Posted on: April 13, 2020

Imagine waking up each day and having the freedom to decide whatever it is that you would want to do with you time. Of course, it’s not possible if you’re working 9 to 5 for corporate America, right? However, if you run a real estate business virtually, that’s just one of the perks you’ll surely enjoy!

Today’s phenomenal guest is the newest member of the Wholesaling Inc. coaching family. Eight years ago, Lauren Hardy was a single mom with 2 kids and a full-time job. After realizing having a full-time job will never give her the luxury to spend quality time with her kids, she ventured into something exciting and highly profitable—virtual investing.

In this episode, Lauren gave a preview of what her virtual investing journey has been like, what her typical day looks like now, and how she assesses properties over the phone. If you’re looking for a great means to achieve financial freedom especially during these times of frayed nerves and social distancing, this episode is for you!

 

Key Takeaways

  • What virtual real estate investing is
  • What her business model is
  • The average profit she makes per deal
  • How she does everything over the phone
  • What she looks for when picking a market
  • How she determines the price of properties without seeing them
  • Some of the questions she asks when assessing properties over the phone
  • What it was like for her when she first started
  • What her typical day looks like now
  • Where you can go if you’d like to know more about virtual investing

RESOURCES:

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Episode Transcription

Tom Krol:
Oh man, guys. What an amazing podcast we have lined up for you today. If you are driving, find an exit to pull off of because we are going to be giving you liquid gold. I have got the absolute leader in the space, somebody who has been doing deals over the phone for years, a total rockstar and nothing could be more timely than right now by doing virtual investing with what we’re dealing with with this pandemic, this national crisis, the economy is cratering.
So guys, I want you to really take this podcast and study it. This is going to be an amazing opportunity for you to start doing deals right now over the phone without having to meet sellers in any market you choose. It’s going to be so exciting. We’re going to go through step by step. You guys know me. I am going to hold this coach’s feet to the fire and we are going to find out how to do deals. It’s going to be a super exciting show, super timely. Strap in, let’s get ready and let’s do some deals right now. I’ve got Lauren Hardy on the phone with me, the Virtual Investor. Lauren, can you hear me okay?

Lauren Hardy:
I can.

Tom Krol:
Lauren, I am blown away to have you on the phone and honored to be doing this with you. First of all, virtual real estate investing, virtual wholesaling. What the heck is it? How did you even get started into it? I’ve got people who are standing by right now who are just literally jumping out of their seats to ask you a hundred questions. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got started and what the heck we’re going to be talking about today?

Lauren Hardy:
Absolutely. Tom, I would just want to say thank you so much for having me on. Super stoked to be on this podcast. Virtual investing. So I am a virtual investor. What that is is basically I define that as I invest in real estate outside of my hometown, outside of my backyard. I’ve heard different definitions of that. I mean, it could be a two hour drive time. It could be out of state. I personally invest out of state. I live in Southern California. It is a very expensive high priced market and arguably one of the most difficult markets to invest in real estate in the country. Because of that, I had to focus on out-of-state market. So that’s what I do.

Tom Krol:
That’s awesome. Now, are you buying and holding, buying and flipping, buying them and then selling them quickly for a quick profit? What does that look like?

Lauren Hardy:
My model, it really changes depending on where we are in the market cycle. Right now I don’t want to hold on to anything too long, so I am buying and selling very quickly to other investors.

Tom Krol:
What kind of average profit are you making per deal?

Lauren Hardy:
About 10,000.

Tom Krol:
That’s incredible. I know that you’ve done like tons and tons of deals because we just got your HUD statements because we wanted to vet you to make sure because a lot of people say a lot of things out there in the real estate coaching world, but we vet the people on this show to make sure that there’s no fluff and no BS. So I just want to say you are a rock star. How did you get started in virtually doing this?

Lauren Hardy:
Honestly, it was out of necessity. My virtual business really started with my complete disdain of the 405 freeway. So I live in California and if anybody knows California has terrible traffic. I started in the California market and I would go on these seller meetings and it would take me like two hours to get home because a lot of my properties were in LA, which really LA is not that far from Orange County. But with traffic, I mean, it could take two hours to get there and then two hours to get back. So virtual, the idea of why can’t I just get an offer over the phone started with me just not wanting to get in my car and make that trek to LA.

Tom Krol:
So you were doing deals before and then decided to do them over the phone.

Lauren Hardy:
Correct, yeah. So I was meeting sellers in person and then I decided to do them over the phone.

Tom Krol:
That’s amazing. Okay. So I have a thousand questions. First of all, when you say doing deals over the phone, I have been doing deals locally in my market. I happen to be in a good market, which is a small little market in Florida, but I have a thousand questions. First of all, just logistically, how the heck are you… We’re used to seeing a property, sometimes we don’t meet with the sellers because sometimes the sellers are out-of-state themselves, but we at least get to see the property. How the heck do you decide what to pay and where to market in the area? How are you doing this over the phone? Don’t you have to see the house?

Lauren Hardy:
No, not at all. I will blow your mind with that. And I do get [crosstalk 00:05:29].

Tom Krol:
That’s awesome. All right. Let me hear it. Yeah. What do you got?

Lauren Hardy:
I have a lot of strong opinions about coming up with offer pricing, but I essentially look at houses like a commodity. I like to explain it like I look at a house like how McDonald’s looks at a cup of coffee and how much to sell this cup of coffee for. I’m not as concerned about the house’s condition. I’m more concerned with what are other investors paying in the area for this exact same home.

Tom Krol:
Okay. I understand. I love that because exactly how I feel about it. I do the same thing in my business. Tell me a little bit more about that. Somebody lives in New York City or in Dallas and they say, “Hey, I want to pick a new market.” First of all, before we even get into this, what are some of the strategies or what are you looking for to pick markets nationwide? Because I know you were telling me before, there’s like all of these little hidden markets where there’s no wholesalers, their margins are amazing. It’s crazy successful. What are some of the tips and tricks to actually pick a market? And then I want to get him to actually what you mean by evaluating those properties.

Lauren Hardy:
Awesome. Right on. Okay. So here, the first criteria I look at is, are there other successful investors in this market? That’s number one. The way you can figure that out is go on Facebook. There’s so many Facebook real estate investment associations for every market pretty much in the country. I look for other experienced investors that are doing well. If I’m looking into a market and I can’t find anybody that’s doing well, like say I go on the tribe’s Facebook forum and I’m like, “Hey, who here is a rock star in Orange County, California?” It’s like crickets, crickets, crickets. That’s because California is a very difficult market. So I would never pick California. But if I’m like, “Hey guys, who out there is a rockstar in Oklahoma City.?” And then you got Lauren raising her hand, right? So that’s first number one. Is there other successful investors.
But you also want to balance it with you don’t want too much competition. Sometimes these major metros in the country tend to also attract a lot of investors and a lot of competition. So then you’ve got a bunch of people doing the same marketing techniques. I almost recommend staying out of those major cities, but maybe picking a city nearby that has less competition.

Tom Krol:
Okay. I know you have an entire formula and we don’t have the time on this podcast to get into it. But essentially number one, you’re looking at, there’s a certain number of other successful real estate investors in an area, but not too many. Then you’re kind of looking at that. And I know there’s a whole criteria, but that is super interesting. You said that when you finally do have sellers calling you back on your marketing, you said that you have a way to know how much to pay for the houses and you don’t really care about condition. So how the heck do you do that? Because typically… Well, I don’t want to say typically, you tell me. So I’m the student in this case and you’re the coach absolutely. Which I love. It’s a nice change for me. I go ahead and I find a good market or two or three and I say, “Okay, I like this area.” And then I do my marketing and homeowners start calling me to sell me their home. How am I pricing their home without ever seeing this property?

Lauren Hardy:
Great question. I first like to categorize the home in either excellent condition, good condition, okay condition, it needs improvement and like tear down. I mean, it’s not super complicated. I mean, excellent condition would be like, this is a remodeled home, probably more of a retail sale and not likely that I’m going to even do a deal with that seller. I’m more looking for the ones that are like okay to needs repair. I categorize them basically in either one of those categories.

Tom Krol:
Are you going on the seller’s word on that?

Lauren Hardy:
I am going on the seller’s words.

Tom Krol:
Interesting. Okay.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah. I’ll ask questions like when’s the last time you replaced your kitchen cabinets? When’s the last time you replaced the flooring? When’s the last time you replaced your roof? Do you have any leaks? What are some major repairs that the home needs? Do you have foundation issues? Is it a little wonky when you walk in your home? I ask questions like that.

Tom Krol:
It’s interesting because our scripts are different. When you’re local and you’re going to see the home, I can understand why your script is different from my script. I mean, are you ever just like sitting there? Because I know you’re single mom, kids, the whole thing. Are you ever just sitting there and you’re like, “I can’t believe it.”? What does your life look like as you’re like valuating these properties? Especially now with the pandemic. Do you have like kids running around? Does that interfere with anything?

Lauren Hardy:
I mean, honestly with… Well, I’m fortunate that I am at a point where I have outsourced all the difficult duties of this business. So I am not required to work at any hour of the day, if that makes sense, because I have children and my children come first for me, as for anybody, they should. But I always set out to make sure that I am not required at any hour of the day. I do not want to be responsible for answering phones live. I don’t want to be responsible for making offers to sellers. I have hired that out. So I have an acquisition manager that is actually taking those calls for me while I’m chasing my kids around at the park.

Tom Krol:
That’s really amazing. So you found this system, I know you’re doing tons of deals and I know you’re doing very well at this. So not only did you build a system so that it produces a consistent income for you, you’ve actually delegated it for other people to run. That’s amazing. I’m pretty impressed.

Lauren Hardy:
It is. It’s amazing. Honestly, most people at my kid’s school don’t even think I have a job. So that’s fine.

Tom Krol:
That’s amazing because I used to see being and dominating my local market as really a benefit because I know it so well. But I can see how simultaneously my local market has become a little bit of a crutch to me because all of my systems are built on being local. I can understand how if there is a market that is tough, it’s usually based on population, meaning if on any extreme of the population where it’s either not enough, the population is too low or the population is too dense and too high, typically wholesaling in those areas is a little bit more difficult. I can really understand how as the market fluctuates, to be able to find these hidden little markets and just totally dominate them and not have the crutch of being local.
I’m doing this for sure, by the way. And I just want everybody to know this. This is why Lauren and I are on the phone. I’m going to be doing this. Literally Daniel and I, this is all we could talk about. I am so excited about getting started. Lauren is just now going to take us through the criteria. I literally I am jumping out of my skin. I cannot wait to go down this road with you, and thank you for showing us. But yeah, that’s amazing. So, all right. So you find these deals, these sellers contact you, your acquisition manager… Did you first start by doing it yourself or did you have a team right out of the gate? What did that look like?

Lauren Hardy:
Oh, absolutely. I did everything on my own at first. Somebody told me something once. I’ll never forget this quote. She said, “Build your life around doing all the things that you love.” One thing that I really love was just being able to kind of have control over my time and my day. I decided that the first thing I wanted to outsource was anything that would control my time and my day, which would be seller phone calls. When sellers would respond to my marketing and the phone starts ringing, I would feel this intense pressure to pick up the phone. The first thing I did was I hired somebody to do that for me. But before I started doing… I was everything. Every part of the business. I was the accountant. I was the lead manager. I was the acquisition manager. I did that for a couple of years until I started hiring out people.

Tom Krol:
Okay. Let me ask you this. What if somebody is listening and they have no experience in real estate investing, are you the right person for them to reach out to or probably not? What if they have bad credit and no money and no experience? Or are you kind of teaching more like sophisticated people who’ve already done a lot of deals? What does that look like?

Lauren Hardy:
I mean, I absolutely would talk to somebody who doesn’t have any experience. I mean, listen to where I came from, Tom. I had no money. I started this business with a credit card. No joke. I still remember the day I was working a corporate job on my lunch break calling Capital One, asking if they would extend my limit to like $11,000 because I needed a marketing budget. I decided that I was going to do this. I learned about this business and I said, “You know what? I have no money, but I have this credit card. I’m going to put my marketing budget on this thing. I will make it back.” I was confident in myself.
I started, yeah, with no money. I had a full time corporate job. I was actually talking to sellers on my lunch break and on my car drive home and on the weekends. From there, I did enough deals to save my salary up on the side. That was when I quit my full time job. That took me a full year to do, but I did it. I also had a baby right then. I had my second daughter. I was doing this business with two little rugrats running around, going through… Being in California, it’s an extremely competitive environment. I was competing amongst some of the best investors in the country, tons of money here. There’s no shortage of cash buyers here in California. So I had to learn how to be extremely competitive, professional. I had to really work on my sales skills.
I basically say with my coaching program, I had this very long drawn out learning curve that with my program, my goal is to shorten that curve for others so they don’t have to bang their head against the wall the way I did for all those years.

Tom Krol:
It’s amazing. I love the fact that you’re doing this as a single mom, because I know there are so many people out there who are struggling. So you were working. Was your job full time or part time?

Lauren Hardy:
Oh yeah, no, I worked full time. Full time corporate life. I was out of the house 10 hours a day.

Tom Krol:
I mean, you guys, full time job, single mom, two kids. Absolutely amazing and crushing it. This story is so crazy. It’s amazing because there’s a lot of people who don’t end up doing that and I’m super impressed. I think it’s amazing. I think real estate is amazing and you’re amazing. That’s really cool. Let me ask you this because I just want to be clear. So if somebody is just getting started and they want to start with doing things virtually and not having to leave their home, especially in this pandemic, you go through that step by step by step, correct?

Lauren Hardy:
Oh, absolutely. Yeah.

Tom Krol:
I can tell you guys, I’ve already kind of secretly and without making a big announcement about it, because Lauren is joining now officially. She has joined the Wholesaling Inc family as a coach, and she’s going to be coaching virtual real estate investing and how to do this either to make quick wins or quick revenue or to buy and hold. She’s now officially joined us. But before we did that, we kind of secretly put a whole bunch of [inaudible 00:16:55] in her course just to kind of vet it, to test it. We made the decision to move forward because I got a note from Ray and he was like, “Tom, I’m in love with Lauren. She’s awesome. And I just got my first contract.” Then Nick sent in a message and he just did his first. How much did he make on his first deal? Do you know?

Lauren Hardy:
He made about 5,000.

Tom Krol:
That’s awesome. First deal. I made 2,000 on my first deal. Nick had not done a deal before. So we knew once students started doing deals and getting houses under contract and they were crushing it and they just absolutely fell in love with you and your program. We’re like, “Okay, we’re all in.” I hope you don’t mind that we did that.

Lauren Hardy:
No, it was great. It’s been great.

Tom Krol:
But yeah, we just wanted to make sure that it worked. But guys, I am super excited about this opportunity, especially right now more than ever in this atmosphere. But even without being in the stay at home and stay in place and stay safe kind of environment, this new environment that we’re in, I think this is amazing because you can truly be… I’m talking to Lauren now and there’s kids in the background and she has her laptop and she’s in her living room and she’ll say, “Oh, hey, I’m just running around with the kids. What’s up?” It’s really freedom. I mean, tell me more about that freedom that you have. Because I know everyone talks about financial freedom and I know obviously you have that, but what does the time freedom look like? What does your typical day look like?

Lauren Hardy:
Oh, I mean, honestly the difference between my life nine years ago and today, it’s completely life changing. I mean, I’ve been so fortunate to have discovered this industry. It’s given me everything that I ever wanted, which was really to just have control over my time. I really define happiness for myself as feeling in control. I’m in control of my income. I’m in control of my time. I used to have to get up every day, throw my kid in daycare. I hardly saw her. I would pick her up nine hours later and barely get to hang out with her for an hour and a half and then she’d have to go to bed. When I had the second baby on the way, I go, “I can’t live this way. I can’t have two kids that I don’t see all day Monday through Friday.”
For me, fast forward, I started this business just about eight years ago. So fast forward eight years. I mean, I wake up, I do whatever I want. I go to the gym. Okay. So I drop my kids off at school because they don’t have time freedom yet. Okay. They got to work for that. I drop them off that eight o’clock. I get my workout done. I work out at this gym. I’ve got a bunch of friends that we all meet up at eight o’clock. Most of them, they’re all stay at home moms and I fit in right well with that crew and get my workout done. Then I cruise back to my home. I do have an office space where I record and everything, but I actually mainly prefer to work from home because it’s close to the kids’ school. I work from home. I mean, I’m not going to lie. There are times where I’m like, I think I just want to kind of clean up my house or I feel like watching Vanderpump Rules.

Tom Krol:
I can tell you, I work from home, I’ve never had either one of those two gut feelings to clean my home or to watch Vander whatever it was.

Lauren Hardy:
Vanderpump Rules. You don’t watch enough Bravo.

Tom Krol:
Okay. Oh, got it. Okay. Yeah. No, I don’t have that one.

Lauren Hardy:
Oh, you don’t. Okay.

Tom Krol:
But I like The Profit with Marcus Lemonis.

Lauren Hardy:
I won’t hold that against you.

Tom Krol:
There you go. That’s pretty funny.

Lauren Hardy:
I mean, it’s just so ideal. Like on a Monday, the kids have been home all weekend and they’ve destroyed the house. There’s nothing more than I love to just put my house back together on a Monday. I call it like off to the right start Monday.

Tom Krol:
I’ll tell you, it’s funny, I feel the same way. I do that with my office. My office is spotlessly clean all the time. I love it. Because the kids will come in and they’ll make a mess. I read a great book by Maria… What’s her name? Marie. It’s called the Art of Tidying Up. I can’t remember who gave it to me.

Lauren Hardy:
Oh, Marie Kondo.

Tom Krol:
Marie. There it is. Yes. Tat book is one of the best business books of all time because it’s so relatable to business. But when you have a clean space and it’s like there’s no distractions and you can just work, I love that. So I’m with you a hundred percent.

Lauren Hardy:
Yep. That’s what I do on Mondays. Yeah, I mean my typical day is basically… I have different things I do each day. I like to check in with my team on Tuesdays. I like to run our numbers and everything Monday so then they’re ready for the team meeting on Tuesdays. Fridays, I take off for the most part. Fridays are my running errands, going shopping, doing something for me. Sometimes we’ll hang out with a friend at lunch on Friday.

Tom Krol:
I love it.

Lauren Hardy:
It’s great. I mean, this is complete lifestyle by design for me.

Tom Krol:
Lifestyle by design. I like it. That’s awesome. All right. So you guys, Lauren has joined Wholesaling gang as a coach. So it’s amazing. With myself, Cody Hofhine, Chris Arnold, Greg Daniels, bam. So exciting. If you want to find out more about what she does, she walks you through baby steps to your first virtual deal step by step by step with instruction, no education. She tells you exactly what to do. We’ve now had multiple students go through the course. They absolutely love it. They’re bouncing off the walls doing deals, so excited because they’re not stuck in their local market. So if you are interested in finding out more, just go over to wholesalinginc.com it’s wholesalinginc.com/VI. It just stands for virtual investing. VI for virtual investing.
Head on over to that website and everybody who goes over, Lauren is a rock star. There’s a whole bunch of not only free giveaways and things like that, but she’s going to take you through step by step on how to do deals. She’s got specialized contracts for examples that you can bring to your attorney to use. She’s got specialized scripts that are super effective and will show you how to do deals step-by-step when you’re not there, when you’re not there in person meeting with the seller, when you’re not there in person looking at the house.
I will say my favorite part of the course, guys, is finding these little territories that nobody else knows about. So instead of being in congested areas, you can go and it’s like this little treasure hunt she takes you through where you’re going through some of the criteria and you’re finding these little markets and you’re like, “Oh, my cousin lives there. Maybe I can go some day just to visit.” Then of course you never do because you’re a virtual investor, but this whole entire methodology that she has for these treasure hunts or finding these little unknown territories is amazing. It’s kind of like your first step right out of the gate. I love it. The rhinos love it. You guys are going to love it. Wholesaling Inc. Wholesalinginc.com/VI. It stands for virtual investor and that will take you right to her page. She’ll tell you all about it.
Guys, it’s amazing. Lauren is amazing. Single mom, two kids, absolutely crushing it. So amazing to have her on the team. I couldn’t be happier. She is going to change so many people’s lives and give you not just financial freedom, but true freedom. Location freedom, time freedom. That’s what it’s all about. This is the new way to do business. I couldn’t be more excited. So guys go and visit her. Lauren, thank you so much for being with us today and sharing all that information. I’m so excited to get started here.

Lauren Hardy:
Thank you so much for having me part of the team. I am stoked to be a new coach with Wholesaling Inc. Such a great group.

Tom Krol:
Bam, bam. We have a blast. Hey, next month, we’re going out. All the coaches, guys, we’re all going out. Actually, some rhinos that we selected are going out to visit Robert Kiyosaki. It’s going to be a blast. I’m looking forward to spending time with you.

Lauren Hardy:
Oh, I’m excited.

Tom Krol:
Awesome. All right, guys. Thanks again. See you on the next show. Talk to you soon. Wholesaling Inc. Wholesalinginc.com/VI for virtual investor. See you there.

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