In this special and cool episode, Alex and I are talking with an awesome British investor who does deals all over the world – Mr. Tom Wade.
Tom’s very first deal was actually abroad for him in good ole Memphis, TN – and he did it all through emails – no phone calls. Then he quickly found a buyer on Facebook and flipped it. Since then, Tom has been slaying it all over the REI industry.
He loves lease options – both virtually and in the U.K., and he tells us all about how he packages those deals. Tom also explains what he outsources and how he does his marketing.
Look, this Brit is really an REI innovator and has come up with genius new ways to profit from REI. He’s begun coaching, mentoring and doing workshops all over Europe. He is the real deal.
So, mind the gap and let’s get going…
Listen and enjoy:
- 6:24 – What Alex’s and Joe’s Fast Cash Survival Kit is
- 20:22 – Tom explains why and how he got into REI
- 27:35 – What Tom had to do to get paid for his virtual deal abroad
- 31:52 – Tom’s first U.K. Lease Option deal and he packages them
- 41:05 – The percentage of Tom’s deals that are lease option deals and the percentage that are wholesaling deals
- 43:35 – How much direct mail Tom sends and other ways he contacts sellers and buyers
- 48:15 – What Tom outsources
- 53:50 – Tom’s boots on the ground help
- 1:00:00 – How Tom is able to outsource 95% of his business and why he’s the one who talks to sellers instead of outsourcing that task
Mentioned in this episode:
- Alex and Joe’s Fast Cash Survival Kit
- Tom’s site Flip Remotely Academy
- Preston Ely’s Wake Healthy site
- Preston Ely’s The Health Rabbit Hole blog
- Sean Terry’s Flip 2 Freedom Podcast
- Right Move
- Hello Sign
Joe: Welcome! This is the Real Estate Investing Mastery Podcast. Hey, everybody. Welcome! This is the Real Estate Investing Mastery. We're coming to you live via Skype on The Dallas Cowboys Football Network. [Laughs]
Alex: We have Tony Romo on the phone. You didn't even know it.
Joe: That's Tony Romo from England.
Joe: No. [Laughs] But, glad you're here guys at RealEstateInvestingMastery.com. This is a special podcast. We've got a special, special guest from England who's flipping deals from all over the world. And, I'm excited about talking to him about it. His name is Tom Wade. But, we got Alex. And, if you guys are listening to the audio. You'll see the video of Alex right now on our website at RealEstateInvestingMastery.com and he's wearing a… What are you wearing Alex? Just so you can… I want you to tell everybody.
Alex: I'm wearing America's team hat.
Joe: No. No. No.
Joe: No, you're not really. But, okay. But, go ahead. What… What's… You have some emblem on this hat. What is it?
Alex: Oh, it seems to be a star.
Alex: And, it seems to represent a football team that America seems to love.
Joe: Love to hate. So…
Joe: What… I mean, they lost…
Alex: It's the Dallas Cowboys beanie.
Joe: But, they lost pretty embarrassingly.
Alex: It was not embarrassingly. It was actually the worst call ever. And yeah, the Lions fans are like, “Ha! Ha! Ha! See that.”
Alex: But, you know, it really doesn't come down to that because that was like… There was like no chance after that call. It was over! Game was over!
Alex: The Lions game, they still had a chance even after the bad call to do things.
Alex: Stafford did not have to fumble the football when Demarcus Lawrence tackled him. If that was his first name. Lawrence, whatever his name was.
Joe: Right. Right. Right.
Thomas: And, he got it back. And then, he fumbled it again. I didn't see. But, that was an immaculate catch. And, he reached for the goal line and the nose of the ball broke the plane. That should have been a touchdown.
Joe: I don't think so. I mean, that's… I mean, it would be… Yeah, maybe. But, if the rules were that if the ground causes a fumble on a catch…
Alex: It wasn't a fumble.
Joe: If the ground causes the ball to come out on the catch…
Alex: It was in the end zone. It's different.
Joe: [Laughs] It's not. But, I bet you anything. I bet you anything. They changed the rule after this year.
Alex: Oh, wow!
Joe: At the end of season, I bet you they'll change the rule. Because, it should've been a catch. I agree.
Alex: Oh! Look at that.
Joe: But, I don't… I'm not saying I like the Cowboys.
Alex: Well, truth is truth, man.
Joe: It should've been a catch. It should've been a catch.
Thomas: I have to say. I've never watched American football before. [Laughs]
Alex: Wow! Well, football for you is soccer.
Thomas: Yes, soccer. Yeah.
Joe: I enjoy watching soccer or European… What do you call like? You call it just American football.
Thomas: American football, yeah. And, we call… Like, the way you call soccer is you call football here.
Thomas: And, football is massive in this country.
Alex: Yeah, man.
Joe: You know, it's fun to watch though. It is fun. Have you ever watched, Tom a soccer game with a bunch of European fans?
Alex: No, like…
Joe: Oh, it's intense. It's crazy.
Thomas: Yeah, it's insane. I went to a game. It's actually in Barcelona. It's Barcelona against Real Madrid. And, the stadium has a hundred thousand fans. And it was, “Oh my God!” It's literally insane.
Joe: It's almost scary. It's almost scary. Like, we were in Madrid. No, we were in… What's that town starts with? Munich in Germany. We were in Munich a couple three years ago. And, we were… It was in the evening. We were going back home, and the friends that we were with said, “Hey, if you can, there's a big football game tonight. You need to avoid this certain subway station. Whatever you do, just avoid this certain subway.” And, so we took a roundabout way. But, we walked within a couple of blocks of the subway station. And, oh my gosh! It was crazy. There wasn't any writing or anything like that.
Thomas: Is it?
Joe: But, just a bunch of drunk football fans…
Joe: …That were screaming…
Joe: …And chanting, and singing songs.
Thomas: Yes, they were chanting. And, it echoes the whole building and starts to shake it. It's crazy! [Chuckles]
Alex: That's pretty cool.
Joe: It was amazing!
Thomas: It's really cool. But, I must say it's amazing.
Joe: But, I've been talking to a buddy about maybe going to Russia for the next World Cup. How cool would that be?
Thomas: Wow. Awesome!
Joe: And, it is in Russia, right? The next one?
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. In Russia. Yeah. That will be amazing!
Joe: Well, that's why… If you guys can see my cup… That's why I like the St. Louis Cardinals.
Alex: Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
Joe: The best team in baseball.
Joe: Because, when you go to a baseball game, it's so low-key. It's relaxed. You know…
Alex: It is. But…
Joe: The wildest…
Thomas: …It can be boring too.
Joe: Well, that's why I love it.
Joe: Because, it's relaxing, right? I mean, the most excited… Have you ever been to a baseball game, Tom?
Thomas: No. I haven't actually.
Joe: You should do that when you to LA. And, you're going to LA real soon.
Joe: But, there won't be any baseball games. But, when you're there… But, it's just so relaxing. You kind of laid back and watch a relaxing game.
Alex: You just got to watch out for the fireballs.
Joe: Yeah. [Chuckles]
Alex: Have you ever caught a fireball before?
Alex: Oh. I got one.
Joe: You know how they shoot T-shirts in the audience?
Joe: I did catch one of those one time.
Joe: But, this is the Real Estate Investing Mastery Podcast.
Alex: It is. It is not sports…
Thomas: Yeah, baseball.
Thomas: I am looking maybe at baseball. So…
Alex: It's starting to sound like an ESPN channel or whatever. So…
Thomas: Yeah, it's actually what's coming, right?
Joe: [Laughs] So, I'm excited about this podcast. But first Alex, we got this thing called the Fast Cash Survival Kit. Doesn't it cost like a $100 bucks on our website or something like that?
Thomas: No. I think it's actually $399.
Joe: $399. $399?
Alex: Free. Free $99.
Joe: Free $99. [Chuckles] Okay. And, talk a little bit about what's in there. Because, I think it really… People need to know about it. A lot of people have gone to the website and downloaded it. But, a lot of people have it. And, I'm just scratching my head thinking why. But, maybe tell just a minute about what's in it.
Alex: Well, it's basically a free course on the nuts and bolts of what we do as investors by wholesaling properties by finding deals. So, we show you how we market, and we just got some awesome spreadsheets in there. I believe, right?
Joe: Yeah. I love spreadsheets.
Alex: It's been a while since I've looked at it actually. I actually cracked the cover on it too, right?
Joe: I love spreadsheets. [Chuckles] Yeah, go ahead.
Alex: He's a spreadsheet king.
Alex: He's got some awesome spreadsheets that show you how to set up your business from zero to real estate hero.
Joe: That's right.
Alex: So, you go and say, “I'm going to spend this much on marketing, and it's going to cost me this much per lead, which is going to come out to this much per deal.” And, it really helps you see how the business works because we're in the marketing business. And if you don't understand that, that's something you need to start rocking your mind around. Because, if you do understand cost per lead, cost per deal, that's going to radically change the way you do your deals.
Joe: That's right!
Alex: So, if you know your cost per lead is $40 to $50 and it takes you 50 leads… Let's be on the high side. To get one deal. What is your cost per lead, Joe?
Joe: I wasn't paying attention.
Joe: What did you say? [Chuckles]
Alex: Wow! I got to repeat myself. All right.
Joe: You know what? While you're talking, I was thinking of our buddy, Preston Ely. [Chuckles]
Alex: Why do you think of him?
Joe: Preston Ely. I don't know. [Chuckles] I'll tell you why in a minute. So, the cost per lead is…
Alex: All right. All right. So, we're going down to cost per lead and cost per deal. Some KPIs or metrics, if that's what you want to call them.
Joe: Yes. Yes. Oh, very important.
Alex: Right? Key performance indicators.
Alex: Which I got from Sean Terry over at the Flip2Freedom podcast.
Alex: But basically, what this is, is you got to say, “Okay, how many leads is it going to cost me if I have a deal?” And let's say, my marketing cost was $2,000. And let's say, I got 50 leads from that. And so, what's my cost per lead?
Joe: I was still wasn't paying attention. [Laughs]
Thomas: My mouth is isn't very good. So…
Alex: What is it? All right. That's $40 right? So let's say, I need… $40 is the cost per lead, and my cost per deal….
Joe: Let me write that down. $40, okay.
Alex: All right. So now, he's paying attention.
Joe: Cost per deal is $40.
Joe: [Laughs] Cost per lead.
Alex: Cost per lead. It's the hat. It's just throwing you off.
Joe: Okay. Go ahead. Go ahead. Go on.
Alex: All right. So, the cost per lead is $40, and say I need 50 leads to get a deal, right? Let's say one deal then is going to cost me what? $2,000 right?
Joe: $2… Yes, $2,000.
Alex: Now, if I were to spend $2,000 and I got 2 deals out of that. Well then, my cost per deal is $1,000, right?
Alex: So, if you back to your metrics, and you know… Hey, let's say you're a really good closer. And, it only cost you 25 leads to get one lead. Well, then. Yeah, you know how to adjust your marketing up and down, or your business is just getting that much better. So, we have spreadsheets like that in there.
Joe: The cool thing about what you're talking about is you need to know what… There's three numbers you need to know. Your cost per lead, right? Number of leads per deal…
Joe: And, your average profit per deal, right?
Joe: And if you know those three numbers, the cool thing about that is you just make the slightest adjustments to maybe… You start working on your conversions, or your sales, like how to talk to sellers? Or maybe, you hire some ninja salesperson or somebody that… If you can just decrease your number of leads per contract from maybe 50 to 45, that can make a huge difference in your margins, in your profits, your ROI…
Joe: Or, if you're spending maybe on too much marketing, maybe you're sending letters when you should be sending postcards, right?
Joe: And, you're sending… You're spending a dollar per marketing piece that goes out. Well, you need to look at your numbers and see, “Well, how many leads per deal am I getting from my letters? And, how many leads per deal am I getting from my postcards? And, how many leads per deal am I getting from my postcards? And, how many leads per deal am I getting from Craigslist, or bandit signs, or billboards?” And, you look at your cost per lead and your profit per lead on each of those different types of marketing.
Joe: And you may realize, “You know what? I'm spending $100 per deal per lead with billboards. But, I'm only spending $2 per lead with Craigslist or whatever it is, right?” Then, you can make those small adjustments when you see what's working. It's really, really important that you know your numbers. And, I don't know why I was thinking of Preston Ely while you were talking, Alex. But, I want to just throw out to everybody. Recently, he wrote some really good blog posts on his blog. I want everybody to know about it. It's called… His blog is WakeWealthy.com. Wake, W-A-K-E. Wealthy.com. And if you've read these, Alex, he wrote some blog post called “The Health Rabbit Hole” Part 1 to 3.
Thomas: That's so nice. So nice.
Alex: Did you read that Joe?
Joe: I read them last night.
Alex: I've been trying to get you, Joe in P90X, and Insanity, and all this type of stuff, Joe! But it is…
Joe: Well, he doesn't talk much about exercises as much as he talks about…
Alex: No, it is all about the diet.
Thomas: It is!
Joe: …The diet and food. But, oh my gosh!
Alex: Have you been playing with it?
Joe: Well, I've known a little bit about this stuff. But, Preston has just a unique way to present his stuff.
Alex: He's good at what he does. Yeah!
Joe: I mean like, how he… It's actually kind of funny. I mean…
Alex: It's very funny!
Joe: You read this, and you just can't help but laugh. And, he's either going to really annoy you or you're going to love the guy. I mean, he's got that polarizing effect. You either hate him, or you love him.
Joe: And, I just want to give a shout-out to Preston to…
Alex: We need to get him on a podcast interview.
Joe: Well, you… You have a cell phone though. Do you talk to him everyday?
Alex: Everyday. Yeah! [Chuckles]
Joe: [Laughs] We need to get him on the show. And so, I just want to give a shout-out to WakeWealthy.com. And, everybody should read these three blog posts he did called “The Health Rabbit Hole” Part 1, 2 and 3. And, it's just the story of his own kind of journey.
Alex: Well. I tell you, man. If you can control your diet…
Alex: You have what it takes to become rich.
Alex: Because it's all about discipline.
Alex: And, I feel whenever… Two things are always in congruence with me. When I'm on top of my diet and things are going good, everything else seems to be falling in line.
Thomas: Yeah. I mean…
Alex: And, when I'm starting to go on that end where I'm start to overeat. I'm going to eat some of this and eat some of that. Eat some of this. And then, my body gets into this ravaging state where I'm just hungry for sugar all the time.
Thomas: Yeah! It all comes from talk.
Alex: What's that?
Thomas: It all comes from talk that does not… Yeah, I completely agree. It's a holistic thing.
Thomas: I mean, because if you love discipline, then your diet will say fitness. Then, when it's time to be disciplined in your business, you're like, “Ah. Yeah. I'll have food from the cracks.” And then, all those things build up. And, I'll be… Yeah, I'm truly impressed in this as well. But, I agree with what Joe said. Joe is the “Love it, but I hate it” guy. I think this stuff is funny. It's controversial which is good. You don't want everyone to like you anyway.
Thomas: But, you just become a police by then.
Thomas: But, yeah. I think… Talking about diet. I know what you're talking about. I would really stay here. It's a high protein diet, isn't it?
Alex: Would you probably head over in that direction? [Chuckles]
Thomas: Yeah, I should now.
Joe: But, it is a good point. I mean, healthy habits are important.
Alex: Healthy habits are wealthy habits.
Joe: Wealthy habits. And so, it's important that you have a discipline. And, I'm not the perfect expert in this. But I would tell you, in the last probably three or four months, I have been eating a lot healthier.
Alex: Good for you, man!
Joe: And so… But, I'm still… I still got some weight I want to lose. I need to start exercising more. But, I could not stop thinking about this. I read these three posts last night on the airplane ride back from Atlanta. And, it just blew me away. Like, the way he presents it, it's funny. But, it is really serious and it's important. You are what you eat.
Alex: Yes, you are. Your body actually changes. The composition of your body changes. And, what you put in it is what your body is. So…
Joe: Right! So, it's “The Health Rabbit Hole.” Go to WakeWealthy.com. Everybody should read those three posts. And, read everything else he has on there. It's…
Alex: Very good stuff!
Joe: Preston is Preston, right? And so, it's cool. It's really good. So anyway, I want to read some review in iTunes, everybody real quick. Because, we really, really appreciate the reviews that we get on iTunes. And, when you leave us a review, it helps with our rankings. It helps kind of get this podcast out there. And, about 5, 10 episodes ago, we had this post called… This little show called “Leave a Review – Get Some Cool Stuff.” And, if you leave a review, whether it's good or bad, we'll send you some free books, and free videos, and a lot more stuff that we have than just what is in our Fast Cash Survival Kit. So, you got to check it out. But, I'm going to read a couple of them here. One of them is lukebuyshomes. “Get your popcorn ready!” Five stars. He says, “These guys are great. I listened to a few of their earlier episodes, and then got sidetracked with Bigger Pockets and other podcasts.”
Alex: Aaaah! [Chuckles]
Joe: But, you know… It's a good… Those are good podcasts.
Joe: But, you shouldn't ignore ours while you listen to others. “I was listening to Sean Terry's podcast where he interviewed Joe and I have since come back into the fold.” [Chuckles]
Alex: Welcome back! Welcome back!
Joe: Welcome back, Luke! “So much valuable information is provided for free. Also, I love how every episode does not start off explaining the most basic components of wholesaling/ real estate investing…”
Alex: Oh, I don't know what that would be.
Joe: Who would that be?
Alex: Who would do that? [Laughs]
Joe: Who spends 10 minutes saying the same thing on every episode?
Alex: Oh! I don't know. [Laughs]
Joe: His initials are Sean Terry. [Laughs]
Alex: Oh! [Laughs]
Joe: No. I love Sean Terry. I just talked to him the other day.
Alex: It's how you get started. It's how you get all fired up and excited, and then blast into it.
Joe: Yeah. I'm telling you what though. He's doing something that's working because he gets more downloads and listens…
Alex: He's the man!
Joe: …Than any other podcasts that are out there in real estate investing. So… And, he had probably… You know, we've been ranting or are going on and on about this other stuff. And, a lot of people out there probably are even more annoyed with us.
Alex: They don't even like it. They don't even appreciate it.
Joe: No. Nobody appreciates what we do. But, okay. So…
Joe: But, he says here. This is really good. He says, “I love how every episode. Da. da. da. They get into the ‘meat' of the topic. Keep up the work Joe, and that other guy… LOL.”
Alex: Ha! Ha!
Joe: “Just kidding, Alex.” All right. One more from Nelsuquito. “Great Podcast!” Five stars. “Great podcast. I have a year to listen to very good information for people who are beginning in this business. Thanks, guys!” So, yeah. We appreciate all the reviews. Please leave some more, and maybe we'll read yours on the next episode or two. So, let's see here. We got Tom Wade from Windsor.
Thomas: Hi, guys!
Joe: Which is in England, Tom. Right?
Joe: And, you can throw a rock and break one of the windows in the Royal Palace there, right?
Thomas: Oh, yeah. Sure! You can have the TV of the Queen as well, if you want. It's no problem.
Joe: Can you?
Thomas: [Chuckles] No. No. It's not that easy. But yes, it's just… Windsor is a beautiful place.
Joe: How far are you really from the Windsor Castle?
Thomas: The Windsor Castle is literally 2 minutes? Okay, it's literally around the corner. [Chuckles]
Thomas: Literally just around the corner. Yeah!
Alex: That's weird.
Thomas: It's just how it's so in London. It's about 30 minutes’ drive from Central London. So, you'll love it. And, the town is great. Definitely visit it when you come to England.
Joe: I got to ask you something. Do you? Do a lot of people in England watch Downton Abbey? Is that a popular show there? Does it kind of portray what England really was like way back in the 20s?
Thomas: Um. I'm not actually familiar with that show. No! [Chuckles] I don't watch too much TV.
Thomas: Sorry! Sorry to disappoint.
Joe: Well, that's fine. I don't watch too much TV either. I don't watch Downton Abbey.
Alex: You say Downton? Downton…
Alex: It's not Downtown?
Joe: No. It's Downton.
Joe: No. And, I don't watch it. I'm just saying. Okay. But anyway, Tom. So…
Thomas: Got it.
Joe: You live in England.
Joe: We were there about 2 years ago. Flew into London. It was about a month of two before the Olympics. And, we waited in their cattle stall with that, like a thousand people in this huge room going through customs for like three hours. It was crazy. But, our kids did awesome. And then, we saw London. London is a beautiful city. We fell in love with it. It's awesome. But, it was so, so huge! It's crazy.
Joe: It's awesome. The best thing you guys have… I mean, it's so awesome Alex because they drive on the wrong side of the road, right?
Joe: And, as you're crossing…
Alex: Oh, yeah.
Joe: As you're crossing the street, if you're not careful, you'll get smack by a car. And so, in every crosswalk, they have this letters painted on the sidewalk “Look this way for traffic,” or “This way.”
Thomas: Did you get on one of the black cabs there?
Thomas: Ah, no. You should've…
Joe: We went on the double-decker bus. That was a lot of fun.
Thomas: Oh, cool.
Joe: But, it was just a beautiful city. And then, we went to Northern Ireland to get out into the country. It was gorgeous! I love going out to England. And, I'm hoping to go again real soon here. But, so… Okay, Tom. You're from England. You're in Windsor. Tell us your story a little bit. I mean you were working in a corporate job. You start hearing podcasts. You start flipping deals. And actually, I want you to tell the story of how you flip the deal in the United States from England.
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah, cool. Yeah! In fact, I just want to say thanks for having me guys. It's awesome to be on. And, I listened to those. But, yeah… Well, the story was pretty much… I was working in a 9:00 to 5:00 job about three or four years ago. And, I was just doing… You know, Joe, I was waking up and doing things I didn't enjoy. So, it was a grind when you're working in a 9:00 to 5:00 job. It's… And, you don't like it. Waking up in the morning in spite… Give your best work. So, I knew from a young age. I mean, I have a job at a college at 16. So, I always have that entrepreneur spirit. I always wanted to get into real estate. It's something I always wanted. Even when I was younger, I said, “Look, I want to do houses.” That's what I'm saying when I'm about six or seven years old. So, I knew I want to into that. Just didn't know where to start, and didn't have a clue. I was working 9:00 to 5:00. You know, low income. I always wanted to have a lot of money but still have freedom in this world as I was able to. If I wanted to travel, then I could do that. So one time, in just coincidence, divine intervention if you like, I was speaking with one of my friends, and he said, “Have you seen the foreclosures in the U.S.? Maybe you could save up or get a loan and buy one of them and flip them?” The tradition…
Joe: What year was this?
Thomas: This was… This was back in about 2009.
Thomas: 2009, 2010 though. Yeah, I think the foreclosures… I know the crash was about the same it was there.
Thomas: It was around the same time as the U.K. as well. So I said, “Okay! I'll flip properties.” But, I have no idea about real estate at that time. So I was… Yeah, I was an amateur. So I said, “Yeah! Sounds good.” So, I started doing some research online. And, I started to come across different people. You know, it's actually yourself, and Sean Terry, and some other people, and Dean Graziosi, and these other people who are doing it and teaching it, and actually know how it goes. I come across Creative Options and I thought, “Wow, this looks amazing!” How you can flip deals with no experience, which I have no experience. No credit, which my credit cards were maxed out. So, I had no credit and no cash, which I had literally just deficit. So, it was like, “Wow, this is made for me.”
Thomas: A year later, doubts and fears start getting in. So, I have to dapple with it. I didn't really fully integrate myself and say, “Okay. Let's burn the boats here, and make this happen.” I didn't do that. So, I dappled. But then, I started looking at different people who are actually having success in the U.S. Now, it's going to be challenging for me to actually flip a deal in the U.S. while I'm in the U.K. So, that's when I actually start looking how you can do it virtually. And, I came across different people that were doing it, especially yourselves and other people that were teaching this as well. So I went for it. “Okay, let's dive in and let's do it.” And, to make the long story short, I actually done it. My first deal that I done was in Memphis, Tennessee. It was a three-bed house. And, I wholesale this house. But, you know…
Joe: How did you get it under contract?
Thomas: It was from Craigslist.
Thomas: So, I just literally… Because, I don't have no money at that time. I have no marketing budgets. So I went for… “Okay, let's not make excuses here. Let's just go on Craigslist.” I started e-mailing people. When I've done that, he come back to me and I found that he is actually living in the U.K. I thought he was in the U.S., but he was loving overseas…
Thomas: I thought, “Wow!” Yeah. So, I e-mailed him. I found that the house is completely trashed by a lost tenant. It was boarded-up and was just in a mess. And, he wanted… I believe he wanted $20,000 for it. But, he was sorry. He was very distressed seller, and I got it down to $10,000.
Thomas: And also, I… And, this was all done by e-mail. I didn't pick up the phone, and I was like… I didn't really… Because, I was learning from people who are doing it. Always believe in finding… Modeling the best by finding people who are doing it, and just following the methods and steps. And, I didn't have… In my mind, I didn't have doubts that it was impossible.
Thomas: So, I just follow people that were doing that. I thought, “Okay, I'll just do the same. And, I'll flip in the U.S. just like as normal.”
Thomas: And then, I found… I think I made… I actually found a buyer via Facebook. And, I go and touch with him via Facebook. And he said, “Yup. Let me go around there, and put a lockbox on the property. I got someone to put a lockbox on there.” He went around and he said, “Yup, let's take it.” And, I found a title company online. And yeah, I just flipped it, and then someone bought it in about four to six weeks later. And, that was… Yeah, there were a few little things and few challenges up until that deal. But, that was how I've done my first deal in the U.S. Yeah!
Joe: So, you… This is so cool. I love this because… I'm not kidding. Just the other day, I talked to a gentleman from England. He was trying to flip deals in the United States. And, he was really discouraged and he's really struggling.
Joe: And, I was trying to encourage him. I said, “Look, don't quit or give up.”
Joe: “You got to be consistent with the marketing. You got to be persistent.” It's a longer… I don't want to say it's a numbers game, because it's really important if you know how to talk to sellers and sell.
Thomas: Sure! I got it.
Joe: Which, you're going to be talking about since you're good at that. Plus, just encouraging not to give up. And then literally, like a few hours after I talked to him, I hear your story when we were talking the other day about this. And it’s awesome, because you can do this from anywhere in the world. And, you do now a lot of deals even in your own backyard virtually, while you travel all around your… Which is cool.
Thomas: Yay! Yeah. Also, that's how I've done a deal in the U.S. That's what I've done. I didn't actually know options in real estate, creative real estate and “no money down” real estate that it was possible in the U.K.
Thomas: I just didn't have any clue. I didn't think it was possible. So, what I did was take my knowledge from there and said, “Wow, why not apply it on my own backyard, and see what happens here?” And, I start to do… I actually started… I was looking for different deals because I was studying different strategies such as wholesaling, lease options, and wholesaling just below market value deals. And, when I think… But, the beauty of this, it was absolutely… There was a little bit of condition. But, compared to the U.S., that was pretty much serious. So, I'm always doing different strategies such as direct mail to probates. It's always the solace style. I think you call that… I don't know what you're calling that. But, the PR… The representative of the state.
Thomas: They said, “Mississippi is the only left that I've had.” And, I was like, “Wow!” I just didn't have any clue as far as anyone doing this. And, that led me on a journey to…
Thomas: …Apply what I learned in the U.S., and really just take it to a whole new level. And yeah, I did actually. And, it's a blast.
Thomas: The business is an absolute blast.
Joe: So, we were talking about this before. And, I want to talk about how you do your marketing because you understand the importance of marketing. You've come up with… You know what your numbers are, right? I mean you have to send out a certain number of letters, or you need to contact a certain number of people on GumTree, which we're going to talk about in a second.
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Joe: But, okay. So, let's talk about lease options a little bit. Because, the deal that you flip in the United States was just a regular wholesaling deal.
Joe: Did you have any problems getting the money wired to you? Even though you were from another country? Or, how did that? Was that a difficult process?
Thomas: In the process of getting, no. I just have to set up a U.S…. Yeah, basically a U.S. account for the tax treaty.
Thomas: It's the tax treaty between the U.K. and the U.S. And, I just got someone to help me with that. But, it's like they go to London and sort that out. And, they set up the accounts. But, yeah, it was pretty simple. I mean… My mind was really, “Okay.” I'm the type of person that says, “I do,” and I'll figure out the details later.
Thomas: So, I just dived in. Because at that time, it was killing me working and stuff.
Thomas: As you know, when you got that entrepreneur spirit, working with someone else, it kills you, drains your energy. And, it's so really…
Thomas: So, I knew I like to do it. So, I just thought… Because, I didn't actually think it was possible in my country in England. So, I just thought, “Okay. Well, let's do it in the U.S.” If other people can do it. Like yourself, you were flipping when you were in Prague.
Thomas: Yeah. And, you're literally just an hour away from me on the plane. You're in Prague, and I'm in England.
Thomas: So, I can do it as well. So, yeah.
Joe: Well, sometimes you got to… I like to say that sometimes you got to fall. You got to jump from the building, and figure out how to fly as you're falling.
Thomas: Oh, yeah.
Joe: I mean, in a certain sense. And, that really relates to business because… I love the saying too that, “Ignorance on fire is better than knowledge on ice.”
Joe: “Ignorance on fire is better than knowledge on ice.” Because, a lot of people want to know everything.
Joe: They want to know all of the “what-ifs.” They want to have all the questions figured out first in advance before they take any action. And, that's a recipe for a disaster because…
Joe: You never ever get to that point where you're starting to do deals if you have to have all your questions answered first.
Thomas: Yeah. Well, I mean… When you said that, I mean… Everyone can have the knowledge and try to figure out, “Okay, how does that work?” “How does it work when it goes to the title company?” Or, “What if my marketing doesn't work?” And, a lot of people have questions, “Oh! If I spend, I've only got $500 left. What if I spend all that money on marketing, and I don't get a deal?” But, that type of mindset… I just came from that mindset, really. If I'm, you know… I'm just going to make it happen. If someone else is doing it, then it's over for me. I know that I'll just go fully… And, not everyone has that trait. In the end, you just let the fears and doubts come.
Thomas: So… But what you said, I think, about knowledge is… Applied knowledge is what… A lot of people say that knowledge is power. I think action, taking consistent action day in, day out until you get your result, and then tweaking it along the way, and saying… That was what you said at the start which I agree. That's knowing your numbers. So, you look at log sheets.
Thomas: And go… Actually, bandit signs is really working for me this month. So, I'm going to ramp up the marketing on bandit signs. I maybe low on my budget this month.
Thomas: So, let's do Craigslist as we say, “Hey GumTree.” So…
Joe: [Chuckles] GumTree.
Thomas: Yeah. GumTree.
Joe: All right. So now, you call them… It's funny. In England, you call them “sourcing and packaging” deals. Is that right?
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. So, you do wholesale deals. You call it “wholesale” and we just call it. Which, there is wholesaling here as well. But, most people just know the terms. It's just “sourcing and packaging” BMV. So, finding, let's say £75,000 and flipping it on for £80,000.
Joe: Yeah! So then, when you do that, do you assign your contract or do you double close? How do you? How does that part of the transaction work? I'm just curious.
Thomas: Oh, well. Yeah. Yeah. Well, we get on to an option.
Thomas: Secure under an option, and then just assign that option…
Thomas: …On closing. And, I just… Same way as you do it. I receive the reservation fee, a non-refundable deposit?
Thomas: So, make sure they're serious. And then, just move it forward to the solicitors.
Thomas: And yeah, you move it forward. And, all the strategies that are used in the U.S., a lot of them are used here. I'm bringing and innovating a few different strategies that…
Thomas: So, for example, on wholesaling lease options, very few people actually do it here. They use a different type of strategy on lease options. So, the market is… There's a whole market…
Thomas: …To attack really. And, it's incredible.
Joe: I love lease options because it allows you to control property without owning it, okay? So, in England, is it the same concept? Does it work the same way? You have an option on a property to buy it in a couple of years. And then, you lease it from the seller during that time. Is that the same thing?
Thomas: Exactly the same. So, I'll give you an example of a deal. The first deal that I've done in the U.K. was a…
Thomas: …Lease option. I was here in Windsor. And, my first lease option was up North. So, close to the metropolis at Scotland.
Joe: On the map? Yeah. Uh-huh.
Thomas: Yay! Yeah. So, it's up north. And, it was on South Yorkshire. That was my first lease option. I was actually on GumTree. The one on GumTree contacted the lady and found out that she didn't have any equity in her house. And, this is when I was putting all of myself for that, until I got to outsource.
Thomas: I started to outsource. Starting your outsourcing and delegating the tasks. But, I found out that she didn't have any equity. So, this is all over the phone at the time. I actually… I thought of the idea past to how we could take over her payments. And, how I put it is sort of babysitting the existing payments…
Thomas: …Up until the market recovers, so we can purchase it. And, she was a bit skeptical at first. And, she actually said, “No. Should we?” And, at the time, I was learning about how to negotiate, and how to never accept “No” for an answer in sales. And, unto their objections. And, I've got truth to that. And, if you could relate… And, she said, “Okay. Well, what's the next step?” I'm happy with this. I said, “Do you need help?” And she said, “Yeah. Let's go ahead.” And so, what I did with this was… Because I wanted to get some cash for myself. I want to build up some… So, I want to quit my job.
Joe: Well, could you talk real quickly about how much equity was in the deal. Was there any equity? And, was there cash flow?
Thomas: No, it was actually negative equity, the house. The house was… The existing mortgage was £70,000.
Thomas: And, the current market value is £60,000.
Thomas: So, that was quite a bit… So, I knew for a fact and I knew, “Okay, I need to get a sort of long option.”
Thomas: I can actually go on a 15-year option.
Joe: Nice. Nice.
Thomas: And… Just to allow the market to recover enough time for that.
Thomas: But, what I did… What strategy we use, and I'm sure you've probably use it in the U.S. as well is actually… So, I agreed in principle and she was happy. But then, I said, “Okay, I want to find… I want to package the deal allotment, then find a buyer.” So, I packaged the deal allotment. I actually found a buyer, and he was in London. But, he was… And, the buyer was actually found again on GumTree.
Thomas: And, he was an accountant in London. He was going back and forth from London to India, back and forth. So, he just was very hands-off. He said, “Can you do everything for me? Can you help find a tenant for me?” And I said, “Okay. Well, this is what I charge.” And, even though, I didn't have any money at that time.
Thomas: So, I just… That's just testing to see what happens. And he said, “Sure. No problem.” And, I market the package, and sourced them together.
Thomas: And, I think I've made from that deal altogether £4,000 from that deal. And, that was my first deal that I've done. So…
Joe: So, you packaged them together.
Joe: So, you had two properties under a lease option contract. One of them was really long because it was negative equity.
Joe: And, the other one is a negative equity too?
Thomas: Yeah. Well, this is the first one. I'm still talking about the first one.
Thomas: Yeah. So, I just found… My exit strategy, if you like, was just to agree the term – the 15 year term. And then, package that unto… In the best that we can take over the payment, and sell it out.
Joe: Oh. Okay. So, you're packaging this then. And then, selling the contract or the package to another investor.
Thomas: Exactly. Yeah.
Joe: I see. I see. So then, was there cash flow? Monthly difference between the mortgage payment and the rent on that property?
Thomas: Yes. Yes. There was some cash flow. The cash flow was about, I believe $125? So, it wasn't massive cash flow. But, I found to him, it's just… The concept of lease options to the investor that I packaged the property unto… He didn't have too much experience, and he was happy just to have more properties on his books, really. So, he was okay for the move with that.
Joe: And, he gets to hold it for 15 years.
Joe: It's going to be probably… If it's worth £80 now, it's probably going to be worth £100 in 15 years maybe, right?
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. Oh, yeah. For sure. Yeah. Or, even more. I mean, in 15 years… I mean, on the Land Registry here, which records all of the sales. I mean, they say, “Up north, it's probably doubled every nine years?”
Thomas: So, you know, it got 15 years and it's receiving cash flow as well. It could find a tenant buyer for the property. And, he has become a great client since then. And, I have sourced him on since then, and of the tenant world deals. So, it's a…
Joe: Nice! So then, have you? Did you find a tenant to live in the house for him then?
Thomas: Yeah. That's what I've done for him. I found a tenant for him. Yeah.
Thomas: I just… Quite easy. And, to think he paid me an extra £500 to do that. So…
Thomas: …He was just very hands-off. And, he wanted me to do everything for him. And, at that time, I was just like, “Yeah. Yeah. I'll do it. And, I'll do everything for you.” So, I went to get as much cash in the bank as possible.
Thomas: So, I could… Yeah.
Joe: Nice! So, for our U.S. listeners, £4,000 is about U.S. $5,000?
Thomas: No, it's pretty about $6,000, closer to $7,000. I think about $6,000 and a half, close?
Joe: Wow! That's nice. [Chuckles]
Thomas: Yeah. So, to me, at that time literally, that was massive. Because, I think, I was earning about $1,000 a month for the time.
Joe: Oh. Wow!
Thomas: So, to me, it was massive at that time. So, it's just… Yeah.
Joe: I've been looking a lot lately at the currency exchange rates to the Euro, and the dollar…
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah.
Joe: …And the pound, and the Czech crown to the dollar. Because, we're actually thinking about going back to Prague in June or July of 2015 for at least like three to six months. We're so excited about it.
Thomas: Oh. Sweet!
Joe: And so, we're going to be going there. And, if you look at the chart, it's kind of crazy. The Euro has been dropping dramatically in the last few months compared to the U.S. dollar.
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah.
Joe: And so, it's amazing. The difference influx, the currency exchange rates are going…
Thomas: Especially the crash with Greece. And yeah, a lot of the Euros have been crashing.
Joe: Okay. So, this is really cool. You're now starting to do these lease option deals, and you're packaging them.
Joe: Are you selling them to investors. Is that what you typically do then?
Thomas: Well. That's when I first gone into… I was packaging them. It was an agreement, and then packaging them on because I want some cash flow coming on. But for now, what we're doing is we're doing a lot of different types of strategies. So, we're still packaging them unto into investors.
Thomas: But we're also… I'm doing this year is… I'm doing a different type of strategy, a different package where I'm in an agreement with a seller, but I'm also finding the tenant buyer for the property. And, taking the initial option fee from the tenant buyer up front.
Thomas: But then, I'm also packaging it to an investor as I've already made a deal with a tenant buyer. So, I'm getting two fees. So, I'm getting… And, instead of making £4,000, £5,000 a deal, I'm making about £10,000 per deal. And, that's something I'm looking to get into, a lot more in 2015.
Thomas: So, it's just a little spinoff.
Joe: What percent of your deals now are you doing? Well, first of all, like how many deals are you averaging a month right now in your business?
Thomas: Right now, about five to six deals a month for the moment.
Joe: That's awesome! That's amazing!
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah.
Joe: And, I don't know what the average income is in England. But, I'm suspecting that you're making probably a lot more than the average income for people living in London right now.
Thomas: And, the average income in London is a little bit more. But, the average income in the U.K., I think, is about £25,000 to £30,000?
Thomas: The average income is £30,000, pretty close to £30,000. So, yeah. I mean, if you think about it, even just one day at a month, how many? It's £3 to £4 grand. And, that can replace most people's income. And, you can do this business part-time. That's the beauty of it.
Joe: So, how many pounds per month is the average income? Or, is that an annual average income?
Thomas: That's annual.
Joe: Okay. Okay.
Thomas: So probably, per month, it's probably about £2,000 per month.
Joe: [Laughs] That's awesome! Congratulations. Good for you, Tom! I mean, that's so cool. I love hearing those stories.
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Of course.
Joe: Guys, he just say, “You know what? I'm going to live life on my own terms,” right?
Thomas: Oh. [Chuckles]
Joe: I don't have to sit in this cubicle for the rest of my life.
Joe: Do you have cubicles in England?
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Of course. Yes, the little box and the things where you can't breathe. And…
Joe: Okay. Okay. Oh! It's horrible. It's horrible.
Thomas: Yeah. Well, to be honest, it's… To me, the way I see it is you have one life. And, some people, they are enjoying the light work in front of people. They like being told what to do. But, for me, I'm a very bad employee. I just don't play ball with people telling me what to do.
Thomas: And, that's just what happened since I was young. I mean, I dropped out of college early on. So, I always have that spirit, “Just go on, and do my own thing.” And, when real estate come working, it was that divine intervention where I still pinch myself every day, and say, “How lucky I am to be out there!” Yeah, I'm glad to been in a business where you can… Literally, anyone can do it, like a cleaner can do it out on the street. Finding a property for this much…
Thomas: …And then, just flipping on for this much. I'm just doing three or four a year, but it's more than most people's annual income. So, yeah. It's incredible. But, I love the business.
Joe: All right. So, what percent of your deals are lease option deals? And, what percent are regular wholesaling deals? Do you understand what I mean by that?
Thomas: So, that's… Yeah. Yeah. Wholesaling deals. Yeah. So, about 70% of lease option deals, and 30% are just “BMV” wholesale deals, where I flip the deal unto a cash buyer. But, there's also a different strategy that we do as well. And, we call it here an “assisted sale.” So, what we do is the same concept. It's getting under an option.
Thomas: But, what we do is we flip them unto a retail.
Thomas: We flip them unto a retail. So like, we delay the completion, almost. So, we go in there. So, we get them under an option. And, let's just say it's a probate, and the property needs a little bit of work. And, we go in there, and put it under an option. We do the work on the property, and then we flip that straight unto a retail. So, we've had it off to like a realtor, where we call it here as an estate agent.
Thomas: And, I say to him, “Look, find a buyer for this in the quickest or fastest time possible.” And, that's a great strategy, but the profit margins are £15,000 to £25,000 per deal. Obviously, it's a bit… It's like a fix and flip…
Joe: Yeah. Okay.
Thomas: Pretty much… But, I'm just not putting all my cash down. I'm getting it under an option, doing the property up, and then flipping it to a retail buyer.
Joe: Now, in England, do you have something like the MLS where there's one place everybody goes to get properties, information on properties?
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. The MLS is the multiple listing service. Am I right?
Joe: Yeah. Uh-huh.
Thomas: Yeah. What we have here is we have like Rightmove and Zoopla. I don't know if you're familiar with them.
Thomas: Yeah. They're big advertisement websites where estate agents, realtors will go on and advertise their properties.
Thomas: And, you can contact them directly.
Joe: It will be cool, Tom… Could you email the links to those sites? I'll put them on the show notes. If people in America like to see what that looks like, I'd love to send it to them.
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Yeah. I promise.
Joe: Put links to UK MLS… And, there's also GumTree. So, GumTree is like the American version of Craigslist. People put their houses on there for rent or for sale. Is that right?
Thomas: Yes. There's private sellers who go in there, advertise and list their properties for sale, wanting to just avoid fees.
Joe: Yeah. Okay.
Thomas: All those fees. And yeah, we just contact them directly via email or text.
Joe: Okay. And, which is brilliant. I've been doing that for years here in the United States. And, we've also talked about this before, the marketing that you're doing right now. So, how much direct mail are you sending? And, how much are you doing on GumTree where you're contacting the sellers through that way?
Thomas: Well. I'm doing several areas in GumTree. We're picking about three to four different areas, especially up north because that's where there is more… The equity situation? So, it's more… It's better for lease options. We're also contacting private sellers, but also landlords as well. So, we're trying to find tied landlords who before wholesaled below market value deals or also wholesaling lease options as well. So, we contact them directly. Direct mail, what I'm doing is I'm sending off yellow letters and postcards to negative equity databases. So, people that bore in the crash. So, 2007 to 2008.
Thomas: We're consistently mailing them. We're spending around £3K a month from that at the moment.
Thomas: But, we're also doing probates as well. So, direct mail on probates?
Thomas: And, consistently doing that and sending it to the executor as well. And also, we're actually testing as of the moment, sending it directly to the actual deceased estate as well. And, we're having quite a good success with that. And, some of my students as well are getting a lot of deals from that as well. So, it's…
Joe: But, what's so cool is you're blazing a trail. It's like you're… Hardly, anybody is doing this in England, right?
Thomas: Yeah. Well, there's some people that teach here. I mean, gurus who teach this type of stuff. It's like anything, there's always going to be strategies that we've talked. But, not a lot of people take action and apply it. And, when we talk about… I know you're big on this, and this is what I do. Talk about virtually doing it, where you could do it all from…
Thomas: You just throw in a laptop. And, you can have the freedom to say, “Okay. Well, I want to go to Barcelona, or I want to go to Thailand,” and live there for a couple of months. Your business doesn't get affected, simply because you can run this off with just an Internet connection. And, there's some people that say, “Oh. You sound a bit cheesy.” But, you can actually can. That's the funny thing about this business. It's… You actually can do that. So, all you need is a phone and a laptop. And, that's what I found in terms of sellers and meeting them. I rarely ever meet sellers.
Thomas: And, I just pretty much do all from my laptop when I meet with them. Just recently… I give you an example. I went to Barcelona, I think about six weeks ago.
Thomas: And, I was there for about five, six days. And, we flipped a couple of deals while I was out there and staying in a beautiful place. And, I'm not saying it to impress people. I'm just saying what's possible, and what you can actually do. And, there's nothing special about it. We have just learned how system works, and I'm just following a proven system, and just doing it over and over again.
Joe: Well. What's so cool about this is you're flipping homes in your own backyard without seeing the house. Really, just talking to the seller on the phone.
Joe: You're not getting in your car to go and look at the house. You're flipping these properties from your desk…
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah.
Joe: …Or, from the coffee shop, right?
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. [Chuckles] Well, everyone knows… People that know me kind off see me always at the coffee shop because it's all I've got. Because, it's cool. I'm always at Starbucks or Caffè Nero here in Europe. It's quite popular. You'll probably see it when you go to Prague.
Thomas: But, the majority of the calls I have now… When I was still starting the business, the first three to six months, I was doing everything myself, which I find painful. I was doing it virtually but I was doing every call. So, I was doing about… What I was doing was, I was leaving work and rushing back home. And, I have set up an appointment. I was jumping on the phone totally at about 10:00 PM, emailing, doing everything myself. And so, I just ask myself a simple question. And I said, “Okay, this stuff that I'm doing. Can I outsource this to someone overseas? Say, in the Philippines.”
Thomas: “Can I? Is that possible for me to do?” And, I started to get into that. And, the big inspiration for me at that time is actually is “The 4-Hour Workweek,” which was a game changer for me at that time. So, I started. Yeah, I started to get…
Joe: Looks like… Hey, Alex!
Alex: Yeah. I'm here.
Joe: We lost you for a while there.
Alex: Yeah. You did. [Chuckles]
Joe: Well. We're just talking with Tom about how he's been doing these deals virtually…
Joe: …Even when he was doing deals in England. And, he's in England. He's doing these deals from his computer, and with his cell phone. But now, he's starting to travel around Europe, still doing deals in England, which I think is so exciting! And, Tom…
Alex: That is awesome!
Joe: …You're talking about your virtual assistants. So, you have a team. Talk a little bit about the outsourcing, and how you do that. I mean, I imagine that's… Even in America, that still sounds foreign to a lot of people like…
Thomas: Yeah. It's… It's…
Joe: Talk about that in a minute.
Thomas: Yeah. That's a good question. Well, like I said, I was doing everything myself, which is fine at the start because I wanted to get stuck here and learn it. I think… I'm a fan of the deliveries. First, do something. And then, you can teach people… Outsource it to other people. So, I went through that, and I actually… “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss inspired me…
Alex: …To start outsourcing. And, I looked up what I could outsource. I just asked myself a simple question. So I said, “Can I outsource the e-mails?” Yes. “Can I outsource the texting on GumTree?” Yes. “Can I outsource the screening of the calls? So, I'm only speaking to serious motivated sellers.” Yes.
Thomas: I can outsource that to someone in the Philippines. And I can do that for… Let’s say £150 per month. And for them, they're happy to do that everyday.
Alex: I love that! £150.
Thomas: Shhh! [Laughs] Yeah.
Joe: That will be about U.S. $300 a month maybe, right?
Thomas: Yeah. About that. Yeah.
Thomas: So, that led me on that journey to say, “Okay. Well. What can I outsource?” So, I started doing that. And, I was having good success. But, what I've found personally for me is, I found that the accents in the Philippines are closer to the U.S. compared to the English accent. So, it's quite a lot different.
Alex: Oh! That's interesting. Yeah.
Thomas: Hmmm. So, what I did from there is, I actually wanted to get… So, I said, “How can I keep my cost down low?” So, I started finding people that are working commission-based. So, stay-at-home moms are happy to work on commission-based. They take the calls for me, screen them, and also help close the deal…
Thomas: …Which is “Wow!” So, all I did was I…
Joe: You're paying them commission-based.
Joe: So, you're not paying them a salary?
Thomas: No. No. All commissions. I don't give a salary. It's just all commission basis. And, they're happy with that. It's not like I'm finding someone… And, I find… What happens is we find people that are more hungry and more willing to actually do it. Because if they're on a minimum wage, they're still like, “Ah, you know what?” “Yeah. Okay.” “It's okay.” But, when I find someone on commission basis, and I say, “Look, this is what you can earn. If you get a lot, lot better, there'll be more opportunities. Maybe, you can throw your venture, and have your businesses and other things I'm doing.” They're happy. I mean, a two hours a day for them can potentially… Let's just say, I've done a deal a week, I give them a 20% commission on each deal I do. So, £4 grand. So, that's £700 per deal. And, they can earn anywhere between £2,000 plus… And, they're all doing that. So…
Thomas: So, that's what I found the Philippines. It's just better to get them to do the data entry work, and finding someone that's more… Because, here in England, people have to talk about how bad the weather is and stuff like that. And, I find that very… [Chuckles] Well, the Philippines can always connect on that level. So…
Joe: That's funny.
Thomas: So, it's just testing things.
Joe: Right! So, let's talk about some of the systems and tools that you use for outsourcing. Your Filipino VAs, do you have a website that you use to manage them?
Thomas: I'm actually using oDesk.
Joe: oDesk? Okay. Cool!
Thomas: I've used it to find them. I'll be using… Well. I'm ending, because I'm actually moving over to Podio. But, as my CRM, I was using Google Drive.
Thomas: So, I'm finding… I just find Podio as a little bit more streamlined, and works for me a little bit better. So, I'm in the process of setting that up for the moment. But, I've been using Google Drive as my CRM.
Alex: I don't think you've ever heard of Podio or have you, Joe?
Joe: Podio? No.
Alex: Yeah. You've never heard of that. Have you?
Joe: No. But, you know what? What's interesting is, Podio was actually started and designed by a company in Europe.
Joe: I want to say the Netherlands. But, Holland or… It's all the same.
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah.
Joe: It's somewhere out there, right? [Chuckles]
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. It's all the same. I always get them mixed up.
Joe: [Chuckles] But, that's cool. So now, you're starting to use… You use oDesk to manage your VAs. You're using… You're starting now to use Podio to manage the lead flow, which is awesome. Because especially, if you're going to doing the business virtually, you need somehow… You need some tool that can allow you to control all the leads in a matter of where they're coming from, or who's handling them. And, it's a great way for you to collaborate and communicate with your team. Do you understand what I'm saying, Tom?
Thomas: Oh. Yeah. Yeah. You have to. And, you have to have it. It's like a base. It's like… I call it an electrical virtual lab, because I'm going to always use the analogy of like a coffee shop. You know, they got their base. They got their system up and running. Like Starbucks, it's leveraged and you can afford just to replicate the same thing and scale it. So, that's how I look to our business really. I think a lot of property investors including myself, at the start, you look at it… You start treating it and know like your business, like coffee.
Thomas: So, I have to say, “How can I scale this to a completely different level where I can take it 6 digits and beyond? Multiple six figures a year.” And truly, how can I do that? A new way to do that is by outsourcing and finding other people that can do the majority of work. It's just works better if I'm out with my friends, and I'm out enjoying like a nice meal on a restaurant. I can still have people take in calls for me, and my business still runs. So, it's not… If I didn't do tasks that day…
Thomas: It's okay, because my business still runs. I'm not relying on myself to do everything. Otherwise, if I fall ill or something happens, my business stops. In this case, when I have delegated tasks to other people, it still runs. So, yeah. I love it. Outsourcing I think, is just crucial to make a business scalable 100%.
Joe: Now, talk about… How do you find somebody to market the home, to show the home, to take the pictures? And, who do you have to do that for you?
Thomas: That's great! So, what I do… And, that's a good question actually. Well, I do… I actually get the sellers or the vendors to take the photos for me. And, I also get them to take a video and all for me. And, they e-mail it that directly straight to me. And normally, what I do most of the time is, I might have… I have a lot of contacts. So, I might say to them, “Look. You don't mind if you just go around, and do some viewings?” and they say, “Okay.” And you know, I give them a commission on the back end, and then we build good relationships out of that. I actually got people all around the U.K that can do that for me.
Joe: How nice!
Thomas: And, we just go for great relationships. And for them, to go, it's just 15, 20 minutes in the car. And for that, you get £250 commission, or £500, or whatever if I'm feeling generous. [Chuckles]
Alex: He's got it… He's got it down. He's got the whole process down.
Joe: Well. It's brilliant because you have a virtual assistant in the Philippines who's doing your marketing, right?
Joe: Who's sending the e-mails, sending the text messages. I'm sure you're not licking stamps and sending envelopes yourselves. You have a company that's doing your direct mail for you, right?
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. They do everything. I send them the data, and they say they'll fire it off.
Joe: Nice! And then, you have a stay-at-home mom who knows how to talk about the weather in England.
Thomas: [Chuckles] Yeah. The bad weather.
Joe: The bad weather.
Thomas: People always complaint about it.
Joe: By the way, when we were in London, it was beautiful. And, I was…
Thomas: It's a beautiful day here as well. So, I think English people just love to complain about the weather. That's kind of what I'm thinking. Everywhere you go, you'll hear, “Oh, it's raining again.” But yeah, it's another story.
Joe: Okay. So… And then, you have the VAs or the stay-at-home mother, whoever's in England, who prescreens the leads, right? So, they will ask the basic questions, prescreen the leads. And, you were only talking to the most motivated sellers, the ones that you are most likely to want to do a deal right away, right?
Thomas: Yeah. So, I'm talking to the hot leads. So, I know they've gone through a screening process where…
Thomas: …My assistant in the Philippines have screened them. The one that works in a commission basis will screen them, and maybe have done a follow-up call. And, they've already put… They got to the point where they found how much equity they've got. “Can this be a wholesale below market value deal?” Or maybe, if I don't have any equity, then they know the strategies to offer. So, “Could this work for you where we could babysit the payment, etc.?” and allow the market to recover for a lease option. So… And then, if I wanted to get on the phone, then I would. Because, I love getting on the phone doing deals because it's a passion of mine, and I'll do that every week. So, I'll jump on the phone and often, this would go for an hour because I've got a few leads to call up. So…
Joe: And, that's something that we can spend probably an hour talking about because it's really important. What you say to sellers, how do you control the conversation, how to ask the right questions. And, I imagine that goes across cultural boundaries, doesn't it?
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. Obviously, it's…
Joe: It's the same principles.
Thomas: Obviously, it's one of the most important things. Because, anyone can do marketing, and anyone can do generation, and all of those that are important. Everyone can get leads into the system, but it's how to turn those leads into deals.
Alex: That's true!
Thomas: And also, investing to ones that get cash in you. Okay. Because most people, they don't learn styles. They're not really into… What I've done is, I studied from the best people in the NLP world such as people like Tony Robbins, and other people in the area…
Thomas: …To learn how to actually negotiate, and to be able to do deals, and ask the right questions. Because, you can get on the phone, but if the person… I just truly believe people who do business at people they know they can trust. So, if they don't truly trust you, then you're just… Even if they fit the bell, and they would sell below market value, or they would do a lease option, if they don't trust you because you're not building rapport, then you just can't deal. But the beauty, when you learn how to close deals, you can… A lot of people think, “I have to go around. I have to go meet the seller.” But, I think you only have to meet the seller if you haven't mastered the art of negotiation and placing the deal. That's what I believe, and that's my experience.
Joe: That's really good! Really, really good!
Alex: And, you’re doing mainly lease options, right?
Thomas: I do about 70… I think you got cut off early when I told Joe about it. I do 70% lease options, and 30% wholesale below market value properties.
Joe: And what's interesting, Alex is he's packaging a lot of his lease option deals and selling them to investors. So, he's getting money on the front end and the back end. So, he's getting… You put the tenant buyer in the property. Right, Tom?
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah.
Joe: You collect the money from the tenant buyer. And then, when he sells it to the investor who wants the investment property to hold, he's collecting an assignment fee from the investor as well.
Alex: Wow! It's doubling up.
Joe: Doubling up, yes. That's good!
Thomas: Yeah, exactly. There's something that is new that we're doing. We're actually starting to innovate and try to do this. But, there's a lot of tenant buyers especially now. I mean, you won't have difficulty in finding them in the U.S. as well. In the new year, everyone wants to go on a halting weather, and they're motivated to have a fresh start. So, I'm finding that there's tons of tenant buyers to come again.
Thomas: And, I'm building a more updated database in UK-wide.
Joe: That's awesome! So now, you've get VAs. You've got the stay-at-home moms who are taking the calls. You talk to the most motivated sellers. When you get a property under contract, you don't go to the house to get the contract signed. You sign them electronically or?
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. I use a software called “HelloSign.” I don't know if you're familiar with that. HelloSign.
Thomas: Yeah, HelloSign. I just send them all the paperwork.
Alex: I love it!
Thomas: I mean, if it's an elderly person, then yes, you can just send it via UPS. I can send that waiver. Or sometimes… I don't know if you got the wrong person. Sometimes, sellers will go, “I want to meet you.” If I ever get someone to go and meet them, I want to make sure they've already overly put off of a person. When they said, “Yay!” I pretty much know they're going to say yes. But, they might just want the old school, and they more want the reassurance of a handshake and someone to do that. Which is, 20% of deals I have. But, I might just have a lot of relationships with other wholesalers and investors who will happily go around there for me, and get the contract signed that way.
Joe: Beautiful! And then, when you start marketing a house, you get the seller to send you pictures, and to send you video that you have. You hire people on a commission-basis only to actually help show the home if you have to, and do any of the legwork, right? So…
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah.
Joe: You've literally have outsourced 95% of the deals.
Joe: And, because you're good at talking to sellers and you enjoy that, you're keeping that for yourself. And that's probably, you've discovered… I want to guess. The best use of your time. You've figured out, “You know what? If I'm going to… There's all these things that I got to do in this business to do a deal. This is what gives me the best return of my time. And, this is what I'm best at. So, this is what I need to continue to do. And, let me just outsource everything else.” Is that kind of right? The way you look at it?
Thomas: Exactly! I always look at it at how you valuable is your hour. So, instead of how much money you make… Because, you could be running around spending 80 hours a week on the business, yet you're making a lot of money, but your hourly rate is reduced. So, I just look at this new task, and I'm just asking some new questions. “Can this be outsourced to someone else?” So, I can focus on things that I enjoy and love. And too, which makes me more money so that I can do the things that I want to do. I try to keep it simple as possible. Business, in my cool thing is getting leads in the system, and turning these leads into deals. And, keeping it simple as possible.
Joe: It's a beautiful simple process that you can do it in the United States. You can do it in England. And, you're starting now to teach and coach people to do the same thing in England. Isn't that right, Tom?
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. Being usually that the last year. I mean, I was never going to go that. It actually happened accidentally. I was never planning to go on start teaching. Because, there are a lot of people in my database. Investors and other people said, “How are you getting all these deals all of the time?” They knew there's always ways in going this place… Going to Prague, or Thailand, or somewhere. And, they're always at the coffee shop. They said, “Can you? How are you doing it?” And I thought, “Okay, my time is valuable. So, I'm going to charge for my time.” And, I've got some 10 students that I teach.
Thomas: And, I teach them these core principles and how it's done virtually, and how to have a system that's proven and works. And in the U.K., it resulted like I'm bringing it to the U.K. because there's not really… No one else… There's a few people who are doing it that I personally know, but there's no one really that's taking it to a level where they can travel and their business doesn't get affected by that.
Thomas: So, they're just treating it like a real business. And, I don't think it's so rocket science as much as people make out to be. But, you just need to knock down and learn from the best, really. Just go to the best. You know, when I've read “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss, I'm just so aggravated. I immersed myself in what he was teaching. I just took action. Well, I think people just need to stop procrastinating, and complicating things, and making things so difficult. Because sometimes, I can be actually scared to take action. So, you're like, “Oh my gosh! That excuse. Or, that excuse.” Well, you just have to get… You just have to do it, really. I mean, one day, if you really want to change… And, my life at that time, I hit real glutton. So for me, I had to change. So, I'm putting a “must” situation. So…
Joe: Yeah. Yeah. Well, you started to teach and coach people now. You've started to do some workshops. You got some workshops coming out in… Are you going to be teaching the stuff now in England, and in Spain, and France, and some other countries? Or, is that what your goal is?
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. Well. Like I said, I've had some small groups and circle clients that I have been teaching on a one-to-one basis. But, I've got a lot of people that came and inquired, and getting in touch with me and said, “I want to learn how to do this, and have a system in place where I can maybe go travel the world.” They just want to stay at home. Maybe, if they want to go out with their kids to a nice restaurant. And, they don't want to drive around to see some house because they feel they're forced to do that. And, it just gives you more freedom. So yeah, I've actually an event coming up. It's… The date is still set in stone because still I need it organized and set up. It's definitely coming. It's mid-April, and it's going to be held in Costa Del Sol. And, it's going to be in a beautiful villa.
Thomas: There are really 10-bedroom villas in it. And, the event's not going to be me up on stage. It's just giving you theories. It's going to be practical. So, we're going to be actually doing deals there and then. And, we're helping people set up the systems. I'm actually making progress on the day. It's going to be a free day, then it's going to be a blast. So, it's going to be awesome!
Alex: Very good!
Joe: I'm really looking forward to hearing how that goes. And, Tom and I were talking before about me possibly coming to Europe and helping him teach and speak in some of these events. I think it's exciting because there is a ton of potential. And, a lot of people… It doesn't matter if you're in the United States or in England. There's always going to be sellers who want to sell their house but can't. And, they're looking for creative solutions. They're looking for investors who can understand how to structure creative real estate deals. And, there's even a lot of people in the United States that could possibly start flipping lease options in England.
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Yeah. Well, like I said, I'm actually flying over. I'm going to L.A. to spend a few months. And that's in…
Thomas: Yay! In the end of February. Yeah, before the event, I'll just have some… I know I've never been to the U.S. before. So, that's going to be a new experience to me. And, my business used a…
Joe: [Chuckles] L.A.? Well, let's talk about this for a second here. [Chuckles]
Joe: L.A. is a beautiful city. But, you probably spend most of your time south and north of there. If you're going to be in the United States for a few months, I like San Diego a lot better.
Joe: It's a lot prettier there. The weather is nicer. There's not as much smog. So, you should go and spend some time in San Diego.
Thomas: Okay. Cool.
Joe: And then, you should also spend some time up in Northern California because it's really beautiful up there. I'm not knocking L.A. I know I have a lot of friends who live there, and a lot of people who are listening to this are from L.A.
Alex: We love L.A.
Thomas: The comments section will just build up.
Joe: No. [Chuckles]
Joe: But, I'm just telling you. Don't spend your entire trip in L.A. Make sure you go down south to San Diego. You go up to San Francisco.
Thomas: Yeah. You know, my plan is… My plan is go to New York and also go to Hawaii for a few weeks. And spend…
Joe: Holy cow!
Thomas: Spend some time there. And then…
Joe: Well, how long are you going to be going?
Thomas: For at least a couple of months.
Thomas: And then, I'm coming back to do the event in Marbella. And, yeah. I'm just showing, just being an example here. Because, everyone can talk about it, but living it is a different thing. So, I just want to show how simple it can be when you have that system up. You know, like you said, it's not for everyone. I'm not trying to acknowledge and sell to people. It's only for people that are serious and want to actually have a business and scale a business. Because even, if there are experienced investors that's now thinking, “Well. I'm already doing well.” But, you can still… There's always a next level. That's what I've experienced. There's always another level when you know there's bigger deals, and different types of strategies that you can implement as well. But…
Thomas: So, yeah. It's going to be more fun than what you think.
Joe: So, are you going to be chronicling your journey and talking about it, like on a blog or on Facebook about deals that you're flipping? Are you going to be actually showing how you're doing this stuff as you travel?
Thomas: Yeah. I will be a doing a YouTube channel and a blog, yeah. I'm putting them on there. I was actually just trying some case study deals on there, and… Yup! Sure. Sure.
Joe: So, if people want to follow you, and get more information about you, where can they go to get…?
Thomas: Well, for now… I mean, I actually got a website coming soon.
Thomas: And, that's… Yeah. That's coming soon. But, they contact me via… Directly on Facebook. And, they can touch base with me, and I can answer any other questions they have. And, generally…
Joe: Sorry. Are you on Facebook as Thomas Wade or Tom Wade?
Thomas: Tom Wade. Tom Wade. And, you can put… I can give you the link if you like.
Thomas: And, you can give that to the rest. Yeah.
Joe: Well. You'll send us the link to your Facebook page, and also the links to those realtor websites. I'm just curious to see those.
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. Sure. Yeah.
Alex: You've got like a candle in the middle of a piece of food or something on your plate, right?
Thomas: [Chuckles] Oh, yeah. That's it. Yeah. Yeah. That's it.
Alex: Is that a birthday celebration or something?
Thomas: Yeah, that was in London. A restaurant. A Japanese restaurant, actually. Hakkasan.
Alex: Oh, wow!
Thomas: It's a really, really nice place.
Thomas: You have to come. Have you been to London, Alex before?
Alex: I have not.
Thomas: Well, you should come.
Joe: Have you ever been outside of the state of Virginia? Have you ever left your house?
Alex: I… Sometimes leave my house.
Thomas: [Chuckles] He comes up.
Joe: Well, he goes… You go down to the beach. You go to Florida once in a while, right?
Alex: You know, the last time… The last big trip that we did the family was…
Alex: …Beaches Resort out in Turks & Caicos. So, I was out of the country. And…
Joe: Turks & Caicos. [Chuckles]
Alex: That was really nice.
Joe: We… Alex, we got to get you, you and your family. I mean, you have four kids.
Alex: I do.
Joe: Beautiful kids.
Alex: Thank you!
Joe: Awesome wife. And, you got to come to Europe with us.
Joe: I'm just telling. I'm just saying.
Thomas: Let's go to Europe, because Europe's amazing. I mean, it's… You got Prague, and Berlin. And, Barcelona is incredible. Have you been to Barcelona, Joe before?
Joe: No. We really want to. So, we're talking about going for maybe six months.
Joe: And, every… At least once a month, we want to travel to a new country.
Thomas: Oh, wow! Yeah. Nice.
Joe: It's amazing how cheap airfare is. When you're inside of Europe, it's really cheap.
Thomas: It's really cheap.
Joe: It's cheaper and faster than the train. To fly around, and so… I mean, you're just looking at… It's funny too. If you look at a map, Europe is actually smaller than the United States. And so, you could fly from Prague to anywhere in Europe for an hour or two-hour flight. It's really nothing.
Thomas: It's like £80, £70, £80.
Thomas: And sometimes, it may be cheaper. So, it's really good. I mean, I recommend… Yeah, Prague. And, you've also got Barcelona. Rome, as well.
Thomas: It's incredible. Rome is a beautiful place. It's really, really amazing.
Joe: We want to do that. We want to go to Northern Italy, in the mountains there. But, we'll talk later because I'd like to get your advice on good places to go and stuff like that.
Thomas: Oh, sure. No worries.
Joe: One of the biggest things I want to do is I want to take a cruise up the coast of Norway into all the fjords.
Alex: Oh, nice!
Thomas: Nice. Yeah.
Joe: Oh, it's just… I've always love seeing pictures of that. But, if there's anybody from Norway…
Joe: …Listening to this podcast, send us a message. I'd love to talk with you. And because, I really, really want to go to Norway and Sweden. I love that area. And, I just love the pictures up there. But…
Alex: I'm Swedish actually. So, yeah.
Joe: Are you? Really?
Alex: I should go visit the home country. Yeah.
Thomas: Oh, really. [Chuckles]
Thomas: And German. [Chuckles]
Joe: Yes? Germany is a great country. We went… We've spent a lot of time in this little town called Immenstadt.
Joe: Immenstadt is really close to where… The famous castle of Costa… No, I want to say Costanza in Prague. Or, Europe… I mean Czech. What's that Neuschwanstein? What's that Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany? Isn't that really what it's called?
Thomas: Um, I'm not actually familiar with that. [Chuckles] I'm not yet down in Europe. So…
Joe: It's this castle that… [Chuckles] It's the famous castle that Disney is designed after.
Thomas: Oh, really.
Joe: I'm embarrassed that I don't remember.
Alex: I’ll go google it.
Joe: But, it's in the mountains. And, it's where we were. It was really close to where some of the mountain ranges where the “Sound of Music” was filmed.
Joe: You can see the mountain at a distance. But anyway, it's beautiful. We love going there. And Alex, I think your wife will… Like my wife, will fall in love with it. And, you can go with four kids.
Alex: You know, you got to wait till the kids get just a smidgen older.
Alex: Because, we got… And, if you don't know, I have… My oldest is six. My youngest… Then, I have another one that's four. And then, I have a two-year-old, and I have a ten-month-old. So…
Joe: That is pretty young.
Joe: Oh, shoot! I just got a text from my assistant that I'm late for this call.
Alex: Oh, Joe!
Joe: “Tell him I will be…” I'm sorry. [Chuckles] Hold on a second.
Thomas: [Chuckles] It's all right. Unscripted.
Joe: Okay. So, I do have to go. So, it's a coaching call, and everybody's waiting me for it. Thanks so much, Tom, for coming.
Thomas: Yeah. It's awesome!
Joe: Are you sure you don't want to give us your website? So that, we'll put a little…
Alex: Maybe when it's done, you give it to us and we'll put it in the notes.
Joe: Well, if he gives it to us, it will light a fire under his butt to actually get it done.
Joe: You see, Tom, I'm doing you a favor.
Thomas: Yes. Yes, it's getting built up in a team. And, the team is busy of that.
Joe: Well, do you have a? I tell you what. Because, it is going to be a few weeks before we this released, because we have to edit it and everything. Will you have it done in a couple of weeks?
Thomas: Um, in a couple of weeks… Well, it's an actual… It's an online program. So…
Thomas: It's going to be www.learn2flipremotely.com.
Joe: Learn… 2…
Thomas: Two. The number two. Flipremotely.com
Joe: Learn. The number two. Flip…
Thomas: Remotely. Yeah, remotely.com. Now, it's going to be a blog in there, and free stuff as well for people.
Thomas: So, they can just track a load of stuff. And yeah, I put it on there, and people can just model it and apply it.
Joe: I'm so glad that you gave us that because it motivates you to hurry up and get that website done. [Chuckles]
Thomas: [Chuckles] Yeah. Yeah. So…
Joe: So, get it done. And then, by the time we release this podcast, it should be up and ready to go. Tom, it's been a pleasure talking to you.
Thomas: Awesome! Yeah, thanks for having me.
Joe: I'm really looking forward to meeting you. Maybe, I'll see you in Spain.
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. Sure.
Joe: We need to talk about that. But even if not, in Spain, you're going to be doing some more. And while I'm in Europe, maybe we could hook up and do some conferences or workshops together.
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Joe: I'm looking forward to that.
Thomas: You know, in the U.S., a lot of people are more familiar with doing it virtually enough. And, I know obviously, you've got Cris Chico. He is an original person. I follow some of his stuff as well. So yeah, I want to be able to give back and help people in the U.K. And, yeah.
Thomas: Get them to doing what I'm doing.
Joe: We just released an interview with Cris Chico, and we don't want to build up his ego anymore than it already is. But…
Alex: Oh, nice.
Joe: Here is another example, Alex. Here is another guy that is, was influenced by Cris Chico.
Alex: There you go.
Joe: All right. Hey, thanks again, Tom. Everybody, we're going to have the show notes and all the links that we've talked about in the show notes at RealEstateInvestingMastery.com. Go look up Tom on Facebook. A real nice guy. It's been great talking to him. And, he also has a website that will be up soon, Learn2FlipRemotely.com. And, I'm looking forward to seeing the good things that you're doing, Tom. Keep up the good work, man!
Thomas: Awesome! Thanks, guys. Yeah! Nice one. Thanks for having me guys!
Joe: All right! See you later guys. See you, Alex.
Alex: Well. See you! Bye!
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