Maryland Digital News

1,000 Units as a Part-Time Nurse and the System That Helped Her Get There

0
Booking.com


Real estate CRMs (customer relationship management) aren’t the most exciting things to talk about…that is until you look at the results they help build. Before building her own CRM, Stephanie Betters was struggling to grow her real estate portfolio. She had an original goal to acquire fifteen units before her children went to college, but realized that her taxing job as a nurse wouldn’t allow it. For her to hit fifteen units, she would have to scale, automate, and delegate tasks.

She did just that and overshot her goal by a significant margin. As of now, Stephanie has 1,000 rental units and is wholesaling and building another 200 deals per year. She’s doing all of this while working as a part-time nurse, which truly shows her real estate system is a well-oiled machine. But, this system wasn’t just dropped into her lap, she had to build it herself using Salesforce as a base.

If you’ve been thinking about scaling your business, no matter what stage you’re at, Stephanie has recommendations for how to do so in the best way possible. This includes systems for the novice investor/house hacker up to the streamlined syndicator and everything in between.

Beaver Seeds - Get Out and Grow Spring Sasquatch 300x250

David:
This is the BiggerPockets Podcast show 559.

Stephanie:
I really felt I was at a place in my business where I was doing a lot of things but didn’t understand truly what was working. It was all kind of gut instinct stuff and less facts. So when I started leveraging technology to help me fact find and make good decisions, that’s when everything changed.

David:
What’s going on everyone? It’s David Greene, your host of the BiggerPockets Podcast, the show where we teach you how to achieve financial freedom through real estate. We do that by bringing out different guests that have achieved success of their own and sharing how they did it, as well as the mistakes they made and the insight that they may have on how you can do the same. Look, real estate is the best way to build wealth for the average person that I’ve ever seen. You just got to make sure you take consistent action every day. Here to support me today in this endeavor is my co-host Craig Curelop, author of The House Hacking Book by BiggerPockets. Craig, what’s going on my man?

Craig:
David, so great to be here again with you. As you can see, my voice, still not quite better but-

David:
Do you want to share what happened? You’re a trooper for hanging in with us today with your voice.

Craig:
Yeah. It’s been like a multitude of things. So actually I’m going to blame BP Con because I think I was there talking and talking and talking and obviously talking loud and that caused a cyst to form on my vocal chord. And it’s super common among singers and people that talk a lot.
So basically half of my vocal chord is covered by the cyst, which is causing… It’s harder for me to talk obviously. And then on top of that, I got COVID over Christmas with like half of the country, all the coughing and all that, it’s probably just perpetuated it even more. So David, did you survive Christmas without getting COVID?

David:
I did. I don’t know how I’ve managed to not get COVID unless I had it and I didn’t know it because I’ve been sick a few times but I just was sick. So I’m super blessed in that sense. Now that I’ve said that maybe it’ll-

Craig:
It’s coming.

David:
But today’s show is fantastic. So we are here with Stephanie Betters and she is going to explain to us how to use technology to help improve your real estate game and success in it throughout different stages of real estate. So as we talk with Stephanie, she explains what technology is appropriate for beginners, what the next step looks like as you jump into entry level stuff and then finally, what bigger investors who do this full time and run big companies can do with technology to help them support their system. And Craig, I got to say you asked some very relevant and insightful questions.

Craig:
Well, thanks David. Yeah, I feel like I’m kind of in the middle to end stage of that technology and just hearing her story and hearing like kind of an example person story of how technology allows you to advance your business, I just think it’s incredible how Stephanie has kind of figured all that out. David, what’s like one piece of technology that you’ve implemented in your business in the past year that you think has made the biggest difference in your business?

David:
So in the past year, what we started doing actually probably only a couple months ago is we started tracking when a lead comes in, who it gets assigned to and then how it gets converted. So if you’ve read the book Sold that I wrote for BiggerPockets, it talks about the sales funnel, which is basically for real estate agents, so five steps that you go through to turn a person into a paycheck.
So everyone starts off as a person and then they become a lead and then they become a client and then they go into contract and then they become a closing. So we are actually using that system and tracking at every level how many people are in your database, how many of them were turned into leads, how many of those leads were converted to clients, how many clients went into contract and how many of those contracts closed.
And by looking at that, I can see which agents are more efficient at actually putting people in contract, which ones are doing a better job lead generating, who I’m giving leads to and who are converting those leads and who are not. And you basically are trying to figure out who your better people are so you can shift more resources to them. And that’s kind of on par with what Stephanie talked about today, but we’re able to do that all just with Google Sheets and then the CRM that I use for my real estate team.

Craig:
Amazing.

David:
It’s a good question.

Craig:
That’s great.

David:
How about you?

Craig:
So this year in 2021 really scaled the real estate team and we went from like three to about 20 agents. And the biggest thing that we implemented was just a new CRM that basically we can set up for every single agent so we know that when a lead gets assigned to them, an automatic email is getting sent to the client, a text is getting sent to the client. So that speed to lead is like within an hour.
And I’ve got an admin helping me set that up with all my agents and they’re setting up a phone call with them within 24 hours. Because like Stephanie mentioned, speed to lead is just so important. And the smaller you can make that right because to you, there’s so many realtors out there, right? How do you distinguish yourself? If they’re not going to go to you, they’re going to go to the guy down the street. So getting there quickly is the most effective way to make sure your lead closes.

David:
Very true. And if you’re listening to this, if you are in the Denver area, any other areas that you work in Craig?

Craig:
Yeah, we’re in Denver and Colorado Springs right now. So pretty much all on the front range of Colorado.

David:
There you go. If you’re in those areas which is actually BP headquarters, you’re in the stomping grounds of the hallowed ground of BP itself. Go to Craig about buying a house. If you’re in California, hit me up because we’d both love to help you. And a lot of what we talked about on the show today is things we learned the hard way from trying to actually grow a business that can make a hard thing happen.
Turning of people into a closing check is a very difficult thing. Having someone who wants to buy a house or sell their house and accomplish it smoothly is very hard. And so we’ve both learned technology helps us make up for flaws in our own humanity. And we’re just sort of humble enough to accept that that’s the case. And for real estate investing, it’s the same thing.
You need technology to help you track what tenants are paying, who’s not paying. Are you actually posting the vacancy in the relevant job sources? Are you analyzing deals correctly? At every stage of real estate investing, technology is playing some form of assistance in that and so embracing it can definitely help your business. Is there any secret tip you want to give Craig on tech that you use when you’re helping investors particularly?

Craig:
That’s a good one. Any specific tip as it relates to technology? I would just say humans are extremely forgetful and technology has made us even more forgetful. And so if you use technology, make sure that you use it consistently, right? Like if you’re going to use a calendar, use it for everything. Because I know like if I don’t use my calendar for everything and there’s something about my calendar, I’m not going to do it. David, I’m sure you’re the same way. I know a lot of people that are the same way. So I would just say when you’re going to use technology, use it consistently. Otherwise, it will go awry.

David:
Very, very good. I like that. You got to rely now all the way. Okay. Before or any more delay, let’s get to today’s show sponsors. All right. Thanks to our show sponsors as always. Before we bring in Stephanie, any last words from you, Craig?

Craig:
No, I think let’s get it rolling.

David:
All right. All right, Stephanie Betters, welcome to the BiggerPockets real estate podcast.

Stephanie:
Hey, thanks for having me.

David:
Yeah. Thank you so much for being here. Now, for those of you that don’t listen to the BP, Business Podcast, Stephanie was actually featured on their episode 80, so you can get some more background into her story there. But we wanted to bring you on today, Stephanie, to talk about how your experience in real estate investing as well as your expertise in technology can help investors to succeed in their goals. Would you mind starting off by giving us sort of a brief overview of what your portfolio and your experience looks like?

Stephanie:
Yeah. So started off my journey looking to build a rental portfolio, took a nice detour around there with trying to flip and wholesale to get enough money to buy more rentals, right? So I took down this beautiful pathway, built a really wonderful company that does wholesaling and new build construction, spec home construction. That business is still fully operational.
We do about 200 deals a year there and continuing to grow. That business essentially funds the acquisition of single family rentals and multi-family syndications. Right now I own about a thousand doors in my passive portfolio and then we have an active portfolio of wholesaling and building about 200 deals a year.

David:
Okay. So you’ve got a wholesale business that I’m sure technology helped you to get started and then you take the profits from that and you invest it into single family homes that you own yourself and then you also have a syndication that you’re managing that owns doors as well?

Stephanie:
Yes. Well I’m part of syndications that own doors, yeah.

David:
Craig, you look like you’re itching to jump in here.

Craig:
I want to ask, I remember from your previous episode, Stephanie, that you were still working as a nurse at the time. Are you still working as a nurse?

Stephanie:
Yes. I’m a nurse practitioner in heart surgery. I work part-time.

Craig:
Wow, okay. And so I was curious, like where does that income go, the income you make from being a nurse?

Stephanie:
To the government in taxes? Like almost a hundred percent of it. Yeah, essentially that and passive income and it goes into our passive income resources and building that portfolio.

Craig:
Okay, awesome. I just know nurses usually nurses make a decent money and so I was curious as to why you built that wholesale and flipping business to fund when maybe you could have just done it with your W-2.

Stephanie:
Yeah, great question. So my husband and I both… So I’m a nurse practitioner, he’s a physician assistant. By the time we graduated with our degrees, we were extremely in debt, right? We had like 200k in debt with student loans. We have actually paid off our student loans via real estate long before we would’ve in our medical careers. I think one of the things about being a high income earner, getting that W-2, it was very clear to me that I would continue to have to do that until retirement age 65 before I would ever be really free, right?
It became really important that even though the immediate goal for me was not to leave the job, because like you said, I make good money, I felt very safe, right? I could buy maybe one deal a year. And as a rental, what the goal was initially was to have 15 homes. We have three children, we wanted a couple houses per kid and a couple houses to retire. If we would’ve just used our W-2 income to do that, we never would’ve gotten there in time for the kids to go to school, we just really couldn’t have saved enough.

Craig:
I think most people when they graduate school, a lot of people end up with student loans. Their first thing they want to do is pay those student loans back. They don’t even think about house hacking, they don’t about real estate investing, but they don’t realize that you can literally expedite your… I paid off my student loans, I had like 90,000, I paid them off in 15 months, almost entirely because of real estate investing and house hacking. If I were still just working a W-2 job and making chunk payments, I probably still wouldn’t have paid them off. And it’s been two and a half years since I paid them.

Stephanie:
Exactly.

Craig:
It’s just nuts. David, do you have anything to say on that?

David:
I actually saved up my money when I was in college and paid for it at the time, I didn’t take out any student loans. But what I did do is I saved the money that other people would have been putting towards loans was kind of the same. So when I graduated college, I actually had $90,000 in the bank. I had my car paid for and I had college paid for. And it was perfect for me because I stepped into the huge crash. It was like 2008.
I graduated in 2005, saved up a little bit more money. 2009 came that all the housing prices crashed, that’s when I started buying. So then that money that I made from real estate would have paid for it. I guess what we’re getting at here is that people should pay attention to what is the interest rate on your debt? Not just do you have debt and should it just be paid off?
There was a time when playing the game conservatively and just paying off all your debt probably was the best bet for most people. But as the fed is tinkering with the money supply and keeping rates artificially low, and we’re having all this inflation and assets, any sort of asset or income backed assets are just appreciating in value so fast, you can just bet relatively safely compared to other investments in real estate and then use that money to pay off your student debt.
And so I think that’s the point you are making, is sometimes a good offense in the environment like this is better than just a solid defense. Stephanie, what I’m curious about is where your love affair with tech started when it comes to the world of real estate investing.

Stephanie:
I’ve almost been a little techy. So that’s always been a little bit part of my life growing up in the ’90s and early 2000s. That was just the thing, right? But really where I started falling in love with it was when I saw the path for it to help me scale my business, that was really where I was like, “Whoa, I really overlooked how important something like this is.”
It really hit me when we were trying to exit out of this hustle mode of the business and I’m crushing overhead and trying to figure out how we can scale and being really in that in between where we can’t do it alone like you can’t really stay small and continue to do what we need to do to get out of the business, et cetera and we need to really get to that next level. I had a really hard time with data clarity, just things like analyzing marketing, like analyzing productivity of employees, et cetera.
I really felt I was at the place in my business where I was doing a lot of things but didn’t understand truly what was working. It was all kind of gut instinct stuff and less facts. So when I started leveraging technology to help me fact find and make good decisions, that’s when everything changed. Because then it was no longer, “Oh, I think, oh, I hope.” It was measurable and I could start getting to this predictable stage.

Craig:
Right. Stephanie, so I guess where were you in your investing or in your business when you started to feel that pain and you felt like you needed some technology to move forward?

Stephanie:
When I was in this hustle stage, this perseverance/hustle five employees.

Craig:
But how many units did you have or where… Yeah, what did your business look like?

Stephanie:
I was doing 20ish deals a year. I was in that phase probably from like 20 to 50 deals a year. It wasn’t until I implemented this that I was able to go from 50 to 200 without wanting to die. Because I was in that phase where I’m either going to quit or I’m going to do this, right? I was in this like there is no turning back now. It was a lot.

Craig:
Yeah. I find it interesting. I always heard, I think it was from Tim Ferris, and he said that basically every time your business triples, you need to change. So you go from one person, you’re a one man show, you act a certain way. Then you go from three, you probably have to start putting in some systems, 9, 30, then 100, right? Every time your business triples. And I think it feels like you kind of felt that pain as well. Would you agree with that?

Stephanie:
Dead on. Yes. Complexity just got out of control. The more people you have on your team, the more you’re trying to do, the more complex it is, the more you need help to keep organized.

Craig:
Right. You start maybe needing like mid-level management and all that kind of stuff, it’s not just you managing 30 employees.

David:
So what was the first implementation of technology like for you and how did it change what you were doing?

Stephanie:
I think looking back, really the first thing that I leveraged technology for was in that house hack startup phase, right? Where I just felt the most important thing to do was to find data to learn and dig into really what real estate investing is. These are things like listening to podcasts, being on biggerpockets.com, reading those forums, listening to audio books, looking at Zillow and MLS and just trying to fact find and understand where I am and what my market is, and is this a good market, should I think about other markets, et cetera.
Like for example, I started my journey with my husband in upstate New York after we graduated college in 2007. That was our first purchase then in that market and now we’re in Charlotte. So we’ve had a lot of learning. And I think that we underestimate how much is available to us via technology in just that realm alone. There are so many resources out there.

David:
What forums of technology did you start off using?

Stephanie:
Exactly that. Like the biggerpockets.com, podcast, audio books, Zillow, listening to little courses here and there online. Basically just information super highway for leveraging technology in that way, really basic, really just basic fact finding.

David:
So you looked at the educational component of it first.

Stephanie:
Exactly, yeah.

David:
Now when you got really busy, I’m sure that there had to be some things that were implemented so that you weren’t the ones doing all the work. Can you share a little bit about how that transition happened?

Stephanie:
I kind of consider that like the next level, like the hustle level, right? Like after you fact find it and you did the house hack and now you’re trying to basically implement anybody else in your system other than you, right? That to me is a lot about now taking the education that you’ve learned and the pieces of data that are everywhere. Because I mean, I started off by writing on a piece of paper like printing out something and like, I don’t know what this is, what this comp is, right?
Literally writing stuff down, using technologies for education. So the next step for me was really migrating all the different data pieces that I had from lots of different sources into one place. That’s really where the CRM came into play, right? Like I need a central location that I can put all of my data and try to get it like apples to apples. I want everything to feel like it’s cohesive.
So that’s things like, what are all the phone calls I’m making? Right? What are all the tasks that I need to do? What are all the properties that I’m interested in? Where am I even spending money? Right? Just getting that all in one location so I can see it all at one time. What I felt in this stage, what was really dangerous was how fragmented everything was because I was just literally just trying to get everything organized. Does that make sense?

Craig:
Yeah. And so what caused you to start this… Or sorry, I know you do a lot with Salesforce, right? And so is this the system that you built through Salesforce that you’re talking about or is there another CRM that you did prior to that?

Stephanie:
Oh, I used a ton of things before that. Oh yeah, I tried all kinds of stuff. Starting with like Google Docs spreadsheets to Podio to other softwares like Asana, et cetera just trying to get stuff in one place. I actually got a significant distance there. I was doing probably like 20 deals a year plus before I realized that wasn’t enough still, because then other things were still missing like the task component, like the phone component, like the money component, right? The marketing stuff. It was all in these different places.
So that’s when I essentially just like, I think I talk about it a little bit in the last episode, but I snapped and lost my mind because I was working so hard and I had all kinds of stuff all over the place. So I got to this point where I was like, what’s the number one place in the world to build a CRM? What is it? Salesforce? Okay, fine. I’m going to try to do that.
And I couldn’t find a turnkey Salesforce product that was affordable. You’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars for this next level thing via Salesforce because you have to pay all these developers to do it. So I just decided I would code it myself and build it myself for my company.

Craig:
I know Salesforce is used for like billion dollar companies use Salesforce, right? That’s probably their big clientele. And you tried Google Sheets, you tried Podio, you tried all of these, for a better word, free and you get what you pay for when you use free services, right? And so it sounds like you’re like, “You know what? Screw all that. We’re going to go to Salesforce.” And you’re going to put in the time, put in the effort, put in the energy to build your own CRM. And is that kind of the story of your-

Stephanie:
And how unfair is that?

Craig:
What’s that?

Stephanie:
A hundred percent. That’s exactly my story. And I remember, I felt like it was so unfair that there was such this gap between what is available for our industry for CRMs and what is gold standard? There was no way to climb that. It’s like you either suffer with all this stuff and like pull your hair out or you have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and get yourself to this billion dollar company level on Salesforce. Obviously that’s not for our industry period let alone who ever you are, right? But you fill the gap essentially by me building it myself.

Craig:
And you got something more out of that, right? Obviously you got a fantastic CRM that your company gets to use, but you got more out of that as far as I know.

Stephanie:
Yeah. And that was actually… It’s kind of funny and almost embarrassing to say, but I was never anticipating it to be any more than that, right? I was just trying to solve the problem right in front of my face. And that was like, hey, I’ve got this growing company. My husband and I are hustling. We had a third partner at that time trying to hustle. We had handful of employees and we were just dying trying to figure out how we can scale and get out of the weeds. So this thing was built.
It really wasn’t until Salesforce approached me and was like, “Hey, this is really cool. Do you think anybody else would want this in your industry?” I was like, “Well, maybe, yeah.” Would you consider partnering and selling this on the AppExchange? Basically like an Apple iPhone, right? Like you can have an app on their store and things like that. And I was like, “Oh, is this a thing?” And I had to ask my husband, ask my partner, Jeff like, “Is this a thing?” And they’re like, “It’s a thing. It’s definitely a thing.” And I was like, “Okay, well maybe it is a thing. Maybe we should try this.”

Craig:
That’s so crazy. David, this reminds me of something that you always talk about the book So Good They Can’t Ignore You, right? You solved a problem and it was so good that the biggest people could not ignore you, they reached out to you. And did you come to a deal? Did they buy or partner with you? Was there any sort of monetary compensation to be willing to share with everybody on this?

Stephanie:
So they have a partnership program and then basically what you do is you negotiate a contract. I think I can say all this, but you basically negotiate a contract with Salesforce for what you can sell your product for. And so they have their sticker prices essentially, right? Like you go on their website, you want to buy Salesforce out of the box, you’re going to pay $150 a user and then you are going to get hooked up with a developer who’s going to help you.
They fully acknowledge like this is not… This is basically useless out of the box. You’ve got to have a developer. So that’s the typical pathway. So when you come in and say partnership, you basically present the solution that you’ve developed and pitch how this could help Salesforce bring more people on its platform. That’s what in the end what they care about, right? They want to grow their platform, they want to grow the verticals that they serve.
So you pitch that to them and then you negotiate what price you can sell that for. So we negotiated selling the enterprise edition license like the one that cost $150 sticker price to 50 bucks. So that for me, was a huge win because now we’re talking about it being accessible, right? And that’s how much you were going to pay per user, but then have a turnkey solution that’s already been pre-developed for real estate investing.
So that was my pitch to them, was that, “Hey, listen, you are missing an entire industry. That’s why I’m here talking to you guys.” They fully admitted. They’re like, “We don’t have real estate at all. We don’t service that branch and we don’t really do any justice to that industry because so many people are priced out of it. They tend to be small business and et cetera.” So they were excited to collaborate and negotiate with us so that we could make something affordable for real estate investors, real estate agents, project managers, et cetera. So that’s how that little partnership works and then you launch.

Craig:
Awesome. And so how would a low to mid-level real estate investor take a technology like this, they’re not spending hundreds of hours programming, how would they use Salesforce? Or is there something else that you may recommend at this point?

Stephanie:
So basically what we’ve developed was an overlay on top of Salesforce, it’s called Left Main. And what that does is it’s essentially a pre-configured and pre-built out platform on top of Salesforce so that the real estate investor does not have to get any development out of the gate, right? It’s already done. So they can come in and they have a really, really nice framework to start with.
Now with that being said, what it does, which is really, really exciting for me is once you get in there really kind of the journey of how technology can continue to be a part of your business as you grow begins. Because what I have found… Another thing I severely underestimated was how important and how the escalating importance of technology is as you move through these different business phases, right?
So it really depends a little bit on where you’re at when you start, like when you first come to this juncture where you’re like I need an integrated CRM and where are you? Are you doing a thousand and deals a year? Are you doing five deals a year and just trying to get out of the marketing phase and understand what’s working from a marketing standpoint? Right? It really depends on where you start with what the next step is, but it is very much a journey. Does that make sense?

Craig:
Awesome. Yeah, totally.

Stephanie:
It’s hard to articulate I think a little bit.

Craig:
Yeah, no for sure. I think one thing we want to kind of get to is let’s say someone is a house hacker, right? Maybe they’ve got a deal, maybe they’ve got a two dozen, maybe they’re looking to get a deal. What is the one piece of technology you would recommend they get today if there was nothing else they could do?

Stephanie:
For the house hacker, the one piece of technology that I would recommend for a house hacker to do if their intention is to continue doing that, right? Is anything related to market knowledge that you can get your hands on. And I think that’ll change a little bit with the tides but like data. I want you to know your market and know how to analyze a deal.
So if that’s MLS, if that’s looking at Zillow comps, if that’s using the calculators on BiggerPockets, if that’s listening to audiobook to fill knowledge gaps and what kind of deals you want to do, the first thing and the most important piece of technology you use when you’re first getting in there is anything related to knowledge and your market.

David:
So what if somebody is running a wholesale business and they’re trying to track leads that are coming in, how many pieces of mail were sent, who’s doing the follow-up, set reminders to call back, is there something you can recommend for that?

Stephanie:
Yeah, I mean, so that’s essentially what we’ve built with the CRM, right? Like getting all those things into one place. But the big metrics that are important in that phase of your business are going to be centered around the lead and the lag metrics, right? So the number of leads that some in. So we can start at the beginning, the number of mail pieces you need to send to the number of phone calls you need to have inbound to the number of leads that creates and then to the number of opportunities you have, right?
How many of those were qualified leads? How many appointments are you going on? How many offers did you make on those appointments? And then how many of those offers turned into a signed contract? It’s starting to put to together the conveyor belt of metrics that tie in all of the things that you’re doing in your business and making that linear, if this, then that, and getting it all in a place where you could measure what happened and then what worked.

David:
So can you explain to us sort of how the CRM that you’ve talked about, what the process looks like for someone who hasn’t seen it before, isn’t using it, maybe more of a detailed step by step of like, hey, this is what it would do in this… More specific than the general information.

Stephanie:
Sure. So like what it looks like for somebody to come on board?

David:
Yeah. Like let’s say that I got your CRM and I wanted to use it to start a wholesaling company, what would it actually be doing and how would I be using it?

Stephanie:
So the very, very first step is to migrate data. You usually have data somewhere else. You have a list of people that you’ve mailed, you have a list of leads that you’ve called, et cetera. So step number one is migrating all of that onboard and getting that organized into the different stages of those leads. So these are new, these are uncontacted, these are qualified, these we’ve had appointments on, these we are negotiating with, these are contracts signed, et cetera.
We’re going to organize the whole business so that it’s in the proper stages. And then the next part comes into lead management and sales management. There are two major initiatives. So for lead management, what we do is we train you on the key concept of leads, which is speed to lead contact and speed to qualification. So everything about the system is built to help you do that in an efficient way.
So lead management looks like doing bulk tasks. Having tasks of course remind you when to do something next, catching leads that have gone longer than 30 days without any activity like call, text message, email task, right? Anything that has gone longer than 30 days is flagged on the certain list view. And we’re doing these bulk actions where we can select a bunch of leads, send them a text, send them an email, make you super efficient, power dial through those things and try to get ahold of those people as soon as possible.
So we’re measuring, how long does it take you to make the first activity on that lead, how long did it take you to actually get ahold of that lead? How long did it take you to return that missed phone call? What is your live answer rate, et cetera, all in one place. And what that does is it allows you not to lie to yourself because the data is fragmented. You’re like, “Oh no, I thought I did that. No, I answered the phone live,” or no one got to them right away, contacted them or your team, right? Like you just don’t even realize sometimes how efficient a process will be.
This is meant to make that extremely obvious so that you, as an operator, you’re like, “Wait a minute. What is that? We answered the phone live 70% of the time. Hey, it took us on average three hours to call back a missed call. Hey, we haven’t contacted 70% of our leads. We’ve never had a conversation with or 30% of our leads,” right? Like what does that mean? And what if I change that? Right? Then you can make an incremental decision.
That’s kind of like this concept of like, what am I doing and what is working? And if you can measure all of the activities that you do with leads, you can start tweaking things and figure out what worked and what didn’t and how maybe we can make things more efficient. So that’s that lead management part. After leads are qualified, they go to a stage called opportunity.
And in the opportunity, here it’s speed to offer and then offer conversion, right? So what can we do to make as many offers that we can to people that are the most relevant to the deal, right? We don’t want to just blow out offers that I’ll give you 100k and it’s like a $400,000 house, right? We want to obviously get a good deal, but we want to make meaningful offers as quickly as possible and get contracts in front of people as quickly as possible.
So in this stage, we have some tools to help you analyze what a renovation cost would be based on the square footage of the property and the level of renovation that needs to get done. And we try to make that super simple, like level one is a cosmetic rehab. What would this cost for this square footage if we have to do all new floors, all new paint, all new landscaping, light fixtures, right? That’s a level one.
We’re not going to nitpick here, we’re just going to try to get to a number of like about how much that would cost. And then level two is all that plus kitchen cabinets and kitchen countertops. Level three is like bathrooms and maybe the roof, right? Like system, two major systems or the bathrooms. Level four is gut job, changing a wall.
So I want to have a quick calculator, how much is it going to cost to renovate the property and then I want to have integrations with other softwares here to help me come up with a value of the property, basically like a comping automation, right? The hardest part of making an offer is trying to figure out what you can offer. And we get completely debilitated by that, right?
And if you ask five different people, they’ll give you five different answers and everyone’s like 10, $20,000 apart and then we get this analysis paralysis. So how do we get that speed to offer? So we use a tool like that which is really, really accurate. And same thing, people can argue $10,000 on any deal if you get enough people in the room. So what we want to get is accurate as we can and then make an offer to that homeowner and we want to make an offer in a way that’s very convenient.
Now this is the tech, welcome to 2022, if you’re not using tech, you’re losing. So we want to send them a contract, DocuSign, right? If we are in person, beautiful, but what if we’re not? That person’s hot to sign, let’s send them a DocuSign agreement. Heck I mean, I can’t even remember the last time I went to a lawyer’s office to sign a HUD now. I sign HUDs all the time DocuSign, right? So that speed to offer.

Craig:
Yeah. So Stephanie, it sounds like you basically just took us through this massive funnel of a wholesaler, right? Your system or a good quality wholesaling CRM system, you will be able to track every single metric from calls, text, whatever. So you have, hey, do calls work better or do text work better? Is my guy from the Philippines a better caller than my guys here locally? Right?
So you have all of that data so you can make good business decisions that can obviously increase those numbers, right?And then you mentioned, okay, talk about the percentages, 30% conversion, 70% conversion. Well, where are you going to invest your money? You’re going to invest your money where the 70% commercial is, right?

Stephanie:
Exactly.

Craig:
So I think having a… There’s no question that having a high quality CRM system is something that wholesalers, real estate agents, pretty much anyone in any business ever needs a good quality CRM system. But at what point do you think like does Joe who’s listening to this podcast right now, he’s a one man team looking to start wholesaling, do you recommend he get this system starting tomorrow or who is using this system?

Stephanie:
Anybody who’s marketing, essentially. If you are spending money on marketing and you aren’t measuring your data, you are losing. So if you are marketing off market to off market homes and you are trying to get off market deals via anything other than essentially like MLS, right? You are spending money, you have an overhead.
And if you don’t have a good way of measuring what happens when you spend that money, you’re in trouble, right? You’re going to get crushed by that overhead. So you really have to be kind of at that like you’re not quite house hacking, you’re one step above that where you’re trying to grow, right? You’re ready to make a business out of this and market essentially.

Craig:
I know a lot of wholesalers and almost all of them use VAs in some capacity. Do you use VAs at all?

Stephanie:
Yeah. I love VAs.

Craig:
So I’m just curious, how easy is it to teach someone that maybe English isn’t their first language to operate a CRM? And so almost run a lot of them are doing the calls and doing the text and all that out of the CRM.

Stephanie:
I think, well, just like anything, there’s a learning curve, right? They’ve got to be introduced to a software and instructed on how to use it. We offer a lot of training that as far as like Left Main goes, we’ll train your team for you and we have a lot of resources from that standpoint. But in general, every employee needs to have a training plan and an onboarding plan and understand what their job roles are and how to use the technology to help them do those job rules.
And the beautiful thing about a system honestly, even if it’s Google Sheets, when you’re first starting out, right? You’ve got to find a way to collaborate on a single object where… You’ve got to have like this cloud basis and you’ve got to get out of your office, right? You’ve got to have something that everyone can access from wherever they are in the world and start documenting on what they’re doing with homeowners and the calls that they’re making and the results and things like that, right? So having a cloud based system is incredibly important so that you can collaborate.

David:
And would you say in general that’s sort of like the medium size investor they’re spending some money in their business, whether that’s staff or that’s leads that they’re trying to bring in? All right. So what questions do you think someone should be asking to measure in their business? What are the most important KPIs that in general a real estate business needs to be measuring?

Stephanie:
Yeah, I mean, so I want everyone to measure what they’re doing and then what they’re doing, what it results in, right? So that can range a little bit on what your business model is, but just count the things that you do during a day, right? For me, one of the most important indicators for me that I really feel can predict the end game of what happens in our wholesaling company and our bill company is what percentage of our leads we got a hold of.
For me, that is the most important leading metric that we have in our entire company. Because we can dump a hundred leads in there a day from our website from people filling out the form or whatever off Google, right? And if we never get a hold of those people, nothing else matters, right? That’s the first rock in the stream. So we count not only the number of leads. The number of leads is almost irrelevant to the number of actually contacted conversations with leads.
From that, the next step is really how many appointments did we set and how many offers did we make? I care the most about offers. And appointments can be phone appointments, right? Just the sales process. What is the cycle next? It’s the sales process where you’re talking to somebody trying to understand their pain and trying to solve their problem, right? And in doing that, our offer hopefully helps them solve that pain.
So the percentage of leads contacted, the number of offers made, and then the number of deals signed and monetized, right? We’ve also got to keep an eye on the number of deals that fall out or get canceled, because we want to know why they got canceled. Did we not find a buyer or are we off on our numbers? Did we not get financing? That’s another big rock in the ocean there, was like, why didn’t that go all the way to monetization? So if I had to pick just like three metrics, it would be that, number of leads contacted, or what percentage of leads contacted, number of offers made and the number of deals closed, monetized.

David:
Awesome.

Stephanie:
If we’re going to get super simple, right?

Craig:
For the lead indicator there is kind of just the first one, right?

Stephanie:
Yeah.

David:
All right. What about when you get to a bigger investment? So you’re running a syndication. Now you’ve got bookkeeping, you have to think about you’ve got distributions that have to be made, you have investors that are going to be asking a lot of questions about every deal, you have to generate PPMs and operating agreements. What advice do you have for people that get to that level?

Stephanie:
Yeah. And honestly, that level comes too without syndications. That comes in a scaled wholesaling business or a scaled flipping business, right? We still get to that level outside of this initial stage where you’re getting organized and getting KPIs together, the next step is really for both. But truly to get to that next level, to get to that scaled level where you are completely out of the weeds and you’re just sitting in your CEO or owner’s box, you need to be able to have massive automation and integrations. That becomes the biggest piece of technology next.
To get to that level, you’ve got to be able to interpret and manipulate your data. And Craig, you mentioned it before, you got to like 80, 20, what has been working to get super efficient. So you have employees who are very productive and you have a team that’s very efficient. You’re avoiding any crushing overhead. Because you’re really efficient, you don’t need to have a ton of people doing things that one person can do or two people can do with some technology, right?
And then to get to that next phase, you’re implementing automation, right? So an email gets triggered off at these certain times, a task gets automatically triggered at certain times, text messages get sent at certain times, I’m integrating with my DocuSign software or my Slack channel for my entire team, et cetera, right?
You’re basically spider webbing out with all of the different softwares and all of the different things that need to get done in a day related to that homeowner, that syndication and having it happen automatically and in a process based way, right? You’re letting technology come into your process so that everything isn’t sitting in someone’s head anymore. It’s just directly integrated into the process. When this happens, these emails get sent to notify people automatically, these tasks get triggered, I’m not going to forget to do something extremely important. And I want to communicate without ever communicating or with communicating as little as possible, right? Like that one-to-one phase.

Craig:
Yeah. Stephanie, in the transition of going from a medium to a large business, and you talk about integrations and automations and all that, obviously there has to be set up, like how does someone go about setting all that up?

Stephanie:
Yeah. And incrementally there’s things that you can do that will really give you a leg up with softwares like mine that have been developed with our industry in mind. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time, but you do it one step at a time just like everything else.

Craig:
What would you say is like the first step?

Stephanie:
To getting to that next level and to integrating tech? What specifically?

Craig:
Yeah. What’s the first thing you would automate going from medium to high level?

Stephanie:
Emails. Email sequences because it’s very easy to do that. So what I would do is make sure that email triggers and really tasks and tasks and text messages are pretty close to the same time. But as soon as a lead hits your system, if you can trigger an email and a text message to that homeowner acknowledging that they’ve done something to interact with your business and greet them, that goes a very, very long way in increasing the percentage chance that you’re going to have a conversation with them. That’s speed to lead. That would be the first step.

Craig:
And David, did your real estate team do this in terms of with your agents?

David:
It’s very similar to what Stephanie’s describing. So we basically have, let me see if I can describe what the funnel looks like in more practical steps. Lead comes in from an outside source. It could come from my website, it could be a place that we bought a lead, it could be a person who found me, whatever. You put your information in somewhere saying, “I want some agent to talk to me.” That automatically dumps into my CRM and we use an app called Zapier that basically makes those two kinds of programs talk to each other.
When it goes in the CRM, it triggers what’s called an auto plan. So it’s this like predetermined list of commands that it says, “Oh, a lead came in. I have to follow this auto plan.” So the first step would be that the client gets a text message automatically that says, “Hey, thank you so much for reaching out. We appreciate it. Someone’s going to be reaching out soon. Tell me, have you ever bought real estate before?” And then at the same time, an email goes to the client with a similar message.
So right off the bat, they’re getting that instant gratification of, okay, I’m being talked to. There’s nothing worse than when you put in your information and you don’t know when the person’s going to get back to you. You always find that the employee says, “Oh my God, I got back to them within 24 hours. Why are they so upset?” But it didn’t feel like 24 hours to the lead. Every hour was, did you even see this at all? Are you acknowledging that I exist? Do I-

Stephanie:
Or did it work or did I mess it up? Right? Like, did I submit it?

David:
And if you’re someone like me, if I wait a little bit of time and I don’t get any kind of reply, I’m just going to go somewhere else and go find the person that’s going to answer. So at the same time that those messages go out to the client, they also go to the agent who’s responsible for reaching out. So the agent gets a text message, the inside sales agent, which is different than the agent also gets a message and an email goes out to each of them.
Now the inside sales agent’s job is to make sure that the agent saw the message on their phone and actually contacted the client and if they don’t, then they contact the client. But that’s very important, that speed to lead that is being talked about. Once the agent contacts the actual client, now they check a box saying, “Okay, it’s done,” and the auto plan can go to rest. But what I found the most expensive thing that was costing me money in my business had nothing to do with an expense, it was lead bleed is what I call it. It was how many people were coming in.

Stephanie:
Oh my gosh, you preach, yes.

David:
And we had no idea how… And no, I didn’t think that would be a thing. Because David, the business owner that wants to be good would never, ever, ever ignore a lead. You’re like a starving junkyard dog on a ham sandwich when that thing comes in, right? But you’ve got these employees that get paid either way or they only want the easy leads or they’re in the middle of eating lunch or whatever’s going on. And so the lead comes in and they don’t get to it and then there’s no accountability so they forget. And all that happens is the client ends up thinking the David Greene team didn’t even care, right?
And they’re confused because they listen to the podcast and they’re like, “David’s a good guy. I don’t know why that he wouldn’t have answered me.” They get their feelings hurt. So what I’ve found is that there has to be like multiple levels of automated process that tell someone, and then you also usually need someone that oversees that process to make sure that even though the computer’s doing its job, that the human element, which is always where the mistake, not always, but often where the mistake comes from is taking care of their part.

Craig:
David, I got a question for you actually. On your system, do you have any, and maybe Stephanie for you too, is there any sort of built-in accountability with your CRM programs? So let’s say a lead gets transferred to an agent or a lead gets transferred to a wholesaling representative and they don’t reach out in like let’s say 10 minutes. It gets bumped to the next person so they’re going to lose out on that commission.

Stephanie:
Yeah. Certainly. So I love what you’re saying too, I could not agree more. That’s why the percentage of leads contacted is so much more important to me than the number of leads generated, right? Like I want it to have had a contact with this person from my team, but the accountability comes in how long it takes to make that first contact, right? And how many activities did it take for you to make that first contact?
So the clock really starts ticking the moment something drops in the CRM. So what was the time to the first activity, what was the time… And then that could be an email, a text message. What was the time until someone on my team physically tried to make a first outbound call to this person? And this is above and beyond automation, right? This is my person taking action.
And then we can measure that. So we can say, hey, Sally, it takes her on average two minutes for time of first activity. Jordan, over here, it takes him 30 minutes to have that first activity. Who do you think is going to qualify more leads? Who do you think is going to be more productive and more effective? Right? It’s the person who’s the fastest who gets ahold of that person and starts that process and solves the problem, right? Before that homeowner fills out 17 other forms.
So there is that built-in accountability for that. You can make it. So like if the time limit goes by that like it’s been 15 minutes, it goes to somebody else. But the way I have mine built out and with the way we deliver it, which can also be customized is it’s a free for all, like all leads are available to everybody, whoever gets it first wins, right? Like if you try, but you don’t get it, I’m going to get it.
Because I’m incentivized to be fast and to convert leads and have conversations with people so I’m going to attack that lead and I’m going to notify everybody on my team. The phone is going to ring for everybody all at once and whoever answers it first wins. Because I want the highest percentage chance that we live answer if somebody inbound calls and that every lead is attacked the second that it comes in.
So I actually don’t do a round-robin. You can, you certainly can. And I think that there are teams that that’s more appropriate for, but when I have a bunch of people sitting in front of a computer or in and out of my office at any given time, I just want to make that percentage chance that they pick up the phone as high as possible. It’s a dog eat dog world out there with the competition.

Craig:
David, what do you do? Do you do the round-robin approach or the shotgun approach?

David:
I would rather do it the way Stephanie does it. The reason I can’t, like she said some systems don’t work as well, is we cover a lot of geographic area and different agents on my team specialize and work in different areas, as well as they have different sources of knowledge and skills. So if Stephanie came to me and said, “Hey David, my mom needs to sell her house, can you help?”
That’s a different agent than if someone came and said, “Hey David, I want to buy an eightplex in this area. We had to do a little bit of screening before we can assign it to the right person, which is why I need the role of an inside sales agent because that’s what they do, is they contact that person right away, get some information and figure out where to connect them to.
But the technology helps make sure that that baton is not being dropped with all these handoffs. That’s the tricky part, is every time there’s a different person that has to get involved in this thing, you exponentially increase the odds that it can get screwed up. And so technology sort of serves to… I mean really, if you think about most technology, it’s just trying to make up for human weakness.
And when we don’t use technology, it’s because we’re too arrogant to admit that we’re weak and we need help. I would say this is the number one problem on my real estate team. This sounds so silly. It is programming human beings to remember to create a task in the CRM when someone asks them to do something. Everybody assumes that when I say, can you do this or can you do that, that they’re just going to remember and they mean in the moment to remember and 99% of the time they forget.
And then I forget that I gave it to them because if I said, can you do this, I just assumed it would be done. And then five days later I need that thing and I’m like, “Where is that?” And they’re like, “Oh, oh yeah, I’ll do it right now.” Or, “Oh, I sent an email three days ago, I haven’t heard back.” I’m like, “Well, why didn’t you send an email every day after that or why didn’t you pick up the phone to call?”
Technology is really there to sort of like shore up the holes in our own performance. And I think that’s why Stephanie, what you’re saying is when you get bigger, those holes start to get exposed more and more and more and you have more at stake, right? My overhead for just my real estate team is a little over $90,000 a month.
It’s terrifying how much money we have to spend in salaries and rent and software and programs and paying for leads and closing gifts and everything that we have to do. So if we’re dropping those leads, you can start to lose massive amounts of money when the risk is that high, and that’s why you really want to incorporate technology to kind of cover your own butt.

Stephanie:
Right. And what’s so exciting about it too, is how much a little tweak and just plugging one hole, what that does to your river, right? You just plug that hole with a little automation, a little cadence, right? All of a sudden, you have this process where a lead comes in and it can’t help but go through the steps because it’s been pre-programmed to help you put it through the steps and not forget, right?
So little holes here and there like reminder emails and follow up sequences to the homeowners, all of a sudden, one will bounce back in for you, right? You may not have thought to contact that person because it’s been a month, well guess what? They just replied to an email you sent them and they pop right back up on your radar you’re like, “Oh thanks. Great. Yeah. I’ll call you right now,” right?
All that stuff happened in the background while you’re really busy doing the very highest value activity for whatever role you have in that company, right? Like the lead manager, it’s that active conversation. If I’m on an active conversation with a homeowner, I can’t also pick up this other phone call or respond to that email. I need to be on this call. So stuff needs to happen for me while I’m doing this.
And same thing with sales, right? Once that baton gets past the appropriate salesperson, that person needs to be talking numbers and analyzing and doing that, not necessarily following up with a hundred old leads. That doesn’t mean that those old leads aren’t important, that’s where you plug automation in, right? So that then it generates that activity.

David:
I also find that so many human beings will say, “I don’t have enough time,” or, “I got too busy.” But if I sat there and watched them work all day, I can find so many times in the day when they were doing nothing, right? When I worked as a waiter-

Stephanie:
They’re on TikTok.

David:
Yeah, or maybe like what’ll happen is when I asked you to do it, you were in the middle of something else. But that does not mean you were too busy to get it done, it means you were not organized enough to get it done. When I worked as a waiter, if I had a table come in and then five or six minutes later, another table, five or six minutes, another table, I could get up to 10 tables and I could be fine.
If I got three at one time, it just jammed up the system, it clogged it and that’s when you would make mistakes, because you can’t be in every place at the same time. So some of this technology, what it does is it creates a cue like you’re saying Stephanie, that is a reminder for me to do the thing so that I can finish up my active call.
Maybe an email was sent out when I was in the middle of the call so the person was acknowledged and they’re like, “Oh, okay, they’re there.” And then 40 minutes later when I get off of that call, I’m reminded, “Hey, jump in and make this call.” As well as reminded of maybe six other tasks and I can determine what’s the priority, where should I go in? Versus when it’s in your head, all that you experience is anxiety. You’re like, “I got all these balls in air. I can’t do everything,” and you don’t know what needs to be done.
You just know it feels overwhelming and it’s only a period of time before you tap out and you say I’m too busy. I’m overwhelmed. I hear it all the time. This is just too much. No, it’s just that you got two tables at one time so you feel stressed out. But if you could kind of like space out that workflow, it wouldn’t be that hard. And I think that’s another thing that technology does at a higher level, is it takes all this that’s coming in and it creates some order out of it so that you can prioritize and then tackle it in the right order it needs to be

Stephanie:
Exactly. I always talk about it as like a conveyor belt. It creates a conveyor belt of tasks and a conveyor belt for that person to follow.

Craig:
So I think let’s do like a quick recap on kind of beginner, intermediate and advanced investor in like what systems and what technology each one should use. So for like okay, rookie, four to five deals, who is like the less than one year experience person using for technology?

Stephanie:
In that phase, in that like level one phase, house hack, startup, you’re using tech essentially to learn and to educate yourself, all centered around your market, right? Like what is it that you want from a business? Where are you in the US or in the world that where are you about to do business and like what is that information around you?
So much of that technology has to do with education and essentially comping resources like Zillow and Redfin and realtor.com, free stuff or MLS if you’re an agent or have access to agents, podcasts, books, BiggerPockets, all these things, right? This is where you’re using technology. I love technology in that sense-

Craig:
So free and really cheap stuff. Is that right?

Stephanie:
Yeah. And what I love, and this is what I did on the road, on my way to my W-2 job, I’m listening to an audio book. How cool is that? Like download that book, I’m going to listen to it. Or Blinkist was another really cool piece of technology. I could read a book basically in like 15 minutes, just give me the highlights, right? Like use that technology to help me learn faster and understand what I’m trying to do, right? And put together my plan.
The next phase like phase two is really using tech for efficiencies and to start measuring stuff, right? We’re going to organize data. This is where the CRM comes into play. We’re going to try to get your data in a point where you’re looking at apples to apples and then drawing some sort of conclusion about what you’re doing and what is working, right?
And that to me was like the heart of the CRM, like getting all that stuff in one place and starting to understand what that means and what the relationship was between different handoff points in the business, right? And so CRM is a big one. This is like stacking lists too, to try to aggregate data. It can be things like putting a phone reminder or using your cell phone to remind yourself to call somebody, right?
This can be QuickBooks to getting your step off of a spreadsheet onto a place where does the math for you, right? There’s more than just a CRM in this level, but essentially it’s all about the fundamental metrics and fundamental measurement in that stage, using technology for that. The next phase is really kind of what we’re chatting here with David’s company too, is this is where we’re using tech for viability, right?
Like we’re going to avoid crushing overhead now because we’re using tech to be more productive, more efficient, starting these automation sequences, right? Manipulating data, understanding what works and making those decisions now, 80, 20 rules, right? Like this marketing channel did the best here, this sales rep did the best in this area or with this type of person, this lead manager is the fastest, or I need more lead managers because we’re getting slow, right?
This is like those changes you start making, you’re interpreting that data that your technology’s providing you. So things that also help you here in this stage is those early automations, right? Like using DocuSign to send contracts, using automatic calculators to come up with offers and rehab estimate and values of the property, basically taking technology into that process. And then the next phase is really where you’re going and scaling. And 200 plus deals a year is heavy automation, right? Like integration with multiple technology tools and people outside your business, your company.

Craig:
Yeah. You know what this kind of reminds me of is basically when you first start something out, you’re basically starting it out as a hobby, right? You don’t really know your systems, you don’t know that stuff, right? You implement that first piece of technology which is all the free stuff. And that is your bridge from taking your endeavor from a hobby to a business.
And it’s all the free stuff, it’s all the cheap stuff. And then once you’re got at that business level, you start adding the bigger and more advanced stuff, the automation, the integration, all the serious CRM stuff. That takes it from medium size business to empire, right? And then once you’ve got your empire, you’re using the technologies, the automations, the integrations to just scale up and build your dynasty.

Stephanie:
Exactly. And if you’re looking to do something like that, like if you’re looking to dominate your market, you’ve got to dominate your own data.

Craig:
I love that.

Stephanie:
There’s no other way to do it.

David:
Well, that’s fantastic.

Stephanie:
Nerds unite, nerds unite.

Craig:
We’re going to push up our glasses.

Stephanie:
I know.

David:
All right. As you two push up your glasses, we’re going to be moving on to the next segment of our show. It is our world famous…

Speaker 4:
Famous four.

David:
In this segment of the show, we are going to ask you the same four questions we ask every guest of the podcast and fire them at you. I will start. What is your favorite real estate related book?

Stephanie:
Good to Great, Jim Collins.

Craig:
Okay. Cool. Favorite business book, Stephanie.

Stephanie:
Ooh, Competitive Analysis by Michael Porter.

Craig:
Ooh, I haven’t heard of that one. Have you heard of that one?

David:
No. What’s it about?

Stephanie:
It’s kind of a textbook type business book. So again, nerd alert, but it’s basically how to analyze an industry and analyze players in the industry and how you can compete against them, what your secret sauce is and how to analyze the whole industry essentially and your place in it.

David:
Right. Kind of like how one sports team might analyze the team they’re going to play against and figure out a strategy that would work against that team.

Stephanie:
A hundred percent, yeah.

David:
I couldn’t resist the urge to bring in a sports analogy into a real estate conversation.

Stephanie:
Moneyball.

David:
Sorry everybody. Yeah, moneyball, there you go.

Craig:
All right, Stephanie, what do you do for fun?

Stephanie:
Oh, medicine.

David:
Save lives.

Craig:
Okay, save lives? That’s your hobby?

Stephanie:
And you know what? I think maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be, but I go and I work at the hospital because I truly love it and it’s my passion. It is not what I do for a living anymore, I do it because I choose to and I love it.

David:
Well to all of those frontline workers that are out there that have been fighting COVID for years now and exposing themselves to some of the biggest risk of everybody, we really appreciate you. And those are the true superheroes right now. So thank you for doing that, Stephanie.

Stephanie:
You’re welcome.

David:
Next question. What sets apart successful investors from those who give up, fail or never get started?

Stephanie:
The refusal to stop. When I first started, so this was my husband’s idea and I like to tell him he created a monster. But when I first started this, I can’t remember who it was that said it, I think it was Justin Williams, but he basically said if you’re about to embark on something hard and something that is outside of even your generational trends and your family or outside your comfort zone truly, you are not allowed to quit until you want to quit a hundred times.
So I started counting how many… I printed out this thing of a hundred boxes and I was like, “I am not going to quit until I wanted to quit a hundred times.” And I don’t mean quit like I don’t want to go. I mean, quit like I am done. I don’t want to do this, this is too much, right? And I got to like in the 60s. At that point, I was like, “You know what?” I kept going and I kept coming to be a solution. So long way to answer that question but just literally the refusal to stop the ultimate commitment to the path that you’re on.

Craig:
Awesome. Stephanie, where can people find out more about you?

Stephanie:
I’m on socials. You can follow me on Facebook or Instagram, at Stephbetters, or you can email me [email protected]

Craig:
Awesome. And Steph, I actually got one more bonus question for you that I just kind of thought of. So through you mentioned that you do the nurse stuff as a hobby but you do the real estate stuff to make a lot of money. When are you going to stop doing one of those things? Right? Because usually it’s the other way around, right? Usually people love doing real estate and hate their job.

Stephanie:
I know, right?

Craig:
So where are you headed?

Stephanie:
I’m scared to say this out loud because who’s going to watch this video? But I have made a commitment to myself that I will not be working at the hospital by the end of this year. So I am leaving. It’s been an incredible journey for me to come to that decision primarily because I think practicing medicine and what I’m doing and with my job and heart surgery and the colleagues I have, and I love it so much and it’s become part of my identity.
So leaving and closing a chapter is really hard. It’s really hard to separate and kind of come to terms with that. I’m not sure if you guys have children, but for me it feels like acknowledging the time in your life where you’re stopping to have kids, right? I have three kids and it… Like my husband and I had this talk like, “Okay, no more kids. We have three, our family’s complete.”
You close that book and there’s this joy but also it’s sad, right? You’re like, “Oh, but I’ve been growing babies for 10 years.” Right? Like, “Can I stop or what’s next? So what’s that going to feel like?” So anyway, it’s been a big identity journey on deciding where I want to put all of my time and energy. And a big part of who I am is a servant and I’ve been able to really fulfill that service part of my heart this way.
So now I’m transitioning to fulfill that service need in other ways, and primarily with real estate, which was the goal, right? The goal was freedom and to make every choice for myself and for my family. And I think I’m finally there on my emotional journey to arrive.

Craig:
Yay. Well, congratulations for all of your success Stephanie.

Stephanie:
Thank you.

Craig:
Obviously you’ve built many incredible businesses, it sounds.

David:
Well, thank you, Stephanie. This was really good. We don’t get to talk about this kind of stuff very often. So I’m glad we got to kind of pull back the curtain and show people what it looks like when you get deeper and deeper into real estate investing at bigger levels. I know there’s a lot of people that listen and say, “My dream is to be a full-time investor.” And if that’s really the case, that’s cool.
But know that as you become a full-time investor and you grow, it just sort of takes a place of another job and there’s all new skills that need to come into place with that job and technology and harnessing it is a very big piece of how to make that happen. I also like that we got to kind of reveal that technology itself is not a magic pill.
It is not like, “Hey, if I pay for this system, all of a sudden, everything goes great.” In fact, I don’t know that I found a magic pill in anything, right? Hiring a bookkeeper, never a magic pill. You got to take time to work with your bookkeeper and hiring a person to do the job is another job. Now you got to teach that person how. There is work associated with all of this, but that’s what’s so great because then other people don’t want to do it, which is what creates the opportunity for all of us. Anything you want to leave us with before we get out of here?

Stephanie:
No, I love it. Thank you so much for having me. I think that everybody should be prepared for a journey. And one step at a time and you’d be shocked to where you’d find yourself in 5 years, 10 years. Just one little thing at a time.

David:
Craig?

Craig:
Nothing for me to add. Stephanie, it was great having you on. I love hearing your story, super inspiring and excited to see where you are a year from now.

Stephanie:
Thank you guys so much.

David:
All right. Go check out Stephanie’s other BiggerPockets Podcast on the Business Podcast, episode 80. This is David Greene for Craig the house hacking guru Curelop signing off.

 

Help us reach new listeners on iTunes by leaving us a rating and review! It takes just 30 seconds and instructions can be found here. Thanks! We really appreciate it!



Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.