John Bowen has only been part of the Tribe for about five months, and he’s starting to gain a lot of traction. He’s made a few mistakes along the way, but he’s learned from them and now he has a lot of momentum.
The First Deal
John was a little skeptical of Wholesaling before he began. However, he trusted the Investor Grit system, followed the steps, and took action… and it paid off.
- John started by finding a high equity absentee owner list, and then narrowed down who to target by finding a heat map of real estate purchases in his area.
- He targeted the hot areas and sent out the Tribe’s traditional, hand-written white card mailers.
- He was contacted by a property owner who lived out of state, and John listened to everything he said intently until he found a pain point: the seller was paying taxes on the property every year, and they’d never even seen it.
- Before even seeing the property, John decided to put it under contract – there aren’t a lot of 10 acre lots in Greenville, NC.
- He then discovered that the lot was already zoned for a mobile home park.
- John accepted the first person who wanted the property. This was probably his biggest mistake because, shortly thereafter, two more people contacted him interested in the property, so he probably could have gotten even more.
- However, John kept his word and sold the property for $55k, which earned him $16,000 from his first deal.
- On top of that sweet assignment fee, John was able to add 10 new cash buyers to his list because they saw his listing on Craigslist and were interested in future properties.
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- The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity: A Simple Guide to Unlimited Abundance by Edwene Gaines
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad
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Cody Hofhine: Welcome to another episode here on Wholesaling Inc brought to you by Investor Grit. My names Cody Hofhine. And today we have a rock star rhino out of South Carolina. He lives in Greenville. This guy’s name is John Bowen and he’s married, has three kids, one grandkid, and he has only been part of the tribe for about five months. But in talking to him, something started to turn on about the last two months and he’s gained traction and momentum has come to help him along the way. And so this gentleman has really started to just make massive amounts of money in wholesaling. And so he’s going to share his story today.
So those of you listening for the first time, we’re talking about wholesaling where we find deeply discounted properties over and over again so that we can then turn them for huge profits. And John is going to deep dive one of his deals, in fact, his very first deal and why it meant so much to him and how that first deal has led to his success over the last couple of weeks and over the last couple of months. So with that being said, John, let’s bring you on. How the heck are you, my man?
Jack Bowen: I am good Cody. Thanks for having me.
Cody Hofhine: I love it. I love it. Lets kind of get into this and kind of maybe fill in the gaps a little bit about maybe your background and kind of what you did maybe before wholesaling and why did you pick wholesaling?
Jack Bowen: Well, a little bit about me is that I’ve been in the same business for 30 years and it came to a point in my life where I wanted a little change. And I’ve always loved real estate and checked out a lot of individuals and Tom’s system and your system is what appealed to me. Because I don’t have to go out there and worry about money and inventory or anything like that. I just got to find off market properties and find buyers. And I said, jeez that’s got to be pretty simple, so let’s do this, this sounds good.
Speaker 1: And then you probably quickly noticed, you’re like, man, it sounds simple but it’s not easy.
Jack Bowen: No, you better roll up your sleeves and have a hard hat on because it takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of organizing, and you guys share that. And to get by to tell anybody, just follow the steps because it’s important to have the buyer’s list. It’s important to follow the marketing campaigns. And it’s a game of inches every day you feel like you’ve got a little bit better system going. And that’s the way I felt. I’ve made my mistakes. I said, Oh man, I got to back up a little bit and follow the steps again. Then I make a mistake and then I’d go forward again. And it can get frustrating, but I realize it’s not my expertise. And I learn from them and you go on and you go on. But it’s not something that’s easy, but once you, once you get in and you get a feel for it, then it starts, as you guys say, starts flowing a little bit.
Cody Hofhine: So John, you nailed a key point here that I want to share with them. And that’s the fact of you’re going to make mistakes. And I think for listeners out there, Rhino Nation, I know you’ve heard us say this enough. I know it’s kind of like sometimes we’re kicking a dead horse on this, but truly if there’s something that’s very unique and very much in common with all the students or with all the people in wholesaling or in any career, by the way, not just wholesaling, the successful people have one thing that’s uniquely in common and that is they’re willing to go out and make mistakes.
John just said it. I went out there and made mistakes and then I have to step back and see where I could have done better, where I could’ve gone right. But really it’s having a kind of system in place to lead and guide you, but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to make mistakes. You are going to make mistakes. In fact, you probably hear this a lot too, John. We don’t teach education, educations cancer. We teach action, but we let action be the education. We let those mistakes be the only education really, that’s part of wholesaling.
Jack Bowen: Yeah, you guys create the template, I call it. You guys create the template and it’s up to every listener out there to create its own path. And everybody’s different. Everybody’s personality is different in how you’re going to approach people and whatnot. And I knew that going into this, I said, you know what, you’re going to make mistakes but, to just be honest, and that’s one thing that I’ve done. I’ve just been honest and upfront with everybody I’ve talked to. And it’s got to the point where other wholesalers now or are sending me deals and they just appreciate the honesty. People out here in this business, you don’t have to worry about wearing a suit and tie or anything like that. It’s just be yourself and everybody knows you’re going down the same path that they did years ago.
Cody Hofhine: I agree. I love it. I love it, I love it. Those are great words of advice. In fact, we were joking a little bit. You heard me laugh because Sean Alexander from Rhinoceros Success, he spoke at our event in April. And he basically just said, I remember seeing this guy in this blue suit and tie looking great going to like a job interview. And he says, and then I looked at myself and here I am in shorts and a tee shirt. And he says, and I’m ever been as dressed for success as this guy is because I’m an entrepreneur and I own my own business.
Jack Bowen: Exactly. This is very few meetings I go to that I’m not flip flops and a ball cap. So, I’m good.
Cody Hofhine: So let’s go into this, cause here’s the thing. We talked a little bit beforehand of how your first deal was so big and really the last couple podcasts you’ll probably hear something that I’ve said multiple times cause I just love the concept. And that is, it just takes one. It only takes one and then pretty soon it starts this snowball effect. So let’s kind of go into your first deal. Let’s start it right from the beginning and let’s break it down granular for our listeners.
Jack Bowen: Okay, yeah. Yeah and it is true, was I a skeptic? Yeah. I mean it takes one, takes one, but I just had it my mindset that you know what, I’m going to follow the procedure and what I did is I just took one of the, like you guys recommend, the high equity list and I did a high equity absentee owner. And I kind of went on to Trulia and found out areas that, I call it heat maps, whatever and found out what’s moving and what’s good. So I sent out the mailing and the mailings are not going to come back within three, four weeks like I was. I mean I was staring at my phone ready for the phone to ring and it didn’t happen. And I thought, “okay I must have did something wrong.”
Cody Hofhine: What were you mailing out when you sent the direct mail? What actually did you mail out to this high equity absentee list?
Jack Bowen: Yeah, I ended up mailing the white card that looks like a hand written card.
Cody Hofhine: Okay, I love it.
Jack Bowen: Yeah. And that card right there, I’ve got more responses from anybody. So I recommend that to anybody that’s out there listening, use that card it’s fantastic. And the gentleman called me up, he was in Georgia. He called me up and it was his dad’s property and before that it was in the family for years. But he’s never been here, he didn’t realize what he had. And so he just called me up. He said he got the postcard and he and his wife are willing to get rid of this property and it was a big chunk of land.
Cody Hofhine: Tell me what you-
Jack Bowen: And so he gave me a-
Cody Hofhine: Why was he willing to sell this? When you asked him why he wanted to sell, was there anything specific or particular that sounded motivating that you’re like, man, this actually could be something?
Jack Bowen: Well, yeah, and basically what I did when he first called, I just did a lot of listening. I did a ton of listening until I found that sensitive point with him. And it came to the point where it was taxes. They were paying taxes on this property every year and they’ve never even seen it. And nobody in their family, their kids, wanted it because they didn’t want to pay the taxes on the property either.
Cody Hofhine: Sure, sure.
Jack Bowen: So it was basically a lot of listening that I did at first because I figured he’s calling me so I know that there’s a reason.
Cody Hofhine: Well, there’s a key word right there. God gave you two ears and one mouth. Use it proportionately, right?
Jack Bowen: Oh absolutely. And once somebody is talking and spilling the candy on the table just let it go. Because they’re the calling you for interest and they’re calling you for help. And you’re actually going to, like you guys always present, is you’re creating a win-win. For them you’re helping them, you’re helping us and so I just did a lot of listening and come to find out once I… I didn’t even look at the property to tell you the truth. I said, well, let’s just, what do you want for it? And he told me that. I said, okay I’ll pay you that. I didn’t-
Cody Hofhine: So your first, like right out the gate, he tells you a number and it already sounds good enough to say, hey, yeah, let’s go together, let’s make this work.
Jack Bowen: Yeah because like you guys say, you’ve got that due diligence period and you can go back and look and say, oh, okay, well it’s not really worth that. So. Which I did. I’ve went back to them and said-
Cody Hofhine: But, now tell me this though, as you’re talking though, like is this something, although maybe you didn’t know 100% about it, maybe hadn’t driven out to the property, but was this something though as you’re looking at it, that you can already see though that it is a deal? Or is this something like, hey, I have nothing to lose. I’ll just put it under contract and then go look at it. I mean, was there anything that also made you think, you know what those numbers are?
Jack Bowen: Well, I knew the size of it. It was around 10 acres and being in Greenville, that’s hard to come by. So I just knew that all I had to do was find the right people afterwards and get pointed in the right direction this property would sell. My gut told me a great deal, and although I knew nothing about the deal, nor have I ever sold land before, I just knew it would at Greenville was hot and be [inaudible 00:10:45] for sale sign up because it’s going to sell. So, go ahead.
Cody Hofhine: Now tell me this, John, real quick to kind of stop you just for one sec. Was there anything unique about this at the beginning? Like about this property? Was it just raw land? Was it plumbed land with lots divided on it? I mean, was there anything uniquely right from the phone call? Or when you’re on this phone call, were you just thinking, I’m going out to a vacant piece of 10 acres?
Jack Bowen: That’s basically what it was going to be very honest with you I didn’t know. But what I ended up doing, I ended up going down to the town before I even saw the property. After I got it under contract, I just went straight right downtown to the recorder’s office and I asked what do I have here? And they go, oh, you have an old mobile home park. This is licensed for a mobile home park.
Cody Hofhine: Holy smokes. So it’s all [crosstalk 00:11:32] then that’s where your gold starts to come forward.
Jack Bowen: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s when the heart started pumping. I’m like, Oh, this is going to be a gold mine.
Cody Hofhine: Oh mama, it’s already zoned for a good something.
Jack Bowen: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So the buyers won’t have to worry about getting it licensed, zoned, nothing. This is already done, turn-key. So I had it under contract for 39. Well, he actually was asking 46. I went back to him and told him that I could actually probably move it at 39 and he agreed to it.
Cody Hofhine: 39,000. You go to the city, you find out that, holy cow, someone dumped a cup of sand in your hand and you’re thinking, what am I going to do with this cup of sand? You start sifting and all of a sudden you find out there’s a couple of gold nuggets in that sand. This is what you come across. From there what does that look like? What do you do instantly from there?
Jack Bowen: Well, what I did instantly do is I say, okay, I’m going to put this on Craigslist, because at this time I really didn’t have a team built yet like I wanted. I had it in place, but I was changing people in the canoes. Some people weren’t paddling in the right direction like I was. So I had to change it up several times. And so there was no consistency, so I just put it on Craigslist and immediately a buyer came forth and without even hesitating said he’d take it.
But then all of a sudden I had two other, three other calls that came from buyers and I could have gone into a price war. But I gave my word to this guy that, okay, you got it. And if I would’ve just said, you know what, let me stew on this for a little bit and waited I probably could’ve gotten a lot more than what I got out of it. But I’m a man of no greed. I look at it like this is a great opportunity. And so I said yes, initially right off the bat and I sold it to him for 55.
Cody Hofhine: 55 from a 39 so a $16,000 but bigger than that, John, 60 well, hold on, hold on, hold on. You know what’s coming. Hold on.
Okay, so we’ve got the victory bell, hold on. $16,000. You go out there and you said they called you from marketing it or did you have to reach out to these individuals?
Jack Bowen: No, I just put it on Craigslist. That’s all I did is just put it on Craigslist. And the neat part about this is that I got a 10 buyer list from just putting it on Craigslist. I mean I got 10 good cash buyers by just putting this property on Craigslist.
Cody Hofhine: Because people were calling ultimately you want the first one, but all these other people were like, “Hey, next time you come across this like I’m ready.”
Jack Bowen: Absolutely, in fact. And so I’ve met with every one of these potential buyers and now it’s anything I got, I just, I now have a good VA and we’re sending out marketing campaigns and it’s starting to roll like you guys say it. It just starts to roll.
Cody Hofhine: Well though, the good thing is though, John, not only does it start to roll but it starts to roll because you continue to put money back into that marketing channel. Cause we always talk about this and it’s so key. But how many people maybe slip and fall when they get their first check and like, Oh man, this is amazing. We’re going to Disney world. And then they come back and they’re their businesses at a halt again because they also killed that funnel going into marketing. And one key thing that I’ve realized with you is you continue to put forth that faith. Knowing that you’ve got to take a chunk of it, put it back into marketing because marketing is what makes the phone ring. Having the phone ring is what gets you on appointments. Going on appointments is what gets you contracts. And contracts is what ultimately gets you paid. And it’s just a cycle over and over and over again.
Jack Bowen: Yeah, exactly. And for all the listeners just do what Cody just said because it happens. It happens.
Cody Hofhine: Tell me this, was there any struggling moments? Cause this is the good side, right? We break down a deal, but I also want to help our listeners understand, even with the good that really comes with wholesaling, even though you can make a great amount of money. What were some of the common, maybe struggles, some of the common trial moments?
Jack Bowen: Well, for this deal it was pretty cut and dry. But I guess the struggling point for me is when a buyer comes in play, sometimes they’ll come back, well this particular buyer came back and says, “I don’t want to pay you this much for it. I’m going to pay you this much.” And I never had that happen before. And so I struggled with that because… and now I know that can happen. And I said, okay without replying to him quickly, I simply just said, you know what, I’ll give you a call in a few days. And [inaudible 00:16:09] to say. And he goes, well, why can’t you talk to me now? I said, I just, I need to think about this. And so needless to say that night the buyer called me back and he goes, we’ve talked about, we’ll take it for 55. So in other words, he was trying to get the price down a little bit.
Cody Hofhine: Sure, he’s an investor too, he’s trying to get the best he can get.
Jack Bowen: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So I learned from that moment. I kind of got off the phone that night. I’m like, do I reach out to these other buyers? What do I do in this situation? Is there a hotline for [inaudible 00:16:43] ?
So I looked at the [inaudible 00:16:45] and it wasn’t ringing. So I said, no, I got to think of this on my own. But you know, that was a struggling part for me. And then all of a sudden I did a double close on this. And I’ve never done a double close before because I did not want to have both sides knowing what I was going to make on this particular thing. So.
Cody Hofhine: Yeah.
Jack Bowen: So I did a double close on it. Yep.
Speaker 1: Yeah. So you buy it, turn around and sell it. I love it. That is a phenomenal, phenomenal way of doing it. But is there any other things like when you look at like your day to day, are there certain things that would resonate with some of our listeners that, Hey, these are some of the challenges you’re going to face, but you can do it. If John, if Cody, if Tom, if anyone else can do it, you guys can do it. But what are some of those day to day challenges that you’ve just got to continue to push yourself knowing that, Hey, but if I keep doing it, this will happen.
Jack Bowen: Well that’s it. Yeah, I mean it’s, it’s about having a lot of confidence in the system and spending the money when you don’t have any money coming. That’s one that I really struggle with and my wife struggled with. I said, okay, I see you marketing, but that phone is not ringing. You know it’s all about leads. It’s all about leads and you know that that’ll get you tight, that’ll make you go the weight room and just pump iron for a few hours. That was the crushing thing for me. And the other thing for me too is people that say they don’t have time. Heck, I’m the manager of 400 people. And my phone from my day to day job rings constantly.
I found out that I am the worst manager of all time of myself. You know sometimes your biggest strengths are your biggest weakness. Well, I can manage 400 people, but I can’t manage myself for nothing. So I had to learn to manage-
Cody Hofhine: Welcome to the life of every entrepreneur.
Jack Bowen: Right! So I just realized that I had to go back through some of the modules and some of the YouTube events that you guys put on the episodes and look through that on how to manage myself off. And then also you step back and you go, okay and how could it be better? And that’s what I did. I found out I’d write things down that I did poorly through the day and how can I get more efficient? And it’s still not there for me and it probably won’t be in five months. But I can see light at the end of the tunnel that can become a system and you just got to have faith in it and the phone will ring. I’m telling you the phone will ring if you just trust the system.
Cody Hofhine: I love it. I love it. I love it. So if you were to think back, and there’s so many of our listeners that are looking to get consistent, there’s so many of our listeners that are looking to actually get into wholesale and maybe they’re working a nine to five or maybe they’re in between jobs or maybe they just don’t like exactly what they’re doing, but they are trying to find a love for wholesaling. If you were to start over again, what would be the one gold nugget, the one word of advice that you’d give these listeners.
Jack Bowen: For me, because I have a job, I would say get a VA, a good VA.
Cody Hofhine: By VA by the way, it’s Virtual Assistant. Virtual assistant.
Jack Bowen: Yeah, I’m sorry. You’d have to get that to help you with your day to day. They can scrape your leads, they can get you organized. You tell them to create the system, they create it. That’s what’s helped me. I mean the first few months I was trying to be a one man rocket show and I had more paper strung and sticky notes and yellow notes all over the place here that that had an arrow to this note and that note and it was terrible. And ever since I got a VA, a virtual assistant, I can actually see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Cody Hofhine: What do you pay for like a good virtual assistant. By the way, as you’re listening to this, virtual assistants, there’s a lot of people. We have virtual assistants that live in the Philippines and they’re phenomenal, they’re amazing. And the pay that you can pay them an hour is an amazing pay per hour in their country. And so what is a good virtual assistant looked like when hiring one?
Jack Bowen: Oh well you want to have somebody that… I send them a task to go look and see what. You’ve got to have some real estate background for one. And so I’ll let them, I, my thing was too, and I went on to our site to look at what then, I can’t remember the individual, but the individual put a good a test thing as far as getting a response from a VA. And I took bits and pieces of that, and I simply just had a VA say, okay, I want you to go and give me the average sale price of this home and look on Zillow, Redfin, E-Praisal or some sites and come back and tell me what this property is worth. And then they always had to be familiar with Excel and I didn’t care about the language barrier, but I wanted them to be able to scrape leads from Craigslist. Enter ads into Craigslist, but that’s basically it. And going on to Zillow and scraping for sale by owners or anybody like that, for rent people. Like you say, that’s the greatest place to find a buyer. It’s go to the for rent section.
Cody Hofhine: Yes. And what’s that cost about an hour? For stuff like that?
Jack Bowen: I pay $4 an hour.
Cody Hofhine: $4 an hour. Listeners, listen to this. Here is a man that is so awesome to share with you his weaknesses. That is a good leader right there that is willing to share his weaknesses, but then tell you the solution. Hey, I’m weak at managing myself, but guess what? A virtual assistants not. And you can get this all done and managed for you for four bucks an hour, $4 an hour. That’s phenomenal. If I could add to it that’s great advice.
Jack Bowen: I have her now sending out offers by email and SMS. I’ve given her formula, she sent out offers. All I care about as a call back or email.
Cody Hofhine: That’s awesome. Well that’s absolutely awesome. So now looking with that advice comes maybe some strategy. What is a good book that you have recently read that you could suggest being a great book for our listeners to actually read and maybe implement.
Jack Bowen: Well, I think the first book that I read, it was the one about tithing.
Cody Hofhine: The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity.
Jack Bowen: Yes. And I’m Christian, I believe in that. And things did not happen to me and, just take it as you may, but things didn’t happen to me until I started giving back more, more tithing. Then all of a sudden things happened. And the first thing we did as a family when we got the $16,000 check is that we tithed. And then of course I like Rich Dad, Poor Dad. That kind of puts you in perspective of where you want to be. Yep. You read that book people because that kind of just educates you on where you want to be now and in the future.
Cody Hofhine: That’s awesome. Well, John, I want to thank you for deep diving this deal with us. I want to thank you for sharing the gold nuggets, the words of wisdom, your going back to day one, what would you suggest, your book. This stuff will help our listeners get one step closer to their first deal, their second deal, third deal, wherever they are in their journey. I know there’s something our listeners will be able to pull from this. And I personally want to thank you for being on our podcast today and sharing that with us.
Jack Bowen: Thanks for having me, Cody. You guys are great.
Cody Hofhine: Okay brother, I know you’re probably going to be right back to the holy smokes chaos of wholesaling and getting right back into this, so I will let you go, my man. But again, thanks again. And to our listeners, thank you as well for coming onto this podcast, listening to it.
If it’s something you like, get onto iTunes and give us a five star rating. If that is something that you feel like we deliver. Content that is helping you get closer to your first wholesale deal. We would love the reviews. We’d love to see your questions, comments that you have for it that we can make this better. We’re all ears to make sure that we are delivering the number one podcast when it comes to wholesaling. And also if it’s something you are looking to be part of the tribe, please go over to our website. That’s wholesalinginc.com. Wholesaling I-N-C.com and you can go over there, play around on the site, you can listen to our podcast from there. You can click on testimonials and see what students are doing across this whole nation that will inspire you to do something as well.
You can also book that call with us with our team and if we like what you have to say, we just might invite you to be part of the tribe. Which, which leads me to our last point. If you are part of the tribe. Our new website is up for the live event coming up in January and that’s in Orlando. So coming up in Orlando in January of 2018 we’ll have our live event, but you have to be a tribe member to attend. And if for all tribe members listening, go over to wholesaling summit, wholesalingsummit2018.com. So wholesalingsummit2018.com and book your seat so that you can join us live in Orlando. Until next time Rhino Nation take care and it’s been an absolute pleasure being with you. See you later.