“The search for freedom and the struggle in the middle is all worth it in the end.”
When you are the owner-operator of your business, it can easily become overwhelming to handle all of it. There are a lot of things to consider, from implementing a process to optimizing your sphere of influence. To be a victorious solopreneur in the real estate world, you have to stay in your zone of genius and get help when you need it.
Meet Jesus Valdez, a 21-year-old solopreneur who broke into real estate investing on his own! Follow Jesus as he goes over his experiences in his wholesaling career. He also sends us tips on overcoming obstacles and solving them efficiently, and bringing more opportunities to the table. Hop on in, and listen to today’s episode!
Meet the Ambitious 21 Year Old Who has Cracked the Code to Wholesaling Success
I have a very special guest on the show. This kid is super young. He’s one of the definitions of tenacity. He’s a very prime example of what tenacity looks like. I am lucky enough to see this kid operate on a daily basis. I see him sitting down, getting honed in, and hyper-focused on the stuff that he’s doing like lead generation, working through deals, learning, becoming better, and pushing on a daily basis. What gets me is how young this kid is. We have Mr. Jesus Valdez. I’m glad to have you.
I appreciate you for having me.
Full disclosure before I move forward, going into the story and breakdown everything that everybody wants to read, he is dating my daughter. That’s how I know how we operate. With that being said, it’s cool to see the development and how you have progressed over the last couple of years. I have known you for a long time. I’m happy and honored to be part of the journey, sit down with you and share your results. Welcome to the show. From your words, give us a little bit of background on you. How did you get started? How old are you, and when did you get started? Give us the skinny of it.
I’ve got started when I was nineteen. I learned about it at eighteen when you were telling me a little bit about it but I had no idea. You were telling me about wholesaling. I was like, “What is this?” At nineteen, I remember you invited me to a Sean Terry event. From there, everything went so far because I went there. I have seen all the big gurus and everything like that. I have seen Carlos Reyes and that guy at the gym, too.
From there, that’s when I’ve got an acquisitions job, and I learned the business ins and out because I have seen how they ran their business. I had learned how to talk to people because before, I was super shy. I didn’t know how to talk to people. That helped me develop. A few years later, I started doing my own thing, and here I am.
One thing that you caught on real quick was the warrant of cutting the learning curve. I know we had a bunch of conversations about real estate. I kept telling you about the power and ability to have a wholesaling business and create a life of freedom and by design after that. We had that conversation, and you did a very smart thing, which if it’s not paying for mentorship, you go somewhere where you can learn.
You have always been able to get yourself through the door and find spots where your knowledge expands. Every time we have a talk, you go and execute right after. You are like a sponge in terms of learning, progress, and deal structures. You know a lot more about this business than most people who have been in it for 2 to 3 years.
The biggest factor behind that is tenacity. You pound the phones like no other. You are like a Filipino VA. You are hitting them that hard, and that’s what it takes. It takes that commitment. We are interested in creating a life by design or committed to it. Having a lock on that commitment and hitting that discipline goes a long way. You have been able to do that through the years.
You were working for another company, and you’ve got your feet wet in acquisitions. You were negotiating deals and got exposed to it. You cut the learning curve there from an exposure standpoint, which is great to go somewhere where you can get training and direction. It was almost like a paid internship. You decided to start your thing, start prospecting for your own deals and look for your deals. How has that been going so far?
It has been a blessing, and there are struggles because you think you know everything once you leave that paid internship. You then get hit with one thing and you are like, “What the hell? How do I solve this?” They usually solve that because all I do is acquisitions. It’s cool because you get to see the ins and out of business for yourself.
You get exposed to everything instead of that position you had but you grow. You get exposed to every single part of that business, and you keep growing. To yourself, it feels powerful and motivating. You are like, “I’m growing.” Back then, all I knew was acquisitions. Now I know dispo, transactions and every single side of this.
Once you become a solopreneur and you are handling your own stuff, you have to be able to figure things out. You have to be able to see different angles, not just that one. That’s one thing that a lot of people underestimate. I’m good at locking deals, marketing, finding buyers or whatever. Putting it all together is a whole different beast.
Finding a way to do that’s efficient and a process is a whole different thing and ball game. You are at that level now. You are at that stage where you are starting to bring in VAs, people to help you call, prospect, do better and do more so you can focus on your stuff, which has acquisitions. That transition from just you hitting it and then having that sense of doubt that creeps in and mindset is a challenge. How have you dealt with that? How have you transitioned out of that into where you are at now?
As a person, the way I like to do things is, as you said, I’m a sponge, I soak up all the knowledge and lay in bed at night. I do it, and I’m excited. I wake up the next day and head first to it. I do what I’ve got to do. If I lose a little bit of money, I go for it. I’m hiring other people like a cold caller for you. It helps a lot because if you are pounding the phones non-stop as far as cold calling, you are going to get burned out eventually. That’s why hiring a cold caller helps a lot. You have someone to do the cold calling for you, and now you are hitting your leads and doing your thing. At the same time, they are doing their job, you are doing your job, and together, it’s going to produce more revenue and deals.
What does it look like now? You have a VA helping you on the backend to increase that volume. For how long are they calling a day? How many calls?
The wholesaling business is like a beast, and it’s all about taming the beast and making it a cashflowing business for you.
They do 6 hours a day, and then I’m doing 3 hours on my own of cold calling.
How many people are you reaching out to on average a day in total?
Maybe 1,000 to 1,500.
That’s a big number. It is what it takes. I see a lot of people who were hitting, “I made ten calls now. I made fifteen calls now.” You have to ramp it up at a bigger volume. I’m assuming you are using a power dialer and have some tools set in place but you have a process to have that VA come in and send the leads over to you. Do you pre-qualify the leads as you get them? What’s your process?
The way you told me, you have a lead manager, which is the one who sources lead. I’m not going to hire another VA for that but when the cold caller sends the leads in, I bring them and source them. I call them. I’m seeing if they are real instead of just tire-kickers. Those people that are like, “Give me an offer.” I see if they have a problem that I can solve. That’s when I consider it a lead.
At the end of the day, that’s the business that we are in. We are in the people business and solving people’s problems. It’s easy to forget about that or put it on a shelf when we are focused on the money. We are focused on closing the deal and getting revenue in because we are in that survival stage or the bootstrap mode where we are launching. We need money for marketing.
It’s easy to forget about the whole point of this, which is providing a solution for that seller. How do you keep a check on that? How do you come back to that space? I wasn’t thinking that way when I was 21. My thought process and priorities were different. I wasn’t focused and then spent all those hours. Now, you are cold calling for three hours but what are you doing the rest of your day?
I start off the day, I wake up and do my own thing. First, I do my follow-up calls, and for three hours, I hit the cold call. After that, any follow-up calls I have. I’m trying to get my real estate license, so I’m studying that. I will read to learn more about the business.
You are easily putting 8 to 10 hours into the business a day. You have six hours from your VA. That’s at least an average of sixteen hours a day that you are doing, putting in, and pouring into this business. I didn’t have that discipline when I was 21. That’s what I was trying to get to. I had other priorities, and I’m looking at different things but your focus on growth is showing. It’s showing in terms of results and how you have been able to structure more deals and get a little bit more creative on stuff. You are seeing different angles where you weren’t seeing them before. When you are in acquisitions, it’s almost like you are in this one-track mindset, negotiating and locking deals.
When you have to step back and manage the lead generation, manage the dispo, you make connections and nourish those connections. Your thinking gets a little bigger. You have to expand. You see things from different angles, and you have to become that much better at what you are doing, otherwise, you are going to fail. Going from that acquisition’s mindset, which is single track and you are used to doing one thing. If you have an issue, somebody else is going to fix it or figure it out and then jump into solopreneur mode. How have you handled that so far?
At first, I didn’t handle it good. I was diving in, and all these problems came. The money side is where it gets hard. That book Profit First, I read that. It’s helping me a lot now, but you’ve got to take into consideration every decision you make because one little decision could lead you down the wrong path but at the same time, you can’t overthink it.
Look at how you can solve these problems because it’s not just the seller’s problem you are solving now. Now you’ve got to solve the dispos, buyers, and the transaction problems, every single thing. It’s like the same thing. Solving the seller’s problem is solving that problem. I would say it’s more problem that you have to solve. That’s pretty much it. The wholesaling business is like a beast, and it’s all about taming the beast and trying to make it a cashflowing business for you.
You have a methodical process that you are following, and that helps because you have context on the overall picture. I know we have talked about hustle, business, processes, and all that stuff before. It does make a difference in how you handle that stuff. When you are solving problems, now at least you know where the problem is coming from. You know what section of the business, and you can allocate resources or attention to it. Otherwise, you feel you have this one big fat problem on top of you when it’s a series of 3 or 4 little ones.
Instead of overthinking it and being like, “I’ve got to fix my business,” you are like, “No, you’ve got to fix these little problems in every area.” It all comes together.
You jumped into it. You started to spend all these hours and progressing through the deals. You have closed the deals and a couple of deals in the pipeline. Give me a rundown on that.
The first deal I’ve ever got is the one that’s already closed. Other ones are in the pipeline but the first one that I did close was a cold call. It wasn’t even my cold call because I had a bad cold caller back then. You’ve got to watch which type of cold callers you get. I had a cold caller. They weren’t doing good. That’s when I was hitting my three hours of cold calls after that guy.
He’s like, “I will sell maybe in the future.” I lifted on the follow-up. When I started my day, I did the follow-ups. It was that time when I called them. It was two months after I cold-called him. He said, “My tenant is going to move out here soon. I don’t want to keep and list it.” We ended up locking it up like that on a straight follow-up two months later.
Break it down and give me some details on that deal. He had a tenant. It was a rental property. He wanted to sell the property and get rid of it.
The tenant was moving out. He had another property under contract. He’s like, “I do not want to keep the property. I don’t want to list it either and have all those showings, all that type of stuff.” I’m like, “I’m your guy?”
You wouldn’t think that somebody wants to get rid of a house like, “I know I can do better if I go the MLS route but it’s not what I want. I want something simple.” They are exchanging profits for time and convenience, which is what you brought to the table.
You are making him your friend, getting them, “Do you have a problem? I can solve it. We can both make something and make the deal happen.” I put that in his head, and that’s how I ended up getting the contract.
Walk me through the negotiation. Did you give him a price and he said, yes, right out of the gate or did you have to work it backward?
I gave him a price.
Give us some of that acquisition magic on how to do this.
I asked him for a number and he’s like, “I don’t know. I had to run some comps.” I was like, “What if I sit down and run comps with you?” I gave him some comps. I was like, “You’ve got this one selling for $282,000 to this, to that, some at $300,000.” I was like, “I want to make a profit.” He’s like, “I understand that, too.” I negotiated from there. I did my magic like, “I needed it at this number. If you want me to help you in the sense that what you need.” He’s my friend. That’s all it is, making friends. I’m like, “I can help you.” He says, “If you could give me that number, take care of all closing costs and all fees, let’s do it.”
That property was a property where?
That was a virtual deal. You were locking deals virtually because we were in Phoenix. You wholesaled a property you never saw in Georgia. How much did you lock it up for? What’s the ARV on the property, first off?
The ARV was about $300,000. At first, he wanted $270,000 and I told him, “I’m at $250,000.” We ended up locking it up at $255,000. It’s all about connections because I had a connection with the hedge fund. The hedge fund offered around $270,000 something. We ended up selling it to them.
As you spend time and get more focused on what you are doing, resources pop up. You get new resources. You don’t have to know everything. I guarantee you that several months ago, you didn’t know you were going to have a connection with a hedge fund or be able to sell something pretty close to retail. Retail was $300,000, and you locked it up to $255,000. It’s a tight wholesale deal. If you have the right buyer for it, it changes the narrative. You locked it up for $255,000, and how much did you sell it for?
You have to keep fighting to see the bigger picture instead of how you feel in the moment.
We have made $13,000 on it.
Did you team up with somebody else or was that a JV on the buyer?
I did team up with somebody else. I had a connection with the hedge fund. I didn’t know the hedge fund directly but they had a $5,000 referral fee. I ended up making $7,000.
You ended up making $7,000 on this deal that was pretty tight, to begin with, and it was a two-month follow-up out of a cold call.
It’s one of those leads where you throwback to allow. He’s not that interested in it.
$7,000 at the early age of 21. I was making a different amount of money at that age. The biggest thing here is that you get proof of concept. You know that this is something that’s doable. You had locked deals before as acquisitions but when you go through the whole thing yourself, you know that you come in, you lock it up, you know how to market for it. Now you know how to negotiate and then dispo it.
In this case, I want to highlight this, you are in a completely different market. Maybe your resources, boots on the ground, and that stuff are not there but you had a connection. You JV-ed with somebody else who was more solid than you were in that area and shared the profits. A big piece of the pie is better than no piece at all. The proof of concept fired you up and it got you in a higher gear. You were talking about the pipeline. You have three other deals in the pipeline that are said to come in and close here.
I have one that’s here in surprise. I’m teaming up with someone else. They are flipping it. I’m not sure what the profit is on that one. They are still remodeling it. They are a bigger company, and I ended up seeing them at the property when I went for a walk-through. I was like, “What’s up?” I knew them. I have acted like an acquisition, and we are going to team up on that one.
You locked it up, and they took it down. They partner up in your contract.
We are both there, so they ended up signing with them but I was like, “We are both there, so let’s team up on this.” They are like, “No problem.” They know me and everything because I negotiated the price a little bit for them to get it locked up.
They locked it up under their contract but you came in. This is different. You helped them up with your skills, as far as how to negotiate, how to structure the deal, and everything they had been learning for the past couple of years. They used you in that sense, and now, you are part of that deal. You are going to get a profit.
They have five other different buyers, and it was me and another person that I knew. They were like, “We have four other people that we want to go with.” I was like, “We could get it done right here at this price.” They wanted to think about it. You know how sellers are. We were trying to get it locked up there but no. Two days later, we ended up locking up at the price I told them.
This other one is pretty creative. We still have to see it but it’s in Decatur, Georgia. It’s a condo and worth about $40,000. I called him, the guy. He’s a cool, busy guy. He owns his restaurant. He’s like, “Jesus, all I want is $5,000 and you can have it.” I was like, “What?” I started asking more questions because other people would get excited like, “Let’s do it. Let’s lock it.” I was like, “How much do you owe in taxes?” and all that stuff. He’s like, “Honestly, I do not know.”
They have some real estate somewhere and have no idea. I have heard that one before.
It would be cool if I buy and hold for someone to wholesale, too. I told him, “I will write in the contract that if you owe above $20,000, we will cut it. if it’s under $20,000 that you owe, we will lock it up, move forward with it and I give you $5,000.” I end up wholesaling it. It’s contingent. We are running tight on it.
That is an interesting one. It can be $25,000. The ARV is $40,000.
He could owe nothing, and I get it for $5,000 or he could owe $15,000, and I gave him $20,000. It’s just a buy-and-hold for somebody.
You have a virtue, which is focused. I have seen you hone in, hit those phones, and go through your process. When you are there, you are there. You get in the zone, and that’s what it takes. It goes to show. There’s a period of stacking the deck. There’s a period of activity. You are going through all this activity. You may feel like there’s not a lot of progress being done but what you are doing is you are stacking those results. They haven’t kicked in yet. In my head, I’m thinking like Jenga.
You are stacking it and putting all the blocks on top of each other and whatnot. You start pulling things but nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, it hits. That’s the same thing. With the actions that we take, the calls that we are making, the follow-ups that we are setting up on a regular basis, that’s what’s happening. We are stacking the deck.
You have done a stellar job at that over the last several months. Going forward, I will not be surprised if instead of having 1 deal closed and 3 in the pipeline, it goes the other way around. There is another outcome. You are already walking in that direction. You have a process that you are following now. You are starting to create some predictability in the business, which is very smart. A 1,000 to 1,500 calls on a regular basis is going to give you leads and people that you can start to negotiate with, make offers, find a problem so you can come in and solve them, and get paid for it.
Someone once told me that those days where you don’t feel like calling, that’s in 30 days, you are not going to have a paycheck. Stacking the leads, you talk to that person, and they don’t want to sell but hopefully, you will catch someone that does want to sell. You can find a problem for her. It’s consistency, honestly.
Before we start signing off and whatnot, I want to tap a little bit into the mindset and self-doubt that happens as you are going through this. Not that we have had a lot of conversations in that realm but I know it sets in. I know that there are days when we don’t feel like pulling the trigger on something. You mentioned it now.
There are days when we are like, “I don’t know if I’m on the right track. Is this even making sense?” How are you dealing with that stuff because you are in it now? You are in the middle of the trenches. You are right there and going head-to-head. You are in the middle of the whole process of building your future. How are you dealing with the lows? I’m talking about the emotional lows.
You are going to feel the lows and all that. You have seen me in the lows, too. I have come to you and be like, “I’m down bad now.” All I see is at the end of the day, I’m down there in the lows but I see the vision that I have. I see the company that I’m trying to build and the lives I’m going to impact. I have seen my family struggle with money, and I think to myself, “That’s not going to be me. I’m not going to put my future family through that.” You have to keep fighting to see the bigger picture instead of how you feel in the moment. Forget what you feel in the moment, look at the vision and bigger picture. That’s what it is.
Jesus, I’m proud of you. You are killing and crushing it. I can’t wait to see what you do in the future. It’s going to be stellar.
I also forgot to tell you too that I have that one deal in Georgia that I’m locking in. It’s in escrow. It’s going to close for $30,000 something.
Talk about that in several months of buildup. I’m telling you, you are going to kill it. You are killing it. Before we sign off, if somebody wants to reach out to you, maybe JV partner up with you, bring your deals or ask you questions, what is the best place to find you?
You can follow me on Instagram, @JesusValdez958 or you could text me at (623) 432-6791. I’m available 24/7.
At the end of the day, it comes down to making the decision, pulling the trigger, deciding on whether or not the search for freedom and all that struggle that we are in the middle of is worth it. As you can see, if you focus and put effort into it, it is something that can change your life. We happened to have stumbled across one of the best vehicles for generating revenue, which is wholesaling.
I firmly believe that it’s one of the best vehicles out there in terms of entry to the barrier and return on investment on the effort as well. If you are wondering how to get your wholesaling business started, if you want to get started yourself, go to the Wholesaling Inc website at WholesalingInc.com/wbb. Set up a time to have a conversation with one of our guys. Sit down with them, ask them any questions that you may have and if you feel like this is right for you, I look forward to working with you on a one-to-one basis. Until then, stay focused. You’ve got this. Let’s go.
- @JesusValdez958 – Instagram
- Profit First
- Be sure to join the Wholesaling Inc Facebook group
About Rafael Cortez
Rafael is an Organizational Psychologist and real estate professional holding ownership in multiple companies in various verticals. He has profitably invested in wholesale real estate over the last decade, runs an active business doing an average of 15 deals per month and is now passionate about using his investment knowledge, entrepreneurial experience and training as an organizational psychologist to help others learn about real estate investing through the Wholesaling Business Blueprint Coaching program with Wholesaling Inc.