In this episode, Alex Joungblood and I are talking with an awesome investor, Gena Horiatis, who is killin’ it in multiple virtual market.
With not a lot of women in REI, Gena took the bold move – and had the courage – to jump in. She saw REI as a terrific opportunity instead of a men’s-only, intimidating club. And she talks about her inspiration for starting as a real estate investor – and it’s something that might actually surprise you.
Gena has certainly learned a ton throughout her years, and her main takeaway is that you can’t simply read an REI book or take a course, you have to take action and implement what you’ve learned. She also talks about why goals are so important and how she had to go through a mental mind shift to appreciate that idea, and how she banished negativity from her life.
This episode is really packed with tons of awesome info; we really covered a lot of topics. I know you’re going to love this one.
So, get to it!
Listen and enjoy:
- 4:25 – Why REI gurus are necessary and helpful
- 6:30 – How Gena got started in REI
- 13:00 – Why you should give investors who teach (more than they actually do deals) a break
- 22:21 – How Gena moved past being overwhelmed when starting out
- 27:58 – Why Gena recommends wholesaling to those who are just getting started in REI
- 30:31 – How Gena decides to wholesale a prop versus to buy and hold it
- 34:35 – What kind of team Gena has in place that allows her to do loads of virtual deals
- 38:30 – Gena’s process when updating the interior of a house for a deal
- 44:23 – Why direct mail is still a big, useful marketing tool
- 50:28 – Gena’s thoughts and advice for other women investors
- 58:53 – How Gena answers Joe’s interesting hypothetical scenario question
- 1:04:16 – Gena’s final thoughts
Mentioned in this episode:
- 1 800 Fair Offer
- 1 Hour Leads
- Gena’s website Victory Ventures Buys Houses
- Dean Graziosi’s website
- Hire My Mom
- College Nannies
- Gina’s Women in Real Estate Facebook Group
Joe: This is the Real Estate Investing Mastery podcast…
So guys, we have a great guest on today, Gena Horiatis. And, I met Gena about a week or two ago. I was speaking at the local St. Louis Association of Real Estate Investors. And, it was a good group and I was talking about wholesaling lease options. And, Gena happened to be there because she was in town. You live on the… in Portland, Seattle… somewhere over there, right?
Gena: Yeah, I’m in the suburb of Seattle.
Joe: Okay, good. And, you were in St. Louis to teach a class of wholesalers, right?
Gena: Yeah, brand new investors and it focuses on wholesaling.
Joe: Great. So, we’re going to get in your story here in a little bit. But, one of the things in my presentation I talked about is…the easiest way to make money in real estate is to do what’s easy. And so many times, we complicate this business. And I think Gena, you probably talk a lot to your students and your clients, how to keep things simple.
Joe: …And just keep things basic and don’t complicate it. Don’t overanalyze it. Just take action, right?
Joe: Cause it…
Gena: It’s so easy. It’s so easy to complicate anything. Even for example, ordering your business cards. How long you think that should take?
Joe: Well. If you do order any of ’em, which I don’t know that you need to, but…
Joe: It should take you five, fifteen minutes max.
Gena: Exactly. And, one of the things I find with new investors is they just put way too much thought and energy in directions if it’s not resolving getting deals done.
Joe: Yes. So anyway, Gena. I want to introduce you to our podcast listeners. You do a lot of deals in Seattle. And, you also work closely with the one and only famous Dean Graziosi. Is that right?
Gena: Yeah, absolutely. Dean is my mentor and good friend.
Joe: I like Dean a lot. I’ve got two of his books here on my bookshelf. And, I’ve read through some of them. I haven’t read all of them yet but, I love his passion for real estate. I mean, isn’t it contagious to hear him talk about real estate and listen how he gets so excited when he’s helping people…
Joe: …To make money. That’s the kind of guy that you can learn a lot from, somebody who is passionate about the business. And, doing a lot deals right?
Gena: Oh, absolutely. I mean, Dean does dozens and dozens of deals a month. And, his passion is so real. I mean, well hey, I have the opportunity to be with the guy in person. And, kind of have Dean with you all afterwards because his energy is like nobody had ever met. Awesome.
Joe: That’s funny. Yeah, he’s doing deals in Phoenix. That’s where he lives, right?
Gena: Yeah, he focuses mostly out of town though as well.
Joe: Oh yeah.
Gena: You know, you got to go with the numbers make sense, that lot of stuff going on in Kansas City and St. Louis. And so, for of all of those good territories that you know real well.
Joe: So I mean, I’m sure a little of people have seen him on TV. This isn’t a podcast about Dean cause I really wanted to talk about you. But, you know, a lot of people see those guys on TV and think “Yeah, you know, they make more money teaching or selling courses that they do.” They don’t do any deals, really of if they did, they haven’t done a deal in 20 years. But, that’s not what you’ve found in a guy like Dean, is that right?
Gena: No, absolutely not. I mean, the authenticity is real. I mean, Dean actually, just a few months or maybe a year ago, he actually put a book out of all of these deals just to provide that evidence. And you know, one of the things I love about working in Dean’s organization is, any of us who are involved, are involved have to be active investors. We have to submit paperwork on our deals regularly. So there is no, you know… theory, just sales hype here. It’s learning from, you know, real people that are doing real deals. And, that’s Dean.
Joe: And you know, I imagine cause I see this a lot, you know, people who do make money-selling education get a bad rep. They criticize, I think unfairly sometimes. And, there are some bad apples out there.
Gena: Oh sure.
Joe: And, I’m sure Dean makes a lot of money teaching and selling coaching. But, I’ve always and I’ve said this before, I thank God for gurus, you know?
Gena: Yeah, absolutely.
Joe: I thank God for the guys who are willing to stick their neck out on the line and teach this stuff and be willing to make money with it. Because, that’s not something to be ashamed of or be embarrassed of. You… When you’re teaching this stuff, you’re actually making a difference in people’s lives. And, you’ve seen that over and over again, haven’t you Gena?
Gena: Oh, absolutely. I mean, I think we are obligated to teach others. Because, this business of real estate investing has totally changed my life. And to me, it’s a real privilege and blessing to be able to go out and get people kick-started in that opportunity as well. And you know, I think sometimes, people look at the marketing and things can grow to their organization. I think people are getting really fact and truth with it. Really, the dribble down of effective end-profit is not as much as people think. We could make far more money as enough as grouping myself with Dean. You know…
Gena: …Just doing more deals in that time that goes into the education.
Gena: But I think, you know, being an educator makes you a better investor as well.
Joe: Well, you know what, I’ve found since I’ve been coaching a lot of people since… I’ve been teaching and coaching I think, myself, since 2010, 2011. I’ve learned a ton of things for my students. Like, I have clients…
Gena: Oh yeah.
Joe: And, who live in other countries, Malaysia, Lebanon, England and different parts of the world that are doing deals here in the U.S. And, they’re forced to be creative, right?
Joe: It’s like, how can you do deals if you live that far away? And, I’ve learned some amazing things from them. Tools and systems and… Have to automate their business.
Gena: Yeah. That’s a big advantage.
Joe: That’s a big advantage. All right. So Gena, one of the things I was telling you while we were talking in St. Louis is, I wish we had more women in the podcast. And we, you know… There’s not a lot of women out there investing. And you know, for whatever reason that is… Can you talk a little bit about your story. You’ve mentioned a little about, while we were talking. I thought it was really cool.
Joe: Can you talk a little bit about your story? How you get started in this business?
Gena: Yeah, absolutely Joe. Actually, I kind of fell into it by accident to tell you the truth. Or, to me, it was more like I’ve put a door in front of me and I had the courage to walk through it.
Gena: And before I start my story which is available quickly here, I got to just contradict you a little bit here and say, I know a ton of successful real estate investors which are women.
Gena: And, I would want to get you in touch with some women. I’m pretty proud about the movement here.
Joe: Sorry, I’m embarrassed now. You know, I just don’t have a lot of women friends for obvious reasons, I guess. But, I… Most of the guys that I know, most people that we’ve had on this podcast have been men. And, that’s just maybe because the circles that I, kind of been comfortable with or whatever. But, I wish knew more successful women in this business doing real estate.
Gena: Well, you know… And, I think it’s time we get the word out and I’m so grateful that you invited me to be on your podcast. Because, not only are there a lot of successful women. It’s such a unique opportunity for anybody. But I think, especially for women because women tend to do as I did and I guess that would lead into my story. We have to reinvent ourselves rather regularly in life. And you know, I myself… I worked in IBM when I got on to college, did all what I knew I was supposed to do. You know, I went to college, found a good job, met a guy whom I still married to 35 years later.
Gena: Family and love… Thank you. You know, we’ve got four wonderful children. And when we decided to have kids, we made the decision that I would stay at home. And, it was right for us. And, I wouldn’t trade that for anything. How…
Joe: God bless you.
Gena: Thank you. And, I love my kids to death. They’re the best thing that ever happened in our lives. But you know, we got to the point where two of ’em, John and Liz, the oldest two were in college at the same time. And, we have tried to be good stewards of our finances. And, we had put aside a college fund and all that stuff we’re supposed to do. But it’s shocking how much that can cost and…
Gena: And we found ourselves taking out a bigger and bigger home equity line of credit on a house. And, that was making us feel really uncomfortable. I had been teaching some piano lessons. I’d taking more and more students. And yeah, that’s a great way to make a little money sitting in your living room drinking your latte. But, that doesn’t… doesn’t cover college tuition.
Gena: So one night literally, it’s kind of funny. My husband and I were being kind of grumpy, you know, surfing channels and he saw a thing about infomercials on 20/20 or 60 Minutes, one of those.
Gena: It was just kind of funny that, you know… It was coincidence.
Gena: And that… My husband, Nick went to bed and I’ve stayed up surfing channels. And, all comes these infomercials and it was… ding! Pfft!
Joe: So, was the… was the thing from 60 Minutes, whatever you said… Was it favorable to infomercials?
Gena: Oh well, I would say, it was… It was just pointing out, you know, who has the best speakers and all of their results and why did they do that. So yeah, infomercials are powerful marketing technique.
Gena: But, not cheap of course, but…
Gena: Yeah. But anyway, you know, I saw Dean in this infomercial. And, there was something in his eyes. You know, the guys’ genuineness, if that’s a word…
Gena: …Just shines through. And, I honestly thought like, he was speaking directly to me. And you know, this is the best time in real estate to make money. And, don’t let this time pass you by. And, just buy these 2 books. Right.
Joe: But what…
Joe: What year was that?
Gena: That was 2009.
Gena: Yup, 2009. I was 54 at that time, haven’t worked down side of the house in 20-something years. Nothing on my resume. No idea how I was going to bring in some substantial income to the family.
Gena: You know, I had lady friends in the same sort of situation, who were starting to go back to community colleges to get a Medical Coding Degree. Or, going to go get a job at Costco or you know, starting to clean houses. And, I didn’t want to do any of that. And then, I was doing better at piano already anyway. So I thought, you know, what the heck? I remember so distinctly, I walked to the phone to dial the 800 number. And, I’m listening to this recording and I was embarrassed even to myself. This is like… This is stupid, right? Who buys something from an infomercial and changes their life? So, I started to go to bed. And then, I was passing my computer. So, I decided to do a little search and found a website where I could even get the books for free at the time.
Joe: So but, you did… You called the number and they just…. You ordered the books, right?
Gena: Oh, I didn’t order them on the phone. Because as I said, I just started feeling stupid.
Joe: Oh, okay.
Gena: And so, I… stopped the order…
Joe: You hung up!
Gena: I did. I did… which… You know, I think it’s kind of a night that’s typical to anybody out there who’s, you know, feeling a little nervous in jumping into new life. We’ve all been there, right?
Gena: So. But, I did… I went and ordered them online that same night. And, called him to bed and said something to Nick like “I’m going to be a real estate millionaire,” right?
Gena: He kind of known in getting a rollover. That was the beginning of the story. I got the books. Of course, as soon as you order books in any good marketing organization, you get calls to give further education, right?
Gena: So, go ahead. You have a question?
Alex: You know, it’s funny how a lot of journey’s have started with infomercials. You know, mine started with Carlton Sheets.
Gena: Oh, yes.
Alex: You know, watching the Carlton Sheets infomercials… Because when I was in the, you know, the apartment with my wife, we didn’t have money for cable. So, you know, one of the cool things to watch I guess is infomercials, you know.
Alex: From workout machines…
Alex: To real estate… To home appliances.
Joe: But, I got started with Rich Dad the book. Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
Gena: Yeah, assets.
Joe: But you know…
Alex: I used to sit… I actually used to sit in Barnes & Noble’s, in the real estate aisles. And, just sit there and read through some of the books. You know, read like from Peter Conti and Robert SheEman and all of them.
Alex: It’s funny now. You know, thinking back then, it’s like “Wow, I never thought.” You know, you’ll be in a position where you’re, you know, in the same group with these people online, with their, you know, the JV update threads and all that stuff.
Alex: It’s… It’s pretty amazing.
Joe: Well, you know. I’m going to harp on this again because… the… Give these guys a break, for heaven’s sake. You know, I hear this criticism all the time on some certain forums online…
Joe: People criticize these gurus. And, I just want to yell at them “Shut up!” You know, it says…
Joe: You have no idea how many lives they’ve changed. They’ve changed my life. And yeah okay, maybe there’s some bad apples again but… And, maybe some people spending or wasting too much money on bad education. But, I can’t tell you how many people we’ve interviewed on this podcast or other people that I know. We get started by watching some late night infomercial. Some quote, unquote “Get Rich Quick” scam. And but, you know what? They’ve bought this stuff and they decided to do something with it.
Joe: That’s the key.
Alex: You know, for most part, this information they give is, you know… Information is real. And, what you do with it is what is, you know… is what makes the difference. Any… Anything, you know is like… So…
Joe: Well. Also, real quick Gena, I wanted to give Alex a hard time. Because you have to get off the phone but…
Alex: I did.
Joe: You sent me a text saying, it was… it was a seller that was hard to get, you’re setting up a closing.
Joe: It’s a seller that’s hard to get a hold of it. And, it’s just small little $30,000 deal, right?
Alex: Just a small deal, you know… so… This guy, this guy has been hunting in the mountains of West Virginia. And, his phone will not… He doesn’t turn his phone on. So, when he called me like… I’ve been trying to get a hold of this guy for like two weeks. Everything is set for the assignment, of closing and everything. And my, my buyer was like… I need, you know… I’m ready to go on Friday. Is the guy going to be here or not? And, I’ve just been trying to call this guy over and over and over and over again so….
Joe: Well, that’s okay.
Alex: And when he called me, I had to go…
Joe: That’s okay. And also, ladies and gentlemen, you’ll notice Alex has a new microphone, doesn’t he sound good?
Joe: Round of applause.
Joe: It’s… I keep on giving him a hard time because his audio is always bad and…
Alex: It’s good now.
Joe: It’s really good now. You sound like a radio coa… host or something like that…
Alex: We’ve moved up a level in your book cause of my microphone.
Joe: I just… Everybody needs to email Alex to get a new computer. His computer is about 8 years old.
Alex: No way.
Gena: Alex, you’re making $30… Wait…
Gena: Alex, you’re making $30… $30,000 on this deal you’re working on. I think you can buy a computer.
Alex: I could. And, it would be tax-deductible, right?
Gena: You know. Absolutely.
Alex: But you know, it works. It’s fast and….
Joe: It’s not fast, Alex.
Alex: It is fast.
Joe: No, it’s not. It’s… You’re just used to slow.
Alex: Oh, man.
Joe: You’re used to slow and that’s fine, you know but, you don’t know how fast…
Alex: You know, I talked… you know, not to get off track. But, I’ve talked to Cris Chico the other day about the computer issue. And he’s like, you know, you could just upgrade your RAM and… And, you know, over purge you right very close to where everything else is. And, it’ll cost you like a couple hundred bucks. And I’m like “wow.”
Joe: No, don’t listen to Chico. Now anyway… Sorry Gena.
Gena: That’s all right.
Joe: Didn’t want to strike from what you’re saying. I think it’s good to be talking about this though because, you know, there’s a lot of guys out there who are teaching or selling information. And yeah, they make good money at it. But, I wanted to tell everybody what’s… there’s nothing wrong with that. And, and so what if somebody makes more money teaching and coaching than they do actually doing deals? As long as they’re doing deals, I think it’s important that if you’re going to teach and coach people, you need to be doing deals yourself.
Gena: Yeah. I don’t think you have any right teaching if you’re not active in it.
Gena: And you know, you’ve mentioned Robert Sheemin, who’s another guy that’s been very influential in human education. And, that’s another sincere man. I don’t know if you’ve never actually taken a course from him. He actually gives you his cellphone when you take one of his courses. And, he answers. It’s amazing.
Gena: Yeah, he’s a cool guy.
Joe: Robert Shemin had a book, one of the books that I’ve ever read that got me started in the business called The Secrets of a Millionaire Landlord. And in that book, I own some rental property at the time. And, I was ready to pull out whatever here I have left. So stressed out. And, he had a chapter on lease options.
Joe: And, that was the first time I’d heard of that. It really opened my eyes to the benefits of lease options. And you know, I’ve been to Robert Sheemin’s seminars. He’s real down-to-earth guy.
Gena: Yes. Cool guy.
Joe: Okay so… Gena, you were talking about your story. You’re a stay-at-home mom. God bless you for you that.
Gena: Thank you.
Joe: You have four kids.
Joe: And in 2009, you buy some books.
Joe: But, you didn’t just read the books and put them back on the shelf. What did you start doing next?
Gena: No. I’ve bought some more advanced education from the same group that Dean’s involved with. And, I found it to be excellent education. And I think, quite honestly, most of the gurus out there do provide excellent education. The key is, as you’ve been dancing around here already, you’ve got to implement.
Gena: All the information in the world, no matter how much or how little you pay for it, will be absolutely no good if you don’t do something with it, you know. So I wanted to say, I’m kind of an instruction follower to a fault. I mean, I never roll through a stop sign, you know. I stop. When I get a new dishwasher, I read the manual and do what it says.
Gena: So, that trait, as annoying as it might be in my husband, really served me well in getting educated in investing and real estate. Because, if my mentors and my courses were saying “go to a county auction and meet buyers,” well, I went to a county auction and met buyers.
Gena: So, I just… I mean… I kind of locked myself in my den for a couple of months and got educated to the point where I felt like I could implement. But, you can’t delay implementing too long. That’s the other thing. Because you never know enough, right? You never feel like you know enough. I bet you guys do feel that way. I mean, there’s always more to learn, right?
Joe: Yeah. And, you learn by doing, right?
Gena: That’s it. You learn by doing. So, I just got out there and start making offers. And, I started in my hometown of Seattle, suburbs of Seattle. And my first flip, you know… I’ve found a good contractor. That’s always the hard part. I happen to find a great guy. Found a new Realtor who was going to put in tons of offers with me. And, we got a house renovated and sold in about, what was it? Under 12 weeks. And, I made 2 years’ worth of piano teaching income, okay? So…
Gena: Good incentive. And so, I hang around Seattle for a while and did a couple more flips and some lease options. Then, I was in another event that Dean holds here. It’s called “The Edge” out in Phoenix. In fact…
Gena: And, he’ll go this year May first or third I think, or second or fourth, something like that. But, I heard another great investor Ali Safavi is his name. Mason guy. He’s talking about remote investing and building power teams. And I’m like, why am I playing in Seattle where the numbers are in the hundreds of thousands, right?
Gena: Well… And, I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. So, I kind of had a sense of familiarity there, although I was wrong. Once I got back, I didn’t know the neighborhood anymore. But I just wept, determined that, by the time I return that following year, that I would know 10 cash-flowing properties in the Cleveland area.
Alex: Because of the low price tags?
Gena: Oh my gosh, yes. I mean, I was… When I started in Cleveland, which is probably three years ago now, I could buy nice houses for $40,000 in first ring suburbs. I… My personal preference is, I don’t work inner city. I work kind of that first-ring, entry-level safe neighborhood. And, you could buy a house for 40 renovated per se, 10 to 15 and rent it for 900 to 1100.
Alex: Oh my goodness.
Gena: Oh, yeah. And the numbers have not changed that drastically.
Gena: I might have to add another 10,000 unto your all-in number. But, you can still get incredible cash flow. You contrast that to my Seattle deals, and this is what people don’t get about like “why do you remote?” In Seattle, I’m going to have to have 150 that 225 in an entry-level easily. Easily, right? And, that’s going to run for $1,600 bucks. Well, there’s no money in that? Yeah so… Anyway, that’s why I went remote. And, I got my 10 house. And here’ the cool thing I learned, I was not all that big on setting goals when I got into this first. I kind of felt like hey, you know you’re successful, right? That’s when you’re making money. But, I kind of changed that. I really do believe we achieve what we set out to achieve and define it specifically. And I said 10 houses, I got 10 houses.
Alex: Now, did you buy those cash or did you finance them?
Gena: I bought those cash. I put some in self-directed IRA. I…
Gena: I’ve bought some with the profits from putting houses in Seattle. And, I used an oughta lot of private money.
Joe: Gena, how did you… cause a lot people gets paralyzed with here. They call it analysis paralysis…
Joe: …Whatever. And you, learning all this stuff, how did you keep yourself from being overwhelmed of all of this information? And, how did you start taking that kind of massive action.
Gena: Yeah. You know, that’s a really great question. And, I’m not going to say I wasn’t overwhelmed. And I’m not going to say, I wasn’t fearful. But, I was very determined. Number one, quite frankly, I want to make sure I earn back the money I invested the education in setting up the business. That was some incentive right there.
Joe: Oh yeah. Uh-huh.
Gena: But you know, number two, I think I’m really being honest with you here. I… I said, as I’ve mentioned already that I felt like a door was put in front of me. And I firmly believe in this life, we all have opportunities that are placed in front of us. And the way I look at it is by God, right? And, I felt very led that this was the future and this was something I could do. And, it was nothing that’s going to stop me. And so when I would have all those negative thoughts creeping in. And, the fear… And people would… I lost a best friend because she thought I was so ridiculous doing this. And, I couldn’t listen to her.
Gena: Oh, yeah. You know when I would tell her about, if she would be so negative, then finally I said to her, “I can’t talk to you about this.” And, it really did end the friendship. But, I would not let anything hold me back. You know, my husband had worked really hard. He’s already had a decent job. And I think Joe, what actually kept me going… We’ve talked a lot about this in Dean’s education… It’s knowing your reason why, you know…
Gena: It’s not about making money. I mean, that’s always the starting point. But most of us in America are blessed enough that we do have a roof on over our head. You know, we have sufficient food. I was not going to stop eating. And, my family was not going to not have food any longer if I didn’t make this work. And, I think most of us are like this. So, you really have to search within yourself to find the driver. And for me one day, I have been doing this for about a year or so already. And one day, I looked at my husband and I saw what had become of him. And, I don’t mean to be melodramatic here. But you know, he’s just in a corporate world, right? But, it had so sucked the life out of him. His eyes will be getting to look sort of hollow. And, he wasn’t laughing. And, he had gained weight. And, he did come home and sit down in front of the TV. And, I got so angry one day and I said “Well, that is enough!” I have the education and the tools to set him free. And I… That was really, really a lightbulb went on. I have this burning reason inside of me to go after this. And, I set a goal then in 18 months, I have an “x” amount of passive income.
Joe: And so, did you do that?
Gena: Yeah. As a matter of fact, what happened is it… In six months, as life can sometimes have its own timetable, my husband lost his job.
Joe: Oh, wow.
Gena: Yeah. And that could’ve been totally devastating if it wasn’t for real estate. And, I had already created a good amount of passive income. I have remote markets doing flips. And, we were able to very comfortably sale through that time, Nick took like a year off. He, you know, pursued his passion, did some local acting. He lost weight. His health improved. I mean, it was such a blessing.
Gena: And it’s, I think just a reason that I’m so passionate about getting people going on this path. You don’t have to be stuck with what life has handed us. You can take charge.
Joe: That’s really good. I love the name of your company too. Victory Ventures, is that right?
Gena: Yeah, that’s right. Thank you. Thank you.
Alex: Now, it is all about quality of life.
Alex: It’s not, you know, how much money I can make. But, it’s how much…
Joe: How much life can I have.
Gena: That’s right.
Alex: I’m about to say, easy, you know… How much easier can I make my life, you know. But, it’s… you know… how much life can… how much quality life can I have… How much time can I have?
Alex: …Without having to worry about, you know. Without having to worry about, “Oh man, you know, I got to go to this job for this long…”
Alex: “…In order to make this happen, you know.”
Gena: Well you know. And, here’s a Robert Sheemin quote. Robert says, first of all he goes, “I give you permission to be rich.” And then he goes, “I believe it to be your obligation to make as much money as you possibly can. So that you can do as much good in the world as you possibly can.” You know, you can only contribute the amount of money that you have to contribute. And, you can only volunteer that amount of time that you have free to do so. So, I’m… I see nothing wrong with going after the money so you can do more good in the world.
Joe: Yeah, I like that. I like that. I mean, how cool is that though. Your husband loses your job, his job and most families would’ve really… It might have been a very, very difficult stressful time for most families.
Joe: And you’re already… By this time, were you already whole… were you wholesaling any properties? Or, were you just buying, you had some passive income from properties?
Gena: I was really not wholesaling at that point. It was just passive income and then flipping houses. I’d flip houses for other teams as well.
Joe: Okay. So you… Sounds to me like you do several things, Gena. You have… You’ve done rehabbing. You do… You buy and hold properties. Put tenants in them…
Joe: …And get some income from that.
Joe: You also do wholesaling…
Joe: What do you… How do you teach people right now to get started in the business? What should they focus on first?
Gena: Well. I’m going to agree with the curriculum that I teach. I think that the safest, most comfortable to get started is with wholesaling. And, there’s two big reasons for that in my opinion. First of all, you don’t need money. You don’t need good credit, right? You just connect a seller and a buyer. And so, you don’t have anything on the line except your time. There is really no risk if you do this correctly. I mean, you can’t even lose your earnest money if you do it correctly. So, it’s a great way to learn the business. It’s a great way that anybody can start with whether you have funds or not.
The second good reason I think to start with wholesaling is… As you build relationship with cash buyers and go search in for the kinds of deals they want, you learn where those good deals in those neighborhoods are and what numbers make sense. So, you’re kind of learning the business as you’re supplying deals to your cash buyers.
Joe: Yeah, well said.
Gena: Thank you.
Alex: No, it’s like training on the trenches almost. I mean, wholesaling is a… something you can do all on its own. You know, it can be a stand-alone thing that you do and really blow up and make a ton of money on.
Alex: Or it can be, you know, the beginning ground to other things. Like for me, I’m wholesaling what I feel like. I guess you can put it that way. And, I will rehab or do new construction projects on…
Alex: Other things. You know… So I can… It’s kind of depends on what I can make upfront on it. If it’s something that I can $5,000 or $10,000 upfront…
Alex: Or, if I can go long and make 40 or 50. I’ll probably shoot for the 40 or 50. But if it’s, you know somewhere, it’s going to be like a 20,000 if I have to rehab it or something like that…
Alex: …Then, I’m going to take the 5 or 10 every time.
Gena: Absolutely. You know, and the thing that I personally was slow at learning is that wholesaling isn’t just for beginning.
Gena: You know, when I say I didn’t start with wholesaling cause I had a deal I could use. But you know, it took me a while to figure out. Oh my gosh. Just cause I don’t have to wholesale, it doesn’t mean I should miss this opportunity to make quick little chunks of money.
Gena: You know, when you’re flipping houses, you look at a lot of deals anyway, right? And, you don’t want then all. So, pass ’em on.
Joe: That’s good. Now, you still buy and hold properties. When do you decide when to wholesale it, when to keep it and hold on to it?
Gena: I… Well, you know. I think we all come up with our own preferences to what we want to hold, right? I happen to be pretty picky about what I want to hold. And, that may not even be the best. I should probably be a little more liberal in it. But nonetheless, when I go after properties in the neighborhoods I want, my first intent is I’m going to hold those myself. Or, flip ’em. But, I put offers in a wider range of neighborhoods with intent of mostly wholesaling though. Not sure if that answers your question.
Joe: Well, that makes sense. So, you’re approaching it as the buyer.
Gena: Yes. Yes. Uh-huh.
Joe: You want to buy the house. And, you can wholesale it if you want to.
Joe: Okay. So, when you’re working with somebody who’s new, Gena, you are first walking them through or introducing them to wholesaling. Why don’t you guys focus more on rehabbing? You know, buying a property to fix it up and sell it for big profit like all the TV shows have. Cause it makes…
Joe: It looks so easy right?
Gena: Oh, yeah. Just snap your fingers and it’s all done, right? You know, I love…
Gena: Yeah. I really love flipping houses, I do. I like the amount of money that you can make on it. I like that, you have created a beautiful home. You know, improving the neighborhood. You’ve employed all kinds of people. Everybody’s happy making money. However, it is very risky. And until a year ago, I used to proudly stand up and say “I’ve never lost money on a deal.” And, people would laugh and say “Well hey, I don’t have enough deals yet.” And, we can partner with “I’ve never had a lawsuit.” And…
Gena: Yes. So last year, I get to lose money and get involved in a legal battle. So I guess, I’ve done enough deals now, right?
Joe: [Laughs]. Welcome to the club.
Gena: But you know what? Again, everything you learn about wholesaling is totally 100% applicable to when you want to flip a house and you want to hold it yourself. Because, in order to wholesale a deal, you have to be able to estimate what the renovations are going to cost, so you can tell your cash buyer. So, if you want to flip it yourself, you know how to run those numbers just the same. So you know, if you got the cash. If you got some experience behind you. You understand what neighborhoods to pick. You understand what makes a reasonable rehab, I’m all in favor of flipping. Just know that there’s a lot more risk involved.
Joe: Right. Okay. Gena, you’re doing deals virtually right now. How many different markets are you in?
Gena: I guess four right now. I’m still at home wholesaling. I only wholesale in Seattle. Although, I’ve got some private investors who want to do a deal here. And I’m like, why? But okay, if they want to flip a house, well, fine.
Joe: Okay. So, you’re not wholesaling in other markets?
Gena: To a lesser extent, I am. But, I spend most of my energy in the other markets, putting my own money to use in those for my investors for holds and flips.
Gena: Alright. Somebody’s on a phone call.
Joe: Yeah. I’m sorry that was mine.
Joe: Speaking of investors…
Alex: Maybe it’s a big money deal, Joe.
Joe: You know, he’s one of my wholesalers.
Alex: Money call.
Joe: I would. And, I was almost tempted to put him on speakers so you can guys listen in cause… He’s probably calling about a deal. He always… Usually when he calls me, he’s excited. He just got a deal under contract that’s going to make us a lot of money.
Gena: That’s okay.
Joe: But… So, you’re wholesaling deals in Seattle.
Joe: And, you’re mainly buying buy and holds in other markets.
Gena: Buying holds and flips, yeah. I’ve been flipping and holding in suburbs of Cleveland, Detroit, Jacksonville, North Carolina, Toledo. We’re working on a team in Tulsa. We’re working on a team in St. Louis, watch out!
Joe: No, that’s good.
Joe: Talk a little about what kind of team you do have to build when you’re doing that.
Gena: Well, one of my favorite people to get on a team is another investor or wholesaler. And, it sound like you’ve got, you know, an army of wholesalers working with you. And, that’s one of the best ways to go about building a team, I think. It’s to find somebody active in the market who is successful. And, start up teaming with them. Second person of course is, a real good estate agent. And, I feel I’m talking about St. Louis. I feel fortunate I met a great agent at the real estate investment club meeting that night and…
Joe: Well, really. Good.
Gena: Yeah. Yeah. And then of course, contractors which, I really like to get on strong referrals from those other wholesalers or the real estate agents who can report good things cause that can be the most difficult part.
Alex: Oh yeah.
Gena: Yeah. So you know, that’s how I started. And, it’s funny how you find people. I mean, my first remote market of course was Cleveland. And, I’ve found my agent on Facebook, okay?
Gena: Yeah. And, it’s a guy who had been investing himself and has own real estate office for like 30 years. Knows the market incredibly well. So, that’s where I started. And, he knew a contractor. And, the contractor knew property management and so forth. So you know, people think it’s so much riskier than doing it at home. But you know what? Whether you go past your rehab every day or you get weekly or bi-weekly photos and videos of what’s going on, you can keep your pulse on it. And either way, there’s a certain amount of trust you got to put in your team. And either way, they can rip you off, you know…
Alex: That’s right.
Gena: Yeah. I love remote. Because for one thing, I never attempted to do those things that an investor shouldn’t be doing. Like, I’m not the one scrubbing the toilet and trimming the shrubs, right?
Joe: Well, the other big advantage too is you don’t get emotionally attached to a property, right?
Joe: A deal is a deal or it’s not. You look at the numbers. You look at the fundamentals. And, you’re not getting tied up with all of the emotional attachment that maybe would skew your decision-making process, something like that.
Alex: I don’t know if I’ve been emotionally attached to any of my properties.
Joe: Well, okay. That’s good.
Gena: You know, I had that problem in beginning. And, I think that is a typical beginner’s problem. When you’re actually physically walking through houses and you’re thinking about things you like and, it becomes emotional. I mean, I remember picking out the light fixtures from my first flip in Seattle area, right? I would go to Lowe’s. And then, go to Home Depot. And then, back to Lowe’s. And then, I’ll go to Seattle Lighting, right?
Alex: Oh, brother.
Gena: Because it had to be… Well now, I have a recipe for a flip, you know. These are the materials we use. Here’s the SKU numbers, contractor… Go buy ’em. Period, right? And so it does, out of necessity, becomes an emotional, which allows you to get deals done faster.
Joe: Yeah, that’s good. Yeah, the recipe. I like that. So, it’s just every deal is the same thing, right?
Gena: Every flip looks exactly the same. I have a list literally of every fixture, every appliance, every carpet, every tile that goes into a house. I know what the material costs. I know what walls will cause me to install it. So, I’ve got a checkpoint there and my contractor simply has it. I have even a backup SKU number cause if that light fixture’s on a stock, I don’t want a phone call just to get this other one.
Alex: Wow, nice.
Joe: So, did you come up with all that stuff yourself? Or, did you find somebody else who have that and copy it?
Gena: It’s part of the curriculum I teach, to be honest with you Joe. I just copied with those who went before me did. And man, does it work nicely.
Joe: So your house is… I mean, talk about maybe the general finishes that you have in a house that you have.
Gena: Sure. Sure. And again, you have to keep in mind, we’re investing on, investing in those entry-level neighborhoods. You know, a typical three-bedroom, thousand to maybe 1500 square-foot house. So, this is not your high end. But what I’m going to do is… I’m going to make that house look brand, spanking new. It’s going to be neutral. And, it’s going to be contemporary. So, every renovation is going to have all new flooring. It’s going to have all new light fixtures. It’s going to have all new interior paint. Oftentimes, we need new interior doors because, you know those mismatched or half of them are missing. Even if we don’t need doors, we need all new finishes. So, all the doorknobs, the hinges, the pulls, the lights are all going to be the same finish. I’m still going with brushing nickel on everything. Although I tell you that, antique bronze is running in strong second…
Alex: That’s what I do.
Joe: Is it coming back?
Gena: Oh, not brass. I mean not shiny brass.
Alex: Oil-rubbed bronze. That’s what I put.
Gena: That’s it. That’s what I’m going to do in…
Alex: And white cabinets too.
Gena: Oh, really? Now see, that’s very market specific, I think.
Gena: You know, this is one of the things that I know is… You got to visit some open houses or have your team visit some open houses or houses that are renovated. And, you go with what’s normal in your market. You know, white’s great on some places, other places not. But you know, renovating kitchens… If it’s going to be a flip. I almost always taking out the cabinets and putting in new cabinets. I just use the stock cabinets from Lowe’s or Home Depot, again with whatever finish is typical in that area. New kitchen sink and faucet… Most of the neighborhoods I’m in, we can get away with a nice laminate counter. If we have to go solid surface, we’ll put in a low-end granite or quarts. New bathrooms, you know…
Joe: What kind of appliances do you put in?
Gena: I put in stainless appliances. I can buy a four-piece package refrigerator, range, dishwasher, microwave that goes above the range in stainless for $2,000 bucks anywhere in the country.
Gena: Yeah. And, anybody can figure that out. Go to Lowe’s and look. You know, we tend to think “Oh, refrigerator costs $2,500.” Well, this isn’t for your house and these are small kitchens.
Gena: So, you do what’s reasonable.
Joe: Wish my refrigerator was that cheap.
Gena: I know. Just bought one for my home and I’m embarrassed to tell you what it costs.
Joe: I would be too. But it…
Joe: I’m sure Alex, your refrigerator is top of the line, brand-new, right?
Alex: Well actually, when I… I am building a house for myself. I think I’ve said that before. And, it… This one will definitely be nice. However, what I’m looking for is, you know, like a Ferguson. I don’t know if you have those around you. But, one of the main manufacturing companies to get what they’re just getting off of display.
Alex: And, you got a pretty good deal that way. And, the same stuff pretty much so…
Alex: I’m always looking out for that deal. I hate paying retail for anything.
Gena: Oh, me too.
Joe: Speaking of Ferguson. Off-topic. But, I need your help here. I… You’ve heard of Ferguson in the news right?
Alex: You’re talking about the lighting and appliance?
Joe: No. Ferguson like the Michael Brown shooting.
Alex: Oh, that Ferguson.
Joe: And the rights you know, here in St. Louis. First of all, let me say this. A lot of what you see in the news is just overblown and really hyped. Like, it’s not as bad as they make it sound in the news, right?
Joe: But anyway, it’s an area that a lot of wholesalers are still wholesaling properties in. It’s still a good area. It’s a good median-priced, middle income neighborhood. You can get some really good rentals in there. Maybe median, a little lower than median. But anyway, I’ve been sending out a lot of postcards. And, the city of Ferguson actually contacted us. Someone from the city of Ferguson actually contacted us and asked us to stop mailing postcards to people in their city.
Joe: Can you believe that?
Alex: Wow, that’s the first.
Joe: Well, I wanted to… My assistant took the call but, I thought, did they call all the local grocery stores that send out those flyers and ask them to stop mailing as well?
Joe: And what about Domino’s Pizza or Pizza Hut, all those pizza companies? Did they call them and ask them to stop putting things in the mail? I mean, it’s just a little simple postcard.
Alex: You know, I’ve thought about it. And I think because it looks just like a personalized piece, you know or that it’s mail merged to look like it’s directly for that person. I think maybe, that has something to do with it. I don’t know.
Joe: Because that…
Alex: And, that’s an advantage to using like a branded piece that doesn’t have all that mark. You can just send that out. And, people can’t say “Oh, stop sending. You’re targeting me,” you know. Cause it doesn’t have their… It’s not mail merge. It doesn’t look like you send it directly to them.
Joe: Well, that’s interesting. If I can ask you, Alex. When you do your 1-800 fair offer mail, you’re not personalizing it? Are you saying “Dear homeowner?”
Alex: Basically what it says is not necessarily “Dear homeowner.” It’s a glossy, multicolored thing that says we’re going to be buying houses in your market. If you’d like yours to be considered, give us a call. If you want a fair offer, call 1-800-FAIR-OFFER.
Joe: Are you getting good results with that?
Alex: It’s always mixed. You get different calls from that than you get from the personalized stuff.
Joe: So, you mix it up?
Alex: Yeah. You got to mix it up especially if you can.
Joe: Well, yeah. I don’t know. I mean, I think what’s happening too is a lot more investors are sending direct mail now than ever in the past.
Alex: Yeah. I mean… It’s getting a lot of media coverage too. You saw the article, right? They’ve mentioned my… Me and 1-800-FAIR-OFFER in Philadelphia even though I’m not in the Philadelphia market. But they said, you know, “Here’s this company that’s sending out postcards. And, they’re offering a fair offer. Well, is it really a fair offer?” And you can imagine the slants, something like that would take. And, It’s just becoming… it’s becoming more prevalent in the media because there’s so much more that than there was 10 years ago.
Joe: Yeah. But…
Joe: Go ahead Gena. Yeah.
Joe: I’m just going to say, I think that’s also just a reflection of the fact that now, it’s harder to find deals than it was, even 5 years ago, right?
Gena: Well, you’re there. But, we got to chase ’em.
Joe: Well, a lot more investors are doing direct mail now because, it’s harder to find deals in the MLS. There’s no more… but there… there are still but, harder to find properties up the auction, the court house.
Joe: And you know, our postcards… that we’re sending. It’s nothing out of the ordinary or obnoxious. And, the lady who called, whoever it was who called, they were polite. They weren’t angry or rude. But, I’m just surprised that…
Alex: Was it a city worker or an attorney or?
Joe: No, it’s somebody who worked for the city.
Alex: Well, I mean that could be, you know just because that person felt that way about that kind of marketing, you know. It’s very subjective.
Joe: Well, I don’t know. Yeah, we’re sending a lot of postcards out right now and a lot of other investors are too. And, this is a hot area, you know. This is an area that is easy to wholesale deals in. But geez, there are certain people out there who just do not like investors.
Joe: They do not like the fact that somebody can go in and buy a house. Fix it up. Either sell it or rent it out. And, make money on it. That the government…
Alex: Yeah, that’s what I said, you know. I’ve thought about trying to approach this from a standpoint of approaching the median. So, you really want to know the truth about flipping and taking people through what actually it all goes through. And not even from a glitzy glammy reality TV style but, here’s what it takes to find a deal. Okay great. Now, we found a deal. Well, the journey has just begun. Now, we gotta go out… And, we’re going to figure out what we’re going to do with this house. We’ve got to plan on what we’re going to do with the house. We’ve gotta figure out what materials we’re going to put in the house. Find the contractor. Deal with the contractor. Deal with appraisers. Deal with Realtors. Deal with buyers. Hope somebody gets financed. Deal with… All these different things that, people just say “Oh, you flip that house and you’ve made $50,000.” Well, you know. It’s… The risk is proportionate to the reward. That’s what I would say.
You know, if you’re going to go out there and put your money out there and, not knowing what the market is going to do tomorrow, you are taking a risk! You’re putting your money and taking a risk. You’re not just showing up at a place to work, with a job that’s provided for you. Nothing against anybody like that. But, you’re not just showing to a job that’s provided for you. You are the one that’s going out there and putting your neck on the line, putting your money on the line. Really, putting your money where your mouth is.
Alex: And you’re rewarded for it.
Joe: Yeah. There’s also a lot of risk as well that you’re taking into an account.
Alex: Yeah, the bottom could fall out. You just don’t know so…
Gena: Just keep your eye on the market. But you know, the thing about flipping houses…. And, I don’t really quite understand why investors got a bad name sometimes. But well, how many people are making money because of us? You know, the real estate agent, the constructor, the property manager. The neighborhood is nicer. Somebody got an improved home. I mean, to me it’s all good.
Alex: Well, that’s the whole thing with the Philadelphia article. It was, they try to base it on gentrification…
Alex: …Which is basically taking an area that is downtrodden. And now, it’s starting to get better. So now, all the wealthy people are coming back to the neighborhood.
Alex: Well, how do you think that happens?
Alex: A developer comes in. And, puts his neck on the line. And then, puts a whole bunch of money out there and fixes up huge areas.
Alex: Did he do this because he just felt like he wanted to go do all that?
Joe: Is it as a charity?
Alex: You know, it’s for profit!
Gena: Of course.
Alex: And if there’s no incentive to do it, then obviously, then it’s not… he’s going to do it. But like you said, it has a trickle-down effect. Now, more taxes will be given to the city because property values are higher. Now, there’s going to be more, you know, the mortgage broker gets to create that mortgage, originate that mortgage. And, he gets paid. The Realtor gets to sell a home. And, she gets paid from that. And, the title company does their thing. It’s creating flow in the economy and in so many different other ways. You know, especially in commercial side, now there’s stores coming in. So now, there’s more revenue coming in to the city. That way. And then they’ve gotta pay taxes on it… It all starts with the development.
Joe: The bottom line is, you can’t trust the government. Or, think that the government can do this better or do it on their own.
Gena: They can’t.
Joe: They can’t. They’ve tried that in the 60s, the 70s. Look, what happened. We have all these projects and they’re not tearing down. And, you just can’t rely on government to do this stuff. Oh anyway, that’s our stump. We’ll get off of that.
Alex: Yeah. That’s all right.
Joe: So Gena. Gena, we talked about… we were talking about it before, you know. You were a lady who’s getting started in the business who faced a lot of obstacles.
Joe: And, can you talk to some other women maybe, who are listening to this. I hope there are some women who are listening to this.
Joe: But, can you talk to the ladies out there, listening to this thing. You know what, I want to do what Gena does.
Gena: Sure. Sure. You know, one of the things I think, whether you’re a man or a woman is that… It doesn’t matter what experience or background you have as you come in to this business. Which happens to make it perfect for somebody like me. I would’ve been a stay-at-home mom for like 20 years, right?
Gena: But, we all bring our set of life experiences in our innate strength to the table in this. Because really, real estate is a people business. It’s talking to other human beings and solving issues. It’s a marketing business. It’s somebody I know who’s been known to say Joe, right?
Gena: And what is marketing? Except again reaching out to other humans and finding out what they need and solving their problems. Now, who is better equipped to solve problems than somebody who’s been home raising a family. I want to ask you that, okay?
Joe: Nobody. Nobody.
Gena: I mean, women, I believe are natural multitaskers.
Gena: We can juggle more balls than a man, any day. I challenge you, okay?
Gena: And, I think that if we can just realize how valuable we are as women, what our life experience can bring in this. That, we can stand tall and just, step forward into the market. You know, when I first started, well I guess I was about 5 years or so in cause I actually was giving a pitch to some potential private money investors. And, I had a woman in the room… Actually, it’s my husband’s boss from a large company here in Seattle. And, she was kind of coming as a favor. Actually, I was hoping she’ll give me money, but she never did.
Gena: Let me rephrase that. You never home somebody gives you money. You extend them an opportunity to invest, right? And, I was hoping she would accept my opportunity to invest. She didn’t. But, what she did was more valuable to me. She sat down for an hour with me and mentored me. And she said, and I think it’s a surprise to so many women. She goes, you know Gena, you’re like 70 to 80% there. But, you’re not speaking with that complete confidence. It’s like you’re kind of wavering, feeling like you need to lean on someone else. Because I think again, for a woman, we so often do either voluntarily or it’s just the way the culture is, end up kind of taking that second seat and somebody else is in charge there. And, she said to me “You need to stand tall in solid. You need to feel like you’re a tree, whose roots go deep down into the ground. And, nothing can sway you. And, you know, because you know, because you know!” And, that was incredibly enlightening to me.
Gena: And, I think that any woman knows cause they know, okay? None of us have all the information. But, you know who you are. You know God gave you some gifts. You know nobody else has the gifts you do. Nobody can accomplish what I can accomplish or what else can accomplish. Or what, you know, miss a potential real estate investor out there that you might be able to accomplish. And if we don’t use our unique talents and our experience from our past, I think we’re cheating the world. So, you just kind of pull up your pants and tighten the suspenders and go out there.
Joe: That’s good. Yeah, I can really relate. No, I’m just kidding.
Joe: That’s just some guy’s bad joke, sorry.
Gena: But you know, I saw something, it was in MSN News a year so ago. And, it was about women re-entering the workforce.
Gena: And you know, for whatever reason, so many women do put their careers on hold. I had a great career. But, whether I have had a great career or not really doesn’t matter. Because, I’m stepping out as if I’ve never done anything. And you know, what are you going to do… People who have lost their husband or have been in divorce or just did what I did and stepped out of the workplace for a while. What are you going to make? I mean, you’re lucky to make $15, $20,000 a year. And, that’s not even a good flip, get one deal done, right?
Alex: It’s incredible.
Gena: It’s incredible! So I think, number one is we just need to get the word out to more women that this exists…
Gena: …And, it’s time to get in the game.
Joe: That’s really good. But, do you know of any? I know I’ve heard there was once… I’ve heard there’s a group in LA that is specifically for women real estate investors.
Joe: And, I heard about that on the BiggerPocket’s podcast. I wish I could remember who it was.
Joe: You know it’s funny the guy he was talking about, it’s a guy. And he actually…
Gena: This is the thing…
Joe: He snuck in. He… Oh, I forget. I wish I could I remember who this was. If anybody remembers, go and put a comment in the show notes. But, it was a really good episode. There is a lady’s group in LA.
Joe: And, they are really good at creating accountability in this group. So, you join the group. And if you don’t perform, they’ll kick you out.
Gena: That’s great.
Joe: They give you like… You come up with your own actions that you think that you’re supposed to do. And then, everybody hold you accountable to that.
Joe: But I thought, what a great model. And, there’s needed to be things like I’m glad there’s something like that for the women. But, there’s got to be something like that for the men too out there. But, that’s interesting cause I think there’s a really big need for something like that, just like what you’re talking about Gena. And, maybe that’s an opportunity for you to consider later on down the road or bring those opportunities in Seattle where you can do something like that.
Gena: Yup. Well, we’re kind of working on some stuff that’s kind of half-baked at the moment. But, a good friend of mine and another mentor in the same group, a younger women by the name of Andrea Wiley. I absolutely adore her. She and I are working on some programs and a book and so forth that, although it’s for everybody, it’s definitely going to have some special attractions for women. So, we’re trying to get out there and do that.
Joe: You know, I was coached and mentored. One of my coaches was Wendy Patton.
Gena: Oh yeah.
Joe: …When I got started way back to 2005, 2006, I bought her book. And, I bought her course. And, she had a little group coaching program. And, she was the hardest coach I’ve ever had. Like…
Joe: When I go to the phone with her, she’s like… “I have some questions” and she said “Well, okay. Do you remember the book where I said to do this?” and I said “Yeah.”
Gena: Did you do it?
Joe: “Have you done it yet?” “No.” “So, why are we talking?” Basically, it’s like…
Gena: Yeah. Yeah.
Joe: Oh okay.
Gena: Kind of like a mom.
Joe: Yeah. So, get out there and do it and then call me back.
Gena: Exactly. And you know, I got to say, when I got to hear you the other day at the St. Louis Club meeting there, you’ve put some of that accountability in your own education. It sounds like…
Gena: You know, you either do this or you’re out. And I think that’s outstanding. If I may, I just want to take…
Gena: …A minute here and thank you for the education you’ve put out there. You know, when I first came across you, it was when I got an email from someone or another about one of your courses. And, it’s called “Leads in an Hour.”
Gena: And, my son and I… My son is my partner the last several months. And, we sat down and took that course. And, it’s so helped us systematize, understand more the importance of marketing, getting some VAs and all that. And, you know…
Alex: Wow. Nice.
Gena: It’s really, really helped us grow. So, I want to thank you for that.
Joe: Well, I appreciate that. If anybody… It’s still available too. It’s a really good course. It’s only $97 bucks.
Gena: Yeah. What a deal.
Joe: If you go to onehourleads.com. You spell one hour, O-N-E. Hour leads, with an s. Onehourleads.com. You can get more information about that. But, that’s awesome. I think I remember you told me that. But, I didn’t realize. It’s cool. It’s awesome.
Gena: Yeah. And here’s what I mean about doors in life, okay? I honestly do think there’s a plan for us, for each of us. And, everybody’s plan got its own twists and turns. Well, that’s how I found you. Then, I end up in St. Louis teaching a class. And then, I’m looking for real estate club meetings for my class to go to. I find there’s one that night. And, who’s there, but you.
Joe: Yeah [Laughs]
Gena: I mean, is that meant to be or what?
Joe: That’s awesome. Yeah, that was good too. I was camping that weekend. And, I actually came back from our camp to go to that speaking event. I was really glad I did. It’s so much fun.
Gena: That was good.
Joe: Gena, let me ask a couple, one more question before we go here.
Joe: If you were dropped off in a new city and you have no money or very little money, just a little bit… And, you couldn’t go back to see your family until you made 5 grand flipping a deal. So you’re in a new city. You don’t know anybody there. You don’t have any sellers or buyers. You don’t have money for a bunch of marketing. But, you have a little bit of money. And, you need to flip a deal or do something to make 5 grand before you can go home. What would you do?
Gena: Yeah. First thing I would do, would be to contact a bunch of buyers cause that’s so easy. The easiest way to find buyers is to go on to Google and say “We buy houses and quotes, plus sign, name of whatever city you’ve just dropped me off.” And, get on the phone, talk to those buyers, find out what they’re buying, where, for how much. And, that would take me… A couple hours? I have that task done or probably have a good dozen to two dozen buyers that I’ve talk to by then. Maybe, I need to allow another hour for callbacks, right? Cause one commonality is they don’t answer phones anymore.
Gena: So now, I got my mission. Now, I know what people want. So, I’ve got to find it. So, what I’m going to do? Next thing that I’m going to do is find a real estate agent, going to get listings for those neighborhoods that throw in a bunch of offers. But, that’s not going to be enough. I’m going to go to Craigslist. I’m going to look for homes for sale by owner or houses that are obviously listed by other investors if I can’t co-wholesale a deal.
Gena: Gonna put a few bandit signs in the ground. I’m going to put ads on Craigslist. And, I’m going to get a deal in my hand in the next, I don’t know, certainly within 5, 6 days. Matching up with that buyer and get paid.
Joe: That sounds really complicated.
Gena: [Laughs] So difficult. Not even nearly as complicated as taking care of an 18-month old. I got to tell you that.
Joe: Man. I tell you, Gena. You mothers, stay-at-home moms have the hardest, most difficult job in the world.
Gena: Thank you for recognizing that.
Alex: No, I absolutely recognize that. My wife is amazing with what she does. I have four children. And, my oldest is five years old.
Alex: So my wife goes…
Gena: Give that lady a break.
Alex: …From morning till night into the night. Because the baby needs to eat at night. And, she’s the only one that can feed the baby. So…
Joe: I will say this too. My wife is awesome. I got to give… She could run this business way better than I could.
Joe: …If she was involved. And I’m hoping once, you know… You see, we have four kids. We’re homeschooling them as well.
Alex: That’s another layer right there.
Joe: Yeah, that’s another challenge. But, we just hired a nanny. And, she’s awesome.
Joe: Really, really awesome. And, those of you out there thinking about this. And Alex, I would suggest you go check out this website, care.com.
Alex: Oh, of course.
Joe: It’s fantastic. Even if you just want a babysitter, care.com is a great place to go.
Alex: Yeah. Yes.
Joe: Because you can… People will submit their resumes. And, care.com will actually do basic background checks on them. And well, you can also read reviews from other people that have used them before.
Gena: Another good site like that is College Nannies. One of my daughters used to work there.
Joe: Oh, really.
Gena: They do the same type of thing, yup.
Joe: So, it’s been great because she just helps with our youngest, our three year old. She helps make lunches. She does run some errands and go shopping. And, she also helps make dinners like for multiple days. And just… The kids love her. I know some people are thinking “Man, I can never do that. That’s like it would be outrageously expensive.” You’ll be shocked of how cheap it is.
Joe: And, she’s very affordable. Now, we are doing really well, right? And, we’re making good money so we can handle it. And, I can understand why some people maybe aren’t in that position yet. But instead of asking… instead of thinking “I could never do that,” change the question around and say “How could I do that?”
Joe: How could we as a family afford somebody like that to help us? Because raising kids is the hardest job in the world. It’s the most important job in the world.
Alex: And, most involved job in the world.
Joe: Right, you can’t outsource that.
Gena: It’s not advisable.
Alex: And you must be constantly engaged.
Joe: Yes, so… Just something to think about. I’m going to also mention another site. One of my favorites is HireMyMom.com. Have you ever heard of this, Gena?
Gena: Yeah, just the other night when you mentioned it. And, I’m starting to look into that.
Joe: Yeah. There’s a lot of stay-at-home moms that are looking for work.
Joe: And so, if you go to HireMyMom.com, there’s a lot of ladies out there, very highly-educated who are staying at home who would like to work…
Joe: …For other entrepreneurs or real estate investors. And you know, I know some people that will never outsource to the Philippines because they just want the most qualified, best… best, qualified candidate they can get. And many times, you can only find those people in the U.S. So anyway, HireMyMom.com. If you’ve never heard of that, you should check it out, guys. It’s a good site to go to if you want to hire a stay-at-home mom.
Joe: And then after you hire ’em, train ’em how to do real estate. Teach them how to do deals. So Gena, do you have any final comments? Words of sage advice that you want to, would like to give out to folks?
Gena: Well, I think the thing is that… In our culture, we so often get comfortable and therefore, complacent. And, we just let life happen. And, I really believe that the real estate market allows us an opportunity, no matter who you are and where you are, to change that, to kind of live life on your own terms. And, that sounds all kind of philosophical and this and that. But, it’s true.
And the thing that you have to get in order before you have success in any endeavor is your mindset. You’ve got to really look at what your thoughts are. And, are you thinking negatively? Do you have limiting beliefs? Or, do you have beliefs that give you full of possibilities. I recently got to go to a Tony Robbins that blew me away. So you know… And Dean’s got one of his first books. It’s like 10 years old now. But, it’s awesome. It’s called “Totally Fulfilled.” You’ve got to, first of all, get controlled of your mind and how you think and what you believe you can accomplish. Cause you’re going to accomplish what you believe you can.
Joe: Yeah. That’s good. Really good.
Gena: Yeah, thank you.
Joe: Gena, is there a way anybody can get a hold of you? Do you have a website or an email address?
Gena: Sure. I’ll give you my website. I’m not… It’s not entirely up to date. So, I wish it was better but, you can reach me via there. My website is victoryventuresbuyshouses.com.
Joe: Okay, victory ventures with an s.
Joe: Buys houses.
Gena: With an s. Yup. You can also reach me via LinkedIn, Gena Horiatis. Or, Facebook. I have a Victory Ventures page on Facebook. So, it’s Gena. G-E-N-A. Horiatis. H-O-R-I-A-T-I-S. Find me out there. I’d love to hook up, especially on all of you ladies that might be listening. Let’s get some business done. Let’s change the world.
Joe: Yeah. Excellent. I mean, is there? Gena, maybe you could start a Facebook group for real estate investing women. Have you thought about that?
Gena: No, I have not. But, I’ll do it today, Joe. That’s an outstanding suggestion.
Joe: Yeah, totally.
Joe: And Alex has a really good group wholesaling houses full-time everybody. My website, Facebook group is wholesaling lease options part-time.
Joe: Duh. Duh. Duh-duh-duh-duh.
Gena: I like that.
Joe: Bad joke. But Gena, there’s some really good groups out there on Facebook. And, Alex has a really good job of keeping his active and keeping the spammers out and stuff like that. But, that might be an opportunity for you.
Joe: I think a lot of women who are listening to this, if you go to connect with Gena at Facebook or LinkedIn. Maybe, she’ll send you an invite or something like that. You can look for…
Joe: Yeah. And, you can keep the group open or closed, you know. You can change your security so that, only people who are in the group can see what the stuff that’s posted.
Joe: But, cool. Gena, you’ve been a great host.
Gena: Thank you.
Joe: I sure appreciate you being on the show.
Gena: It’s been my pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Joe: And, I’ve told you this before and I’m going to make it public. So, everybody knows and anybody who knows Dean… Or, if you talked to Dean next… I’d love to have him on the show.
Gena: [Laughs]. I would that pass on. I did mention him to you or you to him and said you were hoping to meet one day and talk some business. So, I’ll keep pushing on that for you, Joe.
Joe: I know he works with Sean Terry a little bit.
Joe: He’s friend’s mutual friends of Alex’s and mine.
Joe: But, just tell Dean that our podcast is better than Sean’s.
Joe: Sean knows that.
Gena: Sean knows that. Okay. Okay.
Joe: Yes, it’s nothing new. He knows that. He tells me all the time. Joe, I wish my podcast was as good as yours and Alex’s.
Gena: Well I’ll… You know, Dean. Dean does have a pretty packed schedule. I can’t make promises but, I’ll keep pushing on it. And, you guys all get yourself to the Edge event in Scottsdale in May. It’s awesome.
Joe: So, let me write that down…
Joe: Edge event. Is that an annual event?
Gena: Yup, once a year event.
Joe: Scottsdale. And, what are the dates again?
Gena: Let me see that. It’s May…. 2nd to 4th, I think.
Joe: May 2nd to 4th, 2014.
Gena: Yup. Yup. It’s always…
Gena: …Usually at the Firesky Resort.
Joe: Sounds nice.
Gena: Yeah, it’s so awesome. And I tell you what, there’s a lot of Dean alumni, so to speak that go there every year. So, there’s great camaraderie that we’re always inviting new folks. Yeah, it’s the 1st to 3rd, excuse me. Just looked into that… 1st to 3rd. So, keep your eye on deangraziosi.com.
Gena: Keep your eye on my newly to-be-formed Facebook page. I might let you guys in his honorary men, but…
Gena: Yeah. Yeah, so that you can see what it is. But, I’ll be… I’ll be probably speaking there. And, I’d love to see everybody. And, Dean of course will be there.
Joe: I’ll pretend to be a woman in your group.
Alex: Oh no, Joe.
Gena: Gosh, no.
Joe: Just kidding.
Joe: That’s horrible. But yeah, I don’t know what I’m doing May. But as long as…
Gena: Right now, you do. Now, you do know.
Joe: That’s awesome. I’d love to go to that. Okay, good. We better call this quits before I say something else more stupid.
Alex: Before, you are doing things that we don’t even want to be talking about.
Gena: Well, thank you guys. I really appreciate it.
Joe: Thank you, Gena.
Alex: Thank you, Gena.
Joe: Thanks Alex. Everybody, go to realestateinvestingmastery.com. We had a lot of good notes in here. And, websites… And, Gena’s contact information. We’ll put in the show notes. And, I appreciate it guys. Thank you for being on. And, I thank you Alex. Thank you Gena.
Gena: You’re welcome. Buh-bye now.
Alex: Take care.
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