Posted on: July 13, 2020

If you need a quick lesson in crushing every excuse possible, today’s guest is your man! Ray Zhang is an inspiration in a lot of ways—from living in his car and finding free things to sell, he’s now running a successful virtual wholesaling business.

In this episode, you’ll be amazed by Ray’s no-nonsense approach to business and life and his willingness to fail his way forward. If you need solid proof that you don’t need money to excel in wholesaling, Ray’s story is exactly what you need to hear!

Key Takeaways

  • What his land investing strategy is
  • How he finds land deals
  • How he finds buyers
  • What he did that changed his business dramatically
  • Total number of land parcels he has sold so far
  • Reason he’s not investing in Hawaii
  • How he’s financing his deals
  • What he recommends to those who don’t have money for marketing
  • Why using a credit card is not recommended
  • How he kept going while in rock bottom
  • When he first joined the land and real estate space
  • Why he chose to try virtual investing
  • What he loves about wholesaling
  • How people can get in touch with him

RESOURCES:

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Episode Transcription

Lauren Hardy:
Hey, what’s up guys. You’re listening to the Wholesaling, Inc. Podcast. I am your host Lauren Hardy. And if you guys are new to this podcast, welcome, you are going to love it. Today, we have an awesome episode with one of my coaching students. He was actually one of my first coaching students. His name is Ray Zhang, and he’s based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ray wanted to take his business virtually. He was already doing some land deals previous to meeting me and he came to me to help him put some of the pieces together. So let’s warmly welcome Ray. Ray, thank you so much for being on today. How are ya?

Ray Zhang:
Good. How are you? Thank you, Lauren for allowing me here?.

Lauren Hardy:
I am doing good. It’s Friday. So I’m excited to wrap up the week. Tell me a little bit about yourself. So you live in Honolulu, Hawaii. That’s amazing.

Ray Zhang:
So I started doing cars. I was a car dealer by trade and I started rent cars. I started to buy and sell cars. A couple of years ago, I was tired of doing cars alone. I want to do something else. So I started to Google what else can I do about real estate. So I came up with wholesaling and I started to learn about it. And later on, I joined your program and things just started to take off after that.

Lauren Hardy:
That’s so cool. So wait, you used to flip cars?

Ray Zhang:
Yes. I still do that right now.

Lauren Hardy:
That’s so cool. Wait, so how do you flip a car? What do you do? You just buy an old car? What type of cars? Do you have a specialty?

Ray Zhang:
We buy cars after year 2000 and we sell them probably slightly higher than the price that we bought it for. And I used to buy and fix and flip, but right now I just buy and flip. I don’t have time to fix anymore.

Lauren Hardy:
That’s so cool. [crosstalk 00:02:58] Okay. Isn’t that amazing? You know, you think of these things. It’s like flipping cars is a thing. That’s really cool. [crosstalk 00:03:03] So basically you decided to get into flipping houses.

Ray Zhang:
Right. They’re the same thing, but different product.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah, no, that’s really cool. And what intrigued me about you, as a student, is that you are investing in land and I don’t have a ton of experience investing in land. I did develop some homes, but I don’t have the experience that you have. Tell me about your land investing strategy.

Ray Zhang:
So there are people wanting to buy, in the middle of nowhere and they just want to live there. I don’t know why, but that’s not me, but there are people who just like doing that. So I start to do that a year in Colorado and lately we started in Arizona. And we by a piece of land for five acres, for dirt cheap for less than, I don’t know, $2,000. And… [crosstalk 00:03:55]

Lauren Hardy:
Five acres for $2,000?

Ray Zhang:
Correct.

Lauren Hardy:
Okay. Yeah. So I want to get really granular. So this is in Colorado or Arizona?

Ray Zhang:
Colorado. [crosstalk 00:04:05] Arizona is even cheaper.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah. Okay. So let’s take Colorado as an example. You buy five acres in Colorado. Can you give me like a city name in Colorado?

Ray Zhang:
Is a County called a Costilla County.

Lauren Hardy:
Costilla County?

Ray Zhang:
Yes.

Lauren Hardy:
Okay. Never heard of it. So you’re buying five acres for $2,000, almost 2,500.

Ray Zhang:
Yeah. Pretty much. Very cheap. I we can sell it on terms for sometime they can pay a 150 for like 15 months.

Lauren Hardy:
Where are you finding these land deals?

Ray Zhang:
We send mailers to the homeowners. The same thing with wholesaling. [Crosstalk 00:04:44]

Lauren Hardy:
Right? [crosstalk 00:04:45] So okay, you’re sending mailers, maybe postcards to these owners that own these little parcels of land or the five acres of land.

Ray Zhang:
Correct.

Lauren Hardy:
And you buy it for $2,500. You turn around and you’re selling the land on terms. So you guys, if you’re not familiar, it’s essentially seller financing. Ray is going to, you’re carrying the note, you’re turning it around and you’re selling it to someone who just wants to live in the middle of nowhere. And what maybe put a trailer on it?

Ray Zhang:
Probably. Yeah. Maybe if they can build a shed.

Lauren Hardy:
Or they can build a shed or a shack or a log cabin or whatever. And how are you finding the end buyer? The end user?

Ray Zhang:
We can go to Facebook and we do Craigslist marketing too. And there are some other land website we can post the property at. And what I find out, it’s pretty slow to find the end buyers and also the back out a lot. They pay a little bit and then they’re gone, you cannot find them.

Lauren Hardy:
Okay. So then they don’t perform on the terms.

Ray Zhang:
Correct. That’s why I started thinking, is there a better way? And I listened to your coaching call with us and something you said inspire me to do something else, which totally changed my land business. And also everything.

Lauren Hardy:
Okay, enlighten me. What was that? [laughing 00:06:14] I say a lot of things. Some of it baffles me, to be quite honest.

Ray Zhang:
I think you said something about wholesaling. Because what I was doing with land wasn’t wholesaling. So I was thinking, why don’t I just do wholesaling with land? So I started to send postcards to the land owners who own more than two lots.

Lauren Hardy:
Okay.

Ray Zhang:
And then I got this guy who has 280 parcels in Colorado. And I got another guy in Arizona and he has 17 properties and they want to sell it right away. So I bought them all and right now, we’re just wholesaling land.

Lauren Hardy:
So you’re buying and you’re actually closing on them. And then you’re selling them instead of doing the terms, you’re just selling it outright to someone else?

Ray Zhang:
Wholesale. Yes. I just sold the five properties yesterday.

Lauren Hardy:
The property, you mean land parcels yesterday. [crosstalk 00:00:07:21].

Ray Zhang:
Land parcels.

Lauren Hardy:
Okay. Who are those people that are buying random pieces of land, all cash, in the middle of nowhere in Colorado or Arizona?

Ray Zhang:
So this time, it is those guys who is doing what I was doing. You know, they tried find the end buyers.

Lauren Hardy:
Okay.

Ray Zhang:
Instead of selling to the end buyer right now, I changed my approach. I just reach out to the land investors. This lot is here, it’s cheap. You can sell your end buyers for how much on terms, how much would you do for it? So they buy some time because they are like investors. So they buy a lot. I sold 40 parcels, total of 200 acres. In three weeks.

Lauren Hardy:
Okay. So since joining my program, you’ve sold 40 parcels.

Ray Zhang:
I sold total [crosstalk 00:08:13] I sold total 57 parcels.

Lauren Hardy:
57 [crosstalk 00:08:18] parcels just because I said one thing in a coaching call that made you think differently.

Ray Zhang:
Yep [laughing 00:08:24].

Lauren Hardy:
I didn’t even know that story, swear to god. Oh my gosh. That’s amazing. That’s really cool. So essentially you took an idea and most people just think of wholesale, they wholesale houses. But you took it and applied it to a different product. And that’s why I say, and I say this in my coaching program, in my actual course that my virtual course is teaching you how to go virtual. Whether you want to change up your disposition strategy, maybe you want to be one of those BRR investors. The BRR, buy, rent, rehab, refinance, repeat all those R’s. Or you want to just be a landlord buyer or in your case, and you are the only person I’ve met that’s taken my course and done land with it. And that’s cool. That’s really cool.
So [crosstalk 00:09:12] I’m excited cause it’s just something new and different that I’ve never really explored. So that’s really cool. And I love that you are super… It’s like you’ve got this scrappiness to you where you don’t overthink, you just do it. And that must have came from your buying and selling car days.

Ray Zhang:
Yep. [laughing 00:09:30]

Lauren Hardy:
You don’t overthink. I like that about you, you don’t overanalyze and you don’t get in analysis paralysis. You just, the second you… I know in some of our calls, the second I’m like, “Wait no, you need to do this” or “Why are you doing it like that?” You’re like, “Oh, okay.” And the next day you just apply it and you don’t overthink it. And I love it.

Ray Zhang:
I learn by doing it not by sitting behind the desk and analyzing.

Lauren Hardy:
That is so true. You learn by doing, not by sitting behind a desk and over analyzing. That’s really cool. That’s really cool. So, okay. So you’re in Hawaii. Why do you live in Hawaii? What brought you… Have you always lived in Hawaii?

Ray Zhang:
I was a student here in Hawaii and I just love Hawaii. You know, there’s no better place. I believe. So [laughing 00:10:16] [crosstalk 00:10:16] the weather, everything, is very cool and the people are pretty, they’re very helpful. They’re lovely.

Lauren Hardy:
Awe. Now why don’t you invest in Hawaii?

Ray Zhang:
Everything is super expensive. And the wholesaling here, I tried, I did one deal, but that was take me for a long time. I think in wholesaling business it’s better to have a lot of deals than one deal in like half a year. [crosstalk 00:10:46] So I started to… Always fascinated by virtual and then one day Tom introduced you to me and I thought, this is just perfect.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah. And that wasn’t that long ago. [crosstalk 00:11:02] That was only, I think four months ago. So it wasn’t too long ago. I’m glad… Well, I’m glad we met. And I was definitely happy to have you in the group, especially cause you bring on this different angle of land and it opens up people’s eyes that we don’t just have to invest in houses, you guys. You can wholesale land, you can wholesale commercial property. There’s other avenues out there in real estate investing that a lot of people don’t think about. I think we just traditionally go to single family residences. And you’re here to say there’s other things you can do that are probably even less competitive because everybody goes right into the single family residence space.

Ray Zhang:
Sure. I think your program works either on house or land or everything else because it really works on houses. We’re a closing that another house deal in Oklahoma next month and we already closed another land deal in Oklahoma. So your program works perfectly virtually. So you can be anywhere you want, you don’t have to be in your territory and you can wake up any time you want. Because by the time I wake up, it’s already noon in the main land. So it will work anywhere.

Lauren Hardy:
Thank you. That’s really cool. And I’ve got to say you are the silent killer because in the group, you’re not really bragging about how many deals you’re doing. I didn’t really know that you were the successful with my program. [crosstalk 00:12:40] So that’s really cool. I think that there’s something to that. I think that you hear a lot of people, they brag when they close one deal or two deals. And if there’s something to the guy that sits quiet on the sidelines that’s secretly [laughing 00:12:53] 57 land deals [crosstalk 00:12:56] in four months.

Ray Zhang:
Yeah. Even though I wasn’t on your coaching call live, but I always listened to your coaching call afterwards. I never miss. I never missed one.

Lauren Hardy:
That’s cool. And I think a lot of that’s because of the time difference, because I remember at one point you were in China doing this [crosstalk 00:13:16] business, right?

Ray Zhang:
Correct.

Lauren Hardy:
So you were actually in China, international and the time difference is completely different. If that’s not the definition of live anywhere, invest where you want, I don’t know what is. And that’s something that I always say is live anywhere, invest where you want. So you were in China for a while doing these deals.

Ray Zhang:
Correct. I actually, my first deal in Oklahoma was a land deal. And I contact the seller when I was in China and we had been talking for a while and he said he wants to sell his properties. I said, “This house won’t work. Do you have any other properties for sale?” He said, “Oh, I have a land for sale in Oklahoma.” I said, “Okay, let me see it.” And right after that, I bought it in China. I sold it when I came back. [inaudible 00:14:01] took my cash buyer list and one Realtor contact me and she wanted to buy it. And then we closed it two days after I came back to the U S.

Lauren Hardy:
That’s so cool. How are you financing these deals or how are you funding it? Is it your own money or do you use any kind of financing?

Ray Zhang:
If the deal is pretty cheap and the number makes sense, I’ll buy them all, with cash.

Lauren Hardy:
Okay. So it’s your own cash?

Ray Zhang:
Correct.

Lauren Hardy:
All right. Moneybags Ray over there. [laughing 00:14:29] But now what if somebody who didn’t have money like you do, what would [crosstalk 00:14:35] you recommend?

Ray Zhang:
That’s something I’m really passionate to share. I think no business is about money. If you have a good enough deal, there are people going to buy it. And that’s the beauty of wholesaling. You don’t need to actual buy it. And you can just put it under contract and to just sell that contract.

Lauren Hardy:
Right? So you don’t even need money. You can assign your contract with land deals. The same way people are assigning wholesale deals with single family residence.

Ray Zhang:
Correct. [crosstalk 00:15:04] And there are people also saying, “Oh, what if I don’t have even the postcard money?” You know? And I think this is just a excuse you don’t want to take action. And when I first came to American, I don’t even have a place to live. I live in the car for a couple of months. And what I did is I go to Craigslist and there is a section called free. So you can go there and find items that are free and you can just sell them, sell it and collect your marketing money. And start from there. Once you get your first deal, you’re good to go.

Lauren Hardy:
Ray, I can’t even right now. I have never, ever thought to suggest that to a student with no marketing money, but that’s amazing. And I get it just comes back to your car slinging days. Is that how you would buy cars sometimes?

Ray Zhang:
Yeah. I got… About four years ago, I got a car for a hundred dollars. There are people willing to sell their property or cars or their items, even for free. You don’t know why. Why do they do that? You don’t know, you just do it. And they gave out something for free you can sell on eBay for a hundred bucks that you don’t know why. And I saw there was someone giving an iPad the other day, for real, for free. You never know why they do what they do, but they just do it. But the key is you have to be on the lookout. You have to go out and find it.

Lauren Hardy:
Oh my gosh. [crosstalk 00:16:38].

Ray Zhang:
Yeah.

Lauren Hardy:
So I am going to… We are going to film another episode just on raising money for your marketing budget, by buying things [laughing 00:16:47] or selling things that you got for free on Craigslist. That is going to be a 2.0 to this. Because I hear it all the time that my students don’t have money for marketing. And I’m like, what I did is I just, I got a credit card and I made sure I had an $11,000 limit. And I literally put my marketing budget on my credit card. Now that’s risky because what if I couldn’t pay it back? What if I, for whatever reason, if this didn’t work out for me. I mean, those were the thoughts in my head is like, well, then you need to make sure you can pay that back. I mean, you might get in credit card debt.
And I had that pressure behind me, which made me work really hard to get a deal, to be able to pay off my credit card. And in the end I did, but I get really nervous recommending that to students. I know I say it as, “Hey, this is honest. I’m being honest with you.” And I’m very real with everybody. This is how I started. I started with a credit card, but I don’t like to recommend that because not everybody is like me and not everybody is going to keep going. A lot of people don’t have that tenacity. I mean, this is a way where you’re not in debt. It just takes some, a little, work. A couple hours out of your day, get things for free, sell them, make your marketing budget. And you know what, is funny… Have you heard of Gary V? Gary V is all about garage back out. So this is essentially the same thing and he makes… He does it just for fun. And he teaches people how to make money off of buying things from garage sales and reselling them on eBay.

Ray Zhang:
Yeah. He said, even though he’s super so successful right now, he’s still enjoys going to garage sales on Saturday. [crosstalk 00:18:28] Yeah. So another thing about credit cards is, some people don’t even have credit history. When I first came to America, I was a Chinese and… I still am still a Chinese, but [laughing 00:18:40] [crosstalk 00:18:41] I don’t have credit history. So I cannot even get a credit card. So, you [crosstalk 00:18:49] can start from there.

Lauren Hardy:
No excuses, you guys. No excuses. I love it Ray. I mean, literally you are single handedly in this podcast episode, squashing, every excuse I’ve ever heard anyone make. He came to the country, no money, lived in his car, had no credit so he couldn’t even get a credit card, had to sell things that he got for free on Craigslist. I mean, come on. What excuse… Give me an excuse. I dare you guys after this episode.

Ray Zhang:
Yeah. I used to buy, I used to get their mattress for free and I can sell them for $50. And [crosstalk 00:19:32] there are a lot of people buying. 50.

Lauren Hardy:
Oh, 50. So, that’s amazing. And you did that to be able to support yourself?

Ray Zhang:
Correct.

Lauren Hardy:
What was going through your head at that time when you moved and you were in this space of living in your car? How’d you keep going?

Ray Zhang:
I was thinking, I’m already at rock bottom. Where else can I go? There’s no way down. So just the only way is up. So one day I’m going to be rich.

Lauren Hardy:
I always say that. Because there was a rock bottom point in my life and I’m not going to lie, it’s not nearly as rock bottom as yours. Okay. I’m not even going to act like it, it wasn’t. I was born very fortunate. I was born in this country and I, my parents, I would say they’re like middle income people and I didn’t have any of these inherent struggles. But I always say that when I was in that kind of my version of rock bottom, I said, there’s really only one way up. So if anything, it’s exciting. I have so much to be excited about. I actually take comfort in rock bottom because you know, that really, there’s only one way to go and that’s up. Whereas when your kind of up there already and you’re high flying, there is always this fear in that you could go back down.

Ray Zhang:
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:20:51] You have to keep climbing.

Lauren Hardy:
You got to keep climbing. That’s amazing, Ray. I had no idea you had this kind of story. And I didn’t know that this episode would go this direction, but it’s really cool. When did you actually first get into the land and real estate space? From cars to land?

Ray Zhang:
About a couple of years ago and started to do deals here and there. But not too much of value because the land is generally lower than properties.

Lauren Hardy:
Okay.

Ray Zhang:
And very few people know about it, but there are deals out there. But when I listened to your coaching calls, that’s when everything starts to take off.

Lauren Hardy:
That’s really cool. Okay. So then it started ramping up once you got mentorship and coaching.

Ray Zhang:
Correct.

Lauren Hardy:
And I think that, I mean, I know that you were involved in some coaching programs prior, but was there some missing links and that’s why you chose to actually get like virtual coaching.

Ray Zhang:
Yeah. I have tried in Hawaii, like I said to wholesale. That was very frustrating because I send a lot of mailers and very few people call. And even those people call, they cannot sell their properties because some of the Island properties are protected. They can only be sold to Hawaiians, not outsiders. So, I’ve been doing a lot of stuff for literally nothing. So I was thinking I need to do something virtually, but I didn’t know how to do that. There’s a mind block, blocking me to go forward. One day, you just miraculously showed up. That’s when you may have saved me.

Lauren Hardy:
One day then I showed up and [crosstalk 00:22:39] then I was so… I know. I mean, that’s exactly… That was my story. I lived in Southern California. I still live in Southern California, very high price area. I live in Orange County, super… Average house price is $750,000. And I used to be able to flip houses around here or LA inland empire. But as the market started climbing up, the deals started drying up. The margins were going lower and lower to where it became very risky to buy a flip deal. Because if you had any of your numbers off, whether that was your ARV or your repair, you were losing money on that deal. And I like sleeping at night personally. So that was not my jam. I was like, okay, I don’t want to live like this personally. There’s also this feast or famine where I would go three, four months and not get a flip deal.
And, cause I was traditionally flipping. So my deals were bigger but I would go three, four months and not have anything in the pipeline. And I would be up at night sweating because I spent all this in marketing, all this money in postcards and I have no deal lined up to pay me back and I didn’t want to live that way. So, that was when I decided to go virtual. Similar story to you. So I could have a consistent deal flow. Yeah. The deals were smaller because I was wholesaling them and the property values were a little bit lower. So there were smaller deals, but I would rather get a check a week versus a check every four months.

Ray Zhang:
That’s why I love wholesaling so much. You don’t need to put a lot of money on there. You can secure the property and sell the contract. It will save you a lot of sweat for sure.

Lauren Hardy:
For sure.

Ray Zhang:
There’s no risk, basically.

Lauren Hardy:
That’s really… Yeah, no, I know it’s a beautiful thing. Well, Ray, I loved having you. And in fact, we are doing a second episode on how to raise money for a marketing budget when you are broke. So you guys stay tuned for that episode because it is coming. But for now, how can people get ahold of you if they want to learn more about land investing, maybe you can partner up with people. Are you on any of the socials like Instagram or Facebook?

Ray Zhang:
Yeah, they can add my Facebook or they can email me. My email is ray@landprousa.com. So landprousa.com.

Lauren Hardy:
Ray@landprousa.com. And then Ray Zhang. Is it Z H A N G? Right?

Ray Zhang:
Yes, you got it.

Lauren Hardy:
Ray Zhang on Facebook. Are you on Instagram?

Ray Zhang:
Not really.

Lauren Hardy:
All right, that’s fine. That’s fair. All right, Ray, thank you so much. This was an amazing episode and extremely inspirational. Not only for our listeners, but for me as well. So thank you. Can’t wait to have you on again.

Ray Zhang:
Thank you Lauren to have me on. I’ll talk to you soon.

Lauren Hardy:
Thanks.
All right guys. That’s all I have for today. If you guys like what you hear, please subscribe to this channel. And if you guys want to learn more about my coaching program on virtual investing, I want you guys to go to www.wholesalinginc.com/virtual and apply there. All right guys, take care.

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