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How To Do Real Estate on the Side When You Have a Full-time Job

A question I frequently get on my coaching calls is how to manage real estate investing while working a full-time job. Doing real estate on the side is a challenge and it’s tough to balance other commitments like family and kids. I quit my job back in 2009 and even though it’s been a while, I can still relate. There’s no easy answer, but you have to ask yourself how badly you want to succeed. It’s important to be disciplined with your time and make sure you’re taking action every day.

Everything changed for me when I hired virtual assistants. Having a steady flow of leads is the key to doing consistent deals and VAs can definitely help you build that momentum and keep it going. The three M’s to success are marketing, momentum, and mentor and you need to have all three. Keep things simple and take a deep breath – you don’t have to do it all. Don’t waste your time on the stupid stuff and don’t fall victim to shiny object syndrome and change your strategy based on the latest investment trends. Focus on revenue-generating activities and build out a team as soon as you can afford it.

Listen and learn:

What’s inside:

  • How to balance real estate while working a full-time job.
  • The importance of the 3 M’s to real estate success.
  • Tips to stay focused.

Mentioned in this episode:

Download episode transcript in PDF format here…

Joe: Hey, what's up, Joe here. REI in your car. Just driving back home from a dentist appointment. Always fun, you know. But I'm not going to complain. Thank God for dentists. I don't know how people survived with bad teeth. You know, back in the pioneer days when they didn't have a dentist. Do you guys remember that scene from the law? What was the movie with Tom Hanks? Castaway, or stowaway. Castaway. Remember that? And he had hit his tooth out with the ice. Ice skating. The ice skate. Oh, my gosh. Oh. Anyway, I got something cool to talk about today. I think. You know, a question I get a lot on my coaching calls is how do I do this real estate investing job business consistently when I have a full time job? You know, doing real estate on the side is a challenge. And I'm sure some of you have that challenge as well. You're faced with the struggles of I got a full time job, I've got a lot of commitments. How do you keep it all going? And I can relate, really, I can. And even though it's been a while, I quit my job in 2009. But one of the biggest frustrations I had for about three years, I was trying to do real estate on the side while I had a full time job, while I had a wife and a family and kids at home and all the other commitments and volunteers, things that we did, you know, I mean, I was coaching Little League T Ball and excuse me, involved with kids and church stuff and it's hard. There is no real easy answer. I think, you know, it's just really about how bad do you want it and how disciplined are you with your time? And I'm not very disciplined with my time. I don't think I wish I was more, but for me, I really wanted it bad. And I started you know, I remember going to some boot camps at the time. There was a guy, Richard Roop, I interviewed him on my podcast a few years ago, and Dan Doran, those were two guys that were together doing some stuff and I really like them. They're inspirational and they would do these workshops and Dan Doran and Richard Roop would talk a lot about We're not in the real estate investing business, we're in the marketing business. And they had one time where they were talking about marketing and they said, You need to time block it, you need to time block your calendar to get the marketing done. It's every day you've got to do something. You know, you need to talk to sellers, you need to make offers. You need to set aside the time to do the marketing, whether it's sending letters or postcards or doing texting, cold calling, looking on the MLS for older listings, new listings and making offers, you know, emailing realtors, you've got to book that time, set aside that time in your calendar. So I started doing that. I started blocking off time of what I was going to do marketing. But for me that didn't work because I would block off the time, but I would be busy and I just wouldn't do it anyway. So it wasn't. Some people can do that really well, right? You're probably one of them, but you put something in the calendar, it's in the calendar. It's going to get done, right? Well, I'm not that way. I wish I was, but so I realized something else. They said later on they were actually advertising a done for you marketing service that does direct mail and it was a premium services expensive, but they had this phrase they used called marketing done for you in spite of you. And I loved that. I thought, Oh wow, that's really cool. I'm going to get I need to get my marketing. Because if I'm not in the real estate investing business, I'm in the marketing business. I need to get my marketing done for me in spite of me. But I didn't want to. I couldn't afford to use their expensive direct mail service like some of you might remember. It was Sales Team Live, I think is what it was called. Gary Boomershine. Some of you remember and I just got like, you know, not that it was bad, but I couldn't afford it, so I never signed up with them.

Joe: But I love that phrase marketing done for you in spite of you. And I started thinking about virtual assistants. And this is about the time that four hour workweek book came out with Tim Ferriss, and I started thinking about hiring virtual assistants to do my marketing for me. And that's when everything changed for me, because I knew that if I wanted to quit my job, I needed to get a steady, consistent flow of leads. I needed to get a steady I needed to keep my pipeline full of seller leads because that was the key to, you know, I was doing deals occasionally here and there. This is kind of what happened. I would, you know, do a lot of marketing, get a lot of leads, get overwhelmed and start working the leads. And I'd have to shut my marketing off and I would make a bunch of offers and follow up and talk to a lot of sellers. And then I'd get some deals under contract, which is all exciting. And then I would start marketing the home, selling it, and then I turn around a month, two months later. And I've made a quick five grand, seven grand or whatever, sometimes two or three grand, but I would make some money. And my turn around, my pipeline was empty. Nothing. I didn't have any new leads coming in, so it wasn't like a light switch. You can just turn on and lead start flooding in again. It takes time to build that momentum. And I realize I started going through these up and down vicious cycles of making a lot of money and then not making any money and going through a 2, 3 month dry spell of no deals because it takes a couple of months, sometimes three months, to build that momentum back up again of consistent marketing. So I was playing this yo-yo up and down game and it was really, really stressful and did not like it. So just from, you know, it's, it's funny because I'm looking back, I remember guys like Richard Roop and Dan Doran talking about this. They get the importance of the consistency in marketing and consistently doing it and building that momentum and holding keeping the momentum so important. But momentum is such an important part of this business. I talked about it over and over and over again. There's like three M's to success in this business marketing, momentum and mentor. You need to have all three. So I realized I got to get the marketing done for me in spite of me. So I hired a virtual assistant and at the time I was sending a lot of text messages and voice messages, voice blasts to landlords who listed where were listing their properties for rent on Zillow and Craigslist. So I hired a VA. I remember I was too nervous and scared to hire a virtual assistant from the Philippines, so I hired a VA from Indiana. I forget her name, but she was really good and she just started doing the marketing for me. She would scrape the leads from Zillow and Craigslist, put them into a spreadsheet, and then would send them, you know, I'd do 20 or 30 text messages and voicemails a day, and then the leads would come in and then I would talk to them at that point and she was as funny. It's a long story side story, but she introduced me to some other new real estate investing strategies. So she started teaching me some things because she said what you're doing is real similar to what another client of mine is doing. You should check him out. And so I did.

Joe: But anyway, God works in mysterious ways. How that opened up so many other doors. I'm actually really grateful for her that one VA that I had. I wish I'd love to talk to her again someday, and I don't even remember her name. She worked for me for about a year. This was back in 2007, 2008, so 15 years ago, 16 years ago. So after that, I started getting more comfortable with using virtual assistants and I hired Vas. All right. So I do have a little outline of points that I want to talk about. When you are in this, you want to do real estate, but you have a full time job. You're working 50, 60 hours a week, you've got a family, you've got commitments, what do you do? How do you do it? Doing this real estate thing on the side is a challenge. It's hard, right? So some points I want to talk about here. Number one, keep it simple. You've got to just take a deep breath. Don't think that you can do it all. You need to keep it simple. And you know, you might have these grand plans of sending 100 emails a day, making 50 cold calls a day, or sending 500 letters a week or and you've got this great marketing plan figured out. But it's not everybody can do that. And don't beat yourself up if you're not able to keep that up. So I'd suggest coming up with a simpler plan coming up, coming up with something simpler, like maybe just ten letters a day, maybe send ten emails a day or do 20 cold calls a day. Five cold calls a day. What if it was just, you know, call five realtors every day, send, you know what I'm saying? So keep it simple. Focus on really small daily activities and keep it simple. Now, in order to do that, you've got to stop doing the stupid stuff. All right? You got to stop wasting time on stupid stuff. What is this stupid stuff? Well, everybody's kind of a little different. Some stupid stuff for me was listening to more courses and bootcamps and workshops. Like I knew what I needed to do. I didn't. I didn't need to get any more education. Now education's important. Thank God you're listening here to this because this is really important. But like you can get shiny object syndrome when you start chasing all these shiny objects because you want to learn something new and there's some kind of secret that you've got to learn or that will. Man, short sales sound fascinating. Those are coming back. What about tax liens and auctions? And the new trend I think now is a set of Airbnb short term rentals. It's mid term rentals, right? Learning how to do midterm rentals to nurses and furnishing houses instead of selling by the night, sell by the month leasing, you know, So like, that's a new thing. So be careful of shiny objects like stop wasting your time on stupid stuff that is not producing revenue. You need to be focusing on revenue generating activities. So stop farting around with the website. You know, stop farting around with a CRM that you're building from the ground up. And if you're into software and all of that, be focused on revenue generating activities like marketing, like talking to sellers, like making offers and stuff like that. Okay.

Joe: All right. Now what are some revenue generating activities? Real simple. You should write this down. Make it a goal to talk to five sellers a day. Talk to five sellers a day. If I mean, if that was your only that was your marketing plan, that would be awesome. That that's amazing. You're going to do deals. I guarantee you, if you talk to five sellers a day in one week, that's 25 sellers you've talked to, that's 25 a week, right? Yeah. And then 100 a month. Can you imagine if you just talked to 100 sellers a month, would you do deals 100 times? Yes, you would. And that could include follow up, right? You can follow up with old leads. Just call them. That could include calling realtors and property managers. You know, look up properties that have been on the market over 30 days that need updating, that need work. Call the realtors up and ask them about the property. The listing agent say, hey, you know, tell me about this properties. Looks like a nice, you know, property, nice neighborhood. What Why hasn't it sold yet? You know, what do you think the property needs to get fixed up? What do you think? Once it's fixed up, what. What would it sell for? Ask questions about the seller's motivation. They're not in a hurry to sell this, right. They've got lots of time. How negotiable are they on their price? You know, they wouldn't accept something in this range, would they? I don't want to offend anybody, you know. Where are they at? If I could get them that price, would they consider maybe some seller carry back financing or letting me lease it for a little while I fix it up and then with an option to buy it? You know what I'm saying? So like call five realtors, five property managers a day, a property manager with them, it's like, Hey, you know, I see you have this rental property here. I'm looking to buy some more rental properties in the area. I'm also looking for a property manager that can manage my properties, but like you don't have any clients, The client of this house, they wouldn't be interested in maybe selling it, would they? Entertain an offer? Do you have any other clients with rental properties that are looking to sell you? Most property managers or realtors offer to pay them a commission. Do you see what I'm going with all this? All right. Another thing is, once you're starting to talk to five sellers a day, it should come natural that you start making offers. A lot of them are going to say, just make an offer. Or they may say, you know, they may not it may not be a good start conversation, but still send them an offer anyway, right? So then make it a goal to send at least three offers a day. You can send offers to older listings on the MLS. You could send you can send offers to old leads. You sent them an offer a month ago, send them another offer again in the mail by email, by text. Send if you sent a cash offer a couple of months ago to a seller, send a new offer with owner financing or subject to or some kind of lease option. Send them a two option letter of intent, maybe a cash offer at one price, and then a little higher price if they would do some seller financing. So another thing you could do, if you're making three offers a day, you will go into court records and find the evictions and maybe just send cold blind offers to the owners of the properties that are going through evictions right now. Cool. What's another thing you can what's another revenue generating activity? You've got talking to five sellers a day. You will make at least three offers a day. What if you send 20 letters a day? That's a revenue generating activity, right hand write 20 yellow letters a day or print them in hand, address the envelopes, put live stamps on them. One of the tricks I like to do is crumple up the paper, you know, crumple up the paper and send re fold it back out right on the letter. Don't throw me away and just say, Hey, do you want to sell your house? You can send letters, yellow letters, to the owners of rental properties on Zillow. You know, look for I used to do a lot of this lease option deals on nicer rental properties. I'd send the letters to the owners of the nicer rental properties on Zillow. All right. So let's review. I was saying revenue generating activities like talking to five sellers a day, make at least three offers a day, send at least 20 letters a day, 20 yellow letters a day. Little things like that, man, that's going to add up to doing deals. And you know, that stuff that you can do in the evenings or on the weekends, Right? You could write letters while you're watching TV at night, while you're reading the paper. Do people still read the paper? In the mornings, right? You can handwrite 20 letters a day. Yeah.

Joe: So the other thing about this, too, it's important that you start thinking about building a team. Building a team you can hire as soon as you can. Soon as you can afford it. Hire a virtual assistant. And there's three things your virtual assistants should be doing for you. Number one, they should be doing all your marketing for you. So they should be the ones Now they can't do cold calls. You could hire a cold call VA, but, you know, maybe, you know, the VA could do a texting for you or send some personalized voicemails for you. I don't know, like send emails for you, do some scrapes. They could go to the county records, court records and look up evictions and put them in a spreadsheet for you. So there's marketing that your VA could do. Think about anything that you're doing. What could you outsource and automate? The second thing your VA should be doing, oh, by the way, the VA with your marketing, if they're not doing the marketing, they should at least be tracking the marketing for you so you can track your KPIs, like how much marketing went out, put have them put it in a spreadsheet, how much marketing went out, how many leads came from which form of marketing that you were doing of those leads, You know, how many appointments did you make or how many offers did you send? So you need to know your numbers, your KPIs, your key performance indicators to know which marketing is working and what's not. So make it the VA's responsibility to track those things for you. It's a manual process, but it's important that way. You can look back and see. All right. Well, I did, you know, 20 deals last year from this type of marketing. I had to make an average of, you know, 20 offers to get one deal. My average profit per deal was 15 grand. So my average cost per lead was this. So my average revenue per lead is this then way you know your numbers and you know. All right, well, if I want to do oh, I need to make ten grand this month, I need to send, you know, 500 letters. I need to make 35 phone calls or whatever. Okay. That's the first thing your VA should be doing, the marketing or updating your KPIs, tracking your marketing and all that. Second thing your VA should be doing is updating your CRM. I recommend and use highly, highly recommend freedom, soft freedom, soft Yoakum But make your VA the CRM expert. Make them the one that knows how it works and how to use it and make them be the one that updates the CRM with the details of the deal. So you just there's a smartphone messaging app called Voxer, and I Voxer the VA and say, Hey, I just talked to the seller Jim at one, two, three Main Street and give the seller all the notes on the call you just had, right? Tell them they're not interested in selling right now, but you know, it's listed with an agent. Remind me in three months when the listing expires to call them back and follow up with them. Go ahead and send them a letter and tell them, Hey, it was nice talking to you today about your house. I know you don't want to sell right now, but if circumstances change, please call me. Thanks. You know where you could say go ahead and send them a one page offer for cash. Offer for 50 grand and remind me in 30 days to send them another offer. Follow up with them. You understand what I'm saying? So you tell the VA to update the CRM for you. The third thing your VA should be doing is all your follow up. So every single lead. This is why it's important to have a good CRM like FreedomSoft, every single lead that comes in, whether it's hot, cold, warm, any of them, you need to follow up with them every 30 days and make your Vas do that. Every lead that's in your CRM has a task assigned to somebody in the future. Don't just status that lead is follow up status. That lead is follow up with a task in 30 days. Right? And then that's your VA's responsibility. It could be an email, it could be a text, it could be thank you. It could be another letter, could be a phone call, voicemail. But make your VA do all of your follow up for you. All right. In the terms of like talking about, again, the working building your team, you've got your VA, you also need to start thinking about realtors. And this is important, especially if you're doing vacant land like I teach and recommend. And do you need to get started thinking about realtors? So now you've got realtors on your team that are doing the work of selling your deals, maybe even bringing your deals, etc. and then finally rounding off your team. You need to get a mentor. You need to get a coach that can hold you accountable to these things. Okay? So critical and important that you get a coach to kind of hold your hand, help you figure out the metrics, ask you things like, Hey, show me your scorecard. What did you do last week? How many offers did you make a coach you need? Whether it's me or anybody, you've got to have a coach that says, Hey, Joe, how many offers did you make last week? You only made three offers last week. And what was wrong? Were you sick? Were you in the hospital? Did your wife die or something? Like, why did you only. That's horrible. Sorry. Why did you only make three offers last week? You're supposed to make three offers a day. You should have made 15. What's going on? How many sellers did you talk to? Oh, you only talked to ten sellers last week. What's wrong? Did you have, like, cataract eye surgery? Did you have an appendectomy? What's going on? A coach is going to hold you accountable and say, what did you do that was more important than this? What's your goal really? Is it do you want to stay in your miserable job or do you want to do real estate and make money doing that? Right? Like wake up, stop focusing on this stupid stuff and do what's important. Focus on your revenue generating activities. You ding a ling.

Joe: All right. So that's not how my conversations go, but kind of. I don't call my students ding a lings. Sometimes they need to be called ding a lings because again, we all do it right. We focus on stupid stuff anyway. All right, cool. You got it. Now go make it happen. If you got a full time job. I know it's hard. It's not easy. Nobody's going to. There is no push button. Get rich quick magic button. That money is going to fall from the sky while you sit in your underwear in your parents basement, flipping deals virtually. Right. You got to work at it. You got to put in the effort. And if you can't do it, get somebody else who can get your marketing done for you. In spite of you. Build a team, get a virtual assistant to do the marketing. If you can't do it, focus on what's most important. Talking to sellers and making offers, that's it. And you'll start doing deals and you start making some money. Then you quit your job and then you can scale if you want. Go travel like you can now start doing deals from Prague for three months like I did twice. Go live in Prague and you can do deals from there just working a few hours a day. Hey, listen, if you want to apply for coaching, I believe you can go to Coach Joe dot net is one of my sites. I do have a coaching program with my good coaching business partner Gavin. If you go to coach Joe dot net, that should take you to an application page. Go check that out. Coach Joe dot net. We'll see you guys. Take care. Bye.

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