Many people can attest that while wholesaling can have a few challenges, the compensation you get is always well worth the effort. Case in point: today’s rockstar guest earned $12,087 on a deal he spent just a total of 5 hours on! If we do the math, that’s equivalent to getting paid $2,417.40 per hour!
Greg Berney is a phenomenal rhino from Greensboro, North Carolina. The husband and doting dad of 3 has been wholesaling for over 2 years now and has done over 40 deals. In this episode, he shared how the universe helped him with his desire to venture into wholesaling full-time.
Join Greg and Cody as they break down one of the most recent deals he did—the challenges he encountered and how he resolved them, the marketing channel he used, and other tips and techniques he swears by. So many gold nuggets in today’s episode, so don’t miss it!
Wholesaling Houses Doesn’t Have to Be So Hard
I am super excited to be with you guys. For those of you that are new to the show, we want to welcome you. What we are going to be talking about is wholesaling. Wholesaling is simply the art of finding deeply discounted properties that you can then turn for a huge profit. We are going to be interviewing someone that is a beast. He has been doing this for a few years and has done right around 40 deals. He will share about a deal and what he learned from this.
Rhino Nation, this is when to get out a piece of paper and a pen and jot down the golden nuggets you will read. This show should inspire you and motivate you to take action. If you are looking to get involved in wholesaling, this is something that will give you some action items, but the show is only as good as getting out there and taking action. If you do not take action, this show will do absolutely nothing for you.
Commit to taking the notes on the golden nuggets, then commit yourself to taking that action on those golden nuggets you write down now. In this episode, we have Greg Berney. He is from Greensboro, North Carolina. He has been doing this for a few years. He is into it full-time, although it did not start that way, and he will share a little bit about that. He has done right around 40 deals, and he is going to share with you step-by-step a deal that he did and what he learned from it. Get ready to go. We are going to bring him on now.
Mr. Greg Berney, how are you?
Cody, I am doing great. How are you?
I am doing good. Rhino Nation, we have got Greg, who will be doing most of the talking as he shares how he did a deal step-by-step. Give us a little background about yourself and what got you involved in wholesaling.
I am in Greensboro, North Carolina. I am married and a father of three. This is a second career for me. I am a clinical social worker by background and my previous career was in a director role within the customer service world of hospitals. I was climbing the corporate ladder for a few years and starting to get into my mid-30s. I was feeling less fulfilled with the path I was on. Real estate had always been an itch that I wanted to scratch. I had a friend in real estate who flipped houses. I flipped a house with him, started learning wholesale, getting little nuggets, and sending out direct mail at night. It started part-time like that.
By part-time, you are talking like evenings and weekends?
I am talking super part-time. I had an opportunity to learn a huge lesson about asking God or the universe, whatever you want to call it, for what you want. On one of these nights, three kids are down in bed. We have had dinner and I am now handwriting direct mail letters. I said to my wife, “If I had a guarantee that we would have six months of expenses covered, I would try this full-time.” I put that out there. The very next week, I got what I asked. A good friend of mine says my corporate sponsors pulled out, so I lost my job.
Have you already saved up six months of expenses, or is this like, “I asked for it and did not have it?”
I asked for it, and as I was in an administrator role, it came with like, “This role does not exist anymore. Here is a bunch of other jobs we think you would be good at in the health system or here is six months of severance.”
You got what you asked. You even had the six months-worth of as if you were still there.
I should have said, “If only I had a year.”
Going back, I would have asked for a two-year plan. This would have been amazing.
It was terrifying, but I also describe it now as I realized I was on edge, ready to leap. It was the push that I needed.
Can you go back to that moment because there are a lot of audiences reading this? I did not plan on this show going this way, but now it is something that would add extreme value as there are so many individuals out there that are in that same spot. I don’t know if this was the case for you, but it was for me. If it is the same, you can share this. I looked at where I was and I was like, “Was it something that could turn into a career that pays okay?” “Yes,” but I was not satisfied. Something was missing. I felt good at it, but my heart was not in it.
I feel like many individuals are probably in a Corporate America job where they are looking at this, and they are thinking, “I want to get into this part-time,” which you can, and that is how I started. Ultimately, there is that real fear of, “What does it look like to leave Corporate America?” Can you dig yourself back to that moment and share what was that real fear when Corporate America was coming to an end? Now it was, you eat what you kill.
It is a strange balance of two things. One is, “This is all I have known.” I knew how much I was going to get paid, a paycheck was coming every two weeks, and what it would say. There was security in that. The other side of that, and it is a mindset shift, is that I was getting a paycheck every two weeks and knew what it would say on it and I had greater potential than that. Suppose you are quiet enough to listen to what’s going on inside your heart, as you said. I was on a path to making good money, and it was not enough. Not money-wise, but it was not enough, fulfillment-wise. I wanted to be able to knock off early to take my son to a basketball game. There were too many things I wanted to do that the corporate role got in the way.
Did you feel like this path was meant for you and it was cut off? Do you think you would have left in six months had it still be your job? Do you get what I am asking?
When there’s an opportunity to help somebody, you take the time to do it.
I would have left. I don’t know if it would have been six months. I spent probably the previous year trying to get the guts up to make that decision, but yes, I was ready for a change. I was prepared to do something with more control over my destiny. It was going to go in that direction one way or the other.
Now that we understand a little bit of background about you of how it all began. It started with the fix and flip, then put it out to God and the universe. Whatever your belief system is. Here we are getting what you ask. You are into it now, full-time. You have now done right around 40 deals. Let’s get right to the meat and potatoes of a deal. Let’s get these audiences, Rhino Nation, something to jot down where they can get out there, be inspired, excited, and take some massive imperfect action. Let’s break down the deal you did. Let’s start with even the marketing channel. What are a couple of the marketing channels you do? Once you talk about it like, “I do this marketing channel and this marketing channel,” then let’s break down what marketing channel you used to get this deal.
For the most part, 90% of my marketing has been direct mail to several different lists. This one happened to be a driving for dollars lead. Shout out to Zach Boothe. When I found this deal, I was not driving for dollars effectively. I probably got lucky finding this one ever since I joined Zach’s course. I was like, “This is how you are supposed to be systematizing this.” There is a method to this madness. This was a direct mail piece to a driving for dollars lead. A house that I happened to drive by. A tarp on the roof did not look like it belonged there, so I sent a piece of direct mail and got a call.
What does it mean to drive for dollars and what does that look like? What is it you are looking for? I know you say the tarp, but let’s break down maybe 3 or 4 key things you look for when driving for dollars.
You are getting in your car, driving around, obviously in a systematized way as possible, but you are looking for houses that look like there is some deferred maintenance. I shared an example, a tarp on the roof when it is the middle of summer around in North Carolina in a neighborhood where everybody got their grass mowed. The house does not look like the grass has been mowed. We don’t get a lot of snow in North Carolina, but whenever we do, I like going out the day after a snowstorm because most of the steps, I see footprints everywhere. The vacant houses don’t have any footprints, so I know that is a house that has a tarp on the roof.
Driveway, like car marks going down or anything.
Yes, so overgrown weeds or broken down cars in front of the house. Any sign that either this house is vacant or maybe not being taken care of, as well as the owner, might like to be taking care of it.
We have gone to one to go as far as this. This is a funny story. We had a home that we were driving by and there was a big tree to the side of the house. You could tell there were big old branches laying on the roof. It was ruining the shingles when the wind would blow to the point where one of the branches was growing into the window. Instead of cutting the branch, they opened the window and let the branch grow into the house. I was like, “This is perfect. This is a distressing situation. Let’s contact this one.”
You are driving for dollars. You find one with a tarp on the roof and you send them a direct mail piece, then they call you. Let’s talk about what you are looking for when you are on the phone. We talk about this motivation that you are looking for motivated sellers. What allowed you to know quickly or through time that this was a motivated seller?
Being a tribe member, access to the scripts that you folks teach is one thing. I follow that direction and that helps pull out the motivation. This is one of those. I am sure you have had these calls where the motivation is obvious. Not necessarily the reasoning behind it but that feeling of like, “This house is such a burden to me.”
There was some digging to do with this one, but this was one of those unicorns where it was super evident from the moment I picked up the phone. This guy calls, and he is an ex-military guy who lives in another town twenty minutes away. He says, “I bought this house years ago. I intended to make sure my daughter always had a place to stay. She has had some issues in the past and has been transient, but I bought this with the idea that she will stay here. She has torn the place to pieces. She has a dog there that has torn everything up. The relationship has gone south. I have kicked her out and she is not coming back. I need this house gone.”
This is something that you are like, “Let’s get out to this appointment.” With it being vacant, did you find that to be a problem were trying to get lined up a time where you and him could go out to a home that he is not living at?
It was not too challenging. We had to work a little bit around his work schedule. It was an after-hours on the weeknight thing. When there is an opportunity to help somebody, you take the time to do it. You want to do it on his schedule. More so than the motivation, I am not thinking about, “Is there a deal here or not?” I am thinking about this guy’s pain is very evident on the phone. It was like, “Whether I buy this house or not or help this guy sell the house, how can I help him?”
I want to capitalize on two key things that you said. For those reading, write these down. These are huge. This is the difference between someone mediocre or good to a great individual, a great wholesaler. Those are two key things that he shared. That is, you make it work on their timing. They are in a situation where you can’t throw up like, “That day does not work. If you want to do it, we will have to do it Wednesday at 6:00.” You go off them. He worked and he already is in this distressful situation.
That is the first thing. These appointments could happen. It is not unheard of. We had an appointment where my business partner was out, and the appointment started at 10:30 PM. He did not leave until 2:30 AM with the contract. You don’t know, but that was the time that worked for this seller. That is key. Make your schedule match theirs. The second one was that he wanted to serve. Greg wanted to help this individual, regardless of whether he was the answer. This guy had a unique problem that either Greg would have a solution for. If Greg was not the solution, he would still help him find the solution. This is crucial.
If you are not in this to serve and love individuals and help them through their problems, this is not the field for you because it is service-based. It is not a real estate game. Real estate is the byproduct of genuinely serving and loving, and helping individuals with their problems. The byproduct is you will get a contract that allows you to purchase their home. If you go there with the mindset of, “I am here for real estate.” It is a mediocre wholesaler, and your time in this arena would not last long. I wanted to capitalize on that because that is huge. Most people do not catch that and keep going. When you met with them, what was it like to get this to a point where you could put it under contract?
Things come up, and you have to adopt the mindset of “This is a problem we’ve not dealt with before. There’s going to be an opportunity to learn something here.”
When he calls, he says, “I think this house is worth about $60,000, but I would probably take somewhere around $30,000.” I said, “Okay.” We set the appointment. I get to the house. I am walking up the driveway. He is sitting on the front porch. He meets me halfway down the driveway. I introduced myself and he said, “I know I said I would take $30,000 on the phone, but I would probably take $25,000.” The motivation was high.
I said, “Let’s talk about the price of the house later. Let’s go inside and sit down. Tell me more about what is going on, and let’s figure out the best way to help you,” so we go inside the house. There is still a bunch of stuff of his daughter there. Some of his stuff was still there as well. We chat for a while. He tells me about his time in the military, talking about everything but the house for a little bit. We get to the point of him wanting to talk more about price. He told me two things while we were chatting. 1) He owed $17,000 on it. 2) He did not have a dime to come out of pocket for anything, especially for moving some of his stuff out of there.
The stress of figuring out the moving was clearly pretty evident so I said, “I know a guy who owns a moving company. What if I offer $17,300 plus I will call my buddy. I will get that all set up so you don’t have to think about it, and I will pay for that.” We went under contract with the $17,300 plus paying for the moving company, which was easy to set up.
Those were unique problems. The key thing is that you did not go right to price. He wanted to be in and out like, “I said it would be $25,000,” but you are like, “Let’s talk price later. How do I help you?” Had you talked price, you may have never solved this problem or helped him clarify what he needed, but because you knew there were some pain points that he brought up through you asking questions, you were able to serve him uniquely, which most investors do not take the time to do. This is crucial. You put it under contract for doing the $17,300 plus some moving. Keep going.
I go under contract. At this point, it had built a cash buyer’s list to that. Maybe there were 100 people on it at that point, set it up on it, and showed it on one day. There is going to be a two-hour window when I am there to create that feeding frenzy. A bunch of people showed up. He found a buyer and he would be ready to close in two weeks. That is where things got interesting. It was easy to get to the contract, but we had some challenges after that.
Let’s go into some of the real challenges. What are some of the real challenges you face so that we all understand? Sometimes, we face the trials and challenges of real estate in general. Sometimes we think, “This is always my luck. It always happens to me,” but this is a reality for all of us.
A couple of days after signing a contract with the buyer, he calls. I don’t remember what it was. He had a simple follow-up question about the house, but it was not something I could answer. I called the seller, who up until that point had been incredibly responsive and returned calls and texts right away. He goes dark for 3 or 4 days and I can’t track him down. I am concerned about him. Are we going to be able to do business on this deal? I drove back to the house and left a note on the door, hoping he would see it.
I do not have another phone number for him. I was not quite sure where he worked or how to track him down. Probably a week goes by after that, the buyer is getting a little anxious. I got a call from the daughter who showed back up saying, “I found your note. I have been trying to track him down too. I do not know where he is but not sure how to proceed.”
Who was on the title? Was it him or her?
He was on the title. Having spent a little bit of time with him like a hermit. Probably, it did not seem surprising to anyone that knew him that he had disappeared for a few days. It turned out to be nothing of concern. He had found some relief signing the contract and then drove out to the mountains for a week. He did not have his cell phone. He did not think to tell anybody. That piece is resolved. We are 3 or 4 days from closing. My buyer texted said, “I want to get a couple of measurements. Is it cool if I go by there?” I said, “Yes, I got a lockbox on there. No problem.”
He calls me an hour later and says, “I drove by the house. There is police tape everywhere. I looked up the house. The front windows busted through and I saw some blood in the living room. I don’t know what to tell you. You might want to figure that out, but I am not buying this house.” I love what you said about how you can be tempted to go into the mindset of like, “This is going to kill my deal.” Woe is my thing. I have done enough of these, obviously coming from a social work background. Things come up, and you have to adopt the mindset like, “This is a problem I have not dealt with before. There is going to be an opportunity to learn something here.”
Write this down, Rhino Nation. When these trials come, have the mindset of, “I have never seen this before, and this will teach me some new thinking. I am going to gain some new capabilities, clarity, and knowledge. I am going to take this on because this is something I have never done, and I want to learn it.” If you can have that mindset, as Greg said, you will be able to move mountains. You will be able to do everything your heart desires because you would not allow the little trials to take you down. You will be like, “This is another learning experience.”
I drove by the house because I was curious, and it was as he described. I contacted the Police Department and asked. Not expecting them to be able to divulge much. They said, “There was a domestic dispute there.” It was somehow involving the daughter. He said, “Everybody is fine, physically. That is all I can tell you, and we don’t need to get back there. No one else will be coming back there either.”
With that little information, I called the buyer and said, “Here is what I learned. I think we are good. Can I pay you to get the locks changed and replace that window? That was not something you were planning on.” That was a great conversation. He did not even end up taking me up on that. He wanted to buy it. He was not trying to back out. That freaked him out, and I understand why. Those couple of days were touch and go, but eventually, the daughter called again. I did not reference anything that happened. She said, “I want you to know my stuff is all out. I am gone. I am not coming back.” I called the buyer, and again, it was touch and go until probably six hours before closing, but we eventually closed.
It tested your right to the end. You put it under contract, and you did around $17,300 and some moving costs. When all was said and done, what were you able to make on this deal?
I got a check for $12,087.
Wholesaling is not a business that you need to overthink and start throwing spaghetti at the wall. Pick one or two marketing channels and lists and start building from there. Keep it simple.
You deserve a victory bell. To help people understand, we have got this whole story. We probably do not understand all the time, and you could pinpoint this in a ballpark number. What would you say about the number of hours from start to finish to help this go to close did you have invested in this?
With everything involved in this one, it was drastically more than the typical deal. Five hours, a couple of drives to the property, and some phone calls here and there.
My math is not going to handle this one. A little over $2,000 an hour. Is that correct?
That sounds about right.
I want you guys to think about this. What would it look like for you if you could make that extra $5,000 or $1,000 a month or $500 an hour? Here is a perfect example of a $12,000 deal. What would that look like for you and do for you and your future? What could that do for you and your family or your loved ones? However you choose to spend it because this is a reality. If you can build that muscle up or that mindset of like, “It is not going to be easy.” We have ever made it sound like this is so drop-dead easy on this show.
Let me take a minute to say, “I am sorry. It’s not easy,” but if you are willing to put forth the effort, learn, and work out those new muscles needed to do this, you can get to the point where much like Greg is sharing. A little over $2,000 an hour, he is getting paid on this deal. That is game-changing. That is stuff that changes the way you can live. That changes your lifestyle, goals, mindset, and confidence. What would it be like for you?
Greg, I want to thank you, first and foremost, for sharing everything. There were so many golden nuggets that I was jotting down during this that I hope you, Rhino Nation, have been writing down as well. Before we end this show, we always ask two questions. I want to ask those two to you. Here is the number one question. What is a good book that you have read that has been helping you become someone better that you would share with the audience?
It is impossible for me not to mention the book that found me like it finds so many other folks in this business, Rich Dad Poor Dad. The friend I said who I flipped the house with, we were having an early conversation like, “I am not happy doing what I am doing. I am thinking about real estate.” He handed me that book. He said, “This is going to change your life.” That helped.
For several years, what you know now has taught you so much that you did not know a few years ago. Going back to the person you were years ago, what would you have done differently or the same to help people have a perspective that is at the beginning point of wholesaling?
I think something I did well probably 80% of the time that I would up to 100% is not trying to reinvent the wheel and sticking to a system. I found the Wholesaling Inc system, which has been great. I know there are others out there, but whatever it is, keep it simple. This is not a business that you need to overthink and start throwing spaghetti at the wall. Pick 1 or 2 marketing channels or lists, start building from there, and keep it simple.
Did you catch yourself many times at the beginning where you did overthink it or maybe did not take action fast enough because you felt like you had to build a perfect plan before going out there and taking imperfect action?
I probably took too much imperfect action. I joined the tribe, and I am like, “Tom and Cody are masters at this. I am sure I can make up my own way of doing it.” I fell into that trap a couple of times. My biggest piece of advice would be to keep it simple and follow a plan.
Greg, thank you so much for being on the show. I know your words and your story will resonate with so many who are thinking, “I can do this.” You are giving that hope and inspiration for someone else to get out there and take action. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to do this so that you can inspire others in this great nation to get out there and do the same thing.
Cody, I appreciate it. Thank you for taking the time, and it was fun.
Rhino Nation, I hope you have gotten so much out of this show. I am sitting here looking at my notes. I am half-page deep thinking about all the gold nuggets that Greg shared in this episode. This is crucial. This is the difference between those going to get out there and find their next deal or maybe their first deal, not taking the notes but now taking action. Tomorrow does not exist. We do not know if it will ever come, but we know today exists.
Get out there and start taking massive imperfect action. Don’t wait for a perfect plan because it doesn’t exist. If you need help building your wholesaling business to get this up and running to get to your deals quicker, check us out over at WholesalingInc.com, where you can book a call. Fill out a quick application, get on a phone call with us, and begin talking about your strategy and goals, and see how we can help. If it ends up being a fit, we will invite you to be part of the tribe so you can get out there and get your deal soon. God bless you in each one of your efforts. Get out there, take massive imperfect action, and we will see you in the next episode.
- Greg Berney – LinkedIn
- Zach Boothe – LinkedIn
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
- Be sure to join the Wholesaling Inc Facebook group
About Cody Hofhine
Cody Hofhine, a multiple Inc 5000 Business Owner. Co-Founder of Wholesaling Inc. the #1 Real Estate coaching program across the nation. Co-Founder of Joe Homebuyer the leading Real Estate Franchise. A successful Real Estate investor/mentor and sought-after Speaker.
Cody has coached over 3 thousand students on how to successfully build their Real Estate businesses through his real estate training as well as helped individuals perform at their highest levels with his one-on-one mentoring.
Cody used his background in sales to quickly build multiple 7 and 8 figure Real Estate Businesses that all start on the foundation of clarity or Vision and Purpose.
Cody loves being with his family and doing crazy tricks behind a boat.