If you are an ardent listener of the podcast, you probably already know that at its core, wholesaling is all about serving others. However, if you want to know what serving others at the highest level truly means, you should tune in to today’s episode.
Avery Smith is one of Cody’s favorite guests, and with good reason. Avery has a heart of gold, and it’s evident in the way he approaches the wholesaling business and the way he treats the sellers he comes in contact with.
In this episode, listen in as Avery shared how he served a seller to the highest level and the reward he got for his graciousness. If you’d like to learn a thing or two about serving others through wholesaling, don’t forget to tune in to this awesome episode!
The Unique Method One Wholesaler Used To Escape The Rat-Race And Land 15 Deals! With Avery Smith
I am super excited about the guest we have. Before we get to our guest, let me make sure everyone that’s here with us understands what we’re going to be talking about. We’re going to be talking about a little game called wholesaling real estate. It is simply the art of finding deeply discounted properties that you can then put under contract at a discount and ultimately, the exit strategies are endless. If you can learn how to be a great deal finder without having much money, being a licensed realtor or an expert, you can learn how to make a fortune in real estate.
We’re going to be breaking one of those methods down as we have our guest, Avery Smith, from St. Louis. He got into wholesaling back in 2018 and did his first deal in about March of ’19. That’s when it went from faith to fact and has done fifteen deals since then. The reason why we have him on the show is that he has a heart of gold. This guy serves every one of his sellers at such a high level that I wanted to make sure we brought him on so that you can realize this game is not much about real estate. It’s about being a problem solver and serving people at a high level. The byproduct is you can get a home at a deep discount.
Pull out a piece of paper, get a pen and get ready to jot down some gold nuggets. One of my favorite individuals that we’ve been going back and forth with through Instagram and Facebook chats is on the show to share his gold nuggets with you so you can get out there, get out of your way and get your first deal to make money in real estate and hopefully quit your job. Let’s get going. Avery, how are you doing?
I’m blessed, Cody. How are you doing?
I’m doing great and I’m excited that you’re here. You put out a post that I loved and I don’t want to give away the whole details because we’re going to be talking about the breakdown of this deal. That’s what intrigued me. I’m like, “I got to get this guy on. He did something unique and special.” Hearing your background, you were sharing your whole story with your family and everything. It’s like, “This is going to be a great episode.” Get ready, Rhino nation, for this episode. Avery, tell us a little bit about yourself and what got you into wholesaling real estate.
I’m a father of two. I have a nice girlfriend and we’ve been together for years. I work for United Airlines. I’ve been in the airline industry for years. Having a union-based job, the salary scale reaches a ceiling and then you get capped. I was looking for extra income or something else to transition to. I didn’t want to start from ground zero at another company to get another pension or another 401(k) going. My best friend, who was a realtor down in Pensacola, Florida, Barry, works for Keller Williams and he was like, “Why don’t you get your real estate license?” I was like, “I don’t want to do that.”
He’s like, “You’d end up giving all your money away as I do. There’s a thing called wholesale in real estate.” I’m like, “Wholesale in real estate? Wholesale is like you’re the middle man or something. How do you wholesale real estate?” He goes, “You’re not familiar with that term? I do real estate and I wholesale real estate.” I’m like, “I’m all ears.” He goes, “It’s better if you listen to this show versus me tell you.” He sent me a show with you and Tom. The energy you have was crazy. I’m like, “Are you serious?” I listened to episode 137 or 138 and then from there on, I was hooked. I had to go back to episode one. I play it back to get caught back up. That’s how I got introduced to the game.
Listening to a wholesaling podcast will help you navigate your path to the business so you can formulate a plan and make it happen.
Thank you for giving a shout-out to the show. This is our baby. We love letting this show serve people and I hope it’s served people at a high level. I’m glad to hear that it served you. Let’s get going into this. You got into real estate. Was listening to the show enough? Was that something that you’re like, “I listened to the episodes, then all of a sudden, I went out there and started taking action?” What got you to be able to trust yourself to go out there and start failing your way forward?
To be honest, I did exactly that, fail my way forward. I had no idea what I was doing. I’m taking bits and pieces of what I can do trying to formulate a plan and make it happen. My armrest in my truck was full of scratch papers of this, that and other podcasts. I’m trying to create my methods to the madness.
Did everyone sit there whenever they came in your car and opened up to look for a napkin and they’re like, “What the crap is going on in this armrest? What notes are you taking here?”
My girlfriend, Adrienne, was like, “Avery, what is all this paper?” I’m like, “We’re going to make it happen. Don’t worry about it.” She goes, “You got a bunch of gibberish scribbled down. Can you even read it?” I was like, “No, I’m on the move writing down addresses, so I got to go get the next one.” She goes, “You need to slow down. You’re driving yourself crazy with this. There’s got to be something better than writing down phone numbers and addresses from people that you get and talking to people. You got to get a plan and strategy.” I dug deeper and then found the program.
You got a deal in March of 2019. Since then, you’ve done fifteen deals. Let’s go right into the meat and potatoes of this that everyone’s waiting for. Let’s talk about a deal that you did. What I’d like you to do is slow it down and take us to the beginning. Where did you find this lead? What lists did it come from? What kind of marketing channel did you use to get in connection with this lead?
I used direct mail and Tom Krol list. I had no idea what kind of equity and spectrum was being put into this list. I got the list, acquired it, used the postcards and sent it out.
How much mail are you sending out to get a good response rate? Are you sending out 20, 100 or 1,000 a week? What does that look like?
I did 2,800 mail pieces for 10 weeks. I was mailing out 280 pieces every Thursday.
Method: There’s going to be something better than just writing down phone numbers and addresses from people. You have to get a plan and a strategy.
Here’s the key thing. Notice the question I ask. I’m smiling from ear to ear because he sends out weekly mail. Mail still works. For all those who say mail is dead, God bless you because all the other people staying forward and consistent with mail are getting those deals. Direct mail is amazing. We have a big team. I don’t know if you’ve used them, but you may want to consider it here soon. If you go over to OpenLetterMarketing.com/REFF, that will get you into our portal where you can use the tribe postcard, get our pricing and ultimately use a third-party vendor, The Mail House, to get our pricing and a service that you’re going to love. Let’s go forward, Avery. You sent out 280 postcards a week and you do this for ten weeks. How far into that campaign before it was like, “I’m talking to someone that could be motivated?”
It was maybe the second mail drop. The lady that called me, the deal that we closed, said she held onto the card for a little bit.
This is even better news. You’re already sharing all this wisdom that I have to break down and make sure everyone understands. If you send out mail and someone calls you weeks after that, they receive it. Those are your hottest leads if someone’s willing to hold onto a $0.37 postcard. This individual holds onto the postcard and reaches out to you. What was it about the conversation that let you know that there was some motivation here, that there was something that may have been going on in her life that you could be a problem solver for or a solution for?
She said she had gotten several postcards, but she said she liked the way I ended mine, “Thank you and God bless.” She put it on her refrigerator for a while. She’s a dental hygienist. She kept working for a little bit and then it got crunch time because she had to be at a specific location at a specific time. She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t want to use a realtor because she didn’t want to have to deal with all the showings in the time of convenience. She gave me a call and I told her what I could do as far as like, “Let me come out and have a conversation with you and see what we can do. I’ll do my best to help you out.”
You go out there. I’m assuming you’re hearing the situation and you’re like, “Let me see what I can do to help out.” You knew there was some motivation. You’re going out there to see if you can solve problems at this point.
It’s because of the fact she told me she had to be at a specific location no matter what by a specific time. There couldn’t be any more motivation than that.
Believe in yourself and in the program. Confidence will help you make things happen.
Notice that Avery didn’t say, “I went on this appointment because it’s a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom. It is amazing in Saint Louis.” It had nothing to do with real estate. The roof was in bad shape or a great neighborhood. It’s simply that there was a motivation of some sort. The individual needed to be out of this place by a certain date and they didn’t want to deal with the real estate agent doing all the showings.
You go out there. What do you do on something like that? What is a typical process for you? You show up at the door. Many people will almost buckle up like, “What do I do? Am I going to make a mess of this? Am I even going to be good at this?” What do you do when you show up to an appointment that allows you to do your thing and be able to connect with individuals, so you get contracts?
The simple fact is that I’ve done a deal before with a realtor. I brought my friend out there with me to give the lady an extra strategy if that’s what she wanted to use. I didn’t know if I was going to be the best option for her or not. I knew that she needed help. I wanted to bring all the resources I had to the table.
We all sat down and she told me, “My daughter has special needs. She’s going to be at a school in August and I need to get this house sold. I’ve never even sold a house before. I’ve lived here for sixteen years. I got divorced and I have better options for my child to succeed in school down in Arkansas. I’ve seen your card. It stood out way beyond everybody else’s because everyone else’s says, ‘We close cash, fast cash.’” She heard fast and everything else. She goes, “When I read your card and it said, ‘Thank you, God bless,’ I knew I had to give you a call.”
You go through this place. Was the home in disrepair or was it strictly the situation?
I have to laugh because I had no idea what I was walking into. When I pulled up to the house, on the front porch, me being an OSHA inspector from the airline industry, I wouldn’t have walked on that porch. It was pretty bad. All the wood was weathered and everything like that. It was teetering. There was junk and clutter all over the place. The grass was high. It looked like nobody lived there.
I’m not trying to judge by the way this young lady lived, but it was a simple fact. She was a single parent and she’s gone 16 to 18 hours out the day. Her son didn’t know how to cut any grass and her daughter has special needs. It was pretty much how they could live. I didn’t cast any judgment or anything. I pretty much went in, knocked on the door and said, “My name is Avery and this is Jameela. Do you mind if we come in and talk about how we can help you?” She invited us in.
Method: In wholesaling, you could talk about the timeframe and worry about the numbers later.
You go out there and find a way to serve her at a high level. Ultimately, what was it that made this individual go with you? How were you able to get the home under contract? Was it a lot of time being there at the house? Was it something that happened pretty quick where she felt like, “You’re the answer? Let’s do it. Let’s put it under contract?s” Did you have to work the lead for a long time? What did that look like?
It was pretty laid back. The atmosphere was calm. I sat down and talked to her. I went over what I do. I told her, “I pretty much get properties at a discounted rate and try to take myself out of the equation.” She goes, “What do you mean by a discounted rate?” I said, “The thing about it is you can list with Jameela here and you can go ahead and put it on the MLS, but you might not meet your expected time. Sometimes you trade your equity for time and convenience and that’s where I come in.
I don’t know if I’m the best option for you. You could do the traditional method of putting it on the MLS or with me, which is an investor. Mind you, I’m not moving my family here. There may have to be some spread, but better yet, we’re not even going to talk about money. Let me know what’s going on and what timeframe I have to help you and then we can worry about numbers later.”
She told me exactly what her situation was and I said, “The thing about what we could do is I have no idea what the comps are for your property. We can run comps in the next 5 to 12 hours. I get up pretty early and I’m assuming you get up pretty early being a dental hygienist. I could have a number for you.” She had no idea what she was dealing with. She knew what she paid for and then she goes, “Let me stop you right here. You don’t have to do any comps. I want the house gone. I owe an X amount. I want that amount and then I’m fine with that.”
She was ready to move. She knew she needed to meet a timeframe and so much that she was willing to say, “I know what I owe. I need that out of it so that I can move on to plan B.” You put this under contract. Were you even hesitant at that point? When she tells you the price were you like, “That could be a deal. I hope it’s a deal?”
I pretty much put pen to paper and said, “This is the number that she needs. Let’s make it work.”
You go out there. The reason I asked this question is that you never said, “I took time before I went out there and all the comps were these.” Many people don’t take action because they’re too busy comping the property and they’re finding these comps. I’ll get questions all the time, “What’s my maximum allowable offer?” I’m like, “Don’t go with one.” Otherwise, you’re going to always build up to that point. The name of the game is to see how cheap and at what price you can get it. I love the fact that you didn’t do comps and you’re like, “I get it. You want this, so we’re going to put it in a contract and see what we’re going to do.” From there, what did you do?
Diving into the real estate world would bring you more time for your family.
We put it under a contract and then I went home. I was like, “I have to help this lady. I need to know what I’m going to do.” I started racking my brain. I was like, “I could do the traditional run the investors through or double close.” I looked at the comps and I see the numbers were pretty fair, but I had no idea what was hiding behind. I didn’t know exactly what was going on. I had to figure out a way to get this property inspected.
I asked her, “Would you mind if we gave it a shot to put it on the MLS?” She goes, “How do we do that?” I spoke to my investor, my real estate friend. She goes, “We could put it on the MLS as an as-is property and see what numbers people throw at us. We might get an inspection out of it because they might buy it.” We put it on the MLS. How we did that was we had a contingency form. The seller permitted me to list on the MLS for X amount. We did that and then we had maybe 2 or 3 showings and the feedback was horrible.
What are you doing at this point? Are you fretting, sweating and thinking, “I want to help this lady but I don’t know if there’s much room here?”
I spoke to her, “You’ve been at your property for sixteen years and you said you didn’t do any maintenance to it. The investors that we hit weren’t showing any interest. Let me go ahead and do a couple of email blasts to some guys that I know and then we could probably see what happens. Other than that, the ball game is on me. I’m not going to let you down. I’m going to give you my best.” Sure enough, I did an email blast, got a hedge fund to come through and they wanted to take a look at it.
It’s one person and not multiple hands. One person says yes.
Everybody else that looked at it wanted to go way beneath what she owed. They wanted to go super low. I was like, “She’s a single parent of two. She’s got to move. There’s no way she could even bring money to the table. That’s not an option.”
What did you put under contract at first and foremost?
I got it under contract for $47,000.
This hedge fund comes in. What did that look like? Did you mark it up to $5,000, $2,000, $1,000? What did the hedge fund ultimately put under contract for?
I put it all on the table. I said, “The deals that I do, I do open hoods. You’re going to see everything anyway. The lady needs to get out of this deal. She needs to move. I don’t even care if I make $500.” He goes, “How about this? I’ll write you an offer for $52,000.” He wrote me an offer for $52,000.
What a cool hedge fund guy that he did that versus saying, “I can get you $500.” He comes in, hears that you’re here with a servant heart trying to serve this lady at a high level, which, kudos to you, not many do. He sets it for $5,000 more than what you put under contract for. Walk us through. Is that what you end up making on this deal, $5,000?
Nope. I took myself out of the deal because she’s a single parent of two. I have a special needs son myself. My son is on the autism spectrum. I’ve got a decent job. I’m not making that bad of a living. I’ve been doing deals and got money put up. I said, “I can walk away with the money I’ve spent.” Mind you, I called 1-800-GOT-JUNK? I’m getting stuff moved out of the house to make it more presentable and everything for when people come through.
I took maybe about $900 out of my pocket. I spent $900 getting the grass cut. 1-800-GOT-JUNK? came through and removed a whole bunch of items. It was $5,000 over. I said, “I’ll be fine with making $1,900.” I gave her that $1,900. I even told her that and she goes, “You mean to tell me you’re going to let me walk away with the overage?” I said, “Yeah.” She goes, “I thought your interest in here was to make money.”
I said, “You have to move and you need money to move. You got a deadline. Why not?” She goes, “You mean to tell me that you got my property low and you got a gap to where you can make some money, but you want a little bit over your money back?” I said, “Yeah. I get the experience out of this for one. For two, I’m doing a great service to you.”
Mind you, to be funny, as she’s cleaning stuff out in her house, I see a yearbook and it’s Lebanon High School. This woman went to high school with my aunt and I didn’t even know it. They’re letting me know like, “No matter where you’re at in this business, give your graces to God. Don’t sit there and try to take advantage of anybody because you’d never know who they know.”
Method: You just need to have a method. Once you have that, just keep doing it over and over, and you’ll be fine.
Here’s what is awesome. You had the opportunity to make $5,000. You say, “Nope. If I made this, I’ll be great. I’m going to give you the rest.” This is where the story gets interesting and this is what I saw when you did that Facebook post and I thought this was incredible. First and foremost, you know what’s coming before we talk about that.
I want to do something traditional on this show for you and that is the fact that you had a win for you. You made it more than a win for the seller. For that, I want to ring the victory bell for Avery Smith. With the servant’s heart, you could have made more money, but you found a way that you said, “Nope. I want to help this person.” You find out she goes to school with your aunt, but there’s something unique to this story that is worthy of sharing. What took place after the closing?
This was during COVID. We had our little strategies for looking at the house. We came in with booties, gloves, our respirators on and everything. COVID does bring deals. I’m not going to lie to you. She got to our destination and I got this letter in the mail because she had got my address from a previous text that she had had. She goes, “Avery, what’s your address?” I said, “I’m going to give her my address.” She goes, “I’m going to send you something.” I’m thinking it might be a thank you note. I’m not even worried about it. I’m like, “If that’s what you want to do, go ahead.” It turned out to be a check for $2,396.
What was the note attached to it that made you be like, “Why is she sending me $2,396 bucks?”
It had these little Post-Its on it and it said, “Avery, you have created such a great journey for me and my life. You’ve added so much value.” Her keyword is value. She goes, “I’m forever thankful for the rest of my life. Thank you.” It said her name at the bottom of it.
Since the time that I’ve been doing this in May of 2015, I’ve never heard a story where a seller comes back and says, “You’ve done something so much for me that I want to help you out and give back to you.” You are the one sharing the story. If there’s anyone out there reading and thinking, “How do you win in this game?” You win in this game when you make sure your sellers win.
It’s a win-win situation. It’s not a win-lose, takeaway or advantage. It’s serving people at a high level and solving their problems. The byproduct is you can get homes at a deep discount, but you went further than that. You said, “I don’t need much money on this. If I made this, I’d be great.” She had some money to move as well and she ends up sending you some back anyways. Avery, I want to thank you for sharing this story. This story rings so true to so many readers and to me.
Here’s what I always like to do when ending the episode, I always like asking two questions. You’re probably like, “I already know what these are. I’ve listened to every episode.” If you had young Avery back at the beginning stages, what would you tell someone that’s at the beginning stages? If you were at the beginning stages, what advice would you give yourself that either you wish you would have done or what you wouldn’t have done? Some advice that knowing what you know, what would you tell yourself?
Seek mentorship and guidance.
In the beginning stages, I would have told myself to join Wholesailing Inc a lot sooner than I did instead of having big stacks of paper in my truck. I’m serious. My truck was a mess with all that paper all over the place. Seriously, the simple fact that I joined the tribe got me organized, structured, and confident. I had a great support team that was like, “We’ve been exactly where you’ve been at before and we know you can do it because we’ve done it.” I had no choice but to believe in myself and the program.
The fact that you had the confidence in yourself to get out there and feel your way forward is the icing on the cake that everyone needs to learn about. You had the confidence to trust the process. Imperfectly, you go out there, feel your way forward until you got your first deal and then you’ve done over fifteen deals, which is amazing. The second question is, what book have you read or listened to on Audible that would be something that would be game-changing for any of us to listen to or read?
What did you like about Principles?
It gave me a more disciplinary train of thought. Despite having the modulistic instructions on what to do, you have a book that says, “You don’t have to be perfect. You need to have a method. Once you got that method, keep doing it over and over and you’ll be fine.”
Two great things. In the beginning, in general, seek mentorship and guidance. The second one is Principles by Ray Dalio. Here’s what I have, Avery. A huge thank you for the time that you have been on this show. I know you could be with your family, son, or girlfriend who could use your time or be out with sellers. I appreciate that you take the time away to share this. There are going to be many individuals who are going to be inspired and motivated to get out there and start taking action because they read your story. Thank you so much for being on the show.
I owe it all to you because I wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for you all. I’m giving back to you because you are giving me so much. The simple fact that I’ve joined the tribe, I’ve got more time with my family. My confidence level is up there in wholesaling. The simple fact is I’m providing a service that needs to be done out here and I owe it all to you. You are great.
You’re a rock star. Thank you so much. For those that are reading, thank you as well. You have some things that you could be doing. I hope you are safe and well during all this COVID-19. If you need help, much like how Avery was saying and want to jump in and look for that guidance, you can get out of your way, get your first deal, make money in real estate, and hopefully do exactly what Avery did. Quit your job.
Head on over to Wholesalinginc.com where you can then book a call and get well on your way to doing deals of your own. Get on a call with either myself or someone from my team so you can begin to see what it looks like. We would be honored to walk you through, lead and guide you and walk beside you as we did with Avery. Thank you so much for being with us. God bless each one of you. Avery, thank you so much. God bless you and your family as well. We look forward to seeing each one of you on the next episode.
- Avery Smith
- Episode 137 – Past episode
- 138 – Past episode
- The Mail House
- The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity
About Cody Hofhine
Cody Hofhine is the founder of Investor Grit and Utah Sell Now. A few years ago, he was selling insurance. He liked what he did and made a decent living doing it. One day back in 2015, he was introduced to Wholesaling Real Estate. People in his area were making a fortune doing it so he got curious and decided to jump in. He made a TON of mistakes but he was committed to making it work…and he did!