Stephan Lindstrom who once was a lineman, climbing poles has successfully earned $150K for only 5 months of doing wholesaling real estate business. The man who didn’t think he possessed the strength or energy left to climb back on his feet after being bedridden is now raking in six figures each month as an entrepreneur. Such an inspiring story reflects how a person can bounce back after a setback.
Having been on a different road and starting out with no experience did not discourage Stephan. He took a huge leap as he constantly thinks about other people who don’t have our backgrounds but still succeed. In this podcast, you will enjoy more of how Stephan established a life that he has never imagined.
From Climbing Utility Poles To $150k In 5 Months Wholesaling Real Estate
Let’s talk about origin stories, how we found real estate investing, and how wholesaling real estate is the fundamental beginning and building block. The foundation of being a real estate entrepreneur starts with finding discounted properties. That’s what wholesaling is. Sometimes, life throws funny little curves at us that put us on this path to wholesaling real estate and to being a real estate entrepreneur. That’s the conversation that I’m going to be having from a wholesaler out of the Bay Area. I’m excited because this is a unique origin story on how you found wholesaling and being a real estate entrepreneur. Stephan Lindstrom, how are you? Welcome to the show.
I am amazing, Brent. Thank you for having me. It is honestly a true blessing to meet you. Everybody out there, this is Brent. When I first met him, I was a little nervous, but I met his family and the office. You’re honestly an awesome guy, Brent. I feel blessed. It’s an honor to meet you.
Years ago, you were not in real estate. You were on a different path. Why don’t you talk about what you were doing years ago?
I was a lineman. I was doing line work, climbing poles, utility towers, all that stuff. I had a career-ending injury and that was pretty much it. I did work for them for a little bit longer, but I didn’t quite feel like I had the same respect doing all this stuff on the ground when my buddies were up in the air. When I was injured, I fell down that YouTube rabbit hole.
To make this clear, a lineman, you’re going up these electrical poles, fixing and installing them. You’re doing all this work. This is hard and very experienced work and you go to school for this. This is not just something that you fell into. This was something that you had planned.
When I was in the injury, I was bedridden for three months. Pretty much, it was non-weight bearing. I couldn’t even walk. I was on those little scooters. I fell down the YouTube rabbit hole and here I am.
You have the whole world to look at on YouTube. You could have done anything like cryptocurrency or Amazon. Did you type in how to make money? Did you always have this little part of your brain that had always been thinking about real estate or maybe you had somebody in your life, family or something that was in the business?
My grandmother was in real estate, and I have a cousin who is very successful down in Southern California. It’s funny you mentioned crypto, though. I did do some crypto trading. I sold most of my Bitcoin to fund my current operation. I sold it a couple of months back and here we are.
It’s been an interesting journey. You didn’t take the direct approach, but you’ve made $150,000 in your assignment fees and wholesale fees from these deals. You’re building up that momentum. You’ve got some exciting things coming in the future, but what did that first eighteen months look like?
It was hard. I got a great piece of advice from a gentleman named Michael Morongell in the Bay Area. He said, “This business is going to punch you in the mouth.” He was correct. I joined one of those high-pressure sales situations. I saw a quick little video online. It was a commercial like, “We’re coming to your town, come check us out. Free dinner and all that stuff.” I get there. The guy who was supposed to be there isn’t there and we got a subway sandwich out of it. Long story short, I signed up for a $30,000 course. That was what I could have learned on YouTube, pretty much.
I honestly think that a lot of people fall into that. They do a good job with marketing, but you go into a seminar where it’s a constant upsell. You get into these situations, but it worked out for you because you could get your first deal following what you were talking about.
They held training and I got my deal while I was in training. It was from an MLS. We were told to look for like six months older. I didn’t know then, but now I know that it was a probate situation. It was marketed for $570,000. I ended up offering $480,000. I got them to $508,000 and I wholesaled it for $525,000. That was my first proof of concept. It works.
How did it feel?
It felt amazing. It was pretty freeing knowing that this could work. Unfortunately, I probably didn’t get another deal for about six months after that.
What happened? Are you swinging at the plate for six months and nothing happened or were you not even swinging? You’re not even in the game.
I didn’t have a focus until I found your course, honestly. I was driving for dollars, going to auctions, doing everything that I thought was right until I finally got laser-focused on talking to people. Then I’m sitting in front of you.
Let’s talk about that transition. You go through the coaching. We’re interacting. I’ve got you on my phone and you’re going through all this. How does it feel the first time you’re picking up the phone and making these calls?
It’s scary. I like to think I’m good at talking to people. I was in the restaurant industry for a long time, but it’s when you finally get that first yes. I was talking to a gentleman outside, and he almost froze up. He doesn’t even know what to do. You need to talk to about 1,000 people and have 1,000 quality conversations before you’re comfortable. That is for real. It’s real talk right there.
There’s no school after recess, PE or something. We go to a class to call strangers. We’re not built for it. It’s not something that we’re trained for or trained to avoid strangers. Oftentimes, we don’t develop our skills and abilities to speak confidently with strangers, with certainty and likeability, because we don’t have the experience. You need to get that experience yourself. Once you’ve talked to 1,000 people and asked them if they would consider an offer on their property, you can talk to anybody.
Every meetup, I go and talk to the biggest person in the room. I’m not shy at all.
Once you realize that we’re all the same, all human beings, we all want to communicate, we all have certain goals that we have set for ourselves, being able to go up to another human being and see if we can help them with their goals, you go with that strategy.
To come here, I was having a little heart hurting a little bit, but once I met you and we started talking, I met the family and your crew. I feel like I’m part of the family.
Did you start making the calls yourself?
I got Mojo and pulled the list. I didn’t know what I was doing, so I squatted up with an investor. I went to REIA. There was a gentleman who was running a meetup there and I was like, “How can I add value?” He pulled a list for me and said, “Start calling.” I ended up blocking up a couple of deals with him. He was the closer. I was teeing him up. The cool thing was I met my partner there. She was working with him and her name’s Irene. She’s awesome. I love her. Without her, my business wouldn’t be where it’s at. I guarantee that.
I made $500 on a deal. He probably made $50,000. I’m like, “Maybe it’s time to focus on doing this myself.” I was trying to figure out how to become a closer. I was good at building rapport and talking to people, but I didn’t know how to shoot my shot. I threw those offers out and I joined Pace’s sub-to group. He was traveling around the country. I got to meet him. Pace is awesome and a cool dude. I said, “I want to be on your team. How do I do that?” He gave me his lead manager’s information. His name was Tina Luna at the time. I was calling and texting him and he was completely ghosting me.
I have software that I could skip trace him. I created an Arizona phone number because he was in Arizona and I cold-called them. I tried to buy his mom’s house. He was like, “Who is this?” This is what I do. He’s like, “Who do you work for?” I’m like, “I want to work for you. I’ve been calling and texting you for a month.” He’s like, “You’re hired. Come on board.” I packed my car, drove through 2 or 3 fires to get to Arizona and joined Pace’s team.
In my experience with linemen, they are very proud to be a lineman. It’s a tough job. You got to go through a lot. You’re up to dangers around every corner. Every single day, you’re going through that. How do you make that transition? There are a lot of people reading that are in the military, truck drivers, teachers, nurses and linemen. Some of these incredible jobs are a lot of risks. There are not only a lot of risks, but it’s very physical. How do you go from a physical job that you pride yourself on, build up your whole personal definition on this thing and then move over to something completely different?
It wasn’t easy because, with the linework, the day just fly by. We’d start work at 6:00 and all of a sudden, it’s 5:00. If you weren’t bleeding, you weren’t working right pretty much at the job we were doing. I ended up with many injuries throughout the years like broken ribs, hyperextended elbow and wrists. All that stuff was part of the job. It was tough and I had a punching bag outside for those tough calls. If you ever want to hit something, you deal with those people sometimes.
I see that people with mechanics or something else, there’s not a lot of communication, talking to new people and sales involved. This is probably why you wanted to learn how to be a better closer. I want to encourage everybody. Take Stephan’s example here. If you talk to enough people and care about seeing what is going on, their problem and motivation, and why they are in a stressful situation with their real estate and property, you do that repeatedly. It is a muscle and something that you build.
You need to talk to a thousand people before you get comfortable with cold calling.
You also have to care too. A lot of these people are in tough situations. You have to care enough to be able to be like, “We can help you solve these problems.” The bigger the problem sometimes, the bigger the payday.
A lot of people get blocked and stop going after their goal of being a real estate entrepreneur because they feel like they don’t know the right words to say. They don’t want to look stupid and rejected too much. I am encouraging you and I’m sure you will, the whole readers here as well, in saying that, “If you try it out, if you go and do it over and over again, you’re going to get better, comfortable and have dramatic results.” $150,000 in the last several months. How much would it take you to make $150,000 as a lineman?
It’s pretty much a year. I had a contract signed while we were doing your meeting. We’ve got five others under contract. This could be at easily $150,000 a month. We started gaining that momentum. Brent and I were also talking about the business side. His business is very streamlined and minimal, but it makes a maximum profit. Working with Pace, I was like, “I’m going to hire ten VA’s. I want X amount of deals a month.” We ended up firing not everybody. We kept the good ones. We’re going to streamline it. I’m going to step back as the head of acquisitions a little bit and be more focused on training and building a solid team.
First, we start and want to do a deal. Proof of concept, fantastic and then you want to repeat it. You want to start growing this thing, the whole working in the business and on the business. Let me tell you, everybody out there. Let’s not have a fantasy here. You’ve got to work in the business for a long time. You’ve got to earn the right to work on the business. That’s what it is and that’s probably what you felt there. You were working on it, but you’re hiring a lot of people so that you could work on it. It wasn’t the right time. You had to clean the slate and start it all over.
Put in the work and grind for that time and period, whether it be the 1st year, 3rd year or whatever it is. You keep that money and profits. You can invest it into something that your money is going to start working for you. Stay lean, don’t grow too fast and squeeze out as much as you can out of everybody. With the people that you hired, pay them incredibly well. Our business’s number one big expense is the turnover of your salespeople, acquisition managers, disposition manager, lead manager, virtual assistants, or any of your phone prospectors.
You have to press the reset again, find somebody else and train them again. They come into this new lead. It’s a lead that’s been followed up for a while. All of a sudden, they have to get the baton passed to them and start building that rapport and relationship. If you get incredible people, pay them well. Keep the thing tight. Keep it small. Keep your expenses low so that you can take the money home and invest in assets. Buy properties and rental properties and build the portfolio.
That’s where we’re headed. We got some good creative finance deals coming through the pipeline. One is a 44-property deal and another one we’re going to do a quick sub-tail on. I put in $5,000 down. It’s $200 a month, but we could wholetail it for around $65,000. I might do that and invest it back in the business.
Explain to people what a sub-tail is.
We’re getting it with seller finance. He wants $5,000 down, so I’m going to put the $5,000 down. As its condition, it’s worth around $65,000, so I’m going to sell it for $65,000, get my $5,000 back and pay him $200 for 30 years. I’m pretty much going to reinvest the money back into the company or buy a couple of properties.
This is the time of the show where we break down a deal. I’m going to put you on the hot seat. We’re going to talk about a deal and break it down. How did you find it? What were the process and distress? What did you get and sell it for? We’re going to celebrate and ring that bell. Let’s go and break down a deal.
We found a deal cold calling with one of my VA’s. The process was we pulled a 65 and older absentee owner list. She did live on the property, which is interesting. We were talking with her. Her stress was she was too old to take care of the property. It was 2 acres and out of state. They get a lot of property, not so much in the Bay Area. You don’t get that a lot of the land out there. She was having trouble with the land and we helped her through.
When you say 65-plus, you pulled an age range. Where did you pull this list from?
Did you put in anything for how long they’ve owned it for?
Yes, ten years or older.
Are you looking for properties that are older properties or any age?
Yes, built before 2000.
These are the criteria that other people can use to be able to filter through and look for the properties that are in distress, motivated property owners. Does she have a different piece of land in a different area?
That’s where she ended up moving, which was her other land. We called on the house that she was in. That’s why I’m proud of this one because we helped her get to where she wanted to be and wanted to end up for the rest of her life. It was satisfying to be there for her to guide her through the whole process and we made some money in the end.
How was the condition of this property?
The condition was good. She kept it clean. It was dated older. We ended up wholesaling it to our realtor. He was a buddy of ours. He goes and takes pictures. If we’re not going to close on it ourselves, we’ll refer him and get her fee from him. Even if you have properties that are retail, you know agents, you can still get a fee from it. Try to make money in any way you can. We wholesale it to him. He put $10,000 to $15,000 in it and crushed it too. It was listed for $125,000 and sold for $150,000. Everybody made money and was happy. It was one of the better deals we’ve done so far.
What did the seller originally want for it? Did you give her what she wanted when you were negotiating the price? Anytime you’re negotiating real estate, it comes down to three things, the price, the terms and you. That’s it. Do they trust you to get the job done? Do they want to work with you? What is the price that they’re going to get? When are they going to get it? What is the process?
That is the price terms and you. Don’t overcomplicate negotiating real estate that comes down to those three things. As long as you have pre-qualified those leads, you’re going to have a good shot at getting a signed purchase agreement in which you did. Do you remember what she wanted? Did you have to negotiate the price?
She wanted $70,000. We got it for $60,000 and we wholesaled it for $92,000. We could have wholesaled it for more. We could’ve probably got $100,000, but we hooked them up pretty much because it was our agent that we worked with.
You made a call, got a lead, followed up on that lead and converted that lead to a signed contract. You presented that signed contract to your agent that you work with. All the time, that agent says, “I want to buy it.” You got it for $460,000. They bought it for $92,000 and you said he sold it for $150,000. That is how this business works.
He approached us. He’s like, “I want this one.”
How much do you make?
We made $32,000.
Congratulations, $32,000 in one phone call. If you are proactive and actively out there trying to help the people that will not help themselves in their marketplace, statistically, 5% to 10% of the market is in distress around the country. At all times, you focus one on going after those individuals, property owners and having a quality conversation, you win.
Provide a service, make sure you can fix, help and solve their problem. It’ll pay off in the end.
You have to care enough for your clients to help them solve their problems.
I see that you’ve got a KeyGlee hat here. That’s pretty exciting. What’s the exciting news?
I got to keep the franchise in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is a KeyGlee. If you don’t know, it’s a disposition company. I have my acquisition side of a separate company, but I have KeyGlee as well, which is amazing. I did a training with them and it blew my mind. They were great.
You’ve got a good amount of deals that are pending and getting ready to close.
My goal in 2020 was to become a closer. That’s how I joined Pace’s team. It leads me to this call. We’re hitting an old list, a gentleman in a distressed situation. The guy bought it back in the ‘50s after he got out of the war. His wife was living there, ex-wife now. She has dementia. He was trying to sell the house but couldn’t figure out how to do it. We got it under contract for $160,000, but we’re solving all the problems. We’re dealing with the lawyers. There’s some family there that’s having some issues. They burned a car up on the front lawn.
The properties are occupied by the kids that are paying, but it’s going down. He’s trying to liquidate that to cover some of these costs. I assume she’s getting some of those costs for her dementia.
We got it under contract. We’re supposed to get the family out. That should be a pretty juicy deal. I almost don’t want to say what we got under contract for, but we got it for $160,000. Its ARV is about $475,000. There’s the spread in there.
If people want to say congratulations, squat up and work with you in the Bay Area, how do people get ahold of you?
It’s crazy the difference years make. It’s crazy the journey that you’ve been on, starting with no real estate experience, going down the rabbit hole, doing some crypto and real estate, getting focused, unfocused and coming back focused again. The moral of this conversation that I see is that you don’t have to have a background in sales and real estate to be successful in this business if you work. This business will work if you do.
That was the thing that would be in a lineman. As we were hustling, we worked 6 days a week, 12-hour-plus days. If you can even work half of that doing this, you’re going to be successful. Be consistent.
Thank you for being on here. If you are interested in joining the most proactive group in real estate investing, it is the TTP program and TTP coaching. Go to WholesalingInc.com/TTP. Check it out, all the reviews, testimonials and what the program’s about. If it feels good in your gut, sign up for a call. I look forward to working with you.
Another thing we also did was squat up as students. I started with me and one other gentleman were splitting a dialer and a VA. She was working with me Monday, Wednesday, Friday. With him Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Even if money’s tight, squat up with somebody. Role-play is huge for when you’re getting the phones. I joined a group that pretty much helped save my life. At back then, it was called the Squat Up. Now, it’s called Foundation Builders. Monday and Wednesday, we do role-play. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, we do accountability affirmations.
How do people find it?
It’s FoundationBuilders.com. It’s run by a gentleman named Adrian Hernandez and Tyler Leon Guerrero. He’s a boss. I love those guys. It’s a great group to be a part of. I highly recommend it.
Thank you for reading. As always, I sign up encouraging you to talk to people. Until next time. I love you. See you.
- Stephan Lindstrom – Instagram
- Batch Leads
- Foundation Builders
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!