Today’s guest chose the last option and we’ll hear how amazingly things turned out for him.
TJ Cotton is a phenomenal rhino from Charlotte, North Carolina. While many new wholesalers don’t find deals until they are a few months in, TJ found his very first deal in just a month! What’s even more amazing is he earned $25,000 from said deal!
If you’re a new wholesaler who’s still trying to find your way around, today’s episode can be a wonderful source of information and wisdom for you. TJ not only shared the steps he took to find a lucrative deal, he also shared the preparations he did before he jumped into wholesaling full time.
Awesome wholesaling gold nuggets in today’s episode, so don’t miss it!
- Wholesaling Inc – TTP
- Batch Skip Tracing (Code: TTP)
- DealMachine (Code: TTP)
- Call Motivated Sellers
- TJ on Instagram
- Mojo Dialer
The Only 3 Ways To Get A Deal With TJ Cotton
Let’s be honest, there are only three ways to get a wholesale deal. Did you know that? I know a lot of you guys that have been reading know this. My guest on the show knows this but I will break it down for you. There are three ways to get a wholesale deal. If you take away the word wholesaling, all it means is that you source a real estate opportunity. What wholesaling is, you are sourcing real estate opportunities. When you can do that, you have the power to fix and flip, to develop, to wholesale, to keep for yourself. There are so many options but there are three ways to get them. You can buy the deals. You can buy it through marketing and advertising.
On this show, you learn about a lot of people that are successful with direct mail or pay-per-click or bandit signs. That’s a way to buy your deals. Two, you can wait for deals by getting referrals. You could be the guy or gal in your area, in your market that people send deals too because they know that you get them done but it takes a lot of time.
Remember when you are buying deals, going back, number one, you need to have a budget. Take that into account. Number two, you have to wait for those deals. They are not as consistent or you could go with number three, which obviously, I am going to shout from the rooftops as the best way to build your business, your wholesaling business, your sourcing deals business is to be proactive and reach out to distressed property owners every single day.
Every single day, have a quality conversation with a distressed property owner that you control the schedule of when you speak to them. It is beautiful. A beautiful way to encapsulate that or give an example of that is this interview that I’m going to do on the show. I’m excited. Make sure you go to Brent Daniels – Real Estate on YouTube. It is my pleasure to introduce you from Charlotte, North Carolina, TJ Cotton.
What’s going on, Brent? I’m glad to be here.
I’m excited for you to be here as well. North Carolina is fantastic. It is a fantastic market for States but the markets in the states are fantastic. I’ve got a lot of people that give me a lot of positive experiences with wholesaling in North Carolina. You are not originally from North Carolina, is that right?
No, I’m from Atlanta. Charlotte is a few years behind what Atlanta is now. It’s exciting to see. I know how big Atlanta is. I’m excited to be in Charlotte.
How long have you been in the real estate business?
I failed at buying a fix and flip a couple of years ago. I bought a duplex. I’m living in it and house hacking it. I started wholesaling not long ago.
Not long ago, and you’ve already gotten a deal. This is incredible for everybody out there that’s considering starting this business. What I will say is truly like for me, it took me four months to get my first deal. It took one of the top guys in my market, one of the best phone prospectors, Luke Rotvold, five months to get a deal but TJ here got on and grabbed a deal in his first month. We will break that all down. What is your background? How did you get into real estate?
I was a car salesman and worked long hours, 60, 70 hours a week. It’s tiring but somebody came in and they were telling me a little bit about real estate. I looked into it, and the investing side went into a rabbit hole, and down you go. It’s a lot of fun.
It’s interesting because I bought a new truck. When I was there, the sales guys there were all about wholesaling real estate. They were like, “This business is great but it eats your soul up. I can’t do it. The hours are so long. I always have to be hustling and doing things like, ‘Tell me more about wholesaling.’” Is that how it happened like somebody in there was, “I’m doing this now,” or are they like, “Have you heard about wholesaling real estate?”
I looked at every avenue in real estate investing. As a salesperson, wholesaling and being proactive spoke to me. It was a natural fit for me.
I find this interesting. There are many different things that people are hot on like, “I’m going to do CBD oil. I’m going to do cryptocurrency. I’m going to do drop shipping. I’m going to do all these things.” Have you always had the real estate passion, the bug? Did you read a book? Did somebody turn you on? Do you have a family member that brought you into this?
No, not at all. I find it through the guy. He told me he was doing some investing and looked into it. The more you read and research, the more it makes sense. It’s tangible. It’s something that’s real.
Nobody calls like you do.
You can start quickly without a ton of overhead.
Yeah, like in a month.
Are you still working there?
No. I went all in.
Tell me about that. Did you go all-in on day one or did you go all-in after you closed a deal or after you started, you knew that you got a good pipeline of leads? This is a question I get all the time, like, “Should I quit what I’m doing now to start this business?” My answer typically is, “Unless you got six months’ reserves to cover all your costs and expenses, then stay in that job and make this your side business. Build it up. Get enough momentum behind you so that you are going to commit to it and be successful at it.”
It was a pretty decent-paying job. I saved up quite a bit.
How important do you think that is?
Massively. If you are out there and thinking about how you are going to survive, as opposed to trying to figure out the best way to build your business, you are going to hurt yourself. You should have at least six months of reserves set up. I had that. I was working six days a week. My daughter one day told me that she had a dream and I wasn’t in the dream. That hurt me. I said, “It’s time. Let’s get off on her own.”
Those hours it’s crazy. It’s fluid, and you never know when you are going to be done and when you got to be there. You saved up a ton, which is important but an important factor too, if you are reading, is to have your six-month reserves but act like you have no money. Literally, act like you are completely broke. You’ve got to start going out of the gates fast because if you think six months doesn’t go quick, it goes real quick. If you are not taking action now and getting those leads into your pipeline, getting opportunities to meet with distressed property owners, to go over there and see if there are problems that you can solve in your community, it’s going to end. You are right back to that job.
You are like, “This didn’t work.” You stay in that rut, and then you find something else. It’s a constant back and forth of going after your passions like, “It didn’t work.” Back to your 9:00 to 5:00. It’s important to build up those reserves but act like you have nothing. Start every day at zero. What happens? You get into wholesaling, and then how do you start getting deals?
First, I called you. I knew that I needed somebody to guide me. It’s easy to go out there and try to figure it out all on your own but there’s a lot of wasted energy. Time is money. If you only have six months to figure it out like yourself, I don’t know if 5 months would have been 5 months if you had somebody saying, “X, Y, and Z is what you do every single day.” That helped a ton.
Going through everything and you explained, “These are what distressed property owners are. This is what you want to look for.” I started to compile a list of distressed property owners. Skip tracing is pretty easy. You put it into a system, and it spits your numbers out. You start calling people and get somebody on the phone. I got Tina on the phone. It worked out well. She told me she usually hangs up on everybody but she connected with me. It was good.
We talk about lists. In the TTP Program, we break down the top list, and we keep that updated on what are the best lists to go after. Which list did you find this deal from?
This was tax delinquent.
This is somebody that they are behind on their property taxes. This isn’t like income taxes. Every property in America has been taxed. We own the house, but technically, the government owns the land. We have rights to do certain things but we had taxed on land. If you don’t pay your property taxes, it’s a good indication that there’s something going on there. You said her name was Tina. Tell me about Tina. What was her motivation? What was her problem that you were going to solve besides being delinquent on taxes? That’s just a symptom.
I reached out to Odell, her husband. Her husband had been deceased for several years. She picks up the phone and says, “Odell is not here. Odell has been deceased for several years.” That’s never a conversation that you want to start that way. I talked to her and apologized profusely, “I’m sorry, I didn’t know.” She says, “That’s okay.”
I talked to her. I said, “What’s going on? How are you?” I’m trying to get to know her a little bit. Long story short, with the property, the front of it has the living room that you walk in and then the kitchen. In the back, there’s this back room. The backyard is nice but she doesn’t go into the back half of the house because that was her deceased husband’s area.
She was only using part of it. She did have some other tax issues and was behind on her mortgage as well. We helped with the entire process. She opened up to me because I was there for her, and they are trying to help her, not trying to buy her house also, what you are trying to do but the biggest takeaway from it was helping her. It was awesome.
What does that mean, helping her? Are you talking like you are a good communicator and listening to her while she’s talking? Is it like, she’s saying that there are certain things that she needs help with like moving, finding a new place, boxing up or throwing out stuff? There are a lot of things that go into there to help her out. What does that mean specifically in this? It’s important to understand that when you go away and with that servant’s heart and mindset that you are going to go and help her, it always works out. That’s the secret sauce.
I was talking about that specifically, the secret sauce. That is what it is. Communication was key. Listening to her and being an active listener. Taking what she’s saying and being able to respond to what she’s saying and not just, “Okay. Yes, that sounds good.” It was trying to understand her situation because there were a lot of layers to it. It wasn’t just one thing.
It was multiple things for her that I could help with. She was back on her taxes. She owed the IRS. She was back on her mortgage. She felt like she didn’t have anywhere to go. Letting her know that there is a way out. With that, you can take a little bit of money away from this. It is obviously something that keys people in as well. It’s all of it.
Does she live there?
She lived there.
Does she have somewhere else that she can move? It comes up a lot with owner-occupied properties. Especially if they are older or have owned it for a long time, the issue is, “I don’t have anywhere I can move. I want to sell this property. I’m behind. I need to sell it but I don’t know where I’m going to go.” I’ve got some thoughts but I want to know your thoughts on it.
She found a place. I had the same questions. I asked you about this, “What do I do?” You said, “She will find a place.”
It’s funny that you’ve mentioned that. If they were ready and wanted to sell at this point, made the decision to sell, they will find somewhere. They will live somewhere with somebody they know for a little while. They will go rent something. People find places. It’s crazy. It’s not like they just go on the streets.
That’s exactly what happened. It was the day of closing that she got a place. It worked out. It usually does work out, is what I’m finding.
Did this property need a lot of work? Was it dated? Did it need a lot of fundamental repairs like the roof, the kitchen, bathrooms, and flooring?
Yeah, it was not up to date. It was a nice brick ranch home. It was a 3, 1 and a half, 3-bed, 1 and a half bath. It was all outdated, an older home. The green shag carpet in the front room. The kitchen was small. The end buyer is going to do whatever they need to, to open it up, update it or whatever. There’s nothing structural and major. There was a leak in the roof but the roof would have been replaced years ago. It was an area of the roof. That wasn’t the whole roof. That was it.
By the way, I don’t think we mentioned this. This was a cold call. You just picked up the phone. You dialed in. I assume you use a dialer.
The next call could be a yes, so just get through all the nos.
You put in your lists, you press go, and it connects you with Tina. All of a sudden, you are having an appointment, understanding your problems, and solving your problems from a phone call. It’s amazing what happens when you are out there, proactive, and have that servant’s heart. How many days of calling were you?
I’ve put some stuff up in my little cold-calling cockpit. I’ve made my cockpit, and I put it up there. I said, “I have a contract by the 21st.” I got assigned on the 21st, which was crazy. I thought I would put the 20th, but it was the 21st. I was 21 days in before I got the contract signed. Maybe fifteen days of cold calling.
In that time, were you getting other leads? Maybe not ones that were like ready to go now but do you have a pipeline that you are building up?
I started in a smaller area, where I found out that more people were moving out than were moving in. I readjusted. I realized that the buyer’s market wasn’t going to be as large there. I refocused. I hear a lot about people saying they want to go to smaller markets instead of larger markets. For me, I don’t think that that’s the right move. It’s smarter to go into the larger market.
It’s where the cash buyers are.
I did 7 or 8 days of that and then switched over to the Charlotte market. It was rocking and rolling. I’m just calling.
That’s how simple this business is. It goes back to what I started this show at. You need to look at your business and decide. This whole business comes down to having quality conversations with distressed property owners. Do you want to buy it? Do you want to wait for it? Do you want to earn it? Have self-awareness. If you know that you are never going to be able to pick up a phone and call a stranger, I totally understand.
There are a lot of people like that but if you are one of those crazy people that are proactive and don’t have a huge budget but want to be in this business and don’t want to eat up all your savings on marketing, then you got to be proactive. Pick up the phone, talk to people. Go out and a door knock or do something that’s proactive every single day so that you can have those quality conversations with a minimal budget. It is so key. The TTP Program costs the side to set up your dialer, the phone number and getting the phone numbers. Who do you use for skip tracing?
Batch Skip Tracing.
BatchSkipTracing.com. That’s it. What was your total budget for this in month one?
Month one, setting everything up, I probably had 4,000 leads that I had skipped trace. Maybe $2,500 total.
With Batch Skip Tracing, you can get $0.18 with the TTP code. Technically, don’t tell anybody but probably $0.15. Go ahead, guys. Use it. If you have 4,000 skip traces, that’s $600, plus the dialer, $150, so $750. Truly you could get going with it.
I had some other things that were helping me out as well. You can do it. It was inexpensive.
Let’s get to the nitty-gritty in this, TJ. What did you buy it for? What did you sell it for? What did you earn?
When I called her, we spoke a little bit. She had no idea what she wanted to sell it for. I didn’t get the appointment that day. She said she needed to talk to her daughter. She called me back. That was Thursday. She called me back Monday morning and said, “My daughter said I can sell it.” We talked about it a little bit. I said, “We are usually buying houses in the area for around $100,000,” and went out there.
There were a few things that were going on with the house that I didn’t understand in the conversation. She told me about them but I didn’t know how bad they were. Cracked windows, a couple of things. I talked to her and said, “With all this, we feel comfortable being at $95,000.” She agreed. We locked it up for $95,000. We put it out at $130,000 and closed at $120,000.
What did you net? Did you assign it? Was it an assignment?
I assigned it. Assigning it is easy, even if you are making more than $5,000 or $10,000. Prep your buyers, “I’m making money. I’m here in this. You are buying it or somebody else is.”
“I negotiated this hard. I followed up. I did all the legwork. This is going to be a big spread. If that bothers you, then pass on this one. You can get the next one. If this is a deal at this price, then let me know. No problem.” I’ve done that up to $65,000 on an assignment. What did you net on it?
$25,000 from a call in your first 30 days. From start to finish, give me the breakdown. When did you start making calls? When did you deposit that money into your checking account?
I started making calls on September 30th, 2020, the last day of September. I put it into my account on November 6th, 2020.
It’s crazy. Here’s the momentum that you’ve got. I don’t care if you get a deal for $50 or $50,000. Once you make money from this business, you understand that it’s not a belief any more. It’s not believing that you could do this. It’s a fact that you can do this. You know that you can do this. If you do it once, you just keep doing it over and over again and find a ton of opportunities. From there, you build up a big bank account and can build a big company or take that cash and buy a bunch of assets. It’s an unbelievable business to be in. I know that you know that. Where do you go from here? What does your day look like? Are you still making calls? Tell me what it looks like now.
I went out and was driving for dollars. I use DealMachine. It’s awesome. I was 1 of the 1s that was saying, “Maybe you don’t spend the $50 a month.” I like to be cheap.
If you use the TTP code, it’s only $40 a month. Make sure if you are reading, DealMachine, use TTP when you check out.
That’s where I start my days. I have a caller. It’s my sister who’s calling for me. I will call in the afternoon. She calls in the morning. When we have appointments, I go out to them. I will say that nobody calls as you do.
What you mean is that nobody is as good as if you were making the calls yourself. Do you pay your sister hourly?
What do you pay her hourly?
I pay her $15 an hour.
That’s the standard, $15. I paid my guys with CallMotivatedSellers.com $20 an hour. They are unbelievable. They are assassins. You pay for what you get the type of thing. A lot of people want to use some cheaper callers in different countries, and it doesn’t work out as well as using American. Some advice for anybody out there reading, if this is your first time reading. TJ, it’s phenomenal. You’ve got your machine. You are still building, calling, and getting these leads, and then it’s getting that consistency to where you are going.
I want to do this every month.
Multiple times a month. Come on. Let’s build this thing up. We need to get six-figure months. That’s life. How do people get ahold of you? How do people reach out to you? They are inspired by you or maybe they want to network with you in Charlotte. What’s the best way to get ahold of you?
Instagram @TheTJCotton. I’m always available there. That’s probably the best.
Are there any meetup groups or anything that you go to that people can see you at? Are you still under the radar now?
There aren’t any wholesaler meetups. I’m looking to start one. That’s something that I’m looking to do. You’ve mentioned the super Saturdays a few times. I’m going to pick your brain and try to set those up as well and figure out how I can build this thing.
Let me lay the groundwork for you because I love this. What I did early on when I was making calls was I would set up two computers. They both had the Mojo Dialer up. I had the data in there, and then I would be making calls on speaker phone. I would have everybody come in, and they would spend fifteen minutes at a time making calls. Everybody is having fun and enjoying themselves. Any of the leads go to me or you if you set up a super Saturday but people get to learn how to have conversations with distressed property owners. It is beautiful, fun, and exciting.
I highly encourage anybody that’s thinking about that. Get your friends together. It doesn’t matter if they are in the industry or whatever. I don’t care if they are teachers or are in the military or whatever. Get them and be proactive together. It’s a lot of fun. Anything you need, TJ, I got you. Give some advice to people starting out.
Don’t give up. It’s hard and tough. There are going to be days where people say something that you don’t want to know but that next call could be a yes. Get through all the noes and try to get to a yes or a maybe and then follow up. Make sure you are following up. That’s the best advice that I could give in the beginning. Follow somebody. It doesn’t matter who it is. Follow somebody that’s laid out the groundwork from A to Z. Brent does a pretty good job. I would say Brent’s a great guy to get involved with.
Thank you. I appreciate it. Thank you, TJ. To get a deal in your first 30 days is extremely difficult. You went out there. You were proactive. You have the instincts to know how to help and serve this person in your community, which is phenomenal. Thanks for being on the show. Everybody out there, if you are interested in joining the most proactive group in real estate, investing in the most proactive program, it is the TTP Program. That stands for Talk To People.
Go to WholesalingInc.com/ttp. Join the likes of some superstars here that are doing amazing things in their community. I love to work with you personally. Each and every one of the people that join the TTP Program gets access to me so that they can text me and ask me a question about certain deals. It’s phenomenal. I love it. I love you. Until next time, guys. I encourage you to talk to people.
- Brent Daniels – Real Estate – YouTube
- @TheTJCotton – Instagram
- Mojo Dialer
- Be sure to join the Wholesaling Inc Facebook group
About Brent Daniels
Brent Daniels is a multi-million dollar wholesaler in Phoenix, Arizona… and the creator of “Talk To People” — a simple, low-cost, and incredibly effective telephone marketing program…
Also known as “TTP”… it helps wholesalers do more, bigger, and more profitable deals by replacing traditional paid advertising (postcards, yellow letters, bandit signs, and PPC) with being proactive and taking action every single day!
Brent has personally coached over 1,000 wholesalers enrolled in his “Cold Calling Mastery” training, and helped 10,000’s of others who listen to him host the Wholesaling Inc. podcast, watch his YouTube channel, and attend his live events…
A natural leader, Brent combines his passion for helping others with his high energy, and “don’t-wait-around-for-business” attitude to help you CRUSH your wholesaling goals as quickly and easily as possible!