Working at home already has its set of challenges. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work with your partner? In this episode, Lauren Hardy invites two of her students, Arielle Gelosi and Derek Dillon, who work together as a wholesaling couple. The duo shares how they managed to generate more than $30,000 since they first started their wholesaling journey with just 10 hours of work per week. Arielle and Derek also discuss what it’s like working with your significant other and share the advantages and challenges that come with the setup. They also talk about their wholesaling experience, and Lauren gives some tips to help them out along the way. Interested to learn more? Tune in and see what this coming wholesaling power couple is up to!
Case Study – How a Wholesaling Couple Generated $30k Working Only 10 Hours Per Week With Arielle Gelosi And Derek Dillon
I have a couple of my students, Arielle and Derek Dillon. They are a part of my Virtual Real Estate Investing Mastery Coaching Program. I’m super excited for them because, first of all, they are the first couple I have interviewed. I have not interviewed an actual couple yet. I want to talk about working with your partner on this episode because I know there are a lot of people that want to get into this with their boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife. I’m interested in how do you guys make this work? Before we get started, let’s introduce you. Welcome to the show.
Thanks for having us.
You guys joined my coaching program sometime in August 2020 and you have made $30,000 total.
Yes, $30,000 since we started.
You started probably the tail end of August 2020. There’s always that period of having to listen to the course and absorb the information. How long would you say, as far as when you first started taking action, did it take you to finally get those deals closed?
For us, it was a very interesting story because we were listening to the show and I decided one day, I was like, “Derek, how do we get involved in this?” Derek has a background in real estate. As for me, I have a background in accounting. He forced me to sit down and read the Wholesaling Inc. blog and I was like, “I want to do this. Let’s try this.”
Derek being someone who takes immediate action doesn’t have to wait to do anything, which is one of the things that I value in having him both as my life partner and business partner. Within the first two weeks of us throwing spaghetti at the wall, we already had our first deal and this was right before we enrolled in your course.
Honestly, in hindsight, I have no idea how we even did that in such a short amount of time but it gave us the confidence that we can do this and make this a real thing. After that, that’s when we started to figure out like, “What kind of systems and schedule do we need.” It’s figuring out all of those details. Once we had that first deal, we were like, “That was a gift from the world. How do we get the 2nd deal or the 3rd deal?” That’s when we invested in your course, started going through it and realizing like, “We need to use this software or we didn’t even think of doing that.” Even some of the templates that you gave us were so crucial in closing the deals that we have done since then.
Sometimes, before you get into some coaching program, you are more to surfing YouTube and listening to podcasts. The podcasts and YouTube give you vision but they don’t give you direction. A lot of people come to me with all these ideas but it’s a very crooked path. They are going all over the place, turning left and right, and not knowing what to invest their money in when it comes to marketing campaigns like, “What programs and software should they buy? What lists should they pull and then work on?”
It’s so easy to screw this up. You could have maybe landed on the wrong YouTube video from some guy that lives in Northern Virginia and some random list works for him in Northern Virginia but that’s a niche thing and he doesn’t have a ton of experience. He just has that one piece of the experience of, “This list worked for me.” Everybody in the country can see that YouTube video and then they apply that technique, and find that it doesn’t work or it didn’t work for them in their market. That’s because they stumbled upon a YouTube video that gave them some vision.
I don’t want to say you’ve got lucky because you earned what you did there with your first deal but you’ve got lucky that whatever vision you had was the right one and at least put you into a marketing campaign that worked. You ended up getting a deal out of it and then that was your sign from the universe of, “Let’s take this money, invest it, keep learning and get that direction.”
Now, you are honing your skills. My course gives a good framework and recipe. Follow my recipe. It absolutely works. When you have done ten deals, go ahead, go off-recipe and try different things if you feel like it. That’s the value of coaching programs. You guys had $30,000 in just a few months, which is amazing. You both have your own careers and do things full-time. What do you both do? What are your industries?
We found a way to find the trust in working with each other.
I’m an Accountant by trade. I have my own virtual bookkeeping business. I work with a lot of young Millennial women who are starting online businesses, whether that’s online coaching programs, yoga instructors in the online space, marketing consultants or any kind of Millennial entrepreneur who is using social media to market their business. I work within the books for them and provide them financial guidance so a lot of numbers for me.
That is such a cool niche to be in. Derek, you have a very interesting job. Please tell us more.
I’m still looking for a word that clearly defines the job. I call myself a firefighter sometimes but what I do is I have a clothing brand called Kleaver. When the Coronavirus wasn’t happening, I would work with metal bands toward helping them sell merchandise. I don’t know what to call it.
You are a clothing brand owner. You are an entrepreneur and you’ve got your own clothing brand. What is the niche or theme?
It’s a horror movie lifestyle brand. Teenagers love it so it pays the bills and I do love it.
Honestly, you can feel free to take or coin murder lifestyle and put it on a shirt. That’s fine. Send me a shirt that says murder lifestyle.
Will do. I like that idea.
That’s probably the most unique thing that I have heard in the industry that somebody is in.
It’s weird but it’s awesome. You found something. There’s a niche. People are interested in it. It’s so cool. You are both entrepreneurs and busy with that but you wanted to pick up a side hustle. How many hours do you work in your wholesaling business while you are juggling these careers?
Is that combined?
Let’s say combined. You guys are one unit to me.
Maybe ten hours a week.
We were smart. We hired a VA right off the bat because we knew, with our schedules as they were, we are already working full-time, if not more full-time, within our own business. Right away, we knew we needed help to do this. For the first deal, Derek put in a lot more hours with cold calling. Once we had that money come in from the deal, we immediately hired a VA to start helping us with texting and marketing.
In the very beginning, it was a lot less. We have taken the month to figure out a way to restructure our own businesses so that way we can dedicate more time to the wholesaling and figure out how to scale this without neglecting our other businesses or our relationship in the process. There’s a learning curve to it but I feel like in the past, to close those deals, it has been about ten hours.
It’s not that much. There are a lot of people that have a spare ten hours. You, in a few months, made $30,000. If you think of what you could do, that’s inspiring to a lot of people that have jobs that maybe they make $60,000 a year salary. That’s half of somebody’s salary but they work full-time. That’s crazy. The amount of financial freedom that this business gives you is amazing.
The one thing that we both relate to, that we both have the struggles is we live in a pretty high-priced area. You joined virtually because you live in California. You guys live in LA so this business is tough. It’s difficult in an area where real estate is so valuable and sellers are very aware of the value of their homes in LA. Did you try doing this in LA at all?
We fooled around with lease options here in LA.
That’s for a day.
For one day, you were like, “This doesn’t work.”
Sellers are very savvy here in Southern California. Everybody, no matter how old or young they are know the value of their home and what their neighbor’s houses are selling for.
There’s this cultural thing of like, “We live in Southern California and the Sunshine State.” It’s more of a cultural thing that everybody knows that if you own a house here in California, that’s your biggest asset. It’s really hard. You are lucky that you didn’t at least try to make California work for a while because it’s tough to make it work and it’s frustrating.
At least you have that foresight to go virtual before you wasted too much energy and got too discouraged because what a lot of people do is they start in these areas, California, Miami and New York, not knowing because they listened to a YouTube video from some dude in Northern Virginia who is doing this and it works.
They are like, “I’m in New Jersey and I’m going to try it here.” The same technique doesn’t work there because it’s a completely different market and the same here in Southern California. They give up and they are over. They are like, “This business doesn’t work. Forget it.” It’s like, “It does work. It’s just that it doesn’t work for you very well.” You can do it. People do deals here. It’s difficult and it’s going to cost you a lot of money in marketing dollars.
You need to be honest with yourself like, “Do you and your partner communicate well?”
Let’s talk about a couple of goals. You guys are so cute. I love the idea of couples working together. I have always had this fascination with it. I have a boyfriend but I’m a single mom. When I started this business, I was married and my ex didn’t have an interest. He had his own career. His career he was doing while he was growing in it.
He didn’t have an interest in going with what I was doing so I was doing it solo. I have always been doing it solo. Now, I’m thinking, “I’m opening up my life to people.” I have a man in my life who actually has flipped houses, funny enough. We are compatible. We have similar careers and we have talked about working together.
I want to ask, “How do you make it work?” Also, “What are some of the obstacles?” We mustn’t go into things with blind optimism. I’m like, “I could be blindly optimistic. We are going to work together to make it great. Everything is going to be great. The company is going to grow. We are going to make all this money. We both get to quit our full-time jobs.” That’s probably the blind optimism but in reality, working with your partner, is it all that great? Is it all roses and butterflies?
It depends on the day. We are good at communicating with each other. You need to be honest with yourself like, “Do you and your partner communicate well?” Whenever there are issues that come up because we have different styles of how we run our own businesses, how we like to lead team members and how we like to even set goals. Both of us have strong personality types, both successful in our own ways, are trying to tell the other person, “You’ve got to do it this way,” it requires a lot of communication and patience. We are both difficult because we both think that our way is the right way.
Did you just go in it and assign roles like, “You are obviously going to be the financial one and then you are more probably marketing?” What did you do?
We figured out what our strengths were. When we first started, he was handling acquisition because he is a marketing genius. I don’t know how he does it. Derek is one of those guys where it’s like, “I can sell you my pen. Give me two minutes.” I don’t know where he gets it from. I think it’s because he was a real estate agent in his past life.
In my early twenties, I was a real estate agent in New York City in The Hamptons. I didn’t want to do the footwork of driving buyers around to look at properties and having sellers complain. That’s how I stumbled onto wholesaling and I was doing that in Philadelphia. I already had an idea of wholesaling, just her not knowing as much about and having no experience. It was a fun learning experience to watch because she enjoyed it. That’s all I was hoping to see was a passion out of her.
He was handling all of the acquisition sides. Once he would have a contract, he would pass it off to me. I would figure out a disposition, finding a buyer, talking to buyers or marketing it in Facebook groups. We had designated roles. We weren’t always in each other’s business but at the same time, I needed to know what was going on on his end and he needed to know what was going on on my end. That was the easiest way.
Now, he is starting to let me take on some cold calls, which is a learning curve. It was great because he had the experience but at the same time, it was so strange, me having to go to him every day like, “What am I doing? Bossman, what am I working on?” That was a little strange for me because usually, I’m in charge.
That’s a good point because somebody has got to be in charge a little bit. That must be weird to change that role of like, “Now, you are the boss for these eight hours.”
Especially when she is the boss of the household, to begin with, she has got to take orders from me in real estate.
That’s tough. That would be hard for me. I’m not that great at telling my partner what to do. I’m not that bossy. I’m very easy going like, “I am whatever you want to do.” “What do you want to eat? Whatever you want to eat.” I’m that partner.
That’s more like her.
I don’t know if I would be able to be like, “Call these ten people.” I wouldn’t be able to do that.
That’s how I am and it doesn’t work well with her.
He would tell me to do things and I would be like, “I’m not doing that.”
Would you ever where he would tell you and you are like, “Why don’t you do that?”
Yes, all the time. That was a me-issue and then I realized that I was the one causing hiccups in our business that we are trying to grow just because I wasn’t willing to let him take charge. Our biggest point was that me surrendering like, “You know what you are doing here. You have done this before. You know what’s going on. I need to listen to your advice,” but it also required me to learn on my own because there are times when it’s like, “I don’t want to ask him for his advice. I don’t like his advice.”
During those times, I would have to go on a YouTube spree, go back to your course or have to learn for myself so that way I learn the skills to gain the confidence where I wasn’t asking him every five seconds, “Is this what I’m doing?” It was my own little development journey but now that I feel like I understand how all the wholesaling pieces go together, we can have a conversation about it rather than him being like, “You’ve got to do this X, Y, Z,” and me being like, “I don’t want to do it because you said it.”
Our schedules are completely different. She has been doing her tests on her own and then I do mine throughout the day and check in with people. It works much better this way because now, we found a way to find the trust in working with each other and she knows what’s going on. I don’t want to make her feel like a baby.
I am in the real estate world, seriously.
You are going to learn it. Take your financial strengths and improve there because he might not have that skill.
Since he was handling acquisition, he was giving me numbers. I would look at those numbers. I would be like, “That doesn’t make sense.” I’m not selling it for that price because I would be the one trying to find buyers and I’m like, “I’m not going to find a buyer for that price.”
In the last one we closed, Lauren was the one that helped us get that price down because we had to renegotiate the contract. We locked it up at a price that was way too high. That was our acquisition manager’s fault and then Arielle texted you saying, “We’ve got this property. The contract is about to run up. How do we get this lower?” I don’t know what you told her.
Working together with your partner requires a lot of communication and patience.
What did I say?
It was in one of the posts that we put up. We would have to be honest with the guy and be like, “We won’t be able to buy it for this price.” We had to go drop it at $10,000.
It was $12,000. He came down and then we ended up selling it, which we wouldn’t have been able to do because I was ready to give up on that contract. I was chalking it up as a loss and she put a fire under my butt and said, “Don’t let this thing die.”
Ask for the reduction because, chances are, there are so many investors out there that the seller was knowledgeable. He has probably had other offers on the property that was the price that you tried to reduce it to but then he thought he might have gotten lucky by getting you guys to agree. He was secretly crossing his fingers and holding his breath a little bit of like, “When they come to tour it, are they going to be able to pay this or want to?” I guarantee that’s what we found is our sellers are not surprised that we come back and say we can’t pay that. Chances are, they had already gone through maybe two escrows or entertained several offers so they know you are being fair and they are ready to sell.
That’s what happens all the time. I recommend when you can’t make a contract work because you go see the place and find some unforeseen repair or the house is in the worst condition, you just have a conversation with the seller. “Mr. Seller, did you know that you’ve got a really old roof that needs to be repaired or replaced and that costs this much? Could you see yourself adjusting the contract to $93,000?” That’s how I say it. I like to say, “Adjust the contract to $93,000.” It sounds a lot better than reducing your price.
I’m going to say that.
You’ve just got to find better ways to say things. That’s cool and then you saved the deal and got it.
It got an offer over us.
It’s beautiful when that both works on both ends. If you’ve got one, you push one up and push one down. That’s the sweet spot that we love. That’s amazing. It’s great that you are in this together because this business is hard. I 100% needed a partner my entire career. What I did instead is I hired someone.
When I hired this person, his name is High. A lot of you know who Hai is or you have seen him on some of my stuff or videos. You see Hai’s name all the time. Did you know we have a student in our group his name is Hai Nguyen? It’s the same name, which is funny but not the same person. I hired Hai when I only had two years of experience. I was like, “I need a right-hand man. You are going to be my assistant and learn everything. I’m going to teach you everything. You are going to be able to replicate me because I’m a busy mom and I can’t always take seller calls.”
I gave him some initial job roles of lead intake. He mainly had to handle the lead intake in updating Podio, following up with leads and then I did more of the acquisition role. I have scaled it since then. Hai now runs my company. He is my work husband. I have implicit trust. He is a signer for my company. We don’t talk all the time. He closes the deals and approves pricing. I trust him fully on that stuff. I’ve got lucky there.
If you don’t have a partner or spouse that wants to do this with you, you can do what I did and hire someone to be that person. I hope for anyone that they get lucky and find someone like Hai because I found somebody who has believed in me as a person and he stuck with me for years. Hopefully, everybody can find somebody like that or they can do it with their partner like you guys are doing. You are awesome. How can people get ahold of you if they have any questions? Are you on social networks like Instagram?
You can reach out to me. It’s, @ArielleGelosi.
What about you, Derek? Are you anywhere?
I’m on Instagram but I don’t want to scare the readers with my handle. It’s, @DerekDillon666.
I’m totally looking up your murder lifestyle.
I keep him out completely of my business Instagram handle. I don’t need that.
It’s an online persona in itself. It’s this point. I’m an emo kid that turned it into a job somehow.
That’s amazing and cool.
Now, I’m best friends with rock stars I grew up listening to. It’s cool and weird. I wish I had a private personal Instagram that was a little different. If you will look me up, you won.
I’m sure we won’t miss it. If you guys are interested in a coaching program that is more specific to being virtual, I have a Virtual Investing Program. All things virtual investing and virtual wholesaling. If you guys want to check out, www.VirtualInvestingMastery.com. We’ve got a great group. Arielle and Derek are in it.
We are having fun. Students are killing and crushing it, living anywhere and investing where they want. That’s what I want to always say. If you guys are interested, apply there. You guys, I’m so proud of you. Hopefully, you are going to close a lot more in 2021. We will have you back and you can update us on how you have grown this business.
I look forward to it.
Same here. Thanks for having us.
- Virtual Real Estate Investing Mastery Coaching Program
- @DerekDillon666 – Instagram
- @ArielleGelosi – Twitter
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.