairless: I’m doing well, nice to have you on the show, and looking forward to diving in. A little bit about Anson – he is the owner of Anson Property Group LLC. He is a real estate investor with over 10 years experience; he specializes in wholesaling and flipping with a background in construction, and he is based in Denver, Colorado, home of the Best Ever conference last February, and then coming up again this next February (probably early February). With that being said, Anson, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?
Anson Young: Absolutely. Like many people, I got laid off back in the mid-2000s from an IT job and I had to make this decision of what the heck I wanted to do with my life, if I wanted to keep letting companies lay me off and put my financial security in jeopardy, or if I wanted to do something else. It took me a little bit of time to figure out what that something else was.
I bartended for a bit, and that speaks a lot to my social skills – I love talking to people and hanging out, and getting paid to do that is great… And my wife and I decided “You know what? We’re gonna move down to Phoenix for a couple years.” My brother was living down there, they’d just had a baby… I was laid off, so I didn’t have anything keeping me here, so we decided “Hey, let’s just make a change.”
With a new city came a new opportunity. I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad in the moving truck on the way down there, and I basically said “You know what? I’m just gonna start doing this real estate thing.” It did take me about a year before I got my first deal, but it pretty much opened my eyes to “Yes, I can be my own boss. I don’t have to rely on a company to decide whether they wanted to lay me off or not”, and kind of go from there. That was 2005, and I really haven’t looked back since.
Joe Fairless: Just to get an idea of either volume or the type of transactions you do – what can you tell us about within the last 12 months in that regard?
Anson Young: You did ask about focus, and my focus these days is mainly fix and flipping. I’ve kind of gone back and forth over the years, whether it was full-time wholesaling, full-time fix and flipping… Now I kind of do a mixture of both.
In the last 12 months I’ve done 10 fix and flip projects and probably about the same in wholesales, and then this next year I’m hoping to get that fix and flip number up to about 20, and the same for wholesales.
The Denver market is crazy, and I think next to the Bay Area, San Francisco market, it’s probably one of the harder markets to not only break into, but even veterans are kind of feeling the squeeze on deal inventory.
Joe Fairless: How are you getting your fix and flip projects?
Anson Young: Mainly through off-market channels, networking, referrals, direct mail, a little bit of internet stuff… Basically shaking down every tree that I can and diving as deep as I can get to get in front of motivated sellers to get them to sell me their property, basically.
Joe Fairless: The last fix and flip project that you did – where did you get that from?
Anson Young: The very last one I did was actually a referral through somebody who I met at my meetup through Bigger Pockets. He was brand new to the business, he’s more of a turnkey guy and has some properties in another state… And he had a family member who got moved into long-term care and the family didn’t know what to do with the property; it wasn’t in horrible shape by any means, it was just severely outdated and needed some systems upgraded… So he turned to me and said, “Hey, I have this property; what can you do?” I ran the numbers and presented them to his family, and they said yes and we moved forward on that project. So referrals and network is huge.
Joe Fairless: What were the numbers?
Anson Young: The numbers on that – we bought it for 230k, we put in 45k, I think (that was the final number) and we sold it for 340k.
Joe Fairless: Okay, so you were all-in at 275k and you sold it for 340k. In what period of time did you get the $65,000ish profit?
Anson Young: It was exactly at 90 days. With the FHA 90-day flip rule, in order to avoid extra appraisals and extra headache, and FHA underwriter won’t allow the resale of a property from 90 days. Basically, from the time we closed it, we did all of our work — the work only took four weeks, maybe five. Then about 30 days on the market… We had to wait about 15 days so we can not have to do another appraisal, all that fun stuff.
Joe Fairless: And is that 90 day rule in effect when you put it under contract, or when you close on the back-end with the sale?
Anson Young: When you close. You can close on day 91 if the underwriters know what they’re doing and the lender’s good.
Joe Fairless: Okay, cool. You said that you have a meetup and you met this individual who referred the house to you via your meetup. Is that an in-person meetup that you have organized?
Anson Young: It is. It is a monthly pure networking meetup. We don’t do any speaking or pretty much anything besides get together, have a beer, find somebody who does what you wanna do or that you wanna find out more from, tackle them and pick their brain as much as possible.
It was probably the first organized meetup through Bigger Pockets, and it was just a place to get together, share ideas openly, and honestly, have a couple beers.
Joe Fairless: How often do you meet, how many people usually attend and how long have you been doing it?
Anson Young: We’ve been doing it for right about three years, and we meet once a month, and we’re actually really outgrowing our space that we have. We’re close to about 70 people who show up… And it’s only advertised on Bigger Pockets, so for limited exposure, we actually get a pretty good number of people each month.
Joe Fairless: And you host it, and you’ve mentioned beer a couple times, so is it at a bar?
Anson Young: It’s at a beer hall that’s attached to a bicycle cafe. Denver being very health-conscious, but we also love our beer, basically there’s a bike shop right next door, they serve coffee and beer and food over there, and they opened up this whole new side that’s just a beer hall, and we meet on that side.
Joe Fairless: Do you have to pay to secure the space?
Anson Young: We actually don’t. We got a pretty good deal going, where — Monday night was just a slow night for them, and so they love having 70 people coming on an off night. They don’t charge us, they don’t hassle us… It was all born out of — we kept getting kicked out of kind of a shared workspace… We had an agreement with them, but we kept showing up and they’d be like “We have this Google event. Sorry guys, you can’t meet up!” and there’s 30 of us out on the street going “Now what?”
This bicycle cafe has been great. We’ve never had any issues or problems. We just take over their area and have fun for about three hours.
Joe Fairless: Do you have a section reserved that they rope off?
Anson Young: I think technically we have the entire beer hall… I’m pretty sure that people who show up on Mondays that we meet and don’t wanna talk real estate, they kind of go next door to the quieter cafe side and they have a beer over there. We technically have the whole side to ourselves.
Joe Fairless: How many leads have come through this meetup?
Anson Young: I like to say that I’ve easily made six figures just by running this meetup… Probably in the neighborhood of 15 deals that I’ve done… In three years you’d say “Oh, 15 deals isn’t that much”, but for the time invested – I basically post a note saying “Hey, this is all the dates that we’re meeting up for the whole year.” Every month I just create a new thread, I show up for three hours and… Honestly, my voice is gone, I’m exhausted because I talk to a lot of people, answer pretty much any questions that anybody has about nearly anything, and provide that value, but at the same time people come back to me and say “Hey, yeah, you helped me out and I’ve been driving for dollars or I’ve been knocking on doors or whatever it is, and I came across this deal and I don’t know what to do with it”, so I’m more than happy to partner up with them, help them with ARV, help them with repair numbers, contractors, whatever they need to be successful, and a lot of times we partner up and do that deal together. It’s very beneficial.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, and six figures in three years – it’s still $33,000/year extra income that’s coming in from those relationships, not to mention the actual relationships, which is much more valuable than the $33,000 average per year. And as you said, you’ve at least made six figures from it, so I’m just using $100,000, but it sounds like it could be even more than that.
Anson Young: Yeah, it’s probably in the neighborhood of 150k, but either way, it’s not a bad deal.
Joe Fairless: Why did you start the meetup?
Anson Young: It initially came about with the Bigger Pockets conferences that they did – my memory’s bad… I wanna say it was 2012 or 2013 maybe, and that was here in Denver. One of the nights there was 30-40 high-level investors just talking shop at the bar at the hotel, so I was like “This is freakin’ awesome. All the other meetups and events that I go to, it’s nothing like this.” Josh Dorkin, who runs Bigger Pockets happened to be standing next to me and I said “Why don’t we just do this once a month?” He basically just said “I don’t have time to do any of that. If you wanna do it, just do it.”
Literally, a week later I just posted “Hey, we’re gonna meet up and we’re just gonna hang out, we’re just gonna talk and we’re just gonna network.” It just kind of grew from there.
Joe Fairless: Very cool. Last question on this and then we’ll move on to some other stuff, but you don’t make any announcements to the large group at the beginning? There’s nothing other than you walk in the door, you go grab a beer and you go grab a buddy and you start talking one-on-one?
Anson Young: Yup, that’s pretty much it. I’ve kind of toyed with the announcement thing or introductions or anything like that, and I just feel like it would kind of slow down the pace of the meeting. I do try to facilitate or I try to meet pretty much everybody who’s there. If I know that you are a fix and flipper and you’re having a hard time finding a contractor on the East side of the town, and I go across the room and I find somebody who knows somebody, or somebody who is a contractor, I basically try to link everybody up, so that you’re not just blindly walking around with 70 people there. There’s at least one or two of us who’s walking around and trying to connect people who have needs.
Joe Fairless: Just for context for the Best Ever listeners, and probably also you, Anson, because you might be like “Why the hell does he keep asking me about this meetup?” – the reason why is because 1) you’ve made over six figures from hosting this meetup. 2) You’re learning along the way. 3) You are creating relationships and perhaps even friendships, and you’re becoming more valuable to the deals that you currently work on. I suspect there’s also some revenue that you’ve made on projects that didn’t come from the meetup, but either through relationships or lessons learned from conversations with people in the meetup you’ve optimized some sort of approach… It’s just low-hanging fruit for any Best Ever listener who wants to get more traction, make more money, learn more… Start a meetup. It’s very simple. You’ve been doing it for three years – just once a month you go grab some beers, very loosely organized, and you’re a living proof that it’s incredibly effective from a financial standpoint, from a learning standpoint and from a relationship standpoint.
Anson Young: Yeah, absolutely. I always say, if you wish something like that was in your area, why don’t you just started? Like you said, I’m the living proof that it works. And yes, I have friends who I’ve met just through there, and we’re friends or we’re partnering up on things now, and we wouldn’t have that opportunity if I didn’t just say “Hey, let’s just see what happens if I start it up.”
Joe Fairless: Now let’s talk about — maybe one of the issues that you’ve already identified if someone is having a problem finding a contractor on the East side of town… Let’s just say they’re having a problem finding a contractor in general, that way we’re applying it to the Best Ever listeners in addition to your Denver people. What would your recommendation be for finding a good contractor, knowing that you do have a background in construction?
Anson Young: I would say that the first thing that I go to always is referrals. I try to keep a pretty decent network inside of my meetup and outside of it… So other kind of loosely related meetups — basically, a referral is gonna be that first line of defense; it’s gonna be somebody else who has a personal recommendation, like “Yes, use Bob. He’s great.” I don’t have any projects going… I wanna make sure that Bob is feeding his family, so that the next time I do have a project, I can use Bob. So “Use Bob!” That is always my number one go-to, it’s saying “Hey, who has a great landscaper? Who has a great drywall guy?” etc.
Honestly, that gets me 90% of the way there. I can usually get two or three recommendations, and then vet them out from there. If that fails, I think the extreme old-school way of basically showing up to Home Depot at 7 in the morning, going to the Pro Desk — if you’ve been working with the Pro Desk or their managers, they should know you by now… Going up to them and saying “Who’s in here every day? Who shows up early? Who would you trust with your projects?” A lot of times they wanna see their contractors be successful, because they come in and buy more product… I’ve got a few guys that way, too – just basically kind of going straight to the people who they buy from and say “Who do you recommend?” A lot of times they have some pretty great contacts.
Joe Fairless: What would you say you’re especially talented in from a real estate standpoint? Because we’ve all got one or two really special talents if we’re honest with ourselves… What are yours?
Anson Young: I’d like to say building rapport is what I’ve worked on almost the most… Not only just tracking down and finding deals – I was gonna say that, but I think that personal aspect of getting to know the people who I’m working with, motivated sellers (or even unmotivated sellers), getting them on my side, letting them know that I’m a real person, I’m not out to rob them blind, I wanna create a win/win scenario… Building that rapport often times wins me deals, even if I’m not the highest price.
So going into it with the mindset of “I’m here to help.” This is a real person in a real crappy scenario – most of the time with motivated sellers, right? So I wanna treat them like a person, with respect, I wanna build rapport, I really do wanna get to know them. A lot of times, like I said, that does win me deals, even though I’m not the best price. They go “We have a higher offer, but we like and trust you and we know that you’re gonna get it done.” I’d like to think that that’s my super power.
Joe Fairless: What are some of the questions that you ask to get to know them, build rapport, treat them as a real person?
Anson Young: A lot of times, especially in person, it’s kind of easy to get lost in “Let me take a quick walk through… I’m just gonna mark down everything that’s wrong with your house and then I’ll hand you a piece of paper that says how much I wanna pay.” Often times the first 20-30 minutes of our meetings are talking about their family, their kids or their grandkids, or the house and the memories that they’ve had at the house, or what’s going on in town, or some of the hot issues that maybe they bring up, whether it’s something in the news… Basically, not making it all about the house and the deal. It’s making it about them, and their family and their stories and their situation, and how we can hellp, and basically kind of take it from there.
The house is obviously why I’m there, but if I show up and show interest in them, then it pays off in the long run for sure.
Joe Fairless: What’s a project that has been the most challenging for you?
Anson Young: I would say there’s been a few hoarder houses that I’ve bought that have been extremely challenging in that 1) it’s a very interesting scenario when you go in — and honestly, the hoarder houses that I’ve dealt with have been mostly mentally unstable type people who have lived in that situation for way too long… So a lot of times I’m dealing with them and their families, and everybody wants to do what’s best for everybody.
At the same time, we’re buying these houses with five feet of stuff in it, and you can’t get down and you can’t see if there’s any structural issues and you can’t see if there’s mold growing underneath 20 years of stuff… So it’s kind of this combination of very tricky, intricate personal problems, mixed with you’re kind of buying it site unseen, unless you’re trying to clear it all out and then kind of work on price.
I’m dealing with one right now, so that’s why it’s on the top of my mind. I’m kind of dreading it, but later this week I’m gonna put on a hazmat suit or the best equivalent that I can buy, and kind of wade through – I’m not even exaggerating – about six feet of stuff in a house that’s been closed up for two years and the roof is very sketchy, and it’s been raining and snowing for the last two days.
It’s one of those things where I need to get in there and find out what’s going on, so I can get the best price to the owner and treat them with the respect that they deserve.
I try to keep my word – “I’m gonna get back to you this week” – but I have to get down there and I have to get actually all the way down to the basement to make sure that there’s no structural issues or problems, so that when we clear out the stuff, all of a sudden there’s a $45,000 problem that we didn’t see.
Joe Fairless: When you’re down in the basement looking for structural issues, you’ve got your hazmat suit on, what are you looking for specifically to identify structural issues?
Anson Young: In areas that have basements, I’m looking for any water intrusion, any large cracking or heaving of the foundation walls… Some of that would look like a folded piece of paper that looks like it’s buckling… Any horizontal cracking, any heaving of the floors or the subfloor is all jacked up… Which makes it really hard when there’s five feet of stuff in there.
So yeah, basically making sure that there’s not water, making sure that the foundation walls are actually secure and standing. Then, usually on the other floors you can tell if there’s any issues going on in the basement just by the waviness of the floors on the other levels.
I’ve done this in two-storey houses where the top level was like a fun house based on all the stuff that was going on in the basement. Usually, those big problems have a tell. Something on the other levels or the exterior is gonna show it, too.
Joe Fairless: With the deal that you’re referring to right now, what do they want? What do you think it’s worth as of now? How much would you put into it and what would you sell it for?
Anson Young: I think the last number that we threw around was about 170k, and that’s why I’m going over there, to try and figure out what all needs to get done. But I think I budgeted for at least 100k-110k, if not higher. It could get pretty crazy, up to about 150k if there’s issues with the foundation. Then the exit is about 420k on that one it’s obviously being sold at a huge discount, because it’s in a really nice area of a suburb of Denver… But it’s easily the worst house in ten miles.
Just pulling up and kind of looking at the outside… There’s about three neighbors who come out and they have all the stories about the house the last 15 years of how it got that way.
Joe Fairless: Oh, I’m sure they do. Well, with the negotiations on that, any tips you would have for a Best Ever listener who is going through a situation where there’s a house, it’s completely a mess and there are more expenses and issues that come up – how to have that conversation with the seller and basically negotiate a better price?
Anson Young: The earlier in your interaction the better that you can kind of set up the scenario where you basically say “I can get you a price, but obviously you’re going in unknown. There’s a lot of unknowns going in.” If it’s a vacant house with all the stuff cleared out, it’s pretty easy to figure out what’s going on. But if it’s full of stuff, they have to understand that if something gets uncovered and we have to bring it back to the negotiation table, that they can’t really get offended.
If they buy a car, they’re gonna wanna know what’s going on under the hood, and this is a much bigger purchase. If we uncover bigger issues along the road, getting that expectation upfront of saying “Hey, this is kind of how we work. If there’s something that happens mid-way through that we discover, we might have to talk about price again”, only because it’s gonna be an issue whether they try to sell it to someone else, or if we buy it. So either way, we’re gonna have to talk price again.
It’s kind of like setting that expectation upfront of how this is gonna go – it helps when two or three months down the road you actually have that phone call, they remember “Oh yeah, we talked about this. It’s not a surprise.”
Joe Fairless: What is your best real estate investing advice ever?
Anson Young: I think that mine is definitely focus on finding deals, because anything else that you do in real estate is going to basically build on that. I say that because if you’re the world’s best wholesaler, you can then use those skills — obviously, your job is to find deals that are better prices than the next guy. So if you want to go on to be a fix and flipper or a landlord or find apartment buildings, anything else in real estate (be it a developer), you already have the skills set up from the beginning to find better deals than the next guy.
I say that because when I transitioned from wholesaling to fix and flip, a lot of fix and flippers rely on an agent or a team of agents… They are kind of wrapped up on the construction side or the money side and they don’t run a marketing department, they don’t run direct-to-seller game, and where I did, I can come in and buy properties for a better price than they could, because back in the day I had to sell them those properties, so I had to have a built-in spread.
This way, if I wanna be a landlord in Kansas City, I have 95% of the skills to get me there. I just have to know the market, I know how to direct-market and I know how to negotiate… So I can kind of apply those skills wherever else I want in this real estate business.
Joe Fairless: Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?
Anson Young: I’m ready.
Joe Fairless: Okay. First, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.
Joe Fairless: Best ever book you’ve read?
Anson Young: The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday.
Joe Fairless: Best ever deal you’ve done?
Anson Young: I wanna say numbers to some extent just becomes a measuring contest. I like to think that my best ever deal was helping one of the hoarder ladies out of her house, make a win/win scenario so that she didn’t have to have her house torn down and get no money. I could come in and save the day… And I still talk to one of her sisters even now; we kind of text back and forth every now and then. Building that relationship and actually helping was probably my proudest real estate deal, for sure.
Joe Fairless: What’s a mistake you’ve made on a transaction?
Anson Young: Definitely not knowing my numbers well enough on development deals. When I first started trying to wholesale land to developers I probably missed out on easily a couple hundred thousand dollars over the course of a couple deals, just not really understanding the numbers, just leaving more money than I should on the table. Obviously, I want to provide value for the next guy and make sure that they’re making money, but when you underprice a property by $100,000 because you don’t know what you’re doing… That hurts, too.
Joe Fairless: It does hurt. What’s the best ever way you like to give back?
Anson Young: I like to support a few charities. My favorite one fights human trafficking. It’s PolarisProject.org – it’s something that I feel very strongly about.
Joe Fairless: And where can the Best Ever listeners get in touch with you?
Anson Young: I think that the best place honestly is probably Facebook. I’m on there probably way too much. I just have a bunch of groups going on there that I like to check in with. It’s just Facebook.com/ansonyoung. That’s how you can reach me.
Joe Fairless: Anson, thank you for being on the show and sharing your expertise in fix and flipping, networking and relationship building and construction, talking about getting the meetup off the ground three years ago and how you’ve made six figures from that meetup, even though that’s probably not the reason why you’re doing it in the first place… But the reality is we always wanna know what type of results have come from actions, and that’s why it’s important to note that. But more importantly, it would be the relationships and probably the lessons you’ve learned from those conversations and applied it to your business and evolving the business over time and determining which ones to fix and flip, which ones to wholesale etc.
Then the hoarder house example and how to approach that, as well as your focus on finding the deals… So thanks for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever day, and we’ll talk to you soon.
Anson Young: Thanks, Joe. I really appreciate it.
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