Posted on: December 14, 2020

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind HGTV’s wholesaling and flipping business, you’d be in for a treat. The man behind the show Flip or Flop will give you an insight into the whole process. Forrest Blackburn is a talented sales and business development executive with almost 2 decades of experience under his belt. He is also the sales director of Tarek Buys Houses.

Over the years, Forrest has also developed and launched companies that have made it to the Fortune 100, 500, and 5000 lists. He is also the co-founder of ManifyAds, a marketing and advertising firm that has been awarded #1 in internet advertising, website development, mobile app development, and strategic marketing for small, medium, and large-sized businesses.

If you’d like to hear how a massively successful sales and development executive runs his business, this episode is for you!

Key Takeaways

  • What he does
  • What Tarek Buys Houses is all about
  • What the process of working with them is like
  • Other territories they are looking into
  • Hardest thing about buying properties for the show
  • Why systems and processes are important
  • How people can get ahold of him

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:
What’s up rhino tribe. This is Lauren Hardy, and you are listening to the Wholesaling Inc Podcast. Today we have an interesting guest. I am so excited to have Forrest Blackburn on the show today. You guys are going to find out a little bit about why he is so interesting. So, I’m going to let him do the work. Forrest, please introduce yourself and tell us what you do.

Forrest Blackburn:
I work for Tarek Buys Houses. I am the director of sales and marketing, and we are the company behind the show Flip or Flop on HGTS that lines up all the homes that you see on the show. And those are our flips, some of them. And then we have a very large wholesaling business that we’ve been growing very rapidly very recently. So things have been going very well with that, but obviously we have a large brand behind us, so it does make things somewhat challenging in some areas and does make things a little bit less full of effort in other areas. But yeah, it’s a lot of fun.

Lauren Hardy:
That is super interesting. So, Tarek Buys Houses. So tell us a little bit about Tarek Buys Houses as a company.

Forrest Blackburn:
Well, obviously we’re doing acquisitions and dispositions and we do a lot of very aggressive marketing and advertising. Right now we’re running commercials all throughout Southern California and also all throughout Oklahoma. But pretty much through aggressive advertising and marketing spend, we bring sellers to our acquisition specialists. We have a lot of methodology there, a lot of systems and processes in place to make that happen. And we do vet a number of the properties for the show.
We film the show predominantly in Orange County and Los Angeles. So our flips are in those areas and we have to have 15 per season because there’s 15 episodes. So Flip or Flop is currently in its 10th season. We have about 16 million weekly viewers and then Tarek just launched another show, which is now in its second season called Flipping 101 where he’s working with a lot of novice flippers, helping them kind of get acclimated to flipping, making sure they don’t make costly mistakes and costly decisions that kind of will squeeze them out of the REI space if they’re not careful.
It’s a lot of fun. It’s very fast paced and it’s very exciting. I’ve met a lot of great people in the space. I have some great colleagues. We all work together. So I work with a lot of wholesalers and we buy a lot of properties through wholesalers. We want to make sure that the buy boxes fit perfectly so that the wholesalers aren’t running around wasting their time and wasting our time with listings that don’t fit. But we buy a lot of properties through wholesalers. So, I’m happy to be here and talk to your audience because I think maybe your audience and I can do some business together.

Lauren Hardy:
I think so. And that’s why I thought it would be a really good opportunity to get you on this podcast because our listener base is primarily wholesalers all around the country. And I know that Tarek Buys Houses is collecting essentially properties for a rental portfolio all over the country, not just in So Cal for the show. So I’m going to do my best because there are so many questions I want to ask, and I’m sure there are so many questions that the listeners want to ask as well. But I want to break it up into, for the show and how wholesalers can work with you guys, and then also for the rest of the nation for the rental portfolio, how we can work with you guys because wholesalers love the multi-unit buyer. Not just the onesie twosie buyer, but the buyer that is experienced, that’s buying five to ten plus houses a month. I mean, love it. You guys are like winning the lottery when we meet one of you guys. So congratulations you guys, you just won the lottery with Forrest.
So let’s talk about the show first because obviously everybody’s probably very interested. So you guys have to buy 15 houses to film. So that means though, that’s not just like every opportunity that a wholesaler brings you, only need 15. How many houses do you actually kind of have to work through, make offers on, look at, analyze to get to that number 15?

Forrest Blackburn:
A lot, a lot. So obviously the show is we’re flipping houses. So, we do purchase a lot of the properties from wholesalers so that we can have some good margin. And 15 episodes, sometimes we have to do more for safety. So we have to do a couple of extra episodes in case the network wants to swap one out. For those shows, obviously we’re looking for properties that have a lot of great content that the viewers can see. So something that’s just a lipstick flip where we’re just going in and doing some minor work, it’s not a lot of meat on the bone there for the show.
So we do vet these properties pretty strenuously, and it’s not just us because the production team and the network also vets the properties, making sure that we have enough content and making sure that the backdrop, and it even comes down to stuff as particular as being able to park the cars and all the production cars on the street. Oftentimes there’s homes down at the beach in Newport and Huntington where they don’t allow long-term parking or there’s no room for production vehicles. And even though the house is stellar for the show, we just can’t utilize it because production can’t work around it.
So we do go through a lot of properties. As far as flipping is concerned, we’re picking up probably 30 flips a month, or maybe less than that, maybe 20 to 30 flips per month. So having 30 to vet down to 15 over the course of the years is pretty easy for us. We have a lot of content to choose from. But yeah, there’s a lot of factors in what goes on the show. There’s a lot of vetting that takes place. So we make sure the show is interesting and it can go onto an 11th season. So, that’s very important.
But in Southern California, the houses that we put on the show are predominantly in Los Angeles and Orange County, we don’t really get into San Diego or San Bernardino or Riverside too much. Pretty much all in Orange County and Los Angeles for the show. But wholesaling, we do across the country. We do conventional wholesaling and we’ll do virtual wholesaling. Right now, we have very large interest in Oklahoma. We’re expanding our rental portfolio. We have a little more than a hundred properties right now in Oklahoma that are buy and holds between Tulsa county. So, Owasso, Broken Arrow, and Tulsa, and also Oklahoma City. So in kind of everything in between, but we kind of stay away from stuff that’s too rural. We don’t go anywhere near mobile homes and modular homes and things like that. Well, I say all of the buy and holds we have, we want to make sure that they’re renting for over a thousand dollars.
We’re pretty much in that 1% rule. As long as the rent is 1% of the ARV, then obviously it’s going to be something that we’re going to pick up and run with. I can go over the buy box a little bit more as we talk about it so that everybody knows what I’m looking for. But right now I’m in buying mode. I want to buy, buy, buy. So I’m really looking to get as many properties as possible. So if you have something in Oklahoma, send it my way and I would love to check it out and hopefully do some business with you on the long-term.
And we’re not just picking up single units at single doors. We’re not necessarily doing apartment buildings and things like that right now, but single family, residential even duplexes, we’re very hot and heavy about and I want to grow that buy and hold portfolio. So send them on over for sure and I’d love to do business with you. We’re buying in bulk, too. So right now we have a couple of deals where there’s 10 single family units, one with 14. We actually, we’re working a deal right now where there’s 40 homes in about an 80 home town.

Lauren Hardy:
Wow.

Forrest Blackburn:
I don’t know what we’re going to do with that, but that’s a huge undertaking that we’re checking out right now.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah. No, that’s pretty crazy. So I mean, and that’s how you and I got to know each other because I’m in both markets in Oklahoma as well. And I’ve got to say, that’s what the benefit is to working with sophisticated buyers like Tarek Buys Houses is you guys buy at a pretty aggressive pricing structure. So when you say the 1% rule, what Forrest means you guys, is that the rent is 1% of, I would say 1% of the all-in price, right? So like not just purchase price, but then say there’s 30,000 repairs. No. Right? It’s all in. So if all-in to get this property rent ready was $100,000, or I’m sorry. Yeah, yeah. All-in was $100,000, it should yield a thousand dollars in rent. And if it does, then that is a appropriate deal to submit to Forrest and Tarek Buys Houses would be very interested in it as long as it’s in the geographic territories of interest.
And I’ve got to say, for that area, because I know the buyers pretty well, that’s pretty aggressive. You guys are very good buyers. What is the process with working with you guys? And I imagine other big players it’s similar. So say I get a property under contract and the numbers look to meet the 1% rule, do I email you? Do I give you a call?

Forrest Blackburn:
So my email is pretty simple, it’s Forrest@TarekBuysHouses.com. So again, it’s Forrest@TarekBuysHouses.com. So it’s pretty easy to remember. Shoot me over anything that you’ve got. I want to break the ice with you so send over some properties and I’ll tell you why it doesn’t fit the buy box or why it does, because I don’t want to waste your time any further. Obviously I don’t want to waste mine either. So I want to make sure that we’re on the same page and that way everything that you see that comes across your desk that you can lock up. If the ARV’s 130 and it’s going to rent for 1300, I’m probably going to buy it.
So the process of that, if you’re going to send over to the property, my VP is going to vet it and he’s going to go through it subjectively and make sure that the numbers line up and maybe there’s some negotiation and maybe there’s not. And at that point, we’ll go ahead and get the contracts done. Yesterday, a gentleman from a recent podcast that I did on Deal Maker Nation, he messaged me right after the podcast. We started talking and I gave him the buy box and so he sent over a property yesterday. I think it was about 3:30 in the afternoon, and by six o’clock, the deal was signed and done, and DocuSign was all locked up and everything was done. So-

Lauren Hardy:
Love it, love it.

Forrest Blackburn:
Like I said, if it fits the buy box, I’m kind of a cinder block on a gas pedal. I want to move fast and get it over with so that we can move on to the next one.

Lauren Hardy:
I love that. And I mean, that’s what I love about sophisticated buyers is it’s like, yep, it meets the criteria. Where is the assignment agreement? Here’s our EMD, let’s go. I’m assuming all cash?

Forrest Blackburn:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lauren Hardy:
So, we don’t have to worry about you not getting your loan.

Forrest Blackburn:
No. We actually in wholesaling arena and in REI, we all say, “Hey, we’re going to make you a cash offer on your home,” but in all honesty, I can actually tell you that if you bring me a wholesale deal and it meets the buy box, we’re pulling out our wallet, we’re getting it done. We’re not calling lenders. We’re not working with hard money. When we do a buy and hold scenario, we’re using cash and we can close quickly on your time schedule, whatever you need to do. But honestly, our goal is to lock property up and get our construction crews in there to do whatever work is necessary. Sometimes we’ll work with full bets, and on the buy and holds we try to kind of shy away from that. We look for things that don’t necessarily need to have the wheel reinvented, so to speak, but we’ll look at anything. And as long as the numbers line up and we see value long-term, then obviously we’re going to buy.

Lauren Hardy:
Are there any other territories other than Oklahoma?

Forrest Blackburn:
Yeah. North Carolina. We do a lot in North Carolina. Right now, as we’ve kind of been growing, and I’ll kind of take a step back if you don’t mind. When I came in, everything was predominantly flipping. There was a little bit of wholesaling going on and I think in July we had about $40,000 that we didn’t wholesale. We only had made a small team. Before I got here, most of the team had been laid off and they were really kind of shaking things out like an Etch-a-Sketch if you will. And so I kind of came in to corral this. My background is growing companies and growing sales teams and scaling up.
My last company I grew it to 1500 sales reps. So that’s kind of the approach that we have here, but I can’t grow something unless the foundation is really solid. It can’t be weak in the knees. You have to have solid systems and processes and you have to have a good cash churn. And I think most of you, you can attest to this, if you’re in the wholesaling arena and you came maybe from flipping, you know that with flipping, you have a long cash cycle. You lock up the property, you’ve got to take two months to do the rehab, then you’re going to market the property and get it on the market, then somebody buys it and you’ve got a 30 day escrow. You’re really looking at kind of a four to six month window before you realize profit.
And in wholesaling, I mean, that can be a 30 day turn, it can be 14. It can be whatever needs to happen per the scenario. And you have a much faster cash churn, which means for me, I don’t have to wait to realize that profit coming back to be able to roll it over into marketing and advertising. So it makes it much easier for me to be more aggressive in advertising and marketing, because I don’t have that insecurity of issues that could arise during the course of a flip.
So I wanted to double down on wholesaling and grow that aspect of it. So we went from 40,000 in July to 200,000 in August, to 500,000 in September to just about a million in October. So, like I said, I ran it quick. The elections obviously started diminishing some of our efforts and kind of held us underwater a little bit there with some of our direct mail and some of our Facebook campaigns and things like that. But we have some great relationships with some great wholesalers and I am hoping to make more.
So that’s really what weathers the storm for all of us. If we can all work together and we can all share properties with one another, then obviously that’s a lot less work for us, for you and for I. So it’s easier for you to find properties that fit exactly what we want. And we know that when you send them over to us, we’re going to buy them. And the wholesalers have really helped us kind of weather the storm through the election. So now we’re going into the holidays and it’s kept our numbers consistent without having to rely so heavily on marketing and advertising as our sole source. So wholesalers rock, so send me over your properties. Let’s do some deals.

Lauren Hardy:
Let’s get real with things that when we’re talking about working together, like say I’m the wholesaler and you’re the sophisticated multi-unit landlord buyer or the buyer who is-

Forrest Blackburn:
I’m going to have to put on a tie or something.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah. I mean, you guys are pretty sophisticated over there. When it comes to working with each other, what are some things that wholesalers do that are annoying?

Forrest Blackburn:
If I told you I’d buy anything blue, and you sent me a bunch of things that were orange and red and yellow, and started off the email with, “You’re going to love these,” well, then either you’re not listening or you don’t care. And that’s the biggest frustration that I have because I’m very transparent, as you can tell, about our buy box. I don’t want to waste your time and transparently, more importantly, I don’t want to waste mine.

Lauren Hardy:
Right.

Forrest Blackburn:
And so if we’re going to work together and I say, “Here’s what I want. I want a blue house.” Right? Of course I’m being hypothetical, but I want a blue house and you say, “Okay, great. Here’s a red one.” Well, then there’s a disconnect. And you’re going to waste your time even with your breath of air saying, “There’s a red one,” and typing out that email.
So really what comes down to is let’s work together. Right? You tell me what you can find. And if you tell me, “Hey, I think you’re crazy. There’s no way I’m going to come up with something that matches your numbers.” Okay. I mean, I do it 30 times a month, but okay, that’s fine. And then we’re not a good fit and I’m glad we figured that out now and good luck to you. But like I said, I’m transparent about the buy box. And if you find a property that matches that criteria, I’m equally as transparent to tell you it’s a 99.9% chance I’m going to pick it up from you, and I’m going to pick it up in the same day.
In Oklahoma we do have boots on the ground so if there’s a property, we’ll go ahead and we’ll vet it as best as possible, same day and lock up the contract same day. I’ll have my guys walk it probably the very next morning, make sure that everything’s on track and everything’s great. And if it is, then we move forward as quickly as possible. And if there’s any negotiations that have to take place, obviously as a wholesaler, you’re in business and we’re in business, it’s nothing personal about it. And we look at it objectively. There’s just a lot of factors that kind of go into it, but it happens fast and we’ll buy that property from you.
So as long as I’m telling you what we will buy and you are giving me exactly what I said we’ll buy, then we can do this multiple times a day. So that’s my goal. And I want long-term relationships with wholesalers. I say this a lot. Lauren, for you, you find a hairstylist, guys out there, if we find a barber and it’s great, we’re not immediately on our phones trying to find another one. Right? So I don’t want to keep looking for wholesalers. I want to find long-term wholesaling partners that you know what I’ll buy, I know that you can give it to me, and we talk openly all the time and we’re constantly turning properties together and you’re making money and I’m making money so that I can buy them from you. And it’s just kind of a perfect partnership that way.

Lauren Hardy:
That’s why I want to talk about this because this is the thing. I mean, there’s no surefire way to get blocked by Forrest’s email or spammed, thrown in the spam box, when you guys are wasting Forrest’s time or these other guys’ time. And I think that for our audience, because we have a lot of wholesalers, they’re newer and they don’t know how to work with the more sophisticated buyer. They just don’t know.
And like something that I see, because I get emails a lot. Okay? A lot of emails from people I don’t know that just listened to this podcast. So I love the way you gave the analogy, like blue house and you send me an orange house. That is a great one. I wasn’t even going to think to use that analogy, but that’s a good one. What bothers me the most is when they’re like, “I’ve got a lead on a house in Norman.” And I’m like, “A lead? I get 50 leads a week.” I don’t care about a lead. Unless you have a purchase contract signed by you and the seller on that house in Norman, do not email Forrest. Don’t.

Forrest Blackburn:
Yeah, no.

Lauren Hardy:
How many times do you get that email?

Forrest Blackburn:
There is a fair amount of that that goes on. I mean, sometimes I’ll get somebody that emails me and says, “What do you think about this house?” And I will have already received that house from the person that has it under contract.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah.

Forrest Blackburn:
And that’s kind of infuriating. It’s not frustrating. It’s a little bit more than that.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah.

Forrest Blackburn:
Because I kind of feel like you’re hijacking somebody else’s listing, but in all actuality, you can’t speak on it. We can’t negotiate on it and you haven’t done the work.

Lauren Hardy:
Right. Well, in my scenario, what I need, and I think you’re bringing up daisy chaining where it’s not your contract, but you’re still marketing it. What I’m bringing up is that we get newer wholesalers that they’re excited. They got a motivated seller on the phone and like a seller called them so they’re like, “I just have a lead,” and then they’ll email me like, “Hey Lauren, I have a lead on a home.” And I’m like, “Do you know how many leads it actually takes to get a deal?”

Forrest Blackburn:
Yeah.

Lauren Hardy:
It takes probably at least like 25 of those.

Forrest Blackburn:
Yeah.

Lauren Hardy:
So, that’s something where it’s like you guys, unless you have this deal under contract, don’t bother them because they will eventually just spam you. They will ignore your emails and you will have no relationship with these guys. You have to learn how, if you want to like swim with the big boys and girls, you need to learn how to communicate with them.

Forrest Blackburn:
That’s a big part of it.

Lauren Hardy:
Don’t waste their time on leads. You need to have the property under contract. And I think what you were saying with blue house, orange house, right, a lot of it really is that they might be newer and they don’t understand pricing very well. So, I see it’s more of an accidental thing where they’re like, “Hey,”-

Forrest Blackburn:
It’s a learning thing.

Lauren Hardy:
It’s a learning thing where they’re like, “The ARV on this one is 160,000,” and it’s like, they’re really off on that. Like really, really off. And then they have it under contract for like 150.

Forrest Blackburn:
Right.

Lauren Hardy:
It’s like, you just don’t understand investing numbers.

Forrest Blackburn:
You’re missing something here. Yeah. No, for sure.

Lauren Hardy:
Right.

Forrest Blackburn:
We do get a lot of that.

Lauren Hardy:
When you get that, that’s when they’re like, you need to send them back to me. Okay. I’ve got a coaching program.

Forrest Blackburn:
There you go.

Lauren Hardy:
I will coach them up. All right? Send them to VirtualInvestingMastery.com. Just reply back with that. Okay? I mean, it really is. It’s just a lot of it is really just like kind of ignorance, like they just don’t know.

Forrest Blackburn:
Yeah. It’s just they’re new.

Lauren Hardy:
They’re new.

Forrest Blackburn:
And you know what? A lot of my guys, a lot of my acquisition specialists in the team and everything, we’re constantly cultivating relationships with wholesalers. And in my position, I talk with a lot of the more successful wholesalers, but I also talk with a lot of novice wholesalers and I’m happy to work with them if they’re onto something, right? It’s like if they found a goldmine, but they just don’t know how to pick at it. They just don’t know how to dig the hole. I am happy to help them dig that hole and figure out how to be the most efficient hole digger possible so that they can give me that gold. It’s less work for me. And then they can bring those deals to me.
So, if you’re insecure about your numbers, if you’re insecure about what you’re doing as far as wholesaling is concerned, and that makes you intimidated to reach out, please don’t. Please contact me and say, “Here’s a property that I found. I don’t know if it’s good, bad, or indifferent. Here’s what I thought the numbers were. Let me know if I’m right or wrong. And if I’m wrong, please tell me why.” I’m happy to walk you through that because if you have the initiative and the hard work ethic to go out and find these deals for yourself and lock them up, and you’re hungry to make money on these deals, I am hungry to buy them and fund your whole operation in doing so. So we can definitely work together.
And if you’re an experienced wholesaler, I’m not trying to dilute the waters by helping novice wholesalers, and you know what I’m talking about. If you’re an experienced wholesaler, you can appreciate a buyer that’s transparent in their buy box because then there’s a lot less guesswork. I kind of equate it to showing up to a restaurant and the waiter comes up and says, “What can I get you tonight?” And you say, “I don’t know. Just feed me.” He’s going to run back to the kitchen, he’s going to make a steak and potatoes and all kinds of great stuff and bring it out to you. And then you say, “Well, I don’t eat meat.” Okay, back to the kitchen. And now he’s got to re-cook something else, he’s going to make this great lobster dish and bring it out. And then you’re going to say, “I’m allergic to shellfish.”
So it’s this back and forth thing that just keeps happening. And all we’re doing is wasting each other’s time and that’s going to grow some frustration, which will drive a wedge in the potential relationship that we could have. So it’s so much easier if I say, “I want a steak and I want carrots on the side, that’s it.” And your job is to just go and bring that out exactly like that. If you come across a plate that’s got steak and that side dish, you’re going to bring it right to me because you know that’s what I’m going to eat. So it makes things a lot more efficient. It doesn’t waste as much time. And it really gets you into a criteria as a wholesaler.
Every wholesaler, every seller is looking for a buyer that can be their sole buyer. I don’t like to talk to a million people a day. It’d be great if I could only talk to one and they fund the entire operation. I’d love to be that for you. So get with me and we can go over the buy box criteria, and then it’ll set your parameters, and maybe you want to chew the fat and only focus on stuff that fits our buy box because you know we’ll buy it and you don’t have to shop it around and do any marketing and that kind of thing. That’s great. I’d love to work with you and I’d love to have you send over properties that fit perfectly, knowing that we’re probably going to buy nine out of ten of them.

Lauren Hardy:
I mean, you guys, just quick tip on how you can do that because I love to be able to provide practical advice other than, I mean, that was just a theoretical thing, Forrest, throughout there, but there’s actually a process behind that, so I’ll help you with that. So if you guys, it’s so easy, there are list providers out there where you can go on a map and put Forrest’s exact cities where he wants to be. And if he says, “I only buy houses that are 1000 square feet to 1500 square feet, they have to be between the ages of 1940 and 1995.” You can put those parameters in there and these list providers will give you every one of those properties on the map that fits that criteria. They’ll even specify whether it’s a vacant home or an absentee owned home.
So I get into a lot of that on a lot of the podcasts that I talk about. I talk a lot about direct to seller marketing. That’s all direct to seller marketing. If you guys need a resource for that, BatchLeads.io has an awesome list providing service. And if you guys use my code Virtual, it’ll get you 50% off. So exactly what Forrest is talking about. If you guys want to just narrow down, if you have, say, a handful of Forrests, okay? You’ve got Forrest and you’ve got maybe two other big buyers, because I do think it is a good idea to have a few. I mean, I think it’s a great idea to have a hundred thousand people like on your buyers list, right? To me, I say more buyers the better. But if you want to just work with a handful of the big boys and the big girls, then you can just source those leads, tailor fit your marketing lists to that type of criteria. It’s very easy with these list providers.

Forrest Blackburn:
And Batch Leads is a great source for sure. So guys, use that code because 50% off, Lauren, that’s amazing. That’s awesome.

Lauren Hardy:
I mean, 50% off the first month, and I do have a really awesome discount for the skip tracing. So if you guys are into cold calling, just use my code Virtual, it gets you a discount on all the things. So on a more personal note or company-wide personal note. So what is the hardest thing about buying all these properties? What’s the hardest thing about, say, buying for the show?

Forrest Blackburn:
That’s a loaded question, isn’t it? Well, obviously, I went back to my earlier statement when I was talking about content. For the show, everything’s got to have a lot of content. So, foundational issues and leaks and things like that. Those are things that people want to watch, and those are things that people are going through in their own lives and in their own homes. They have a leak and we’re entering into now going into winter months and people are going to be having, in Southern California, we’ll have some rain, right? We’re kind of lucky here, our weather’s are pretty, it’s a pretty thin line in between each season, but those leaky roofs are going to be coming up. And those are something that people are going to want to watch about and learn how to overcome that and what goes into that.
But an obstacle, boy, there’s so many obstacles to everything, right? But in wholesaling, really it’s finding not just the right wholesalers, which is who we’re all talking about right now, but we talk with a lot of sellers and just like any wholesaler, we are always trying to overcome their situations and try to help them out and provide a service for them. That’s kind of one of the biggest things that I really enjoy about being in this space is not just the building rapport and building that empathy for someone’s situation, but solving the problems that they’re going through. We’ve been gracious to get a lot of testimonials and reviews from a lot of our sellers that, I mean, they cry. They’re very emotional about the fact that we’re able to go in and solve a problem for them, whether they’re in a pre-foreclosure or we even contact people that have something as simple as water shutoff notices and things like that.
But a lot of these people were upside down and just because they haven’t raised their hand and said, “Hey, Tarek, contact me.” We do a fair amount of cold calling and outbounding that way, too, to reach to those sellers. So don’t be afraid to do that, guys. Don’t just be driving for dollars. Don’t just be knocking on doors. Don’t be afraid to set up a system. Systems and processes are what’s going to make you guys move even faster and be able to find more houses for buyers like us.
So, being able to utilize lead sources, being able to utilize text messaging platforms, being able to utilize outreach and lean on tech and software to kind of help you move the needle forward a little bit more, you’re going to see leaps and bounds differences in your bottom line, you’re going to see more properties. Obviously the more inventory you have, the more you have to sell. But overcoming a lot of objections and overcoming these problems with these sellers that changed their life.
You’re never going to be able to talk somebody out of their home. You’re never going to be able to talk somebody into selling you their house if they’re not interested in it, or if they don’t have pain and motivation, right? But if you can solve a problem for them, and a lot of times people don’t even know where to start. They just don’t even know where to begin to get themselves out of it. We talk to a lot of senior owners and senior owners are saying things like, “I only get to see my grandkids in Boulder, Colorado, every Christmas. And it’s because I fly out there and if I buy a lot of presents, I ship them out there early and then I’m only there for a few days and I feel like I’m a burden in their home. I just don’t know where to start. I don’t know where to begin to get out to Boulder.”
We’ll walk them through it. And we’ll say, “We found some properties for you in Boulder. I’m happy to send you over the listings and you can follow up on them yourself, but they really fit what you’ve been saying.” And they said, “Oh my gosh, that’s amazing. I didn’t even know where to begin.” And that’s kind of, on a small scale, some of the problem solving that we do. And it’s very rewarding on that side of things. And then obviously when we do sell the homes, it’s financially rewarding, but just financial reward doesn’t necessarily make everyone have wonderful dreams at night. We all kind of have to have that warm and fuzzy feeling that what we’re doing is not just putting money in our pocket, but it’s bettering the community, it’s bettering neighborhoods and it’s helping people out when they really need it.
That for me has been rewarding and a hurdle is always solving those problems and looking at it from a million different perspectives and from a 10,000 view perspective to kind of look at things that they haven’t seen and be able to address those issues and solve the problem. And I think that that’s why we’re able to pick up so many properties. We’re on a one deal a day rule. We do one contract per day. If we don’t do one contract in a day, somebody is in trouble, usually me, which is very aggressive. That’s 365 deals a year.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah.

Forrest Blackburn:
And I’m trying to push the envelope forward a little faster, obviously growing the acquisitions team and growing our dispositions team and relying on a lot of software to disposition those deals out. We use a software called InvestorLift. It does a lot of the dispositions for us on an automated kind of basis. And really relying on tech to kind of move everything forward. But that enables us to run really quickly and solve a lot of problems for a lot of people. The hurdle is always in the objections. This volume is finding the right buyers. And I’d like to think that as long as my buy box fits what you have, I’m the right buyer for you guys. Again, we’ll explore all that and I hope that I meet a lot of new friends after this podcast.

Lauren Hardy:
Well, you definitely should because this is the number one wholesaling podcast. I mean, this is all we talk about. We are super niche on this podcast. It’s all wholesaling, which I think that makes us different than a lot of the investing podcasts. So you definitely will make a lot of new friends. Let’s repeat it again. How can people best get a hold of you? And also are you on any of the social networks?

Forrest Blackburn:
I’m on Facebook. You can find me on Facebook. And my email of course is Forrest@TarkBuysHouses.com, and I’m readily available. If you send me an email and you want to chat me on Facebook, I think most of you, if we have connected before, you know that I’m always there to respond and reply. I am grotesquely busy all day, every day, weekends. Money doesn’t sleep, right? So I’m always available. So if there’s ever a question or a property that you want us to vet, please send it over. I’m going to take a look at it. I’m going to respond. I’m going to get back to you. And as soon as I have that vetted, if I’m available, it’ll get done right away. If not, it’ll be within 24 hours. And if it looks great, we’re going to move forward really fast. But yeah, Facebook, it’s just Forrest Blackburn. My email, Forrest@TarekBuysHouses.com. And yeah, I’d love to hear from you guys and start sending over some properties. Hopefully we can lock them up the same day.

Lauren Hardy:
I love it. Well, we’ll definitely include all your information in the show notes. So if you guys do have properties under contract and you guys want to get their eyes on it, you want to find a reliable buyer, Forrest is your guy, Forrest of Tarek Buys Houses. Forrest, it’s been awesome having you.
You guys, as you might know, I coach All Things Virtual, so that’s actually how Forrest and I got connected was we’re both virtual. We both have virtual businesses. I actually had Tarek, he had contacted me at one point because I was virtual and we put together that we’re in the similar market, so that’s a little bit about how we got connected. Being virtual, it’s enabled me to be able to expand my market territory so I can go where the deals are.
Forrest, as you know, Southern California, it is pretty tough. I mean, you have to be a pretty deep pocketed investor and pretty sophisticated to be able to buy these homes in OC and LA. I mean, you guys, you are competing against HGTV buying these homes in Southern California. So I personally chose to go to out-of-state markets. I just felt the margins were where I wanted to be at. They were a little better and it was just easier. It was just easier.

Forrest Blackburn:
No, I agree with you.

Lauren Hardy:
Easier to do deals out of state than it was local market. Some people have different opinions on that, but I personally, I’ve been in both. I do both. And I definitely think Southern California sellers are a little harder to deal with.

Forrest Blackburn:
From an advertising and marketing standpoint, I mean, the acquisition costs in Southern California for us are about triple what they are in Oklahoma.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah. I agree 100%. And it’s so funny, so funny Forrest, I got in this like IG DM war, it wasn’t a DM, it was like somebody, I had said this exact thing on a podcast and somebody who does a few deals in Southern California argued this point with me. And I was like, “Listen, I’ll argue until I’m blue in the face, but you don’t know how easy it is to do deals out of state because you don’t. You just know this area. So you don’t really have a leg to stand on in that opinion.” But you do Forrest, you do the market, you’re in out-of-state, you’re in here. Like you know.
So if virtual is something, if you guys are in an area and you just want to be able to do deals in other areas, check out my coaching program. You can go to VirtualInvestingMastery.com and you can find out more about it there. Apply if you’re interested. This was a lot of fun. I mean, I’m excited. This was kind of the first time I think that we’ve had an HGTV show on our podcast. So, it’s just really cool. I’m super honored that I got to do this. So thank you so much for spending-

Forrest Blackburn:
No, thanks for having me on the show. I really appreciate it. And Lauren, you’re always fun to talk to, so anytime. Send me your deals. Email me, friend request me on Facebook. Chat me up there, chat me up on email. I’m always available. And yeah, let’s do some deals. Let’s do some business together. If you’ve got a block of properties, send them over. I would love to try and pick them up. I mean, right now, like I said, we’re looking at almost picking up an entire town right now out in the middle of nowhere. So we’ll see what happens with that. But yeah, I’m buying right now. So if you’ve got stuff to sell, let’s talk.

Lauren Hardy:
Love it. All right, guys. You heard him. Well, thank you so much for listening everybody, till next time.

Leave a Reply

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

Wholesaling