Have you been wholesaling for quite some time but have yet to achieve the level of success you’re looking for? Today’s guest wholesaled for a long time with no success. Nowadays, he’s been closing deals every two weeks and has a full pipeline to boot!
Nick Vozikes is totally crushing the virtual wholesaling game right now. However, he started just like many wholesalers—he had no idea what he was doing, and he was not getting any deals.
Fortunately, that’s a thing of the past now. In this episode, Nick shared the game-changing techniques that have helped elevate his game and take his business to the next level!
Today’s episode can act as a great guide for those who are currently struggling to find deals. It’s jam-packed with proven techniques and wholesaling tactics that can help take you from zero to hero in a short amount of time. Can’t wait to duplicate Nick’s success? Don’t forget to tune in!
From Struggle to Victory – The Secret Sauce of a Winning Wholesaler With Nick Vozikes
Remember, you are never going to convince the seller of anything. They have to convince themselves. Don’t be hard on yourself like, “I must be a bad negotiator.” I used to be hard on myself when I started and I would go, “I must be a bad negotiator because I could not convince the seller to discount their house 30%.” You’re never going to convince someone. They are going to have to do that for themselves. Instead, you might want to help them by giving them some supporting facts.
We have Nick Vozikes in the house. Nick is a student of mine and he lives near my hometown in Long Beach. Nick joined the Wholesaling Inc. tribe a few years ago and after many attempts in his local market, he decided to go virtual. That’s how he and I met and he joined my coaching program. Since then, Nick has been crushing it. Nick went from zero deals to closing a deal every two weeks. His pipeline seems to be getting bigger by the day. Nick, what’s going on?
What’s going on, Lauren?
I’m glad to have you a part of the podcast with me and I want to do something a little different with you. I do want to ask you if you can give everybody a little background about you, maybe introduce yourself.
I got started in wholesaling a few years ago and for the first year, I had no idea what I was doing. I was sending 500 postcards every few months, thinking I’m going to get a deal in a couple of months and I’m going to be this rich entrepreneur. I was surprised. When that did not happen for almost 1.5 years, it wasn’t like I did my first check. It was a lot of struggle. I joined Wholesaling Inc. In LA, it’s so competitive. I was sending 500 to 1,000 postcards a week. You can’t compete with some of the guys that are spending tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars in marketing every month so I wanted to go virtual.
I remember on one of the coaching calls for Wholesaling Inc., I had asked Tom, “I’m thinking about switching markets and I wasn’t sure what to do.” He reached out to me personally and started to help me choose a market. That was when he introduced me to you because you’re the virtual expert here. Since then, it’s been an absolute game-changer. I just closed my third one and I got two more sets that are closing. My pipeline is filled so it was awesome.
At that time, my coaching program wasn’t public. We hadn’t made it known yet that I was joining Wholesaling Inc. You were one of my first students. I do remember that and I’m super excited that we met. It is great to see how much you’ve grown from that point to now. We’ve had so many good talks in our coaching calls and that’s why I wanted to bring you on.
I wanted to do something different than the typical podcast where you talk about where you started, where you’re at now, what’s your favorite book and all that stuff. I wanted to do more of an episode about seller conversations because you have been doing a lot of cold calling, you’ve been doing some text marketing and you’ve been giving lots of offers to sellers. You have been hearing all sorts of things from sellers. Sometimes you have answers sometimes you don’t have the answers. We’ve talked about a lot of them.
Anybody that’s scared out there who thinks they can’t do it is just labeling and limiting themselves.
You have gotten good at talking to sellers and you have some good rebuttals that you should share with the group. I thought it would be cool if you ask me some questions, more of a Q&A, super off-the-cuff way like, “If a seller says this, what would you say?” You can tell me what you would say. Our readers would love that because I hear it all the time that our students, our tribe members get nervous talking to sellers. That’s almost the number one fear. Would you say the number one fear is talking to sellers?
Absolutely. To preface this a little bit, I cold call five hours a day. I was the worst communicator and negotiator. I had zero experience with sales or anything like that. I would shake every single time I would make a phone call. Anybody that’s scared out there that thinks, “I can’t do it,” you’re labeling yourself and limiting yourself. I started at rock bottom. Anybody can do it. You just have to push yourself to do it.
Everybody is scared to talk to sellers. When I first started, I remember my biggest fear was lowballing the seller and giving the seller the offer because there’s always a lowball and I felt like I was offending them every time. I’m a non-confrontational person. People that know me as a friend, my family, know I’m not confrontational. I would be shaking.
Before I would get on the phone, I would rehearse what I was going to say. I would say it four times. I would write down in front of me some points like, “The reason I need this is because X, Y and Z.” I’d write it in front of me. It was ridiculous. Now it’s second nature to me but it’s not like that when you start. I wanted to get you because you’re in this pivotal place where you remember being afraid and you’re not now. It wasn’t that long ago that you went from conquering that fear.
I thought I was going to be going broke and that pushed me to have to take action. I feel like sometimes those can be the best times when it’s tough. It pushes you past the fear because you don’t have any other choice but to take action.
I used to say, “What is scarier, offering the seller $200,000 for a $300,000 home or moving back in with your parents?” What’s scarier?
The second one.
Moving back in with your parents and going broke. That’s scarier than offending a seller. We should get into it. I want you to ask me and I’ll give you my answers. I’ll do my best. This is off the cuff. I don’t know what he’s going to ask me. Go ahead, Nick. I’ll tell you what I would say to a seller.
I made a little list of some that have come up for me. One that I get often is that the house is in bad condition. It fits all the criteria. It’s in bad shape. The kitchen and bathrooms haven’t been remodeled in a while but they still want a market value. There may even be some motivation in there, where they might be behind on payments but they’re still like, “I want a market value.” You get caught up like, “Am I not communicating with them correctly?”
You’re never going to change a seller’s mind. The seller is going to have to come up with that on their own. What I do is I reverse psychology them and I go, “Mr. Seller, you’re saying you want $100,000 and that’s the lowest you’ll take. To be honest, that sounds like a market price. You’re going to have to sell the home on the market with a realtor. You’re probably going to have to fix what’s broken and do some of the repairs. Have you thought of selling it with a realtor? Why don’t you just sell it with a realtor? Why are we even talking?” Hear what they say.
A lot of the time, they’re going to say, “I can’t sell it with a realtor because I’m going into foreclosure in a month and I don’t have time.” You’d see they answered their question. They convinced themselves that the investor offer is their best offer. That’s when I say, “It looks like you need an investor who can close quickly because you don’t have the time to sit on this thing for six months while it sits on the market with the realtor, while you wait for that market price. Does that sound right? Now that we’ve gone over that, could you see yourself taking $60,000 for the home, knowing that you’re going to avoid,” insert their pain, whatever that is. “Could you see yourself accepting that price?”
When you have a seller who is in this mindset, remember, you are never going to convince the seller of anything. They have to convince themselves. Don’t be hard on yourself like, “I must be a bad negotiator.” I used to be hard on myself when I started and I would go, “I must be a bad negotiator because I could not convince the seller to discount their house 30%.” You’re never going to convince someone. They are going to have to do that for themselves. Instead, you might want to help them by giving them some supporting facts and reverse psychology a little.
I like to say, “Why don’t you just fix up the home? Get a contractor in there, fix it up, get a new roof and sell it on the market with a realtor. If that’s all it needs to get $100,000, why don’t you do that?” “I don’t have $15,000. The roof is going to cost probably $7,000 and then I’ve got to do X, Y, Z.” They answered their question why they can’t. “Mr. Seller, you’re saying that selling it with a realtor is not even an option for you so it sounds like an investor offer is your best option. Mr. Seller, I am looking at prices right here.” That’s when maybe you start supporting your price with some comps that you found.
As far as investor pricing goes, I try to be the most competitive in the area. “I’m looking at comps right now and it looks like there’s one that went for $53,000, there’s one that went for $55,000, there’s one that went for $60,000. I already offered you the highest one. Now that we’ve had some time to talk, could you see yourself taking $60,000?” That’s how I would answer that.
The last point that you made helped me out a lot when I was making offers. It’s going through some of the recent comps. What’s nice about PropStream is how they have the MLS and public record comps. You can go right on there and look at the ones that have recently sold. I never did that until you told me that. For a lot of wholesalers that are scared to give out an offer, it’s an easy way to ease that a little bit because you’re telling the seller or the homeowner what the other properties went for. You’re not giving an offer. It’s almost like a passive offer, like, “These properties went for this.” It might be able to ease their tension a little bit when they’re giving a low offer.
Sometimes, the tough times are the best times because it pushes you past the fear. You really don’t have any other choice but to take action.
It’s like, “Don’t get mad at me that your neighbor sold their home for $55,000. Don’t kill the messenger.” I love PropStream. If you guys want a great source for cash sales and good comps nationwide, PropStream is great. Tell them I sent you. I always try to get three comps. When I’m delivering an offer, I want three comps that I can real quick be like, “Mr. Seller, did you see 265 Main Street?” I have them right in front of me. I can deliver that and that helps support my narrative.
Another one that comes up often and I feel like a lot of new people get scared of this. “What’s the name of your company? Where do you do business from? How long have you been in the business?” They try to pin you back up against the wall in a corner and everyone gets super scared of this question.
Especially the newer investor who just started this business a month ago or has never done a deal. I have two answers. If it was me, I tell them the truth. I tell them all about me because I’m rock solid in my area and I’ve been doing this business for enough years to prove myself. If you’re new, you piggyback off of a partner. I teach all things virtual. If you’re going virtual, you want to have a boots-on-ground partner that is experienced. That’s my number one non-negotiable when you start out going virtual.
I would piggyback off of my partner and I would say how many years he’s been in business. I’d say, “My partner has been in business for five years. This is his company name. I’ll be honest, I’m a new investor and my job is to talk to sellers.” Sellers are okay. They’re not going to say, “You’re new? I don’t want an offer for my home now that you’ve told me that.” What seller is ever going to say that? If they say that, they’re not motivated. As long as you piggyback and you say, “My partner is experienced, I’m just the one that works the phones because he’s so busy.” That’s how I would do it.
I’ve been getting this a lot because I’m doing a virtual also. I’ll get people that are like, “Where are you?” I will be closing up a deal and the lady said something like, “Are you a California investor?” I said yes and she did not care at all. If you come off like it’s not a big deal then it’s not a big deal to them. You say, “I have boots on the ground,” in whatever market you’re in and they feel comfortable. It has not been an issue at all for me.
You say, “My partner’s local. I’m in California but I visit there. We have a local presence. We have people out there that will meet you.” It’s funny, people stress out about this. It doesn’t come up as much as you think and even if it does, you tell them the truth and they don’t care.
Everyone has experienced the pissed-off seller. How do you respond to someone whom you’ve given a low offer and they start calling you every four-letter word in the dictionary? What do you say?
My favorite technique with the angry seller who’s offended by your offer is to say something like, “Mr. Seller, let me look back at comps. Let me do some research and see where I messed up.” I am admitting to the seller, “Maybe I messed up. Maybe I was mistaken on something. What do you think sounds right for your home? What price were you thinking?” Now I want to hear how far off we are. It might not even be that far off. This is where it’s subjective. It could be that they’re only $10,000 off and it’s not even that big of a deal but they’re emotional people or you’re way off.
If they’re a little bit off, you can say, “Let me go look back at comps. Let me see where I messed up. You’re saying that you could take $70,000.” Let’s say I offered them $60,000 and they’re saying $70,000. “Is that the lowest that you can take?” “Yeah, I would take $70,000.” “Let me go look back at comps and see if I can make that work.” Honestly, you might have messed up. Remember that.
If there are any questions you have, I would maybe then keep going and ask them some more detailed questions about the home. I would say, “Let me make sure I’ve got everything right because it’s got to be apples to apples comparison. I have to find comps in the area that are apples to apples. I was comparing your home to 123 Main Street. It’s a 3-2 sold in June for $60,000.”
You start spilling out some comps and then let the seller correct you, “Are all your homes 3-2, 1,000 square feet?” I’ve had this happen where a seller’s like, “I did an addition. My house is 1,400 square feet. I’ve got a permitted addition. It must not be reflecting that.” I just called the wrong home. I get the seller to calm down by saying maybe I messed up. I say that right up front so they chill out and then I start showing them, “This is where I came up with my pricing.” I give them three comps and see what they say.
From there, make sure you have the facts of the home correct. You could even ask, “Tell me about your roof. Tell me about the repairs you need to the home.” If you guys still are on different planets with price, say, “I’m going to go back and do my research on the comps. I’m going to see if I can come up with a price. What is the lowest you can take? Let me see if I can make it work.” Get the lowest amount that they can take, go back and re-look at comps.
You’re never going to convince a seller to take a discount on their home. They have to come up with that. All you can do is give the supporting facts, which are the cash sales in the area. You win some, you lose some. Some you can revive and bring back and then some are not that motivated. They’re not your seller, they’re not your customer. That’s fine. You move on because there are other customers out there that you can serve.
Next one, when we’re starting off, a lot of people don’t have any clue what to say. Sometimes they’ll get stumped, turn into a statue and nothing is coming out of their mouth. They freeze. What do you do in a situation like that?
Hang up. Pretend you got disconnected, collect yourself and then call them back. Funny story, I had this happen one time. One of the sellers was saying, “Who will I be meeting at the property when you guys do your inspections?” I blanked on my employee’s name. I don’t know why. For some reason, I could not think of her name at that moment. I was caught up in the negotiation that I forgot her name. I hung up the phone, pretended I got disconnected and collected myself. I picked up the phone and said, “I’m so sorry. I got disconnected. You were asking me what my employee’s name was.” Hang up. You got disconnected.
That’s the nice thing about being on the phone too. You’re not face-to-face so you don’t have to come up with everything right on the spot. The phone could disconnect at any moment.
Right there should have solved all people in taking your business virtually. Even if you work in your backyard, stop going to seller meetings. You can just hang up on them if you don’t know what to say.
The nice thing about being on the phone is you’re not face to face. You don’t have to come up with everything right on the spot.
As a side note, learning virtual is a skill because you have a little bit more of a sense of urgency to get these properties under contract. I’ve heard say this multiple times. You’re beating out the person that’s driving there and waiting to have a long-drawn-out conversation with them. Whereas you can just lock it up immediately and you’re able to give out way more offers. Because you can’t meet with them in person, your only option is to do it over the phone. Even if you’re wholesaling in your market, it’s a skill worth having for sure.
Now that you say this, do you know how many sellers where we’ve won out against the guy who went in person? I said, “Mr. Seller, we’re way too busy because we’re working on way too many homes but if you want to go meet with that investor and tell me what he offered you, I’ll price match it if I can. If it’s a price that will work for us, I’ll price match it.” They will call us and be like, “I talked to you first and we’ve been talking longer and I like you.” We’re all likable on our team. They’d say, “They offered us $50,000. Do you think you could take that? If so, I would go to you because you guys gave us the offer and pricing first.”
That’s one thing, we give pricing first and we answer the phone faster because we’re not driving around looking at properties. We are there answering the phone, calling sellers back within 24 hours. Whereas these other investors that are driving around, spending all this time in the car sometimes they’re not calling sellers back for 2, 3 days.
It’s like, “Now the seller likes us. Even though they never saw our face in person, they like us better because we are quicker and more responsive.” I let other people waste their time, go meet with the seller, go ahead, get another bid. Often those people will offer low. Those people in person will lowball and that sets me up even more. The seller sometimes will be honest and say, “They only offered me this so I’ll go with you.”
Save gas and time. When a seller doesn’t want to pay taxes and refuses to sign the closing documents, what do you say in a situation like that? They can come up last minute and catch you off guard.
This happened to me. We had a seller go rogue on us at the closing table. He looked at his net proceeds and saw he was getting less because he owed property taxes. He knew about the property taxes but then for some reason, the guy got upset at the closing table. He walked out, left, got in his car. My disposition manager calls him up. This is where I say, “You got to take the therapist approach now.”
You’ve got this seller who’s got a problem property. You’ve got to let them know, “You’re not going to run away from your property taxes. This is not something you can run away from. If you sold this house to anyone else, they would expect you to pay your property taxes. It is not traditional that we would pay property taxes because we have no idea that you even skipped paying your property taxes. That’s a fee that we incur.”
“That’s like me giving you a blank check Mr. Seller and saying, ‘Here you go, as much as you want.’ For all we know, you have a $50,000 tax lien. Mr. Seller, it was up to you to tell us upfront that you had this debt and we maybe could’ve worked it out in the price or maybe not. We could have addressed this later. Were you aware that you owed this debt?” That’s another question I would reply with.
They get embarrassed like, “Were you trying to slip one under us? Were you trying to get things that you could get away with this?” You go back and by this point, you should know your seller. If you’re this far into the escrow where you’ve got your property tax and you see that they owe property taxes, you should know the seller’s situation.
That’s when you want to start pushing their pain button a little bit like, “Mr. Seller, you still want to sell this house, right?” Because X, Y and Z, insert pain. “Mr. Seller, you’re not going to run away from this.” This depends on the amount. I’ve had property tax bills that were nothing, $358 and the seller is losing their mind over it. “Forget it, I’ll pay it.” There are times when I’m like, “Whatever. I’ll just pay it. I’ll raise my price to $358.”
I’ve had income tax liens like that. Those come up. Those are ones where you have to like, “Mr. Seller, you can’t run away from this. You have to sell this house. If you have to sell this house, you have to pay this bill. You don’t have a choice.” You let them come up with whatever they want to come up with. I’ve had students where I’ve heard the seller would get upset and then after they thought about it for a couple of weeks, they call back, “I’m ready to sell the home.” Sometimes they just need some time.
Keep it friendly and be understanding of their situation. A lot of times, people aren’t paying taxes because they are in a financial bind. Be the therapist. Be the person that they can talk to and express their frustration. You either come up with a solution which might be that you help pay for it or you sit back and let them come to that decision.
I had a situation come up with that. I had spoken to you about it. It was my first deal and we were about to close and a lien came up out of nowhere. Luckily, we had enough of a spread to where we could cover the lien but it was a weird situation because we offered to pay off the entire lien and they were like, “No, we don’t even want you to do that.” It freaked them out and then instead of me getting emotional and mad at them for not doing what I thought was the right thing, I continued to be super nice to them and be like, “If you need help with anything, let me know.” Two days later, she called me back and was like, “You can pay off the lien and we can close.” You have to not be overly emotional with some of these people. They need our help. You have to be that rock for them to show that you can lead them.
I remember when I was first getting started out, everybody was always like, “How do you lock up a property in a different state, in a different area that you don’t know about?” I had joined other virtual programs and everybody is the same. They’re like, “Become friends with a real estate agent over there. It’s super easy. They’ll do this, they’ll do that for you.” There was no process. You made it super easy for me. I remember I was close to getting a few properties under contract and asking you like, “What’s the process here?” You broke it down into a simple four steps and it gave me the confidence to go out there and lock up these deals. Maybe that might be stopping some people from going virtual. What are your thoughts on that?
You just have to not be overly emotional with some of these sellers. They really need our help, and you have to be that rock for them.
The question is, how do you get a seller to sign a contract over the phone? Everybody can’t wrap their head around that. You assume they are going to sign over the phone. “Mr. Seller, are we good with $70,000?” “Yes, we’re good with $70,000.” “I want to call my inspector and get you on that schedule as quickly as I can. It looks like it might be around sometime next week since it’s Friday right now. We can get you on the inspection schedule and get photos taken. I want to get that done as soon as possible. We got to get the contract signed. I have a simple one-page contract and I am going to send it to you using DocuSign. Have you ever used DocuSign?” Hear what they say.
“If you’ve never used it before, it’s super easy. It’s a way where you can legally sign contracts via your email. I will send it to you by email. It’s easy. You just click the buttons to sign. It will direct you on how to sign it. As soon as I get that contract signed by you, I will get you on the inspection schedule. What’s your email address?” Get it and send it.
If they have any issue with that, you hear what their issue is. Usually, this happens, “I don’t have email. I don’t do computers. It’s not my thing.” “Mr. Seller, when are you going to be around today? Are you home? What time are you home?” I will send a runner to them to have the runner drop off a contract. They sign it and the runner gets it back.
I call them a runner, like an errand runner of some type. We don’t do this all the time. It’s 1 out of every 5. It’s for the sellers that don’t do the email thing and it’s not their thing. In a virtual market, you need to have somebody out there but you assume like, “As soon as you sign this, what’s your email?” All the time, it works. That’s how we do it.
One thing that I even do sometimes when I ask about emailing the contract to them is I try to highlight the benefit. They have an electronic copy of it so they’ll never lose it. If any issues were to come up, it’s like, “You have the contract right there. I can’t burn it or shred it up.” Maybe it might put them a little bit at ease telling them that. I say that and it’s been working a little bit.
That’s a good one. You’ve covered a lot of topics. I would love to do this again as we think of more stuff that comes up together if you were open to it because I’m sure our readers would love to know more. Nick, how can people get ahold of you? Are you on Instagram? Are you on Facebook?
I’m on Instagram and Facebook. The best place is probably Instagram. It’s @Nick_Vozikes. If you want to shoot me a DM if you have any questions, let me know.
If you guys want to learn more about virtual investing and my coaching program, I want you guys to check out www.WholesalingInc.com/virtual to learn more about taking your business virtually. Nick, thanks. It’s been great.
Thanks, Lauren. Appreciate it.
- @Nick_Vozikes – Instagram
- Be sure to join the Wholesaling Inc Facebook group
About Lauren Hardy
Lauren Hardy is a Virtual Investing expert and Real Estate influencer who owns multiple companies in the real estate industry including real estate investment, coaching, and software companies. She is also a Wholesaling Inc coach and co-host of the Wholesaling Inc Podcast.
Her experience in the last decade has been focused on real estate investing and creating products and services to serve the real estate investing community. If you are interested in investing in real estate virtually, house flipping, or virtual landlording, Lauren’s your girl.