Posted on: August 14, 2020
WI 493 | First Deal


If you are a new wholesaler with your back against the wall, what would you do? Today’s rockstar rhino chose to work hard and persist and he got $19,000 to show for it!

Aaron Gaunt is an admirable, hardworking, and steadfast rhino from California. While he’s only been a tribe member for 4 months, he has already closed his first deal. What’s even more impressive is he made it all happen in a very competitive market and while still working as a full-time fireman!

Ever the go-giver, Aaron not only talked about the steps he took to find and close his first ever deal, he also shared the mindset that has helped him move his wholesaling business to the next level. If you need a masterclass on persistence and hard work, this episode is exactly what you need to hear!

WIP 493: How Fireman Aaron Gaunt Did His First Deal In One Of The Most Competitive Markets In The Country

I’m super excited to be with you. For those that are reading for the first time, welcome to the greatest show where we break down wholesaling. It’s simply the art of finding deeply discounted properties. If you can do this over and over again, you can make a lot of money in real estate. We have a rockstar Rhino that’s going to be sharing his story step by step of how he was able to do his first deal. Once you do that first deal, it can start this fire. He’s closing his second deal. This one is all about breaking down the deal, doing an actual scenario, case study, breaking it down step by step.

If this is your first time or whether this is your multiple time coming back, get a piece of paper, get out a pen, and get ready to jot down some gold nuggets because he’s going to be sharing step by step how he did this deal. Do not let this go past. Don’t just say, “That episode was great. It made me feel good.” It’s not about that. It’s 100% about getting out there, taking action, and moving forward.

We have Aaron Gaunt. He is from California in the San Diego area. He’s in the Tribe. He’s going to break down a deal on how he closed his first deal and it’s an exciting deal. You’re going to learn some things that are pretty darn important during this. Aaron, tell us a little bit about who you are and what got you into wholesaling.

I got a little bit of a story. I’m from Southern California. What got me into wholesaling was you guys always said, “Do a deal as if your child got stolen. You’re not going to get your child until you make a deal.” That’s my story. I was in a custody battle with my little girl. She got taken away. The mom fled the state and was going to put her up for adoption. We went to court. I wanted to get the best legal help. I saw Wholesaling Inc. and I got into wholesaling. For about a week, I was at YouTube University. I saw Wholesaling Inc. It popped up. I gave you a call. I didn’t even listen to an episode yet.

You’re brand new to us. It’s like, “I saw some of the wholesale and it looked intriguing.”

I was doing a bunch of overtime. I’m a fireman down in San Diego. I’d do GoFundMe to get that best legal help. I saw Wholesaling Inc. Skyler gave me the call the next day. I never even listened to an episode. I knew I needed a mentor. I said, “Let me give you a call back. I want to research you guys real quick.” About an hour later, I gave him a call back and said, “I’m in. Let’s do this.”

I want to know this from a perspective. Some of the biggest things in life in general, this is a quick key question that you can briefly touch on. We all know that mentors and guides can make things easier. This is anything. I’m not saying specific Wholesale Inc. I’m saying fitness. I’m saying everything. You start to look for successful people. Usually, it’s tied to this. What allowed you to do that? It sounds like the money was tight, but you’re able to move forward. What was going on in your mindset to say, “I’ve done some research and I want it to be you guys?” I’m not worried about why you picked us. What allowed you to move through any mental blocks to get a mentor?

It was the testimonies and stuff like that. As I was going through YouTube University, I knew I needed help to get through it. I saw you guys and saw the testimonies. I said, “Let’s do this.” All the money I was paying my attorney, I used for Wholesaling Inc., marketing, and stuff like that. The ROI was amazing.

First and foremost, let’s break down your marketing. What was it to get this lead in? What type of marketing were you doing? How did you get the list to market to?

Wholesaling Inc. goes off with direct mail. Let me tell you, Cody, direct mail isn’t dead. Even in the whole competitive California market, everybody always said, “California is competitive. Do virtual wholesaling somewhere else.” I didn’t do any of that. I did it right here in my backyard. I did direct mail to a bunch of high equity at first. I didn’t know much, but I did a bunch of high equity.

Let’s break this down. For those that are reading, they’re like, “What’s high equity?” High equity is simply those that have a ton of money freed up in the house. Let’s say the home is worth $300,000 and you only owe $150,000. You have $150,000 worth of equity. He is now sending out mail or getting a list based on this high equity.

I did about 10,000 mail pieces. I didn’t get much response. What I did was I would go on walks every morning and I would listen to all the past coaching calls. I was obsessed with it. I listened to all the coaches. I listened to all the podcasts. I did all the research. Remember, I needed to do this to get my little girl to safety. I had to get that deal. I did that. I started going to more of a distressed list and that’s when I started getting better responses. The deal that I got was off of a notice of default.

WI 493 | First Deal

First Deal: Roadblocks are not meant to happen to you, but they are there to help you become a better investor.


For those that are out there who are like, “What’s a notice of default?” Typically, your title company will have access to this list. More importantly, it’s a pre-foreclosure.

I want to be a go-giver. Where I got my notice of default is a website called PropStream. You get a bunch of stuff from there. That’s a little plug for this show. With this one, a realtor gave me a call. I’ve gotten calls from other realtors, too, that were like, “Don’t send my client postcards.” I was thinking, “What’s this going to be about?” He gave me a call and said, “I see that my client has a postcard from you. I saw the market and I’m about to put it on the market.” The bottom-dollar is $300,000. I looked at that.

Thank God, I was on my computer and not at the fire station. I did my math real quick and I was like, “This is a deal.” I couldn’t assign it. I learned in our programming and Bill helped me out so that I could double close it. I asked him if he would do $290,000. He said, “No. The bottom-dollar is $300,000.” I was like, “No worries.” We don’t have that seller’s remorse. We locked it up at $300,000 and we got it going.

You’re out there doing business with realtors. Here’s the tricky thing. We hear this and there are so many natural fears that might come into play, like, “What does this guy want?” He’s a realtor. It’s like, “You’re sending postcards to my client.” You worked directly with a realtor. This was pre-listing. They hadn’t listed the property on MLS. What was it about this house that wanted the agent to say, “It might be smart to call one of these cash buyers versus list it?” Was it that big of a distressed property?

It was a fixer-upper.

What kind of condition? Give our readers a background. What does distress look like for this house?

It was in San Diego County and it was almost in the middle of nowhere, it seemed like. The comps there were great. This home had trash and stuff buried in the yard. This lady had lizards and cages to the ceiling.

This is an animal house. Let’s go. We love animal houses.

There are a bunch of things that weren’t working. I walked it myself. This being my first deal, I got to learn a lot of things such as inspection, email blast, text blast, and doing all that good stuff. It was an up-and-down battle with this one because it was with the realtor. I’m glad I got to knock this difficult deal out of the way as well. He would change the prices on Zillow. My cash buyers were all over the place. I had $180,000 at this time, Cody.

Is $180,000 good?

Here in Southern California, I have cash buyers from all the way to San Diego to LA. People in LA are not going to want to buy in San Diego. People in San Diego are not going to want to. $180,000 is not that much for that kind of market.

I only had $10,000.

Wholesaling isn’t the path to getting rich quickly. It requires hard work and money to market.

I did have two that came through and one put an offer in and backed out. I realized it wasn’t enough. What I did is I had somebody who stepped in and was going to JV it, but it would be out for $360,000. I was going to be looking good. In the long run, I got a deal. Remember how we talked about the highest and best?

Yes. I love this process.

The best is because who’s going to close the quickest? They need to do stuff quickly as well. The realtor was like, “We want to do things quicker.” “No worries. I’m your guy.” I had another guy come in. The JV deal, they were slacking. Somebody else came up with $330,000. I went with them because they were able to close quickly, so I got my first deal.

Let’s go over the numbers real quick. You put it under contract again. It was at $300,000. You go out there, start marketing the contract, and find someone who will purchase it for $330,000. Was this your guy? Is this your guy that saw it all the way through?


When everything’s said and done, what does that look like when it comes to the actual after closing and the money that was made?

I use transactional funding. Here’s another thing, this happened throughout the holidays. I have a transactional funding lady.

I love how you can laugh through this, though. This is the best part about this. Some people see a problem or a challenge and they’re like, “There’s this transaction funding. It’s the weekend.” You’re like, “My lady.”

It’s all about relationships. She has some guy who had the money and he got locked up in Hong Kong. I was like, “Oh man.” We had to wait another week.

What was going on in your head when you saw this? This is real. Everyone reading, I want you to write this down. There are going to be a ton of roadblocks and challenges that face you and get in your way. Also, I want you to know that these roadblocks are there to not happen to you but to happen for you. Each one of them is there to teach you new things and help you become a better investor in general.

You’re hearing these little hiccups come up from the first guy saying, “Nevermind, I don’t want it.” The JV guy is saying, “No.” What were the learning experiences? Those are a bit more important than the actual marketing. Those are great, don’t get me wrong. These learning things are power. What did you learn from all these hiccups?

There are gut-check moments. This is persistence. This isn’t a get-rich-quick thing that they want to think. It’s time and hard work. It does take money to market. You guys teach to build cash buyers. There are a bunch of gurus out there saying, “Get the deal first. Cash buyers are your assets. That’s your money.” From 180, I now have $1,300 and it’s still growing. Because I learned from that first deal, I needed way more than 180.

WI 493 | First Deal

First Deal: The small and simple activities that you do every day and compounded over time will move you forward.


The 180 meant like 3.

There’s that and I got pushed back a little bit, and because it was a notice of default, it was going to pre-foreclosure. We had to push that back even more. It took a little while. I had to babysit it throughout until closing, which is okay. We learned a lot in this deal and then we came out with a $19,000 profit.

You can’t skip over this real quick. You know what’s coming. There’s got to be some patience between what you said and what you’re about to say. You know what is about to happen. On this deal, you said right around $19,000 after all these closing. You have been waiting for that victory bell.

Cody, you have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for that. Me and my lovely lady sat down. We talked about strategies every day. I was obsessed with it. I wanted to get that first deal out of the way and we got it. Thank you for that victory bell. I want to thank you guys for everything you guys do.

There’s more to this. You are going to go somewhere. Was that what you want to add to it after the $19,000 when I said, “No. Stop right there. We got to ring this victory bell first.” Was there something you were going to add to that?

I keep going.

What happens to your mindset now that you’ve done a deal? What does it look like going forward versus back when you first started? I know you had a lot of energy and you’re like, “I’ve got to make this work.” It’s a back against the wall moment. Now that you’ve done a deal, what does that do to your confidence? What does that do to your reality moving forward?

It builds up confidence. It becomes belief into reality. Let me tell you, Cody. I was in a trial. During the wholesale, I had a two-day trial where we were determining custody of my little girl. Here’s the thing, I took that check and I was able to give a big chunk to my attorney because she did a great job. Here’s the thing, Cody. I got primary custody. I’m going to be getting her. My little girl is going to have a great and bright future. She’s going to have both parents. We’re excited.

That’s fantastic. This is the stuff that I’m like, “We’re not talking real estate. We’re talking about family.” We’re wiping eyes. That’s awesome. That’s game-changing. That stuff that not just your life but this changes your daughter’s life. This changes generational lives. More importantly, going forward, it’s probably now that faith to fact. It’s like, “I no longer have to worry about, does this work? Does direct mail work? Does marketing work? Does getting homes under contracted discount exist in this high market?” Yes, it does.

Going forward, you’re going to see a whole new level of confidence and a whole new level of commitment. It’s now going to start working in your favor. Darren Hardy calls it Big Mo and its momentum. It’s the small and simple activities that you do every day compounded over time and all of a sudden, it’s no longer your energy going forward. Now you got Big Mo coming to help push you to get this done.

I’m super excited for you. Is this something that you always want to do? A lot of people want to know this. You work as a fireman full-time. What does that look like? To wrap this up and put a ribbon on it for everyone to understand, what does that look like? How are you able to accomplish this and work at the same time?

I got two things to add to that. I am still a fireman. Here’s the thing, when I was at work, when we’re on the engine and running errands, I’m talking to sellers. I got people calling me. I’m at the fire department and on my computer. I’m working stuff at the fire department. I’m able to have that schedule. A good couple of days off. I’m able to do a lot toward wholesaling. All I’ve been doing is wholesaling. I would like to do this full-time and that’s the goal. Here’s another plug, you got done with SCALE. It looks like you guys had an amazing time. I’m jealous. I promise you, Cody, my goal is I’m going to be there. I’m going to have consistent deals coming through. You’ll see me there in a couple of years.

There will be a lot of tough times navigating the real estate market. You will run into many obstacles, so hold on to your persistence.

To end this, we always like to ask two questions. You’re probably familiar with it. Going back, from ground zero, is there anything you would do differently this time? Is there anything you would have done the same?

I had some gut-check moments. We had our ups and downs. My golden nugget for this is persistence. There are going to be a lot of tough times you’re going to run into, a lot of obstacles. I want to give a plug to the people here in California. They might think that it’s hard out here, but what do you guys say? There’s no competition. It’s only in collaboration. I totally agree with that.

If anybody here in Southern California wants to reach out to me, you can reach me on my Facebook page, Aaron Gaunt. My email is I would love to be of any assistance. Let’s sit down and have some coffee. When I was going through it, I was trying to reach out to some Tribe members, other wholesalers and some were go-givers and some were not. I want to be that go-giver.

That’s fantastic. You’re going to see that come back tenfold. Is there any book that you’ve read that you’re like, “This is game-changing?”

Here’s another thing you guys provided to us and you guys are such great mentors. Within starting Wholesaling Inc., I’ve read five books.

What was that like before? Were you reading that much?

Probably one a year. You guys have encouraged us. You guys are the mentors. I told Skyler this, me and my lady were sitting around. Unless we come to a difficult situation, I’m like, “What would Cody Hofhine do?”

You probably messed it up. I don’t want to do it the way Cody does it. We got to think the opposite.

I got quotes from you guys and I’m always using it. My book is Rhinoceros Success.

Scott Alexander is the man.

It was a good book that you guys recommended. You’ve got to have that Rhino thick skin. It was a great book that kept me going.

Any last words of advice you want to leave?

WI 493 | First Deal

Keep going. Charge on.

Aaron, you’ve been a rock star. This has been a solid episode. I want to thank you for jumping on. I appreciate you taking the time. This is something that takes you away from now being on the phone and doing things. This adds value to people’s lives. You’ll see that there’s going to be things that resonate with individuals that are reading to us and they’re like, “I can do this.” If only one person got that message, we’d done our job. I’m confident many people are reading and saying, “His back was against the wall.” You found a way to do it. This is going to inspire and motivate people. I appreciate you for doing that and taking the time.

Thanks, Cody.

For those reading, take the time to truly sit there and think about some of the things that Aaron shared. This is where the rubber meets the road. You can listen to it and sometimes feel like, “This cracks me up. I’m ready to go.” The feeling is partial of it. If the feeling doesn’t move you to action, this show goes in vain. It’s not just about feeling good. It’s getting out there, getting uncomfortable each and every day.

It’s not comfortable. It’s not easy. It is something that if you will take consistent and small action, this too could be your story. You can get out there and wholesale your first deal. If you need help doing that, head on over to where me and our team would love to help you build that team. Until next time, get ready because we’re going to keep bringing the heat. We’re going to start bringing some incredible value and incredible guests that are going to help you in this journey. We love you guys. Take care. We’ll see you in the next episode.

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