Just like many who just started out, John Leonard’s first venture into wholesaling has not been as smooth sailing as he would have wanted. Thankfully, the driven rhino does not mind getting out of his comfort zone in order to make things happen.
While others would have already given up at the first hurdle they encounter, the doting dad was willing to go the extra mile, even moving from Idaho to Sacramento just to get his wholesaling business up and running. Fortunately, his gamble paid off big time!
If you need some help getting out of your comfort zone, you can’t miss today’s episode. John’s courage, drive, and determination might just encourage you to also get out of your comfort zone and take that leap of faith once and for all!
- John found a motivated seller by calling the driving for dollars list.
- In order to provide more value and be of help to others, he asked seller what she wants so he can take those things into account.
- After providing exceptional value and service, he was rewarded $10,000 for his efforts. No doubt a handsome compensation for his drive, service, and willingness to go out of his comfort zone!
If you are Ready to Explode Your Wholesaling Business, Click here to Book a Free Strategy Session with me right now!
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Cody Hofhine: Welcome here to another episode of Wholesaling Inc. my name is Cody Hofhine, I’ll be hosting today’s podcast. And like always we are here to deliver nothing but value to your business. For those of you new to the podcast, we want to welcome you. Hopefully you’ve understood a little bit about what this podcast is about. If not, we’re simply going to be talking about wholesaling, and specifically, wholesaling real estate. Don’t get it mistaken for anything than what it really is. And really all wholesaling is, is just the art of finding deeply discounted properties so that you can then turn them for big profits. And there’s so many ways to exit. You can keep them for longterm buy and hold. You can fix and flip them. You can simply assign them to other contractors that want to fix and flip them. There’s so many ways, but the deal is in finding the deeply discounted properties. That’s how you make your money. That’s what this podcast is dedicated to, to help you on your way to getting your first wholesale deal.
So, today we have a tribe member that just recently joined the tribe, has gone through the program and has instantly just taken massive action. He has been held up with some hiccups and stuff. He’s going to share this story of how he was in one state, ended up moving to another state, but today we have John Leonard with us. He’s married, has three kids, one on the way. Used to live in Idaho, and then just recently moved to Sacramento, California. So he’s going to share his story exactly how he just recently did a deal in Sacramento within the first three weeks of moving there. So again, a market he wasn’t 100% familiar with, he just got right into it, and took massive imperfect action and pulled a deal out in three weeks. And we’ll go to the end and share exactly what he was able to make on that one deal. So, Mr. John Leonard, how the heck are you? And kind of fill our crowd in on a little bit about who you are.
John Leonard: What’s up Cody? I’m good.
Cody Hofhine: Good, good, good. Fill us in. Tell us a little bit about yourself, and ultimately what got you into wholesaling.
John Leonard: Okay, for sure. First, I’m really excited to be on the podcast, so thanks for having me.
Cody Hofhine: Likewise, likewise. When I saw you at the live event in Nashville, I was like, brother, we’ve got to get you on the podcast. You just did a smoking hot deal.
John Leonard: Yeah, I was surprised. I’m worthy of the podcast now.
Cody Hofhine: Oh, totally worthy of it, my friend.
John Leonard: It’s all good. You know, I have a story I’d love to share, but I really started getting into wholesaling this May. Before that, I was in the chemicals industry. So I finished school, I got a degree in chemistry, and then I did a little bit of Master’s degree stuff in general engineering and science. I spent about six years working in the chemicals industry doing a bunch of stuff. And I’ve always committed to myself that I wouldn’t just settle, and be mediocre, and just accept something that wasn’t fulfilling to me.
I’ve always wanted to do something that really, at the end of the day, isn’t work, something that I love and that’s fulfilling. And I could never find that. I just couldn’t find that working in corporate America. So you know what? My journey really started right after school. I graduated, I was already married. I had my first child already, and I was blessed and fortunate enough to get a job right after school. And I just started working. And worked a couple of years in one area, wanted to switch it up, see how that was in a different place, worked there. I guess typical millennial work schedule, switching up every couple of years.
Cody Hofhine: Sure. Town hopping.
John Leonard: Yup. Yeah, just I tried different things, and it really was a journey, searching what I want to do. I looked at everything, Cody. I looked at being a teacher, I looked at being a doctor, because I originally went into school to be a doctor. I just really searched deeply.
And finally, I got a little bit of a mindset change. I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
Cody Hofhine: Oh, so good for so many entrepreneurs. All of them say, “Oh man, what changed my mind was Rich Dad, Poor Dad.”
John Leonard: Exactly. Read that probably about a year ago. And I already knew I wanted to get into real estate, because my dad does it. I grew up helping them fix up houses. So he’s kind of an entrepreneur. My wife, her family is a family of entrepreneurs. And I just never really took to it. I was just, like Rich Dad, Poor Dad says, I was so programmed into, “Go to school, get a job, get your degree, get a job, get a 401k and invest and hope for the best I guess.” So it took me a while to change my mindset.
And over the last year I read that book, I started reading other books. I realized, okay, real estate is the way I want to go. Now I’ve got to focus in on something in real estate, what I want to do. That’s when I started getting out to REIA meetings, getting out to different, meeting different people, and I realized, okay, wholesaling’s the way to go. And that was about, like I said, in May, when I was like, “All right, I’m going to learn about this and see if I can do it.” And eventually led me to Wholesaling Inc. in August. From there, I’ve just been all in, man. I’ve just been going after it. And I’ve been blessed. So it’s good.
Cody Hofhine: I love this. I love this. So John, here’s the thing. Let’s even backtrack just for two seconds, then we’re going to hop right into the meat and potatoes. But what’s really cool about this is, right out of the gates, you had some hiccups and some walls placed right in front of you. You lived in a smaller town in Idaho, and you just felt like things weren’t really rocking and rolling in the way that you wanted to go. They weren’t really going at the speed you want to do.
And you did something very interesting. And what’s cool about this story, and why I’m sharing this a little bit, and why you can maybe expand on it, is the fact that you recognized there could be opportunity elsewhere. So first of all, knowing that you might have to move, but second of all, having a spouse that’s onboard and supporting you with this is absolutely crucial to your success, to my success, to everyone’s success out there. And so, tell us a little bit more about that struggle that you had a real challenge in, and how ultimately you had to do some uncomfortable things and move.
John Leonard: Yeah, for sure. You know, for me as a man, my purpose, for me, is to… Like most men, we want to make our wives happy. They say, happy wife, happy life, right? But I want to give her what she wants and give her a nice home in a safe place and anything else that she wants above that. But yeah, it was tough. We were actually in her perfect heaven in Idaho. We were in a small town, Twin Falls, Idaho. It’s a good place. Population’s about 50,000. But I soon realized a couple weeks in with Wholesaling Inc., with you and Tom, you guys were like, “That’s not going to work.” You’re going to be able to get deals, but for me, where I want to go with my business, it’s not going to work.
So around, to give you an idea, Twin Falls, a radius of about two hours drive. Around it is nothing else but desert, except for maybe another town of 50,000 or less. So there’s really not a lot there. So, and let me back up too. You know, like I said, Rachel, my wife, her sister actually lived right across the street from us. And her husband and their kids were all there. So like I said, for her it was just heaven. Because she’s from Idaho.
Cody Hofhine: The perfect world, yeah.
John Leonard: Yeah, yeah. And she’s from there, and from Idaho, and all our kids would play every day. We had a nice house. It was really nice. But we both kind of sat down and realized, look, this might be something we have to sacrifice for something greater. And we started looking at places to move to start our wholesaling business.
We looked at Boise, we looked at Salt Lake, and some other places we had lived previously, like Houston, and my home, where I’m from, in Sacramento. So in that process, come about maybe August I’d say, my employer, my boss came to me and he said… It was one of those check-ins where you talk about everything. He’s like, “Hey, so you look really good on paper.” My job was in sales at that time, so I had already met my sales for the year and I did look good on paper. He’s like, “You look good on paper, but I can tell you’re not fulfilled.” And I’m like, “Yeah, we’ve talked about this. I’m not fulfilled.”
Cody Hofhine: Yeah. This is not the first time we’ve had this conversation.
John Leonard: Yeah. So he’s like, “How about we do this? How about we give you a couple of months to move on to your next, whatever you want to do, and give us a couple of months to find the next person to come fill the spot. Think about that and come get back to me, and let me know if that plan sounds good.” So I thought about it, went back to him. I said, “I’ll take you up on it.” Right. Next day he calls me, he says, “We accept your resignation.”
I said, “Okay, well, I guess it’s starting out, it’s game time.” So, I did not expect that. It was definitely premature, because like you mentioned, we’ve got a baby coming.
Cody Hofhine: So you jumped right into it. You got tough thrown at you right out of the gates. You ultimately found a home where you wanted to be in Sacramento. Your wife is onboard supporting you. You start going into it. Let’s go right into the meat and potatoes, and let’s help every one of our listeners right now know that even uncomfortable spaces where they’re at, that they too can do a deal. So let’s talk about right out of the gates. How did you start getting right involved in Sacramento? What was the list you started mailing out, or was it a mail? Was it cold calling? But ultimately, what did you do to start getting leads coming in?
John Leonard: Yeah, for sure. So I’d already at this point been through the training with you guys. So I basically had to restart everything in Sac. So we made a plan. The plan was for me to come out to Sacramento for three weeks and to go back, pick up Rachel and the kids, and move everybody. So I got right to it. Just the same pattern, the same order of things that you guys teach. I spent the first two weeks to set everything up, got my cash buyers, the whole thing, right?
Come the third week is when I started prospecting. I had had a coaching call with Tom. He said, “California is going to be a place where you’re going to need to cold call.” I don’t have a lot of money. So, like most people, or some, I guess, I was fortunate to finish school without any debt, but over time we’ve just accumulated debt. We just haven’t managed, we haven’t been good stewards of what we’ve been given. So we’ve got about 40,000 in debt. So I just don’t have a lot of money at all to really start. He said, “You’ve got to cold call.” So I just started studying Brent Daniels, and what they do, and I set that up.
So I used Mojo Dialer, I went Driving for Dollars, and I got my tax delinquent list. And I just uploaded all those and just started calling. I didn’t mess around with anything else. Spent that last week, the third week calling, I did about three hours a day, which is what I found you guys recommended. Come, gosh, like the third day in that week, I was breaking down, man.
Cody Hofhine: “This is crushing me!”
John Leonard: Oh my gosh. I’m like, I quit/got fired from my job. My wife’s been crying every day for the last month, because she’s going to leave her perfect place. And it was nice there, I’m not saying, you know. It was hard. I was there alone. I mean, my family’s here, I was staying with my mom. That was hard too, you know, I’m living with my parents. No, and I had a moment where I just broke down. And I don’t know how religious you guys get on the podcast, but I’m Christian.
Cody Hofhine: We preach tithing from day one with the group. We’re all about it.
John Leonard: Exactly. I started praying. I’m like, “Hey, I’m doing everything.” And I felt guided up to that point. I felt that the direction was right. And that day, after that prayer, I got my deal, I got my call. Called them, called these folks, and…
Cody Hofhine: Holy smokes. So just a trial of faith, my friend. Get down, humble yourself to a prayer. And then what does that phone call, did it end up coming from a Driving for Dollars list, or did it come from tax delinquent?
John Leonard: Driving for Dollars, yep.
Cody Hofhine: Okay. So you drove out, saw some ran-down homes, took the address, skip traced the number, got the phone number of the homeowner, called him. And then, was this calling out that you got the deal, or was this someone returning a call to you?
John Leonard: I called to them, they answered the phone, calling out.
Cody Hofhine: Okay. What did that sound like? So what we’d look for, so everyone on this phone or on the podcast that’s listening right now, what we really are looking for is motivation. It really has nothing to do with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, how big of square footage, it’s nothing really to do with that. So, when you’re on the phone with this individual, what let you know that, man, this is a motivated seller. This is someone that’s looking to sell and sell right now.
John Leonard: So, I was looking for the four pillars of pre-qualification: Timeline, motivation, condition of the home, and price. And I was asking everybody those questions. So when I called this number, I called him, I went through my script. Basically, “Hey, wanted to see if you’re interested an offer on your property.” And she said, “On this house, or the one next door?” And I’m like, “Hey, whichever one you’re looking to sell.”
Cody Hofhine: Progress, not perfection, baby.
John Leonard: And she’s like, “Well, the one next door we actually do need to sell.” And I actually didn’t have to pre-qualify her, because she literally said, “We need to sell it to an investor, because it’s a fixer upper, and we’re done with it.” I was like, “All right. I’m your guy.” I was like, “When can I meet? When can I come out?” So, that was it. And I went out, I saw the house and I’m like, “How did I not write this down?” Because I wrote the one next door. And I’m like, “How did I not write this one down?” So they ended up, it was a family, they owned the house, the two houses next to them. And they had that house they wanted to sell. And they’re like, “Yeah, we know we need to sell at a low price so let’s just get it done.”
Cody Hofhine: So they understood the game, they knew you’re an investor, they knew you needed a deep discount. This is what I think is so great about this episode specifically, right this second. Jotting down notes, guys, is crucial on this. Because I think so many times we think, “No one’s going to sell at a discount.” And no one, when they think investor, they think, “No way, I’m not going to talk to you, you just want a deep discount.” These individuals, quite the opposite. They knew their home was in bad condition, they knew an investor was their option, and they knew they need to sell at a deep discount, and it does exist. So people out there listening right now, it does exist. Does it exist all the time with everyone you talk to? Absolutely not. But this is a perfect example. Okay, keep going. This is good, good, good stuff. So, you meet with the people at the home, and was it hard to get to a price that you knew you needed to be at or was it fairly easy?
John Leonard: Nope, it wasn’t hard. I asked him, I said, all right. I already looked, I had some tools I got from the title company that I had agreed to work with. That’s part of getting everything set up. So I could look up some information on the house. And I confirmed that information with them. So, okay, how much do you owe? It looks like you took another loan out. What do you owe on the house? I got that number. I asked them, because as I’ve listened to you guys and starting up my business, I’ve really appreciated the value that you guys place on helping people and bringing them value. The extra, always leaving something on the table for them. So I asked them, I said, “What else do you have? Do you have any debt? What else can I help you with?” They had some credit card debt, so I threw that in a little bit. And I told them a price, and they’re like, “All right, sounds good.” So there really wasn’t much to talk about.
Cody Hofhine: That’s awesome. So, here’s another noteworthy, for those listening. Wow. Like, gold nugget after gold nugget. This is one to jot down. Always give more in value than you ever charge in price. So in this situation, look how much value he added. Not just, “Hey, how do I just win for myself?” But John took the necessary steps to make sure that it really was a win-win, and to go over and above from a typical investor. So many times it’s all about me, me, me, me, me. But the game of wholesaling is not about you, the investor, it’s about them, the seller, and how you can serve them, help them, regardless if you get the deal or not. And so, I love this. This is everything perfect, this is like a perfect script right here John. So keep going. So what did you ultimately put the home under contract for?
John Leonard: Put her under for 200,000.
Cody Hofhine: Okay, 200,000. And then when did you start doing? Did you have to close on it? Is there something that you simply assigned to another investor? What did that look like?
John Leonard: I assigned that contract to another investor.
Cody Hofhine: Okay. Did you have many people involved? Was there a lot of people interested in this home? Was there just one? What did that look like?
John Leonard: So, in speaking of value and bringing value to people, and being, I like the phrase being a go giver. I had met, in part of my networking process to set things up, I had met a bunch of other wholesalers. And I’d met a guy who was pretty active and also pretty new full-time. And I asked to meet up with him, I met up with him, and I pretty much threw up value all over his plate. And he was asking me tons of questions about stuff from Wholesaling Inc. And I was like, “Yeah man, do this, yeah, do that.” And at the end of it, you know, I had originally approached him like, “Hey, you want to trade a buyer’s list, basically, right?” But at the end of it, I had given him all this information and value. And he’s like, “I’m going to send you my whole list.”
So I got a huge list from him. Then from that list I got a good 10, 15 people show up at an inspection date that I set to come look at the house. And from that I got three to four offers I think.
Cody Hofhine: Nice. So, what did you put it out there as a starting point? Like, “Hey, if you’re interested in this home, here’s what we’re looking to sell for.” What was it looking like? When you were marketing the contract.
John Leonard: Yeah, I put it up for 219. I’m trying to make sure I structure my business so that I have $20,000 average in assignment fees, so that’s why I put it there. To be honest, I had no idea where to put it. I just, I knew that I was trying to get that average.
Cody Hofhine: What did the offer end up coming under for?
John Leonard: Right. I ended up getting a highest offer for 210.
Cody Hofhine: 210. Hold on one second. You know what’s coming brother.
John Leonard: Yeah boy.
Cody Hofhine: We’ve got the victory bell ringing. So, essentially you made $10,000 on this deal, for just going out there, Driving for Dollars, finding some ran-down homes, grab the address, skip trace, called the individual, find out this person is motivated, knows they need to sell it at a discount. This stuff cannot be made up. This is the best part is, it’s just work. It’s just progress. It’s doing, it’s not sitting there thinking about a perfect plan. I love the fact that you included God in this plan. That’s awesome. I think that’s how you can succeed in this business. So I love that you did that. And then ultimately, you just picked up the phone. This never would’ve happened if you just didn’t keep trying, keep taking massive imperfect action. Don’t wait for a perfect plan because it doesn’t exist. And ultimately you got this motivated seller on the other end, and here you are with a payday of $10,000, which is absolutely amazing.
What are you going to do from here? What does it look like? Is this something that you are just now all in like, “Holy smokes, let’s put some money back in this. Let’s get some marketing going.” What direction do you think you’re going from here for wholesaling?
John Leonard: Yeah, all in. I already know what I want to do with my business. It’s going all back in. And we’re sacrificing now so that we can do that. I’m living with my dad, one of his rentals for free right now. We’ve been blessed to have family that can support us. And we’re looking to get out as soon as we can, as soon as we get our business growing. So yeah.
Cody Hofhine: That’s awesome. Well my man, that is some awesome, awesome stuff. To end this, we always like to end this in a way that will help give value to those that took time to listen to this podcast. And I know, John, that they got a ton of value from what you did. So I first and foremost want to thank you for being on this podcast.
John Leonard: Sure, thank you.
Cody Hofhine: But let’s share some more value to these listeners. What are some good books? Let’s go with one book. If you could name one book that has been something that has been helpful in your way of getting into wholesaling and ultimately getting your first deal. What book helped get you there?
John Leonard: Just going to go classic, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. That’s a mindset changing book for me. That’s what catalyzed and triggered my transformation to get out of the rat race and to achieve my goals. That’s the one.
Cody Hofhine: Perfect, perfect. And then, if you were to start all over again, hindsight, sometimes we have a 20/20 vision, like everyone says. It’s kind of a good saying. But looking back, you start to look at, “Man, this went really well, this went really bad.” So if you had to look backwards, and here you have all these people listening to the podcast that might be at their beginning stages, they just don’t know where to start. So looking back at the beginning, what would you have done differently? Or maybe what would you have made sure that you had done the same?
John Leonard: You know, listen, I know everybody has their own path. And you need to know your identity, your purpose, and your goals. And for me, I know those, but they always change. You always have to revisit those. I wish honestly, that I had never… It’s hard to say, because I learned so much from being in the workforce, I really did, but man, I wish I would have just jumped right into entrepreneurship. I knew it was who I was. I was afraid. And if you’re one of those people where you have doubt in yourself or you’re afraid, I mean, look, I have a family, I get it. I have a family, a wife, I have kids. And yeah, I want to support them, I want to provide, protect, preside. I want to be a man. I want to be a good man. And it’s scary, but now that I’ve taken the leap, I wish I’d done it earlier. I wish I’d just done it earlier.
Cody Hofhine: Such good words. I love that. And wholesaling ultimately can be a great thing for anyone. It’s tough. It’s not easy. You’ve heard this from John personally, of his struggles, his personal trials and challenges that he had to overcome to ultimately get this first deal. But John, I’ll ask you, has it been worth it?
John Leonard: It’s totally been worth it. Of course.
Cody Hofhine: Absolutely, absolutely. Well my man, I want to thank you again for being on the podcast. This is going to be one that’s going to be helpful for so many. I think there’s so many in this situation where they’re maybe working for corporate America and they’re like, “Man, I’ve had this same conversation with my manager. How do I help you get succeeding? Well, we’ve had this conversation. I either need more money or I need a different position.” And I think this resonates with so many individuals out there, where they feel like they’re stuck. So, thank you so much for joining us, and I want you to keep crushing it. And maybe here in a few months we’ll do kind of a recap of what has taken place over the last few months, and tell what happened from your first deal and what it takes you to here a few months from now.
John Leonard: Yeah, for sure. Thank you. I’d love to. Thanks, Cody.
Cody Hofhine: K, brother.
Rhino Nation. This has been an absolute awesome podcast where you have heard from John personally, his true story right here, on how he’s struggled out of the gates, and he had to come up with some big decisions. He has an amazing wife that supported him through this. He ultimately moved out of state, but within three weeks of getting back to his hometown, was able to simply, from taking massive imperfect action, still having trials and challenges, find his first deal that paid him $10,000. This can happen to any one of you listening right now. It’s, are you willing to get uncomfortable and stay uncomfortable? Success is always found on the other side of comfort.
If you want to hear more stories, obviously we have tons of podcasts of individuals that are doing deals, but also go over to wholesalinginc.com, that’s Wholesaling I-N-C.com, and play around on the testimonials tab, where you can hear countless other stories and see their faces while they have recorded just a simple testimony of what wholesaling has done for them. It can be done for you guys. I can tell you that right now. It’s just, are you willing to get uncomfortable? If you need help personally leading and guiding you in your wholesaling business, you can definitely book a call with our team and we’d be glad to see if it’s a good fit for one another. And if it is, we’ll invite you to be part of the tribe. Until next time, take care and get ready for another episode. God bless guys.