In this awesome episode, I’m talking with Collective Genius founder, Jason Medley.
Jason ditched corporate America and started his own mortgage company and found great success. But it was short-lived – when the market crashed, his company went down with it…
But he learned invaluable lessons and turned everything around through focus, masterminds and the power of connecting with other investors, which is exactly what we’re talking about it this episode.
Today, we’ll cover why focus is the name of the game, and why you absolutely have to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and from whom you can learn and grow.
Let’s get to it…
Listen and enjoy:
- 3:15 – Jason tells us how and why he got started in REI
- 12:42 – How Jason was able to reinvent himself and get back on his feet
- 22:09 – Why simplification is key
- 27:09 – Jason’s 3 facets to Mastermind
- 38:40 – How to get involved in Jason’s Collective Genius program
Mentioned in this episode:
Intro: Welcome. This is the Real Estate Investing Mastery Podcast.
Joe: Hey everybody. This is Joe McCall of the Real Estate Investing Mastery Podcast, and I’m with my good buddy, Jason Medley. How are you, Jason?
Jason: I’m excellent sir. Honored to be on board with you today.
Joe: I am honored to have you on my podcast and I’m dead serious because you’ve been such a good friend over the years. I remember when I was first getting started in this business seeing you dance around the stage selling things.
Jason: That’s my former life.
Joe: With all your flash and dazzle.
Jason: Yeah, all my sizzle.
Joe: All your sizzle.
Jason: I’ve retired all that. Just so everybody who’s watching and listening… Just so you know, that is… I used to have the moniker, the nickname, “Money Man Medley.” Money Man Medley is collecting dust right now so…
Joe: No, but it’s really been cool to get to know you, and the purpose of this podcast is severalfold. Number one, I want to talk with you about the power of masterminds.
Joe: And, the power of connecting with other investors that are doing bigger and better things than you are. You know the saying goes, “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room,” right? If you are smarter than all your friends, you need to get new friends, right?
Jason: Sad but true.
Joe: Right. So, the point is you need to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, people who are doing more deals than you, and people who are where you want to be. And so, I had the honor and privilege of being part of a mastermind with Jason in The Collective Genius for how many years now? Three?
Jason: I think you’re… Yeah, I think you’re coming back for your third year right now.
Joe: Third year?
Joe: It feels like four.
Jason: And that’s common place in CG as well. I mean, we have a lot of growth over the last years but a lot of our folks stick and have been around for a long time which a mastermind is not always so common, so I think we’re doing something right.
Joe: Yeah, It’s crazy. And a lot of times, in the podcasts in the past, I’ve talked about being at a mastermind or hanging out with some guest or host that we have on the show, and a lot of those people that are on the show are from the Collective Genius. I’m sorry; I just got distracted for a second there.
Jason: It’s all right.
Joe: But anyway, so I want to talk with you, Jason. First of all guys, go to RealEstateInvestingMastery.com, RealEstateInvestingMastery.com to get the show notes of this show, to get the links that we’re going to talk about later on, and to find out how to connect with Jason and get a hold of him, RealEstateInvestingMastery.com. So Jason, why don’t you give a little story of your journey? I mean, how did you get started in real estate? You’re lending a lot of money.
Joe: And you got tired of the whole… Well, you share your story because it’s really fascinating.
Jason: Sure, sure. I got started in real estate and finance back in 2009, and I had been in corporate America until I was I guess about 30 years old. Just finally, for lack of a better term, got the cojones to step out on my own. And, I went through a really trying time in my life from a health perspective, and got back on my feet, and I was trying to figure out what was next and in corporate America, it just didn’t…
Just going back to corporate America, it just didn’t seem like what my future entailed. I’d always wanted to do something on my own. So I started… I got in the mortgage business and after a year, basically wound up in a place where I started my own company. And then, for about five, six years after that, grew that business doing decent volume at the time, and it went from 75 to 100 loans a month. And then, the market…
Joe: 75 to 100 loans a month?
Jason: Yeah, there was a boom. It was a refinance boom. I will even touch on that because I learned a very valuable lesson, and something that I think a lot of folks can take away from this call, a very valuable lesson from that crash. The bottom line is when the market crashed, my business crashed with it. And so, in effect, the lesson I learned from that is that a market can drive your success. In other words, you’re not necessarily responsible for it. You are just kind of getting in the way of the traffic if you will.
And so, when I got my butt kicked back in ’06-ish, ’07-ish, it made me realize that the market made me look like I was successful. I wasn’t all that. But, that was a good turning point for me, because I’ve realized I had to be able to generate a lead. If you can generate leads in your business, whatever business you are in, you actually have a business. So, that was a pretty epic turning point for me and that’s when I started really doing some studying on marketing and so forth.
But, I had worked a lot with real estate agents referring me deals and so forth. So during that time from that crash, I was really trying to figure out what’s next. What do I do? I developed the skill set. I had knowledge over the last six or seven years in the mortgage business. What’s next? Everybody was kind of panicking for lack of a better word.
And I went through a process, a filling out process where I started negotiating short sales for… And probably at that time, nobody even ever heard the word “short sale,” right? I started negotiating short sales for realtors. Then I was like, “This dollar per hour is not working out,” so I started flipping short sales. And through that process, there were some rules. And the reason I did it is because I had really gotten kind of wiped out for… I lost my business, lost my marriage. I didn’t have any money. I was at, as I call it, BBD which is “Broke, busted, and disgusted,” but I don’t want to ever go back there again.
But, the reality of it was I started flipping short sales because you didn’t need money to do it, right? You could negotiate to buy a house for $200,000 and then you can sell it for $300,000 the same day and you could use your end buyer’s money. That’s $300,000 to pay your $200,000 purchase price and obviously take the difference and so forth after closing costs. And so, I was doing that. Things were humming along fine.
I started to actually get back on my feet and they changed the rules on this. It basically stated that you could no longer use your end buyer’s money. So, on that situation I just gave you, it was like, “Hey, you can’t use that $300,000. If you bought the house for $200,000, you got to bring the $200,000” and I’m like, “Even though I only need it for a couple of hours? I still got to bring it to make it, right? It’s got to be that formal.”
And, what I felt at the time was a curse, because again I was just… I had put blood, sweat and tears into learning how to flip short sales, starting to build some momentum and then boom! I had a car to pull out, and what initially felt like a curse turned into one of my biggest blessings which… The funny thing is in life at the ripe age of 43, you start to realize, that’s just how things work.
Jason: Usually your biggest challenges and curses turn out to be blessings and turning points. But, the point being is I realized that a lot of people would need money for a day, right? I got to bring the $200,000. I’m selling for $300,000. I don’t have the $200,000. If I was dealing with that, everybody who was looking short sales was going to be dealing with that. So, that was the turning point for me.
When I raised some private money, actually over time it turned into a commercial credit facility and we started lending money to people flipping short sales for one day. And, through that process of educating people and teaming up with other educators who were teaching how to flip short sales, I teamed up with folks on their trainings and their webinars and said, “Hey, you teach them how to do it… You teach them, I’ll fund them.”
Jason: Right? And so basically, through that process of being on other people’s webinars and so forth, I kind of developed a following, if you will, during that time frame. I gave away a lot of content, a lot of teaching to help people better their business. And, I was in another mastermind for marketing and kind of ran with the idea that I should try this myself.
I was sharing a room with a very close friend of mine and Joe knows him very well, Kent Clothier, out in California just masterminding. He kind of looked at me and he’s like, “Why don’t you do this? You got the borrowers. You know who the heavy hitters are because they’re borrowing a lot of money from you, and then you’re well connected and that you have a platform in which you have people kind of following you through the Internet and so forth.” So, that’s where I started.
Joe: What year is this?
Jason: That was probably 2008 when Kent and I were having a conversation. By the time, I actually thought through it and built it out and made it kind of to life. It was probably 2009 when CG or the Collective Genius… You already referred to the Collective Genius as CG. When the CG finally came to life, it was 2009. January 2009, I think it was. I can assure you it had not start out where it’s at right now.
Jason: After my first meeting, I can remember almost being in tears because I shoot for the moon as I’m sure Joe does when you are an overachiever and when things come in short, it’s decimating, but you dust yourself off and you can pick back up and you keep moving. But really, I was just in the right spot at the right time. I knew who’s some power players were as far as investors because they were borrowing money from us three, four, five, six, seven times a month. If you’re doing that many deals a month, you’re doing pretty well. And I also had a lot of exposure because of the training I was doing on the Internet.
And so, that’s kind of my short story. CG is now about five years old, and I’m super blessed to have just really what I would consider the elite investors and educators from across the country in this group. As far from a deal perspective, I’d say that those guys are doing anywhere between say 75 up to 600 deals a year. So it’s… And then, there’s guys who also have solid investing businesses and are also top-notch educators like Joe, like Sean Terry, like… It’s just an amazing group of people, and it’s extremely powerful what happens when we all get together.
Jason: That’s the beauty of it.
Joe: I want to talk about how… You seemed like you’ve reinvented yourself a few times in the last almost ten years now.
Joe: You’ve been doing a lot of mortgages that stopped, then you started doing transactional funding and did real well with that, then you started teaching that stuff and did real well with that. And then now, you created this mastermind and throughout that process, I was just thinking of the book “Who Moved My Cheese.” Have you ever read that book?
Joe: It’s a great book, and if anybody hasn’t read it, you should pick it up. You can read it in like half an hour to an hour. And, it’s simply looking at where did the cheese go, where in the market is the… The market is changing. You got to learn how to change with it. When the demands of customers or clients change, how are you going to change with it? And the other thing that I have seen is… And you’ve talked about this a lot in the mastermind, how you’ve kind of reinvented yourself and you keep on simplifying your business…
Joe: …Keep on bringing it back to, “You know what? I don’t need to do all of this stuff to be happy. I don’t need to make all this money,” even though you are doing this very well, but I don’t need to have this huge business and all of these activates to be happy and content with my life. And so I really… Could you talk about how you’ve kind of…? Right now, you are in a place where you feel like, “I’m just going to be focused on one single thing. I’m going to be the best at it as I possibly can…
Joe: And, I’ll stop being distracted by all this other stuff.” Can you touch on that?
Jason: Yeah. And again, these are places you arrive to after you get a little wisdom. You get knocked down a few times and you get back up. And I think too, I’m at a point in my life just as you are Joe, there’s just… You’re moving into… It’s kind of like half time when you’re in your 40s if you will. You’re halfway through. You learned back. You’ve learned a lot. Now, you’ve got some wisdom and you just look at making decisions differently and what is important to you. I think also, it really changes. I just had my first child. She’s 14 months old.
Jason: Yeah. I’m speaking to my better half over here. This guy got a little tribe on his side, right? But I just… I think that one of the things that I’ve always struggled with and I think a lot of entrepreneurs do is that because you’re talented, because you’re creative, because you can do a lot of things and do them well, you think you should.
And sometimes, that is our… Lack of focus is our own worst enemy, because when I look at one time all of the different things I was doing between running a mastermind, transactional funding company, speaking, creating funnels, I was doing… There’s only 100% of me, 100% of my effort, right? That’s it! And when you divide that up amongst 10 things, what you end up doing… And I guess I’m speaking from my personal experiences, what you end up doing is doing ten things marginally…
Jason: …Instead of one thing with complete excellence.
Jason: And, when I embrace that kind of quote if you will, what I just said, when I stopped doing ten things marginally and start doing one thing with complete excellence, things really changed for me. I want to profess this. I’m not Donald Trump by any means, not even close, but I do want to say that relentless focus will make you rich. It has completely changed the stratosphere. I’m not even… I mean, as far as what my income looks like today being relentlessly focused versus what it did look like four or five years ago, it’s probably triple.
Joe: I remember in the last CG, I wrote that down because you said that.
Joe: Focus will make you rich. So everybody, write that down. And JP or you guys who help me with the podcast, you’ll make that a tweetable, all right? Focus will make you rich. That’s huge. Okay, I’m sorry to interrupt.
Jason: Yeah. And it is… I’m in the process of being blessed with that right now, and it’s difficult because I have, as most of us do that are entrepreneurs, we have a creative itch or creative seed that needs to be watered. And, what I have learned to do over time is to discipline myself when I feel that I’m getting bored, or I need to start something new, or like when I get that feeling, instead of just charging forward, I kind of come to a place of rest and say, “Okay, Am I going to go to an entirely different garden?”
I’ve got this one right here. It’s groomed, and it’s beautiful, and I’ve put blood, sweat and tears into it. It’s fertilized and everything is blooming. “Do I want to go to a totally different garden and start watering another seed that’s going to take blood, sweat and tears?” and while I’m watering that seed, weeds start popping up in what I’ve worked so desperately hard to build and make beautiful.
Jason: And so, when I feel that itch, I say no. And, we’ll have another tweetable moment here in a second too in regards to no, but I come back and look at my existing business and ask myself, “How do I scratch that itch, that creative itch within the parameters of my existing business?” And, you can usually find a way to do that while staying on track and staying focused, right? Without taking you off or without having weeds growing in your garden that you’ve worked so hard to create.
And so, the question or the challenge becomes is “How do you?” because a lot of us struggle with that, right? We struggle with focus. We struggle with… I need to scratch that creative itch or water that creative seed and the key, I think, is finding ways to do it within your existing business. Joe, that’s where Generous Genius came from, right? Like, I was looking at all these different directions and now I got…
Joe: Oh, you got to talk about Generous Genius. You got to talk about the last mastermind we did when we raised money for toys.
Joe: How much did we raise?
Jason: We’ve raised right around $47,000 bucks in an evening.
Joe: That’s amazing. Yeah.
Jason: And, one thing before we get into that though, I want to… For me, here’s another thing that should be quotable, tweetable, whatever you want to have out of this. When you’re an entrepreneur and when you are surrounded by high-level people, a lot of opportunities are presented to you, right? “Hey, let’s do this Joe. Let’s do that Joe. Let’s do this.” And, the thing that I… Another thing, if you want to write it down, tweet it, whatever is that the best answer to 99% of opportunity… Most of the time, 99% of the time, the answer to new opportunity is no.
Joe: Well, and…
Jason: 99%. Go ahead.
Joe: Yeah, we also talked about the right question to ask is “What?” not “How do I make?”
Jason: Well, and here’s how you determine you answer really and that’s why you figure out most of the time that it’s no. It’s when you look at new opportunity; the right question is not necessarily to ask what it’s going to make you, but was is it going to cost you, right?
Jason: If somebody brings me a new opportunity and they say, “Oh, Jason. We can do this and you can make an extra $300 grand,” and I start calculating the time, effort, and energy that it’s going to take me to make that $300 grand…
Joe: And, the opportunity cost by taking on that and not doing something else.
Jason: Yeah, yeah. And, you start to calculate what is it going to take, how much time is that going to take with my family and what would it take for me to make an extra $300 grand in my core existing business?
Jason: Right? For me, that would take getting about 13 or 14 new CG members.
Jason: That’s far easier than going and starting a business that doesn’t have any leverage at its focal point, right? So, first you ask yourself the question, “What is it going to cost me?” versus “What is it going to make me?” Start with that first. Know that 99% of the time, the answer to new opportunity is no, and then if you’re actually really heavily considering it, then look at your core business and say, “What would it really take me to make that money I’m going to make in this other opportunity if I press harder on my core business?”
And most of the time, not all the time but most of the time, to make that same amount of money or grow your existing business which already has leverage and momentum is not going to take near as much effort and strain. And, I’m just at a place in my life where I don’t like effort and strain.
Joe: Because of your days off, right? I got it. I got it.
Joe: Some people think you are lazy but it’s not. It’s about being focused.
Jason: Well, what would the word be? It’s about being focused and it’s also about being calculated. Why do you have a business, right? Like, I love business. I love what I do. I’m passionate about it. It didn’t get here without being passionate. But, I have also created it to develop a certain lifestyle for me, and that lifestyle includes a lot of time off. That doesn’t make me lazy. That just made me calculated.
Joe: Yeah, I totally get it, really. If anybody is lazy, it’s not you.
Joe: I know that.
Jason: I can’t be lazy and run a mastermind for five days. That’s for sure.
Joe: So, having that kind of perspective is so critical in business and in life. And so often, we are stuck in the trees, right? We can’t see the forest. We’re in the details. We get all these crazy ideas and we think, “Okay, I can do this, and I can do that, and I can do this, and I can do that. What’s the big deal?” But, when you can step back or have somebody else to see from a 30,000, 40,000-foot elevation view and see what you’re doing, and see what you’re good at, and what you are not good at, and can point out to you, “Hey, you know what? Have you thought about this? Do you realize that if you do that, you are going to be missing out on this? Or, you’re not really… Your strength is not really there, Joe.”
I’m speaking from… This is what I have been getting from the last three years in Collective Genius. I have all these great fantastic ideas. I want to do them all. It’s one of the drawbacks, I think, of being an entrepreneur. You get all these great ideas, but unless you have somebody that can say, “Whoa! Take it easy there.”
You don’t need to do all of that. You already got a successful business. You’re already doing really well doing this. Why on earth would you change that?” And so, that’s the biggest thing, I think, I get out of every time I come to CG. It’s thinking, “All right. I get a lot of great ideas, but I just need to simplify things. I need to simplify things.”
Jason: Yeah. Simplification is complicated. Complicated is easy, right? Complicated is easy. I mean… But simplifying, simplification is very difficult, very complicated. To focus on simplifying… Just like yesterday, a perfect example, I started a new IRS. It’s called the “Cash Balancing Plan” I put a chunk of money in there and a particular investment I was looking. And, this is a perfect example of actually how a mastermind works and the benefits of it. I’m actually looking at putting about $80 grand into a fund that one of my members is actually running that buys distressed notes, Joe Eidsvik, right?
Jason: And, they have two different propositions in there. You can get a rate of return or you can take an equity position and potentially get a much higher return. The Cash Balancing Plan that I have, the way it’s structured, it doesn’t allow me to enter into the fund from the equity position standpoint, unless there’s an entity in front of the Cash Balancing Plan.
And honestly, I’m considering whether or not I want to move forward strictly based upon the fact that, “Oh, my gosh. I got to put an entity in front of it. Okay, it’s not that complicated but it’s just one more thing in life that I have to keep track of or figure out how to keep track of,” right? And again, that was yesterday. I don’t know the decision that I’ll make, but the point is that I’m thinking that way, right? I’m always looking at, “Great! I think I can make some money over an investment. It sounds well. But, wait a minute, is it too complicated? Is it too…? Is it not simple?
Jason: And so, it’s just a way of thinking and guarding simplicity and guarding your time. You got to remember why you started the business.
Joe: Exactly! And I was thinking also another book I read that I’m going to highly recommended to everybody, “The Pumpkin Plan.” Have you read that yet, Jason?
Jason: I read it, yeah, because you told me to.
Joe: Oh, I just love that book. I need to read it again. It’s all about discovering what your giant pumpkin is. And, what these guys do is they buy these seeds for like $1,000 or $1,500. It’s really expensive. It’s from this one guy up in Vermont or something like that, and they buy this seed and they plant… They buy several of them and they plant them. That pumpkin starts to grow and it has many branches that go out, and they look to see which pumpkin is going to be the most promising, which pumpkin looks like it’s going to be the biggest.
And then, they simply just cut everything else out, and then focus all of their nutrition, their energy, the sunlight, the water onto that one branch with that giant pumpkin, that pumpkin there, and that pumpkin continues to grow and grow and be the prize-winning giant pumpkin. Fantastic book and anybody listening to this should get that book. That is why while you were talking, I was writing down all the guys that I can think of that I’ve done business with in CG.
Joe: Peter Vekselman is a guy that I’ve partnered with on deals and in the coaching business. We’ve made… I’m not going to tell you how much. I think you know, but we’ve made quite a bit of money together.
Jason: Let’s just say it’s well over seven figures. That’s fair enough.
Joe: That’s fair enough, yeah.
Joe: That is true. Kent Clothier, I’ve done business with him. I’ve even hired him to do some consulting and coaching for me. He has helped me promote some of my Podio products and stuff. Sean Terry, done deals with him. We’ve been friends for a long time. Jack Bosch, we’ve done things together. Todd Toback, Eddie Speed, Larry Goins, and then there’s several people that I’ve helped set up their Podio set-ups. And, there’s a lot of…
Jason: That’s a new opportunity that you’re bringing into life right now that you’re going to make some money from a CG.
Jason: Yeah, absolutely.
Joe: A lot of these guys I either partnered with on deals, partnered with on coaching, done consulting for them, paid them for consulting. I look at every year when the question comes up, “Should I join CG again?” because it’s not cheap. I’m like, I’m asking the question, “What would it cost me if I didn’t join?” right?
Joe: It’s like, “Oh, my gosh! There’s so much business that I would lose.” And just again, getting advice from other people that are better than me, that are more successful than me, doing more deals than I’m doing, have bigger coaching businesses than I have… getting their advice and their feedback because they’ve been there done that.
And, I think and a lot of people think after they see these guys, they’re like, “I want to be just like him.” But then, when you talk to them and they say, “You know what? You don’t want to be where I am,” right?
Joe: “I’ve been there done that. I have that T-shirt and it’s not worth it. You need to simplify and do this instead,” and getting that feedback is so invaluable.
Jason: Well, to me, there are three facets of a mastermind. There’s feedback and input because everybody comes and shares what they’re doing that’s working in pretty detailed fashion. It’s almost like, “Hey, you’re in Saint Louis. I’m in Tampa or in LA. We’re not in each other’s market, so I’m just going to show you and give you everything I’m doing. I grew my business 31% last year.
Jason: Then, you have the aspect of, “Okay, that growth created these two problems and these two problems are killing me,” and then everyone acts the board of directors to kind of help you solve those problems. And not only solve them, but solve them in a much quicker manner. If it were to take you six months to solve the problem, it might take you two weeks to a month, right? And so, you got the information in that format.
The other thing is the connections, and I think that’s what a lot of people struggle with. Like, “I’m an investor in Dallas. How am I going to fly into this mastermind? And, how is anybody? How is some dude in Cleveland or some guy in Atlanta or some guy in Oklahoma City going to help me grow my business in Dallas? Like, how does that even work?” And so, to give you kind of an example, I was going to show, Joe, like one of the things that we do…
Joe: Good, good. I was going to ask you about that.
Jason: You see here. These are really just dots being connected, right?
Jason: And what those dots orchestrate, they’re my members. Some of my members, their faces are in all circles.
Joe: Go on and say… Tell that story of who those guys are and how they connect with you.
Jason: Okay. I’ll do my best that I can. For example, Joe Lever, right? This guy is in Cleveland.
Joe: He’s hilarious too.
Jason: Yeah, and inside of the first year, he sold over 62 houses to CG members like Ken Corsini. Ken is in Atlanta. He’s a turnkey provider. He provides rentals that are already rented and knocked up ready to go. Ken invested a lot of his profits with Mike Selonick who is out of New York and he’s a hard money lender.
Jason: Well, Mike that turns around and lends that money to guys like Darren Collins who’s a rehabber in Collective Genius out of North Carolina. Well, Darren’s business is exploding because his model, Todd Toback’s postcard system and scaled, and in addition, he’s been introduced to a hedge fund… And by the way, Todd is in San Diego, and he’s been introduced to a hedge fund, sorry about that, by Eddie Speed who started buying property from him. Eddie is in Dallas. So you’ve got Cleveland, Atlanta, New York, North Carolina, Dallas, San Diego, and so the point is that when you get in there, it just happens.
Jason: Because I mean a lot of people have that question when they are like, “How are some…? How are these guys from all across the country going to impact my business?” And that just tells you there how the… You’ve got the information component. Here’s what I’m doing. Here’s how I’m doing it. But, the connection, the networking component that happens with guys all across the country is just amazing.
Joe: Yeah, it is. You could do a dozen different diagrams like that with different folks…
Jason: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.
Joe: …All over the country doing crazy deals and…
Joe: I would say…
Jason: A perfect example, my perfect example, right now, Mike has got probably half of my retirement account in his fund. I could go and just talk about some of the things I’m doing with these guys as well, right? I lend money inside the group. I mean, everybody is doing stuff together above and beyond the informational side of the business, right?
Joe: Oh, yeah. I would say probably… What would you say? 25% of the guys are in the info business, but there are those that are still doing a lot of deals. But, 75% of the guys and girls are doing deals and doing a tremendous amount of deals. I mean, talk about some of the guys that are doing a lot… Because I named off mostly info guys.
Joe: But, talk about a few of the guys that are doing a lot of rehab, doing a lot of wholesaling. We got this guy in Indiana. How many HUDs does he wholesale and like how many states? I don’t know.
Jason: Wayne is probably… Wayne Shaffer, he’s probably in three or four states and he is… I think he has projected this year to do about 220 deals. You’ve got guys like Brad Chandler out of DC who’s probably going to rehab 140 to 160 houses. You’ve got guys like Mike Osborne out of Northern California who last year probably did 240 transactions. I mean, I could go on and on. I would say the vast majority of folks in CG are doing triple figures. I mean…
Joe: You got guys too that are sending 30,000, 50,000 postcards a week as well. It’s just…
Joe: When you got that kind of massive volume, people who are like just massive action takers and aren’t afraid to take calculated risks, you can learn so much from those guys, right? And, the coolest thing too is when we sit down with these masterminds; we are like, “Let’s talk about what’s working today. What is working today?”
Jason: Not only can you learn from them, but they can help you make pivotal transitions in your business. And, what I mean by that is like a gentleman I just mentioned, Mike Osborne, right? I mean, big numbers, 240 rehabs a year. He had a business really driven around just buying properties at auction, right? And so, when the hedge funds came to Northern California and showed up in his sandbox and had a bigger checkbook than he did, that was a problem.
Jason: He had a very operationally-based business, so he had to make the transition. He had to look for what is next. He never had a business driven by marketing and sales like 30,000 to 40,000 postcards a week. So when he comes to CG, he can immediately gravitate to all those people that are doing that and he can make that transition and those pivots in his business as a market changes with smoothness and with ease and with speed versus sometimes something like that can put somebody out of business.
Jason: Right? Like we were talking, if you don’t find out where your cheese got moved man, you can be done.
Joe: Oh, yeah. And, it’s constantly moving.
Jason: Yeah. And so, as the market changes, always somebody in CG is a frontrunner, and everybody else can kind of watch them as they dial things in, and then they can change their business accordingly, versus being what is it? The frog that sits in the hot water until it boils or something like that?
Joe: I heard that isn’t true. It’s one of those urban legends but…
Joe: I know what you’re saying. It’s like it’s the… There’s another story about frogs.
Jason: Don’t stick your head in the sand. You know.
Joe: There’s another story of a frog. There were two frogs that fell into a can of milk, of cream and both frogs were swimming and paddling. Have you heard this story yet?
Joe: Both the frogs were swimming and paddling and one said, “I’m just going to give up,” and the other frog said, “No, don’t quit. Don’t give up. Keep on paddling. Keep on going. Don’t give up.” Well, the next morning, the farmer comes out and he looks into the bucket and he sees one frog is drowning and the other frog is sitting on a pad of butter,” right? Well, anyway, I don’t know what that has to do with what we’re talking about, but you mentioned the frog.
Jason: Well, I think the key is that sometimes like you’ve got to change like that when a hedge fund shows up in your market, and that’s kind of a dated thing. But, my point is that if you’re not careful, you’ll be the frog that’s drowned versus if you can sit on the butter by being in a group like this where somebody else has already figured out. Like for example, that all started down in Phoenix.
Jason: Well, that’s happening in Phoenix and it’s going to spread. All my guys outside of Phoenix got to see what was happening to the guys in Phoenix.
Joe: Yeah. Uh-huh.
Jason: How did you react? How did you make it through? How did you join them when you couldn’t beat them, right? So they get to absorb all of that without feeling the pain that maybe the guy in Phoenix had to feel.
Joe: Well, I think we’re seeing that too now as well with postcards and direct mail. It seems like a ton of people are doing postcards and direct mail. So now, the content in the last one or two CGs has been, “All right…
Joe: …So, we’re relieved. How do we convert them better,” right?
Joe: How do we get better at follow-up and making offers, sales and negotiating? We’ve got guys in the group that are really good at that and we talk a lot about guys that can operate as you do your sales, and how to find, hire and train people that can help you close more deals.
Joe: We staying ahead of that. I love that. So, I’m going to see you in a couple of weeks. I’m coming down to San Diego.
Jason: Yes, sir.
Joe: You are coming from Florida. That’s a long flight.
Jason: I’m Joe McCall’s studio baby. I’m taking the family and we’re staying for a month.
Joe: Are you really?
Jason: Yeah, yeah.
Joe: Good for you. Where are you staying?
Jason: We’re staying… We rented a house on the beach in La Jolla for a month.
Joe: Did you find it on…? How did you find the house? Just curious.
Joe: Oh, man. I love that. In fact, we’re going to Prague and we found… We’re leaving for Prague in the end of June and we’re staying at a furnished flat for three months, and we found it on HomeAway.com which is a sister website to VRBO.
Jason: Yeah, yeah.
Joe: And, it’s so cool. I’ve used that over and over again. Now, in Airbnb, you can find places on there as well. But good, you’re going for a month?
Joe: That’s good for you.
Jason: Well, we have… I have the two CGs in May and a month later, the third, and so we’re just staying.
Joe: La Jolla is beautiful too.
Joe: You’re not staying near the coves, right? You’re staying a little farther away from the stink?
Jason: I mean, we’re right on the beach, so I don’t know where those coves are, but in Bird Rock. We’re right at Bird Rock.
Joe: Bird Rock is nice.
Joe: So you’re close to Kent?
Joe: Okay, Bird Rock, that’s nice. There’s a place called “The Cove.” Well, I won’t get into that.
Joe: I’ll make some enemies with all of the animal lovers. Those of you from St. Louis or San Diego know what I’m talking about. So anyway, Jason, how can people get a hold of you? How can people get more information about Collective Genius? Listen, guys. I don’t get anything out of promoting or talking about Collective Genius. I asked Jason, “Hey, can I bring you on this podcast because I’d like to talk with you about it?” because I think people will… Even if CG isn’t for you, there’s a tremendous amount of value that you can get from finding other like-minded investors, finding other people that are doing what you want to do or where you want to be, and just networking with them, and building relationships with them.
But, I know a lot of people listening to this are going to be interested in Collective Genius. It’s not for everybody. It’s invite-only. You have to actually be interviewed by the man here, Jason. And, this is what keeps people coming back, the high-caliber people that are in there. We… I almost said we know because I don’t want to build myself up. But like, I wouldn’t come back to CG year after year if I knew there was going to be a bunch of ding-a-lings coming in there who just had enough money to join, but really they didn’t have anything to offer. Does that make sense?
Joe: So, talk about the application process, and how can people get a hold of you, and get more information, Jason.
Jason: Sure. The thing that I’d like to say first and again this is what makes CG special. Please don’t take it as an effort to create separation or anything, it’s not. But, the high-caliber folks are really what make it special. And so, unless you’re probably doing a minimum of 50 deals a year, whether they’re wholesale, rehabs or buy and holds, 50-something, maybe 50 loans if you’re a hard money lender, whatever it may be, it’s probably not the group for you. There are exceptions, okay? Very few and far between, I’ve got folks in LA, they may be doing 15, 20 deals a year, but what they make off of those 15, 20 deals a year because of the market they’re in places them into an income level that is very significant.
So, there are exceptions. It’s not a hard rule. Bottom line is you need to be a player as effectively is kind of what I’m saying. And, the way that we structure it is… If you want to get more information about it, you can go to the TheCollectiveGenius.com. And what happens is, you’ll kind of become abreast of how things are structured, who’s going to be there, how the meetings work, and from there, if you want to learn more, it will take you to basically a very short… I think it’s seven or eight minutes, like a video conference where I’ve interviewed some of my folks. It looks kind of like on TV where it got like six boxes and I kind of go around and they talk about what they’ve gained from the mastermind.
And then from there, if you’re interested, it is an application invitation only. So from there, you go to an application. We’re looking to get some basic information about you: what your market is, how many deals you’ve done. Also, I have a pretty stringent vetting process. If you say you’ve done 83 deals and you’re a rehabber, then we’re going to go on county records or make you provide us with county records showing that, right? And then, we want to know what your strengths are, you weaknesses are, what you really need, what are the things you need?
So that way, when we go on the phone, I can immediately or I already know. You’re in Birmingham, Alabama, and you’re a turnkey provider, and you need to move more units? Not a problem. I’ve got the biggest podcasters in the country that are driving front-end buyers for those turnkey units. I’m going to place you with Jason Hartman or I’m going to put you like so.
The bottom line of the application is it gives me one, a sense of the caliber of investor you are, and two, it allows me, as soon as we get on the phone, to start telling you how I can help you and get you plugged in, right? From there… And this is something that I think is very different in any other group is… I don’t want to… I’m fortunate enough to say at this point. I don’t want to invite someone to become a member of the Collective Genius after a 20 or 30-minute phone call. At the same time, I don’t expect someone of high caliber to make the decision to become a member of the Collective Genius over a 20 or 30-minute phone call.
So, what we do is we’ve created an environment that works for everybody. And, the way that works is after our phone call, if I feel good about you and you feel good about me, you basically come to the first meeting, the first Collective Genius and you don’t make… There’s no investment upfront, right? And what that enables and why that’s a win-win for both parties is that at the end of the mastermind, I’m able to step back and see how you contributed, what value you brought.
How did the other members feel about bringing you or having you on board? Can we help you? And, you as the investor get to say, “Hey, I drove the car before I bought it. I was here. This is a group of rock stars. I want to be a part of it.” Or, if the fit’s not right, I don’t extend the invitation or you chose not to accept it. So, I’ll also tell you that there’s… This is a true mastermind. There’s nothing sold. There’s no product being pitched. There’s no… None of that, zero, period. It’s very clean and I don’t even sell the mastermind. Have you ever seen me, Joe, in the three years you’ve been in there stand up and push people to join?
Jason: We have a simple conversation at the end of it and I say, “Hey…” If after seeing what you contributed, I feel you’re the right fit, it’s usually a simple question, “You were here. You tasted it. You touched it. You felt it. You smelled it. You’re in or out because we would like to have you on board.”
Jason: It’s really no more of… There’s no fancy 90-minute PowerPoint presentation. It’s just, “Hi, you’re here. I’ve checked you out. You’ve checked us out. Are we on the same page?” It’s that simple. There’s no push. There no pull. It’s none of that. I’m not in a place where I need to do that, and I’m also inviting people where they’re at a caliber where they’re probably not going to receptive to it anyway, so we structured an environment where there’s no pressure on anybody. And if you want to check it out, like I said, you can go to TheCollectiveGenius.com.
Joe: TheCollectiveGenius.com, right?
Jason: Yeah. And, you can get more information there.
Joe: That link will be in the show notes. Talk real quick, Jason, about the size of the group. Is it like 150 people jam-packed in a room with rows of chairs facing a platform?
Jason: Yeah, I know. See, what you just described is an event, right?
Joe: I know. And, there are some masterminds out there that are like that.
Jason: Correct! And, I’ve really worked hard to preserve the true mastermind format. There are 90 people in the Collective Genius, but they’re split up in the groups of 30, right? So, we maintain a small core group where you’ll have foundational relationships. But, the way we structured it is we’re always bouncing those other groups off your core group, so you get to make new connections with the folks in the other groups. Like for example, in May when we go to San Diego, I’ll have one group come in. They’ll be there Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
The other group comes in Tuesday night and they show up Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. So what happens in there, Wednesday, in addition to the core group you spent two days with, now you’re being injected and molded into another group of 30 guys making new connections and structuring new deals and new joint ventures. In the next quarter, you’ll butt up against the third group. They’ll be the ones that come in on Wednesday. So, you got your core group, and we maintain that mastermind format, and that kind of intimacy. Maybe, that’s not the right word.
Joe: It’s not that kind of group.
Jason: Yeah, wait a minute. So, that’s the format. They’re about 90 folks in it broken down to three groups. But, you are constantly meeting, and mingling, and creating joint ventures and new relationships with folks in the other group.
Joe: Right! And there’s… They meet four times a year in different parts of the country. It’s usually Florida or Southern California, right?
Jason: Yeah, usually Tampa and San Diego. It’s quarter by quarter, one quarter Tampa, one quarter San Diego, one quarter Tampa one quarter San Diego. Occasionally, we mix it up. At the end of the year, we don’t have three separate meetings. We have one. We come together as a unit. Last year, we did that in Scottsdale, so all 90 of us, if you will, were there…
Joe: That was great. That was a great event. If we do that again, we should do it in Phoenix, by the way.
Jason: Yeah, we’re going to be doing it again this year.
Joe: Let’s do it.
Jason: It’s already on the slate and that was a lot of fun getting everybody together. That end of the year thing is more like an event because you just can’t really do a mastermind with that many folks, but the end of the year is structured that way. A lot of fun, we do synergy meetings where you meet and identify with people that can help you with your most important objectives, and then you lock down.
You sit down with those people and start to figure out how you can work together, and how you can make money together, and how you can get from zero to 100 much faster. We do synergy meetings at that last event of the year. I think too, Joe, and this might be a good place to kind of bring things home, is CG is way bigger than business. It’s definitely the reason people come, but I really think the primary reason people stay is that we have a sense of community, a sense of family.
One of the guys, a friend of mine, Darren Collins, we were talking on the phone there other day and he said to me, “If I had to put… If I had to do the hand to make a list of five people, if I call them at 4 o’clock in the morning and said, ‘Hey, dude. I’m in some trouble and I need you to get on a plane and come here and help me.’” He said, “A lot of those five fingers would be taken up by guys in this group.” And girls… We got girls in there too. But, my point is our last 30 minutes have been really driven around business and stuff. In reality, a lot of us are there, and we’re going through life together.
Jason: And, we do share some personal stuff, but that’s what creates the bond at a much, much, much deeper level. So, that’s just something I wanted to throw in there. You’ll come for business. You’ll stay. The business becomes a side effect, I think, of really at the core of what drives people to stay on board. They’re a good group of folks, right? Check your ego at the door.
Jason: None of this, and just gear down and be a solid human being.
Joe: Since this is going out to our podcast, I was thinking about how many different podcasts we usually do have in the group, and it’s pretty crazy to think about. You got Jason Hartman, Matt Terrio from the Epic Real Estate Investor. A lot of these guys listening to this know these podcasts. Sean Terry from Flip to Freedom, Todd Toback from No Limits and he’s restarting his podcast, Mike Hambright from the FlipNerd.
Joe: Ken Corsini has his own podcast, The Deal Farm.
Joe: Jack Bosch now has the Forever Cash Podcast which is excellent.
Joe: And, he’s doing that with his wife if you didn’t know that.
Joe: It’s awesome. And of course, ours is the Real Estate Investing Mastery. That’s eight. Is that right?
Jason: That’s probably about half of them. There’s…
Joe: Eight guys with podcasts. Who else?
Jason: Yeah, yeah. If I got at my roster, I‘m sure there’s probably 20. I would say there are probably 20 people in CG that are doing podcasts. We just had Mack and company out in Chicago. They do almost 400… Oh no, over 400 turnkey transactions a year out of Chicago.
Joe: That’s right. Yeah.
Jason: They’re starting a podcast. I would say there’s probably… I would say you probably named off about half of them. I don’t want drop our screen and pull out my roster and start digging through it.
Joe: This isn’t the podcasting mastermind but…
Jason: Yeah. But, that’s what brings it power though. Like, you have folks like that who have mega followings, and they can create a buyer for your property, or they can create funding for you. Like, there’s just a lot of magic that happens. And, if you were to go in Google or not Google, but search iTunes and type in “real estate investing,” I’d say probably the top 10 of the top 10, half of them are in CG.
Joe: Yup. It’s cool.
Jason: Yeah, for sure.
Joe: Great place to get a lot of the good information, get a good perspective, fresh perspective on your business…
Joe: …And build some great relationships along the way. Jason, you’ve been a great guest. I sure appreciate having you on this show, man. We should start a Collective Genius Podcast.
Jason: I think about it sometimes, but you know when I do, I go back to that simplicity in my focus.
Joe: Yeah, I know.
Jason: I’m blessed enough right now. We actually got a little waiting list going on after capping membership to 90 in December.
Jason: So, I’m just trying to stay relentlessly focused. And see, that’s a commitment, right? Podcast is a commitment every week or more often and I… That just kind of goes back to what we were talking about when we first started. Well, I look at everything that way, because simple is hard. It’s easy to complicate things, and now I’m doing a podcast. I’m going to start to do a webinar.
Jason: It’s easy to lose track of focus. And, that focus is what can make you rich, not just from a money perspective, but from a time perspective.
Joe: Focus will make you rich. Maybe that would be a good title for this podcast.
Jason: Been a pleasure. I’ve enjoyed it. I hope folks who listened got something out of it, and if you’re interested in coming and checking us out, feel free to visit that site. And Mr. McCall, thank you as always. I’m honored to have you as a member.
Joe: See you.
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