JF1812: Starting An Investment Club, Renting RV’s & Building Indoor Sports Arenas with Ryan Enk

Ryan is here to share his story today, which will have a heavy focus on hard work and passive income. Ryan’s passion is helping other working class people earn passive income to better their own futures. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!


Best Ever Tweet:

“Some people have no money and no network, they can start with wholesaling” – Ryan Enk


Ryan Enk Real Estate Background:

  • Founder of Columbia Real Estate Investment Club, the author of Rolling Real Estate Formula and owner of an RV rental fleet
  • Has built 2 two million dollar indoor sports arenas
  • Based in Covington, LA
  • Say hi to him at www.cashflowdadlife.com
  • Best Ever Book: Rich Dad Poor Dad


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Theo Hicks: Hi, Best Ever listeners. Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Theo Hicks and I will be the host today. Today I will be speaking with Ryan Enk. How are you doing today, Ryan?

Ryan Enk: Doing great. I’m glad to be on the show, Theo. Thank you.

Theo Hicks: Yeah, I’m glad to have you on. I’m looking forward to our conversation. A little bit about Ryan. He is the founder of Columbia Real Estate Investment Club, the author of Rolling Real Estate Investment Formula, and the owner of an RV rental fleet.

He has built a few in-door sports arenas – I’m looking forward to talking about that. He’s based in Covington, Louisiana, and you can say hi to him at cashflowdadlife.com. We’ll have that website in the show notes of this episode.

Before we get started, Ryan, do you mind telling us a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on now?

Ryan Enk: Yeah. The main thing that I’m focused on right now is helping people achieve passive income, specifically through real estate investing… And enough passive income to replace their working income. The reason that I’ve got a heart for that is because I’ve got five kids, I’ve got five boys (I don’t know how to make girls, but I’m not a quitter, so we’ll see what happens there), and when I was going through corporate America, and had a corporate job selling copiers – I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that movie Office Space, where they take the copier to the backfield and beat it with a baseball bat… That was how people felt about me when I walked in the door unsolicited to sell them a copier.

I was really at this crossroads, because I was having all these kids, and I just got chewed out by this [unintelligible [00:03:57].11] who I sold a copier to, and I was like “Man, I’m in a really bad place right now…” And I asked myself a critical question that I think everybody should ask themselves, and that’s “What would you do if money didn’t matter?” Because if money didn’t matter, I would be more present for my wife and my family and my kids, I’d be able to serve my community better… And I just chased that rabbit all the way down the hole, and the vehicle I used to achieve that was real estate investing… So that’s what I help people now.

Theo Hicks: That’s such a great business model, and I’m sure people really appreciate you helping them out with that. So when you’re helping people achieve their passive income, is it more you’re helping them set up their own real estate business, or are they investing in some of the deals that you do, or is it a combination of those two things?

Ryan Enk: Yeah, it’s a combination of those two. A lot of real estate mentors sometimes pigeon-hole you into one strategy or another, and as you know, there’s tons of strategies out there…  So what we like to do is we like to reverse-engineer the situation, because some people might not have money, but they have a big network. Or they have a lot of money but they don’t really wanna spend a whole lot of time going out and finding deals… So we focus on creating single-family portfolios and multifamily portfolios as the main two strategies.

But that being said, some people have no money and no network, in which case sometimes we’ll say “Well, let’s get started with wholesaling.”

So we really kind of figure out where people are with their current capital situation, their current time constraints, their current network, and then we recommend a strategy and educate them from there.

Theo Hicks: Okay, that’s great. That’s how you’ve gotta do it; you don’t wanna just present one strategy and say “This is exactly how you have to do it”, because as you mentioned, it’s based on where they’re at right now, and everyone’s situation is different, so… That’s a great strategy.

As we said it in your background, you’ve built a few indoor sports arenas… I’ve personally never met anyone who’s done that before, so do you mind telling us a story about that? How you determined that that’s what you want to do, and then maybe kind of walk us through the numbers on one of those deals?

Ryan Enk: Yeah. So as part of the story I was giving you earlier, I asked myself what I would do if money didn’t matter… I was actually driving across the bridge from New Orleans – it’s the longest bridge in the world, across Lake Pontchartrain, and I just prayed for a little bit, I asked God to help me, because I was miserable; I was waking up every day with anxiety with what I had to do for work… So it popped in my head, “Well, what would I do if money didn’t matter?” I’ve always loved played soccer and football, and I was previously a teacher before Hurricane Katrina hit… This school I was at was six feet underwater.

So I was like “You know what, I’d like to do something where people are happy when I walk in the door, they want to know me… And something that people look forward to every week.” People look forward to their games every week, and it makes a positive impact on the community… And I also played guitar too, so I was like “There’s three things – I would either mentor people, help people, I’d open up an indoor sports arena where people can come and play sports, have birthday parties, whatever it is, or I would play music, if money didn’t matter.”

So I called my wife – and we had never had this discussion before – and I said “Obviously, you see me coming home unhappy and miserable, and not totally present to you and the kids… What could you see me doing if money didn’t matter?” She said “I don’t know, maybe opening up an indoor sports arena, playing music, or mentoring people.” So I was like “Alright, that’s my golden ticket to remind her that’s her idea, as I try to pursue this.” [laughs]

And at the time I didn’t have anything in my bank account really but overdraft fees. For anybody looking to get started, most people think that that’s a huge brick wall… But there’s a saying that I heard – I think it was Tony Robbins that said “Most people’s problem isn’t the lack of resources, it’s a lack of resourcefulness.” So I just decided whatever brick wall I was gonna come across, whatever I didn’t have, I would go look to find who had that.

So I began, I created a business plan, started looking for money, looking for capital, met with investors, met with banks, I got a consultant… One thing just led to another until we got our first deal. I think we built it for 1.7 million dollars. We structured like 11 investors in order to build that arena. So it was 1.7 million for the actual building, and then it was like another 380k just for the furniture, fixtures and equipment, the indoor turf and whatnot.

So that was just an experience, and all I brought to the table at that time was sweat equity. It turned out to be a pretty good deal. I don’t know if that answers your question, but if you’re looking at a little  bit about how that was structured, I basically got investors to help me build it.

Theo Hicks: And at this point had you done anything like that before?

Ryan Enk: No. [laughs] That was actually a huge problem, because when I first started, I was like “Alright, I know that I’ve gotta get a consultant”, and a lot of people when they first start something – and you can apply this to multifamily apartments, to anything that you’re starting for the first time – a lot of times the question that you’re gonna get is “Well, what’s your experience with this? Have you done this before?” And the biggest advice that you can give is it’s not like going to a job interview, where you have to present your own resume. I think too many people are trained in that mentality, like “This is just my job resume.”

When you’re pursuing something in investing, or a business, whether it’s an indoor sports arena or a multifamily apartment, you basically can give everybody else’s resume as part of the team. So you start creating a team around you, and that’s what I had to do – basically, look to leverage other people’s experience, other people’s money in order to prove myself to investors and to bankers.

Theo Hicks: And how did you find these team members? Because this is a very specific and unique niche, indoor sports arenas… Obviously, when you’re talking to investors for multifamily – it’s not easy, but it’s not super-difficult to find a multifamily consultant. How did you find  an indoor sports arena consultant? And the rest of your entire team.

Ryan Enk: The biggest thing I can say is I kept on saying if the door closed, I was like “Well, what’s another door?” With consultants, I just did a Google search; I found this one guy, called him, he wasn’t interested. Then I found this website, USindoor.com. They had a bunch of consultants listed. I called them all, interviewed them all… It was gonna cost $15,000 for the consultation. Obviously, I didn’t have that, so I took a second mortgage on my house in order to pay for some of it, and then I offered the guy equity in the arena if we were to get it off the ground. That way, I could say to the bankers and whatnot, not just “This is my consultant” but “This is my business partner.” That gave them more confidence in moving forward with it.

And then as far as finding the other partners, I went around and I had this airtight business plan that my consultant had drafted. It was this 40-page thing, it was very good… And I got so excited about meeting with investors once I had that business plan, because it really made me look like I knew what I was doing. But then everybody started telling me no. So I was like “I’ve gotta have some sort of experience here”, because everybody’s looking at me like “Well, you are a teacher and a copier salesman. I have no confidence that you know how to run an indoor sports arena.” And to be honest, I would probably say the same thing, too.

So I started a daytime business for the arena called SoccerTots. Basically, it’s this small franchise — I don’t think it’s around now; I’ve since sold it. But it’s this child’s sports development franchise. You can rent out a gym, like a basketball gym, a local recreation center, or even a church gym, and pay them a percentage of your revenue, and just basically train two-year-olds and four-year-olds how to play soccer.

So as soon as I had that, I was like “Alright, I now have the daytime business for an indoor sports arena.” That changed the conversation, and I ended up connecting with this one guy, connecting me to another guy, and they pooled together some investors; then this other guy knew another guy, and it just snowballed once I had a couple of those pieces in place.

Theo Hicks: That’s a great story. You explained how you went from not necessarily having any experience whatsoever, it was just kind of a dream of yours based off of that money question, “What would you do if money didn’t matter?”, and then you kind of just hustled your way to get it done. Every time, as you mentioned, you faced one of those brick walls, you just figured out a way to overcome that. That’s great advice.

As you mentioned, all these strategies we’re discussing can be applied to any strategy… And if I’m being honest, it’s probably gonna be easier if you’re doing this for multifamily, as opposed to doing it for a sports arena. That’s awesome.

Ryan Enk: Way easier.

Theo Hicks: Yeah, seriously. So what types of returns are you getting on that deal? You mentioned how much money you invested… What’s the return factor that you use, the cash-on-cash return, or whatever, and how are you making money on this sports arena?

Ryan Enk: Yeah, the sports arena is mostly the business, and actually at first we got investors in just the business, and not necessarily — the real estate investor was separate. Three years into it, we’re like “Wow, this is incredibly stupid. I wish we would have thought of this before, to actually own the real estate, instead of just the business…” Because we’ve got an exit strategy with the real estate. With the business, you either sell it, and what is the market for that…

So three years later we ended up negotiating with the landlord to “Please, help us out and sell us the building.” He sold us the building for two million dollars. So he built it for 1.7, and three years later – he basically make 100k a year – sold it for 2 million.

We didn’t make any returns the first three years. In fact, we lost money. As soon as we started owning it, we were looking at closer to 20%-30% returns.

Theo Hicks: So how did those conversations go with your investors when you didn’t make any money those first three years?

Ryan Enk: It wasn’t fun. But we did have business projections… When you’re starting a new business like that, not a whole lot of people make money their first three years in business. I think they say that your first 3-5 years you actually lose money. So we actually projected losing money in our business plan. That being said, presenting that business plan, a lot of investors are like “Yeah, I understand, you’re being conservative”, but then they kind of expect that you make money.

So the first year all the silent investors were silent. By the third year, all the silent investors were not silent anymore. They were constantly “What are we doing here on this management?” So that part was not fun. But as soon as we owned the real estate, it changed things around.

Theo Hicks: And then on that second deal, did you apply all those lessons and did you actually own the real estate from the get-go?

Ryan Enk: Well, the second deal was a little bit of a different situation, where we didn’t have to own the real estate. We kind of took over a foreclosed business on the other side of the lake. It was a foreclosed sports arena, because the guy – I think he was a doctor – who bought it didn’t manage it himself; the people he thought were gonna manage it kind of ran it into the ground.

So we ended up being able to get the actual business – you’re looking at 380k to 500k just to start the business for the assets. We got the assets for free, and we took over a lease that was half the cost of our lease on the [unintelligible [00:15:13].24] building. Ideally, we would have liked to own the property, but because the cost to lease it was so little and we could get the assets for free, it was a little different of a situation.

Theo Hicks: Okay. And transitioning to the other business model, which is the RV rental fleet – do you mind telling us a little bit about that business plan?

Ryan Enk: Sure. I call it rolling real estate. It’s basically Airbnb, but for RVs. Once I had done enough with real estate — and the indoor sports arena was more of a passion investment; it is an exciting story and I’ve put a lot into it, but I had most of my success developing single-family and multifamily portfolios in real estate. That really gave me the comfort and the passive income to do all these other things… So once I’d gotten to a certain point, I told my wife that I wanted to buy a boat, a little cabin cruiser or something… And she was like “No, I’ve always wanted to do an RV trip.” So from that standpoint obviously we had to get the RV, because “Happy wife, happy life”, right?

So I didn’t want to just have a liability. I wanted to see — kind of taking the page from Rich Dad, Poor Dad, instead of saying “I can’t afford it. How can I afford it?” I could afford it, but at the time I was like “How can I make this into an asset, something that cash-flows, instead of something that I’m just wasting $600/month on a payment?”

So I looked into it, and there’s a couple platforms out there – RVshare and Outdoorsy are two of them. Basically, like the Airbnb or the VRBO of the internet world. It looked like there was some demand for privately-owned RV rentals. So I went ahead and got a class A RV, traveled all over the country with my family for a couple weeks, and then listed it on these platforms just to see “Alright, let me see if I can get enough rental income to cushion my payments.”

Well, I ended up making $32,000 in profit in that first year, so that’s when I was like “Okay, this could be a really great business model.” Kind of  a real estate play, but it’s rolling real estate; the same thing as the house, but on wheels, and you can take advantage of the trends in the short-term rental industry.

So I ended up getting three others in the fleet, but using other people’s money and other people’s RVs instead of putting my own capital towards it. It ended up being a neat little business.

Theo Hicks: That’s interesting. So you bought your first RV, and then once you had the proof of concept and saw that you were able to generate profit, you would reach out to other people who already had their RVs, and then rent their RVs out too, and sharing the profits?

Ryan Enk: Yeah, I basically said “Hey look, this RV is doing nothing but costing you in storage fees your monthly rent. We’ve got an airtight operation.” We basically outsourced and created a small little management company that was part-time.. And we were like “We’ve got a pretty good operation, so if you want to share in this trend and some of the rental revenues, then why don’t you go ahead and put it in our fleet. We’ll cover you on the insurance, and you can make money on this instead of losing money on it when you’re not using it.”

Theo Hicks: Wow, very interesting. Alright, Ryan, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Ryan Enk: I would say if I had to go back in time and slap myself around, the first thing that I would tell myself is that there is a difference between speculating and investing. Speculating is kind of like your flipping houses type thing, where you’re going in and you think you might be able to get this, but you’re susceptible for market crashes; you don’t know if you can get a tenant in there. You might research the demand and see that there’s a demand for rentals in the area, but you’re not sure. You’re not sure if you can sell; you think based on days on market you can… So that’s speculative.

And there is a way to do it in a low-risk way, but at the same time there are better investments out there, such as apartments and multifamily, where you know without doing any value-add or any improvements on day one – you know what you’re gonna make when you go in there and rent something… Because you see the T-12, you see the P&L statement. So on day one you’re getting the money that the property has been able to generate for the past 20-30 years.

That is the biggest advice that I give people when they wanna first get started in investing. A lot of them come up with all these ideas. “Let’s see the foreclosure sale, let’s see this…” – look, all those can be fun and lucrative, but they are still speculative. The best thing you can do with your capital is to invest it and not use it for speculation.

Theo Hicks: That’s solid advice. Are  you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?

Ryan Enk: Yeah, let’s do it.

Theo Hicks: Alright. First, a quick word from our sponsor.

Break: [00:19:59].24] to [00:20:40].29]

Theo Hicks: Alright, Ryan, what is the best ever book you’ve recently read?

Ryan Enk: Recently read…

Theo Hicks: It can be within the past few years. Recent subjective.

Ryan Enk: I’d say my best ever book – not recently read; read like 10-15 years ago was Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki.

Theo Hicks: If your businesses were to collapse today, what would you do next?

Ryan Enk: I would syndicate multifamily apartments.

Theo Hicks: How would start over today if you had little or no capital?

Ryan Enk: Little or no capital… I always say the biggest domino is to find the deals. So if you can perfect that skill, finding deals, I would go find deals anywhere in real estate. Once you do that, with little or no capital, the money tends to follow. Now, there’s strategies to find the money, but I would focus on getting out there and finding any real estate deal and then getting started.

Theo Hicks: What is the worst deal that you’ve done?

Ryan Enk: I can tell you exactly what it is. I started playing around with different strategies, and I heard that coworking was an up-and-coming trend. Like WeWork, and whatnot. So I decided to buy this million-dollar building in the downtown area where I live, which is on a very nice street… And the downstairs wasn’t occupied. Totally speculative, again. I planned on getting the same kind of rents that you could get for a coworking facility. Well, it’s a little town with a big ego, and I had the big ego, and nobody else really understood the concept. It had a few people that understood it, but most people were interested in just regular office space. I ended up hemorrhaging about $3,000-$4,000 a month on just that one real estate deal. So that’s where the earlier advice comes in on – know the difference between investing and speculating.

Theo Hicks: And then lastly, what is the best ever place to reach you?

Ryan Enk: Best ever place to reach me… Probably on Facebook.

Theo Hicks: Well, Ryan, this has been a very fascinating conversation, a very interesting journey, and also very inspiring because of all the obstacles you overcame. Just to summarize what we talked about today – you talked about right now you’re focused on helping people achieve passive income in order to replace their full-time income, their full-time jobs. The way that you do that is you don’t just have a one-size-fits-all formula, you reverse-engineer a specific strategy based on this person’s specific current situation.

Then we dove deep into your indoor sports arena, and we discussed the most important question you asked yourself was “What would you do if money didn’t matter?” You decided on investing in this indoor sports arena. We talked about some of the numbers, and how much money you paid for the deal, and the investors… But more specifically, you talked about how you were able to complete the deal without having any experience in that indoor sports arena. This advice can apply to really any real estate or business niche in general, and that is to find someone who has done it before and leverage that person’s experience when you are going out to raise capital.

Specifically, you talked about how you found your consultant through a Google search, and just reached out to a bunch of people until someone was interested. And you actually had to take a second mortgage out on your house, as well as offer equity to the consultant in order to have them come on board.

Then you talked about once you had that business plan, you still weren’t able to get investors. They still wanted to see some sort of experience from you, so  you actually went and started a business just to gain that experience in order to raise that capital.

We also talked about how in business you expect to not necessarily make money those first few years, but for this sports arena, once you actually bought the building, you were able to achieve 20%-30% returns.

Then we also quickly talked about the story behind your RV rental fleet, and how you wanted to buy a boat, your wife wanted the RV, and you didn’t want a liability, so you decided to check out a way to make money off of that, and you ended up making about $32,000 a year  by renting out the RV to other people, in kind of like an Airbnb form, and ended up turning that into a business.

Then lastly, you provided your best ever advice, which is to know the difference between speculating and investing, and that it’s great to have all these ideas of what you can do with the property, and it’s fun, and it could work out, but at the end of the day, the best course of action is to invest in deals that you will know what you’re going to be making from day one.

Again, very fascinating conversation. I learned a ton. I appreciate you coming on the show and speaking with us today. Thank you to everyone who listened to the episode. Ryan, have a best ever day, and we will talk to you soon.

Ryan Enk: Thank you. And is it okay with you if I offer your audience my book?

Theo Hicks: Yeah, absolutely. You asked a question earlier about what would you do if you had to start from scratch – I actually wrote a book called The 7-day Real Estate Survival Blueprint: How to Create $10,000 Out of Nothing in Less Than a Month. It deals with wholesaling and sandwich lease options, and it’s basically an hour-by-hour, play-by-play of what I would do in seven days to make sure I had a check at the end of the month. So if your audience is interested in picking up that book, it’s got nothing but five-star ratings on Amazon. We’ve been selling these books like crazy. A lot of people are getting a ton of value out of them.

You can get it for free if you just cover the shipping charge at cashflowdadlife.com/7.

Theo Hicks: Alright, cashflowdadlife.com/7. We’ll make sure that the website will be in the show notes.

Ryan Enk: Perfect.

Theo Hicks: Alright, thanks for coming on, Ryan. We will talk to you soon.

Ryan Enk: Thank you.

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JF1384: Paying Off All Debts & Living Debt Free – How Did He Do It? #SkillSetSunday with Jeff Anzalone

As a practicing Periodontist, Jeff obviously had student loan debt. He also had a mortgage, both are paid off now. Jeff is here to tell us how he was able to do pay off all of his debts while also investing in real estate. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!


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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? 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 of that fluffy stuff.

First off, I hope you’re having a best ever weekend. Because today is Sunday, we’ve got a special segment called Skillset Sunday where we invite a previous guest to come teach us something that can be helpful for us as we go about our real estate journey.

Today we’ve got Jeff Anzalone. First off, how are you doing, Jeff?

Jeff Anzalone: I’m doing fantastic, Joe. How are you?

Joe Fairless: I’m doing fantastic as well, nice to have you back. Best ever listeners, you might remember Jess – I’m sure you do – episode 1133, titled “Struggling with student loan debt, a periodontist schools himself in real estate investing.” We didn’t quite touch on the debt part of it as much as we did just his overall story. Today we’re gonna be talking about the debt part, and the skillset within this conversation is when we’re in a whole lot of debt, and in particular physicians, but not just physicians – it’s other individuals who have mountains of debt… When we’re in this type of debt, what do we do to get out of it, so what specifically did Jeff do to get out of it? And then now, fast-forward — so when he was right out of residency, he was 300k-400k in debt; now he’s got a seven-figure net worth, and he’s actively investing in multiple deals. He has invested in my deals, so full disclaimer there, that we do have a pre-existing relationship… And we’d love to learn more about how he did it, and then how we can do it if we are in that situation.

With that being said, Jeff, will you just give the Best Ever listeners a little bit of a refresher for your background and what you’re currently focused on?

Jeff Anzalone: Sure. Whenever I was getting ready to get out of my residency back in 2005, the partnership deal that I was gonna be joining – a group practice – fell through about a week or two before graduation day… So I had several hundred thousands of dollars in student loan debt, and other debt, a two-month-old, and didn’t have a clue what to do, basically. It wasn’t a lot of fun.

So after a lot of prayer and networking with people, the man upstairs kind of led me to a situation where I could start reading, learning from somebody that really helped me in the area, helped me network with some of the other local people, built up my practice… It took about six years to finally get out of all the student loan debt, and then last year I finally finished paying off our house and everything. I’m 43 now, completely debt-free, including the house.

All those kinds of struggles and different trials and things that happened to me, I think for me — there’s so many people now that are going through that. It’s even worse now. People are getting out of dental school, medical school, chiropractic school, whatever – anywhere from probably 250k on the low end, to some of the people that I’ve talked with a million dollars in debt to some of these private schools.

It’s tough, so number one, they’re wanting to know “Well, can we get out? Can we start making a living? Where do we start? Should we focus on debt reduction, should we focus on investing, should we do both? Where should we start investing?”, those sorts of things.

That’s kind of the background, a little refresher for your listeners, Joe.

Joe Fairless: Well, 250k in debt would certainly jolt individuals, and up to a million – that’s quite daunting; for 99% of the people that would be quite daunting, right out of school. I wanna talk about that, because that’s the focus of our conversation, but I wanna ask you about your financial approach. You’re debt-free now, you paid off your primary residence… What are your thoughts on the opposite opinion of being debt free, where when someone hears you say you’re debt-free, and they’re like “Yeah, what was your interest rate?” So first off, what was your interest rate on the house payment?

Jeff Anzalone: It was 4.5%.

Joe Fairless: Okay, so a 15-year mortgage, 4.5%. So the contrarian to your perspective is gonna say “4.5%? I can make 8% doing XYZ. The market’s returning whatever. I can make the spread, and then I can pay down from the profits, plus I can then invest the difference, and I’m gonna be much farther ahead.” What are your thoughts on that approach?

Jeff Anzalone: My approach – I don’t push this on anybody; this is just me, this is what I was comfortable with… Just like some people wanna do risky stocks and risky options and risky investing, some people are more conservative. Everything in my life goes back to one source, and that’s the Bible. Proverbs 22:7 says “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” So what I say is if God didn’t want us to be in debt, that’s enough for me.

Joe Fairless: [laughs]

Jeff Anzalone: There’s nothing else I can say about that. He tells us we have to work. The working people – if you work, you get food, you get to eat; if you don’t work, if you’re lazy, you don’t. Then if you’ve gotta borrow stuff, then you’re gonna be a slave to that lender.
Some of my family members actually had to borrow money. When I first started for my family members, I had to mow yards again; I used to have a lawn service… So it was very humbling, Joe, to be a doctor and have to go to my grandparents to borrow money just to get a practice going, to cut yards again…

Debt to me was just like the worst thing ever. You could probably do what you said, “Hey, we can invest over here”, whatever, but for me it’s like, I’m debt-free. If somebody comes in my practice now, they need work and they can’t quite pay for all of it, or if they can’t pay for any of it, I can do it. I don’t have to worry about paying for something; if I wanna just give back [unintelligible [00:07:19].24] I can do it, and that’s a great feeling.

Joe Fairless: It’s almost becoming like a soapbox thing for me, because I have so many physicians who are investors, and I hear your story, I hear their story… And the perception among most people – myself included – prior to having all these conversations with investors of mine and other physicians is that doctors are loaded, and they’ve always been loaded, as soon as they graduated… But that’s just not the case. That is absolutely not the case. Physicians have to dig themselves out of debt – most of them – before they’re able to really enjoy the lifestyle that quite frankly they very much deserve, because of what they’ve put themselves through to get to the point where they’re at. All that schooling, all the debt paydown… It’s insane how much they go through, so I’m glad you’re telling the story, first off just to educate some people who might not know the type of debt that doctors and physicians have coming out of school.

Now that that’s kind of brought to light – 250k or a couple hundred thousand, or more than that in debt… Now what’s the approach that you took and what would you suggest for people who are in a similar situation?

Jeff Anzalone: I basically took the approach — well, actually I had to take that approach, because I started from nothing, whereas most people I know don’t start from absolutely nothing; they actually have a job, they’ll probably have a salary, and that sort of thing… But I kind of use a Dave Ramsey approach, and that’s who really helped me a lot. I still listen to him to this day… Just use his principles. When you get out, you’re already used to living on nothing, because you’re a resident.

And one of the things that you said, Joe, was you thought doctors are loaded, you thought this and that… Well, think about somebody that’s getting out of their training – in their mind, they’re looking around and go “Hey, look, these doctors are loaded. They’re on the tennis court, they’re on the golf course, they drive a Mercedes… I want that now”, and then they’ll put off things, they’ll put their student loan payments on minimum payments, they’ll buy the big house and all that, and then the next thing you know, they’re a million and a half in debt, including their mortgage, and it’s like “What do I do?”

Joe Fairless: Yeah, that’s exactly what happens.

Jeff Anzalone: I’m doing a little bit of financial and practice coaching on the side, and it’s amazing how many people over 60 that I coach, that have no money. They’ve been practicing their whole life. That was like a wake-up call, like “You know what, I’m never gonna be 60 years old and not have $5,000 in the bank” or whatever.

So there’s a lot of people hurting out there, so I think people can just share their story, because there’s so many people that have helped me get to where I am, and I’m just turning around and just giving back and saying “Hey look, use the Dave Ramsey principles, keep living like a resident, throw everything you can at the student loans initially, completely get out of student loan debt, and then — I didn’t rent, but Dave recommends that you rent until you can afford your 20% down payment of your home.” 99% of the people getting out of training aren’t gonna do that, but if you’ll just do that, just sacrifice a few more years, man, you’ll be so quick to be financially independent, it’s crazy… Because we all have a great income and income potential; that’s the great thing about our profession.

Joe Fairless: And I imagine credit is incredibly accessible right after residency, too… So if you look at the lifestyle that other people are having for themselves, and then you probably have access to a whole lot of credit that you didn’t have before…

Jeff Anzalone: Yeah, and I called my banker, and he didn’t have to meet with me or anything, he said “I’ll give you an interest-only loan for your house, knowing that you’re gonna be going in with this group.” We bought the house, the deal fell through, so it was just like “Yeah, we’ll give you whatever you want”, you know? I was like “Really?” It’s crazy…

Joe Fairless: Now you have the house, but now you have to mow your neighbors’ yards to make the mortgage payment.

Jeff Anzalone: Exactly.

Joe Fairless: Wow, okay. Some takeaways that I’ve got so far – this is what worked for you… You used Dave Ramsey’s principles; you live like a resident, you threw all of your cash that you had from working into paying down student loans, and then the even more extreme approach – or conservative approach, depending on how you think about it – would be to rent instead of buy… And obviously, I love hearing that; I’ve got a lot of apartments for any doctor who wants to rent… We can rent you an apartment, as long as you’re in Dallas-Fort Worth or Houston. [laughs] Anything else?

Jeff Anzalone: I get people that ask me questions like, “I’ve got a lot of debt, but I’m making a good income. What do you think about maybe doing some investing? Should we do stock market, should I buy a house and rent it out? Should we do real estate, or what?” Those are some of the questions that I’m getting, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to maybe share my experience. I know we don’t have a whole lot of time left, but a little bit about my crowdfunding experience, and then doing a couple deals with you, if you don’t mind…

Joe Fairless: Yeah, sure.

Jeff Anzalone: Once I got completely debt-free and had a good chunk of money in investments – stock market mainly, index funds – I wanted to take a portion of the money that I’d saved up, and I kind of earmarked initially 10%, and invest in real estate. So I started researching some of the crowdfunding sites – Realty Shares and Patch of Land were the two I eventually went with… I did that, and then you told the listeners I was on a couple deals with you… And I think just for me, moving forward, I like doing the deals with you based on — the main thing is when you go to some of these other companies, they’re not the ones that have the money in the apartment deal or in the house deal. They’re putting the deals together. So you may invest with them, whatever crowdfunding company; it may take two months, six months… I’m still waiting right now on a deal – it’s been almost 12 months and I haven’t even got my first distribution yet. They’re having problems.

Joe Fairless: Was that planned?

Jeff Anzalone: No, it was not planned.

Joe Fairless: Which platform is that?

Jeff Anzalone: That was Realty Shares. And the problem was with the management, they’ve turned over the management; they’re having a hard time filling the vacancies, a lot of marketing issues… So my money’s just been sitting there for like 11 months now, and I don’t really like that at all (who would…?) Versus the two deals that I’ve done with you – well, you’re the one that’s in charge typically of handling everything, so you have more skin in the game, and I don’t think I’ve waited longer than 45-60 days before I started getting my first distributions from you.

Now, I do know that investing with you is a little bit higher versus some of these platforms, just like $2,000 or $5,000, but still, once you get to the position to where this becomes an option, that’s my experience, and I’m glad I kind of went through both, because I can see both sides now… But I really like going with somebody that’s got skin in the game, they’re on top of it… You do a great job sending us e-mails, knowing about what you’re doing to the property, the vacancy, your improvements, what the goal is… That sort of thing.

That’s kind of my experience with it, and moving forward, I’d like to earmark a little bit more money towards the real estate, versus so much an index fund. Some of my things I went through with that deal – I’m kind of helping people, and they’re asking me technical questions, either online or calling me… So just from my experience from that is kind of how I’m helping them.

Joe Fairless: And I did not know the conversation would go towards that direction; I’m glad to hear the feedback, that’s for darn sure. I’m gonna play devil’s advocate – so a disadvantage in that scenario would be diversification of sponsors, because with the crowdfunding platform they work with hundreds, maybe thousands (I don’t know, it depends on the platform) of different sponsors, so you’ve got a diversification of probably both sponsor and also geography… Whereas with one sponsor – I’ll use myself as this example, since we’re talking about you investing with me – it’s one sponsor group, plus we’re concentrated in one state right now (Texas) and in a couple markets in that state.

Jeff Anzalone: Correct.

Joe Fairless: So when you look at your portfolio, how important is that diversification part?

Jeff Anzalone: Especially now – the stock market is not just going up like crazy like it was, but I think now as I’m getting older, I wanted to have more diversification. I have most of my money in the stock market, but having something to kind of buffer that with the bonds and real estate… And some people will wanna do that right off the bat; they wanna focus more on real estate, not so much in the stock market, but I love the compound interest effect. It takes a while to get to that first million, but after that, it’s amazing how quickly — and I’ve read books about it and I’ve seen it first-hand… After the first one, the second one is a lot quicker, and then the third one and fourth one, and so on and so forth.

So that’s cool, and a lot of these principles I’m able to teach in my kids as they’re growing up. There’s only a few things you can do with money – buy something, save something, or give it away… Again, those are Dave Ramsey principles. So just teaching them that walk as well, and to make sure they’re giving back as well, too.

Joe Fairless: I was reading an article – they were looking at the world’s billionaires, and they were seeing how long did it take them to get to the first million, and then how long did it take them to get to the first billion, and on average, it was 37 years old for the first million, and then it was only 14 years later (on average), 51 years old for the first billion.

Jeff Anzalone: Yeah.

Joe Fairless: Anything else as it relates to this topic that you wanna address as we close this out?

Jeff Anzalone: Yeah, and I’ve mentioned this before the call – I’ve started a new blog, a free blog… I’ve love to give the listeners the address, if you don’t mind.

Joe Fairless: Absolutely.

Jeff Anzalone: I’m basically just kind of going through and started a blog actually maybe about a month or so ago, and it’s called DebtFreeDr.com. It’s basically the principles, kind of my story, what you guys just heard in a little more detail, and it’s just the principles that have taken me from a lot of debt, to getting out of debt, to where I am now… And as I continue posting information on there, I’m going to be going a little bit deeper into investments, investment strategies, real estate etc. so I’d love for you guys to go there and sign up, put your e-mail address in and then you’ll be updated as I update the site.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, it looks great… I’m looking at articles. “Top Ways Docs Can Become Debt-Free In 3 Years”, “Financial Advice For The New Doctor, The Thrifty Doctor…”, all sorts of good stuff.

Well, Jeff, thank you for being on the show again. I enjoyed catching up with you, I enjoyed hearing your perspective from where you were, where you’re at now, and how you got here, and lessons learned along the way… Taking the Dave Ramsey approach, living like a resident, so living below your means, having the money being paid towards student loans that you earn…

You didn’t do this, but perhaps renting, and then once you have the financial ability to start investing, then identifying what is your preferred method. You’ve done crowdfunding, you’ve done investing in private syndications… You mentioned the private syndication route is your cup of tea, that’s what you’re really focused on, and I’m really grateful that you’re investing with my company, and I’m grateful that we had a conversation, because there are a lot of lessons learned for a lot of individuals.

I hope you have a best ever weekend, and we’ll talk to you soon.

Jeff Anzalone: Yes, sir.

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JF959: How Your Mortgage Lender Thinks

You may wonder what a mortgage lender is thinking before you give them a call asking for a loan. They want to know how much Capital you have saved, what you own, and what property you were looking to buy… They also want some skin in the game on your end. This episode tells you everything you need to understand about your local mortgage lender and basic requirements.

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Stephanie Weeks Real Estate Background:

– Owner of The Weeks Team
– ‎Mortgage Financial Services
– Mortgage lender for more than 13 years
– Closed thousands of loans totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in volume
– Named top 1% of loan officers in the nation – Mortgage Peace
– Based in New Orleans, Louisiana
– Say hi to her at http://weeksteam.com/
– Best Ever Book: The Go Giver by Bob Burg

Click here for a summary of Stephanie’s Best Ever advice: http://bit.ly/2osCmfT

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advice about mortgage lenders


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 – Stephanie Weeks. How are you doing, Stephanie?

Stephanie Weeks: I’m great, how are you today?

Joe Fairless: I’m doing well, and nice to have you on the show. A little bit about Stephanie – she is the owner of the Weeks Team, a mortgage financial services company. She’s a mortgage lender with more than 13 years experience, closed thousands of loans totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in volume, and based in New Orleans, Louisiana, the location of my bachelor party about this time next month, so looking forward to that. Stephanie, with that being said, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your focus?

Stephanie Weeks: Sure. As you mentioned, I’ve been in lending for over 13 years, and actually kind of fell into this because my original plan was to be a medical malpractice attorney, so my path went along everything that would follow that, up until going into law school, which I decided in April (when I was supposed to go in August) that something changed, so I needed to have a backup plan… And I hadn’t had a backup plan, but what I did have was I had already bought in full several houses, because my husband and I bought our first house when we were 18 years old. At that point, we were on house four or five, and I called my lender and I said, “Hey, how do you like your job? Tell me about it, and what it entails”, because I told my husband, I said “Oh my gosh, I don’t have a plan B… What in the world am I gonna do?” He said, “Well, anytime any friends or family wanna buy or finance anything, they call you, you get your calculator out and you start running numbers and advise them, so why don’t you just go get paid to do that?” And the rest is history.

Joe Fairless: So that was 13 years ago?

Stephanie Weeks: Yes.

Joe Fairless: Okay, now what type of loans do you specialize in?

Stephanie Weeks: Residential mortgage loans.

Joe Fairless: And do you work with investors?

Stephanie Weeks: I do, absolutely.

Joe Fairless: What are some of the unique aspects of working with an investor that you’ve come across?

Stephanie Weeks: Well, a lot of the lending institutions, when it comes to investment property, they have a little bit higher fees that they charge. They also typically want to put it with some kind of balloon note; they will typically amortize it over a short period with an elevated rate. Well, for my investors I have products from as little as 15% down for a single family investment property, with a 30-year fixed term, without elevated expenses and without a balloon and without a pre-payment penalty, and I also have the option to have 20% down, 25% down, or of course more if they would like to do that. And I can help those investors with single-family one-unit, two-unit, three-unit or four-unit.

Joe Fairless: Let’s go with the 15% down, 30-year fixed on a four-family… What are you looking for from the borrower?

Stephanie Weeks: On the four-family, the minimum on the four-unit is 25% down. The 15% only applies to the single family.

Joe Fairless: Alright, let’s do the single-family then. 15%, 30-year, single family… What do they need to have in order to qualify?

Stephanie Weeks: Well, they’re gonna need to have enough money verified for the down payment, as well as the closing cost, as well as the prepaid items. We’re also gonna wanna see what we call “reserves in the bank”, or savings. How much money is left after closing, to where if those tenants didn’t pay, how many months can you cover that before you default? So we’re looking for a little bit of savings.

The amount of savings depends on the total client profile. We’re looking for good credit…

Joe Fairless: As far as the amount of savings as the total credit profile – you mean credit score? Or are you looking at something else, like things within the credit score as far as maybe debt-to-income, or something like that?

Stephanie Weeks: It’s pretty much everything. We’re gonna look at the down payment, the cash reserves, the credit score, the utilization of credit, the jobs history, rental experience, being a landlord experience – those different types of things, along with debt-to-income ratio and a number of other things as well. So we kind of look at everything. For one client I might need three months reserves, which means three of those new mortgage payments in the bank, after closing.

For some clients, depending upon the number of properties they own, that might be 12 months that we need.

Joe Fairless: The more properties, the more monthly reserves?

Stephanie Weeks: Yes, because we’re looking to see what if something terrible happens and all the properties are vacant. How many months of those payments can you make before you actually default, as an investor?

Joe Fairless: Alright, let’s use a single-family example. What would be some deal breakers for you, that you’ve come across before and you said, “Sorry, can’t work with you”?

Stephanie Weeks: Well, there are some people that would like to start investing in properties, but they don’t have at least the 15% down. Or maybe they have the 15% down, they also own their own primary residence, but they have absolutely zero savings. That would definitely be a deal breaker, because they’re not in a position to pull from somewhere before having to default if the renters up and leave.

Joe Fairless: Okay. How about some general guidelines, like “Hey, if you want to be assured of getting approved for a single family, 15% down, 30-year mortgage – here are the specific things you need”, getting really specific as far as the savings in the bank… And you can use a hypothetical example – say you’re buying a $100,000 property.

Stephanie Weeks: Okay, so a hypothetical example would be if you have good or excellent credit…

Joe Fairless: Which is…

Stephanie Weeks: The average is about a 680. I define good as 700 and above, and I define excellent as 740 or above.

Joe Fairless: Okay, so 700 and above credit.

Stephanie Weeks: Let’s say a good credit and above, say, have at least 15% down, we’re looking for good job stability – that means typically that you’re on your job for at least two years in the same field’ we’re looking for that so that can be verified.

Joe Fairless: Can that be an entrepreneur who’s been entrepreneuring for two years in the same field, for example real estate?

Stephanie Weeks: Absolutely, as long as it’s verifiable income and it’s not just cash money, or something… But absolutely, 100% yeah. And then have, let’s say if you’re buying a $100,000 property, and let’s say if you have another mortgage on your primary house – let’s say that’s $1,500… Let’s say then you’re buying an investment property, and that monthly payment is gonna be $1,000 dollars. We’re now up to $2,500/month in mortgage expenses in that instance.

So in addition to your down payment, closing costs and pre-paid items as well, we’re gonna typically – and sometimes there’s exceptions to the rules – be looking for at least three months reserves on those two properties, which in that particular case would be about $7,500 that’s still left, that you have access to liquid, that you can pull from if you need to make those payments.

Joe Fairless: As far as any other qualifications or things that would disqualify someone… For example, do they have to have experience as a landlord?

Stephanie Weeks: Not necessarily. Sometimes they do, but not necessarily in every instance. You do not have to have that experience as a landlord. Some deal breakers would be late payments on any bills within the last 12 months, or especially late payments on any mortgages in the past 12 months. And let me say that we define late payment as more than 30 days late, not if you were due on the 10th and you paid it on the 20th. We define late as 30 days or more.

So those would be some things that would be a deal breaker. Again, not having any savings, being short on the cash to close – that would be a deal breaker – having too tight of a debt-to-income ratio, that could be a deal breaker…

Joe Fairless: What’s the ratio you look for?

Stephanie Weeks: Typically we wanna see an overall debt ratio of 45% or less in this instance. Always less is a good thing, but typically no more than 45% on this scenario.

Joe Fairless: And can you explain the debt-to-income ratio?

Stephanie Weeks: Absolutely. With debt-to-income ratio we look at two things: we look at the housing ratio, and we look at the overall debt-to-income ratio. For the housing ratio, that is what is that monthly payment in a percentage, related to your monthly income? So what percentage is your housing ratio? As an example, if you make $1,000/month, you have a $300 housing payment, that is a 30% ratio. Does that make sense?

Joe Fairless: Yup.

Stephanie Weeks: And then we also look at the overall debt-to-income ratio. We look at all the debts that you have, we look at minimum payments, we also include the new proposed mortgage or any existing mortgages, and then we take that and consider a ratio in relation to your monthly income – that’s your overall debt-to-income ratio.

Joe Fairless: Very helpful, and I know that we hear those terms often, but sometimes it’s just good to clarify or just get a refresher, and thanks for walking through that scenario.
Let’s talk about a challenge that you have — or actually, let’s talk about a way that you’ve optimized your business… How long have you had the Weeks Team?

Stephanie Weeks: The Weeks Team works at Mortgage Financial Services, so I run the Weeks Team, but I don’t own Mortgage Financial Services. I’ve been having the official team, if you will, for probably about four or five years now… Where I realized that as the industry changed and as it became more difficult and more complicated shall I say, that it started to take a lot more of my time to put a file together, and that in order to still be able to put the files together while delivering the same customer experience that I wanna deliver to each customer, I had to start leveraging myself with people that were the same or better than me at what I do.

Joe Fairless: Being a mortgage lender, to me – and please educate me – there’s a specific skill set that needs to be present, and that’s someone who’s very good at underwriting, and also good with people to bring in the business… So bring in the business, good with people, good with underwriting, you’ve gotta know your numbers… And I know with building a team – at least my own personal experience – I wanna bring in people who have complementary strengths. So I’m good at some stuff and I’m not good at others, so I wanna bring in people who complement me for the areas I’m not good at. But with the mortgage lender, I wouldn’t think – and this is where I need to be educated – that there’s a lot of skills that would be lacking or that you wouldn’t be able to be very good at to scale… So do you complement your team with people who have similar skill sets as you, because it is a people person thing and an underwriting thing, or do you bring people in who have different skill sets than you?

Stephanie Weeks: Actually, I want someone who has similarities with me, but then also complements some places that I lack. That’s how I structure my team. So it’s a little bit of both really, it’s not someone completely opposite or someone exactly the same. And you mentioned skill set in underwriting and know your numbers – I’m very excited that for the second year in a row I’ve been named in the top 1% of mortgage lenders in the nation. But honestly, my daughter asked me about a week ago, “Mom, how many other loan officers are there?” and I actually had no idea.

This morning I jumped on Facebook, and someone that I know across the country that also made the top 1%, she posted that she read that there are actually 136,000 loan officers. 136,000, so I made the top 1%, which is pretty exciting. But what’s important is that I take my job so seriously, and I treat people’s money better than I would even treat my own money. What you need to look for in a loan officer is a skill set of someone who 1) you feel like you trust, 2) who has your best interest at heart, 3) who’s gonna advise you of your whole entire overall situation, not just say “Sure, you want this loan type – here you go”, but “Hey, you want this? This is great, but here’s some other food for thought and how that might help you in your five-year plan.”

You want someone who cares about every single detail, because if I don’t spend the extra time to actually get quotes for all these different services that go along with a loan, so that I can tell the client “This is what your payment is and this is what you’ll bring to closing or less”, and be able to guarantee that… You have to have a lot of detail, a lot of diligence, a lot of care to be able to do that, versus just guess some numbers and then it be wrong. You’re affecting someone’s livelihood and their life when they’re investing in properties.

The other thing I would say – and the last thing, because I’m getting long-winded on you – is this is what is so important, it’s that there are many times when my team gets a loan that’s been denied by someone else, and so they’re calling us to salvage it and try to keep that close day. There are times when that loan was never a loan, and for 30-45 days you had all these people’s lives affected, because someone didn’t do their job in the beginning and that was never a loan.

And then the other half the time, the loan is perfectly fine but it wasn’t done the right way. So the best way to think about getting yourself a mortgage loan is it’s just like hiring an attorney. The lender is the judge and the jury, and they’re gonna tell you whether you’re approved or denied. But basically, your file is your file. It’s all in how your attorney puts it together versus someone else. In this instance, as your loan officer, I’m your attorney. So if someone puts your file together one way, versus the way that I put it together and present it, I might win your loan, versus your loan just got denied by someone else. So I’m bringing everything that I learned in the legal field, and I realize [unintelligible [00:16:56].17] Oh my gosh, I’m doing exactly what I thought I would do, but just in a different capacity, because I am analyzing a situation, I am advising a client, I am finding what’s best for them, I’m putting their whole entire case together to present it so that I win slam dunk, 100% of the time.

I’m extremely proud to say that my team, of every single loan that we submitted to underwriting in 2016, we did not have one loan denial.

Joe Fairless: Wow.

Stephanie Weeks: Not one, and that is ridiculously strong.

Joe Fairless: Has that happened in years prior for you, or was last year the culmination of what you’ve been up to in kind of refining the process?

Stephanie Weeks: In 2015 we had two loans denied, and in 2014 we had one. So it’s been between one and two, but last year [unintelligible [00:17:54].07] And you know what the difference was? We got a little more firm in the beginning, because the two loans that were denied in 2015, honestly they did not follow our direction, our instruction, and we just went along with it trying to still fix when they weren’t listening. But ultimately they got their own loans denied.

Now we’ve just gotten firmer in that. “Hey, look, you can call Joe Blow down the street and he’s gonna tell you this is gonna be fast and easy, and I need nothing from you” and you’re gonna have 15 stops, you’re gonna be frustrated, your numbers are not gonna be your numbers, and lucky if you go to closing and if you get there on time. But me, I’m gonna be upfront, honest and say “It’s a little bit of work because I need all this stuff, but trust me, because I’m gonna get you there, and realize that some of the things I ask you for may not even seem logical in the real world, but they’re logical in mortgage lending.”

Joe Fairless: Stephanie, based on your experience as a mortgage lender, what is your best advice ever for real estate investors?

Stephanie Weeks: Well, that’s a super tough one.

Joe Fairless: You knew it was coming, though…

Stephanie Weeks: Right, I guess so… Honestly, if you’re paying cash, I don’t have any advice; that’s amazing. But if you do need to get a mortgage loan, the absolute best advice – because if you’re investing in properties, then that’s your business, that’s part of your livelihood… And time is money. And wasting money on appraisals and inspection is also a waste of money, so my biggest advice is that if you’re an investor and you are gonna have mortgages when you’re purchasing these properties, you team up with the best mortgage lender that you can find, that is going to do everything they need to do to get you to that finish line. So don’t take that decision lightly.

Joe Fairless: What are the top three questions that a Best Ever listener should ask their prospective mortgage lender?

Stephanie Weeks: This sounds kind of a joke, but it’s kind of funny and kind of true… For me and my team, we actually review guidelines on almost a daily basis, because on almost a daily basis guidelines are changing. We actually get the guidelines printed out; every few months we get the updates, and those books fall apart, because we are in them. We are learning how everything works, how it has to be done, how it puts us all together. So one of the questions I say as a joke is when you’re talking to a loan officer, ask him when’s the last time they read the guideline book… And it’s kind of mean for me to say it, but I still think it’s funny – you should see their face, or hear them stutter, because unfortunately most loan officers have never picked up a guideline book. That’s frustrating to me.

Joe Fairless: If I asked you that question, what would your answer be?

Stephanie Weeks: Yesterday.

Joe Fairless: You read the guideline book yesterday?

Stephanie Weeks: Not the whole book, but the updates.

Joe Fairless: Right, interesting.

Stephanie Weeks: There’s updates almost on a daily basis. I read two different full updates yesterday.

Joe Fairless: What’s the second question?

Stephanie Weeks: The second question would be ask them what kind of added value they bring. This one example, if someone asked me “Okay, Stephanie, what kind of added value do you bring?”, I would say, “Well, number one, the mortgage industry is broken, and I wanted to change that, so I wrote the book on mortgages. The second thing is I’m gonna treat your money like it’s mine. The third thing is I’m gonna advise you on your overall situation based on a five-year plan that you tell me that you have, your goals for closing costs, cash out of pocket, monthly payment… I am going to shop the title companies for you to get you a good deal, I am going to shop your hallmark insurance for you to get you a good deal… I don’t care what title or what insurance company you choose; I have zero benefit of doing that, other than giving another added value to my customer, to have them look at quotes and make a decision, to make sure that your numbers are accurate and they’re the best that they could possibly be.

The other thing that I would say is my added value is, again, [unintelligible [00:21:52].07] so we always have two licensed people that work just about every file just to make sure that we bounce ideas off each other, have a second set of eyes, which is huge.

Those are some of the things – and there’s more, but those are some of the things I would say are my added value, and they definitely wanna ask that question of a potential loan officer, and see how they answer that.

Joe Fairless: And the third question?

Stephanie Weeks: The third question would be “How many families did you help last year? How many closings did you have?” – however you want to word that that’s most appropriate for you. Because according to the last stats that I read last year (and I haven’t found newer ones), the average loan officer closes 1.4 loans/month. Well. let me leave you with this question: if the guidelines are changing on almost a daily basis with updates, and there are a pretty decent number of programs that are out there and available, and you’re closing less than 2 loans a month as a loan officer, how are you going to be the best in your field? How do you know how to put that file together? How do you know how to get that approval? How do you have the experience to know how to work around the problem if you haven’t done it enough times?

Joe Fairless: It makes sense, I love it. Those are phenomenal questions, those three right there, and then how you talked about how you would respond – really valuable. Thank you for that. Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?

Stephanie Weeks: Thank you. Okay, I guess… I’m nervous.

Joe Fairless: Let’s do it! First though,  a quick work from our Best Ever partners.

Break: [00:23:28].06] to [00:24:11].17]

Joe Fairless: Stephanie, what’s the best ever book you’ve read?

Stephanie Weeks: I would say the list is so long, it’s ridiculous, honestly… But I would say top of my mind is The Go-Giver.

Joe Fairless: By Bob Burg. Best Ever listeners, you can listen to my interview with Bob… Just search his name at the BestEverShow.com, and his episode will pop up. I can’t find it right now on Google, but Bob Burg – he’s been on the show a couple times, actually… Great guy. What’s the best ever way you like to give back?

Stephanie Weeks: My heart is really with the deaf community, so I serve on the board at the local Deaf Action Center, and I try to give money for every loan that I close to that center. That’s one of the things. I do several things, but that’s really where my heart truly is.

Joe Fairless: What is the best place the Best Ever listeners can get in touch with you?

Stephanie Weeks: You can go to my website at WeeksTeam.com. You can check out The Weeks Team on Facebook, or you can call our office, which is 985 300 LOAN.

Joe Fairless: Are you lending, or do you have programs for every state?

Stephanie Weeks: Not every state… I am licensed in multiple states. Right now I am in Louisiana and Texas. I’m also licensed in several other states, but waiting for the company to get licensed in those states. It should be within the next few weeks I’ll also be in Mississippi, and then within the next couple months I’ll also be in Florida as well.

I’m personally licensed in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Georgia and Florida, but the way that it works with the regulations is the company has to be licensed there, as well. We’re working on getting them added to all the states that I’m in.

Joe Fairless: Stephanie, this was an important conversation for the Best Ever listeners who are looking for residential loans, one to four-family, and want to know how to qualify for 15% down, 30-year fixed mortgage, as well as what three questions to ask a mortgage lender. One, “When was the last time you read the guideline book?” and then wait for the awkward pause, two, “What kind of added value do you bring?” and three, “How many customers did you have last year?”

You went through the benchmarks for each of those three, which is important. So we know what a good answer is, an average answer is, a poor answer is, and an outstanding answer is.

Thanks so much for being on the show, I hope you have a best ever day, Stephanie, and we’ll talk to you soon.

Stephanie Weeks: Thank you so much, thank you for having me, and don’t forget too that you can check out my book, Mortgage Peace, at amazon.com.

Joe Fairless: Oh, sweet. We’ll include that in the show notes.

Stephanie Weeks: Thank you so much.


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JF902: BMX PRO Invests Endorsements into Real Estate!

Two time “Best of BMX” champion, our guest has decided to put his money and time to work! He does what he loves and uses the income to build what he loves.

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– Best Ever Book: Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T Harv

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Joe Fairless