Posted on: September 21, 2020

For most people, the idea of doing things virtually is daunting enough, so much more if you have to do it with little money and no time. The thing is, while challenging, it can be done. And that’s something today’s guests can definitely attest to!

In this episode, determined rhinos Steve Washko and his partner Kaylem shared how they were able to wholesale virtually with the expertise and guidance of our very own Lauren Hardy.

Understandably, just like most wholesalers, they encountered a few hiccups along the way. Fortunately, they have a mentor to help them out and encourage them to keep going.

If you’re considering getting into the virtual wholesaling game but unsure if you have what it takes to make it happen, this episode is for you!

Key Takeaways

  • What prompted them to venture into real estate/wholesaling
  • Why going virtual is important for them
  • The first thing Lauren recommends they do
  • Something actionable people can do when they are first starting out
  • Breakdown of his first virtual deal
  • Why it’s important to trust the process and your mentor
  • Best way for people to get ahold of them

RESOURCES:

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Episode Transcription

Lauren Hardy:
Hey, hey! Welcome to the Wholesaling Inc podcast. I’m your host, Lauren Hardy. Today we have Steve Washco and [Kaylum LaBrew 00:28:33] In the house. How’s it going guys?

Steve Washco:
Awesome Lauren, happy to be here today.

Kaylum LeBrew:
Doing good.

Lauren Hardy:
I’m happy to have you. So you guys were one of my original students when we first launched the program. I don’t even think it was live that I had a program, but you were a tribe member, right, Steve?

Steve Washco:
Yeah, we actually went through Grant Daniel’s excellent TTP of cold calling. And then actually the way we got introduced to you was we had heard about Chris Arnold’ radio program, and we thought the Dallas, Fort Worth market, which is our market, is super, super competitive, and we thought maybe that would distinguish us and bring in more leads. And then we called Wholesaling Inc, they said, “No, actually those spots are all filled up, but guess what? A person named Lauren Hardy was doing a virtual mastery coaching, it might be the absolute perfect fit for you,” and it absolutely was. But [inaudible 00:02:28] the radio spots were filled up, even though that’s something we might explore in the future, but happy to be with you.

Lauren Hardy:
That’s awesome. So you’ve definitely, you are a loyal tribe member and we love that. So why did you want to get into this business at all? What drove you here?

Steve Washco:
It’s a little bit different for Kaylum and me. So for myself, I was laid off in January of 2019 after working about 30 years in the IT industry. So I haven’t gotten income for all that time, so we got some money challenges going on. And the very next month after I was laid off, we went to a seminar that we didn’t know had anything to do with real estate investing. Kaylum, do you want to tell Lauren about why we went to this seminar, and how that transformed into real estate investing?

Kaylum LeBrew:
Yes. So I wanted to become an entrepreneur, and I decided that maybe a food truck was going to be a good deal for me. And it turns out that I want to make more money than what a food truck can give me. So, little did we know at the end of that seminar, it actually started talking about real estate investment, and so we stayed and stuck around and actually decided to get involved and started from there.

Lauren Hardy:
Awesome. Awesome. So you guys decided that you guys were going to work together as a partnership, right?

Steve Washco:
Yes. So we split everything, 50/50. Kaylum rents a room in my house, so it makes it really convenient that at any hour of the night or whatever. Neither of us are morning people, so whenever we have availability, we can work together on our business.

Lauren Hardy:
Awesome. Awesome. So you live in… Where do you live?

Steve Washco:
It’s in Mansfield. It’s just South of Arlington, right between Dallas and Fort Worth.

Lauren Hardy:
Got it, got it. And then you decided to pick a market. Where was your market?

Steve Washco:
It actually is the whole surrounding Dallas, Fort Worth metroplex area. Before we met you and knew that it was even possible really to do virtual wholesaling anywhere in the country, as long as the market met the criteria, we had already started to establish some contacts here. And if we do ever need to go out to the properties or whatever, which our first successful deal, we actually never saw the property. We saw pictures of it. We never met the seller. So in other words, we’re using the techniques that you teach us for virtual wholesaling, but in our own backyard, which makes us even more efficient.

Lauren Hardy:
Absolutely. And you said it perfectly, efficiency. So you’re in a unique situation. So the reason I went virtual was because I lived in an area where it was very difficult to wholesale houses, very difficult in Southern California. So I had to pick an out-of-state market. So that’s your traditional sense of virtual. That’s what everybody thinks about. But there’s this other angle of, “No, I live in my market, but I want to learn how to close deals over the phone for efficiency.” And you had a particular reason why you needed to be efficient. And I think that if you could share this, there are a lot of people that are in your very same situation, especially right now with COVID, most people are supposed to be virtual. So why is it that virtual was so important to you?

Steve Washco:
So Kaylum and I have two challenges going on. And usually in a business, if you don’t have much money, you can put more time into your business to make up for the fact that you don’t have much money, and vice versa, right? If you don’t have much time, then you can spend more money by hiring assistants or employees or whatever. So we don’t have much money with me having been laid of all the way back in January of 2019, and we also don’t have much time. And the reason is, even though I’m doing this full-time, I never did go back to a full-time regular job, I had some pretty serious chronic fatigue problems, really low energy for long times that the doctors have been trying to figure out for forever.
And so it just forced us to be efficient. And Kaylum doesn’t have much time because she’s often working 12 hours a day at her waitress bartender job that she does in addition to our real estate investing. So we kind of thought if it’s all right with you, that the theme of today’s podcast could be, what if you don’t have much money and you don’t have much time, what do you do? And thank goodness God that as to you, because you were able to help us overcome both of those things, when I think really most coaches would have said, “I admire your enthusiasm and your go-get-it spirit, but I don’t think you’re going to make it in this business.” And you never gave up on us, and you kept just coaching us and say, “This is what you should do to overcome this challenge.” So we just really appreciate everything that you did to make us successful.

Lauren Hardy:
That’s really sweet to hear. And I remember that time of… We were talking on the phone and you said that exact thing. You said Kaylum works a million hours a week, she does not have any real time. And then you had some health challenges that made it very difficult for you. I remember you said you only had maybe a few hours a day of energy-

Steve Washco:
Yeah, of productive hours. Yeah.

Lauren Hardy:
Of, yeah, a few productive… How many productive hours do you have before you really start to tire out?

Steve Washco:
Probably one to two.

Lauren Hardy:
One to two hours. Right. So as a coach, and I’m not going to lie, I was like, “Ooh, okay, I’m going to have… This is a challenge. I’ve got to make this work for this guy. You only have one to two hours, and your partner probably only has maybe one to two hours, how am I going to get this guy to his first deal and many more deals?” And I have felt personally that pressure, because you did mention you got laid off and you were working off your savings, and a lot of your savings went towards this coaching program, and it was going towards your marketing.
And so the first thing I remember thinking is, “Okay, so I’ve got to, A, figure out how to give you the best bang for your buck marketing advice, and then, B, I have to help you scale without…” You don’t even have experience. And usually I say, “You have to do everything first, then you scale.” But I actually had to figure out how to get you to scale first, because of the energy challenges and the time challenges. So what was the first step? I mean, take me back to that time you were taking my course, what was the first thing I recommended doing?

Steve Washco:
Well, I just want to comment briefly before I say that. One thing you said, you said I had to spend a significant amount of savings on your coaching program, but that’s not really true. Your coaching program is not expensive at all. And from day one, we knew that we were going to… I mean, immediately obvious that we were going to get way more value than what we paid the small amount for your coaching program. And then you just kept adding value and adding value, even though you didn’t have to. We signed up knowing that you’re going to provide X, Y, and Z.
And then you said, “Hey, how about we meet three times a week with lunches with Lauren?” And you were so excited and passionate to help everybody, and make sure that no man or woman left behind kind of thing. Just like, “Okay, you’re having trouble now. Hey, let’s jump on a Saturday call people. Let’s do Tuesday nights with [inaudible 00:09:37].” And you’re just so passionate and excited, and you genuinely look forward to it. And the fact that you added value and added value after that just makes your coaching program invaluable to us, and we really appreciate you.

Lauren Hardy:
I totally get you, but there’s so many people that… Education can be expensive. A lot of these people that buy into courses, they don’t have the money. And the big question is, “Am I going to get the money back?” And I take it as my personal responsibility. You put your trust in me, and I’m honored that you chose me to be your coach. And so I have to make sure that you feel that way, that you made your money back in value and education. For me, when I was buying into education, I knew with every course I would learn at least one thing that would get me a deal that would pay for this course. If it was just one thing, a new trick, a new tool in my toolbox that eventually gets me a deal, and that deal paid for this course, it was worth it. So that’s how I look into it. But it is still for a lot of people very intimidating. But I do appreciate everything you’re saying.
If you are somebody who has no time, and maybe that’s because they have a full-time job, they have kids, or they have health challenges, what is something actionable that they can do when they’re getting started in their wholesaling business? What direction can they go? What did you do?

Steve Washco:
Yeah. So most of what we’re about to say are things that you taught us, and there are a few things that came along the way from before we knew you or whatever. So we’ll toss all those out and hopefully some of them will be helpful to the tribe listeners. And in and of themselves, each one of these is a trade-off of money versus time, but if you add them all up together, you can pick and choose a way, and then you can say, “Okay, if I have not much money, not much time, and I put these pieces of the puzzle together, then I can really make a great go of this.” So I would say that the first one is the texting. Kaylum has always wanted to text. She really believed in it. She was encouraging me to do it. And I’m thinking, “I’m not sure if it works, but I know that Lauren really is all for it.”
And so we signed up with Lead Sherpa, and they have a fantastic service. I know there’s other great texting services out there. And we really feel like texting, if you need to be efficient, and you don’t have much time, you can text so many people. We have two virtual assistants that text about four or 500 prospective sellers a day. Lead Sherpa has an awesome customer service representative, a customer success manager who proactively reaches out to us, so we can’t say enough good things about them. And speaking about virtual assistants, another way to save time, although they are a little bit more expensive than someone you could find on Upwork or Fiverr, is Lead Sherpa. When we signed up with them, they recommended that we look into a virtual assistant company called, Revas, R-E-V-A-S. And the advantage of them was, since I didn’t really even have enough energy to learn Lead Sherpa, I was so new to it at the time, their virtual assistants are already totally trained in how to use Lead Sherpa, and trained somewhat in real estate.
So even though we had a little bit more with our limited money, time was kind of more of the important thing that we had to look into there. And in order to get the phone numbers when you’re texting that many people a day, one huge challenge we had… I will always remember this conversation I had with you, and I think you know where I’m going with this, I said, “Lauren, can I do skip tracing on the cheap, and just take my chances with free services on the internet?” And [inaudible 00:13:11], “Steve, please, please do not do that.” And it was kind of a discouraging call because I didn’t know what I was going to do. But you’re like, “You’re just going to be wasting the virtual assistants’ time, and when you do follow-ups with them in the month, it’s going to be the wrong phone number again. If you’re going to go on the cheap on anything skiptrace, then you really need quality phone numbers.”
That’s one of the most valuable pieces of advice that you’d given us among many valuable pieces, and so luckily we found a solution. And so just a few months ago, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the skip tracing company called Skip Genie, S-K-I-P-G-E-N-I-E.com. They just came out with a $99 a month unlimited, which sounds big for, it’s very high quality skip tracing data. The catch or the downside is poor Kaylum has to manually enter each one of 100s and 100s and 100s of ones. So we’re only spending a flat $99 a month for great data, but Kaylum has to manually copy and paste each one individually into there. We can’t upload an Excel file.

Lauren Hardy:
I got a solution for you.

Steve Washco:
Okay.

Lauren Hardy:
Okay. See, this is what coaching’s for, you guys.

Steve Washco:
There you go.

Lauren Hardy:
So my solution, have you heard of these guys that use Python?

Steve Washco:
I have heard of that, but unfortunately with Skip Genie, that is against their terms and conditions to use what they call [crosstalk 00:14:34].

Lauren Hardy:
You can’t use any… Yeah, you can’t… Anyway, just a thought. That’s what I was thinking. I’m like… When I run into issues of where it was an Adobe document that I needed into Excel, I would go on Fiverr and I would go to a Python expert and then they would scrape it using that program and then putting it in Excel for like… The guy would charge me 35 bucks. So that’s my solution. But anyway, I want to get super micro with getting started. You are reminding me of our conversations, and I do remember you said, “I have limited time. And money, it’s not like I have just buckets of money to waste.” Right? And I remember saying, “Okay, because you have the health challenges, you need a VA, and you need to basically make the VA be you. You need to clone your VA to be you.”

Steve Washco:
That was a very valuable piece of advice that you gave me when I told you about my energy challenges. Then, by the way, you told me, “As soon as you can afford a VA, that will go a huge way towards solving that problem.”

Lauren Hardy:
Absolutely. You needed the VA. So I remember that. I do remember giving that. And then I remember I was like, “Okay, what is the most bang for your buck with marketing, that’s also the least amount of effort?” And right then I said, “I don’t know if cold calling is your best option because it is exhausting.” You doing it yourself is exhausting. Whereas texting is actually easier to do. It’s just not as tiring. It’s almost like playing a video game, the way the systems are designed, these text messaging softwares. Now I personally use batchleads.io, but I’ve used Sherpa as well. They’re awesome. They’re both great. They’re both designed to be very easy to send these 1,000s of text messages a day with just clicking a button. Now tell me about your first deal because you just closed your first virtual deal? Tell me some of the details, where did the seller come from?

Steve Washco:
Okay. So we did it doing exactly the methods that you taught us. We downloaded an absentee owner list. We didn’t worry about high equity or anything, just absentee-owned. This one… We do actually 14 counties in and around Dallas and Fort Worth. So this one was a little bit more rural, about an hour Northeast of Dallas. And although it is harder to find end-buyers the more rural you get, and you taught us about the hot zip codes, we knew there was some cash-buyer activity in that area. So sure enough, we texted the seller. Super, super nice woman who had a small property that was literally within walking distance of the Texas A&M Commerce College campus, and her two daughters had finished up going to college there, and so she didn’t really have a need for the property anymore, and she just really kind of wanted the speed and convenience.
And so we were able at that point to say, “Yeah, we can solve that challenge for you.” And then we got our first check. Was it Kaylum, $7,250? Because we split the money 50/50 with our JV partner who’s a really big player in the Dallas, Fort Worth area. So they took 7,250, and we took 7,250, and then Kaylum and I, we split everything 50/50. So we each got whatever that is, $3,600 and some a piece. And we have some big news, actually. You know we were trying to coordinate your schedule and our schedule for about two weeks to get on the podcast guys today. So, in those two weeks, we have four more properties under contract.

Lauren Hardy:
You have four more properties under contract now?

Steve Washco:
Yep.

Kaylum LeBrew:
Yep.

Lauren Hardy:
That’s amazing. Congratulations. I knew that that’s how it would be for you, is once you figure it out, you did your first one, and then poof, now you’ve got four under contract. I mean, that’s how the pipeline grows and the snowball effect happens, is exactly that. And I remember… Now I know that we met early on, and this is something that, and the reason I want to bring it up is because this happens to a lot of people. I remember we met, I was working with you a lot, and then I noticed you got shiny object syndrome. You started talking to me about these other ideas. And anybody that knows me in the group, you guys all know I’m a straight shooter. And sometimes I can’t help myself. I am going to tell you how it is. And I was like, “Why are you doing that?”

Steve Washco:
I remember that call.

Lauren Hardy:
Oh yeah, I called you out. I was like, “Get back over here. Stop spending money on other programs and finish the program that you started with, this one. And then when you get some deals, then fine, you can go do apartments. But promise me you’re going to finish this program and do deals with me first?”

Steve Washco:
That’s really word for word the conversation that we had. Yes.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah. I was like, “Bringing you back. I’m going to reel you back in.” And I did. I’m glad I reeled you back in, and look at you.

Steve Washco:
I’m glad you did too, and I know Kaylum is thrilled that you did. [inaudible 00:19:30] to reel me back.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah. And I mean, I think it’s just because I care. I just, I really care, and I knew I’ve been there too. This is not my first rodeo. I’ve been doing this for eight years. I’ve had shiny object syndrome. I still get it sometimes, we all… I think entrepreneurs, we suffer from that affliction of we get an idea, we get excited, and then the old idea’s not as exciting anymore. But the problem is if you keep doing that, you don’t end up doing anything. So sometimes you need that person to be honest with you and say, “Whoa, you’re doing it again. Reel it back in, reel it back in.”

Steve Washco:
Yeah. I think that I kept looking for a miracle, being desperate, to be honest. With not much time and not much energy, I’m like, “How can we compete in this super competitive Dallas, Fort Worth market?” And you got to finally say, “Yes, I have a plan for you to be successful, and her name is Lauren Hardy. Stop doing your shiny object syndrome.”

Lauren Hardy:
There’s so much though with I think just psychology that was going on there, is you were in kind of a desperate situation, and so you were just thinking survival, “I’m going to reach at everything and see what works,” kind of throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. And it’s understandable. I think that you have to… And it’s so important that when people look for a mentor, they really have to trust their mentor and trust in the process, and that can be very difficult sometimes, so I don’t blame you.

Steve Washco:
No, we absolutely trusted you from day one. We knew that Wholesaling Inc would never do business with you unless they totally have vetted you first. And it was obvious from the very beginning that you were going to really help us be successful, and you really were going to do everything needed. And honestly, I don’t think the other coaches would have taken us on if they knew about our challenges of hardly any money and hardly any time, right? I mean, it seems like a recipe for failure, but it’s not because of you.

Lauren Hardy:
I mean, I’m glad you found us. So you’re here, and now you’ve got four in escrow, and what’s next?

Kaylum LeBrew:
More.

Lauren Hardy:
I hope the answer is stay focused and do more?

Kaylum LeBrew:
Yes.

Steve Washco:
Absolutely [inaudible 00:21:51].

Lauren Hardy:
Focus on your systems and just do more for now. Don’t worry about anything, shiny objects, just focus on the systems and do more.

Steve Washco:
Yeah. Well, actually… So before we move off of skip tracing, do you want to tell the story of the lost wallet? That’s a good story.

Kaylum LeBrew:
So one day I left [Lowe’s 00:00:22:10], and there was a wallet right by my car. And I looked around, and there’s nobody around me. So I was like, “Oh, well I guess the person that dropped it wasn’t nearby.” Then I looked inside and I found the guy’s ID, and we used Skip Genie to skiptrace his name, find out if the address was his actual address on his ID, but we couldn’t find his phone number. We ended up finding his daughter’s phone number, we got ahold of her, and he lived on the same property as her, so we ended up actually going, I dropped off the wallet to him 30 minutes away from here.

Steve Washco:
So that was all through Skip Genie and skip tracing. And if we didn’t know how to do that, we might not have ever been able to get his wallet successfully back to him, but Kaylum delivered it to him that same evening so that he didn’t have to worry. He was an elderly gentleman, called Kaylum his angel.

Kaylum LeBrew:
Yeah, before he even opened the door, he goes, “Is that my angel?”

Lauren Hardy:
Oh, that’s cute.

Kaylum LeBrew:
Yeah, he was a really sweet guy.

Lauren Hardy:
That’s really sweet. Yeah. Hey, we’re powerful with this stuff we’ve got, but we got to make sure we always use it for good, not for evil.

Kaylum LeBrew:
Yes.

Steve Washco:
Absolutely. That’s another thing, just having a little shiny object… Distracting myself with other stories, but I’ll come back to the [inaudible 00:23:23] in a second. That’s one of the things that really impresses me about Tom Krol and Wholesaling Inc in general, that he’s not just in it to make it a win for the students, but also for the sellers as well. And we’ve gone to some real estate seminars that say, “Oh, you can lie to the sellers, and you can do this, or hide this information.” And Tom is like, “Whatever you’re hesitating to tell them because you’re afraid you’re divulging too much information, tell the seller. They have the right to know,” et cetera. And that just commands a huge amount of respect from me and Kaylum because we both always want to do our business with high ethics and integrity.
And if it’s not a win-win, no matter how desperate our situation is, then we’re not going to do it. So, in fact… I’m kind of jumping ahead to how I wanted to close out the call, but I just wanted to tell you this, Lauren because as passionate as you are, and you’re always adding value to the course, I know it involves some sacrifice on your part, it has to. You could be binging Netflix instead of adding more calls in and doing one-on-one calls with students, et cetera, et cetera, right? So I wanted you to know that right now, you’re not just affecting our business in a positive way by saving us from this desperate situation, you’re affecting our person lives, our personal finances in a hugely a positive way.
But beyond that, as soon as Kaylum and I are in a financial position to do this… We feel like God put us into this business for a reason, and so we’ve come crossed a lot of financially distressed sellers, prospective sellers in this business. So let’s say somebody just lost their job, or they just had a big medical surgery expense, whatever, well, we want to say on a case-by-case basis, whenever we can afford it, to the seller, instead of us putting a house in a contract, we’re donating $10,000 to you’re just getting by. And so because of you helping us, you’re indirectly helping all those people that we plan to help. So I just wanted you to know that your sacrifices are [inaudible 00:25:19].

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah, man, it’s pay it forward. And it’s like, if everybody had that mentality how we could literally pay it forward and help so many more people. And not everybody has those ideas and the big heart that you guys have, so I love that you’re telling everybody, “Let’s stop thinking about just ourselves, but think about how can we help and serve our community.” And yeah, being in this business has enabled me to help and serve sellers in ways that they didn’t really realize that they could be helped that way. I’ve thought of-

Steve Washco:
[inaudible 00:00:26:00].

Lauren Hardy:
There’s a lot of different things that even, it’s not just with money, but we can be creative. And I think that when they sell their house on the market with a realtor, you can’t do as many creative stuff. But selling with an investor that, we’re creative and we can be creative. I’ve given sellers move-out money, I’ve helped sellers place their family members in another home. There’s so many different ways we can help sellers. I’ve helped sellers that are, they’re hoarders, and they’re kind of embarrassed about their homes, and we’ve said, “Hey, just take what you need and walk away from this.” And that was a big emotional help that they didn’t have to think about how they’re going to move all their stuff out.
There’s so many ways that we can sellers, but when they go on the market and try to do that, they can’t. A realtor is not going to be able to help facilitate some of those things that investors can do. So even if you don’t have the money, remember that you can think creatively when you’re putting deals together. And if you ever have sellers in a weird bind or a situation, and you feel like you want to help, but you don’t know how, post it in our group forum and I can help come up with ideas? It doesn’t always have to be money, sometimes it’s just some creativity.

Steve Washco:
[inaudible 00:27:14] Definitely.

Kaylum LeBrew:
Definitely.

Lauren Hardy:
Well, you guys thank you so much for coming on today. I really appreciate it. If anybody wants to say, reach out to you, are you guys on any of the social networks or what’s the best way someone can get ahold of you?

Steve Washco:
I would say the best way if they can is our business email address, info@shilohrealestatesolutions.com, that’s S-H-I-L-O-H realestatesolutions, with an S at the end, dot com.

Lauren Hardy:
Awesome. Awesome. All right. Well, thank you guys so much.

Steve Washco:
Well, thank you, Lauren for all you do for us. Really appreciate it.

Lauren Hardy:
Love it. Thank you guys. If you want to learn more about virtual investing, go to www.virtualinvestingmastery.com, and I hope you guys follow me, friend request me. I want to hear what you think about this episode? Have a good one. Thanks.

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