BLACK FRIDAY MEGA-EVENT THIS WEEK ONLY! SAVE $1000 WHEN YOU JOIN ANY OF OUR REAL ESTATE MENTORING PROGRAMS!
Posted on: November 16, 2020

Ever wonder how powerful partnerships can contribute to the success of your business? In this episode, we have one of the brains behind Batch Skip Tracing, Annie Draginova.

Annie, together with his brother Ivo and Jesse Burrell created Batch Skip Tracing, a powerful and analytical solution for finding sellers and debtors. Batch Skip Tracing has also been providing revenue agents and real estate investors with the accurate data they need.

Apart from being an integrator, Annie also takes care of the operations, company finances, and management duties. In this episode, Annie shared important insights on creating partnerships and strong teams.

If you are in the process of creating a powerful team, this is one episode you shouldn’t miss!

Key Takeaways

  • What it’s like working with his brother
  • Advice she’ll give when it comes to business partners
  • Her insights on building a good team
  • What their long-term hires have in common
  • Why it’s important to hire only A players
  • Why you need to surround yourself with good people
  • Her favorite self-development book

RESOURCES:

If you are Ready to Explode Your Wholesaling Business, Click here to Book a Free Strategy Session with me right now!

Subscribe to Wholesaling Inc

Episode Transcription

Lauren Hardy:
Hey, what’s up rhino tribe. This is Lauren Hardy, and you’re listening to the Wholesaling Inc. Podcast. Today, we have Annie Dragonova with us. Annie is one of my very good friends in the business. We originally met through our relationship with the business and a batch skip tracing. Originally, I started using their skip tracing platform, and we met that way. We met through Brent Daniels. But our relationship evolved. And I learned so much about what Annie does. Annie is coming to you guys in this episode with just so much experience in all things lead generation, data, wholesaling, I mean she does it all. So I will let her tell you all about it. Annie, welcome to the program.

Annie Dragonova:
Thank you, Lauren. Thank you for having me.

Lauren Hardy:
I want to start out with, let’s introduce you. Where are you from? Let’s go back. When did you get into real estate? Tell us everything.

Annie Dragonova:
All right. So we’re based in Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve been here 20 plus years. Originally, we’re an immigrant family from Bulgaria. Moved here. Started actually doing construction. Construction led me to kind of be bored with that and learn about flipping. Flipping got me bored, I got to learn about wholesaling. My first ever webinar that I, or I guess not webinar, seminar that I went to was the Sean Terry seminar. And they’re talking about wholesaling. And I was like, no, it can’t be. There’s no way that this can be an actual thing. We started doing it with my brother at the time business partner. Still is. We started doing it one deal after another. It seemed like it was possible. The only reason we actually wanted to do it is because we wanted to increase our spreads for our flips. We didn’t realize it was an actual business model on its own.
We just thought it was an extension. And at that point, we started learning about different systems and software and absolutely everything that it takes a wholesaler to run their operation. When we started, it was like, you had to have a car rail account, you had to have this. It was 30 different platforms you had to sign up for. So we did. And what we soon realized is that everything was just super outdated in this specific industry. And honestly, in real estate altogether, whether it’s traditional or the investor side. So we partnered up with Jesse Burrell. So Evo, Jesse and myself. We started Batch. And it’s kind of how everything is involved. It’s because there was this lack of just software and tools for investors.
It was just too difficult. You had to do too many things with too many systems to get one task done. And that’s what our industry used to be. I do want to say that I think that we have changed it for the better. There are other people that have helped us along the way. There’s other software that are out there. But I definitely think the past three years that our industry altogether has changed drastically.

Lauren Hardy:
It has. It really has, as you’ve just brought up so many different things that I want to talk about, but we definitely have to talk about all these platforms being all separate, and now they’re all in one with Batch, and talk about the batch lead stacker and how much money that has saved me in skip tracing. It’s crazy. So we’re going to get to that. What is it like working with your brother?

Annie Dragonova:
Honestly, I get this question often and I honestly don’t know how to answer it because I know nothing else. I was employed prior to doing construction for six months, decided that I can’t be an employee flipping pizzas at Papa John’s. I learned that it wasn’t for me really quick. And since then, I don’t know anything else. So I love it. I have full trust in him. There’s never like, are they doing something to jeopardize my wellbeing, whether it’s financially or just whatever it may be. I’ve never had that thought. And I do see other partners struggle with that. I’ve seen other partnerships break. And I think that that is what has made our partnership, even with Jesse, just so strong. You don’t have to think about what’s going on when I’m not there.

Lauren Hardy:
You guys were my inspiration to start partnering with people. So I was always a lone ranger. I just had this mentality of, I can do it myself. And I think some of this was the chip on my shoulder from being a female in real estate. It was always a boy’s club. So there was this chip on my shoulder, sort of like this inferiority complex of, well, not only am I a female, but I’m going to do it all on my own because I don’t want a partner. Likely the partner would be male, and the partner would get all the credit.
And that’s very common. I don’t know if you’ve ever felt that way or if you’ve ever had those feelings, but sometimes the men tend to get the credit and then there’s Annie in the background. And I think, I mean, I did not know you very well. You were more quiet. And then I got to know you and learn what your role was within the company. And you have a huge role in your guy’s companies. I think as women, sometimes we get shut out a little bit.

Annie Dragonova:
We do. And honestly, a book recently, and actually someone that recommended it was Brett. He didn’t recommend it personally to me, but I’ve heard him talk about it. It’s Ego’s the Enemy. So I read that. I read that book. And since then, I used to have everything that you said, like why am I not the person up front? Why is it always the boys that get the credit? At the end of the day, I’m happier, honestly, not getting the credit, not being in the front face, not being the face of the company and knowing that even though what I do is just as relevant or as important as what the boys do, I’m fine being in my corner over here and just being kickass. I don’t need to announce to everyone that I’m kicking, I guess, butt and taking names.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah, exactly. I mean, I think for me, the chip on my shoulder of not having a partner was because of that kind of mentality. And then when I got to become better friends with you and Evo and Jesse and seeing the collaborative efforts of putting three very intelligent brains together, what that could build, I decided, oh, for here on out, I’m partnering with people. And I recommend partnering now as something you first do when you get into real estate versus what I did, which was, I’m going to flip houses all on my own and I can do this all on my own. And I’m going to have a wholesale company all on my own. No. Had I do it again, partner.

Annie Dragonova:
We all get into it though. It’s me, me, me. That was me. It’s me, me, me, that’s all it’s going to be. I can’t delegate. I can’t trust. I can’t give control. It’s the control aspect. And I don’t know. Once you do it, it’s like, all right, why didn’t I do this sooner? Why couldn’t I help myself get to the finish line faster?

Lauren Hardy:
Right. For sure. Now, if you were to give anybody advice about picking partners to be with, is there any advice that you would give? Go as broad or as niche as you want?

Annie Dragonova:
I would say find your opposite. Just like in a relationship, opposites attract. That’s pretty much what it is and I think that’s what’s made us so great. There’s obviously, we know, just from traction and then the ELS that you have your visionary and you have your integrator. And usually the two visionaries are always going to link up together. And they’re like, oh, let’s be partners. Well, you’re not going to get anything done. You’re really not. So typically the way that it really should work is for every one visionary you have, you need to have two integrators. It’s exactly what we have. I would definitely say, look for that opposite. If you define yourself as an integrator, go find yourself a visionary. They’re going to be the loudest one in the room. If you are a visionary, go find your integrator. They’re going to be the one pen down, just chipping away at the work. That’s pretty much all the advice I could give.

Lauren Hardy:
I’m going to go out on a limb and say you are an integrator.

Annie Dragonova:
Probably.

Lauren Hardy:
Are you an integrator? And Evo is the integrator, right?

Annie Dragonova:
Yeah.

Lauren Hardy:
And then, would it be Jesse is the visionary? My memory of you, of us. Okay. Last time I was in Phoenix and Scottsdale visiting you guys, and you and I were like, Friday, we are going to stay at the pool. And he’s ditching work. You’re meeting me at the hotel. I stayed at the W. It was Annie and Lauren at the W pool. That’s all I wanted to do that Friday. And you came, and you’re on work calls the first two hours. And I was like, Annie, put the phone down, stop working, get in the pool. Have a cocktail.

Annie Dragonova:
Pretty much, yeah. And by the way, I was having anxiety when we were at the pool. My phone’s on the side. And I feel my watch vibrating. My phone’s ringing. We’re talking and I’m having anxiety. I’m like, I need to get this, I need to get this.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah. Right. And see, I’m more of a visionary, and I have to have a time, like nothing time, where at least an hour and a half a day, I can maybe go on a hike or something. Because that’s where I get my ideas. Then I bring my ideas to integrators.

Annie Dragonova:
And you make it happen. But that’s what it is. If you have this crazy mindset person, and it’s a beautiful crazy. And they bring this idea and they’re like, do something with it. It’s like a broken puzzle. They know what it should look like, but they don’t know how to put it together. And then you’re that puzzle maker, I guess. You’re building that puzzle from nothing or from something that you’re able to put together. And that’s what I think makes a perfect and a beautiful partnership.

Lauren Hardy:
That is so true. You need to just find your opposite. I definitely need more integrators in my life, so I’m working on hiring some. But yeah. Now, let’s talk about hiring, because you guys have a big team. You guys have employees between your wholesaling company, your investment company, and then the data company that you guys have. Batchleads.io is the company we’re talking about here. You know, I’m sure you’ve hired and fired quite a bit. Do you have any advice on building a good team?

Annie Dragonova:
Yeah. So the team is usually, the way that we hire, we have our core values, we put together things that are very important to us. And we actually built our core values in one of our quarterly meetings that we had. So we put down three people that are very influential to us. That would be Evo, Jesse, and myself. We sat down and we were like, all right, who are the three people that are very influential? And you start thinking, it could be in past, present, whatever it may be. It’s someone that you look up to. And then you start listing characteristics that each person has, whether it’s honesty, integrity, hardworking, driven, and you just start listing them. And then what you start doing is, out of those three, you start narrowing it down to what’s in common between those three people. Those are my core values.
And then, I look at what are Evo’s core values and what are Jesse’s? And then we figured out what we actually have in common. And you’re going to see these things starting to pop up, and it’s the same core values. We just had different words for them. And that’s what we hire on. It’s exactly what we look for people. We look for someone to be driven, hard working. We look for people to put our customers first, and to be able to put their needs aside and be a little selfless when needed. And that’s pretty much what we look to hire.
The other thing that we’ve recently actually discovered that our long-term hires have had in common is they do not have that want or that drive to be an entrepreneur. Right?

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah.

Annie Dragonova:
I kept noticing the people that keep going, the people that don’t work out for one way, or for one reason, they don’t have, not that they’re not driven. They just want to be part of a team. They want to be [inaudible 00:13:26] I’m going to do it myself. That’s pretty much what we found that doesn’t work for us.

Lauren Hardy:
That is so true.

Annie Dragonova:
Are you looking [inaudible 00:13:35]?

Lauren Hardy:
As I look back, people that hadn’t worked out for me in my wholesaling and investment company, it usually were people that had some kind of side hustle or entrepreneurial drive that they weren’t the best employees. I recently discovered something. So you told me about wisehire.com. I was looking for sales reps for the investment company. And sales reps, it really is a revolving door position, because any type of say sales, where they’re doing inbound or outbound sales, phone sales. It’s kind of a revolving door. And I realized that we have to have a team of A players. If they are not an A player, they are gone. Only hire A players. There is this, you have to listen to. It’s a Keith Cunningham seminar. He’s spoken. It’s on YouTube. Keith Cunningham is the author of the Road Less Stupid. And he says that really all successful businesses are, they have structure and they have leverage. And what you’re leveraging, it’s not money, it’s people. So your leverage and your people, if you don’t have a collection of A players, you’re going to take your business down.

Annie Dragonova:
It’s not just that. It’s also the fact that they influence, they badly influence your good players. So that’s why you’re saying fire quickly. Because I did notice something when we did have bad apples, when we were doing wholesaling, it was, we let them sit there. And then the people that had the good habits, the good everything built out. They had the best sales skills. They had everything done right. They were influenced by this rotten egg over here. And they just drag them down. Just even going into work, there’ve been times I just go into to work. I’m just like, all right, this is not where I want to be. This is not the people that I want to spend the majority of my week with, because I’m in the office constantly. And I just, I honestly would regret coming in. And it’s not good for me, and it’s not good for our team.

Lauren Hardy:
Right. You got to be around good people. You are who you surround yourself with. And I believe they’re bring you up or bring you down. Well, you guys have a lot of good people out there in Phoenix.

Annie Dragonova:
We do. We have not just our team, but even other wholesalers that we work with. And that’s why I think that maybe Lauren Hardy should look into, well, they’re not a permanent home, but a little vacation home down the street from us.

Lauren Hardy:
It’s called your new house. I’ll just be in one of those rooms.

Annie Dragonova:
There is a guest house. No worries.

Lauren Hardy:
Good. There you go. I will rent your guest house.

Annie Dragonova:
There you go. Yeah. I’m telling you, if you didn’t stay, I’d be a little upset.

Lauren Hardy:
You’d be offended. Good. That’s exactly what I wanted to hear. Well, that’s exciting. And I mean, nobody deserves it more than you. You’ve worked really hard for this. And you guys back at the Batchleads team, you guys work really hard to build this product that’s really serving a lot of people in our community. I mean, a lot of people are making a lot of money. I know I’m personally doing very well with your Batchleads texting platform. Not just making money, I’m saving so much money. Easily, I think it’s going to be in the five figures on data because I understand how the Batchleads stacker tool works. If you really take the time to get it and understand it, to utilize it to its full ability. And one of your customer support guys helped me really understand it.
I now understand that every single list I pull, I need to upload that into the Batchleads stacker, because it’s saving all of these property records, the owners, the owner names, all the phone numbers, it’s saving it. And then if I ever, if I utilize your guys’s list service to buy lists, it recognizes that that person’s already in my system. And it’s going to say you already got this person in your system. Trying to explain this so people that are familiar with this tool. As long as you properly name your lists in a very uniform fashion, and you stay consistent with how you’re naming your lists, you will not have to rebuy lists over and over again. I used to, prior to having this stacker, I would just go on ListSource. I would buy a list. It’d come on Excel.
It would be the big absentee owner list that had 20,000 names. It cost me a bajillion dollars. And then I would go to batch lead. What were you guys? You were batch skip tracing at the time. Batch skip tracing. I would have you guys skip trace it. And then I would get that Excel file back. And then I would save it in Dropbox somewhere. And then, what would I do six months later? Oh, I need to refresh my list. I would go back to ListSource. I’d buy the same exact 20,000 list. I wouldn’t even suppress it. I would literally buy all the records. So I’m repeat buying the same people.

Annie Dragonova:
The same data.

Lauren Hardy:
The same data. And then I would go to you guys again. I would skip trace everyone on that list. Even though I already had the whole. Even though this would cost thousands of dollars and I would be doing this like an idiot. So, it is amazing that you guys came up with this idea that’s saving people so much. People might think that maybe the monthly membership is expensive or the software cost is expensive. Not as expensive as buying data over and over again on repeat. So, am I the only person that did that? Or was that everybody?

Annie Dragonova:
That was everyone including ourselves. And that’s kind of why we came up with it and why we saw a need for it. It was the same people over and over that we were. At the time, we had TLO. And it was like a $1.25 a record to skip trace. And I’m like doing it manually. I’m like, Jessica Smith that lives at 123 North Street. And I’m doing this manually. Every record that I had to skip trace, and I’m sitting there at $1.25, $1.25, $1.25. And having to do that 1,000, 2,000 times. It was expensive, tedious, and just too barbaric for what the industry should be.
I knew that there was a need. We all knew that there was a need for this. And I know that there’s a lot of aspects to it, because you’re tying in your lists, your skip tracing, your texting, and just stacking it. There’s a lot of features and bells and whistles. But if you really just want to just narrow down who you’re texting, what you’re doing, who you’re marketing to, who you’re cold calling. That platform is there for a reason. And it’s better organized. You’re not pulling the same list once, twice, three times, four times, and you’re not wasting your money, ListSource, or wherever you’re going to redo all of these same tasks. It’s not just the money that you’re spending, but it’s the time that it takes you to do it.

Lauren Hardy:
So true. I actually now, my virtual assistant knows how to pool a basic absentee owner list. My virtual assistant does everything for my text message campaign. She does the texting. She uploads the campaigns in the batch system and all that. Now she even knows how to go back to the stacker and pull the newly vacants. And she does that every month. She’ll pull the newly vacant. So once you get the hang of it, you see how useful the tool, and how much money it really saves keeping all of that in one house. And you guys came up with it because you guys were practitioners of the business. You guys weren’t software developers. That wasn’t your… You guys were practitioners of the business going, okay, there’s a need for this, and how do we build that? So, I think it’s amazing.
And if you guys did want to give this system a try, I highly recommend it. If you guys use the code virtual, you guys will get 50% off the first month. So I can’t talk highly enough about it. If you guys want to check out what we’re talking about, go to Batchleads.io. If you guys want to give it a shot, use my code virtual. If you like saving money, who doesn’t like saving money, my code is virtual. You get 50% off. Let me ask you, what is your favorite business book or self-development book?

Annie Dragonova:
I have to go with The Go-Giver. It’s always up there. I try to reread it once a year. I’m on my third, I’ve re-read it so far three times. I reread it for the mere fact that it is kind of what actually brought the partnership of Batch together. It’s what got us to collaborate with absolutely anyone and everyone that we’re able to, and what actually made our community in Phoenix so great, so, so amazing. And you hear people talking about the wholesale community in Phoenix. That is pretty much how it all became. It was because of actually Brandon Simmons. It was his mastermind. It was called Go Giver. It was based around the book Go-Giver. So my number one book I’ll always have to go to is Go-Giver.

Lauren Hardy:
I love that. Have you read The Road Less Stupid?

Annie Dragonova:
I have not, but it’s sitting in my desk down there. Brett gave it to me. But the thing is, I’m an audible person.

Lauren Hardy:
Okay. You know what, you can listen to it, but I actually feel like it’s better. The hard. It is better to read. Brent gave it to me too. And so, it’s funny. That’s the one that I feel like everybody loves. It’s a really good one.

Annie Dragonova:
It’s honestly my next read.

Lauren Hardy:
All right, good. So we’ve got the Go-Giver guys. If you guys want to read it, it’s definitely impacted a lot of people. And like companies were born, relationships were born based on this book. So, love it. All right, Annie. Well, thank you so much for joining us today. It was fun. We have to do this again soon.

Annie Dragonova:
Thank you for having me.

Lauren Hardy:
Thanks for listening to another episode of the Wholesaling Inc podcast. If you guys want to learn more about real estate investing and taking your business virtually, go to www.wholesalinginc.com/virtual. Thanks again for listening.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Wholesaling