If you want to get ahead of the pack, you’ll need all the help you can get. This is where innovative tech and tools can definitely come in handy!
If you’re into ingenious tech and tools you can use for your wholesaling and real estate business, you’d find massive value in today’s episode. In the show, we not only have one but two brilliant founders of apps that are considered total game-changers!
Matt Hedstrom and Sharad Mehta are the two brilliant minds behind Rehab Estimator Pro and REsimpli. Matt has over 20 years of real estate and contracting experience. Sharad is also a very active real estate investor, having done over 400 deals in the past six years.
In this episode, Matt and Sharad talked about their apps and the value they offer to the users. If you’re on the lookout for advanced tools that can help take your business to the next level, this is one episode you can’t miss!
Choosing The Right Tools To Build Your Wholesaling Empire With Matt Hedstrom And Sharad Mehta
I’m excited. I’m going to do something fun something I haven’t done before. We talk about methods. Sometimes I love to come on and talk about something deeper like principles, those are some of my favorites. I also love to talk about tech and tools because these things, when implemented into our businesses, can make such a significant difference. I love tech.
I was thinking of a way to do something cool something different that hadn’t been done. We’re going to talk about two pieces of technology. I convinced two different founders from two different tech companies to come in and talk about their products and play each other off of one another. It would be a cool way to have a dynamic. Here’s what you’re going to get. Rather than reading and learning about one thing, you’re going to learn about two pieces of tech, which is going to be cool.
Let’s kick this off. On the show, I’ve got Matt Hedstrom, the Founder of Rehab Estimator Pro. We’re going to get into talking about that. If you haven’t already heard about it, fundamentally, what would it be like to be able to walk into a house and be able to do an estimate on repairs in thirteen minutes or less and do that with accuracy? It’s a game-changer. We have Sharad Mehta from REsimpli. What I can tell you is get rid of all the à la carte because what he has done is he created a one-stop-shop for every software that we need in one place. I like to call it a business in a box.
We’re going to go through and have some fun with this and throw around some different types of questions for you guys to evaluate these tools. These have been significant in my business. I like to bring on people that are actively using their technology and it’s making a true difference. If it’s not, there’s no point in me taking the time to bring these guys on and share with you. What’s the point?
Let’s hop in. I’m going to start with a question you might not expect me to ask someone running a tech company. What I’ve realized over time is the man or woman behind the company dictates everything because it’s going to determine what the service looks like. What’s the heart behind the person that started this thing? Let’s kick this off, Matt. Tell us about you, personally. Before you head on the business side, who’s Matt Hedstrom?
It’s complicated. I have been a full-time real estate investor for the last seven-plus years but I’ve been a general contractor for over 25 years. I have six children. We have a blended family. I’ve got two adopted children. We’re in foster care. My oldest is moving back home, he’s in the Marine Corps and served five years. He has already given me two grandbabies with his wife. I have a full plate. It’s pretty much my why in this. In essence, I do a lot of global projects. I’ve already got six lined up. If you want to call them mission trips, we call them kingdom builders. I build churches and schools all over the world. We’re going to be in six different places already. That’s what drives me. That’s why I’m here.
This stuff matters. Matt, one of the reasons that I love your tech is that it’s efficient and it works. The second thing I look at is if I’m paying money to a business and I’m supporting a piece of tech by using it or promoting it, what’s the guy or woman behind the scenes look like as this grows? I love the fact that you built this so you can go out and impact the world. Fundamentally, I define that as a sense of social entrepreneurship. You’re building businesses with a cost, which I love. That’s one of the reasons I backed you. Sharad, tell us about you?
My wife tells me that any time I answer this question I always have to start with, “I’m happily married.”
You’re a smart man.
My wife and I have been together for more than half our lives. We’ve been together for more than nineteen years. We have two kids, a boy and a girl. I’ve been a full-time real estate investor since 2011. I do my investing in Northwest Indiana right down to North Chicago in Lake County. We do fix and flip and some turnkey properties. I have a property management business. I’m the Founder of REsimpli, which started from a personal need to solve the issues we were facing in our business. That’s where it started from.
If you don’t know Sharad, I know him well. Anyone that does would say he’s one of the most genuine guys that you’ll ever meet. You get straight genuineness with Sharad. Sharad will always never talk up what he does but I’ll touch on it. You’re also a guy who owns a lot of rental properties free and clear. Talk a little bit about that. It’s important for people to understand that if you’re launching tech, you have your hands in the game. It’s not that you’re just a tech guy that came into the real estate industry to size it up. You are a real estate guy who was in the industry working and needed to build something to be better. Talk a little bit about what you have in the portfolio.
I started out buying rental properties. My wife and I are huge fans of Dave Ramsey. Everybody knows him. Even to this day, we live on a lower income, save the higher income. We started off buying rental properties. I started in the 2010 to 2011 timeframe. I started buying them in cash. I bought 50 properties and 75 doors. Ninety-five percent of that is paid for free and clear. I started out doing that. From rental properties, I got into flipping and wholesaling. My journey was the opposite of what the traditional investor would start with. That’s how I started.
I own a property management business. We do about 40 to 50 flips a year and we manage about 150 to 175 units between my properties and other investors. Everything that we’re doing in REsimpli is I’m using it day in and day out. It’s not something that we’re a tech company doing this on a side with no idea about the real estate industry. We’re flipping, wholesaling and we manage our properties. Everything that we’re building is coming from experience.
You had your hand in all these things. You’re not just a wholesaler, you’re not just a buy and hold, fix and flip guy. The diversity of your experience has placed you in a position to build a CRM that’s super-relevant and applicable to us. It’s always funny to hear someone’s journey for why they needed to do what they needed to do to level up. You needed to do all those things to build us a great product that made sense to understand all the different exit strategies. Matt, let’s get over it and let’s kick down to the meat. Why did you start Rehab Estimator Pro? Tell us specifically what problem you’re solving with it.
When you find good tech out there, it usually comes as a result of somebody needing it themselves so they built it out. I have a large short-sale negotiating business. It’s completely hands-off but we ran into a big problem with meeting the BPO agents where we needed detailed, good itemized scopes of work for all the repairs in the house that we’ve tried many different systems online. You need them fast. You need them to be accurate. You’re not trying to manipulate anything. We needed accuracy.
When the company we were using crashed, there was nothing. I said, “Let’s do this. Let’s create a simple system that I can give to any one of my negotiators who are not trained, a tool to put in their hands. They can go and walk through a house and within thirteen minutes or less without a tape measure and get an accurate repair estimate that we can use for our short-sale negotiations.”
When you find good tech out there, it usually comes from somebody needing it themselves, so they built it out.
You took one of the bigger challenges in real estate, which is pretty much fun to address because you and I always laugh about it. People teach you everything but when it comes to the rehab side, they’re like, “You’ll figure it out. It’s a $20,000 to $30,000-plus rehab.” What I love is that the solution that you came in with was to take the rehab process for those of us who are terrible at understanding construction.
My deal is I’m good with my mind, I’m terrible with my hands. If it requires my hands, I outsource it as much as I can. You are able to come in from a solution standpoint and make this easy even more importantly for someone that’s newer to the game. What do you always tell me? The two things that you have to get right and can’t get wrong is what?
Two things you can never screw up in any deal are ARV and repair costs. We’ve got the MLS for the standard for ARV that everyone uses. No appraiser or no bank will accept anything from a Redfin or a Realtor.com. It has to be MLS. When it comes to the repair costs, why is there zero standard out there?
You are becoming the industry standard nationwide, which I love. That’s why I love this solution. If you’re reading, this makes sense and it should. There should be such simplicity behind the solution to the problem. You’re like, “Why hasn’t anyone else done this?” Sharad, let’s kick over to you. Why take the time to build this? What specific problem are you solving for us?
I started my investing in Indiana. I used to live in Chicago. In 2015, I moved to California. I live in Canada now. When I moved to California, I still kept my business in Indiana. We were doing lots of deals. When I was out of state, I started looking at all the systems I would need to run my business. When you’re there, you don’t notice these things. When you get to step away, you notice, “There’s lots of moving pieces and everything I need to run my business.” I come from an accounting background. I used to be a CPA so data tracking is a big part of what we do in our business. We make sure we know our costs per lead and costs per ROI.
We didn’t find anything that I could log in to and have everybody on my team from my project manager to my acquisition manager to my VA to be in one system and running the business. We decided to create it. Over the last couple of years, we’ve built it and it is what it is now based on what my personal need was and it kept growing from there. Every quarter, we’re adding new features to get rid of another software piece.
As I hear you say that, the problem that you’re solving is the problem that we have in efficiency. If I had ten different systems, that means I’ve got ten different log-ins. Maybe I’m using GlobiFlow to try to make all these things communicate but that breaks down. Pre-REsimpli, my COO would have those days where I would call her and she’d be frustrated. I’d be like, “You’re trying to fix something on the tech side.” She’s like, “Yeah. This system is not communicating with this system.” For me, running an organization, it’s a waste of time to have my COO spend half a day trying to get in and fixing the tech problem. What I feel you’ve done is you’ve driven up efficiency, which is speed, which makes us more money by taking everything that’s à la carte and putting it into one place.
If you have ten pieces of software, they might work great by themselves but then that’s not your entire business. They’re a bunch of other pieces that you need and they don’t speak with each other. That’s where the inefficiencies come in. You might be using CRM and they’re using a different platform for something else. They don’t speak with each other. You might be doing one thing in your CRM and you go into the accounting system that tells you something else.
Our goal was to bring all these pieces together so everybody in your business from your bookkeeper to your accountant through the CEO knows exactly what’s going on in their business. They can focus on their own thing so they’re not overwhelmed with everything. They’re going and doing their own piece and everything is integrated.
I’m sure you can agree, Matt, looking at Sharad’s tech that he’s taking a massive undertaking. Let me know what you know.
We’ve talked quite a bit. His dev team, we know how many people are on it because we went through all of those steps. When you take guys like us, Sharad and I, we don’t have a tech background and you’re using people out of the country, it is a lot to manage.
Matt, tell me what a couple of the best features of your software are that are going to help me. If I’m looking at the size and the stuff, I’m listening and I’m going, “What’s in it for me? What’s the best couple of things this system can do for me?”
We’ve got coding in there that’s going to do two things that nobody else out there does. One is, even with ARV, we still teach you to do your due diligence. Everybody gets trained how to do comps. It is going to use Zillow data and square footage data to give you an ARV to start with. It’s also going to code those comps as far as it gets into yellow and red coding if you’re moving away from a target too much, bedroom square footage. It’s going to drop that in the beginning.
This is a checkbox system. It’s based on the square footage of the house and these numbers are accurate everywhere. You go down and it forces you to look at every component aspect of the repair costs when you’re going through a potential rehab, wholesale or any. It doesn’t matter. You check the box and you’re not measuring anything. After all that, it’s going to give you three offers. One of those is a cash offer and it’s going to spit out a one-page contract right there.
That’s pretty efficient, the ability to walk in. You can do that in thirteen minutes or less. I’ve learned that the checkbox system for us is to be crucial because it keeps us from oversight, missing something. If I walk into a house off the top of my head, how am I going to remember in that house to make sure I took a look at everything? I say to myself, “This is an amazing list to go on.” It’s like Chris out there because he doesn’t give our team utilizing the value.
The fact that you can spit out a one-page contract from this after the ARV that’s being automated and the rehab estimate is super cool. Those are great features. Sharad, what about you? This is a tough question for you because you’ve got countless features. That’s what makes your system, it’s the fact you have so many features. What are a couple that you love and you think is valuable to the audience that’s reading?
I have to note, before starting working with developers, I didn’t have much gray hair and now it’s going crazy. It’s the most amazing blessing and curse working with the development team. When things come together, it’s amazing. For us, the fact that you can log in and not create CallRail, for example, and not needing Google Drive or Dropbox, the CRM is built in. You don’t need QuickBooks. You don’t need a separate dashboard. Some of the other platforms take data from your QuickBooks and your CRM and you have to pay for a separate subscription to get all the data.
For us, the most exciting part is you log in and it’s ready to go. You type in the area code and you can buy the number. Everything that you need, you can call, text, email and you can send RVM with a click of a button. That’s the exciting part. For people who are investing, they need all these features but now they’re not having to go into all these different platforms. They log in and everything is there. They’re all integrated. They don’t need Zapier or anything. It works when they log in.
Two things you can never screw up in any deal are ARV and repair costs.
It gives such convenience. It’s a click of a button away. The other thing I can tell you, which is such a huge feature is with most people, I know that they don’t track their KPIs. I know with students in REI Radio that are newer, they’re busy. They’re like, “I know I need to be tracking my metrics and I want to get around to it but I don’t have time.” It’s a beat down to do that annually through Excel.
Sharad, your system has automation in there and a dashboard for metrics and KPIs and does it all for you. All you’ve got to do is look at the dashboard and, in real-time, it’s telling you how much money you’re making on any particular marketing channel that you’re using, cost per lead, cost per acquisition or any of that type of stuff. That’s one of the best features of your system.
You log in and the first page that you see is your KPI dashboard. At the end of the day, that’s what you should be using to drive the decisions in your business. Because it’s a hard process to get there, that’s the thing we’ve simplified. You log in and all the data is there. You don’t have to do anything. Log in and it’s right in front of you. You can make better decisions from it. The exciting part is when all these things start coming together, the amount of data that we can provide, that’s where the huge ROI will come in. Knowing the cost per lead for every single campaign down to how much detail you want, that’s the biggest value add in my opinion.
I hope you cut that little nugget that Sharad dropped there, your decision-making should be based on the data. You’re probably reading and going, “I get that.” I find more people make decisions about marketing and things in their company based on feeling rather than actual data and facts. It blows my mind. People go from the gut and go, “That’s profitable. We’ll continue to pour money in there.” Please don’t do that if you’re reading.
Have a KPI dashboard and make decisions off of math and data. If not, it’s going to bite you at some point, trust me. Matt, hopping back over to you. People love stories. Tell me a story about someone that’s used Rehab Estimator Pro and maybe something it’s done for their business. People love stories.
I love telling stories because I have them every week. Honestly, I had a half-day that was a consulting gig but it was strictly about REP. I had heard about it through you so it was neat in my home state here that it’s happened. He’s been running consistently for the last few years. I’ve watched 10 to 12 flips a month. He does wholesales as well, a few of those. He’s bleeding out. He didn’t know where it was coming from. He uses a huge Buildertrend because he’s running a huge construction company. We found that his problem, as big as a guy that is, 10 to 12 flips a month consistently, that’s insane. Who wants that anyway?
We found on the front end that he’s selling these jobs with a one-page document that he brings into the house and chicken scratches on. That’s what the entire job is based on. We broke down three of his last. What I love to do is to take it in real-time. It’s like, “My system works. I will throw it in.” We took his three jobs on the board that he’s doing, put them into REP and found exactly what the problems were. We looked at his QuickBooks. He’s got one. We came with less than $1,000 on our front end on repair costs, $51,436 or something like that. He had $51,000. He’s at $77,000 into that job with his labor.
The problem, that checklist you were talking about, there were things that in his head went, “There were foundation issues. I completely forgot to write that down but I saw it. We got talking and I forgot to do that.” We went on the list and showed him the things with pictures that he didn’t put in. This is the guy who’s been a contractor for over twenty years.
That blows my mind. This guy is not somebody that’s a rookie. This is someone that’s seasoned. Because there are no checks and balances based on tech, there are still mistakes being made. That’s my biggest takeaway. It doesn’t matter how good at something you get. There’s got to be something there that always reminds you of all the details or they’ll fall through the cracks.
Buildertrend is $500 a month that he’s paying for all this tech software. On the front end, he’s using a silly piece of paper that he writes notes on and that’s how he’s getting all of his deals.
There might be someone reading going, “I’m that guy who walks out with the notepad.”
We all bring our yellow pad.
Matt, that was a fantastic story. Sharad, tell us a story about how your software has impacted somebody that’s using it.
When we started out our company, we called it REsimpli. The reason for that is that we wanted to create something super simple to use. I was talking to a big wholesaling company. She is over 55. She’s not super tech-savvy like most of our users. I was on a call with her and said, “I want to say thank you that the system that you created is simple to use.” She was intimidated when they were switching over the system. It would be a huge learning curve for their team, especially for herself getting onboarded, learning all the systems, having to figure out how all this works.
With our system, she said that when she logs in, everything is already set up. There’s no learning. You watch a simple demo video, “This is how we buy a phone number. This is how everything works.” She was grateful. That’s the stuff that gets us honestly excited because our vision when we started the company was to create something super simple to use on the front end but the backend is sophisticated and everything is tied in. To get that appreciation from someone who sees where we’re going with this thing is rewarding.
You’re telling me REsimpli is simply more than a clever name? You’re making it simple. It’s true. I love that. You’re talking about someone coming in and going, “Utilization of a new CRM, a software.” Things like Infusionsoft or things like that, that I know everybody have tried and come back and said, “That was a nightmare because of the complexity of it,” which a lot of us feel trying to transition over to a new system. Yours is simple. Sharad, I can tell you that and Cierra would say the same thing, our COO. We transitioned over to your system.
We’re a big team. We have a lot of data. We had Podio. That transition over to REsimpli, she’ll tell you that it’s honestly been simple. That’s a great thing to emphasize because probably people’s biggest concern is it’s going to be complex. We’re getting back down to the last couple of questions as we start to wrap up. Matt, what can people expect in the future for Rehab Estimator Pro? Talk a little bit about your vision.
From the beginning, this is something that we’ve built out a lot of other pieces inside of it, wholesale calculators, cashflow for rental properties. There’s a seller net sheet inside of there. We put the brakes on that. We had our vision board up of all the things, “We want to add this and this.” To be honest with you, we have found that we want to stay right in our lane with keeping it. My plan is not to build a CRM or a full-blown project management tool. It keeps us distracted from what we do best because nobody else does this out there. Nobody else does this well. They’ve tried. There is not a product like it.
I had a ton of hours into massive updates and pricing. We’ve added up 200 lines in the backend of the system for more experienced investors, for things like skylights or instead of double-hung, going to casement windows, things that we don’t even want to scare people with on the front end. We want this to be able to be used by your bookkeeper. The complexity on the backend is also there but I want to stay in that space and keep building that part out and not develop this other tool that we keep adding things. It gets diluted.
That’s great. It’s the old principle that less is more. You’ve drawn a line in the sand and you’ve put limitations on where you’re going to go and you’re saying no to other things to keep the purity of the system. How much of us have used a tech that started great and that owner started listening to everyone telling him, “It needs this bell. It needs this whistle.” Before you know it, it lost the authenticity of what it was meant to be. I love that. It’s a future vision for yourself, staying on the lane and keeping it simple. What about you, Sharad? For people sizing up your system, using it, what can they expect? What’s your vision for the future?
We have lots of things coming. We’ve released our driving for dollar feature in our app. We’re feeling that out. The websites are going live so that’s exciting. The call flow and list stacking are going live. For us, our vision from day one is we want something super simple to use. For investors, when they log in, they should be able to run their entire business for one platform. That’s what we’re going towards.
We’re talking everything from marketing, getting leads from marketing all the way to filing your tax return and everything in between.
That means if I sign up and I’m utilizing your system, my expectation, Sharad, is if any new software comes out, any new pieces of tech that provide a service, you’re probably going to size them up and figure out how to put that back into your own system so we get it. It’s to keep us from having to continue to go down this à la carte path.
Our road map is already laid out. It’s an aggressive roadmap. We have a development team of 25 people.
That’s taking over the world.
Honestly, it’s about simply adding value. It’s stuff that I would need in my business. That’s where it started from. When I login, this is how I would want to run my business down to the support team. That’s what we want to provide to investors. I’m excited.
Matt, what do you appreciate as a software guy most about Sharad’s product and what he’s produced for us?
I’ve used every system out there. It is a complicated and long road when you have to switch CRMs. Everybody started Podio-based years ago and there are still big systems out there on Podio. Sharad has got it all nailed down and I love it. It’s easy. You log in, everything’s on that left side, you can click wherever you want to go. You want the things built-in. You can call from there. I don’t need $30 a month for ten numbers at CallRail. I don’t need PATLive. There are many tools in it that are unique that I haven’t found one system out there yet that takes everything as a package like he has.
The QuickBooks part of it as far as not needing that is exciting for me on that end too because I can hand something over to my CPA at the end of the year and I don’t have to build a chart of accounts or fixed assets in QuickBooks anymore. It is business in a box. You can run everything from it. The best part about that is you still need a tool like mine. I don’t see any other tools you need because you have to take and put a number into his system to run your whole job but you can do that. You can take it and run it as project management through Sharad’s system, through REsimpli. You still need your numbers and that’s why it’s complimentary. I love it.
That’s why we use both systems. Sharad, what about you? What do you appreciate about Matt’s system?
First of all, coming from his background but created by someone who uses the system in their own business day in and day out makes a huge difference. You can tell it’s created by a real estate investor and not by a tech company. It’s super simple to use. For us, when we’re looking at any software, it has to be simple to use. Yes, you always expect the end result should be what you expect but the path to that end result should be straight and that’s what Matt has done.
We’ve tried other systems. Some systems go in and they try to overvalue with 10,000 lines of the scope of work. When you start off with that, out of the bat, people are not going to use it because it’s complicated. It should be a checkbox, “Do I need a roof?” Checkbox, yes. If the numbers are off 5%, who cares? At the end of the day, it’s not the end of the world. With the amount of credibility that you get, you present that offer to your seller with all the numbers, you’re going to be way ahead of any other investor.
On the backend when you’re wholesaling and you provide it to your end buyer, they’re going to be super impressed. That’s the joke with regular state wholesalers, they’ll say, “This property needs $20,000 in rehab.” How did they come out with $20,000? It sounded like a huge number but that’s not how rehab works. You need to have itemized and Matt has made it super simple, accurate and that’s the amazing part.
It’s about simply adding value.
I’ve seen all of your opinions as guys building software about other software. Matt, let’s close it out. Your system sounds cool and expensive. What’s this thing cost? What type of deal can you give?
I keep getting told that. “What? How much? That’s it?” Through you, Chris, it’s less than $30 a month. You’re going to get a 70% savings right off the bat if they go through you.
That’s 70% lifetime?
Yes. Lifetime, locked in.
Rather than being $97 a month, it’s $29. If you want to check out Rehab Estimator Pro and you want to get the discount, go to RehabEstimatorPro.com and make sure that you put in the promo code, REIRADIO. That’s going to get you 70% off monthly for a lifetime. It’s $29 a month. I laugh because one rehab that you would have got wrong that made you X amount more, you pay for it for ten years. What about you, Sharad? When people hear your system, it might sound a little bit intimidating. It’s like, “This thing’s going to be super-expensive.” What’s the cost and what deal are you offering for those that are reading?
It’s $99 a month. If somebody signs up with your reference, they get 20% off the first month. They get list stacking included in their pricing and get discounts on future updates and releases that we make. It’s $99 a month. Everything is included so you’re not having to pay for anything separate. It comes with the price.
I don’t know how in the world you do it with that price but I’ll take it. It’s a fantastic price for everything you’re providing, Sharad. If you want to check out REsimpli, go to REsimpli.com/chris. That will get you that list stacking for life as well, which gives you an additional $100. Not only that but the promo code gets you $100 off a month, which is a great deal. A nice little 20% kicker-off for the first month is awesome.
Wrapping up, the other thing is these guys care enough about their system that, at times, I hear about you guys getting on a call with someone that’s starting the system and answering questions. That normally doesn’t happen. I don’t know that I’ve ever talked with people that are the owners of the software company asking a question.
Normally, they don’t even have a phone number. You have to email them and get in the queue and wait for a response. That shows a lot about the personalization of what you guys do that this is your baby and you guys truly care about it as well. Thanks so much for coming on. What a cool show, having both of you guys on. We’re talking about efficiency, what’s a better way to do that than talk about two pieces of tech within 30 minutes.
To the rest of you, thanks so much for reading. Until next time, when we add more value, we can catch you soon.
- Rehab Estimator Pro
- Chris Arnold Real Estate – YouTube
About Chris Arnold
Chris Arnold is a 15 year Real Estate veteran who has closed over 2500 single family real estate transactions in the DFW metroplex. Chris is the founder of multiple companies that are managed by a US virtual team, which allows Chris to run his organizations while living in Tulum, Mexico full time.
His passion for leaders has led to the creation of Multipliers brotherhood which serves the top 5% of real estate entrepreneurs out of the US. Most recently Chris has launched his REI Radio coaching program. This program is designed to teach real estate investors the marketing stream that everyone knows about but NO ONE is doing!