Posted on: September 21, 2020
WI 519 | Closing Deals Virtually


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, Calem, 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!

How to Close Real Estate Deals Virtually When You Have Little Money and No Time With Steve Washko And Calem Bridgette

Episode Transcription

We have Steve Washco and Kaylem LaBrew in the house. How’s it going?

Happy to be here.

Doing good.

I’m happy to have you. 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. You were a tribe member, Steve?

Yes. We went through Brent Daniels TTP cold calling. The way we got introduced to you was we had heard about Chris Arnold’s radio program and we thought the Dallas-Fort Worth market, which is our market is super competitive. We thought maybe that would distinguish us and bring in more leads. When we called Wholesaling Inc., they said, “Those spots are all filled up. A person named Lauren Hardy is doing virtual mastery coaching. It might be the absolute perfect fit for you.” It was. We’re glad that the radio spots were filled up even though that might be something we might explore in the future. I’m happy to be with you. 

You are a loyal tribe member and you love that. Why did you want to get into this business at all? What drove you here?

It’s a little bit different for Kaylem and me. For myself, I was laid off in January of 2019 after working for about 30 years in the IT industry. I haven’t gotten income for that time. We got some money challenges going on. The 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. Kaylem, do you want to tell Lauren about why we went to this seminar and how that transformed into real estate investing?

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

You guys decided that you guys were going to work together as a partnership.

We split everything, 50/50. Kaylem rents a room in my house so it makes it convenient at any hour of the night. Neither of us is morning people. Whenever we have availability, we can work together on our business.

Where do you live?

In Mansfield. It’s South of Arlington, right between Dallas and Fort Worth. 

WI 519 | Closing Deals Virtually

Closing Deals Virtually: Whenever you have availability, you can work together on your business.


You then decided to pick a market. Where was your market?

It’s the whole surrounding Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area. Before we met you and knew that it was even possible 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. If we do ever need to go out to the properties, which was our first successful deal, we never saw the property. We saw pictures of it. We never met the seller. 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.

You said it perfectly, efficiency. You’re in a unique situation. The reason I went virtual was that I lived in an area where it was difficult to wholesale houses. It’s difficult in Southern California. I had to pick an out-of-state market. That’s your traditional sense of virtual. That’s what everybody thinks about. There’s this other angle of, “I live in my market but I want to learn how to close deals over the phone for efficiency.” You had a particular reason why you needed to be efficient. There are a lot of people that are in the same situation. Especially with COVID, most people are supposed to be virtual. Why is it that virtual was important to you?

Kaylem and I have two challenges going on. 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. If you don’t have much time, you can spend more money by hiring assistants or employees. We don’t have much money, with me having been laid off back in January of 2019. We also don’t have much time. 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, low energy for long times that the doctors have been trying to figure out for forever. It forced us to be efficient.

Kaylem doesn’t have much time because she’s often working twelve hours a day at her waitress and bartender job that she does in addition to our real estate investing. We thought if it’s all right with you that the theme of this show could be what if you don’t have much money and you don’t have much time. What do you do?

Thank goodness, God led us to you because you were able to help us overcome both of those things. 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.” You never gave up on us and you kept coaching us and said, “This is what you should do to overcome this challenge.” We appreciate everything that you did to make us successful.

That’s sweet to hear. I remember that time where we were talking on the phone and you said that exact thing. Kaylem works a million hours a week. She does not have any real-time. You had some health challenges that made it difficult for you. I remember you said you only had maybe a few productive hours. How many productive hours do you have before you start to tire out?

Probably 1 to 2 hours.

As a coach, I’m not going to lie. I was like, “This is a challenge. I’ve got to make this work for this guy. You only have 1 to 2 hours. Your partner probably only has maybe 1 to 2 hours. How am I going to get this guy to his first deal and many more deals?” I have felt personally that pressure because you did mention you got laid off and you were working off your savings. A lot of your savings went towards this coaching program and it was going towards your marketing.

The first thing I remember thinking is, “I’ve got to A) figure out how to give you the best bang for your buck marketing advice and B) I have to help you scale.” You don’t even have experience. Usually, I say, “You have to do everything first then you scale.” I had to figure out how to get you to scale first because of the energy challenges and the time challenges. What was the first step? Take me back to that time you were taking my course. What was the first thing I recommended doing?

I want to comment briefly before I say that. One thing you said is I had to spend a significant amount of savings on your coaching program but that’s not true. Your coaching program is not expensive at all. From day one, we knew that we were going to get way more value than what we paid the small amount for your coaching program. You kept adding value even though you didn’t have to. We signed up knowing that you’re going to provide X, Y and Z.

You then said, “How about we meet three times a week, lunches with Lauren?” You were excited and passionate to help everybody and make sure that no man or woman was left behind. It’s like, “You’re having trouble now. Let’s jump on a Saturday call. Let’s do Tuesday nights.” You’re passionate and excited. You genuinely look forward to it. The fact that you added value after that makes your coaching program invaluable to us. We appreciate you.

You can put more time into your business to make up for the fact that you don’t have much money, and versa.

I get you. Education can be expensive. A lot of these people that buy into courses don’t have the money. The big question is, “Am I going to get the money back?” 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. I have to make sure that you feel that way, that you made your money, value and education back.

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 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. That’s how I look into it. For a lot of people, it is still intimidating.

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?

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 before we knew you. We’ll toss all those out. Hopefully some of them will be helpful to the tribe readers. In and of themselves, each one of these is a trade-off of money versus time. If you add them all up together, you can pick and choose and then you can say, “If I have not much money, not much time and I put these pieces of the puzzle together, I can make a great go of this.”

I would say that the first one is texting. Kaylem has always wanted to text. She believed in it. She was encouraging me to do it. I’m thinking, “I’m not sure if it works but I know that Lauren is all for it.” We signed up with Lead Sherpa and they have a fantastic service. I know there are other great texting services out there. We 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 400 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. 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. The advantage of them was since I didn’t 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. Even though we had a little bit more with our limited money, time was more of an important thing that we had to look into there.

I will always remember this conversation I had with you and you know where I’m going with this, I said, “Lauren, can I do skip tracing on the cheap and take my chances with free services on the internet?” You’re like, “Steve, please do not do that.” It was a discouraging call because I didn’t know what I was going to do. You’re like, “You’re going to be wasting the virtual assistants’ time. 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 skip tracing, you need quality phone numbers.” That’s one of the most valuable pieces of advice that you’d given us among many valuable pieces.

Luckily, we found a solution. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the skip tracing company called, they came out with a $99 a month unlimited, which sounds big for its high-quality skip tracing data. The catch or the downside is poor Kaylem has to manually enter each one of hundreds and of ones. We’re only spending a flat $99 a month for great data but Kaylem has to manually copy and paste each one individually into there. We can’t upload an Excel file.

I got a solution for you. This is what coaching is for. Have you heard of these guys that use Python?

I have heard of that. Unfortunately, with Skip Genie, that is against their terms and conditions.

It’s a thought. That’s what I was thinking. When I run into issues 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 put it in Excel for $35. That’s my solution. I want to get super micro with getting started. You are reminding me of our conversations and I do remember that you said, “I have limited time and money. It’s not like I have buckets of money to waste.” I remember saying, “Because you have the health challenges, you need a VA and you need to make the VA be you. You need to clone your VA to be you.”

WI 519 | Closing Deals Virtually

Closing Deals Virtually: It’s possible to do virtual wholesaling anywhere in the country as long as the market was set up, met the criteria, and you have already started establishing contacts.


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

You needed the VA. I do remember giving that. I remember I was like, “What is the most bang for your buck with marketing that’s also the least amount of effort?” Right then, I said, “I don’t know if cold calling is your best option because it is exhausting.” Doing it yourself is exhausting whereas texting is easier to do. It’s not as tiring. It’s almost like playing a video game, the way the systems are designed these text messaging software.

I personally use but I’ve used Sherpa as well. They’re awesome. They’re both great. They’re both designed to be easy to send these thousands of text messages a day by clicking a button. Tell me about your first deal because you closed your first virtual deal. Tell me some of the details. Where did the seller come from?

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. We have fourteen counties in and around Dallas and Fort Worth. This one was a little bit more rural, about an hour Northeast of Dallas. 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.

Sure enough, we texted the seller. She was a super nice woman who had a small property that was within walking distance of the Texas A&M Commerce College campus. Her two daughters had finished up going to college there and she didn’t have a need for the property anymore. She wanted speed and convenience. At that point, we were able to say, “We can solve that challenge for you.”

We got our first check for $7,250. We split the money 50/50 with our JV partner who’s a big player in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. They took $7,250 and we took $7,250. Kaylem and I split everything 50/50. We each got $3,600 and some dollars apiece. We have some big news. We were trying to coordinate your schedule and our schedule for about two weeks to get on the show. In those two weeks, we have four more properties under contract.

That’s amazing. Congratulations. I knew that that’s how it would be for you. Once you figure it out, you did your first one, now you’ve got four under contract. That’s how the pipeline grows and the snowball effect happens. It’s exactly that. I know that we met early on. The reason I want to bring it up is that this happens to a lot of people.

I remember when we met, I was working with you a lot. I noticed you got shiny object syndrome. You started talking to me about these other ideas. Anybody that knows me in the group all know I’m a straight shooter. Sometimes I can’t help myself. I am going to tell you how it is. I was like, “Why are you doing that? 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. When you get some deals, fine, you can go do apartments. Promise me you’re going to finish this program and do deals with me first.”

Word for word, that’s the conversation that we had.

I was like, “I’m bringing you back. I’m going to reel you back in.” I’m glad I reeled you back in. Look at you.

I’m glad you did too. I know Kaylem is thrilled that you did to reel me back.

It’s because I care. You have been there too. This is not my first rodeo. I’ve been doing this for over eight years. I’ve had shiny object syndrome. I still get it sometimes. Entrepreneurs suffer from that affliction. We get an idea, we get excited and then the old idea’s not as exciting anymore. The problem is if you keep doing that, you don’t end up doing anything. Sometimes you need that person to be honest with you and say, “You’re doing it again. Reel it back in.”

People always want to do business with someone who has high ethics and integrity.

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?” God finally said, “I have a plan for you to be successful and her name is Lauren Hardy. Stop doing your shiny object syndrome.”

There’s so much psychology that was going on there. You were in a desperate situation so you were thinking survival, “I’m going to reach everything and see what works.” Throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. It’s understandable. It’s important that when people look for a mentor, they have to trust their mentor and trust in the process and that can be difficult sometimes. I don’t blame you.

We trusted you from day one. We knew that Wholesaling Inc. would never do business with you unless they have vetted you first. It was obvious from the beginning that you were going to help us be successful and you were going to do everything needed. 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. It seems like a recipe for failure but it’s not because of you.

I’m glad you found us. You’re here and now you’ve got four in escrow. What’s next?


I hope the answer is to stay focused and do more. Focus on your systems and do more for now. Don’t worry about anything, shiny objects.

Before we move off of skip tracing, do you want to tell the story of the lost wallet? That’s a good story.

One day I left Lowe’s and there was a wallet right by my car. I looked around and there’s nobody around me. I was like, “The person that dropped it wasn’t nearby.” I looked inside and I found the guy’s ID and we used Skip Genie to skip trace his name and find out if the address was his actual address on his ID. 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. We ended up going. I dropped off the wallet to him 30 minutes away from here.

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

Before he even opened the door, he goes, “Is that my angel?” He was a sweet guy.

That’s sweet. We’re powerful with this stuff we’ve got but we got to make sure we always use it for good, not for evil.

That’s one of the things that impress me about Tom Krol and Wholesaling Inc. in general. He’s not in it to make it a win for the students but also the sellers as well. We’ve gone to some real estate seminars that say, “You can lie to the sellers and you can do this or hide this information.” 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.” That commands a huge amount of respect from me and Kaylem because we both always want to do our business with high ethics and integrity.

WI 519 | Closing Deals Virtually

Closing Deals Virtually: As soon as you can afford a VA, that will go a huge way.


If it’s not a win-win, no matter how desperate our situation is, we’re not going to do it. I’m jumping ahead to how I wanted to close out the call. I wanted to tell you, 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.

I wanted you to know that you’re not just affecting our business in a positive way by saving us from this desperate situation but you’re affecting our personal lives, our personal finances in a hugely positive way. Beyond that, as soon as Kaylem and I are in a financial position to do this, we feel like God put us into this business for a reason.

We’ve come across a lot of financially distressed sellers, prospective sellers in this business. Let’s say somebody lost their job or they had a big medical surgery expense. We want to say on a case-by-case basis, whenever we can afford it to the seller instead of us putting their house under contract, we’re donating $10,000 for getting by. Because of you helping us, you’re indirectly helping all those people that we plan to help. I wanted you to know that your sacrifices are worth it.

Pay it forward. If everybody had that mentality, we could pay it forward and help many more people. Not everybody has those ideas and the big heart that you guys have. I love that you’re telling everybody, “Let’s stop thinking about ourselves. Think about how can we help and serve our community.” Being in this business has enabled me to help and serve sellers in ways that they didn’t realize could be helped that way.

There are a lot of different things. It’s not just with money but we can be creative. When they sell their house on the market with a realtor, you can’t do as much creative stuff. 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 are many different ways we can help sellers.

I’ve helped sellers that are hoarders and they’re embarrassed about their homes. We’ve said, “Take what you need and walk away from this.” 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 are many ways that we can sellers. 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. Even if you don’t have the money, remember that you can think creatively when you’re putting deals together.

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 some creativity. Thank you so much for coming on. I appreciate it. If anybody wants to reach out to you, are you guys on any of the social networks? What’s the best way someone can get ahold of you?

I would say the best way is our business email address,

Thank you guys so much.

Thank you, Lauren, for all you do for us. I appreciate it.

If you want to learn more about virtual investing, go to I hope you follow me and friend request me. I want to hear what you think about this episode. Have a good one.

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About Lauren Hardy

Lauren Hardy is a Virtual Investing expert and Real Estate influencer who owns multiple companies in the real estate industry including real estate investment, coaching, and software companies. She is also a Wholesaling Inc coach and co-host of the Wholesaling Inc Podcast.

Her experience in the last decade has been focused on real estate investing and creating products and services to serve the real estate investing community. If you are interested in investing in real estate virtually, house flipping, or virtual landlording, Lauren’s your girl.

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