It is never too late to start building your real estate business, serve your community and tick off goals in your list no matter how old you may be. Joining Brent Daniels on the show today is Carson Leonard, a 17-year-old high school student doing deals while he is in class. He will share how he was able to set himself up and provide value to a market with just over 400 people.
Even just being a self-starter, Carson was able to conquer the market. He invested in learning valuable techniques for his business by reading books. He is a perfect example of how having the right mindset and the willingness to take everything in from his mentors and put it into action produces massive results. His goal is to be a licensed real estate agent once he turns 18. His journey will surely pump you up and get you on your feet.
- TTP Cold Calling Training
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
- Warren Buffett
- Carson’s Youtube channel
- Carson on Instagram
- Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
How a 17-Year-Old Living in a Tiny Market Closed His First Two Deals in Less Than 90 Days
Let’s get started with this thought and fact. All growth depends on the activity. There are a lot of people out there that are extremely interested in being a real estate entrepreneur to being a successful real estate investor, but something is holding them back. There is almost like an invisible force field stopping them from taking action. It’s that education loop that catches people. I want to build up my confidence and courage before I can go out and start speaking and meeting with distressed property owners and finding great opportunities.
I need to prepare mentally, warm up, go through different scenarios and hallucinate different opportunities coming my way and interact with certain personalities and situations. All of a sudden, nothing happens because education comes from the action and results. That’s where you are truly getting us a step ahead. All of a sudden, you were on the path of financial freedom because you are going out there and finding incredible opportunities, which leads me to this. This interview is going to be unlike anything else because this is a seventeen-year-old.
I’m going to have a conversation with a seventeen-year-old who is wholesaling out of a town with over 400 people, Wheatland, Indiana. This kid is going to blow you away. I hope that this gives you the courage and confidence that you can go forward. I don’t care if you’re 20, 25, 30, 50 or 60. However old you are, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you go out there and serve your community. You find the 6% to 10% statistically speaking of people out there who need your help and are in some distress. The 6% to 10% around the country, in every market of people who need your help to solve their property problems. I hope that this gives you confidence. It is my pleasure to introduce to the show Carson Leonard out of Wheatland, Indiana.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. I 100% agree with you. I’ve got buddies who are stuck in analysis paralysis, if you ever heard that term from BiggerPockets. It’s terrible. It catches you. It grabs you and keeps you trapped. You can only learn from the action.
You’re seventeen. Million different things are getting thrown at you all the time. What made you want to start building a business while you’re in high school? What about your brain? How does it work that all of a sudden you’re like, “I need to go out there and provide value?” I wasn’t doing that. How did you find that? When did that start?
It all started when I first got my job at Walmart. I’m not good at a job, so I don’t know what it is. I like to bring creative solutions to things and try to help people and do something valuable. I started reading a few books about value and wealth like Rich Dad Poor Dad and learning that money is nothing but a measurement of value. You and I can be out here wholesaling, not necessarily doing very much work. It’s a lot of work but not doing as much work as a bricklayer or something. It still comes out on top in terms of income because of the amount of value that we’re providing.
I started doing that. I have an extreme desire for exponential growth with wealth. I always had an infatuation with Warren Buffet’s style of value investing and companies. I started learning about rentals. I learned how lucrative those were. Whenever I started looking into REITs, Real Estate Investment Trusts, seeing how people could get in with low or no money down. I started cash flowing. I took my real estate agent course for the state.
Analysis paralysis is terrible. It catches you. It grabs you. It keeps you trapped. You can only learn from action.
I’m not old enough to be licensed yet. Once I hit eighteen, I’ll be licensed and able to pursue a career as an agent. I’ll be doing it but more so on the side of my wholesaling business. I want to keep growing. I want to get rentals. Eventually, I want to start moving from wholesaling to cherry-picking the best deals and start doing my flips to the point where I’m no longer wholesaling. I’m flipping.
That’s a very natural progression. Wholesaling is the foundation. Throw away the word wholesaling. Wholesaling is sourcing discounted properties. That’s what it is. It’s the skill, arts or whatever you want to call it of finding discounted properties. Once you master and get consistent with that, once you’ve got a healthy pipeline of opportunities for that, that’s when you can start doing incredible things, fixing and flipping, building your portfolio, developing a property, lending on deals. There are so many different options that you can have, but it starts with your ability to find discounted properties.
Most real estate investors miss this step. Most real estate investors are getting deals from us. They are counting on us to source those opportunities. Start from the ground floor, find these properties, and build a machine to always feed you good discounted properties. You are going to build wealth faster than the person who skipped that step and they’re getting these properties from us to build their rental portfolio or fix and flip business. We get an extra 10% off on average on these properties by going directly to the property owner. I love that you’re doing that. Talk to me about your schedule. You go to school. When are you hunting and going after these properties?
I’m fortunate. I took enough classes in high school that I only had to do half-day and half year. I only go until noon, Government and Econ. I’m not going to lie. I scan Zillow. I look at those newly listed leads and I’m texting agents on my phone in class. I at least like that.
You’re in class looking at Zillow. You’re texting agents about what?
I’ll say, “My name is Carson. I’m texting about your listing on whatever property or street. Can I get some more details on it?” I won’t just get any property. I try to look for ones that at least look a little bit distressed because if you go after those random properties, more likely than not, you’re going to find an agent who is trying to sell someone’s home, trying to upscale or moving to a different home. Stealing the equity out of people’s pockets is one thing, but you’re not likely to get a deal that way anyways.
Do you have Zillow on your phone?
I get on the laptop.
You’re looking for properties that look like they need some renovation and love. You text that agent and say, “I’m interested in this property.” Are you starting to negotiate with them on the price?
I don’t do that until I learn what the property needs and then a little bit about why it’s being sold. Once I have an idea, I’ll run my comps before I even text the agent to know if it’s worth pursuing. I try to find out everything I can about the property. I’ll start negotiating as soon as I reasonably can. I don’t want to pitch a price that’s higher than what I should be and then lose a deal because of that.
When you’re texting these agents, are you essentially pre-qualifying them and what’s going on?
It’s a distressed asset. I always offer double commissions because dual agency is legal in Indiana, making them more attractive to put in my offer. It also helps that I’m also looking at the newest listings and I’m usually the first person who texts. I called a listing that was up for not even a minute. I got on Zillow and it was listed one minute ago, with zero views and saves. I called the lady. I was like, “Fast, aren’t I?” She was laughing about it, but that’s a lead I have in Indianapolis that I got.
What made you call on that lead?
If you just go after those random properties, more likely than not, you’re going to find an agent who’s just trying to sell someone’s home.
It looked a little distressed and it said the seller had never lived in the home. That told me a few things. Maybe it was a rental property and is a tired landlord. Maybe it’s probate. It was probate. I’m working through and they are attracted to an as-is all-cash offer. They don’t want to clean it out. They don’t want to mess with it. I’m working with them on that, but it’s in pretty good condition.
Aren’t you competing against multiple offers as it hits the market?
When you’re first, you’re first. You keep on putting in more offers and properties because you’re going to get hundreds, if not thousands of nos, but you’re searching for that one yes. Those deals are out there. Think of it as a crowd of houses. You have to manually skin through and find them. That’s why you keep talking to people and having those high-quality conversations with distressed sellers or the people who represent them. I don’t just look at MLS leads. I also look at for sale by owners. Those are usually better, but sometimes people put them up there. Sometimes they don’t care about the property at all and they want it gone.
Do you feel like it’s area-specific? Are you going to bigger cities? Are you going to your local city? Where are you targeting your efforts?
Most of my efforts are in Bloomington and Indianapolis. I don’t want to mess with small deals because what’s the difference between a $50,000 house versus a $300,000 house? The assignment fee, nothing else. Maybe the competition, but I feel like it’s easy to stay ahead of the competition as long as you’re consistent and taking action every single day.
The amazing thing is if you combine consistency and being very on the ball when it comes to over-communicating and consistency, you’re going to win. People will take less for their properties because they want to work with somebody they’re going to communicate with. They feel like it’s a better customer service experience and this is going to be a lot smoother for them. Believe it or not, not everybody cares about the price. It’s the truth. They want it to be smooth and be done. They will trade potential equity for speed and convenience.
It happens thousands of times every single day. It’s going out there and having enough swings at the plate so that you come across those opportunities when somebody does say yes after 199 people said no, but that one makes you $10,000, $15,000, $20,000. I agree with you 100%, Carson. Looking at all of the people that I’ve networked with that have these big, robust businesses and bringing in millions of dollars from wholesale operations to people that are getting going and the people that I’ve coached around the country, it’s about 10% what we make on a deal.
Do you want to get 10% of $300,000 or 10% of $50,000? That’s what you were alluding to earlier. When you’re thinking about that, everybody reading this, make that a consideration. I would highly suggest you only go after properties that, once they’re fixed up, sell for at least $150,000 because I want you to make a minimum of $15,000 per deal. You got to net a lot more and then all of a sudden, you get a bigger opportunity to invest that money.
First, we work for the money and then that money starts working for us. That’s when we find financial freedom and freedom of schedule. I love this technique that you’re going after the agents with the properties on the market, taking shots and seeing how many offers you need to make to get a deal. Do you have rough numbers on how many offers you have to make to get a deal through the finish line?
I’ve only been doing this for a couple of months, so I’m not going to lie to you. I don’t have those KPIs tracks, but if I had to make an assumption, maybe roughly 1 and 60 leads that I look at for sale by owner. You also have to consider that you and I will be different in what we look for. What you look for might have a higher success rate. What I look for might also have a higher success rate, but I could be missing a lot of deals out there because of something I might not be looking for.
That comes with experience. The more offers you make, the more you’re going to understand, “That’s the sweet spot.” This area is up and coming. People don’t know yet. They opened. They’re building a new factory or some economic hub that is going to bring jobs to this area. People don’t know what’s going to happen in 18 months or 2 years before this gets going, but things are starting to warm up. All of a sudden, you’re like, “This is a great fishing hole.”
That’s something that reels me away from stocks into real estate. With stocks, insider trading is illegal. With real estate, you can learn as much about a market as you want to. You can know the investors, what they’re going to do, the rehab projects they are going to be taking on soon, what companies and businesses are going to be entering the city. That has a huge play on property values. You can pick up a property at a retail price or asking price. You could take it to an investor who sees the value in the property that the seller may not because they also have that insider information. You could still make a wholesale deal out of it.
People have different strategies, Carson. A lot of these bigger companies, the hedge funds or internet buyers like Zillow, Opendoor, Offerpad and some of these other ones got different strategies. Sometimes they buy up a lot in a market. They understand the supply and demand. They raise the prices of all of them based on the comps that they bought one of their properties at cash, completely legal.
It’s easy to stay ahead of the competition as long as you’re consistent and you’re taking action each and every single day.
It’s interesting not to get into the weeds with that too much but let’s break down a deal, Carson. This is what people want to know about. They want to see you take this thing from start to finish. Seventeen years old, goes to school until noon, comes home and starts grinding and building his wholesaling and real estate investing business. Let’s prove it to everybody.
I’ve got two that I would like to talk about. The first one, I messed it up a lot and I missed out on some money because of it, but it’s all right. It doesn’t matter. I’ll talk about my first deal in Evansville, Indiana. It was a project that was completely gutted. It was down to the studs. It had a new roof on it. It looks like the exterior was good, but the interior needed everything. It was listed on for-sale-by-owner in Zillow for $29,900. I found the motivation and the dude he was like, “Failed rehab project. I’m not looking to do it anymore. I want it gone as soon as possible.”
I’m like, “I could probably have it gone a couple of weeks if you do $22,000.” He was like, “Really?” I was like, “Yeah.” We started getting in talks. At this time, I didn’t even have a contract. I had my mentor refer me to an attorney out in Indianapolis. He made me some contracts, so I got that. I sent them over to the seller, but I had made a bunch of mistakes because I was a minor. I didn’t have an LLC set up yet so I could legally do contracts properly. My buyer was nice. Instead of screwing me over and taking the deal out of my hands, he gave me $500 and he was like, “I’m going to take care of the contracts and everything for you. You found the deal, so I’ll still pay you a little.”
I could have gotten a couple of grand out of it reasonably, but it doesn’t matter. I’m seventeen. My living expenses are our gas. I drive a hybrid, so it’s not even that big of a deal. I was so happy to get my first deal done. That was the big thing. It’s a proof of concept. I got it done. I’m like, “I could repeat this. I could do this again. I know where I messed up and what I need to do the next time. Instead of taking home that $500, take-home maybe $5,000 or $6,000.
You didn’t have a contract. Do you have a local mentor that you work with? Who is this mentor? How has that played into your confidence?
I’ve got a couple of mentors. These guys are more experienced people who do real estate in general. Phil Wiley is a great realtor in Illinois, but he has a bunch of rentals in my city. I like him. He is a great dude. He is experienced and a great agent. He has a bunch of rentals. He is knowledgeable about things from markets to legal stuff to talking with sellers in general. Anytime I have an oh-crap moment, I can call him up and I know he will pick up the call, which is great. I honestly wish I could get more value, but I don’t know-how. Shout-out to Phil. Thanks for everything.
My other main mentor’s name is Mike. He is an agent in Indianapolis. He is a wholesaler and he gets a lot of his leads from mailers and referrals. Aside from that, he is knowledgeable about creative wholesaling like sub-to. He has taught me all about that. Lease options, I don’t know if he taught me about that or someone else. Owner financing. He referred me to the title company and that attorney who got me the contracts. They’re genuinely helpful people. I came into here thinking that people might not be as helpful, but it’s almost like everyone I talk to is always nice to you for talking to them and asking those questions.
I wouldn’t recommend you go up to someone say, “Will you be my mentor?” That’s not only rude, but it makes you look bad. Mike reached out to me on BiggerPockets and he said that he wanted to help me out, which was nice. Phil, I cold-called him off of a cash buyer list. I was looking for cash buyers before I found my first deal, which I know I would rather find a deal first and then a buyer. That’s what I was doing. I found him and he was like, “You’re seventeen? Slow down.” He wanted to teach me as much as he could before I started doing such a serious thing and potentially getting myself into legal trouble. That’s a lot that can go wrong. You don’t want to be on the bat on the stick of that. He has helped me quite a bit there. He has helped me dodge some bullets.
Be proactive in your business and find good people who have experience and that servant’s heart and want to give you some advice and guidance. That’s fantastic. Ninety-nine percent of this business is picking up the phone, calling somebody, having a good tone of voice, having energy and enthusiasm for this business and asking for some help, how you can provide value to them and what they’re looking for so that you can bring them deals.
Especially if you’re reaching out to people doing, these are millionaires in your market. These are people that have been doing real estate forever. How about reaching out and saying, “How can I find you a deal? What’s the best way that I should do that? I want to build this relationship. I want to bring you more money and opportunities. How do I do that?” “Do this.” That’s the conversation. People will open up like flowers. They would be so welcoming.
This industry is incredible in how many people are willing to share if you’re willing to go out there, provide value to them and bring them more opportunities. Real estate investors, we’re like junkies. We love deals. Somebody’s going to bring us so deal and you’re my new best friend. That’s phenomenal. Let’s break down that second deal.
In Bloomington, Indiana, I found it on a for-sale-by-owner on Zillow. It was listed for $80,000. I called up the guy. I was running comps in the neighborhood and stuff is selling for $180,000. I’m like, “This is probably pretty good.” They’re selling for $180,000 in 2018 and 2019. I’m like, “This must be good.” Since then, real estate has appreciated 10% to 15%, if not a little more. It also happened to be a nice neighborhood. I called them up and I found out what was up with the property. He got a lot of bank auctions and he picked it up for $60,000. It was a huge fix and flip project. He didn’t have the money to take it on.
It needs foundation repairs, floors, walls, pretty much everything but a roof, electricity and furnace. Everything else needed completely redone. I got them in talks and then I was able to negotiate $68,500. I’m like, “I can come in here. I can take this property and be gone in a few weeks. You can make some money on this, even though you didn’t even touch it.” He got something out of it, which is great. I was able to find a buyer and sold it for $75,000.
Take that consistent action. Be proactive, build up that courage, pick up the phone, and talk to these people.
Did you net how much?
That is a celebration and recognition of you going out there and being proactive. I’m sure that a lot of people saw that on Zillow. If you probably go back to it and look up that address, you can see how many times that property has been viewed, but there was that one person that reached out, made the connection and put it together and got paid $8,500 by putting it under contract and getting that over to your cash buyer. That’s you. That’s incredible. Did you have a parent or somebody sign the contract to lock this up? Who did the contract for you?
After the mess with my first deal, I talked to my attorney and we got something completely new worked out. I formed my LLC. I have 100% ownership in it but what separates me from the LLC is its separate entity. The LLC doesn’t have to be eighteen years old joint assets. I can’t sign legal contracts for buying real estate, but I was able to assign someone an officer role in my company. It informs the state that they have the authority and only the authority to sign on my behalf real estate transactions. That’s my mom. She DocuSigns and then it works. It’s legal and clean. It lets the title be conveyed. The title company sends out a check to my company and then I put it in the company’s bank account.
How is your pipeline in leans? How is it going?
Close to three months.
Take that consistent action. Be proactive. Build up that courage. Pick up the phone and talk to these people. You’re picking these up with people that want you to call them because they’re for sale by owners. They are excited for you to call them. You’re also going direct to the seller and get bigger deals that way, in my opinion and experience. $8,500, technically $9,000 between the 2 and 90 days. You’re an inspiration. I hope that this hits the hearts and minds of younger people and everybody as an inspiration but I hope that it shows people that there are options out there.
You’ve got different options besides staying in a box and following the path of most people. You don’t have to be average. You can go out and be exceptional and build something special you’re passionate about and fulfills you. Many young people understand their potential and don’t know what outlet to put it towards. You put it towards real estate. It’s a great life.
The difference between people that own real estate versus not is night and day. It’s a huge difference. What an inspiration and story. You’re a shining example if you take action. If you’re pointed in the right direction and understand that there are people out there that will trade potential equity for speed and convenience, you’re going to win. That’s awesome, Carson. I love it. Thank you for sharing. How do people get ahold of you? What’s the best way?
They can find me on Instagram @Carson.Leonard_. I’ve got an email address that you can send. It’s not a personal email, but it’s a second email if I want to give it out and I’m afraid someone might spam or something. I still check it, though. It’s CarsonLnrd@gmail.com. Also, YouTube channel Carson Leonard. I want to start making content. I’ve been recording myself speaking with agents and sellers.
Thank you for coming on here. I appreciate you telling your story, inspiring, and giving people some confidence to go forward. I hope that all the people you know are waiting on the sidelines. A big shout-out. Here is the challenge to all of you out there that are waiting on the sidelines to gather all the information to take action. You don’t need to follow in Carson’s lead and you’re going to be finding some incredible deals out there. Thank you, Carson, for joining us.
For anybody else that is interested in joining the most proactive group in real estate investing, it is the TTP coaching program. Go to WholesalingInc.com/TTP. Check out what it’s all about. We’ll show you who to talk to, what to say and how to be efficient. That’s what we’re teaching there. Go check it out. Check out all the testimonials. Do your research. Google it. If it feels good in your gut, sign up for a call. I look forward to working with you. That’s it for me. I love you, guys. Thank you for joining us on the show. Until next time. I encourage you to talk to people.
- Carson Leonard
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
- Phil Wiley
- Carson Leonard – YouTube
About Brent Daniels
Brent Daniels is a multi-million dollar wholesaler in Phoenix, Arizona… and the creator of “Talk To People” — a simple, low cost, and incredibly effective telephone marketing program…
Also known as “TTP”… it helps wholesalers do more, bigger, and more profitable deals by replacing traditional paid advertising (postcards, yellow letters, bandit signs, and PPC) with being proactive and taking action every single day!
Brent has personally coached over 1,000 wholesalers enrolled in his “Cold Calling Mastery” training, and helped 10,000’s of others who listen to him host the Wholesaling Inc. podcast, watch his YouTube channel, and attend his live events…
A natural leader, Brent combines his passion for helping others with his high energy, “don’t-wait-around-for-business” attitude to help you CRUSH your wholesaling goals as quickly and easily as possible!