Are you a stay-at-home mom looking for income-generating opportunities you can do at home? We all know motherhood is already a full-time job, but it’s possible to do it while wholesaling real estate. Today’s guest has combined being a mother and being an entrepreneur all in the comfort of her home. Joining Lauren Hardy in today’s episode is one of her favorite students, Chelsea Dabney. Chelsea is a mother of three and is currently crushing the virtual wholesaling game. She talks about her start in real estate investing and how she’s making it work while taking care of three kids at home. They also discuss the ups and downs in her wholesaling journey and the lessons she had to learn the hard way. Get to know more about Chelsea and how she’s closing deals at home, and gain insights from Lauren in today’s episode!
How a Busy Mother of 3 is Crushing the Wholesaling Game
I have one of my favorite students because she is a mom like me. Her name is Chelsea Dabney. She is crushing her virtual wholesaling game. Chelsea, welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me.
I’m so glad to have you because you’re one of my favorites because I relate to you a lot being a fellow mom and an entrepreneur. How many kids do you have?
I have three.
We are at a time of a global pandemic where our kids are not in school. Are your kids home with you?
Yeah, they are. I made a little office in my room and we made the office their homework room.
How are you juggling distance learning? Are you doing everything for them like you’re the teacher?
Yeah, I’m the teacher. They go on online virtual with their teachers but my little ones in kindergarten so that’s me all day.
The little ones are falling behind here because they can’t sit on a computer screen like that.
We have a tutor. That would be a lot to have them fall behind. That’s scary.
You’re doing the distance learning and I did it until I about lost my mind and sent my kids to private schools because those are still open here. I could only imagine how stressful that is. I did it for a long time so I know how stressful it was. I about lost my mind. It’s hard as it is to be a mom. If they were going to school like the carpool is picking them up and doing that, let alone having this additional stress for distance learning. It blows my mind that you’ve been able to also start a real estate investment company at the same time.
It’s crazy. I can’t believe I made it work so far.
When did you start your company?
If you want to make something work, you’ll make it work.
I opened my company in July 2020, not knowing I was going to do real estate investing. I had other plans. I was on YouTube one night and I saw a video. You were friends with one of my friends on Instagram. I started looking at your Instagram. I knew nothing about wholesaling and I kept watching YouTube videos. I decided I didn’t want to waste time doing that. I joined your program. I took it for two weeks.
It’s during the heat of COVID and putting in everything you want.
My kids had just started school. It was all right at the same time.
You weren’t busy enough. You hardly even knew what wholesaling was. You then took my course. Those people know what wholesaling is and they’ve been on YouTube University with wholesaling for a year before they buy a coaching program.
I had no idea. I knew I wanted to do it and I did not want to waste my time.
Let’s start with your education portion since you are still very new. Your memory is probably very good. When did you find time to listen to the course and get your education? What part of the day or when in the day?
I would wake up at 4:00 and do it before they wake up at 6:00 or I would try and stay up late at night, put them to bed at 8:30 to 9:00. It was more like 9:00 and then I would stay up until 10:30 but then I’d fall asleep so then I’d have to rewatch it again in the morning. I did a lot of rewatching, redoing and a lot of note-taking over and over again, the same stuff over and over to get it to stick.
I think I can agree with you. After I put my kids to bed, my brain is dead and I can’t absorb anything. I see where you’re going with that 4:00 AM. You have a fresh mind at that time.
As soon as my daughter hears I’m up, she wants to be up too. It’s hide and be quiet.
With headphones on, listening to the modules.
Try to be quiet and don’t let her hear anything.
You got educated and then when did you start marketing naturally, taking action to get a deal?
It had to be in mid-September. It was on a day that you had a coaching class. I didn’t get the part of only doing 100 at a time. We were on it. I heard you say that. I was like, “I let out 900 texts fast.” They were flooding me all at the same time but I ended up getting my first contract from the first time I ever sent anything out.
In between, it seems like there wasn’t a lot of time between you getting educated and you taking action. For a lot of people that I’ve mentored, there’s usually a couple of months of analysis paralysis between watching the course and then taking action. I’m sure you’ve seen this within our group. You didn’t seem to have very much. Did you have any moments of analysis paralysis?
Yeah, I did probably and I had got my first contract and it fell through. We’re going through a lot here and with the holidays and my dad got sick so it was a lot. I was trying to make it work but I think I was doing way too much at one time, which I always do. I started reading into more things and I wish I would have never done that. I did do that afterward but in the beginning, I had it in my head to take action, which I heard over and over when you had that interview with Steve Trang too. He always says, “Take action. Just go.” I told myself, “Go and I’ll figure it out as I go or whatever. I don’t know.”
What was the thing that you read into or what did you do that got you?
My deliverability rates were low and I couldn’t get as much back and it started to bug me. I was thinking maybe I should start a different way other than texting but I can’t do cold calling. I can’t do any of that because of the kids. Even when I do have to talk to other people, I literally go in the garage, lock my doors in the car and sometimes have to talk to people in my car so they aren’t like, “Who’s that in the background?” Some people don’t like that. I was going through a little stressful time there but my husband did set this little office up in the room. It’s helped out a lot. I’ve done a lot better since then.
It’s so funny with kids. You have to think of these little hats. I can’t tell you how many calls I’ve taken in my walking closet because it’s the most shielded place from their screams. They will know. They don’t give up. They will knock on my master bedroom door, pound and scream if I don’t answer. There had been plenty of times where I’ve been taking business calls hiding in my walk-in closet where nobody can hear them screaming. I let them scream. My kids are a little bit older where I’m like, “Go ahead and scream it out. We live in a free world.”
I know what you mean. I did a similar thing during COVID. I always worked on my kitchen table. I’ve got this kitchen table thing. I don’t know why but I do my best work on my kitchen table. I would say I started my business on my kitchen table because I didn’t have an office for a very long time. When COVID hit, the kitchen table became the learning center. That was their classrooms. I got a cute little setup and put it in the corner of my master bedroom. In fact, a lot of my lives and shows are me in that little quarter in my house, the bedroom. The reason it’s there is because that’s like the only place that I can do it at my house.
I don’t have an extra bedroom for an office. I can’t do it downstairs because the kids were downstairs doing the online learning. I put it somewhere where it’s hidden and out of it. I think that’s like a mom hat. Your kids are never going to want to leave you alone when they’re young like that. Under seven years old, they always want to be by you and stuff. If your workstation is very visible to them, the more that they’re going to want your attention. Me moving my workstation up to my room and me hiding away in my room while the seven-year-old is downstairs watching TV and stuff, I have bigger blocks between when she comes and bugs me.
My kid is in kindergarten. She’ll do it right here with me. If I’m on the phone, I press mute on and off. I feel like with anything, when there’s a will, there’s a way. I’ve always felt that way. If you want to make something work, you’ll make it work.
I know texting makes it easier because at least you aren’t relying on cold calling. If you had a cold call around, that would be almost impossible. You are now getting to where you have experience, understand the business and are closing deals now. You’ve already closed two deals. My recommendation for you is you can maybe take some of that money and hire a cold caller, maybe a virtual cold caller, somebody not US-based and have them do the cold calling and the texting.
I made that change. I used to have a separate cold caller and a separate texter for the longest time until a friend of mine was like, “My girl does both cold calling and texting,” because you can do both at the same time. I hired someone that he was the cold caller originally. I’m like, “I’m going to let my previous texting VA do other things for me. I’m going to have you do the texting.” It’s proven. He’s bringing in more leads so you might want to do the same thing. All you have to do is schedule out in your day your seller qualifying calls and the offers. It’s like when you give the sellers the offers and everything. Schedule that around the schedule with your kids.
I was looking on Upwork a lot. I gave one girl a task and I couldn’t tell on her hours if she was doing it or not. I paid extra and I didn’t know how it works. I was like, “I can’t do that.”
My advice with virtual assistants, they bill like attorneys, 3 to 1. VAs will screw you if you don’t know how long a task takes. That’s why I say you need to be a master at that task to be able to set firm goals. If it’s text message blasting and you know that you can get out 1,500 text messages, answer and reply to them in five hours a day then you have to say, “You’re capped at five hours a day, you have to get out 1,500 and your average response time has to be twelve minutes.” You have to have those controls over them so they know not to mess with you.
My virtual assistant told me some of the secrets. She even said that she knows somebody who taped a remote-control car to their mouse to make their computer look like there’s computer activity. They programmed this remote-control device to move the mouse around so it would look like they’re active on their screenshot. I got VAs that I can trust but it took me a while. I had some that did the same thing. They billed 3 to 1 and I let them go. You have to put those controls. When you find a good one, they’re the best so keep looking.
I was looking at Antoine. Have you seen his program?
It’s very important to have a mentor when you are new.
No, I haven’t. Take me back to your first deal because I remembered this was a fun moment for us because it was the one time that California opened up five minutes and we had an in-person meeting. You came. It’s the only in-person meeting we’ve been able to have because California has been open, shut with COVID. Wasn’t that your first contract?
No, that was my second because I had got one but I had had two at the time but that first one fell through. That one that we were talking about was my second one.
I remember you had issues with your JV. Tell us what happened with that deal.
I ended up closing it but it was a lengthy process because he had a lawyer involved. We used their title company. It was a mess. My JV partner kept telling me, “They’re not all like this, I swear. They’re so much easier.” We ended up closing that one and splitting it 60/40 then I went on to my next one and that one closed.
Your first one was a little bit more difficult but those are the lessons. Those are the ones where you learn something about that process, I feel like.
It was not fun at all.
I remember you even learned some things about JV partners and how there could be a conflict of interest.
I’m still going through that. I’m working with another one and there definitely is that going on.
I love giving very good practical advice in every episode. I want to get micro on this to teach you guys where there could be a red flag that you might not have seen. Chelsea comes to me and she’s like, “I got this contract. I think it’s going to work out. I even found a good partner, boots on the ground. He wholesales a ton of homes. He also buys and flips. He has rentals and is super active. I was like, “He sounds great.” You were like, “This guy is awesome. It sounds great but he said, instead of marketing the deal, he wanted to buy it himself.” I remember you being like, “That’s great.” You thought that was good.
It’s turning out not to be a good thing.
Why is that?
After you talked to him because you talked to him for me and you advised him like, “You guys shouldn’t be doing that.”
Take it back to what did I tell you about that and how that could go wrong.
He’ll get me down on the price. That happened to me on my second deal. At first, they were telling me, “There was a $12,000 spread there.” All of a sudden, ten days before it was supposed to close, they came to me and were like, “We want to buy this from you.” We already did research on the comps. “We have done the research. We will only pay you $4,000 above your contract price.” Right then, I said, “I don’t want to anymore.” They totally steered me away.
I have one that’s supposed to sign that I was going to do with them because we started it a long time ago together. They already said that they’re hinting at wanting to buy it. My other JV partner, I got him from Vince from the group. I started working with his JV partner and he’s so cool. That’s a huge difference. He responds. He’s so cool. He’s such a nice guy. It’s a huge difference.
You found the right person. I’m telling you, it’s like dating. You have to date a lot of people to find your soulmate. Finding a business partner or JV partner, you have to try out different people. I’ll explain this a little bit deeper with Chelsea, where she got a contract. It was an awesome deal. She gave it to somebody in the local market because Chelsea lives in Southern California so she’s virtual. She found somebody in the local market doing lots of deals. This person also happened to be a house flipper. He wasn’t a wholesaler with a buyers list. He flips homes and sells. He came to Chelsea and said, “I want to buy this one.”
He’s looking out for his own interest and going to tell Chelsea, “It should be priced $180,000,” when maybe Chelsea could have sold it for $200,000. He marketed it to all of his buyers. He was giving himself a deal. There’s a conflict of interest in that. I told Chelsea, “Do not sell the deal to your JV.” This is what can commonly happen. A lot of people don’t realize that the JV could even get a business partner to fake an offer. The JV can also hide the other offers like, “Nobody offered but this guy wants $180,000.” They can play all sorts of games. You want to make sure you’re working with an honest person. It’s hard to do that unless you have a lie detector test or worked for the CIA.
It’s not an easy process to know that they’re being honest. I told Chelsea, “Call the guy up. I’ll talk to him.” I told him how it was. I said, “She’s not going to sell it to you because there’s a conflict of interest in that. How do we know she’s getting the highest price?” I flat out said, “You’re going to market it to your buyers’ list. You’re not going to buy it yourself. You can’t buy this one yourself.” He was good with that. That guy ended up working out. It sounds like it happened to you again with another group.
It happened to me again with that same guy because he does all his business with another partner. His partner is the one that goes and markets the property and takes the pictures. They say they both do it but I think he had more of an influence on him.
Move on from that guy. We told him no. He found a way around it by having a partner come around and it’s still him. A lot of funny business could happen. You have to be trained to be able to spot these situations. At the time, Chelsea was super new. She did not understand or even think of that until I was like, “Red flag. This is what could happen.” That’s why it’s very important to have a mentor when you are new. I’m glad that you figured it out. You are so much stronger now than you were that day.
I remember when I got on the phone with him and I told the guy exactly how it was going to go. You were like, “I wish I could tell someone that the way you did that.” I was like, “You will. If you do enough of these deals and you start getting pulled around by people, you will start gaining that backbone to speak and be assertive and communicate your needs.”
I’m happy that I’ve gone through the rougher part of all this in the beginning. It’s helping me learn a lot about what I like and what I don’t like. I’ve even tried working with two other JV partners to see. My favorite, even though he wants to split with me 50/50, we’ve gone back and forth on this. It almost makes me want to do it because he’s so honest and responsive. I can’t be happier to work with him more than spending 60/40 and sometimes I’d lose deals because these guys wouldn’t get back to me.
I have an episode on the show with my JV, Roger. You should check it out. I always talk about Roger when I talk about JVs because he was my first JV partner. I did an episode with him. You will know him, his vibe and then you’ll know what I mean by like that right person. You’re doing good. You didn’t know anything about wholesaling. You’ve got a super busy schedule and you’re still able to make this work. I’m very proud of you. You’ve done well.
I’m super thankful for finding it. I can’t think of another something I could have done and been able to deal with what I’ve had to deal with at home and be able to continue doing this. My dad had a double bypass and I was still able to work, take him to the doctors, do all these things and with all the kids. There’s nothing else I could have made it work unless I was doing this for myself and not working for someone else doing something.
Chelsea, thank you so much for coming and sharing your story. It’s super inspirational especially to the moms out there that are looking for a side hustle that they can do around their kids. Thank you so much, Chelsea. If you are reading and you want to learn more, Chelsea, how can anyone get ahold of you? Are you on any of the social platforms, Instagram?
I’m on Instagram @Chelsea_Lee_Dabney.
If you guys want to reach out to Chelsea, go ahead and slide into her DMs. If you are looking for an awesome virtual wholesaling or virtual real estate investing coaching program, I’m coaching it. Check out www.VirtualInvestingMastery.com. If you apply there, you can learn all about the program that we offer. We teach all things virtual and it’s the program that Chelsea is talking about. That’s how we met. Thank you so much for reading and we will see you next time.
- Chelsea Dabney
- Instagram – Lauren Hardy
- Steve Trang – past episode
- Roger – past episode with Roger Godwin
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.