[DJ here. This is a guest post from Cory Boatright, who is one of the smartest people I know. Not only that, he’s also one of the most giving people I’ve ever worked with. I have some thoughts about his post, but I’m putting them at the bottom so you can see for yourself what makes him so unique.]
My big “ah-ha” moment was when I sold my first business. The customers were affluent and I would make it a point to spend 10 minutes talking “real life lessons” with them, asking HOW they became successful?
What do you think 90% told me?
You got it – real estate!
It was then I decided to take a full year (actually it was one year and one day) listening to every real estate investing CD and success audiobook that I could find off eBay. I would listen to the entire course (often twice ) and then repackage the course I bought and sell it back “with MY notes” for a higher price than I paid for it. [DJ again – brilliant!!!]
This may not sound like a big thing, but keep in mind, I am a musician. I LOVE listening to MUSIC in my car!
It was a MASSIVE sacrifice to be disciplined enough to ONLY listen to audio courses for a full year.
Even though I never even graduated from school, I have literally hundreds and possibly even thousands of hours of specialized knowledge learning under my belt.
My mentor that sold his internet company for $7 million inspired me to read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I remember when Robert Kiyosaki said “9 out of 10 businesses fail” that I got REALLY EXCITED!
That told me that all I needed to do was start 10 businesses and 1 would succeed 🙂
This line of thinking eventually put me on what I call “Entrepreneur Rollercoaster”. I started or ran almost 40 different businesses/ventures. I’m talking everything from selling 10k Ginsu knives a month on eBay, being a domain broker, selling JewelWay, running an online video cost-per-view company, banner ad companies, selling deposition videotapes for attorneys at 50% of the price they billed clients, selling tens of thousands of baseball, football, and basketball cards (memorizing the Becket book as my edge), running a “Buy Here, Pay Here” car lot, selling semi-truck loads full of broken electronics for 30-50% of value, selling 20k plasma TV’s, digital projectors, creating the ITalkFast mobile app with over 200k downloads etc. I mean man… I really was persistent to find something that worked.
It wasn’t until I starting learning “the art and game” of real estate and how it was played at the highest levels that my life completely changed.
I know I went into a few of the details above, but I’ll give you Cliff’s Notes version.
- I read every book and audio course I could find on eBay on real estate investing
- I took full year and didn’t listen to any music and only listened to audiobooks, courses, cassettes, cd’s etc.
- I repackaged the courses with my notes and resold them at a higher price (essentially getting an education for free)
- I learned you didn’t need your own money or a degree to start doing the business
- I started as a Bird Dog (found houses and got paid $500-1500 by investors that bought them)
- I learned the investors I was getting paid from weren’t buying the houses either. They were wholesaling them.
- I learned how to wholesale (sell the contract) and started getting paid $2500-5000 per property.
- I learned the Investors that were buying from wholesalers were fixing and flipping the houses
- I learned how to start a “fix and flip” business and started making $10-20k a deal (…but hated it)
Then the Great Recession hit.
I got a call from a lady that had a house for sale, but it has ZERO Equity.
I politely thanked her for the call, but told her I was an investor and we only bought houses that had equity.
She told me THE BANK asked her to find someone to make an OFFER on the property.
I reluctantly went out to her house (thinking it would be a waste of time) and made a low offer.
The next day, the lady calls me back 3-way WITH THE BANK LOSS MITIGATION REP on the phone! They wouldn’t accept my offer, but if I raised it a few thousand they would.
This was one of those moments where I felt like the clouds and heavens parted and the sun shined down on me. It was my day of illumination.
I made more money on that house that had ZERO EQUITY than any of the others in the past.
I became obsessive (to say it lightly) about SHORT SALES and focusing ALL my marketing on houses with ZERO EQUITY.
Thanks for hanging with me this far. Now the Cliff’s Notes again.
- I became the local “Short Sale” expert
- I started having lunches, then bigger meeting and eventually paid seminars on short sales
- I wrote four books (all Amazon best sellers) on short sales investing
- I answered over 1,200 posts on EzHud, one of the most popular online forums at the time, and was asked to be a moderator
- The owner of that forum was Chris Daigle (famous now)
- He asked me to create a short sale course and he would do a webinar to sell it
- It took me over six months to create a MASSIVE, two-binder, over 600 page course with CD’s, software calculators, etc
- I told over 2,500 of those courses for $1,000-1,500 each
- I started a Short Sale Builder, a software company that grew to over 5,000 users, with 3,500 paying $97 per month plus a $2,000 set-up fee
- I traveled 3-4 times a months on every stage and Guru you can imagine (that’s how I know all of them today)
- I started a loss mitigation company and hired a senior loss mitigator that worked at Chase Bank (now worked for me)
- We charged 2% success fee on completed short sales and at one point I had students using our software AND our loss mitigation service to do their deals. The most we had was 190 short sales in the pipeline at one time.
- I started offering consulting services at first for $150hr. Then $350, then $750, then $1,000, then $1,500 then, $2k… to where today, albeit not for short sales, it’s $2,500 per hour for one coaching session (I’m not a cheap date!)
Wow… return down memory lane!
Ok almost done.
I met my best friend Jason Medley around 2009-1010 and he was doing transactional funding, but was looking for something different. He was dabbling in software, consulting and JV things, but he decided to start a mastermind called The Collective Genius. I helped seed this mastermind and am proud to be a Founding Member because it’s grown to be THE PREMIER REAL ESTATE MASTERMIND with over 130 members today.
The short sale market TANKED in 2010-2012. We had tons of the short sales approved, but closing failed because our clients where reselling them immediately (new rules for many lenders was you had to hold for 90 days) or have no title breaks.
I had big challenges with my partner for my software business. Basically I was the “expert” actually DOING the deals. He had the technology background and relationships in the tech world. I had expansive relationships and drove sales. He managed the accounting and all the backend part. We grew from $30k a month to $300k+ a month and the dynamic completely changed alongside the expectations for money to employees, like developers, customer services, etc. We had a falling out and lost 70% of our customers (developers went on “strike” and short sales were starting to die), so we wound down the company.
I was also working and traveling so much and under so much pressure from my church splitting up (the pastor was caught wife swapping!) and my wife asking me for a divorce (convenient because she was having an affair) that I literally decided to take four months off and go to Hawaii with a friend who was also going through some intense trials in his life.
That was November of 2012.
I remember it well because after ALL the plans were made, all the amazing adventures booked, the best hotels, the best dinners reserved, the trips all planned was when I learned I was told that I had thyroid carcinoma cancer.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????????? ….like, FOR REAL on my HAWAII TRIP???
I lost thousands of dollars. I had to cancel on my buddy and I immediately left Maui to come back to Oklahoma to deal with cancer.
Gosh… I though I was close to the end, but I couldn’t leave out this part. It was a life changer in many ways positive vs negative.
Now the Cliff’s Notes again.
- I didn’t have to go through chemo PRAISE GOD!
- On Dec 30 (Christmas Eve) I had thyroidectomy surgery and it was a massive success
- My surgery left me VERY SORE for months and I messed up my vocal chords a bit (sucks as a speaker)
- I became a bit depressed, but I decided to journal about being grateful. I say everyday “My worst day is some one else’s paradise”
- I started The Grateful Project and began posting a reason daily to be grateful
- Today is Day 1725 – I have never missed a day since I started posting
- Over 15k people joined the Facebook GP Group
- Three people confessed they were going to commit suicide, but stumbled upon a GP post and decided to live
- Thousands of GP bracelets are worn daily by supporters
So… even though cancer was incredibly devastating news. It many ways, it was one of the best things that could even happen to my awareness about life.
I started spending more time with my 75 year old mom. Till this day we spend every Sunday for a few hours together. This came directly from the cancer wakeup call.
I needed to bring in some income and since my short sale business was done (I also shut down my loss mitigation company) I started to wholesale. Wholesaling was the low hanging fruit and it was no brain damage.
Last Cliff’s Notes (I promise)
- I got remarried (yea!)
- I started marketing for deals that would be best for wholesaling and fix and flippers would love
- I created a wholesale operation that does over 100 deals a year
- I created a Real Estate Podcast (hit #8 in iTunes for Real Estate)
- I started a Consulting Business
It wasn’t until 2016 that I started considering legacy for my wife and kids. That is what led me to learning about multifamily investing.
My friends, mastermind buddies and GC Partners Corey Petersen and Sean Terry were incredibly helpful for starting the fire for this. Of course, all the other inspiring influencers like; Michael Blank, Joe Fairless, Randy Lawrence, Lance Edwards (Big Money, Small Apartments) … Adam Adams (obvious partners in OKC now too) were helpful in there own way too.
Today, having over 430 doors under management through syndication, I am really excited about where this journey will go in the future.
Thank you DJ, for taking the time to share your experiences. I loved learning about them. This is just a little bit about “my story”. I hope it added some value. I appreciate you for riding the “real estate rollercoaster with me.
Remember… be a servant,
Wasn’t that great? Cory is an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur!
For me, the coolest part is that this post originally was a comment to my post on burnout. I immediately recognized its value and asked him if I could re-purpose it as a blog post. Not only is it great advice and a wonderful story, but it shows the value of our content marketing efforts. I wrote that post over a year ago. When someone signs up for our Early Access List, they receive a series of automated emails that includes links to posts like that one. Cory only recently joined our list, so for him the burnout post was new content.
Cory has started, run, or been directly involved with almost forty different companies. He has sold everything from Ginsu knives on eBay, Kirby vacuum cleaners door-to-door, all the way to $50,000 high-end electronics online. Find him online at CoryBoatright.com