Almost straight out of high school, Jason Roberts and Rachel Schneider started their own mortgage company in St. Louis. Working 12-15 hour days, they were able to find great success…..until the market crashed. After filing bankruptcy, losing cars, and a primary residence, they were literally at their rock bottom. But what could have been a disaster ended up being a huge blessing in their life.
They had the chance to step back and figure out what they really wanted in life. They already understood what makes a business successful. And when it comes to businesses, if you understand the mechanics, the vehicle doesn’t matter. So they took everything they knew about running a successful business and started buying short sales.
Because they had lost literally everything during the crash, they didn’t even have enough money to use direct mailings. So they took the foreclosure data, ran it through whitepages.com, did a reverse address search, and started calling the numbers that popped up.
They realized that the core of a real estate business is just having a conversation with someone who wants to sell their house. Relationships are the engine of real estate!
They’ve focused on building the pipeline for their leads, and they don’t worry too much about the ones they lose. And they’ve expanded their marketing because they really think that having their faces and numbers everywhere helps them reach different kinds of people.
If you’re in the Missouri area, they’re offering a real estate boot camp coaching other investors to do what they do on January 31st, February 1st, and 2nd.
Joe: Hey, everybody. Welcome. This is the Real Estate Investing Mastery podcast. I'm Joe McCall and got some special guests that I've wanted to get on the podcast for a long, longtime and I finally got them here, Jason and Rachel. But first I just wanted to do a fewannouncements. This podcast is brought to you by my book, REI Secrets: Daily nuggets ofreal estate investing wisdom to help you get more leads and close more deals. You can getthis for free. Look at this thickness… Aren't you impressed, Jason?
Jason: That's a real book there!
Joe: That's a real… Size doesn't matter. I know what you're thinking, Jason. But like, this book isfree. You can get it at REIsecrets.com. Reisecrets.Com and just daily nuggets of investingwisdom. So, like each chapter is about two or three pages long and just some dailythoughts that you can read every day while you're sitting on the pot and just get someideas of what you can do with the business. I've got my bad humor going on today becauseJason and I go back and forth like this all the time and it's just kind of fun. So, anyway.
Jason: We're glad to be here, man.
Joe: I'm glad you're here too. So, Jason Roberts and Rachel Schneider you are both in St Louis,you've been in the business a long time and you guys are business partners and you'redoing some pretty awesome things and you've got an amazing story. And I was wonderingif you guys could tell me about your story, your history, and that'll give us some context ofwhat I want to ask you about in terms of marketing, right? Like, I love the marketingbusiness. That's what you guys are really known for in real estate—some real cutting-edgemarketing. You do a lot of it, you're good at it. You have had a lot of success with yourclients, with marketing.
Joe: And so, I want to really spend most of our time talking about marketing. But can you goback first a little bit, Jason and Rachel, talk about kind of where you came from and how'dyou get into the business?
Jason: Well, man, that's a, that's an interesting story. I don't know that we really set out on thereal estate investing side. Rachel and I opened a mortgage company at a really young age. Iwas 21, she was 18 and I think it was kind of, timing was a big part of it. You know, weopened that company in 2001 so it was kind of at the start of the re-fi boom that we'rereally, I mean really technically still experiencing right now. Right? I mean I don't thinkrates have really ever gone back up since then. And so, we kind of lucked into that. But itwas a lot of hard work, a lot of hours, a lot of 5:30 AM till midnight days. And you know,we, we kind of took that nothing and turned it into something. We grew that company torun a hundred employees. It became a big, a very profitable operation.
Jason: And, you know, I think we kind of felt like that was going to be what we were, you know…
Rachel: That was our future.
Jason: Yeah. It was our future. And then one day in 2007 came and…
Joe: One day.
Rachel: One day.
Jason: One day. And you know, we went from bringing in millions of dollars a year to losing $60k-$70k a month for a period of about two and a half years. You know, when you have anoperation that size and the money stops coming in, it doesn't mean the expense stop goingout. And we found ourselves in a place where you know, for about two and a half years, welost significant amount of money every month until there was no more money left to lose.I, you know, I found my, my self in foreclosure, I lost my own home to foreclosure, carsrepoed, bankrupted. I mean, just as, as bad as you can financially be destroyed.
Jason: That's where, that's where we both were at that time. And it wasn't financialmismanagement or anything else. It's just, you know, when you, when you lose 60 grand amonth for two and a half years straight, it doesn't really matter how much money you havein your savings or how much, you know, how well you thought things out. There was nostopping that. You know, hindsight looking back on it, maybe we could have just taken ourchips off the table and went a different direction. But when you're in the middle of it, youdon't…
Rachel: You're still fighting for that future that you've worked so hard for.
Joe: I want to ask you more questions about that. Cause Jason, you tell the story of your carsgetting repoed and you're at the Midwest Bank Center I think, right? And your employeesare at the window looking out the window down into the parking lot. Right. And what arethey looking at?
Jason: Man, I mean I very clearly remember me playing like let's make a deal with the repo man.Cause you know when you, I had run inside and, in the car was my phone and my laptopand probably house keys and you know, everything else that you may randomly have inyour car and…
Joe: License plates.
Jason: Yeah, right. Maybe, maybe some plates. I might've had plates at that time.
Rachel: I think you had plates at that time.
Jason: Nine years strong ago. So yeah.
Joe: So, your employees… I'm sorry, your employees though were at the window watching yourcar get repoed.
Jason: Yeah. And I'm shoving all my stuff into a black trash bag and it's raining and I mean, it waslike kind of a movie, you know. And I, I remember walking back into the building with thatbag on my shoulder and looking up and you know, Midwest Bank Center is on the thirdfloor. It's a pretty decent size office complex. There's a lot of people that work in there.And I just remember seeing all those people kind of watch it and thinking, man, what thehell happened? You know, what, what happened? What, where do we, where do we gofrom here? You know?
Joe: Now why, why did you guys wait so long? Like what were you thinking at the time and howwould you have done it differently today?
Jason: I mean, for me it was maybe it's going to be better tomorrow, maybe it's going to be bettertomorrow. Maybe things were going to change tomorrow and no one, no one really knew.You know, at the beginning of 2007 there were around 3,700 licensed mortgage companiesor mortgage banks in the state of Missouri. In 2010 there were less than 300. So, I mean itwas like a 90 something percent reduction in an industry within a year or two. I mean,everyone went under, but…
Rachel: I think you; I think there was also the mindset of sometimes that's business, right? Like youhave those ebbs and flows. And so, this can only last for so long. You know, it wasn't justour industry, it was an economy thing that had, you know, and it's like, at some point, thishas to turn around and don't quit. You know, we're not, we're not quitters and so we'vegot to stick with this. We know that this can come on the other side and when it does, youknow, competition will be weeded out and we will be those ones who, who made it. Andeven at one point we did start transitioning into doing some loan modifications because somany of our clients that we'd had for years were now incapable of getting refinances, pulloff money to pay off other debt or even to keep up with their mortgage payment. And so,we started kind of trying to do that to help them, but it didn't help them. It didn't getanywhere. You know that also then started to bleed us a little bit as well.
Joe: What would you have done differently today? Would you have pulled the plug earlier or?
Jason: That's a, that's a good question, man. I guess one big thing for me is the debt part. Weoperate our personal lives and all of our businesses today completely debt free. We didn'thave an exorbitant amount of debt tied to that business. But you know, we might've had ahalf a million dollars for the printers and scanners and fax machines that were on leasepayments.
Rachel: Cause that's how you purchased things. That's what you got.
Jason: That's what every smart CPA and lawyer and everything advised us to do is, you know, youguys need deductions, you need write offs, you need expenses. You know, you're a cashheavy business. You need to be able to have things to expense. We could've written acheck at any point for everything in there, but I, that would be a big lesson Joe, is that Iwouldn't finance things. I wouldn't roll stuff up. I wouldn't put the company, you know, Iwould prepare the company that, if income quit coming in today, it wouldn't reallynegatively impact us other than, you know, other than that, but, but it wouldn't be anegative cashflow situation, I guess.
Joe: How do you, how do you manage your overhead today?
Rachel: Oh man. We're very financially structured today. So, we actually teach this, you know,financial and setting up your business. And so we call it our financial buckets. And there isan, there is a line item for every expense. Every expense has a certain amount of months ofreserves that we keep in there down to even our incomes, to our health insurance, to ourretirement plans. You know, we could pay our employees for the next eight months andnot bring in a dime and still be okay. And so we intentionally, I think from what we wentthrough, we intentionally made sure that our business was always set up. I mean we bothjust got credit cards, one credit card each, like three months ago so we could start gettingpoints for all this travel that we do because we've just been so anti, you know.
Rachel: But yeah, that's, so that's how we are today. We're just, we're very financially disciplinedand there is, there is a line item for every expense that we have in the business and we'vebeen taking it to the point that, you know, we have a lot of ideas and you know, Jason's ahuge idea guy and so we have, we have a bucket that's just for that. You know, for thethings that we're going to test and try, whether it's 2020 or 2021, every dollar that comesin, there's certain percentages that go to all these different line items that just keepbuilding that up for us.
Joe: Yeah, that's huge. I mean, you guys run a pretty lean ship. You know, I don't know howmany times I've seen you in a bread company, Panera, you guys take up half therestaurant. I'm just kidding. But like that's, that's one of your offices, isn't it? I mean, youjust, you really keep it lean. You manage this. The one thing I really admire about you guysis you really, really manage your overhead and your team and you coach and help peopledo the same thing. That's important, isn't it?
Joe: Because I know I'm, maybe I'm breaking up a little bit on your end. I apologize about that,but you guys sound good to me. So we're, I think we're good. You sound really good. Talkabout, guys, what happened after that? Alright, so did you finally close the doors, whatkind of financial situation were you in?
Jason: So, we were in the worst financial situation and my chapter seven bankruptcy was Octoberof 2010. Like Rachel said, we had kind of started into the loan mod arena like 2009 becauseit was, we actually grew the loan mod side of the company pretty big. And you know, whenthe government gave out that tarp money, there were, if you applied correctly for a loanmod, there was a good chance if it was structured correctly, that you would, would getapproved. And then one day, kind of like the mortgage business, the government just quit.The banks quit approving loan mods no matter what. So we went from having a verysuccessful product to kind of overnight. And all that was really doing, Joe, was keeping usafloat. It wasn’t, …
Rachel: I was going to say, I don't know that I'd say success, but I think if you looked at that side ofthe business you would say success, but for how we were bleeding on the other end, itwasn't doing all that.
Jason: It was keeping us afloat. We never actually officially had to close the mortgage company.At the time that we were completely wiped out, nothing, that's when the market kind ofstarting to change and get better again. And Rachel and I kind of looked at each other andyou know, it was, there was so much pain associated with that downturn, havingeverything. I mean, when you literally watch everything that you've ever worked for inyour entire life be stripped out of your hands right in front of your face and there's nothingyou can do about it… There's a certain level of pain that you associate to the fact that, youknow, we were like, I don't know what we're going to do. But heck with that, that sucked.You know, I'm tired of working 80 hours a week. I'm tired of the grind and like it was allworth it when things were good, but when they weren't good anymore, it's like, you knowwhat? I don't know. It was, it was honestly the best thing that ever happened, to me. To us.
Rachel: I was going to say, it was the biggest blessing, yeah.
Jason: That we could really step outside of that and see that this isn't the way we want our livesto be. This isn't the way we want our lives to look. And that was the same month, samemonth that I filed the bankruptcy; was the same month that Sean was teaching Short-saleWealth Bootcamp and…
Joe: Sean McCloskey.
Jason: Yep. And I didn't know him at the time. It was the first and only time that he's ever donethat. I don't know if you remember that particular bootcamp. It was the first and only timehe'd ever done that for free. Had it not been free, we wouldn't have been there. So…
Joe: I remember that and he lost a ton of money at that event.
Jason: But thankfully for his loss was our game. Thank you, Sean.
Rachel: Thank you, Sean!
Jason: Because we would not have been there if we had to pay a couple thousand bucks orsomething. You know, we would have been there now, but we wouldn't have been therethen because we didn't have to spend. And man, we just, you know, one thing aboutbusiness and having success in businesses, you know, I think when you really deeplyunderstand the fundamentals that make a business successful, the type of business is reallyjust the vehicle or the product, you know, the mechanics of it is, is what works. And so we,while we lost everything financially, what we didn't lose is all the knowledge we had gainedover the last 10 years of, of running a very successful business. And so I think we tookthose core principles and applied them to Sean's blueprint for real estate and said, okay, ifthis guy has done hundred deals, we don't need to reinvent the wheel.
Jason: Let's just happy exactly what he's doing in his business on a daily basis and see if we canmake it better, see if we can tweak it. But at the core, let's just do the, the key things thathe's doing on a daily basis and achieve the same results. So that was…
Joe: What year was?
Jason: That was the end of 2010 and 2011 so we really went from literally being completelybankrupt and wiped out to the point we really couldn't even afford direct mail to we closed111 deals in 2011.
Joe: 111 short-sale deals?
Joe: You didn't have the money for marketing. What'd you do?
Jason: I'll tell you exactly what we did, man. We took the foreclosure data, right, the list and weran it through whitepages.com cause we couldn't afford a good skip trace engine. Soliterally whitepages.com we did a reverse address search on whitepages.com. So, therewere about 150 foreclosure filings a day at that time. And St Louis, our radius from wherewe're at, you know, five counties, St Louis County, St Charles, Warren, Lincoln, Jefferson.And out of those 150 people, we would find maybe 75 phone numbers on white Pages.And out of those 75 phone numbers, probably only 20 or 30 of them, probably 20 of themwere good. But every day we got another 20 and another 20, another 20… So, after a weekwe had a hundred good numbers.
Jason: After two weeks we had 200 good numbers and I mean we literally hammered the phone. Imean I can, I can say it verbatim. I mean I've just called every number. Hey, it's JasonRoberts. I see your house is coming up for foreclosure sale here in the next couple ofweeks. And I was just calling to see if you're interested in keeping it, if you're trying to getout from under it or what exactly you're trying to do. Same thing every single time and justopen up the conversation. You know, just people overcomplicate real estate investingsometimes I think with, you know, at our core the main thing we're trying to do is just havea conversation with people who might be interested in selling their house.
Joe: Yeah, that's all it is, isn't it? It's just it's a people business. It's about relationships.
Jason: For sure.
Joe: Alright, so you started doing a lot of short sales. How long did that last?
Rachel: Oh, man, I got short sales going right now. So, I mean, we've always, we've always been inthat investing strategy. Personally, for me, it is my favorite investing strategy.
Jason: So, when you, well, let's define what short sales mean to you. Are you getting paid tonegotiate the short sale with the bank? Are you getting paid by negotiating, buying it andthen flipping it and selling it? How does that work?
Rachel: Yeah, so its pre-foreclosure data is what you're pulling. That's the data source that you use.And at that time when we started, you know, every property was underwater because ofwhere the market was at. But even today, it doesn't necessarily have to mean that thehome is not worth what the value is. And so, when we first started out, we only negotiatedfor ourselves. And then we actually grew into a business where we negotiated for otherpeople, we negotiated directly with the bank. And that's where that short sales sideactually comes into. I haven't personally touched negotiation in a couple of years becauseit's time consuming, but it's well worth every minute that you put into it from, I've not seenhigher profit checks come from a different type of investing strategy than through theshort sales.
Jason: Yeah, it was definitely a, like Rachel said, you know, it was, we were negotiating our owndeals so we were doing it to flip, we were doing it to make the margin. And I think kind ofas that grew and as we, you know, started speaking and teaching other people how wewere having success in this business, we started finding a lot of people that said, Hey, I'vegot these deals, and you taught me how to negotiate it. But man, that doesn't sound likefun. How about we send it to you? And so, it further, you know, kind of… I remember Seanasking us to share at his bootcamp and we were kind of, I don't really want to share oursecrets, you know, I don't really want to share what's really working well for us and haveeverybody doing the same thing. And I remember him kind of saying, you know, you can,you can choose to have a scarcity mindset or you can choose to have an abundant mindset.
Jason: And I didn't at the time understand how teaching everyone else how to have the successthat we were having was going to be a benefit to us. But we did it. And you know exactlywhat Rachel said, you know, we started to find a lot of other relationships with people thatsaid, Hey, I'll find the deal. How about, you guys already have the machine, you alreadyhave the engine, put it in your pipeline. So, it just added another stream of income for usthat wasn't there before.
Joe: Awesome. So, what is your real estate side of the business look like today? The last coupleof three years you've been really busy doing a lot of deals. What kind of volume are youguys doing? And then I want to ask you about kind of marketing that you're doing.
Jason: You broke up a little bit there, Joe, but this last year we really focused on, for the first timereally ever in our business, we really started to focus on some multifamily acquisition,which is new for us. We've always been in the single-family fix and flip or wholesale side ofthe business. The multifamily stuff was foreign to us, but as we're kind of looking at ourown futures, you know, we have a hard money lending business and that's really Racheland I's retirement. The money that we make in and profit in there, we try to reinvest itback out and we were to a point where we said, Hey, you know, we can deploy some ofthese funds into something that pays us a check every month because our business is verytransactional, right? We don't get paid unless we do deals and I don't think that's a badthing, but at the same time it's like, okay, what happens in time? Or maybe we don't wantto do deals anymore. And so it was kind of a focus on multifamily. We did some really coolapartment building acquisitions this last year that were fun to do, exciting to do.
Joe: Are these, are these big multifamily deals or smaller deals.
Jason: Big to us. Like a 24 unit.
Rachel: Yeah. Which is, which is big for us. I mean we have, you know, you have the people whotake are taking on hundreds and hundreds of units and stuff like that. And we've looked atsome of those and we'll definitely get into that arena. It's just those numbers making senseand being perfect for us.
Joe: Yup. Cool. Alright. Are you still doing houses? Are you doing, what kind of marketing areyou doing now for single family homes or just normal…? You still doing any wholesaling fixand flips?
Rachel: Yeah, absolutely. We really, at this point, after we kind of transitioned, you know, that firstyear where we did those 111 deals, we did not rehab any of them. We were, we werewholesaling everything. The most we ever did to one of those properties was maybe run acleaning crew through it. Other than that, you know, we had to build up capital backup andso we were in and out of every transaction and then we really grew into investing intoprobate deals. And so we started pulling that data and pushing that out. At one point, HUDhad a decent inventory and so who would purchase those properties through there. So,we've kind of reduced our range for marketing just for time sake for us. But we're still verymuch in that probate world, sprinkle in some eviction, different types of marketing hereand there too. Currently we're not doing anything with, with local banks, but we have, afew years ago we were doing some stuff with local banks also.
Joe: Are you guys doing any direct mail right now or cold calling?
Jason: Not direct mail per se. Are you doing any on the sort sales side?
Rachel: No, I'm not doing it on the short sale. I'm all outbound calls right now.
Jason: I'm a big fan of the just get in front of the customer as fast as you can and by as manymeans as you can. You know, I think one of the, one of the things that I wish everybodyunderstood at a deeper level about marketing is that, you know, one of the reasons we did111 deals in 2011 in a market where everyone was marketing to short sales is that wedidn't just only do one dimensional marketing. You know, we were, we were in theirmailbox, we were in their voicemail, we were in their Facebook inbox, we were in theiremail, we were on their front doorstep. I mean we hit them from a million different anglesand we're able to produce, you know, a 10 to 20% response rate as opposed to a one-dimensional method only. Not the, I mean direct mail still works, but at the end of the day,direct mail still is a, is a one to 2% response rate. So, it…
Rachel: And mail doesn't carry the same weight that I feel like it did years ago. We still very muchteach it. It is definitely part of our like multi-touch lead exhaustion that we teach, but wehave to find out what people's preferred way of communication is. And I want to pusheverything out to determine which one of that's going to be, you know, for someone that'sgoing to be the mail. But today you live in a world where bills are auto draw, you know,auto withdrawn and all those things. You're not running out to the mailbox every daynecessarily.
Joe: Anymore I just send my kids to go get the mail right, about once a week. But yeah, we'restill doing direct mail ourselves and it is working. We're finding cold calling is working thebest for us; doing some texting as well. But what other, what other types of marketing areyou seeing that's working well today for you and for your students?
Jason: We're a big fan of voice broadcast. I consistently see a 10% response rate on voice, youknow, ringless voicemail, across all markets across the country. So, you know, we alwaysteach get your data. The very first thing you do when the data comes in is run it through agood skip trace. We need alternative contact than just the information that we can pullfrom the County courthouse or whatever. So immediately run it through skip, hit it with slybroadcast, hit it with text message, hit it with email, hit it inside of social media becausewe never know for sure. Right? I mean a good percent of the phone numbers we get canbe disconnected or incorrect. We don't know for sure we have the right email and just kindof the old 80% of sales happen after the 5th contact. So, “let's try to get to five as fast aswe can” was our thought kind of behind it.
Joe: Yeah, that's a good way to look at it. Are you multi-touch marketing? Oh yeah, the list. Like,who? What kind of lists are you pulling and then skip tracing?
Rachel: Yes, so for us we're, I'm kind of a big fan of just straight to the source. So, I think so manypeople fail to realize that a lot of the data that we use as real estate investors is publicknowledge, so the pre-foreclosure lists, there are so many either, you know, direct linksthrough your county courthouse or even some of some states have a statewide site thatyou can pull that information through or some type of legal newspaper that's getting adirect feed from the county. So, Missouri Lawyers Media is what we're, you know, what weuse here and that covers most of our counties, actually. The probate, the exact same thing,you know, for us here in Missouri you have case net and that is a court, online courtsystem. You know, Wisconsin has one, there's a lot of states that have them and we pullthat data straight from there and not that I don't like the list provider, I don't like the delaythat that causes.
Rachel: And if you're in my market and on your competition, I'm always going to get there beforeyou because there's no delay in me being able to pull that data. Same with the evictions.That's a straight feed for us. Off of that, that case net site and the local base is a simpleGoogle search and that's really not data that we refresh on often. But I have students thathave success with, you know, some vacant list properties and stuff like in particular. Justdid a coaching call yesterday that they're pulling crazy off of that. But when you look atthem, a lot of them were, were probates that kind of turned into these vacant properties,you know?
Jason: But I don't know, Joe, you know more about this than us, but we're seeing a lot of ourstudents that are having really good success right now with Facebook ads. You know what Imean? They're, they're actually running Facebook ads for lead gen for sellers and doingreally, really, well.
Joe: One of the things I've been hearing about, well first of all, before we get to Facebook ads,because I want to talk about that… Pre-foreclosures, we were talking about that earlier.Are you starting to see that rise back up again?
Rachel: Yeah. Yep.
Joe: Isn't that crazy? How long have you been seeing it come back up?
Rachel: It has definitely been, I feel like, the last six to nine months. And it all depends on whatmarket you're in, right? Like how you're seeing it. But there are certain states that aresaying that they're going to increase by like 80% in the next, you know, six to 12 months,which that's an enormous number. You know? And whether they're right or they're not,there's definitely going to be an increase, you know?
Joe: So, what do you, what are you recommending to people now that we're starting to seethat? What do they need to learn? What, you know, what do they need to do to takeadvantage of that?
Rachel: You need to find a proven system for it because it is a more complex strategy, you know,just being completely honest, but it's absolutely possible. And start now. I think the reasonI had said earlier what I really love, why it's my favorite investing strategy is because I'venot found another one that allows me to build a pipeline of properties. And I'm notguaranteed that they're all gonna close, right. But after a while and I build enough of apipeline, it's a math equation, that certain percent I can start to count on that's going toturn, you know? I'm going to lose a certain percent, but I'm going to close a certain percenttoo. So, your only focus right now is just building the pipeline. Don't worry about thoseones that you lose. Just keep building it.
Rachel: And if you don't have the personality type to do the negotiations, outsource it becausethat's, you can go on all the homeowner appointments you want, but if you mess that partup, you'll never see… That's the biggest complaint I hear from people why they pushedback on that strategy is because it's not a fit for their personality. Outsource that.
Joe: Have short-sales gotten easier over the years?
Rachel: You know, I want to say yes, but I think with experience, things always seem easier, right?We've learned so many tricks and have developed relationships and contacts that help usnegotiating in our own deals as well as other people's deals. Right?
Jason: So, you bring up a good point on, on that education part of it. You know, most otherstrategies, not all, but most of the strategies, you know, we're writing a contract and we'renegotiating with the seller and then we go to the closing table. It's not ultra-complex, theshort sales side. I mean, we used to teach a four-day event just on negotiating a short sale.You know, there's a lot that goes into putting that package together correctly. And I mean,just stupid stuff. As simple as, you know, if they are unemployed or you know, they're notreceiving income right now and you don't write a letter, a letter of explanation just simplyfor their income that says, I am not currently receiving a paycheck and you submit that file,the lender's automatically going to decline it. And they may not tell you why.
Jason: And so, as an investor, you say “Short-sales suck. I mean, these things are hard. They don't,they don't ever get approved.” When really it was, it was your method of submission thatcaused it to not get approved. But you don't know that, you know. So, I think Rachelbrought up a really good point is, is start paying attention to it now so that when this shiftoccurs, when this change happens, you hit the ground running. You know, it's definitely onour radar that we would absolutely flip that switch back on as we start to see that turn.
Rachel: We'd turn it up. Yep. Absolutely.
Joe: Yeah, that's good. So, you guys are, you're starting to teach a lot more. You've been doingthat for a few years now and you have a lot of really successful students. One of thefavorite things that I've used a lot, Jason, that I've heard you say before, and I actuallyheard Sean McCloskey say that you said this, you made a list of everything that you need todo in a business and you ask yourself a simple question, which is what? You rememberwhat I'm talking about?
Jason: I know we just talked about it at lunch the other day, but I don't remember specificallywhat you're referencing.
Joe: How can I do none of this? Right? It's just, and maybe I'm misquoting you for having saidthat. I don't know. But ever since Sean McCloskey told me that, it's really radically changedmy thinking. Like, listing all that you gotta do and thinking, how can I do none of this? Howcan I get systems and people to replace me and do this for me so that I'm not the clogthat's, that's tying everything up? Right? Can you talk a little bit about that? Because it'shad a huge impact on me and my business and as I've taught this stuff over the years aswell myself, it's made a big difference in a lot of other people.
Jason: Man, I think that we, that was something we learned… I mean, we've been self-employedfor gosh, 19 years now and for the first 10 or 12 of it we did, I mean, we did a lot of thingsright, but we did a lot of things wrong, man. I mean we ran a successful business, but wewere a slave to it. I mean it was a 12-hour work day every single day. So, I think thatsomewhere along that line, you know, we decided we don't want this business to run ourlife anymore. And it came, it came down to, you know, I think every entrepreneur, nomatter how big the company is, even a fortune 500 company, you know, you're only as bigas the owner's ability to delegate or to be able to just keep themselves where they'resuper, super strong. And I think as we started to learn more about what her strengthswere, what my strengths were, and then look at ourselves and say, this isn't what we'rethe best at, you know?
Jason: And one of the, one of the things that really got me thinking about that was one of mycoaches back when we had the short sale business said, you know what? I was kind ofsharing, yeah, we're making a lot of money and things are good but I'm not super happy.And he said, well why aren't you happy? I said, I think cause I'm doing a lot of the thingsthat I don't really like to do. And he said, okay, well, well why don't you just work for thenext month or two on changing business where you're only doing the part that you really,really like? What's the part that you really like? And I said, well, I like the homeownerappointment, you know, that's kind of my favorite part. So, he said, all right, let's, whydon't you build the business in a way you only do the homeowner appointments?
Jason: So, over the next couple of months we really transitioned it to where my only job wasmeeting with homeowners. I mean, I'd have a 10 o'clock, 12 o'clock, two o’clock, and a fouro'clock, you know? I mean, I would just meet with sellers all day long and after a couple ofmonths we sat down again and he said, you know, Hey, how's it going? And I was like, it'sgoing well. And he said, are you happier? And I really thought about that. I'm like, youknow what? I don't really like this either. You know what I mean?
Jason: Like it was a really crazy, weird feeling and I felt like, I'm not being ungrateful. I'm not beingunappreciative. Like I'm blessed that we have a business again and we have money again,but I'm not like fulfilled and happy. And that's when it really hit me for the first time everthat I enjoy the building, I enjoy the creation, I enjoy the visionary. I enjoy the challenge,but I don't necessarily enjoy long-term running any spot on the assembly line. I can, but I, Iwill lose interest in it.
Jason: And I think that's really kind of what got us thinking. You know, if I was going to come andconsult on your business, Joe, I wouldn't, I wouldn't assign myself a job because it's not mycompany. It's yours. You know, I wouldn't, I wouldn't assign myself to be your outboundcaller cause I gotta go back to my own business. And I think as we started coaching andconsulting other people, I was like, man, we need to take our own advice. We need to, it'snot really a business if we assign every single role to ourselves.
Joe: Yeah, that's really good. It's, it's asking bigger and better questions. You guys are, arereally, really good at that. We've got about five or 10 more minutes. And what do you guys,what does your business look like today? I want to talk more about your, you're actuallytraveling more, you're speaking more and you're training people and you're havingtremendous success with students… way higher than the normal average. We've sat andtalked about this before over sushi and it's pretty amazing what you have going on. Talk alittle bit about what are you seeing as you're traveling and you're speaking to people. Whatare you seeing that's working well for them? What are you teaching people? What are you,what are the most important things that you're, you're training them on right now? Doesthat make sense?
Rachel: I would say for me the biggest, like where we always start with somebody is, and it soundsreally simple, but it's conditioning yourself to take massive action and really committing towhat it is that you say you really want. You know, us being introduced to creating visionsfor our lives and visions for our business and then that business is designed to serve thatpersonal vision that you have was life changing for us. And it is something that we havecarried in everything that we've done. And it always comes first. And so once you make,you know, once that vision is created, you're committing to that. And I'm not going to say,you know, I don't like to sell the dream that, you know, you write it down, this is yourvision. And then like this, everything starts happening. You know, you, you have to put in, Icall it the hustle period. You have to really work, but that, that hustle time, that reward isso big, but it takes a lot of massive action in the moment once you make that commitment.And for so many people, I see they have all these opportunities in front of them, butthey've not conditioned themselves to act, act, act, act, even if you don't know what youshould be acting on, you have to do something.
Joe: That's good. Good, good. What were you going to say something, Jason?
Jason: I was just going to say that I think the other side of that is we try to do a good job ofputting students, putting people in an environment where there's almost forcedaccountability. Meaning that when you're at your day job and you don't turn in your work,you get fired. Right. I mean you get written up, you do it again, you get fired. It'sconsequences. There's consequences. In our own businesses and our own self-employment, there isn't, there is a consequence but we don't see it. It's not an immediateconsequence. At work if we don't come in, we get fired, immediate consequence. Overhere if we don't work, we don't see it. But the reality that's happening, I meanconsequences really happening is that you're not changing your life. Everything's going tobe the same and in 10 years are still going to be going into that nine to five that you hate.But it's a delayed, unseen consequence, I think.
Joe: That's such a good point. Really, really good point. Like so what are some of the things youdo as a coach to force that accountability?
Jason: One of the fun things that we like to do is, is create painful consequences. You know, welet the student kind of pick, but…
Rachel: For reward, right?
Jason: For reward. People will always move away from pain quicker than they'll move towardspleasure. So, rewards are great and I think that you should reward the success that youhave because I think it conditions you to have more success. I think it's good, but when youreally have to get in the habit of doing something that, you know, people say for 10 years Iwant to diet, I want to work out and then they don't do anything about it. And thenmiraculously one day they start dropping weight and they're healthy.
Jason: Nothing really changed in that 10-year period of time other than the commitment levelchange. Right. They didn't like learn some new secret or anything. They just, they justmade a decision to do things differently. So, I think we tried to create an environmentwhere the pain of not doing it is greater than the pain or the uncomfortableness of doingit. Right? Like I get you work, you work a nine to five, you're working 40-50 hours a weekand you get home sometimes, the last thing on earth you want to do is skip trace somephone numbers and sit on the phone for an hour or two when your wife, you haven't seenher all day and your kids are running around. They haven't seen their dad. And you knowwhat I mean? I get it. But I think a short term limited sacrifice now to be able to possibly ina year or two from now be able to be at home and take your kids to school every morningand pick them up every day and you know, work two or three days a week instead ofseven… I think that's probably a pretty good trade off.
Rachel: Yeah. So, we model very much around that or small group accountabilities, you know, wereally, that accountability is so imperative.
Joe: What are some examples of pain consequences that or your coaching clients will givethemselves? That are clean, Jason.
Jason: Well I will give you one. Personal health and fitness have kind of been something that inthe mortgage business, I mean really forever, we worked a lot of hours. We ate primarilyfast food and there wasn't time for the gym. And so, I was one of those guys that for 10years said that I want to be healthier, I want to work out, I want to do those kinds of things.And I never, never did. And finally when I went through that kind of vision process, youknow, my gym appointment got put on my calendar for 2:30 every day because that wasthe point where I was going to stop working for the day and I was going to go to the gymand I don't know how many years it's been now, five, six years.
Jason: I consistently go three to five times a week every single week for that 2:30 spot. No matterwhat, anybody that's close to me or that I coach knows that if we have a half day, it ends attwo because I go to the gym at 2:30. It's just something that has been important. However,I wasn't really doing any cardio and so I made a commitment to our coaching group that Iwould lose… I think it was like 20 pounds by our next retreat and about a week and a halfout of that commitment, I was right at the 20-pound loss. I mean, I was there and I had aweek and a half left. And then on a whim, the last minute we decided to go to GrantCardone, his last 10 X conference. And so, we flew to Miami and I like to eat. I like nicerestaurants. We like to try new restaurants, new food, new culture… like, that's somethingthat I enjoy.
Jason: And so of course, you know, we're at every seafood and steakhouse and cool restaurantthat we can find in Miami for that time. And by the time we got back, I was like one or twopounds over my goal. And so, I sat in the middle of our mastermind and everybody tookclippers and shaved all my hair off bald, which may not bother some people, but itbothered me. That was a… that was an extremely painful consequence for me. So, I think itkind of matters the person too, you know, what motivates them. I mean, we had one ofthe girls in our group write a letter, she had a medical condition and it was, it was a seriousmedical condition, a medical condition that if she didn't clean up her diet would havesignificantly negatively impacted her for the rest of her life, to the point where she couldn'tdo normal daily things for their children.
Jason: But if she did clean her diet up, there's a chance she would probably be completely fine.And she was struggling with finding the motivation to just eat right. A consequence thatwas big enough. And as we started to dig down deeper, we realized, you know, her familyand her children were the most important thing is to her. And so, I had her sit down andwrite a letter to her children that basically said, sorry guys, but you know, I'm selfish and Idon't care about you guys enough to change these, these habits that I have. I don't careabout you enough to spend my future with you. I more care about myself and just be, Imean, it was really hard, dude. I mean, I was, I had tears. She had tears. I mean, it wasbasically writing a letter to your children and saying, I don't care about you. Good luck inlife.I mean, as a parent, I think that's probably one of the most painful things you could thinkabout doing is telling your kids that I don't really love you. I don't really care about you. Itwas all kind of a joke. I'm really a selfish person. All I care about to myself kind of thing.And the agreement was if she didn't make those changes by the next retreat, she wasgoing to have to bring them in the room and read that letter to them in front of everyone.And she instantly was like, I will never ever let that happen. There is no way in hell I'mgoing to read that letter. You know? And she changed. I mean, she changed a habit thatshe hadn't been able to change for six or seven years and she changed it for 120 days. So, Ithink it's, I think it's impactful to find out what that trigger is. And if you really, really wantsomething, right, I mean you don't want it, don't do it, but if you really, really want change,if you really, really want something different than paint yourself in a corner. Because Ithink when we're forced to show up, we show up, you know?
Joe: Wow, that's really good. That's true for me. It's true for me. All right, so how can you guysget ahold of you? You guys travel and speak and do events. We have some online stuff thatpeople can get. Talk about really quick. Where are you going to be speaking next? Do youhave any ideas or plans yet? And then how can people find you online?
Jason: Our next three-day bootcamp, which is our favorite thing that we do, we don't bring inoutside selling speakers. There's no one in there pitching products, and I'm not sayingthat's bad. I mean I went to 10 X and probably spent 10,000 bucks on, I want to constantlyeducate myself. I'm just differentiating that this three-day bootcamp isn't a pitch fest. It isthree full days of nothing but content and it's our baby. We have a blast. That's our favoritething that we do. I mean, lives get changed in that room every time we do it. Our next oneis January 31st, February 1st and February 2nd in Kansas City. So, Friday, Saturday, Sunday,right? Harris KC North, I think is where we're doing that.
Joe: Nice. So again, just repeat those dates. The end of January 1st few days in February inKansas City, Missouri.
Jason: Yup. January 31st, February one, February two.
Joe: Good. And where can people go to get more information about that?
Jason: Man, I think the best place to go is go to our Facebook page. It's just REI Blueprints. Wehave a ton of training content on there. All of our event dates and registration are onthere. If you are planning on coming to the January one, I would recommend getting onthere quickly cause we'd normally, we normally try to cap our events at a hundred peopleand we always said a hundred. So, it's, we've made it inexpensive, we've made itridiculously cheap. I mean it is definitely, I don't know, I hear people say stuff sometimes. Itsounds cliché but I don't feel like God put us, at least us, you know me on this earth to fliphouses. I mean it's always been a vehicle for us and you know, I get on stage and I say I'mnot this crazy passionate about real estate guy and sometimes the owner of the REIA kindof looks at me like, what are you doing here then?
Jason: And I think it's that I share, it's a vehicle, man. It's a vehicle that makes a lot of money in ashort amount of time and allows us to spend our time doing what we're here to do, whatwe enjoy doing. And we have found a lot of personal enjoyment in taking people that grewup in kind of lower middle-class incomes and teaching them how to have a life they'd neverever thought that they could have. Like taking somebody that's been in corporate Americafor 20 years and their marriage was falling apart and, in a year, and a half time they've,they've paid their car off, they paid their house off and they quit their $100,000 a year itjob and they're able to experience life now. I mean, flipping houses is fun, but there'snothing more rewarding than really having a big impact.
Joe: That's good. So, do you have any other events planned after that yet?
Rachel: Yeah, we'll be in Wisconsin first weekend of May and we'll have a boot camp there.Speaking a little in St Louis in March. And then we kind of roll into, we'll be Atlanta, Floridain June. So yeah, we've got that events page updated with everything for registration.
Joe: Good, good. And again, the best way to reach you guys is through your Facebook page. Justlook up REI Blueprint, right?
Jason: Yep. You can go to REIblueprint.com but we really put most of our content and training andyou know, we update more of the Facebook page rather than the website.
Joe: Good. Nice. Well thanks Jason and Rachel for being on the show. Sure, appreciate it. And Ilook forward to… We need to have lunch again or a coffee or something pretty soon withyou guys. And so again, guys, go to Facebook, do a search for REI Blueprint. You'll findJason and Rachel there. I highly recommend these guys, you know. If you have anythingthat they have said that's resonated with you guys, you need to go to one of their three-day boot camps. I've heard from other people outside of who Jason and Rachel haveconnected me with that their events are life changing and they have a huge impact. Theirstudents have a lot of success personally and business. So, it's, I would just reallyencourage you all to check them out. They're good people, even though they're from StLouis, they're good people. So, thanks again guys. Appreciate it. And we'll see you all later.Well take care.
Jason: Joe, you're awesome, man. Thanks for having us, brother. We appreciate it.
Rachel: Thanks so much!
Joe: Thanks. We'll see you guys. Bye bye.