Apparently, tens of thousands of dollars in profits in just two months is not too much to ask for, even if you’re a newbie to wholesaling. Chris Arnold’s guest today did just that by using the right marketing channel that suits his needs. Dan Deleo is part of the REI Radio program and has generated $81,000 in profit in just two months of running live ad spots on radio! He discusses how he left his 9-5 job in the corporate world to pursue a fulltime career in real estate investing, how he went through that process while being a husband and a father, and the marketing channel that has produced the best results in his real estate wholesaling business. In this episode, Dan breaks down his journey from the corporate world to real estate and his advice for finding more deals and generating bigger profits.
The Marketing Channel One Newbie Wholesaler Used To Generate $81k In Profits In Just 2 Months
We’re back with another jam-packed episode where we share the tips, tricks, and strategies you can immediately implement to start making money in real estate…RIGHT NOW!
As always, we are excited that you are with us. You know me. I’m going to come out and tell you right off the bat what we’re going to talk about and what you’re going to get from this episode. It’s going to be twofold. I’m excited to have my guest who is part of the Rhino Tribe, Dan DeLeo. We’re going to talk about two things. It’s funny because I remember this as well. When do you quit the 9 to 5? If you’re 25 or 27 years old and you want to do real estate full-time, you can walk in, drop the mic pretty quick on your boss, and walk out. I remember being there. You can live off ramen noodles for $1,500 a month.
When I started real estate, I was in a house with a couple of buddies from college when I was 25 years old. If I close the deal, I was good for three months, but how do you make that same decision when you’re in your late 30s and 40s and you have 3, 4 or 5 kids and a wife? How do you navigate that terrain because your decision has a lot more risk? What we’re going to talk about with Dan is how he went through that process and quit his 9 to 5. On top of that, we’re going to talk about radio and the fact that this guy has been on for two months live and closed on the books $81,000 in revenue off of the radio in two months. That’s a big deal. I’m excited for you guys to know about that as well.
Dan, what’s up? Welcome to the show. I’m glad to have you.
I’m so pumped to be here. I appreciate you having me and it’s a great way to start the week. I’m looking forward to chatting with you.
For those that don’t know your background to the rest of the tribe members, tell us about where you come from and give us a snapshot of you.
I’m in North Carolina. I come from a background in the corporate world to have a fifteen-year run, both in the supply chain management and then the service industry. I’ve got a wonderful wife and three awesome kids. They keep things lively around the house. That has been a lot of fun. I started investing in real estate a few years ago. Through that process, I started this as a side hustle like a lot of people do and self-taught. I spent a lot of time networking, learning, wholesaling, flipping, buying and holding houses. That’s the deal.
What type of real estate are you focused on, whether that’s wholesale or building a rental portfolio? What’s your lane?
I like to consider myself a deal engineer, to be honest. My thing is I want to create passive income. Passive income is great. You hear this from people. There are three different kinds of checks. There are quick checks, the wholesale, fat checks, flipping houses, and forever checks, buy and hold. I like checks of any kind. I’ll take them all but I’m 60% wholesale, 30% flipping and 10% buy and hold, all single-family.
Grab the opportunity to grow professionally. Take hope and turn it into a firm plan.
We’re going to be talking about how you got out of that 9 to 5 corporate world. Let me begin with this. When you started that side hustle, when did you start to get that feeling of like, “I can’t wait for the day that I get to walk in, walk away from this corporate job, and do this whole real estate thing that I love full-time?” When did that kick in for you in the six and a half years? Was that year 1 or 2?
I love real estate. I was always intrigued by real estate but I had to get myself to believe that I could be successful with real estate. That came through taking action over a period of time for me. In the second year that I was investing in real estate, it went from, “This would be a cool way to make a little bit extra money in addition to my job,” to, “This is the vehicle that could be the rest of my life. Not only do I love doing it, not only is the opportunity there, but I can support my family doing this. How do I get from point A to point B and make this a life?” It’s between years 1 and 2.
In your six-and-a-half journey process of doing real state, when was it that you walked away from the job? How long did it take?
It took me until almost the end of my fourth year. I was good four years in. Finally, I made the jump and haven’t looked back. I’ve been having fun ever since.
That’s what’s interesting. The desire to walk away came much earlier than when you knew it was wise and practical to walk away. Here’s what you wanted to share. You wanted to share three things that you would tell those that are, “When you’re in my life circumstance, you’ve got a few kids and more responsibilities. You’re not 25 years old able to live off of a very small budget per month. This was my journey and how I did it.” The first thing you said was you didn’t just let it be a desire. You wrote out a plan and roadmap for your exit out of the day-to-day. Talk to us more about that.
It’s straightforward. If I were 23, I would peace out of my 9 to 5 in year one, year two at the latest, but I had a responsibility. I’m sure a lot of readers feel the same way. It’s like, “This would have been great to have thought about fifteen years ago but here I am. I have a wife who is awesome and supportive but does want food on the table. I’ve got three little kids. When I started my business, we just had our second. I have three children under ten years old. I love them to death. I want them to have every opportunity in the world. I couldn’t be selfish and walk away from a job without a plan in place to ensure their quality of life.” There are a lot of people that are in that spot.
What I would tell them is it’s doable. Don’t get lost on social media, “You have to do this and that.” Put a plan in place that works for you, your family and your life. In that way, you’re taking hope and turning it into a firm plan, whether that’s, “I need to generate X amount of money in passive income each year to cover my bills,” or, “I need to do so many deals each year.” It’s a little bit different for each person. Some people don’t want rental properties. They want to focus on capital growth or vice versa. It doesn’t matter what your plan is, but you need to make a plan and then start chipping away at it and take action. Don’t just hope but take action and a step forward every single day on that plan that you put in place. You’ll get there quicker than you think. Once you’ve got it, you’re going to be able to get there.
Here’s what was good about what you’re saying. As practical and common sense as it is to create a plan, I would ask those reading right now that want to exit out of the day-to-day. Have you written down a plan? Not some plan that you have in your head, but have you documented even down to the numerical amounts of what you need? I love the psychology of what you did for yourself because you had to manage the desire to want to leave, but also the knowing and wisdom of when to do that, but I’m sure getting those little wins on that plan, “Although I haven’t dropped the mic and walked out on my boss yet, I know that through these steps, I can see myself getting closer.” I’m sure that helped mitigate that desire. They call it the entrepreneurial seizure that you’re wanting to get out of. I imagine that was good for your brain in how to manage those emotions. Is that accurate?
That is super accurate. You have to write down your goals. They have to be tangible. I look at mine every single day, short, medium and long-term goals. It keeps you on track and motivates you. When you’re checking the boxes off on that plan, that momentum builds and builds. If you’re like me, on the one hand, the pull is this frustration of like, “I can’t wait. I want it to be the day that I can walk out of that office and do what I want forever on my own.” On the flip side, you keep yourself in check and motivated by seeing the progress that you’re making. You’ve got to write it down and then enjoy those moments when you’re checking the boxes off of that list.
I want to go back to something you said because it’s something I do as well. I hope the readers caught it. I’m like Dan. I look at my goals every day. When I say every day, that’s Monday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, I try to clear my head and not be so in a business mindset. Part of my morning ritual is to look through all the goals that I’ve set for myself, both on the business and personal side because it’s an anchor for me to keep me from chasing shiny objects and focus on what I set out for the year to do.
You got two people on this show telling you that’s a good discipline because I know a lot of people always like to ask that question, “What disciplines do you have in place? What does your morning ritual look like?” I do that as well. Number two, this is a mindset. Number one, you felt like you have to have a plan, but number two is patience. Elaborate on that and make it more practical. What did patience look like for you through this process?
It’s easier said than done. Let me start with that. When you’re excited about what you’re doing in the track that you’re on, you want to go day one but particularly, when you’re in my spot and you have a family, you’ve got to be patient and make sure you get to that goal. Don’t jump prematurely. You have to find the sweet spot. You don’t want to wait until years after you were ready. At the same time, you don’t want to jump when you’re halfway there. Back to having a plan in place, I knew exactly how much monthly income I wanted to have from my real estate business before I made the jump.
In my own case, and this isn’t for everybody, but I got to that number and then I waited a few months longer. I said, “Having that number a little bit and being patient could allow me to compound the growth of where I’m going because now I’ve got that money to do what I want to do, but what if I invest a little more? How quickly can I turn that into X plus 2 or 3 and set my family up?” Being patient isn’t a bad thing. It’s hard. I’m not saying to do it to be so patient that you’re missing the opportunity, but know yourself and your situation. Make sure you’re in a good spot and then jump to make that.
We have a saying that we use in our company all the time and I tell this to a lot of buddies, “You got to have both right action and right timing.” If you have the right action and the wrong time, it’s not time to move forward and it might be the right time and the wrong action. I always tell people, “Is this the right action, right time?” For you, it’s like, “This is the right action, but what I’ve got to determine via patience is the right time.” When those two things collide, then you know you can move forward and make the appropriate right decisions. That’s another great principle.
Number three, choose a lane and stay focused. I always like to say, “There is a correlation between having a diluted focus and a diluted bank account.” The more you look at people that are successful, the more focused they become. I heard Warren Buffett say one time, “The one thing that I know about myself is I say no to about everything,” which is hard to do. There’s so much to do in real estate. There are so many opportunities. That’s the problem. What you found is if you wanted to make this exit that you planned out for yourself, you needed to find your lane and get it from a certain aspect of real estate. Talk more about that and what that looked like for you.
I’m not a great reader. My wife gives me a hard time about it. I don’t read a ton of books but I try to read as many as I can. One that I read that helped me was The ONE Thing by Gary Keller, which talks a lot about finding your one thing, focusing on that, and having laser vision for what is that thing that by doing that one thing, everything else is going to fall into place for you and become simpler. As I lasered in on what my one thing or focus area was going to be for real estate, I knew for me it was wholesaling, flipping, and buying and holding single-family investments.
Look at your goals every day and clear your mind to be focused and not get distracted with the unnecessary.
It’s so easy to get distracted by some of these shiny objects that are out there. When I say shiny object, that applies to anything that is not your immediate focus. I explained where my focus is. For somebody else, it might be self-storage or apartment syndication. All those are cool but my advice would be to choose where you want to play and know you can’t be everything to everyone. Stay focused on where you want to be because you’re going to get from point A to point B so much faster. Single-family was my cup of tea and it kept me on track for where I want to be. Wherever you decide to play, hone in and be an expert on your area and lane. It’s going to get you where you want to go a lot faster.
One of my favorite quotes is by a guy who is a professor in Dallas. He used to say, “There are many things that I can do, but there is one thing that I must do. The secret of concentration is elimination.” I’ve always held to that. We have to eliminate all of those things in our life that aren’t focused on that one thing that we should do. If you were to ask me why I see a lot of people struggle is I take a look at their business because they come to me for coaching. Usually, I find that they’re doing way too many things at the same time and completely diluted focused.
I don’t know any entrepreneurs that don’t go down that path, feel the pain of that, and then learn the power of focus. It’s part of the entrepreneurial journey. Number one, create a written plan, take action on it piece by piece, and get the joy of marking your journey closer to your exit. Number two, be patient, right action, right time. Number three, stay focused and choose a lane because it’s going to get you out of the 9 to 5 faster if you become an expert at one thing rather than a jack of all trades at a lot of things.
That’s great practical advice from Dan. He goes, “I’ve been there and done that. I’m a guy that had three kids. I’m not in my twenties anymore. I did the corporate world and made an exit. I’m doing exactly what I wanted to do from day one that I stepped into real estate.” Let’s transition and talk about radio. We came at the front when we started this thing and I want to paint some context here. You’ve been on-radio live. When we say on-radio, running advertisement live for a total of two months. In that two months, how many stations are you advertising on?
I’m on three stations.
The first thing I want you to know is it’s not like you got to come in and slow-play radio if you do it right. You guys are going, “This is a systematic and methodical guy.” He has come in and got on three stations in the first 60 days. That’s aggressive. How much are you paying in total monthly for all three stations?
The total monthly for all three, I’m at $1,370 a month.
That means, on average, each station that you’re on is costing you about $450 per month, give or take. Is that about right?
The first thing I always tell people is, “Radio is very affordable. This is what keeps people away from the radio. I made the assumption as everyone else does. I got to be paying $10,000 a month to even start radio.” Dan is over here running on three stations at $450 a month. From that, you’ve closed and funded three deals. When I say funded, that means money back to you, made a profit on. The total of those three deals has been $81,000. Let’s break those down. What made up that $81,000 of those three deals? Did you wholesale them or fix-and-flip? What did that look like?
All three of those were wholesale deals.
Was that one big pop in there, as you said, “Quick money, fat money, forever money?” Were that one fat deal and two little small deals? How was that broken down?
That was one small deal and two pretty fat deals. Small deals are good deals too. Let me tell you, that small deal I did, I’m about to close a second house from that same lead.
They got more than one home or did they refer you?
It was a landlord who wants to downsize. They had more than one property. She reached out from my ad on the one. One of the tips I would tell everybody is to always ask a seller if they have other properties.
Don’t let a goal just be a desire. Write out a plan and a roadmap to keep yourself on track.
As funny as that though is that if you don’t ask, you could find out later that they do and you simply didn’t ask. It’s good practical advice.
I’ve been talking with her and she needed help with this one house. She had not been able to sell it for a year and didn’t know where to turn. I said, “Let me market it for you.” Two weeks later, we had it sold. I took care of that one. The other two have been larger deals.
I want to be sure that you just didn’t get lucky on one big pop. This has been well-distributed or allocated between the three, so two sizeable deals and one small deal. I don’t even have a calculator to do that Math because I can’t do it in my head. At $2,700 with $81,000, that’s a high dollar-per-dollar return. Let me step back. If someone is reading and they’re like, “I’m starting to get to know this guy, Dan. This guy is methodical and systematic. He is thinking through his decisions before he makes them.” You could have gone out and chosen any marketing channel. There are a lot out there to choose from at this point, even particularly with technology. Why radio? Why did you choose that source?
Lack of competition was the first thing. I go into someone’s house and they’ve got 40 direct mail pieces on a table. I do direct mail as well but the competition there is fierce. I was at a program talking to some other investors and one of the gentlemen had been on radio through your program. We got talking about it. On the flight home, I was like, “Dang.” I listened to the podcast but it made it real to me to back up the podcast with that discussion. I was like, “I got to look into this. This is crazy.” In radio, the biggest thing I’ve seen is there’s less competition. The other thing is it’s crazy to me the amount of credibility that radio has brought to my business. I’ve been marketing for years but what is happening now is as soon as the ad runs, people will call. They’ll be like, “I’ve gotten a direct mail from you two years ago. I had seen your billboard and then I heard you on the radio and I had to call.” It brings everything together. In their mind, I’m spending a ton of money on the radio.
They’re like, “This guy is everywhere and must have a serious budget.” They don’t understand.
They’re like, “This guy is on the radio. He has got to be legit.” It has been mind-blowing how that credibility has impacted the quality of leads we’re getting. It has been awesome.
We can’t understate that competition piece. I might have told this before on the show. Tony Hsieh with Zappos wrote a book called Delivering Happiness. It’s a great book. After he sold Zappos, he got into playing professional poker. He said, “Here are some principles I learned from that. One of the most important principles I learned is when I walk into a room, the most important decision I ever make is what table I sit down to play at. It doesn’t matter how skilled I am, how great I am at poker, or how experienced I am. If I sit at an overcrowded table, I’m not going to win like I would if I sit at a table that’s not overcrowded.”
When it comes to marketing, I always remind people, “It might work, but if every other wholesaler in the US is doing it, I don’t care how effectively you’re doing it, it’s just saturated.” It’s important to find the outlier channels that exist that nobody is using. What’s funny and comical about radio is it’s the channel that everyone knows about but nobody is using. It went under the radar for everybody. It’s almost like you sit back, scratch your head and go, “How was that missed? Radio has been around forever before TV.” Besides the fact that you love that you don’t have competition, it’s a force multiplier for what you’re doing with direct mail. What might be one last thing that you’ve appreciated about this channel for you? Maybe tie it back into where you’re at in life with three kids.
It’s funny you bring that up because my kids have heard my ads. They’re like, “Dad, do your radio voice for us.” I’ve become a celebrity in my own house, which is cool too. It’s hard to get your kids to appreciate you but they like that. I’ve had to do that more than once at the dinner table. The other thing is that these are warm leads coming through to us. For years, going back to my story, I had a plan and I wanted to get to that plan as quick as I could. I spent a lot of nights off writing out direct mail pieces and a lot of time online marketing my business. That’s great. I still do those things, but the return rate on that stuff is so low. With outbound marketing like that, you’re sending it and hoping you hit the right person. With radio, the best part is I know that when that phone rings, they’re motivated. I feel like I’m starting with the bases loaded already.
That’s a great analogy versus something where you’re just sifting through, trying to find a gold nugget and all of the dirt that surrounds that. On top of that, unfortunately, the dirt that surrounds that a lot of times is yelling at you because you spammed them, which makes it even harder to keep mining away for that one piece of gold.
In this business, you have to have thick skin and get used to rejection. Why beat your head off the wall taking that as the accepted way of doing business when there’s such a better way to make it happen? What I came to realize was for somebody to stop, pick up their phone and call me, they’re motivated to do that. Don’t miss that call, listen to what their problem is, and help them solve that problem. You’re going to get more deals than you ever have before because you’re set up in such a great spot.
I like what you said. Knowing that when the phone rings, the person that’s calling is motivated and wanting to talk to you. I’m about building businesses that I enjoy, not businesses that beat me down. If there’s an easier way, then I’m going to take them. What I mean by easier is smarter. If there’s a smarter way to do this, then I’m going to take it. If you’re reading and you’re like, “This radio thing, I’ve been chewing on and thinking about it.” You got a guy like Dan that comes in and goes, “Based on day one with my goals and wanting to exit the business, how I want to build this business to support my family, and having a lifestyle to spend time with my kids, then radio might be that thing that you’re looking for.”
As always, go to WholesalingInc.com/REIRadio. Book a call and see if your market is open. At this point, we’ve got a good amount of markets that have been taken. Moats have been drawn around them because when it’s working, people are like, “This is my spot,” so I get it. Dan, great practical wisdom. I appreciate you coming in and talking about something that I know was super valuable for some of the audience. That is, “I have a desire to exit out of my day-to-day, but I’m a dad and husband. I need to be a good steward of my family. I’m responsible for them. I have to somehow take the dream that I have and also figure out how that collides with the responsibilities and practicalities of what I got to deal with waking up every day. That’s tough because it’s what I want and what’s best for my family.” You modeled a great job of what it looks like to navigate that path and do it right.
I even go back to what you said, “Even when I was there, I had enough patience to kick back a little bit longer because I knew if I put a little bit more cushion in the bank, I could grow my business faster.” That shows a lot of self-discipline. You’re playing the long game, not the short game here. I value that. Dan, thank you so much for coming on. It’s a fantastic job. I’m super proud of you for coming in, following instructions, crushing it and closing $81,000 in the first two months. You did it right. To the rest of you, guys, thank you so much. Until next time, we will talk to you soon when we add more value.
About Chris Arnold
Chris Arnold is a 15 year Real Estate veteran who has closed over 2500 single family real estate transactions in the DFW metroplex. Chris is the founder of multiple companies that are managed by a US virtual team, which allows Chris to run his organizations while living in Tulum, Mexico full time. His passion for leaders has led to the creation of Multipliers brotherhood which serves the top 5% of real estate entrepreneurs out of the US. Most recently Chris has launched his REI Radio coaching program. This program is designed to teach real estate investors the marketing stream that everyone knows about but NO ONE is doing!