The wholesaling journey of today’s guest has been nothing short of awesome. Just like most people, he had to find his way around when he first started. Fortunately, he has also discovered several ways to triple his assignment fees along the way.
Max Jimenez is a tenacious wholesaler who knows what he wants. He’s also not afraid to try innovative ways to do wholesaling. And in today’s episode, he shared how he was able to earn as much as $50,000 in assignment fees.
In this episode, Max also shared his highest revenue-generating activities, his primary goal when doing follow-ups, and what the biggest investment is for him, among others. You’d surely learn tons of helpful insights in this episode, so don’t miss it!
The Unconventional Way To Triple Your Wholesaling Assignment Fees With Max Jimenez
I’m very excited like every other time because we have Mr. Max Jimenez with us. He is the perfect example of what can happen in a very short time when you commit to your results when you start taking ownership of your journey, and then you dive head-on into wholesaling. Thank you so much for being with us, Max. I appreciate it.
Thank you for having me on. It’s always an honor to get on a show with you. The man, the myth, the legend. I love it. I’m excited. I know you are doing great things and I’m excited to be a part of that and be here with you. I appreciate you.
We go way back. We met back in 2015. I have been able to see everything that’s happened since then. Your journey has been crazy. It has been insane and it all stems out from wholesaling. You are one of the best examples of what can happen and the type of life that we can tap into, the type of life that we can live, be committed to it. From your words, tell us your background, how did you’ve got started in real estate and how it all started.
We met in 2015, that was right around when I found out about wholesaling. I was working in construction at that time. I was in my 4th year going into my 5th year of working in construction. Before that, I have always loved sales and entrepreneurship. I have had people in my life that made an impact on me.
Some people were entrepreneurs and some own their own business but I never knew what exactly I wanted to do. It came to the time where, again, my thing was, I always wanted to do my own thing. I was great at my job and I did it with pride. Obviously, us Hispanics, take everything we do with pride. We are very prideful people. It wasn’t something that I wanted to do forever.
Around 2014, I reached out to a friend of mine that did real estate back in 2005 and 2006. He wasn’t active. I reached out to him. His name was Randy. He passed away. I said, “Randy, what do you think about us getting some real estate?” Like everybody and I’m pretty sure your audience as well, the first thing was, we were going to buy real estate. To buy it, you’ve got to get the money. We’ve got to buy it and fix it up and then sell it.
Usually, it’s thinking hammers and nails. There’s so much behind that.
We fall into this trap. I was guilty of that is, “Where am I going to get the money from? How am I going to find these properties?” That’s what started the journey right there but here’s the thing that helped me, when I put my mind on something and if I know it’s for me, I’m going to figure it out until I get it figured out.
Stickability. At the end of the day, it’s being committed and it’s staying on with the results. Even when the stuff is hazy, it’s not clear and your path is not laid out but you have that feeling or that sensation that, “This is the right thing for me to do now,” and you follow that path. Things are going to light up. You are going to run into the right people and the right podcast. You are going to listen to the right sentence in somebody’s mouth, and it’s going to resonate with you. A simple common can carry you for a couple of years. It’s amazing how that happens.
That’s true. I didn’t know. I didn’t have all the answers. I didn’t have the direction but I knew, again, stickability. I wanted to stick with this. I knew what it could do because I saw what my friend was doing back then. I’m like, “I’ve got to go, too.” I started putting in the work. I was working my construction job. In the summertime, I would wake up at 4:00 AM and 3:30 AM sometimes.
The good thing about that job is you are out by 1:00 or 1:30 so I had a majority of the day. Even though I was still getting up that early, I spent the rest of the day figuring out how I’m going to do this. Some of the things that I did, which probably don’t work now, because obviously, things shift and always change.
Things shift. Things are always changing. Some of the things you did probably won’t work today.
I started going on Craigslist and looking at properties. That was my first step. Back then, I didn’t know who these people were. Now I know that it was people who were wholesaling properties. They put them up for such a low price. I would pick up the phone and call them. That’s what I would do. “I saw that you have a property for sale. Can you tell me a little bit more about how do we go about purchasing them?” Cash, closing ten days and then I’m thinking like, “I’m not prepared for that.”
I go back to my friend and be like, “Randy, I’m going on Craigslist. I’m making phone calls but these guys are telling me that we’ve got to have the money now. We are not prepared for that.” Going back to that mindset where we all start where we are thinking we have to have the money, the connections and all that.
I’m like, “What should I do?” I kept at it and it was running into that roadblock. It became a roadblock for me but I’m like, “There’s got to be something here that I’m not understanding how these guys are doing this and how they are finding these properties.” This is my attitude. I’m being honest and transparent here because we all go through this. You can’t lie to yourself. What I want your readers to know too, is that every time you are running into roadblocks, it’s part of the process. You might have a comment on that.
It builds a backbone. I had one of my old captains up at the fire department. For example, we used to get these calls of brush fires. Brush fires take a long time to put out. You hated those as a fireman because you would have to sit on them for a couple of days and then pour water, and then sit on them and pour water. It was the crappiest thing. The one thing that he would always say was like, “It builds character.” That’s the thing. This was years ago. I’m still thinking about that. Every time I come across something that it’s an obstacle or something like, “Build character and I’m going to use it somehow some way.” Is this 2014 or 2015?
This is around 2015.
What did your wholesale efforts look like back then and what do they look like now? I know the journey has been insane for you.
I didn’t do a lot of door-knocking but most were mailers and bandit signs. That’s the marketing that I was doing because back then, that marketing still worked at a high level. You can send 100 to 200 letters, and you were getting phone calls from those 100 to 200 letters. You can pull out 100 bandit signs on a weekend and you were still getting calls from those bandit signs. That’s changed a little bit. Now, the contact ratio for a letter is a lot lower than what it was back in 2015 because we’ve got a lot more people in the industry. I locked up two deals, reached out to you on a couple of them to get some ideas on costs. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was still talking to sellers.
I loved it because now I wasn’t reaching out to those guys on Craigslist. I was dealing directly with the homeowners. That’s a different game when you are dealing directly with the homeowners. I was still working at my job, sending out mailers, going out to appointments and looking at properties. From when I started going all-in into wholesaling from June 2015, it took me eleven months to get my first deal, and it was for $11,200. I still remember it, my first day. I was excited. I was like, “This stuff works.”
It’s 11, 11. It’s got to be a sign. It was 11 to get your $11,000 deal. What happens is that once you get that first check-in, it becomes real, and then you know your efforts pay off. Something snaps inside your head and you get rewired and then you start thinking like, “I can do this over and over again,” and you started hitting your next deal. You start getting deals in the pipeline and closing 2 to 3 deals a month. It’s a life-changer. You were solo. You were doing everything by yourself during this time?
I was solo. My family helped me out. I had my daughter. They bought into it. My wife and my son were helping me out to fill out the envelopes and put the letters and the stamps on the envelopes while I was at work. It had the whole crew working. I have come a long way from the letters and bandit signs. Our marketing has shifted to higher-end marketing.
We are doing TV commercials. We are going to get back into a mailer, something that we have been talking about for a while. We are still doing cold calling because cold calling always works. Some of the other telemarketing like text message and RBM still works in some markets and some systems are having a challenge with that but I still shy away from it.
We are still doing RBMs but our bread and butter now from what we have seen is TV, and then we are going to go full-on into mailers as well, starting in January 2021. We are in one market with TV in New Mexico and Albuquerque. The first week of January of 2021, we are going to be here in Phoenix. We shot that commercial.
Everything works if you do it enough but the level of results is going to be different. For example, I have talked about bandit signs, direct mail and all that stuff. It depends on what area you are. For example, we do direct mail but we niche it out and we have a small list that we hit through direct mail but we are also hitting that same group of people through cold calling and different avenues like SMS.
That’s the thing. Every market is different. We are trying to catch the bigger fish. We are going after other marketing sources, which are TV and direct mail. Direct mail can get expensive quickly and you will lose a lot of money. You need to be niche with that. We are pulling leads directly from the county as well so we don’t buy all our niche lists. We pull them directly from the county. We have one VA that works 40 hours a week, and her sole job is to go to the County Recorder’s Office. Every county is different. Our county recorders, we are blessed because everything is on there. We can pull all the records.
Maricopa does a good job of keeping stuff lined up and having decent real estate county records. It’s great. I have seen other counties where you can’t find anything at all.
We are having a challenge now. Albuquerque is a non-disclosure state. The good thing that we did is before we went live there, we hired a disposition manager but we make sure we put them through hiring processes. One of the requirements was for them to be licensed for us to have access to the local MLS there. It has been working out great with him onboard with us.
You are tapping into different marketing strategies but finding sellers, where are the majority of your sellers coming from?
Before TV, cold calling. We had been and has still been delivering, for some reason, December 2020 as we know, tends to slow down a little bit but our VAs are still pounding the phones. For the most part cold-calling for sure. When we started, we were all over the place. Even if you are on your own and you want to create this into a business, you need to look at where are you going, where you are struggling and how to fix it.
That in itself is a huge golden nugget because if you don’t have the awareness to slow down a little bit and see, whether or not your actions are giving you results, you are going to be flying blind. You can scale processes and systems, and you can scale chaos. What stands true is that you can start this by yourself. What are your highest revenue-generating activities?
For me, the highest generating activity is closing. I’m not doing it as much because I’ve got Rubin who’s my right-hand guy. He’s stepping into that role a little bit but for me, that’s one of them because I love closing. I love going to the appointment but now it’s stepping more into a visionary role like finding the right team members. That’s one of them. I don’t do all the higher processes, I just interview, that’s it. At the end of the day, we want to make sure that we have the right team members.
The second thing for me is sales training our team members. We’ve got to make sure that they follow the sales process. I’m not involved in the day-to-day setting everything up but it’s more of, “Let’s have a quick session.” We do this 2 or 3 times a week. The other thing too is that, for me, it’s very important, because we have three VAs in the Philippines that run all our operations that you know who they are. They are in our systems.
Those four, you cut me in a transition. That’s the four that I can think of because that’s where I was at but now the transition is I’m going to get out of those four roles completely. For me, it’s going to be more goal full 100% into the visionary role. Create the bigger deals, build more private money relationships and build the bigger relationships. Those are going to be my three high-income-generating activities for 2021. We all started here. Going back to what Rafael was saying is that I didn’t just fall here. I don’t know about you. I always laugh. When people say, “How did you get so lucky?” It’s a learning process.
Preparation and opportunity. That’s what happens. If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.
Every time you run into a roadblock, understand that it’s part of the process.
That’s true. I love that saying.
I do the same thing. Every now and then, we will jump into a negotiation, and then put deals on the board. Why? It’s because I don’t want to lose that edge. It’s a skill, use it or lose it. We can play in that range. It doesn’t mean that because you have a business now, you can’t close. Go in there and play. Look at it from that perspective. That’s what this is. It’s a fun way of creating the life that you want to create.
You have done massive deals and I know you did a couple that was back-to-back. We were talking about him and I thought it was the same stuff, and it wasn’t like, “No, it’s back-to-back stuff.” You did two $50,000 deals back-to-back one month after the other. Let’s break some of that stuff down. Where and what type of property are those?
The first one was a manufactured home, affixed. That’s the key. It was affixed, which means it was attached to the land. A good tip and here’s a golden nugget for your readers is that, don’t shy away from manufactured homes. The key here is that you look at this one thing, which is when on tax record if it doesn’t say mobile affixed, then what that means is it’s okay. You can still do a deal, even if it’s not affixed but now you are going to negotiate a little bit of a deeper discount.
Now, your end-buyers are going to have to affix it to the land because when it’s affixed, it goes from real property to where when it’s not affixed to just personal property. Basically, you are only taking title to the land but this one in this case an example, was an affixed manufactured home North Phoenix. It was a three-month follow-up with this prospect.
When it’s not affixed, you treat it as land. It doesn’t mean that you can’t do a wholesale deal with it. It means that you have to sell the mobile as a regular vehicle transaction. You would sell it via the title. It works a little different but if you come across something like that, they can be big spreads like the one we are talking about.
This was a three-month follow-up. We followed up with this guy. Here’s the story behind it. He bought the property for his daughter and his son-in-law and they were supposed to live on it. He didn’t want anything to do with it. He goes, “I’m going to buy it for you guys. You take care of it.” They started missing payments on the taxes, mortgage, and well. There was a well there too because of where it was located. They ended up leaving. They left the property. The guy didn’t want anything to do with it. He lived two hours away. He lives in Payson, which is two hours North of where the property was.
Rubin, the acquisition guy, kept following up with them, “How’s it going?” With COVID, he was part of some type of COVID unit. Finally, we ended up getting him to come down. Originally, he wanted $180,000 and we ended up getting it for $150,000. We locked it up for $150,000. That was our contract price. Here’s the thing, we knew we were going to make at least $15,000 or $20,000 on it. From the time that we started from the point of contact, we already knew where we had that in.
When we contracted it, here’s what blew our mind, we went back and started redoing the comps, getting it prepared for dispo. The comps in that area shot up so much that we were like, “We are going to be able to sell this for $200,000.” He goes, “No way.” I’m like, “Put it for $200,000.” Sure enough, it didn’t even take a week to sell. This was a quick close because it was vacant. We closed it in fifteen days. Our total profit on that was $48,800 or something like that. That was the total profit that we walked away with.
Technically a land deal that you had to structure, you’ve got a little bit creative on how you structured it. I have seen a lot of deals go by it fall off the side margins because, “It’s a land deal. It’s a mobile home. I’m not going to look at it.” At the end of the day, if you are dealing with real property, anywhere in that transaction, there’s going to be a buyer out there that that’s their niche. That’s where we come in.
That’s where the art of wholesaling is. It’s in finding that type of buyer. If you go to the average rehabber, they are not going to know how to find sellers. That’s where we come in. That’s where our investment is. If you learn how to do that the right way, you can come in, hit it out of the ballpark like you did on that $50,000 deal, and hit it out of the ballpark again with another $50,000. What did the other one look like?
The other one was an inherited property. It went through probate.
Did you get it through a probate list?
Inheritance list. Directly from the county. You can pull this directly from the Recorder’s Office. All the files are there but you pull the list, then we skip trace it, and then we’ve got in contact with this gentleman. One of the siblings. He was the personal representative. A personal representative is when the court decides like you are going to represent the estate of such and such, which in this case was his parents.
What that means is that he takes control of what happens to the property, what happens to the personal property that’s inside the home as well, all the belongings and everything. He’s the personal representative of all of the estate, including the real estate. We’ve got ahold of him. This was another follow-up, too. This one took a little while.
He was in the follow-up. I always tell everybody, “How long should I follow up?” I said, “As long as it takes.” My one key that builds the follow-up is every time you follow up, are you following up to chit-chat or to push the sell forward? There are two differences. If you are calling to chat, which is okay, check-in but you’ve also got to make sure that it’s pushing the sell forward. If you are not pushing the sell forward, sometimes, you may be following up with a dead prospect as well. The key is in the follow-up.
There’s got to be an objective to that phone call. Somehow, someway, you have to put it into that conversation that you are still there. You are still making the offer. The offer is still alive. We do three things whenever we do follow-ups. It’s something that we have as a standard practice, which is we will always follow up until they tell us they sold the property or ask us specifically to not call them again. If they say, “Don’t call me again,” we will put them on a do not call list and that’s fine. Before we hang up the call, we always go through the objective of letting them know that we are still here, the offer is still on the table, and if anything changes, give us a call back before our next call.
We always ask for permission to follow up. Right before we hang up, we tell them, “Can we give you a call in a couple of weeks? Is it okay we give you a call?” Touch base and see where everything is at. They are usually pretty open to that stuff, and then you know that they are still in it. They are still vested. The interest may not be skyrocketing but they are still in there. What happens is that if you do it enough, what you will find is that changes. You are going to call them one day and they are going to be all into it. You don’t want to take it now. Why? It’s because it’s your first one.
We like to do two things when we set up the follow-up. We like them to set it up for us. We will say, “If you were me, when can I call you back about this?” Sometimes you will say, “Call me sometime next week.” The next week on Monday or Tuesday, we give them the option. It feels like they are making the decision. Tuesday afternoon or morning? That narrows it down and they are making the decision. At the end of the day, it’s them who set it up, not us. That’s something that we do internally. A lot of sellers are like, “Call me next week.” “I will call you.” We will leave it at that. What happens? You have no idea when to call.
It also leaves it open for them to tell you, “I’m busy right now. Call me again whenever or so.”
They set it up next Wednesday at 3:00 and don’t answer. We are going to say, “We called you. You scheduled for us to follow through with you on Wednesday at 8:00. We didn’t hear from you.” We call them out. They’ve got to defend why they didn’t meet with us.
It’s a two-way conversation on the follow-ups, on the cold calls even. It’s always going to be a two-way street. The perspective is that whenever you are making a phone call, you are coming in with a pen in your hand and asking for a favor but it’s not. We are there to solve a problem and it’s got to be a two-way street. We have something to offer and they have something to offer. If it works, we can make that happen for both parties.
At the end of the day, we want to make sure that we have the right team members.
It’s a good mindset to get into.
We are there to present a solution and make money while we are doing it because it’s a problem-solving solution. They are going to have issues. For example, that $50,000 for you were people who left the property and attended. They didn’t want to deal with it, and then there was an issue that needed to be solved. How about the other $50,000 deal?
We followed up a couple of months. He finally decided it was a little bit of a battle between them and the siblings, trying to figure out what they were going to do. What was crazy about this deal is the guy knew he wasn’t a full-blown investor but he understood real estate. I love talking to those people because I don’t have to spend a lot of time educating. That’s one of the things. It’s straight to the point, does it make sense or not? I was blown away. Here’s the crazy thing because obviously, our sales style and our sales process are usually pushing them away and trying to get them to understand like, “You can do this on your own.”
I even asked them at the appointment, “I’m a little confused.” He’s like, “What’s that?” I’m like, “Why are we here? You are an investor, you’ve got connections. You can fix it up.” I already knew that the reason why he didn’t want to do it was that he didn’t want to deal with the siblings. It was more sentimental property but I want him to tell me that. I wanted him to express that. He goes, “I don’t want to deal with this property. It was me, my parents and my sister. We have been going back and forth. I can fix it up. I have connections to be able but honestly, I want to sell it. Give my sister and my brother their money and get it over with.”
There was pain there because there was a battle. I told them, “That makes a lot of sense.” That moved the sell-on. That was my big thing. I’m talking to somebody who can do what we are trying to do. He just didn’t want to deal with it as far as because of the other siblings and stuff. We ended up getting that one under contract for $310,000. We pushed that property all the way up to $400,000. When we sold it we were disappointed. The reason we did that is that the ARV on it, once it was fixed up, was going to be $550,000. It was high ARV.
Here’s the key. We push our properties always a little bit more than what we think we can get for it because you’ve got to get into the mindset. If you are always pushing your properties to make a $10,000 spread, you are always going to make a $10,000 spread. You’ve got to start pushing the limit. You’ve got to be careful. It’s got to make sense within your quadrant of disposition. You’ve got to shift that mindset. We did that.
Most of our properties, we are pushing them maybe $15,000, it depends on the deal, more than what we think we can get because what happens with our buyers is they will come back and say, “I can’t be at that price but here’s where I can be at.” That’s $5,000 lower than the $15,000 but $10,000 higher than what we want them for.
At the end of it, we are sitting down in a field full of negotiators. You can count on your disposal. You are going to leave money on the table if you don’t want to get around that selling a property to one of your end buyers.
We’ve got a couple of low ball offers like $330,000, $340,000. Those don’t even get looked at, and then an offer came in at $360,000. Our target was to hit $350,000. Going back to that mindset, we probably should have set the threshold at $60,000 or $70,000. We would have got it. The funny story is, when you get to a position, obviously you can’t do this all the time when you are starting but I was hoping that the buyer would cancel. Take it down and flip it. I’m thinking like, “I hope this buyer cancels,” but again, on the day, he was good. We made a $50,000 spread on that property.
How long did it take for you since from the day the lead came into when you stamp that closing document?
It was five months.
People make $50,000 in a year, and you did that through the process that you already have in place.
The first one started a month or two before, and then the second one came back in. You’ve got to think that was two deals within those five months.
That’s one out of all the deals that you are closing. It becomes sustainable and something that can change the way that we live. Putting back and looking back at your business, what are some of the biggest things that have helped you through the process from day one to where you are now? Give me three.
This isn’t something that I have come to learn. The biggest investment is investing in yourself. You need to invest in yourself, whether that’s self-development and coaching, you can only get so far by yourself. If you want to go fast, you go by yourself. If you want to go far, you go with someone else. That’s one big thing. Go whether that’s self-development, coaching or whatever the case because you need to do it at some point.
Somebody has already laid out the track. Do you remember that quote that says, “You are standing in the shoulders of giants?” That makes so much sense. Somebody is already putting in the work. Stuff that I’m not good at, I will reach out, and then I will stand on somebody else’s shoulders and build on that to leap further and make it bigger.
The second thing is learning how to delegate at a high level because the other key is high-level delegation. It’s because you get to a point where you can literally not sit in all the seats for your business to survive. Not thrive, not make money, survive. Not saying that I was always a person that liked to have control over every position in our company.
This is by default. I learned this. You cannot have a thriving business until you delegate at a higher level. A little bit of a mindset shift is that I always want to be the best at everything, which I still do in everything that I do. Now, it’s more of that I want the people that come into our team to be the ones that are best at what they do better than me.
Creating leaders in their hats.
The third thing is, this goes into a little bit of self-development but some personal coaching. Especially for me, to be more intentional with everything because even though I still had a successful business, successful family life, and all of this, sometimes we lose that intentionality. Also, as entrepreneurs, we have a lot going on. Everything intertwined, life and work. Being more intentional with the things that I do.
I have a mindset coach that I talk to regularly. That technical stuff, for example, building everything that I have been able to put together on my end, the operating system, the business, I don’t think I would have gotten 50% to 60% of it done if I wasn’t working on my mindset regularly. I have a coach that I go to for that. It’s one of the cornerstones of my growth.
That’s what I’m doing now as well.
You cannot have a thriving business until you delegate at a higher level.
Thanks for sharing your journey with us. It has been an amazing last few years for you. You leaped through results. I love the fact that you are having ripple effects through Real Estate Disruptors and your business. You are creating solutions out there and inspiring people to move forward through action. I love it. Thank you so much for spending the time with us. I appreciate you.
No problem. Thank you.
Good deal, tribe. Thanks for reading. There has been no better time to take advantage of the best opportunity out there, which is wholesaling. If you are ready to cut the learning curve, go to and set up an appointment. If it works out for both parties, you may be invited to be part of the tribe. If you are a part of the tribe, I am looking forward to working with you on a one-to-one basis. Until then, stay focused. You’ve got this.
About Rafael Cortez
Rafael is an Organizational Psychologist and real estate professional holding ownership in multiple companies in various verticals. He has profitably invested in wholesale real estate over the last decade, runs an active business doing an average of 15 deals per month and is now passionate about using his investment knowledge, entrepreneurial experience and training as an organizational psychologist to help others learn about real estate investing through the Wholesaling Business Blueprint Coaching program with Wholesaling Inc.