Success is not permanent, so is failure. If you’re one of those who are willing to join the real estate industry but don’t know where to begin, this episode is for you! Chris is joined with Ryan as they discuss the challenges in doing wholesaling full time. Ryan gave us a glimpse of his backstory about getting into the business and living in an RV. He also shared his journey from getting slow deals at first to signing nine contracts a month as well as spilled some secrets on how to implement a strategy fast.
Listen as Chris and Ryan tackle the dos and don’ts, the ins and outs, for you to build good connections and jump-start your wholesaling career!
Wholesaling from an RV – What this Resilient Wholesaler Did to Go from NO DEALS to 9 Pending Contracts
This is Chris Craddock with REI Revive, and I am so excited to be back here with you with somebody who had started off as a student of mine and now he’s become a friend. Frankly, I love chatting with him. I love seeing how he thinks because he definitely thinks differently about a lot of stuff than I think. It’s fun to see his progress, see how he is going, and also getting to be buds as well over the last couple of months. With that said, Ryan, share with us a little bit about yourself. Darren Hardy wrote the book, The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster, and you’ve been on that roller coaster. I’ve loved seeing your story, seeing the things that you’ve learned, and how you’ve implemented that for success and future success. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your story.
Number one, thanks for having me, Chris. I think highly of you as well and I appreciate that we become friends too. I started this journey more than four years ago. I’ve taken a lot of lumps. I was still working in a corporate capacity when I decided to side hustle.
I almost don’t want everybody to know this. Ryan has taken a lot of lumps. One thing that I’ve learned is as you guys are reading, and one of my mentors said this, “Never trust somebody that doesn’t walk with a limp.” I want to be clear on that. Just because Ryan is taking lumps, and I’ve taken lumps, anybody who talked to who is good at what they’ve done has taken their lumps, the best part about what we’re about to hear from Ryan is he walks with a limp. You know that he’s been through it.
Everybody’s got to eat a little bit of humble pie. Hubris can steal time away from you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from an expert.
When I started, I was virtually wholesaling because I was in California. I started in the Houston market and got into a bad partnership there. It’s not a bad one but there wasn’t a lot of experience and there were a lot of activities happening differently from everybody. That one ended. We got one wholesale deal and ended. I got into another partnership pretty quickly right after that with some people that didn’t know what they were doing but their focus wasn’t probably on that business because they had other ones too. It wasn’t a super amicable situation. I got out of that and I was like, “Why do I need people? I learned so much over that 2.5 or 3 years. Why do I need other people?”
I decided to go out on my own again and get a lot of coaching this time. It took me 2.5 to 3 years of spending a bunch of money in bad partnerships to realize that it’s way easier to pay people for the knowledge. I started this business in 2020. Come 2021, I got laid off from my corporate job, which was okay because it was that safety net out from under the trapeze to see what I could do. At that point, I went all-in. I started with you shortly after that and also started with other mentors and coaches. Since then, I was trying to destroy everything in my path on the way.
I went to the epitome of all-in. I sold everything I owned or gave it away and got an RV. I moved into my territory because it’s tough to do. I’m a salesperson. That’s what I’ve always been, so I’m living in an RV in my area and now I’m in an office at least right but it’s been a fun ride.
What was it? Was it Cortes? Who was it who burned the ships? There was a general who landed. Everybody gets off and he burns the ship so nobody had the choice of leaving and retreating. Ryan, what I love about it is you sold everything, jumped into an RV, and headed into the market. As an all-in guy, I only know two speeds. Full throttle and not at all. I love seeing that. Let’s dive into a couple of things here.
What you learned in the first place was a massive imperfect action that got you moving. You’ve got deals done and things are happening there. Honestly, with that business partnership, you probably would have figured it out. It may have taken a few years and you might have gone bankrupt in the meantime, but you probably would have figured it out. In your second iteration of growing and building out the business, what you decided to do was what Tony Robbins says, “Compress decades into days and find people that have been there, done that. They would be able to color by numbers so you can learn from others.”
You’re a smart guy so you can figure this stuff out but in what would take you maybe 1 year, 2 years, or maybe 8 months to figure out, you can take a course, take coaching, get into a relationship with people who can show you how to do it in a period of a month and get that done. In my understanding, that was one of the biggest changes from the first iteration to the second iteration.
Everybody is going to eat a little bit of humble pie. Hubris, as somebody who had worked in a corporate environment, you move up the ladder and those kinds of things, stole away from me time of saying, “Why don’t I go pay somebody to learn how to do this,” or figure out some way to get connected to people who are better at it. I went from the point of not understanding how to do both the wholesaling side of things and all the other stuff that comes along with that when you start getting shiny object syndrome and trying to figure out everything.
I went from the point where it would take me 3 to 4 months to get a deal to doing 1, 2, 3 or 4 deals in a month wholesale-wise. You have such energy that when we’ve talked that I was like, “I’ve got to do what this guy’s doing now. I need to monetize some dead leads. Also, as a business, figure out how to make sure we’re squeezing all of the juice out of every orange we can make sure we get to hire more people, grow, and impact more people in our community,” and that kind of stuff. The coaching is worth every single penny and more.
Figure out the direction you want to go and realize that it’s going to change every second.
Just so people understand, how long have you been full-time now in the second iteration?
Since May 2021. I can’t even do the math right because it feels like it’s gone by in twelve seconds.
We’re in October 2021. That’s more than four months. Neither one of us is going to be detailed in the weeds on this. Tell me how many contracts and wholesale deals are pending as of October 2021?
We had ten because I went and signed for one myself. Nine are pending in the pipeline.
To everybody, if you’re reading, one of the most important KPIs, Key Performance Indicator, if you’re a business owner, you need to be looking at that. How many are pending? It’s going to tell you what’s coming. To get into the weeds, it’s forecasting the next piece of your business. One of the biggest ways that I grew my business was when I could start looking at it. The number that I’m looking at right now, anytime I have less than 60 pending in my business, I know that my numbers are going to be low coming up in the future, which is then going to impact my dollar figure, the money coming in. That’s where I’m sitting out all the time.
If it goes below that, which we are below that, we’re at 49, which tells me, “I need to make some moves right now. I need to kick some butt, take some names, and start.” That’s the piece with our business where we’re looking at that and trying to understand. Ryan, 4 or 5 months in that 9 to 10 pending is telling you he’s on pace to do over 100 transactions over the next rolling twelve. That is massive. In the first couple of months, that is a massively amazing win and it’s a huge victory and only a few people can do that. Part of the reason why he can do that is he walks with a limp and is willing to learn from other people.
For me, I want to be clear. I pay over $100,000 or over six figures every year for masterminds and coaching personally. I believe in that. That’s the best way forward and it is called paying the stupid tax. If you say, “I’m smart enough to figure this out on my own.” Sure, that’s fine but how much longer is it going to take you? It’s way more expensive to figure it out on your own and have somebody else teach you how to do it fast.
We’ve got that so we know that Ryan is a smart guy, has got everything moving fast getting to over 100 deals in the next months. Honestly, he’s probably going to double that as he continues to build out his company but now let’s talk about something monetizing those dead leads. This is where Ryan and I got into a relationship when he joined the REI Revive Program where he’s looking to monetize those dead leads. To get ten a month in, that means that there are so many more leads that are coming in. How many referrals do you have out there that are under contract, where you’re going to be getting paid?
Listed under contract?
With a listing agreement where you know your KPI is telling you you’re going to be getting a check in the next couple of days.
There are nine but we started that with that. I didn’t kick that on until July 2021 with you when I met my realtor partner and felt it out. I started figuring out how to transition leads over so it’s exponential how much it grows when you figure something out. We’ve sent under 60 over in 3 or 4 months. Nine listed and probably quite a few more to come. I know we got a good one that they’re going on important tours.
The cool thing is when you have money that shows up. We talked about KPIs, Key Performance Indicators. The other piece is to have a healthy business, you start looking at something called Vertical Integration where you can get paid from multiple streams of income. To level up as a business owner, this is a vertical integration where you’re able to say, “I’m already paying for this. I might as well get money to come in from that.” One of the things that are amazing with Ryan is that he implemented fast. He’s a smart guy, he’s doing a great thing but one of the things that I’ve learned in life is from a YouTube video by Art Williams. It’s one of my favorite ones. It’s a cheesy video from the ‘80s called Just Do It.
Meet good people who have an abundance mindset instead of a scarcity mindset.
One of the things he said is, “Smart people are always struggling in business because they always get in their own way. They always overthink everything and they don’t do the right thing. Smart people have a hard time winning in business.” That’s one of those things that I’ve seen. I guarantee you. I know that I’m speaking right to somebody right now, that you’re overthinking things and you are imitating and innovating. Don’t innovate too early. Don’t be too smart. Don’t outsmart yourself. Don’t try to figure it out on your own. Find out what’s working and color by numbers. I promise you if you find successful people and you imitate, you innovate, you’ll see things go well.
Honestly, that’s part of what I love about Ryan’s story. It’s that first iteration where he’s trying to figure it out on his own. The second one is where he says, “I’m going to do what people tell me to do.” I also know that as he’s tweaking things, making it his own, and continues to succeed, he’s going to continue to scale it out and grow to crazy levels. Ryan, as we’re starting to come to the end here, what are some things that I should be asking you that I haven’t asked you yet?
It’s the, “I don’t know what I don’t know,” thing. For us, the biggest problem is we subscribe to the ready fire aim strategy. Along the way, you’ll find that your aim gets steadier. Entrepreneurs have this issue where they want to jump into everything so we had to fall back and become laser-focused on certain things that we need to do in order to level up. What you should ask me is what my idea was when I got into this business years ago and what that iteration now looks like. It would be completely different because there are people who are probably reading and think they want 100 rentals.
Honestly, I don’t want to have a ton of rentals because it’s not something that fits the persona. We’re probably going to have some for tax depreciation and things of that nature but it’s figuring out the direction that you want to go and realizing that it’s literally going to change every second of the day as you get introduced more and more and you start learning from smart people.
One of my favorite phrases is, “New levels. New devils.” The funny thing is you hinted at it. You don’t necessarily want to have rental properties but maybe you’ll get some for the depreciation. When you start making a lot of money, then you have to go to the next level and say, “Now I’m making a lot of money. I’m giving away more money to the government every year than I used to make in two years. How do I keep more money? Buy rentals and depreciate the property so I can keep more.” The whole thing is you evolve. It was interesting how you threw that in there. You see that it’s the next level. New levels, new devils.
You’ll get to the point where you do well enough that you get a CPA and they’re going to yell at you that you need to depreciate it. Eventually, they’ll say, “Don’t you buy a lot of houses? Aren’t you keeping them because this is what’s going to happen?” Honestly, that’s where we’re at. We have to start keeping some of them but we’ll keep the good ones and that’s part of it. Some of them will become flips, and some will become seller finance, and maybe Airbnb. We’ll keep doing the wholesaling as well. There’s a lot of different exit strategies. The more you surround yourself with smart people that like the same things as you do, the more you’re going to learn. Constantly, I want to wake up and learn something.
That’s one of my favorite phrases that I keep hearing from friends, “Keep the best, sell the rest.” That’s the way to do it. I’m a big fan of continuing to build out your rental portfolio because even though your business is something that can become a business that generates a ton of revenue, it’s vertical integration. It’s another place where revenue comes in but it’s also passive. Some people will argue with me that it’s not passive. It’s still a headache.
It’s passive-ish, depending on who you put in place to manage it. It’s a portfolio that doesn’t go away. You never see your grandfather that sold his house more than 40 years ago say, “I’m so glad I sold that for years ago. It’s worth so much less now. You never see that. I saw something that said, “If you bought a house 30 years ago, the average price is over $100,000. It was $109,000 and right now, the average sales price in America is $353,000. You’re seeing what kind of appreciation it is. Especially, if you’re going to live in these houses if you’re going to hold them and all of the other depreciation, and everything else.
We’re starting to get off on a tangent here. I wanted to get through with Ryan, everybody could understand here that massive imperfect action is so important. You go when you’re ready enough. You don’t go when you’re ready. You go when you’re ready enough. You’re going to get beat up. Anybody who has heard my story knows that I’ve been beaten up a few times. I’ve been beaten up badly. Ryan’s been beaten up. Everybody you talked to that ever does anything big has been beat up. He has rebounded well.
What he took from his beating was he needed to get into business with people. He needs to learn from people who are going to help him get there faster. Also, see around the corners that he may not see around, which is why he’s doing that, which is why I’m doing this, which is why everybody who’s a high achiever has people in their life who are helping them see around those corners. That’s what I was excited about with Ryan. Finally, the last thing I want to talk about is vertical integration here. It’s making sure that Ryan is getting his marketing that he’s spending a lot of money on, getting his maximum return on that.
With that said, if REI Revive can be of service to you, definitely go to WholesalingInc.com/revive. Click Apply. We’d love to look at your business and see if you’re bringing in enough leads that it makes sense. You don’t have to bring in even that many to monetize stuff that you bring in but if you’re bringing in leads, we’d love to look at it and see if there’s a way to monetize those dead leads to pay for your marketing expenses. Ryan, any final words for any entrepreneurs, anybody getting into this, if you could go back more than 3.5 years ago and say, “This is what you need to do,” to everybody reading?
Meet good people. Shameless plug, Chris is probably one of the best people I know in the industry, bar none. If you meet good people, if you surround yourself with them, and they all have an abundance mindset instead of a scarcity mindset. Also, you’re all winning together, a rising tide floats all boats, people are the only thing that’s going to get you through this business. Sometimes it’s paying them and sometimes it’s hiring them and sometimes it’s befriending them. That is all it comes down to in this business.
Most of my coaches have become good friends of mine. The students who are the ones that do what we talked about, I’ve become good friends of mine, as well. Any program you get into whether it’s mine or somebody else’s, get to be bud with the people that are there. Do the right thing, and get to be buds. Ryan, this has been awesome.
I love your story. I love your humility and your vulnerability to share the rough things. Everybody loves to tell their successes, but anybody that shares their successes has the bumps. For those of you that are going through bumps right now, know that success is not permanent and neither is failure. You’ve got to pick yourself up and keep moving forward. Until then, go live on common, kick butt, take names, do what you got to do away, and I’ll see you guys out there.
- The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster
- REI Revive Program
- Be sure to join the Wholesaling Inc Facebook group
About Chris Craddock
A 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.