JF1868: Investor Creates Software To Better Manage Real Estate with Ryan Smith

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Ryan had grown up around the real estate industry with his family being investors. He had a financial analyst role with his dad’s company when he realized the business needed a better way to keep track of everything. He built software to solve the issue, he grew that to 140,000 users. Ryan also purchases real estate with his wife, having more than 175 different assets across 30 states. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!


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“Focus on the value of income more than income as value” – Ryan Smith


Ryan Smith Real Estate Background:                                                       

  • Co-founder of Elevation Capital Group, focusing on Manufactured Housing Communities and Self-Storage
  • They have more than $500 million of combined acquisition value, 175 assets across more than 30 states
  • Based in Orlando, FL
  • Say hi to him at http://elevationcapitalgroup.com/
  • Best Ever Book: Right Away & All At Once by Greg Breneman


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JF1670: Hiring The Right Remote Team Members To Help Your Business Grow #SituationSaturday with Nathan Hirsch

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Nathan had a problem, he needed to hire team members and saw the need for others too. So he created a company to help provide good remote team members for businesses and people that need help. Hear his best tips as it pertains to hiring a new person. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!


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“Focus on whether or not they are the perfect fit for you” – Nathan Hirsch


Nathan Hirsch Real Estate Background:

  • Co-founder and CEO of FreeeUp.com, a marketplace that connects businesses with pre-vetted freelancers in eCommerce, digital marketing, and much more
  • Has sold over $30 million online
  • Based in Orlando, FL
  • Say hi to him at https://freeeup.com/


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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 Saturday, we’ve got a special segment for you called Situation Saturday. Here’s the situation – you are needing to hire some remote team members to help you grow your real estate business. Well, you need to know how to hire the right ones.

With us today we’ve got Nathan Hirsch, who’s going to talk to us about how to do just that. How are you doing, Nathan?

Nathan Hirsch: I’m doing great, how are you?

Joe Fairless: I am doing great as well, and welcome to the show. A little bit about Nathan – he is the co-founder and CEO of FreeeUp.com, which is a marketplace that connects businesses with pre-vetted freelancers in e-commerce, digital marketing and much more. He has sold over 30 million dollars online. Based in Orlando, Florida.

With that being said, Nathan, first, before we dig into how to hire the right remote team members, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and what you’re focused on?

Nathan Hirsch: I’m a long-time entrepreneur. I started a multi-million dollar Amazon business out of my college dorm room back in 2008. I was 20, and it was really tough to hire people; college kids are pretty unreliable, and I got thrown into the remote hiring world, the virtual assistants and freelancers, and UpWork, and Fiverr.

Growing my business using those methods was great, but it also took up just a lot of my time, to post a job and get 50 people apply, interview them one by one… And I always just wanted a faster way… So a few years ago I created my own marketplace, FreeeUp, where we get thousands of applicants every week, we vet them for skill, attitude, communication, make them available to clients quickly, with 24/7 support, and a no turnover guarantee… And it’s been a lot of fun.

We started in the e-commerce space, moved our way up there, got into the marketing space, and now we’re working with real estate agents, and software companies. It’s been kind of fun thinking outside of my norm, which is e-commerce and online businesses, to the average real estate agent who is just swamped with work, and they have so much to do, whether it’s website stuff, or lead generation, and the different creative ways that you can use virtual assistants and freelancers.

Joe Fairless: You mentioned you evaluate skill, attitude and communication… Is that your differentiating feature for the other companies that you referenced earlier?

Nathan Hirsch: Yeah, it’s really four things… It’s that pre-vetting; we let in one out of every 100 applicants. It’s the speed – people put in a request, we fill them within a business day. We have clients who get started within hours or minutes, so you don’t have to wait two weeks to find someone you like.

The customer service, I would put against anyone else. We’re really there to make sure you have a great experience all the time… And that no-turnover guarantee, which as an entrepreneur, there’s nothing more frustrating to find someone you like, only to have them walk out the door. And while people rarely quit on our platform, it’s real life, of course it could happen, and if it does, we cover the replacement cost and get you a new person right away.

Joe Fairless: In your bio it says you’ve sold over 30 million online… What’s the bulk of that come from?

Nathan Hirsch: Twenty million plus on Amazon, and it’s probably more like 35 to 40 million now. A little outdated, but on FreeeUp we did one million the first year, five million the second, and last year we did about nine million.

Joe Fairless: Wow. That’s incredible. What were you selling on Amazon?

Nathan Hirsch: I started off selling books. I was a college kid, I wanted to compete against my school bookstore. I actually got a cease and desist letter to knock it off from them, and that made me pivot a little bit. I started doing research into stuff I was familiar with – sporting equipment, computer games, DVDs, and I just failed… The only thing I could get to sell were these books.

It wasn’t until I branched out of my comfort zone and found the baby product industry that my business started to grow in and scale. If you can imagine me as a 20-year-old single college guy selling baby products on Amazon – that was me.

Joe Fairless: So you sold the bulk of the 20 million dollars in sales from baby products?

Nathan Hirsch: Yeah, the bulk was baby products, the rest was home goods and toys.

Joe Fairless: Huh. And why don’t you do that anymore? It seems like it’s got a lot of revenue.

Nathan Hirsch: Yes, we got the Amazon business to the point where it was three million, five million… That’s about where we topped off. And we got in at a great time, before all the courses and the gurus. Now everyone is selling on Amazon.

As we got bigger, we started off doubling every year, and then once all the competition came out there, we were still there, we were still making money and it was still a good business, but we weren’t growing at all. We were just kind of staying stagnant.

I wasn’t passionate about selling baby products then, I’m still not passionate about selling baby products now… And with Amazon, you’re always relying on them; you’re not building a brand, you’re not communicating really with anyone outside of your manufacturers and your team.

When I started FreeeUp and it started to take off, it was a lot more fun. I get to go on podcasts with you, and speak at conferences, and help business owners all around the world… FreeeUp has been scaling, and I get to grow my brand, and I made the decision January of last year to focus all my attention on FreeeUp.

Joe Fairless: When you created FreeeUp, did you initially identify the differentiating features that you now have as how you’re gonna position yourself, or has that evolved?

Nathan Hirsch: The pre-vetting and the speed was always there, and I’ve always been very customer service-focused. I forget exactly when we added the no-turnover guarantee; it wasn’t very long, but… The original concept was much more towards an Amazon seller. I was a big Amazon seller, I knew the community well, I had a Rolodex of Amazon freelancers that I knew were dependable, and the concept was “Hey, if you’re a seller, you can go post a job, or you can just come to me and I’ll introduce you to someone who can get the work done today.” That’s kind of how it started, and people started talking about us, and telling all their other business owner friends, whether they were real estate agents or they were in different e-commerce, they owned a Shopify store… We really expanded from there.

Joe Fairless: When an entrepreneur is hiring a freelancer and they’re doing the 15-20 minute interview, what should they ask?

Nathan Hirsch: We do a lot of the vetting for skill, attitude and communication, so a lot of times that’s where I would encourage people to interview if they weren’t using FreeeUp; not just focusing on the skill and the resume, but also the person’s attitude and the communication. What I like to tell clients is focus on what it’s like to work for you, whether they’re the perfect fit for you. I know myself very well; I know I talk fast, I know I’m direct, I know I’m not the most warm and fuzzy person out there, so I really like to focus in on “Is this person the right fit for me and my business?” Because a lot of freelancers work for tons of different clients, and what’s good for one client is bad for another; what one client likes is another client’s pet peeve. So really making sure that they’re the right fit for you and your business – that’s where you should focus the interview.

Joe Fairless: How do you evaluate attitude?

Nathan Hirsch: We do one-on-one interviews and we look for people who are passionate about what they do; they’re not just in it for the paycheck. We want people if they’re a graphic designer, they love graphic design. Me personally, I hate bookkeeping; I like being an entrepreneur. So if I hire a bookkeeper, they need to love bookkeeping as much as I love being an entrepreneur.

The other side of it is we want people who – yes, they’re nice, but they also don’t get aggressive the second something doesn’t go their way. We’ll edge people on a little bit, because not every client out there is rainbows and butterflies. If they get on our platform and some client says something or comes across the wrong way, we can’t have freelancers that will just blow up on them. We want people who keep it professional and don’t take things personally and don’t get aggressive. That’s a lot of what we look for.

Joe Fairless: When the entrepreneur is looking to scale — let’s pretend that FreeeUp is not around… It is, and it will be, but let’s just pretend it’s not; what are some things that the entrepreneur should know prior to even doing a search for the person they’re hiring?

Nathan Hirsch: What I recommend doing – step one and two of my hiring process is figure out what you wanna hire for and what that perfect person looks like. What you wanna hire for – create two lists. The first list is everything you do on a day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month basis. Get away from your computer, get away from your phone and just brainstorm it, and write everything out. Put it in order from easiest to hardest, and start chipping away at that list from the top.

On the flipside, one of the activities that my business partner and I do whenever we meet up is we go through our businesses; we’ll be honest with each other, “Hey, Nate, you’re not good at this. Hey, Connor, you’re not good at this.” We’ll write that down, and it’s great if we complement each other very well, but at the same time we always end up with a list of things that we’re doing all the time that we’re really not good at. The best entrepreneurs – they learn how to turn those weaknesses into strengths. So that’s really step one – everything that you do that you have processes for, and everything that you’re bad at.

Step two is what are you really looking for. Are you looking for a full-time employee in your office? Is it a virtual assistant in the Philippines? Is it a freelancer for a project? Whatever it is – what’s your price point? What’s it like to work at your business? What kind of culture do you wanna hire for? What skills do they have to have? Really defining what that perfect person looks like, because if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it’s very hard to find it.

Joe Fairless: What’s a challenge you’ve had growing FreeeUp?

Nathan Hirsch: For me it’s the software. It’s funny, I was in New York yesterday and I was talking to this guy who owns a huge company. They have 60 full-time employees. He was originally a coder, and I thought to myself, “Man, if I could code, FreeeUp would be even bigger than it is now”, because that’s one of the things that can hold you back in this day and age. Working with developers is tough. I have a million ideas of how I wanna improve our software, and you can only do so much with the dev team that you have. You’re prioritizing projects; some of them take three months, some of them take a month, some of them take a year, and you’re constantly getting feedback from clients, from freelancers, and you wanna implement everything, and… If only I could code, if only I could go in there and do it myself… But it becomes a lot more of trying to communicate the business needs with the developer, who thinks in a much different way.

Joe Fairless: How do you attract the freelancers to your platform, compared to other platforms?

Nathan Hirsch: Great question. This is one of the things that we focused on at the beginning, because we’re well aware that there’s no shortage of virtual assistant agencies out there, and marketplaces, and places where people offer their service… And we wanted to create a culture where people wanted to be here, and the first part is that speed. Just like clients don’t wanna go through 50 people and take two weeks when they need a project today, freelancers don’t wanna compete against 50 people on every project, and spend all their time looking for jobs; they wanna be doing the projects. So really eliminating that upfront time and making it a fast-paced marketplace was the starting point.

On the back-end, that same 24/7 support that we have on the client side, we want on the freelancer side too, where if they have a question, if they want help with the software, if they want tips or advice on how to land a client or how to grow their freelance business, or how to turn into an agency – we have those resources there, and my team is very well trained to handle that. That’s really what we’ve been able to do – create a marketplace where yes, there’s scarcity, because it’s hard to get in, but once you’re in, you get access to clients quickly, with great support to really help you scale and grow.

Joe Fairless: Anything as it relates to hiring the right remote team members that we haven’t talked about, that you think we should touch on?

Nathan Hirsch: Yeah. Especially in a business that’s always changing – and I’ll put that in the perspective of real estate – that trial and error is so important. A good example of that – I was not a big social guy back then; now I guess I am – is I would experiment. I would say “Hey, let’s hire someone to run my Twitter for a few months. Let’s hire someone to run my Instagram.” You play around with it, and some of it works, and some of it doesn’t work; and what’s the worst-case scenario? In three months it doesn’t work, I’ve lost $1,000; I’m not gonna go homeless. What’s the best-case scenario? I have a new source of leads, a new way to generate business… And I feel like in a space where – yes, real estate is changing, but there’s just so much competition, trying new things and experimenting with hires is a must. You never know what’s gonna work for your business.

There’s someone that sells insurance that I know very well, she’s a friend of mine, and she found that on LinkedIn she can just get a ton of leads there. Well, all the other insurance agents are marketing in different ways. She’s found that niche on LinkedIn, and she did it through trial and error… So that’s what I encourage people to do – instead of just focusing on your processes, leave a little bit of room for creativity to hire different people and see what actually works for your business.

Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners learn more about what you’ve got going on?

Nathan Hirsch: If you go to FreeeUp.com you can book a time in my calendar; I’m more than happy to talk to you about your business and your hiring needs that are right at the top. You can create a free account, get a $25 credit by mentioning this podcast, and check out the FreeeUp YouTube channel and the FreeeUp blog for a lot of great hiring content.

Joe Fairless: I love how you talked about how to approach thinking about hiring someone, and creating the list of what you do on a day-to-day basis, start chipping away at the top of those items for other people to do, and then being honest, really looking in the mirror and identifying what you’re good at, what you’re not good at, and just stop doing the stuff that you’re not good at, and bring on the right team members. Then, as you said towards the end, start testing certain things out.

There’s a lot of skilled people out there, and why have yourself do the things that you’re not as good at or don’t like doing, when there are plenty of people who enjoy doing that stuff, and consequently are very good at it.

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

Nathan Hirsch: You too! Thanks so much for having me.

JF1413: Zombie House Flipping Star Gives Back To Go Forward with Justin Stamper

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Best Ever Listeners, today we have the privilege of learning from a celebrity! Justin is the star of Zombie House Flipper on A&E. He worked his way up to flipping over 100 homes and being the star of a TV show. His take on life is refreshing and something we could all use a little more of in our own lives. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!


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Justin Stamper Real Estate Background:

  • Began his career in real estate by flipping his family’s foreclosed home when he was 19 years old
  • Worked his way up to becoming a well known real estate investor in Central Florida by buying and renovating over 100 homes
  • Say hi to him at www.americananchorhomes.com
  • Star of Zombie House Flipping on A&E
  • Based in Orlando, Florida
  • Best Ever Book: 48 Laws Of Power

Best Ever Listeners:

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We profile 1 nonprofit or cause every month that is near and dear to our heart. To help get the word out, submit a cause, or donate, visit bestevercauses.com.


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.

With us today, Justin Stamper. How are you doing, Justin?

Justin Stamper: Hey, I’m great, man. Coming to you live from sunny Orlando, Florida. What’s up, Best Ever listeners?

Joe Fairless: Nice! Well, what’s up back, my friend. One of our team members, Theo, moved to Florida from Cincinnati, and I was talking to him recently and he’s like “I don’t know why I ever lived in Cincinnati. The weather here in Florida is amazing.” Not knocking Cincinnati… Well, he kind of was knocking Cincinnati. I’m not knocking Cincinnati, I’m just repeating what he said.

Justin Stamper: Just knocking winter.

Joe Fairless: Exactly, just knocking winter. Thank you for that. Good save, I appreciate your help on that. Justin began his career in real estate by flipping his family’s foreclosed home when he was 19 years old; worked his way up to becoming a well-known real estate investor in Central Florida by buying and renovating over 100 homes, and you can learn more about what they’re up to now at AmericanAnchorHomes.com, which is also in the show notes.

With that being said, Justin, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?

Justin Stamper: Yeah, absolutely. Best Ever listeners, I got into real estate just by getting chucked into the lion’s den. I had just graduated high school, I really wanted to work in the music industry, and moved to London. My parents called me and they were like, “Hey, it’s the recession…” — it’s like 2008 when this was happening… “You know, if you could move home and kind of just help us out… We’re just going through some really tough times.”

My family owned a small business, and unfortunately they lost everything. We went bankrupt, and we also ended up losing our home. So I was home one day, these guys came and knocked on the door, and they were like “Hey, we need to talk to your parents.” I was like, “Hey, look, they’re not here right now. What’s going on?” They’re like “Well, we just bought your house today at the foreclosure auction.” I was like, “Wow. I didn’t even know my house was in foreclosure.” They’re like, “Yeah, we didn’t know people lived here.” I was like, “Yeah man, this is like my childhood home.”

They were super cool. I actually renovate houses with these guys now, like ten years later… But they gave my pops and I the chance to buy the house back for like essentially a markup. We raised private capital through friends, bought our house back from these guys, renovated it ourselves, and sold it. We made the first bit of money that we had made in real estate, and at that time any money that we had made in a couple years, and I literally started buying houses at the same courthouse auction a month later, and just kind of never looked back. Pretty crazy stuff.

Joe Fairless: That is pretty crazy stuff, and thank goodness for the individuals who purchased the house being good people, who wanted to make money but also wanted to work with you all on a solution to help you all out.

Justin Stamper: For sure. Because honestly, that’s probably my favorite part about real estate… The service that we do (hopefully) is solving problems and bringing solutions to people, and fighting the good fight and helping people out. They were all about that, and they kind of showed me the ropes of that through my career; real estate doesn’t have to be about profit and loss, it can be about “Hey, these people are in a really peculiar situation, they’re going through a tough time. Can you help them?”

Every time I buy a house from somebody that’s like pre-foreclosure or dealing with a death in the family and doesn’t even wanna walk into the house again, I enjoy being able to be like, “Hey, let me help you pick up the pieces of life.” Because life is tough man, there’s no easy way about it; there’s no instruction manual for this life, there’s a lot of challenges, and real estate, for a lot of people, is super stressful, especially if it’s not their profession… So I love being able to help people out, and these guys kind of showed me the way with that. And it’s cool, and it’s led us down a crazy path, and now we have a television show about us flipping houses in Orlando, on AME, called Zombie House Flipping. We’re doing our third season, and I never would have thought that some punk/rock kid who only has a high school education would ever have a show about being a real estate professional. I’m still kind of in shock and awe that my life has worked out this way.

I think a lot of it has just had to do with helping people out. I don’t know… That’s my take, to all the Best Ever listeners out there – I guess if you help enough people out, eventually the world will give you what you actually wanted. It’s been pretty cool.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, a Zig Ziglar quote – or at least attributed to him – “Help enough people get what they want, and you’ll eventually get everything you want.” It’s something I certainly live by. Real quick on that – your family house, that got foreclosed on, and then the individuals who purchased it at the auction made a deal with a deal with you all and sold it at a markup… First off, how much did they buy it for, if you know, and how much did they sell it to your for?

Justin Stamper: Yeah, they bought it for 400k, they sold it to us for 450k. We renovated it and we ended up selling it for 750k. So we actually made a killer deal. We actually made around 200k on our very first transaction… Which is super rare. We’re going back to like 2008, where the banks and the valuations and everything was just a huge mess.

Back then, there were some deals where they’re like “Well, this bank owns it, but this bank is now bankrupt and absorbed by this bank…” You know, it was a mess back then. So they sold our house totally under value, and these guys, they only owned it for a week and they made 50k, so they were happy, and then my pops and I put like 30k-50k grand into it, and then after we paid closing costs and commissions, we ended up walking with just around 200k.

We gave our private investors 100k, we split it 50/50, and we kept the other 100k, and we started buying what we could afford with the 100k, and just never looked back.

Joe Fairless: Let’s pretend for a moment that the individuals who purchased your house at the time were cold, calculating and just mean people. What could they potentially have made if they did whatever they needed to do to maximize the profit? So they bought it for 400k… What could they have made and what would they have done to do the mean path process?

Justin Stamper: They could have kicked us out, which would have sucked, because I have no idea where we would have went, because we were broke as a joke… And they could have probably put 50k into it, like we did, and probably sold it for 750k, like we did as well… So they could have made a killing, I guess. After closing costs and commissions, they would have walked with probably like 275k, depending on — if they weren’t pulling hard money, they probably could have made like damn near 300k, which was a killer.

Nowadays, those deals seem few and far between. The market is just so on fire in Orlando now, and everybody wants to flip a house… Because you know, all these guys on television out here making it look so easy… [laughs] But yeah man, they could have made a killing, but luckily, they were totally fine with just like a quick wholesale fee of 50k, which — I mean, I’ve wholesaled hundreds of houses, and hardly any of them have ever been a 50k fee. I think in that situation it was a win/win situation for everybody, so that was cool.

Joe Fairless: And you said you have since partnered with them, and it sounds like you still do… First off, is that accurate?

Justin Stamper: Yeah, they’re a part of the OG House Flippers in Orlando, and I worked my way up because I didn’t have the most capital when I started… I started really just wholesaling a ton of houses. I was going to the auction, picking them up at the auction and then just wholesaling them to people that were not at the auction… So I just got to know all the real players in Orlando, and these guys are real players. Every now and then, they’ll bring me a deal that’s like either “Hey, we don’t want it… Do you want this?” or “We’re down to put a path if you’re down to put a path…” I think at this point we all trust each other and we’ve done enough business that 10 years later they’re still friends of mine in the industry.

When you get involved in your local real estate community and you do a couple transactions with people, it seems one way or another it will always come back around to you. These guys have always kind of brought it back around, and vice-versa to them.

Joe Fairless: If you had to put a number on the profits that they’ve made from the deals you two have partnered on, so profits just they’ve made from the deals you two have partnered on over the years, what would that number be?

Justin Stamper: Well, honestly, I would say just in the deals I’ve wholesaled on – because I know I’ve wholesaled on at least 10 houses that they’ve made close to 100k revenue from… I would say that I’ve in turn repaid the favor at least over half a million bucks in profit for them by just being like “Hey guys, before I even send this out to my list, I know this is your strike zone… Here’s a house, let me know. It’s off-market. If you want it, just let me know in 48 hours.” And in turn, they’ve bought a good amount of houses from me wholesaling that I feel like I’ve repaid my dues of like “Hey, thank you so much for helping me get my start and letting my family keep a roof over their head.”

Joe Fairless: That’s where I was going with it… That’s why I was wanting to learn about the numbers, because everyone listening is an inherently nice person, but if there is an outlier and someone who was skeptical, like “Oh man, yeah, they let you stay there, but they only made 50k when they could have made 275k or 300k”, I wanted to bring that full-circle. So there was basically 250k of potential profit that they left on the table for being good people, but then the world, through you and other deals you worked with them on, repaid them the 250k and potential lost profit, and then doubled that at minimum to another 250k, plus you can sleep well at night and you’ve got good karma, right?

Justin Stamper: For sure. Absolutely. It hopefully always comes back around. I’m a firm believer that if you’re doing good business and you’re helping people out, it’ll come full circle… And it’s taken me age to learn that. I’m 29 years old and I was impatient; as a hustler, you’re always like “When’s the next deal? When’s the next deal? When can I get this? When can I get this?”, but my mentors are all 15 to 30 years older than I am, and they’ve always just been like “Slow down. All in due time. Everything comes back around. Even if it’s 15 years from now, you’re gonna be shocked at the full-circle of life.” When I was 23 I didn’t understand that, but now that I’m coming up on 30, I’m starting to see the actual full-circle of doing good business and just being involved in your community, and it’s really cool. It’s cool to see the karma of the Universe. I’m a big fan of that.

Joe Fairless: Agreed. As am I. So now what is your focus from a business standpoint?

Justin Stamper: So we’re filming season three of Zombie House Flipping. This year we are flipping 14 houses on the show. And then I’ve probably done four more renovations this year that aren’t on the show.

My partner Ashley and I, we own a boutique brokerage in Orlando, Florida where we just transact real estate, and we buy and sell our own real estate etc. But truth be told, good friends of mine sold their entire rental portfolios in Orlando and then traveled around the country for over a year to different markets, looking at turnkey and just good returns on single-family and multifamily real estate, and they settled on Cleveland.

They hit me up and they’re like “Hey man, we’ve just bought like 30 houses in Cleveland, we’re having killer returns. We sold everything in Orlando. We’re actually thinking about moving up here. Come check out what we’re doing.” And these are good friends of mine. These are actual friends. We hang out, we are good, close friends…

So I flew up to Cleveland to check out their operation, and literally like two weeks later I started selling off most of my rentals in Orlando, because the value here is so inflated… Or maybe not inflated, but our market is hot. So all my rental properties are worth double what I paid for them, and sometimes you’ve just gotta take your chips off the table, because you never know when the market’s gonna turn on you.

I’ve already watched it happen once, and I don’t wanna get caught on the wrong side of that the second time. So I started selling off my doors, and we started buying in Cleveland about a year ago, and we accumulated a portfolio between all of us of 52 houses at the moment. And then, since we all are well-versed in construction, we just started selling them off to other investor friends. It started with friends of ours in Miami that were like “Hey, we’re priced out of the market. We see you guys are killing it in Cleveland; hook us up with some houses”, so we sold them 15 houses, and then they brought their friends and they’re like “Hey, my friends want double-digit returns, too. Hook them up with some houses.” And next thing we knew, we were like “Um, I guess we’re kind of a turnkey company now…”, so we launched a turnkey company in February called American Anchor Homes, and we have our own construction crew in Cleveland, and that has honestly been my main focus.

The revenue that I’m making flipping houses in Orlando is just going towards buying more houses in Cleveland, because it’s so competitive in Orlando… And this is my hometown, I love my city, but I think maybe we have another 14 months of this market being on the up and up and on fire like it is… So I wanna be prepared when that market turns, and to me that’s always gonna be passive income, and Cleveland has just been really killer to work in, and I really like the city. It’s just like a cool punk/rock, weird Midwestern city that’s like having its own DIY local revival, and I love that. I just love weird punk/rock stuff like that.

So it’s been a lot of fun being there, and now that we’re launching American Anchor, it’s also just been a lot of fun to be like “Hey, come check out what we’re doing! It’s super cool!” I like that, it’s been really cool. So that’s what I’m up to right now, really just taking my chips off the table in Orlando and just putting them on the table in Cleveland to see what happens.

Joe Fairless: Were you not making passive income on your properties in Orlando?

Justin Stamper: I was, but there gets to be a point where — here’s how I was looking at it… It’s like I’ve got $100,000 in equity in this duplex; how long is it gonna take me to collect $100,000 in rent? Where I can sell this duplex, take my equity, and then go buy for the same exact price a 6-unit apartment building in Cleveland that I’m collecting more rent in. It just made a lot more sense to just take the equity while it was there and trade that equity for much better cashflow… Because the ROIs in Cleveland are just so much better, and the entry into the market is so much cheaper.

We have fully-renovated good properties for $45,000. In Orlando, if you buy something for 45k, you’re ducking bullets. Not that Orlando has crazy war zones, but there are war zones and there is not really real estate for sale for 45k in Orlando anymore. So it just made a lot more sense from a cashflow perspective to get rid of the properties here, take the massive equity and then go buy properties that were 12% and above cap rate.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, it makes sense. Understood. How many did you sell in Orlando?

Justin Stamper: I had nine properties ranging from single-family homes to multifamily… So I had nine individual properties that was like a mix of duplexes or single-family, and then my friends had like 17, I think.

We were in this market called Deltona that we originally all bought for like 30k-45k, and when we unloaded them, it was all for like 100k and above. So there was just massive equity, and you just never know how long that equity is gonna be there, because once the market switches again, if it goes back to only being worth 35k, 45k, 55k, you sure did miss a huge opportunity there to take your chips off the table. So it just made sense to get rid of our portfolios here, and it was crazy, because a 9-unit portfolio here, which was really expensive to buy because it’s like every property we’re buying — like, I just bought a duplex last year, for example, for 365k in Orlando. That’s an expensive duplex.

Meanwhile, in Cleveland I can buy a 20-unit apartment complex for around the same price. Now, granted, it’s probably not gonna be turnkey, it’s gonna need a lot of rehab, but still, your dollar just goes a lot farther, and that’s what I really enjoyed about it. You can just buy so much more.

Joe Fairless: Why didn’t you do a 1031?

Justin Stamper: Honestly, I wish I did. I just wasn’t educated enough at the time to do it. I have a friend and a mentor who’s going to show me the way, but at the time I was just like “Yeah, cool, let’s sell it.” I own a brokerage, so I can sell it for essentially nothing, and then “Let’s get this money deployed.” And it wasn’t until afterwards that my friend was like “Exactly, why didn’t you just 1031 that?” and I was like “Arrgghh!” Because I don’t know, I’m just shooting from the hip, you know? I can’t say that I know everything about real estate. I can’t even say I scratched the surface. I just am shooting from the hip and learning every day. Learning every day.

Joe Fairless: With the turnkey properties that you all have – what is your role in that company?

Justin Stamper: I handle all of our marketing and sales, because I’m doing it from a distance… I’m in Orlando, but my friends are in Cleveland. So I’m doing a lot of like — starting to do YouTube videos, starting to just do like educational stuff… We’re on television, so I have a good amount of social media followers, and I really just enjoy talking to people… The gift of gab, I guess. I enjoy, legitimately, talking real estate. I think it’s fun.

When you see me at a bar, I’m in the corner, talking to any random realtor that I’ve met, and that’s my exciting conversation over a beer; it’s like “What are you doing on the real estate market?” You know, for guys like us, we’re kind of obsessed. Being obsessed makes the difference between successful real estate investors versus people who never really get off the ground… Being super-persistent and kind of eating, breathing and drinking real estate in. So I enjoy it, where the rest of my friends who I’m in American Anchor with are like “Hey, we don’t like to talk to strangers that much, so Justin, you go deal with that.” [laughs]

So that’s what I’m doing, man… I’m the guy that you get  to talk to if you wanna buy some real estate from us. It’s been fun though, I like that; I love helping people grow their portfolios. I’ve done it so many times wholesaling… People come to me and they’re like — my buddy John, he’s buying two duplexes from us in Cleveland next month, once he refi’s his entire portfolio that I sold him in Orlando, and he literally had never owned real estate before. Now he quit his job with corporate and is financially free. He makes all of his money from just owning all of the rental properties that I’ve sold him. So it’s been really cool to help people grow a portfolio. I love that. I love to be like “Whoa, remember when you came to me and you had no houses and now you have 15? That’s so cool! You and I helped change each other’s course of our lives.” I love that, man… It’s like the butterfly effect of life, so I’m super looking forward to growing portfolios with people.

Joe Fairless: Based on your experience, what’s your best real estate investing advice ever?

Justin Stamper: Keep hustling. Keep hustling. America rewards the persistent. I really cannot stress that enough. I have a high school education, my family was too broke to send me to college, and honestly, I was probably too punk/rock to even go and listen… So if it weren’t for just like waking up every single day — I mean, I worked three jobs… I was a line cook at Disney, I valeted cars at a nightclub here called Pulse, and I went to the foreclosure auction from 8 AM until noon, and then after that I either went and valeted cars or I went to Disney, and I was just a line cook inside of a hot, hot, sweaty kitchen. That’s what I did to get by for like the first four years before I had enough money to like full-time transition into real estate.

A lot of people might have given up. I had a lot of friends tell me I was stupid, because my first year in real estate I think I actually only made 8k that year. I think my next full year in real estate I made like 16k, and then it just kept doubling. It literally just kept doubling.

I had so many friends that were like “Why don’t you get a job with a corporation? It would be so much safer. You’re being foolish. Why don’t you try to go to community college?” I was just like “No. This is gonna work out, one way or another”, and it did. And it took years. It took four full years before I was like “Okay, now we’re full-time in real estate, making good money.

But just keep hustling. America rewards the persistent. You can get rich off of YouTube nowadays. There are so many things that if you just keep doing it, eventually hopefully it will pay off, and real estate is one of those things.

What did Babe Ruth say? “I love every strike, because it means that I’m one swing away from a home run.” That’s how it goes, just keep hustling. Best Ever listeners, you’ve already made it this far; you’re listening to the podcast. Now just keep your head up and keep grinding.

Joe Fairless: We’re gonna do a lightning round. Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?

Justin Stamper: Boom, boom, boom! Born ready.

Joe Fairless: Alright, let’s do it. First, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.

Break: [00:23:25].19] to [00:24:28].11]

Joe Fairless: Okay, best ever book you’ve read?

Justin Stamper: 48 Laws of Power.

Joe Fairless: Love it. Robert Greene.

Justin Stamper: This was the top one, Robert Greene. 48 Laws of Power  just kind of showed me all the other struggles that — if you don’t see behind the curtains, or I guess read behind the curtains, you just think that they were just born great and wonderful, and that life was handed to them… And then you read the 48 Laws of Power and realize that everybody had their own insane struggle to deal with, and they took it and they ran with it. I love that book. A mentor gave it to me when I was 19 years old, and I would say it definitely changed the course of my life, by just realizing that everybody else that I idolized had to go through hell to get to heaven as well.

Joe Fairless: Absolutely. And another good one – have you read his other books, like 33 Strategies of War and other things in the series?

Justin Stamper: Yeah, the 50th Law, and things like that…

Joe Fairless: Oh, man… The way he writes is like no other. In your face, unapologetic about what he says, and it’s factual, because it’s based on history. It’s just a must-read. I love him as an author.

Justin Stamper: Yeah, they’re great, and I love the fact that you can just pick it up, open it to any law and read that law, and it’s not like you missed anything from the last chapter, and you can just set it down.

Honestly, it’s a book that I pick up… It stays on my coffee table. I’ll pick it up once a week and just flip it open, read it for half an hour and put it down. I’ve been doing that for 10 years now.

Joe Fairless: Best ever deal you’ve done?

Justin Stamper: Man, I would say the first one, honestly, because that’s what started it all, and that’s what kept a roof over my girl’s head, that’s what gave me and my dad a new breath of life… Because we were just down in the gutter. It was good. It gave my sister the ability to go to college, and now she works for Boeing and is in the space race, she’s gonna be an astronaut… It’s crazy. She’s so smart, and had we not been able to do this deal, I don’t know if she would have been able to go to the college that she wanted to go to, and go the career path that she’s always known she wanted to do.

Joe Fairless: What’s a mistake you’ve made on a transaction?

Justin Stamper: In a transaction, I would say probably not talking to title enough. I feel like it’s a thing that everybody learns the hard way – not communicating with everybody on a transaction, to make sure everybody is on the same page… Because at first, you just assume things are going great and people are doing their job, but as time goes by and real estate happens, you realize that communication is so key, and even if you’re the annoying guy that sends 10 e-mails a day, CC-ing four people, at least that deal is gonna close on time.

But I would say my biggest real estate mistake, period, was selling the properties that I should have been keeping when I started wholesaling, when I started flipping… Had I understood rental property better when I was 21, 22, even 19 – had I understood cashflow better, and rental properties, and the abilities to creative finance things… Oh my god, I can only imagine what my rental portfolio would look like today. And now, moving forward in real estate, I’m trying to be like Warren Buffett – I don’t buy it ever thinking about selling it, I buy it to keep it.

So I would say that was my biggest mistake – not understanding rental real estate and only focusing on transactional flipping real estate… Because that’s a job, and sometimes real estate is nice to not be a job. It’s nice to have your tenants pay rent when you sleep.

Joe Fairless: Best ever way you like to give back?

Justin Stamper: I work with a group called Best Buddies – developmental disabilities; kids with autism, Asperger’s, Down Syndrome… I have a Best Buddy, I love her to death; her name is Erica, and it just tickles me to death to work with these kids and give back, and I’ve never felt more fulfilled. It’s really cool.

Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners learn more about what you’ve got going on?

Justin Stamper: Best Ever listeners, come find me on Facebook, it’s Justin Stamper. You can see me on Instagram, which is @FlipOrlando, or just go on either AmericanAnchorHomes.com and shoot me an e-mail, or go to JustinStamper.com, or better yet, go on and watch Zombie House Flipping, because we’ve got new episodes coming out soon.

Joe Fairless: Awesome. Well, Justin, thank you so much for being on the show and talking to us about how you started, how you have got to where you’re at, and in particular the story where the individuals who bought your foreclosed house, how they could have made more of a profit, but they elected to do a deal with you and your family, and how you currently partner with them on deals where they’ve made the money back and then some, plus they’re in the good graces of the Universe.

Thank you so much for being on the show. I hope you have a Best Ever day, good luck with season number three, and looking forward to checking that out. We’ll talk to you soon!

Justin Stamper: Alright, thanks guys! Best Ever!

Best Ever Show Real Estate Advice from experts

JF800: How Getting Involved in Your Local REIA Leads You to BIG Deals

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Business is primarily made of solid connections, and what better connections are made in real estate than your local REIA? Join our guest as he walks us through some deals that are large syndications he would not have found without the help of the connections he has.

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Denny Troncoso Real Estate Background:

– Investor Relations at Apartment Holdings USA; acquires apartment buildings in need of reposition
– Purchased 1st investment property in 2011; since started two companies focused on acquiring real estate properties
– As a broker he has produced over $400,000 of sales revenue within 5 years
– Ranked One of Top 25 Independent Agents 4 years in a row from group of over 300
– Based in Orlando, Florida
– Say hi to him at http://www.apartmentholdingsusa.com
– Best Ever Book: The One Thing by Gary Keller

Want an inbox full of online leads? Get a FREE strategy session with Dan Barrett who is the only certified Google partner that exclusively works with real estate investors like us.

Go to http://www.adwordsnerds.com strategy to schedule the appointment.

Subscribe to Joe’s YouTube Channel here to learn multifamily and raising money tips: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwTzctSEMu4L0tKN2b_esfg

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Best Ever Show Real Estate Advice

JF327: Why Listening Will Take Your Business to the Next Level #skillset Sunday

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Get out your pen and paper, because not only are we about to gain an incredible skill we are about to learn some AWESOME acronyms. Let’s learn how to take the cotton out of your ears, put it in your mouth and LISTEN!

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Theresa Campbell’s business background:

-Founder of Her Life, Her Legacy where she brings high achieving, remarkable women into the life they dream of but fear they can’t have
-Transformational coach, marketing strategist and author of Dying to Live: A Smart Women’s Guide to Loving Her Life and Living Her Legacy
– Say hi to her at http://www.herlifeherlegacy.com
– Based in Orlando, Florida and is the Host of the Let’s Talk Legacy show

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Patch of Land – Want to learn more about crowdfunding? Let the leading expert in the crowdfunding space, Patch of Land, give you all the info you need to get started. Grab your FREE copy of Top Ten Answers to the Top Ten Crowdfunding Questions athttp://www.PatchOfLand.com/bestever

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JF282: How to Use Bigger Pockets to Fund Your Deals

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Today’s Best Ever guest used Bigger Pockets to fund his first deal. Wait, what?! Yeah, that’s right. Listen up because he shares with us how he did it, and the formula you should use to decide what your business model should be.

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Andrew Davis’s real estate background:

–          Investor agent at Keller Williams

–          Full time investor based in Orlando, Florida

–          Started investing full-time last August

–           Has a single family home and a duplex and has two single family homes under contract right now

–          Download the presentation we talked about on this show here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/19pchjudmq7ri2f/Knollwood.pdf?dl=0

–          Went to state in chess in 5th grade

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Made Possible Because of Our Best Ever Sponsor:

Patch of Land – Want to learn more about crowdfunding? Let the leading expert in the crowdfunding space, Patch of Land, give you all the info you need to get started. Grab your FREE copy of Top Ten Answers to the Top Ten Crowdfunding Questions athttp://www.PatchOfLand.com/bestever

1,000 Houses  – Are you tired of being a landlord? Are you tired of headaches? Thousands of investors have felt the same way you do, and have found their solution! Go to http://www.1000houses.com/mitch to find out more.

Best Ever Show Real Estate Advice

JF279: The Three Types of Offers YOU Need to Make to Sellers

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Today’s Best Ever guest is one of the top YouTube personality for real estate investing. You’ve probably heard him before, but today he shares with us how he creates deals, the three different types of offers you need to make to sellers in YOUR deals and why YOU need to get a mentor TODAY!

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Phil Pustejovsky’s real estate background:

–        Participated in over 1,000 deals a real estate investor

–        Author of the best-selling book “How to be a Real Estate Investor

–        Most popular real estate investing YouTube channel in history with over 5 million views

–        Based in Orlando, Florida

–        http://www.Freedommentor.com

–        Does a whole lot of fishing and surfing

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Made Possible Because of Our Best Ever Sponsor: 

Patch of Land – Want to learn more about crowdfunding? Let the leading expert in the crowdfunding space, Patch of Land, give you all the info you need to get started. Grab your FREE copy of Top Ten Answers to the Top Ten Crowdfunding Questions at http://www.PatchOfLand.com/bestever

Michael Blank – Interested in apartment bulding investing but don’t know where to start? Say hello to Michael Blank at themichaelblank.com for a BUNCH of free resources and a free e-book.

Best Ever Show Real Estate Advice

JF130: Top Note Buying Tip Revealed

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Ever wonder what people are talking about when they say they are note buyers? Well, today’s Best Ever guest clears it all up and shares how and why he went from time shares to note buying.  And…he shares with you his #1 tip on note buying.

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Steven Soto’s real estate background:

–        Founder and principal of Higher Trust Investments based in Orlando, Florida

–        Identifies distressed real estate assets for high net worth clients  with a focus on tax deeds and non-performing notes nationwide

–        Say hi to him at http://www.highertrustinvestments.com/

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