Posted on: February 19, 2018

Don Costa knows fixing and flipping like the back of his hand. In fact, the Fresno, California native does an average of 100 deals a year and he’s undoubtedly one of the most successful people in the fix and flip game.

If you want to give fix and flip a try, today’s your lucky day. Don not only shared key parts of his real estate journey, he also shared so many tips that can help get your own real estate journey off to an amazing start.

Have a pen and paper handy. You’ll have plenty to take note of!

Other key insights you’ll learn from this episode

  • Why building a relationship / friendship is crucial in real estate
  • Why consistency is needed to succeed
  • How to effectively build relationships with other realtors
  • What are the by-products of building relationships with others in the business
  • What a pocket listing is
  • What type of paid marketing should you go for to score deals
  • What you should do when your marketing budget is minimal
  • Advise for people who are just starting out

Aside from all the gold nuggets you will learn from this episode, Don also busted one of the most common myths in real estate (no, you don’t need money and credit to get into real estate and Don’s story is proof of that). If you want to learn more, give his Flip Talk podcast a listen. It just might be what you need to duplicate his success!

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Episode Transcription

Cody Hofhine: Welcome to another episode here on Wholesaling Inc. Super excited to be with you guys today. We have a guest that is going to be with us today that’s going to help you understand a little bit more of the fix and flip game. As many of you know, as you listen to our podcast, a lot of the people we’re interviewing are students that are going through the program that’s really centered on wholesaling. So this will be kind of fun to get some new perspective on a fix and flip and what makes it a good fix and flip. When is it that you actually take it down and fix and flip this yourself. And so we’re excited to have Don Costa with us. If you guys remember, this was just… man, we were just talking a little bit over a year ago. I was on his podcast and this was when he was just getting into podcasting.
Since then, he has released many more episodes and has done great. His podcast is called flip talk. So take a look at that, and you can listen to some of his episodes that he’s done with individuals and learn more about what is it exactly that he does. But we’re super excited that he would join us today. So listeners, get out a pen, a piece of paper, and get ready to really write down some gold nuggets. If fixing and flipping is your game, this guy’s got so much more knowledge than I do. I do not do a whole lot of fix and flipping. So this is going to be a great episode for you to jot down some notes and really learn from someone that’s actually doing it. So Don Costa comes from California and a place called Fresno and again, fix and flipping is his main game. He’s married, he has three kids, and I am excited. I cannot believe it’s been a year, but Don, my man, how are you doing, brother?

Don Costa: I’m doing great, man. I appreciate you having me on here today, man.

Cody Hofhine: I’m seriously sitting here on this side thinking how was it a year ago and it is. I’m looking back on my computer and it was almost a little over a year ago that we spoke on your podcast. It was like you said, episode number three, but Holy smokes, where’s time going, brother?

Don Costa: It’s flying, man. But that must mean we’re rocking and rolling in business, right? Because it’s going quick.

Cody Hofhine: That’s right. That’s right. So tell me how did 2017, we’re at the beginning of a brand new year. Here we are in 2018. How did 2017 pan out for you for the fix and flip game?

Don Costa: It was a good year. It was a really good year. We came off of 2016 strong and entered into 2017 basically on a freight train of basically good deals. And we finished off 2017 strong as well. Actually 2017 delivered more profit per deal than we had experienced the years before. So we ended up making more money overall in the year and did really, really well.

Cody Hofhine: And is this mainly on fix and flip properties? Are you mainly doing it right there around you in California or do you do stuff all over the nation? What does that look like?

Don Costa: So fix and flip is… Wholesale, you can do the virtual thing, right? You can do other markets. Fix and flip’s a different animal because there’s a little bit more moving parts. So we try to stay in markets we can control, and so I’m in a four hour window from my home office that we do most of our volume in. We do dabble up in Oregon a little bit and other areas out of our reach in California to some degree. But we pretty much stay where we can control the process. So I will go into other markets. I have been looking at other States, but I just need to find the right team. Your boots on the ground is so important and vital when you’re trying to turn properties on budget and on time and get them sold to make money.

Cody Hofhine: Crucial. Crucial. I love that. And I know you’re a systems guy, we talked about that, and systems is so crucial, so I couldn’t agree more. What does it look like as you’re getting these deals to fix and flip? Are you mainly buying these from wholesalers like myself? Or is this something that you’re also marketing for yourself?

Don Costa: All of the above. I love wholesalers. I try to develop relationships with wholesalers on a regular basis. I do this thing I call OPM, other people’s marketing.

Cody Hofhine: Instead of other people’s money. I love that. Other people’s marketing.

Don Costa: Right, yeah. So if I see a bandit sign, I’m calling it. And if I see a Craigslist post, I’m calling it. If somebody sends me a letter or a postcard, I’m calling them and introducing myself to them and let them know that I’m a cash buyer and I want to build a relationship. And so I make a lot of deals that way from wholesalers. We do a ton of direct mail. In the last two weeks we sent out over 50,000 pieces of direct mail, in the last two weeks alone. We just shake every bush, pocket listings with real estate agents. We develop a relationship with the real estate agents and we get a lot of deals that way. And for the volume we do, because we do over a hundred deals a year pretty steadily.

Cody Hofhine: Wow.

Don Costa: And so for the volume we do, we have to shake every bush. If we tried to just live on one marketing channel, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. So we shake every bush.

Cody Hofhine: You’re so smart. So a lot of our listeners, and again this is a cue for each of you listening right now. If you’re in the California market right now, we’ve got a cash buyer sitting on this podcast telling you he loves wholesalers. This is something that you need to reach out to Don. If you’re in that Fresno area, that four hour window of where he’s at, Don is a perfect fit for you. Reach out to this guy. He’s ready to buy deals from each of you as wholesalers. So that’s awesome.
Now one thing I’m intrigued about, I think a lot of people have maybe like a disconnect. They don’t know exactly how to tie into the realtor game, right? You’ve got the traditional real estate, you’ve got the investing real estate, and sometimes realtors don’t have a love for investors maybe. How is it that you’re able to work so close with other realtors where pocket listings, and maybe just so everyone understands more about pocket listings, what is a pocket listing, and how are you building these relationships with realtors so that they get you these listings before they actually go out on the market?

Don Costa: So, yeah, all kinds of fantastic questions there. First a pocket listing is essentially something that maybe they know is going to be listed, or the listing agreement has been signed and the homeowner doesn’t want somebody going through the house. Maybe they’re a hoarder or there’s another reason why they don’t want people going through the house, or maybe they just want a quick cash offer. They don’t want to deal with all the drama of everything else between listings and showings and open houses. And so an agent will call you up and say, “I got this property, come take a look at it and make an offer on it and we could get it in contract before it goes live.” I mean, that’s essentially how it works. You’re not trying to get them to break any rules. You’re just trying to get information that’s relevant before anybody else gets to it.
And then not all agents are created equal. I think that’s the gist of going into it, like you said, there are a lot of agents who will tell you that you can’t wholesale, there’s a lot of agents who will tell you you can’t do pockets. There’s a lot of agents who will tell you you can’t do flips, there’s a lot of agents that… And they’re uninformed, they’re inexperienced or they’re just simply negative Nancy’s right.

Cody Hofhine: Or Neds.

Don Costa: So you want to avoid those. Yeah. Or Neds. So you want to avoid those. What you’re looking for is the people that get it, and it’s like anything else in this business. There’s some private money possibilities get it and some don’t. Some contractors get it and some don’t. It’s like anything in this business, you’re sifting through the dirt to get the gold, and you’re looking for those who get it. And that’s what I do is, I find the agents. Usually it’s one agent in each office that really gets what we’re doing and the relationship we’re trying to create and how it benefits them. And I build a relationship. I build a friendship. It’s not just what can they give me? It’s how can we contribute to each other to help each other build our businesses. And yeah.

Cody Hofhine: So key. Well Don, you’re saying some good things right now. We have a book club. In fact, if you’re not part of it, definitely, definitely get into it. So we have a book club. It’s just the rhino book club of 2018 but the first book for January. Have you read the book Go-Giver?

Don Costa: I haven’t yet, but it’s on my list.

Cody Hofhine: Brother. Literally make that like your go-to listening till it’s over. It’s a two and a half hour Audible book. So if you have it on Audible, start doing it on your drives. I’m telling you this book is a game changer because it’s everything that you just said. So many people think about how can I make money? How do I find the next deal? How do I make X amount of dollars? How do I do this, this, this, this? And the question shouldn’t be how much money can I make or how do I do this? The question should be how can I serve more individuals? How can I make this a win-win? How can I add value to someone’s life?
And when you ask those kinds of questions, you start to think differently. And because you’re serving individuals, that is directly proportionate on how well you’re going to be compensated. And this book will just open your eyes to this whole entire serve, serve, serve, like regardless of being paid, serve, serve, serve. But it will always tell you compensation follows it. Like that’s the byproduct of just how well you serve people. So I just love that you’re talking about how do I help these people, make it a friendship, and you’re not just sitting there thinking money, money, money, money. Because they’ll see right through it.

Don Costa: Absolutely. 100%. They’ll see if you’re sincere about your request. They’ll see if you’re sincere about everything you do and they’ll pick you apart if you’re not. So, yeah. The other byproduct of these relationships is you get information about properties that are listed as well. If something that is in escrow with somebody else that falls out at the last minute, you’ll get a phone call saying, “This just fell out. Get your offer in. The seller’s hungry and ready to close.” I got a situation where we had a homeowner that didn’t want to sign on the property and didn’t want anybody seeing the property without the listing agent present, and they had it listed at $180,000 MLS. I ended up getting the property for 90 because I was the guy who got the phone call and said the seller is ready to dump it.

Cody Hofhine: Holy smokes. So they were just already so frustrated. One of their buyers already backed out and they’re just like, “Hey, I’m ready to just walk away from this.”

Don Costa: Pretty much. Yeah. There’s all kinds of situations, all kinds of different reasons. But yeah, they’re frustrated. They’re done. The buyers backed out. The property is not moving like they thought it would, and they’ve gotten their monetary situations changed. And if you have the right relationships in these offices, then you get that phone call saying, “All right, this one’s on the MLS. No one knows about it, but the seller is willing to take half, or they’re willing to take X for this property. Come take a look at it and see if he can make that happen, and it’s yours.” And it’s huge.

Cody Hofhine: Holy smokes. And those are key, right? Because the best part is you don’t really pay for that marketing. That’s just almost like referred business. A business that someone brought a deal to you, and you’re getting just a really good deal on it that you didn’t have to pay for the thousands of dollars in postcards or the thousands of dollars in Facebook ads or thousands of dollars of paper click ads.

Don Costa: Right. It’s a cup of coffee or a lunch every once in a while. That’s your investment in it. I mean the ROI is huge.

Cody Hofhine: Holy smokes. So listeners, I’m telling you right now, this is already an untouched area where so many people just want to go right to the route of just the paid marketing venues, and yes, like he said, there is some pay to it in the sense of maybe you’re taking them out to lunch, maybe you’re taking them to go get coffee. I agree with that, but I’m telling you if you broke that down, I bet Don would also tell you this is his cheapest converting marketing out there for what he pays on other marketing channels. Is that something you would agree with?

Don Costa: I agree 100%. Networking is by far, it’s some of our best profit potential properties, but it’s obviously zero cost and it’s our most consistent deals. I call them fall on your lap deals because I have agents call me on a regular basis saying, “All right, if you can offer X on this property, it’s yours,” or “Come look at this and tell me what you can give on it,” and they’re falling in your lap. We’re not having to dig for them. We’re not having to market for them. We’re not having to work for them. They’re just hot leads that are falling right in our lap and they’re easy to pick up.

Cody Hofhine: Wow. So here you are mainly taken down all the deals that you want so you can fix and flip. What type of paid marketing? So you’ve got your networking channel. What kind of paid marketing are you doing to find your deals in this market?

Don Costa: We definitely do internet. We’re investing heavy this year in SEO. That’s the direction we’re going. We do PBC, but we’re really, really heavy in direct mail. For the paid marketing, we’re really heavily in direct mail. And that’s something that I think we’ve nailed down, we’ve done all the crazy overthinking, testing, big postcard, little postcard, pretty, live stamp, no stamp, ugly. We found out that really all that matters is consistency. And so we’re just doubling down on consistency.

Cody Hofhine: So, so, so, so true. Guys, I can’t tell you enough. Like I almost want to keep saying stop, stop, stop right there. Don, stop. These are things you need to be taking notes on. We just did our live event in Orlando just this past weekend, and everyone that got up, the main message that you could really tie down to every presenter that was there, they were all saying stay consistent. And they kept saying that over and over and over again.
And I’m telling you right now, stay consistent. The person that stays consistent wins. There’s so many people, Don’s going to laugh because we see this all the time. My second best month for the last three years, second best month. In fact, I take that back. In ’15 and ’16 it was the same. And in ’17 it was my third best month, but it was December. And so many people take a snooze, like take a nap during that month, and they back off of being consistent thinking, “Oh, no-one wants to move during Christmas.”
I’m telling you right now, people still move during Christmas and because everyone else has taken a nap, we do well every single December, and it’s all because of just staying consistent. And because we stayed consistent, our January, this the best January we’ve ever had. We’re already on to like 13 deals. We’re going to be around $200,000 this month. We’ve never had that big of a January, but it’s because we stayed consistent and not take off the gas or put on the brakes during the holiday months.

Don Costa: Yeah, I agree 100%. 100%.

Cody Hofhine: Yeah. Now with the direct mail, what lists are you liking? I mean we talk about on our podcast all the time and even with our students, about tax delinquent, code violation, you’ve got eviction, you’ve got probate. What has been like your go-to, like we really love this list. Is it high equity list? Is it tax delinquent list? What does that look like?

Don Costa: I like to niche a little bit more than some of the shotgun lists. We do the shotgun lists as well, but the tax delinquent, getting them directly from your County tax collector. Code enforcement, if you can get them directly from your County. Those are great lists to mail to because you got to do a little more work to get them, and people aren’t really doing it.
This kind of goes to, you and I both talk to a lot of newer people and they’ll always ask, “Well, I’ve only got X to budget. What list should I mail to?” And my thing is if you’ve only got a small budget, niche your list. Driving for dollars, code enforcement, vacants, tax delinquents, niche your list. Get a thousand address list and just mail to that list every single month over and over and over again. And again, it’s the consistency game, not the volume game. We’re in a position where we can do the volume game, and still, but it boils down to consistency. At the end of the day, we’re consistently hitting a much, much bigger list.
So if you can niche your list down to some of the stuff that a lot of people like myself doesn’t necessarily want to do the work to get, like getting evictions and the code enforcements and the taxes, then you’re going to have a lot better results if you’re hitting that consistently.

Cody Hofhine: One thing we’ve absolutely loved, I don’t know if you’ve done this or not, but we’ve just recently done this, so maybe there’s so many people even onboard on this a lot longer than we have, but the last few months what we’ve done is people on our team is, they’re so determined. They want to see what there’s other opportunities to make even additional income.
And so what we’ve done is we wanted to test something, and so our team members during the weekends, they’ll literally drive out and about and go driving for dollars. Meaning they’ll just get addresses of all these ran down properties. And if we do a deal that’s off one of their lists, they get an additional spiff over and above a commission or something. They get an additional spiff because it came from their driving from dollars list. And I will tell you that driving for dollars list as of the last couple of months has been something that has been a game changer. We’ve pulled multiple deals off these lists, and they don’t cost that much money because team members want to just get involved and find ways to make more income. Have you done this yet? Is this something you’ve tried?

Don Costa: Yeah, I mean we do it a little differently, but we definitely, whenever our acquisitions people are going out to an appointment, they’re driving the neighborhood before the appointment or after the appointment-

Cody Hofhine: So smart.

Don Costa: And writing down the addresses that… properties that have issues, because if we’re rehabbing a property in a neighborhood, why not try and take out two or three at the same time.

Cody Hofhine: Double dip the chip.

Don Costa: Absolutely.

Cody Hofhine: So you’re saying a hundred properties a year. What is an average? If someone wanted to get into the fix and flip game, and I know not every market’s going to be created equal and I definitely want everyone to understand that. But what does that look like? You’re saying a hundred properties year. What’s like an average, this is what we make per home? So they can see, if they want to scale this up, what they can look at.

Don Costa: Our average profit, it depends on the quarter. Bumps between 25,000 to about $35,000 on average in that. That’s because we, to do volume in our market, we’re working off a cash on cash. We’re working off a 15% cash on cash return. So for 100,000 invested into a property, our minimum profit needs to be 15 grand. And so, realistically I’ll do a flip that’s only going to make 10 grand if it hits that 15% mark.

Cody Hofhine: Sure.

Don Costa: So we have the lower end profits and we have properties we make 80, 90 grand on. Sometimes we’re hitting 25, 30, 40% cash on cash return on those properties. But our average return bounces between 25 and $35,000 on average. And yeah, if you’re doing a lower volume, your average is probably going to be a little bit higher. So you would expect to see a little bit more if you’re doing a lower volume, especially if you’re… A lot of people are particular, like they want a minimum profit. If that’s how you’re running your business, then you have an opportunity for a higher average as well.

Cody Hofhine: No, but this is key. So I just did on average, between the 25 and 35, I just said a hundred properties at $30,000, $3 million in revenue coming in. That’s incredible. And I think when people can see what they can do on a grand scale, that’s awesome. But some of the things that you’re saying I want to capitalize on because some of the most successful people I’ve met, you being included, here you are doing a hundred properties a year, bringing in, let’s say on average 3 million a year on revenue coming in from these properties. There’s something key that you said that a lot of successful people say, and it’s that they have a specific criteria. I want every one of our listeners to realize this. If you can understand what he just said, he has a special criteria. He wants to make a minimum of 15% and he has it.
And so he can run it through this sniff test really quick and say, okay, it meets this, it meets this, it doesn’t meet this, kick it off. And if it meets it, he buys it. And everyone I know, Robert Kiyosaki has a specific criteria. It has to have this much return on his investment. It has to be able to appreciate this amount and much every year. It needs to have this many bedrooms, this many bathrooms. There is a specific criteria and if it passes it, he buys it, and if it doesn’t pass it, he walks away from it. The truly successful, the truly wealthy, the truly rich, get that way because they’re so niche. They have a criteria and that’s all they invest in. If it doesn’t fit it, they don’t square peg round hole. They walk away from it. And that’s something that, I know that was a way around of how you said it, but that’s exactly what you said was, you have a criteria of how you make money.

Don Costa: Oh, absolutely. And like you said, it either fits or it doesn’t, there’s no emotion involved. We even have what we call a two strike rule. I just want to throw that in there too.

Cody Hofhine: I love this already. Let’s hear it, let’s hear it.

Don Costa: Yeah, just lessons and takeaways from getting your rear end handed to you and flipping real estate. So, if it’s on a busy street, that’s one strike. Anything that limits your buyer pool is a strike. And anything out there that’s going to prohibit a buyer from wanting the property is a strike. So if it’s on a busy street, that’s strike one. If it doesn’t have a garage, that’s a strike. So if it’s on a busy street with no garage, we don’t touch it, because it’s got two strikes, and we’re in the get in and get out and get paid business. We want to buy it, renovate it and resell it within a hundred days or less. And anytime I bought a house that is on a busy street, it has no garage, it’s taken me at least six months to get out of that project. And that’s not what we’re in business to do.

Cody Hofhine: Wow. So tell me this. These are key moments. I think people need to understand, because I know the answer to this and this is why you’ll hear me smile in the background behind this. You must be nothing but successful. You’ve never had any trials or challenges come your way, right?

Don Costa: Oh no, my life has been full of trials and challenges.

Cody Hofhine: This is what I want our listeners to hear.

Don Costa: Yeah. In fact, our whole company culture is built around failure being okay. Like our team is allowed to fail. I allow anybody in my organization to think for themselves. First and foremost, I want them to think for themselves. We empower them to think for themselves, and we make failure okay. Because that is how I have learned to be the businessman that I am, the father that I am, the husband that I am, by making mistakes and having the trials and tribulations, and coming out the other side and Monday morning quarterbacking myself and learning from it.
And so we don’t encourage mistakes, but we encourage the learning from the mistakes that are made. And as long as somebody in our organization is learning from it and growing from it and becoming a better employee from it, a more productive and smarter employee from it, then we’re behind them 100%, and if they’re not growing from it, then of course we’re going to end up cutting them loose. But failure is the best thing that can happen to you in a lot of cases because that’s one more thing you’re not going to do again. That’s one more time you’re going to end up going in the right direction after that. So I encourage it.

Cody Hofhine: Well, I love that, and you know me and Tom are a thousand percent behind that. Our whole motto is progress not perfection. Take massive imperfect action. We’re all about fail your way forward. We love the quote, just a simple one by Thomas Edison. “I didn’t fail. I just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.” But the successful people fail, and I wanted them to hear that yes, you fail. In fact, I would love to hear if you could think of something, and hopefully it’s something that just triggers you really quick. What was one of your big costly mistakes on one of your flips that you’re like, Oh, man. And now I don’t want people to think, Oh, because of that I wish I could redo this and never have this happen to me. I know you also are glad it happened to you because you are better for it. But what was one of those big mistakes where, Holy cow, this almost took me down.

Don Costa: Well, that’s a long conversation. But there’s a short answer and there’s a long answer. I’m going to give you both. The short answer is we have systems and processes in place in our organization. We have certain criteria that when we list, we have certain verbiage that’s in every listing. We have certain verbiages in every counter. We have certain ways we do everything, and everything in our operation has a process, and every time we deviate, it costs us money. We haven’t to date, I’m going to knock on wood here, we haven’t to date lost money on a project, but we’ve not made what we should have because we deviated. Like for instance, the two strike rule. On the busy streets, a strike, and high end, I consider a strike.
We did a high end property on a busy street. Thank God we’re going to make a profit, but we deviated from it. And that was just recently. You get caught up and you’re making money and everything’s going great and you think, Oh well, why was this process in place? Well let’s just see if this works. And then you realize, well no, the process is in place because it doesn’t work.
So don’t deviate from your standard. You set a standard, like you said, don’t square peg round hole it. Don’t let the emotion get involved. Stick to your standard. That’s a huge lesson. But I don’t know if you and I have talked about it, but I have two lives. I started in 2003 and I made a lot of money flipping houses in 2003 to 2008 and I got arrogant and pompous and thought that everything I touched turned to gold and I was the greatest thing on earth. And when the real estate market changed, and went for the worst, I was overleveraged and underprepared, and I lost everything.

Cody Hofhine: Sure.

Don Costa: I went from making tens of thousands of dollars a month to buying gasoline a gallon at a time with quarters, going to the grocery store with a calculator. I literally lost everything and I had to rebuild my life in 2012 because I let my own arrogance get in the way, but it has made me a better business person for it. I have a far more stable, far more profitable, far more culturally better business than I ever did had I not lost everything.

Cody Hofhine: I love it. I love it. And I want to know if it’s true maybe in the fix and flip realm as it is in wholesaling. The deals that you make the most also seem to be the least amount of work and the less stressful in wholesale and at least in general. If I make a low margin on an assignment fee, it’s also the deal that literally took the most time to close. Like I had to work so hard for. You talk about this big, high end home on a street that you didn’t make it, you’re going to make a profit, but you’re not going to make what you want to make, but it’s probably also been a big headache. Something that you’ve probably had to put double effort on as well. Is that the same in the fix and flip realm as well?

Don Costa: Yeah. There’s probably some psychology that goes into that, where we fool ourselves into thinking that the easier ones are the biggest paychecks. But yeah, I think there’s some truth to it. Absolutely. Definitely the ones that I’ve had to work the hardest on have been the lowest profits for sure.

Cody Hofhine: Awesome. Awesome. Well, my man, if there was something for the listeners out there that I want to get in fix and flip and I want to start doing this, what are some key things? If you were to start at ground zero, you’re starting from day one, you’re just getting into it and looking back at that first moment, what would you have done different, or what would you make sure you have done the same so that you can be where you are today for someone that’s just beginning?

Don Costa: Well, since I had to basically do it all over again a second time.

Cody Hofhine: Yeah, I’ve done this twice. I know this answer perfect.

Don Costa: I would do exactly what I did. I started from broke. I had a $1 million judgment against me when I got back into this. I had zero credit. I had zero money. I hadn’t had an income for several years. I was scared. I didn’t have the naivety that some people have. You get into real estate and you have this naivety, or any business, right, that you’re going to conquer the world and that’s a power. It’s not a bad thing. It’s a power that we have when we’re new and we’re fresh and we’re green and the whole world’s in front of us. I didn’t have that. I had that fear of I just lost everything in a market crash because I was not smart and didn’t run my business properly, so can I rebuild it and can it be successful? And I had to overcome that fear. I had to take action.
So the first thing is, is just believe in yourself. Believe in possibilities, get out there and take action. That’s number one. And then number two is start building your network. The first thing I did is I started building my network. I reached out to private money lender possibilities. I started reaching out to agents, I started calling other people’s marketing, and I built these relationships that to this day are profitable in my business. Some of the wholesalers I met back then, I still buy properties from. A lot of the agents I met back then, I still buy properties from. In fact, a couple of those agents actually work for me in my organization now. So just get out there and network and build your power team and get to know the players in your market, and who you can network with, and who you can work with, and who you can build business relationships with and start taking action.

Cody Hofhine: Those are such key keywords there, and one thing I think that’s awesome to hear is, you don’t need money. You don’t need credit. Here you were with a million dollar judgment against you. No money, no credit. You’re buying a gallon of gas by the quarters. And I think there’s so many people listening to this, maybe having an aha moment. Like what? You don’t have to have money to get involved in this. You don’t have to have credit to get involved with this. And I think you’re helping them understand, no, you don’t. So many people I think have that thought in their mind. To get real estate, you’ve got to be wealthy, you’ve got to have so much money, and your story is living proof. No, you do not.

Don Costa: You don’t. You absolutely don’t. And I got into fix and flip with no money and no credit. Wholesaling, that’s a much, much better path. A path of least resistance, right? The path to a check in wholesaling is a lot easier to get to than the path to a check in rehabbing, and I got into rehabbing with no money. If you’re getting into wholesaling, you got the wind behind your sails, right? It’s blowing into your sails and taking you anywhere you need to be when it comes to that. So, I got into this, I had bad credit. I just want to throw it out there to be transparent. I got in this and I had bad credit. I had a $1 million judgment against me. I ended up settling that judgment and got it off my back.
But the key is because I had bad credit at the time, I started making money, I started buying things cash, I still don’t use my credit to this day. And I still have several million dollars available to me in private money that I buy properties with all the time. I’m still able to do every deal I want to do. Now I can live the life I want, and I can go buy whatever car I want. I’m not crazy like that. I don’t do that kind of lifestyle thing. I like to have wealth versus things. But the point is, is I can have the life I want, and I don’t have to have a credit card. I don’t have to have a credit score. I can still run my business. So even to this day, with all the volume that we do, building my credit backup has not been a priority. I’m not even sure what my score is at this point in time, so.

Cody Hofhine: I love this.

Don Costa: Yeah. So for people to tell me that you can’t get into this business because they don’t have money or credit, that’s just your excuse, that’s your excuse because you’re scared. Stop being scared and go to work.

Cody Hofhine: I love it. So for our listeners who want to get into fix and flipping. They want to learn more about it. How can they get in contact with you, learn more about this and potentially get into this game?

Don Costa: So you can reach me by email, Don@fliptalk.com, and as you mentioned before the show, I have a podcast called flip talk. So you’re always welcome to give that a listen. Send me an email, reach out, say hello. I do respond to my emails, and yeah so, always looking for people to talk to and network with and bounce ideas off of and definitely an open book.

Cody Hofhine: Okay, so listers, this guy is a true Go-Giver. Again, his podcast is called flip talk and again Don Costa at flip talk, and tell that email one more time.

Don Costa: It’s Don@fliptalk.com

Cody Hofhine: So just Don, right?

Don Costa: Don@fliptalk.com.

Cody Hofhine: He responds to it, he knows what he’s doing. That’s what’s crucial. And he’s in a market where everyone is like, “You can’t make money. It’s so oversaturated. California.” And he is doing it. So this is a great guy to reach out to. If you’re wanting to learn that flip game, he knows what he’s doing. This is something where, I sit here and tell you, I’m not the flipper, I’m not the flip guy to talk with because I don’t know much about it. So I’m glad to have you on the show, Don, today and I’m appreciative that you would join us today and share your words of wisdom and also help our listeners understand what it is that they need to do to be successful in the fix and flip game.

Don Costa: Perfect. Well I appreciate you having me on, man.

Cody Hofhine: Okay, my man. Well, I hope it won’t be a year before we speak again next time. Let’s keep in touch throughout the year. I’d love to learn more about it. Maybe do a little meetup throughout the year, and get a bunch of us together and let’s talk shop. So I appreciate you being on the show today and I know you’re a busy guy, and you’re probably getting ready to hang up and go right back out there and make sure your crews are doing what they’re doing. So, again, thank you for being on a show today, and may 2018 be super profitable for you.

Don Costa: Perfect, man. I appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Cody Hofhine: All right. Rhino nation. You have just heard an amazing episode by Don Costa. This guy is awesome. And so many of you are maybe thinking, do I want to do wholesale, do I want to do the fix and flip? Wholesaling does have this easy flow of water, but some people love that fix and flip game just like Don, and he has set up a way that you can succeed in the fix and flip arena.
Also, he’s given you his contact information to reach out to him so that you can talk to him, talk in a little more depth about fix and flip and how you can get involved in it, and for those that are wanting to still deep dive their wholesaling business, go over to wholesalinginc.com and listen to the hundreds of stories that are there of people doing it nationwide so you can get motivated, pumped up, inspired that you can do this. The main thing that you should learn from this episode from the words of what Don has shared with us, take action. Take action. Do not let things be a crutch. Do not have an excuse. Get out there and do it. You can do this. Me and Don put our pants on one leg at a time, just like you guys. You can do it. Go take action. Make 2018 great, and we’ll see you on the next episode. Take care, Rhino nation.

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