Posted on: November 03, 2021
WI 811 | Real Estate Investing


Real estate investing is one of the most popular ways to invest your money for passive income. But if you’ve never flipped houses before, it can be very intimidating. It doesn’t have to be anymore!

In this episode, Chris Craddock interviews his friend, Brad Chandler, owner and CEO of Express Homebuyers. Brad is a seasoned real estate investor who started his company back in 2003, learned a ton through years of doing his own thing and wholesaled over 4,000 houses.

Today, we’re lucky to have him share his best tricks of the trade and give away his best real estate investing hacks. Follow us as we dive into everything from how Brad flipped and wholesaled his first house to his million-dollar deals and everything in between.

Lessons Learned from Flipping and Wholesaling Over 4000 Houses

I am so excited to be back here with you with one of my very closest friends. You are in for a treat because this man is one of the titans of the real estate investing industry. He started his company back in 2003. He has flipped or wholesaled over 4,000 houses, at one point in time owned almost 100 houses, and bought and sold tons of rentals over the years. He is one of the mainstays. If you go to any mastermind, you will hear his name because he has made a massive impact on this industry.

With that said, I get the opportunity to introduce to you my friend, Brad Chandler, who is the Owner and CEO of Express Homebuyers in the DC area but he does stuff all over the place. Brad, thanks for being here with us. Tell us a little bit about yourself. I stole some of your thunder about everything you are doing but tell us how you started and what brings you here with us.

Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here as well. I read a book when I was in ninth grade, How to Buy Real Estate With Little or No Money Down by Robert Allen. At that time, my family had gone through some things where we were short on money. I thought we might lose our house and have to live in public housing. I did not want that. I was reading the book and figuring out how much money can be made in real estate and how there is unlimited potential in real estate when it comes to income. I was like, “That’s what I’m going to do.”

In 2002, my son had been born and an investor bought my neighbor’s house. At that point, I had two undergraduate degrees and a graduate degree in real estate. Through all of that, over $200,000 worth of education, they never taught us that you could buy a house at a discount. I went and talked to this guy and he goes, “I buy a house at a discount, fix it up, and resell it.” I’m like, “I’m going to do that.” I put together a business plan and worked my butt off for eight months before I’ve got my first house.

Each day that went by, I’ve got more persistent and said, “If these folks at these meetups and REIAs can do it, I can do it.” I decided to start in December 2002. In July of 2003, I bought my first house. I bought six houses in July and August of 2003. I quit my full-time job in October 2003 with a newborn. I came home and told my wife at the time, “I quit my job.” She’s like, “Are you kidding me?” Here we are, 4,000 houses later and hundreds of millions of dollars in sales.

You said it took you eight months to get your first deal. I don’t want to miss this because eight months is a long time. It doesn’t sound that long when you think about it. The reason you get into real estate investing is that you’ve got big dreams, financial goals, and things that you want to accomplish. When you start working at it day after day, week after week, and month after month, and make $0 and don’t even get a deal or anything happening, most people will quit.

When you make decisions, take some time to think about why you’re making that decision.

That’s the difference between winners and losers. Losers quit before they get a chance to win. I want to get into the background because it’s going to help a lot of folks that are in investing to understand that it doesn’t happen overnight. Success oftentimes is this ten-year overnight success story. What were you doing during those eight months?

Given the fact that I had a negative $80,000 net worth from graduate school, I didn’t have a lot of money. I was doing grassroots things and put the big magnets on my car that said, “We buy houses.” From that marketing source, someone saw my wife’s car in Tysons Corner and ended up buying three houses. One was a mobile home and two others were in West Virginia. That was 3 of the 6 deals that I did that I mentioned earlier. I did that and also bandit signs.

I was out driving around when the DC Sniper was in town, unfortunately. I was putting bandit signs out. I had step kids at the time. I would get them going to these different townhouse communities in Manassas putting door hangers and doing a lot of networking. At the time, there were REIA meetings. They didn’t have meetups.

A lot of times people will go into massive debt, trying to throw stuff at the wall without a plan. What I love about what you are saying here is you either have money or sweat equity that will work hard for you. If you are making your cold calls and doing this stuff there, what I love about that is you are out there working your butt off, talking to people, and doing whatever it takes to win. That’s an important key to getting out of it.

You did touch on something about the difference between winners and losers. I mentioned I’ve got more persistent. Every day that went by when I was not getting a deal, I said, “If other people are doing it, I can do it. My time is going to come.” It snowballed. I’ve got 1 deal in July and then 6 deals in July and August. It took off from there. How many people do we know that have had these incredible success stories? There’s Jack Canfield’s Chicken Soup for the Soul. He went to 132 publishers before they were like, “I will publish your book.” Don’t give up.

You’ve got to be your own hype squad. There’s a show on Netflix called Last Chance U. It’s interesting because it’s these guys that were talented athletes but for whatever reason, they ended up at a junior college and trying to make it out. There’s this one guy and his mom. They have this little catchphrase. She would always say this to him as a hype squad person. She’s like, “Go do it, son. Bang-bang chicken and shrimp.” I don’t know what that means.

WI 811 | Real Estate Investing

Real Estate Investing: Don’t spend your whole life fighting for your worthiness. When you do that, you lack self-love and self-compassion.


Sometimes, I will be down and I know that I’ve got to be my own hype squad. It will make me laugh. I will be driving down the highway and say, “Bang-bang chicken and shrimp.” You had to be your own hype squad because if you get noes for 7 months and 29 days, it’s easy to quit unless you are hyping yourself up and pushing yourself to keep going.

We’ve got two other things we want to talk about. One of the other things is most of you have heard us talk about REI Revive and this iteration came from what we are doing here with Express Homebuyers, my personal team with Brad. The fun thing with this is I get to know Brad through this whole process because they have brought in so many leads over the years that were oftentimes sitting dead in their database.

Long story short, I kept calling and I’m like, “Send us some leads and deals. Let’s monetize that.” The cool thing is as we looked, we were having month after month in 2020, where we were sending in referral fees over to them between $50,000 and $64,000 a month. We were regularly sending that money from deals that were sitting dead in the database. Do you mind sharing some of the ways that you thought through or what you have done with some old dead leads and about our relationship and how that moved forward?

It wasn’t like you brought this to me and I was like, “I should have thought of that before.” We tried for years to monetize those leads. We tried everything from creating an LLC with a broker to selling them and bringing agents in our office. We tried it all and didn’t succeed with any of it. You had worked with my old COO and then kept bugging him about getting old leads. He sent you a bunch of leads that he thought were crap and turned some of them into listings. That started the relationship.

It has been a pleasure to work with you and your team. Not only have we gotten the benefit of tens of thousands of dollars coming in and now it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars but we have also gotten deals back. When your agents show up to some houses and they were like, “We want this cash deal,” we have gotten those back. It has been awesome. It pays for a large portion of the marketing budget.

One of the fun things about working together on the agent and the investor connection is everybody helps each other’s game. With Brad, it started as a business relationship but he became a friend. I have seen that happen with a lot of my students. You become friends with the people that you are doing business with. I can’t tell you how many times Brad has challenged me on some of the ways that we have done stuff. I hope I have challenged him on some of the ways he thinks about business.

When you’re not closing any deal, you have to keep going. Be persistent, and don’t give up.

You make each other better as you are working together. You see personal friendships that come from it but also the ability to have other people that are outside and not as emotionally invested in the business that can ask questions. There have been a number of times where Brad has asked me questions and said, “Why do you do this?” I give an answer like, “Why do we do it?” All of a sudden you realize that you do things because you have always done it. It’s great to be able to have different relationships that make you think bigger.

Let’s transition to the next piece. You have had a massive life transformation happen. I know it impacted you in your personal life but I also know that how your personal life was changed has also bled into how your business has changed and made you see life differently on that front. Can you talk a little bit about that for us?

Back in February 2020, I went to a weekend intensive with a former Navy SEAL who put me through this exercise of looking at my unresolved childhood trauma. From that weekend, my entire life changed. I realized that for years, I was around with untruths about my worthiness and that I wasn’t worthy. I spent my whole life fighting for my worthiness. When you do that, you lack self-love and self-compassion so you are always trying to prove that. One of the ways I did that in my business was to do things that didn’t serve me and my employees because I was always trying to, “If I can get to this mark, I will be worthy.”

To give you some examples, I made five critical mistakes that cost me $9 million. One of those mistakes was creating a realty team at Keller Williams where in two years, we were the number one Keller Williams team in North America. My goal was to be the first agent team to ever sell $1 billion. We’ve got to $120 million, I looked back, and it probably cost us $1 million. Why did I do that at the time? It was because I was trying to prove my worth. That was 1 of 5 mistakes but there were 20 other things that I did where I was trying to prove my worth. It caused chaos.

I’m in a large real estate mastermind and when I look around, I see people doing this. This is a common trait among entrepreneurs. They get success because they are out proving themselves. I made millions of dollars. The problem is you hit a ceiling because you have so much chaos and you are doing things for the wrong reason that you can’t grow your business to the level that you want to.

The major shift that I have made is now I don’t come to the office trying to prove anything. I am in the process of rebirthing myself. Express Homebuyers is going to be born again. It’s going to become the company in the next 6 to 12 months that I have always wanted it to be but never had the ability to because I was fighting for my worthiness.

WI 811 | Real Estate Investing

Real Estate Investing: Know that you’re enough. Create self-love and self-compassion. That will allow you to build a business that serves you rather than trying to prove something to the world.


One of the things that I have heard in life over and over again, and I hope this burns some of you because it burns me at times, is sometimes we push hard to prove that we are worth something and good enough. We want our business to do well for that reason. When we are looking to make our life and business all about proving that we are good enough, then it stopped serving us. It’s out there to serve and show other people stuff.

What I love about that is you are telling me that you start seeing that your business needs to be there as something to serve you and not be a showpiece to prove to other people, “Look at all the cool things that I have.” It can help you begin to make better and more logical decisions about how to move your business forward.

Everybody on here is a real estate investor and they want to win in life, business, and in everything else. What are some of the ways that you can see a business being massively successful and making money? What are ways that a business can serve you to help you accomplish the goals and dreams that you have in life and not make it about a big show and smoke and mirrors?

That can be answered by giving a mistake that has been made over and over again. With Keller Williams and all kinds of other real estate investors, the buzz is expansion. I can remember in 2008, I was expanding to Virginia Beach. That’s when we started the realty company. We didn’t even have processes in place to keep our brochure boxes filled in this local market. It’s a small blocking and tackling. Within five days, I opened an office and hired five people. Why did I do that? Was that the best move for my business? It wasn’t.

It was because my subconscious said, “If I can be in Virginia Beach and make a lot more money, maybe I will be worthy.” It wasn’t a conscious decision. When you make decisions, take some time to think about why you are making that decision. Expansion is the buzz or the cool thing to do now. If expansion is it, ask yourself, “Do I have everything dialed in at my current location? Does everything run smoothly? Can I not go deeper in this market knowing that I know this market?” I didn’t know anything about Virginia Beach. I know the DC Metro and Baltimore Metro areas. Why didn’t I go deeper there? I know why now. I’m telling you this so you don’t make the same mistake.

It was The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham. A lot of times people do not know their numbers and what is making them successful. When they go to expand into a bunch of different markets and different things, you end up taking the crap that you have and you have a bunch of crap all over the place that you are expanding the stuff that’s not making you successful. You expand and export the wrong stuff. One of the phrases that I like is the idea, “Nail it, then scale it.” Get it right, and then export what you know is right to the next location. Until it’s nailed, don’t scale because you are not going to scale the good stuff.

You have sold over 4,000 houses. I would be willing to guess there are very few people that are reading this that have bought and sold even a fraction of the houses that you have sold. What is the one and final word that you could give to young entrepreneurs that are getting started in this business that will help them shorten the learning curve that you have learned over all these years?

Self-love and compassion will affect all areas of your life, from health to business to relationships.

It comes down to the breakthrough of my transformation. It’s the cause of 99% of the world’s problems and cost me two divorces and millions of dollars of business losses. That is knowing that you are enough as you are. Does that mean you sit on your couch and be like, “I’m enough?” Of course not. When you think about yourself and talk to yourself, know that you are enough. Create self-love and self-compassion for yourself. That will allow you to build a business that serves you rather than going to try to prove something to the world. It will affect all areas of your life from health to business and relationships.

Figure that out and ask yourself. I didn’t even think if you asked me, “Do you love yourself?” I would have been like, “Yes.” All you have to do is look at the results and your past relationships. Do you eat, drink, smoke, gamble or work too much? Anything that you are trying to escape is a good indication that there’s some, “I’m not enough or I’m not worthy,” in you. The sooner you get that figured out, the sooner the world opens up and becomes a beautiful place.

If you are reading this, especially when you are first starting with these big dreams, big goals, please heed what Brad is saying. If you are building your business to prove to other people that you are good and smart enough, and for people to like you, at the end of the day, who cares? That’s the big thing here. Brad, you are not even selling anything at this point but I know that you want to make yourself available. You are putting out content because you have been able to transition your life and business, and you want to help other people do that as well. If somebody wants to get in touch with you, how can people get in touch with you?

I am putting out a lot of content and the content has been exceptional. It’s going to get good as I transform Express Homebuyers over the coming months. On TikTok, they can reach me at @BradChandler6 and on YouTube and Instagram, @BradChandlerCoaching.

If you send him some DM on Instagram, he will probably answer you. This is a cool opportunity to spend time with somebody who has done what most people are working on to learn how to create. This has been an awesome time spent with you. If you are in a place like Brad was with Express Homebuyers where you have leads coming in and you want to be able to monetize those leads instead of trying all these different ways. It makes sense and you send it over to a real estate agent but the reality is everybody has tried it and almost nobody is doing it and making money.

If you want to have a proven step-by-step process to be able to make money on those, go to the website and click apply either I or somebody from the team will look into your business and see if this is a good fit for you. Brad, thank you so much for being here. I’m excited for you. If you can learn this lesson early on, it’s going to save you a lot of heartache and issues that a lot of us go through. You are going to be able to create a business that serves and helps you create freedom in your life.


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About Chris Craddock

WI 748 | Title CompanyA nationally certified Life Coach in Leadership and top 20 in all of Keller Williams Realty International, Chris Craddock is the host of the Uncommon Real Estate Podcast, a Realtor, and entrepreneur who runs multiple successful businesses in the Washington DC Metro area (and Richmond, VA). Chris and his companies consistently bring in over 5 Million in revenue year after year. His team, The Redux Group, sold just over $160 million in volume in 2020. Chris has been married for 20 years and is the proud father to six beautiful children.


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