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!
Tools Of The Trade – The Secret To Growing Your Wholesaling Business Through Partnerships With Annie Draginova
We have Anny Draginova with us. She is one of my good friends in the business. We originally met through our relationship with the business and Batch Skip Tracing. I started using their skip tracing platform and we met through Brent Daniels. Our relationship evolved. I learned so much about what Anny does. Anny is coming to you in this episode with so much experience in all things lead generation, data and wholesaling. She does it all so I will let her tell you all about it. Anny, welcome to the program.
Lauren, thank you for having me.
Let’s introduce you. Where are you from? Let’s go back. When did you get into real estate? Tell us everything.
We’re based in Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve been here twenty-plus years. Originally, we’re an immigrant family from Bulgaria and moved here. I started doing construction. It led me to be bored with that and learn about flipping. Flipping got me bored so I got to learn about wholesaling. The first-ever seminar that I went to was the Sean Terry seminar and they’re talking about wholesaling. I was like, “There’s no way that this can be an actual thing.” I started doing it with my brother at the time. He’s my business partner and still is. We started doing it one deal after another. It seemed like it was possible.
The only reason we wanted to do it is that we wanted to increase our spreads for our flips. We didn’t realize it was an actual business model on its own. We thought it was an extension. At that point, we started learning about different systems and software and everything that it takes a wholesaler to run their operation. When we started, it was like, “You had to have a car and all these.” It was 30 different platforms you had to sign up for so we did. What we soon realized is that everything was super outdated in this specific industry. Honestly, in real estate altogether whether it’s traditional or the investor side.
We partnered up with Jesse Burrell. Evo, Jesse and I started Batch. Everything is involved because there was this lack of software and tools for investors. It was too difficult. You had to do too many things with too many systems to get one task done. That’s what our industry used to be. We have changed it for the better. Other people have helped us along the way. Other software is out there. The past few years of our industry altogether have changed drastically.
You’ve brought up so many different things that I want to talk about but we have to talk about all these platforms being separate and then they’re all in one with Batch. Talk about the BatchLeads stacker and how much money that has saved me in skip tracing. It’s crazy. We’re going to get to that. What is it like working with your brother?
The collaborative efforts and putting very intelligent brains together would lead to success.
I get this question often and I honestly don’t know how to answer it because I know nothing else. I was employed before doing construction for six months and decided that I can’t be an employee. I’m flipping pizzas at Papa John’s. I learned that it wasn’t for me quick. Since then, I don’t know anything else. I love it. I have full trust in him. They never did something to jeopardize my wellbeing whether it’s financial or whatever it may be. I’ve never had that thought. I do see other partners struggle with that. I’ve seen other partnerships break. That is what has made our partnership, even with Jesse so strong. You don’t have to think about what’s going on when I’m not there.
You were my inspiration to start partnering with people. I was always a lone ranger. I had this mentality of, “I can do it myself.” Some of this was the chip on my shoulder from being a female in real estate. It was always a boy’s club. There was this inferiority complex of, “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. That’s very common.
I don’t know if you’ve ever felt that way or had those feelings but sometimes the men tend to get the credit and then there’s Anny in the background. I did not know you well. You were quieter then I got to know you and learn what your role was within the company. You have a huge role in your guy’s companies. As women sometimes we get shut out a little bit.
Honestly, a book that I’ve heard Brett talk about is Ego Is the Enemy. I read that book. I used to have everything that you said like, “Why am I not the person upfront? Why is it always the boys that get the credit?” At the end of the day, I’m happier not getting the credit, in the front face or the face of the company. Even though what I do is as relevant or important as what the boys do, I’m fine being in my corner over here and being kickass. I don’t need to announce to everyone that I’m kicking butt and taking names.
For me, the chip on my shoulder of not having a partner was because of that kind of mentality. When I got to become better friends with you, Evo and Jesse and saw the collaborative efforts of putting three very intelligent brains together, what that could build, I decided, “From here on out, I’m partnering with people.” I recommend partnering as something you first do when you get into real estate versus what I did, which was like, “I’m going to flip houses all on my own. I can do this all on my own. I’m going to have a wholesale company all on my own.” Had I done it again, partner?
We all get into it though. It’s like, “It’s me. That’s all it’s going to be. I can’t delegate, trust and give control.” It’s the control aspect. Once you do it, it’s like, “Why didn’t I do this sooner? Why couldn’t I help myself get to the finish line faster?”
If you were to give anybody advice about picking partners to be with, is there any that you would give? Go as broad or niche as you want.
Find your opposite. Like in a relationship, opposites attract. That’s pretty much what it is. That’s what’s made us so great. We know from traction and then the ELS that you have your visionary and integrator. Usually, the two visionaries are always going to link up together and they’re like, “Let’s be partners.” You’re not going to get anything done. Typically, the way that it should work is for every one visionary you have, you need to have two integrators. It’s exactly what we have. Look for that opposite. If you define yourself as an integrator, go find yourself a visionary. They’re going to be the loudest ones in the room. If you are a visionary, go find your integrator. They’re going to be the one pen down, chipping away at the work. That’s all the advice I could give.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you and Evo are the integrators. Would it be Jesse as the visionary? The last time I was in Phoenix and Scottsdale visiting you guys, you and I were like, “We are going to stay at the pool.” He’s ditching work. You’re meeting me at the hotel. I stayed at the W. It was Anny and Lauren at the W pool. That’s all I wanted to do that Friday. You came and you’re on work calls the first two hours. I was like, “Anny, put the phone down, stop working, get in the pool and have a cocktail.”
I was having anxiety when we were at the pool. My phone is on the side and I feel my watch vibrating. My phone’s ringing. We’re talking and I’m like, “I need to get this.”
I’m more of a visionary and I have to have a 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.
You make it happen. That’s what it is. You have this crazy mindset person and it’s beautiful crazy. 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. You’re that puzzle maker. You’re building that puzzle from nothing or something that you’re able to put together. That’s what makes a perfect and beautiful partnership.
You need to find your opposite. I need more integrators in my life so I’m working on hiring some. Let’s talk about hiring because you have a big team. You have employees between your wholesaling company, investment company and then the data company that you have. BatchLeads.io is the company we’re talking about here. I’m sure you’ve hired and fired quite a bit. Do you have any advice on building a good team?
The way that we hire is we have our core values. We put together things that are important to us. We built our core values in one of the quarterly meetings that we had so we put down three people that are influential to us. That would be Evo, Jesse and myself. We sat down and were like, “Who are the three people that are very influential?” You start thinking it could be in past, present, whatever it may be. It’s someone that you look up to. You start listing characteristics that each person has whether it’s honesty, integrity, hardworking and drive. Out of those three, you start narrowing it down, “What’s in common between those three people?” Those are my core values.
Having partnerships would make you complete the puzzle you’re building.
I look at what are Evo and Jesse’s core values. We figured out what we have in common. 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. That’s what we hire on. It’s exactly what we look for people. We look for someone to be driven, hard-working, put our customers first, able to put their needs aside and a little selfless when needed. That’s what we look to hire.
The other thing that we’ve discovered that our long-term hires have had in common is they do not have that want or drive to be an entrepreneur. I kept noticing that the people that keep going don’t work out for one way or reason. Not that they’re not driven but they just want to be part of a team. They’re like, “I’m going to do it myself.” That’s what we found that doesn’t work for us.
As I look back, people that hadn’t worked out for me in my wholesaling and investment company usually were people that had some side hustle or entrepreneurial drive that weren’t the best employees. I discovered something. You told me about WizeHire.com. I was looking for sales reps for the investment company. Sales reps is a revolving door position. Any type of sales where they’re doing inbound, outbound or phone sales is a revolving door.
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. You have to listen to Keith Cunningham’s seminar on YouTube. Keith Cunningham is the author of The Road Less Stupid. He says that all successful businesses have structure and leverage. What you’re leveraging is not money, it’s people. If you don’t have a collection of A players, you’re going to take your business down.
It’s also the fact that they badly influence your good players. That’s why you’re saying fire quickly because I did notice something when we did have bad apples when we were doing wholesaling. We let them sit there and then the people that had the good habits, everything built out, had the best sales skills and everything done right. They were influenced by this rotten egg over here and they dragged them down. Even going into work, there’ve been times I go into to work and I’m like, “This is not where I want to be. This is not the people that I want to spend the majority of my week with.” I’m in the office constantly and I would regret coming in. It’s not good for me and our team.
You got to be around good people. You are who you surround yourself with whether they bring you up or down. You have a lot of good people out there in Phoenix.
Not just our team but even other wholesalers that we work with. They’re not in a permanent home but a little vacation home down the street from us.
It’s called your new house. I’ll be in one of those rooms.
There is a guest house. No worries.
I will rent your guest house.
If you didn’t stay, I’d be a little upset.
You’d be offended. That’s exactly what I wanted to hear. That’s exciting. Nobody deserves it more than you. You’ve worked hard for this. You backed at the BatchLeads team and worked hard to build this product that’s serving a lot of people in our community. A lot of people are making a lot of money. I’m doing well with your BatchLeads texting platform. Not just making money but saving so much money. Easily, it’s going to be in the five figures on data because I understand how the BatchLeads stacker tool works.
If you take the time to get it, understand and utilize it to its full ability. One of your customer support guys helped me understand it. I understand that for 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, owner names and all the phone numbers, it’s saving it. If I utilize your list service to buy lists, it recognizes that that person’s already in my system. It’s going to say, “You already got this person in your system.”
I’m trying to explain this to people that are familiar with this tool. As long as you properly uniformly name your lists and stay consistent with how you’re naming your lists, you will not have to rebuy lists over and over again. Before having this stacker, I would go on ListSource and buy a list. It’d come on Excel. It would be the big absentee owner list that had 20,000 names that cost me bajillion dollars. I would go to Batch Skip Tracing, skip trace it, get that Excel file back and then save it in Dropbox somewhere.
Figure out your core values and find out what you have in common.
What would I do six months later? I need to refresh my list. I would go back to ListSource. I’d buy the same 20,000 lists. I wouldn’t even suppress it and just buy all the records. I’m repeat-buying the same data. I would go to you again and skip trace every one on that list, even though I already had the phone numbers. This would cost thousands of dollars and I would be doing this like an idiot. Amazingly, you came up with this idea that’s saving people so much. People might think that the software cost is expensive. It’s not as expensive as buying data over and over again on repeat. Am I the only person that did that? Was that everybody?
That was everyone including ourselves. That’s why we saw a need for it. At the time, we had TLO. It was $1.25 a record to skip trace and I’m doing it manually. I’m like, “Jessica Smith that lives at 123 North Street.” Every record that I had to skip trace, I’m sitting there at $1.25. Having to do that 1,000, 2,000 times was expensive, tedious and too barbaric for what the industry should be.
We all knew that there was a need for this. There’s a lot of aspects to it because you’re tying in your lists, skip tracing, texting and stacking it. There’s a lot of features, bells and whistles. If you want to narrow down who you’re texting, what you’re doing, who you’re marketing to and who you’re cold calling, that platform is there for a reason. It’s better organized. You’re not pulling the same list once, twice, 3 times, 4 times. You’re not wasting your money in ListSource or wherever you’re going to redo all of these same tasks. It’s not the money that you’re spending but it’s the time that it takes you to do it.
My virtual assistant knows how to pull a basic absentee owner list. My virtual assistant does everything for my text message campaign. She does the texting, uploads the campaigns in the Batch system and all that. She even knows how to go back to the stacker, pull the new vacant and does that every month. Once you get the hang of it, you see how useful the tool is and how much money it saves keeping all of that in one house. You came up with it because you were practitioners of the business. You weren’t software developers. You’re going, “There’s a need for this. How do we build that?” It’s amazing.
If you did want to give this system a try, I highly recommend it. If you use the code VIRTUAL, you will get 50% off the first month. I can’t talk highly enough about it. If you want to check out what we’re talking about, go to BatchLeads.io. If you want to give it a shot, use my code VIRTUAL and get 50% off. What is your favorite business or self-development book?
I have to go with The Go-Giver. It’s always up there. I try to reread it once a year. I reread it for the mere fact that it is what brought the partnership of Batch together. It’s what got us to collaborate with anyone and everyone that we’re able to and what made our community in Phoenix so amazing. You hear people talking about the wholesale community in Phoenix. That is how it all became. It was because of Brandon Simmons’ mastermind called Go-Giver based around the book Go-Giver. The number one book I always have to go to is Go-Giver.
Have you read The Road Less Stupid?
I have not but it’s sitting on my desk. Brett gave it to me. The thing is I’m an Audible person.
You can listen to it but I feel like it’s better to read. Brent gave it to me too. It’s funny. That’s the one that I feel like everybody loves. It’s a good one.
It’s my next read.
We’ve got the Go-Giver. If you want to read it, it’s impacted a lot of people. Companies and relationships were born based on this book. Anny, thank you so much for joining us. It was fun. We have to do this again soon.
Thank you for having me.
Thanks for reading another episode of the show. If you want to learn more about real estate investing and taking your business virtually, go to www.WholesalingInc.com/virtual.
- Ego Is the Enemy
- The Road Less Stupid
- Keith Cunningham – YouTube channel
- The Go-Giver
- Brandon Simmons
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.