Meet the DFD master Zach Boothe, who went from rags to riches using a unique real estate marketing channel called Driving for Dollars. Today he’ll be sharing with you his success story and give you an overview of what it’s like to invest in the real estate world and wholesale deals. Zach also gives us a glimpse of his journey on how he started his window cleaning business, the struggles he went through along the way, and how he used real estate to achieve the financial freedom that he’s always imagined.
This episode will surely inspire you to combine your work ethics with the right action steps to achieve a profitable real estate business. Join this awesome conversation by tuning in today’s episode.
How Driving For Dollars Yielded One Wholesaler An $83,000 Deal In Just 8 Hours Of Work With Zach Boothe
I have got a great episode for you. We are going to be talking about perseverance and hard work as a young child. This guy is one of the most resourceful people I have come across. I see a lot of his success came from how he was raised to work extremely hard. This guy was in construction, a window washer, and mowed lawns. Now he has turned all this hard work, knowledge, and experience that his father helped him to learn when still living at home has now he is transferred into his successful real estate business.
I am going to go ahead, get right into it, and introduce you to our guest. I hope you enjoy this episode, and please, if you have not already rated and reviewed the show, go review and give us a five-star review. That way, we can continue spreading the word of educating and getting people their first real estate deal, and also share this episode with someone if you feel like it resonates with you and if you know someone that needs to read this.
What is going on, Zachary Boothe? How are you?
I am good. Thanks for having me on. It is good to be here.
Anytime I see a guy drinking a Monster right before I hit the record button, it pretty much pumps me up.
I got to wake up from my nap.
This is how you are when you are a successful real estate guy like Zachary Boothe. You take naps in the middle of the day. I have gotten to know a little bit about your story and I still remember to this day meeting you in Salt Lake City, Utah. This was 2016-ish when I was starting out in wholesaling houses and still figuring out my lands. I remember a lot of your story, but I don’t want to mess it up. Share where you came from, a little bit about where you are now, and what you have built with all the success that you are having.
I was the world’s greatest window washer. I watched a lot of windows professionally. That is what I did for a decade before I was able to transition into real estate. That was tough. It was a business that I started when I was seventeen years old.
Have you always been a business operator or entrepreneur?
I started working when I was young. My dad put me to work at a real young age. My dad has been working at a corporate job since he was nineteen. It is the same company. He is still there. After work and after school, we would mow lawns, me, my two older brothers, and my dad. From the time I was 11 until 15, I was mowing a ton of lawns. All summer long, I worked my butt off. There were no slackers in my house.
When I was fifteen, I started doing construction for one of my neighbors. I did not want to do my lawn mowing anymore. I did finish carpentry and framed houses. Before I started my business at seventeen, I had done taxidermy and I made handcrafted cheese. I had done all the odd jobs whenever I could do because my dad, at sixteen years old, said, “You are a man now. You don’t have to pay for food or housing. I will give you $200 a year for clothing, and the rest is on you.” It was pretty tough. I had to find a way to make money.
It sounds like your dad is a smart guy.
A smart pain in the butt, too.
He set you up for success.
I started out in the lawn service at about the same age as you. There is not much harder out there than mowing grass in the summertime in Florida besides construction on a roof.
He showed you what hard work was before the world was going to show you. Anything you face in your real estate business now, is anything as hard as mowing grass and/or construction?
No. In my junior year summer, I went to Nova Scotia, Canada, and I was working 80-hour workweeks doing hard labor. It was all landscaping. It was throwing sod and retaining walls. I remember at night, I would wake up in so much pain. My muscles in my hands would cramp up. My hands would be bent into these little claws and I would have to open up my fingers with my forearms.
Real estate can give you that change, and your life can be better.
They were cramped up because of all of the manual labor I was doing. I was a lean, tough, strong kid. That was how I was raised. There was no whining, no complaining. I worked hard that my hands would cramp up at night. I had never imagined I had dealt with something like that before. My dad put me to work, and there was no other way around it.
After you escape the Siberian work camp, what came after that?
What happened was I went up to Nova Scotia, Canada, and worked 80-hour workweeks that summer. I did it because my dad would not even co-sign a loan for my truck. He was like, “If you want a truck, you will find the cash,” so I did. I found a way to get enough work and get out of the place where I would spend money. All I did was work from the time I woke up and I went to bed. I did take one day off a week and I slept the entire day.
When I came home, I bought my first truck cash, and I hated my boss up there so much that I was like, “I am done. I can’t do this anymore. I want to be my own boss. I work harder than all the bosses I have had,” except for my dad. My dad is an insane human being. No one can keep up with Steve Boothe. I was like, “What can I do? What business can I start?”
I was sick of trading time for money already. I read Rich Dad Poor Dad when I was fifteen. It was a reference from my dad’s friend that was a wealthy real estate investor. I knew I needed to be in charge of my own finances and have my own business. What I could afford to start was window cleaning. That was the choice.
I did not know anything about it or how to do any of that stuff, but I called up someone in the yellow pages, and I said, “My dad wants to bid on his house. How much do you charge?” I am trying to figure out what the pricing was. Back then, there were not any YouTube videos on how to wash windows. YouTube was funny videos back then so I had to figure it out.
You were resourceful enough to call the competition to get a bid on your house to see what they charged so you knew what to charge so you could start this business. Is that what I understood correctly?
I was extremely resourceful because I remember at that point, I did not have enough money for gas. I was out of money. By the time I bought my cellphone, business cards, squeegee, and scrubber applicator, I could not even afford the $40 holster that holds your equipment on the side of your belt. I could not afford the nice fancy bucket. I walked down the street, picked up an old paint bucket, and cleaned it out. That is what I used for my bucket.
I could not afford gas to drive to the nicer neighborhoods. I walked two miles to the nicer neighborhoods and started knocking on doors. Once I got some deals lined up, it was $20 to $30 a house. I am like, “We are going to make some money.” I would walk back, get my truck drive over there, do the work, get paid and go buy gas.
I was hungry for something different. It was not easy and it was scary. I remember it blew up a lot of hard work. I learned how to do sales, get people, and get workman’s comp. On my eighteenth birthday, I got my first business license. I got licensed, bonded, and insured. I started getting large contracts with banks. By the time I was done, I had thirteen employees, three trucks, and doing $500,000 a year in window cleaning. It was a lot.
I did not know all of that when I was talking to you outside of the conference room at the Wholesaling Inc Event that happened in Salt Lake City. I think it was the second event that Wholesaling Inc ever had. I told you this before briefly when we talked, but I still remember you telling me that you were a window washer. I was still figuring out my legs and still figuring out how to do deals back in 2016 and learning this. I needed all the inspiration and motivation I could get.
It is like taking a shower, Jim Rohn says, “You got to do it every single day. You got to find that motivation every single day until it becomes a habit.” I remember thinking, “He was a window washer. If he can do it, I can do it.” Thank you for that. You gave me motivation and inspiration many years ago and you did not even realize it. Thanks for being vulnerable with the Rhino Nation.
I believe in all of it. I loved Wholesaling Inc. It is the company that brought so much value to my life and taught me wholesaling. Like you, I was getting started. I was sick of being a window cleaner. Outside looking in and hearing the story like, “Zach was a hustler.” I was making $50,000 a year off that $500,000. The bigger I got, the more overhead and the less money I was making. I could not take care of my family. It was a grind. I hated the industry and what I was doing.
I was always out on the job sites washing windows because I constantly had people calling in sick. I had a high turnover. No one aspired to be a window cleaning technician. I hated where I was at. Maybe many of the readers might not have your own business that you hate, but you might be at a job you hate. It was crap. I could barely take care of my family. I could not afford the coaching. The coaching that I paid for that you paid for, I had to put on a credit card.
Tom Krol was nice enough to break up those. He did two payments for me. He told me, “I probably should not join the course because I can’t afford the mail.” I was like, “I will figure it out.”
The big thing is trying to figure out how to get a start and learning how to wholesale. I did that first wholesale deal about the time that we met.
Many thoughts come to my mind. It is better to have a job that you hate rather than a business you hate because the business you hate, you have got a lot invested in that but a job, you could pick up and leave that. I was in the military and it took me three years to get out. I had to put a packet in. I had to get that packet approved. I was scared to do that because a lot of my friends that put in packets as well in the same job classification that I was in were getting denied and they all told me, “Do not do it. Do not even worry about it. Do not waste your time.”
I still did it, and by the grace of God, they approved it for me to get out. Maybe I sucked that bad. They wanted to get rid of me anyways. I had a job and I hated it, too. It is funny how you can keep growing and scaling. We think we have this massive operation, but if the deals that we are not doing are profitable enough to pay for that operation, we are going under the more people we hire. We have got to be careful with that as business owners, even in the real estate business, to watch the numbers note and you knew your numbers luckily to see that.
It was important for me to find success in real estate for me to accomplish what I wanted to and give my family the life I wanted to give them. I was upset because I had worked hard for many years and I still felt like I was failing my family. We were still going without and there had to be a change. Real estate had given me that. My life has never been better.
I get to talk to a lot of successful people and I see that they all have this huge why that catapults them out of bed every morning and allows them to stay up late. It sounds to me like your why was you did not want your family to ever have to go through going without and you probably did not even want your children to have to work as hard as you did.
I want them to suffer. It will be freaking good for them, but I am already teaching my son things. He asked me all the time, “Dad, let’s go door-knocking again.” I am taking them door-knocking and we have done landscaping together. I want him not to be afraid of hard work. One of the biggest recipes to success is to combine a work ethic with the right action steps, do that, and you are unstoppable.
It took me too long to find the right people with the right action steps and the right mentors. That is the beauty. If you want land, go to you. Take your work ethic guy, go to this coach, work with Brent, and follow the action steps and you will have a lot of results. That was the big mistake I made for so long. I would say, “I am stupid. I have to hustle hard.” I hustled hard, but it did not get me far.
You can run 100 miles an hour in the wrong direction and waste time. I feel like the smart people out there are not willing to work hard because they are smart. Ayo Williams said, “Smart people are always trying to figure out a better and easier way because this stuff is not complicated.” We take advice from someone that has lived there.
I could be six months ahead of you. I could show you the way or six miles ahead of you and tell you there is a cop hiding behind the bushes for you. That is all we do as coaches. I understand you coach some guys. Let’s talk a little bit about that and your daily operations because I love when I hear door-knocking. That is powerful and driving for dollars. That excites me. I still do that stuff.
I coach and the whole goal here is not to give you guys a plug about my coaching. I don’t want you guys to think that is why I am here. I have a lot of value and things that I do for people but I understand that it is important to have that guy that has been there and done it. If you guys are looking for a coach like Brent and why had you on my show, it is important that that mentor has done or accomplished what you are trying to accomplish and you like and trust that person. That is why I was like, “Come be on my show because I know you are that kind of guy.”
Whenever you guys are looking for a mentor, that is a filter. Identify exactly what you are trying to accomplish, whether that is land, wholesaling, or whatever, and then find that mentor to serve you. I spend most of my time coaching but I have an automated full-time wholesaling business/flipping business where I cherry-pick my favorite deals for rentals. That is what I am doing now. I love the game.
Something that intrigued me so much as you were talking to me about how you did your 40-day Challenge. I want to make sure that we can let Rhino Nation, the readers, something we both grew up in our real estate business in a way, know about this and find it. Let’s hear about this 40-day Challenge that you did that was filmed. I am intrigued by it. I want to hear it. You gave me a higher level.
I did a little challenge. It is free content. I am not selling you guys anything. This is something that I did because I wanted to serve and give back. I was a major skeptic of the amount of money you could make in wholesaling by getting into real estate. There were all these gurus, podcasts, and YouTube. They were always pitching a course or program, which is fine but is it legitimate or marketing? Are they selling a dream and that is the product and there is no real actual success being had?
Since I was skeptical, I said on the sidelines way too long. I look back and like, “What do I have to give to start in my early twenties versus my later twenties?” I wanted to give that same gift because what happened is I met a super wealthy gentleman that was a developer, and I was washing his windows at this giant house.
He ended up giving me two of his rentals, seller finance, a couple of thousand down. I made over $100,000 profit. He helped and hooked me up. He knew he did. When I had that happen, I was like, “This is a deal of a lifetime.” I have been hearing all these podcasts that you can get a deal of a lifetime every week. It sounds like it is real. I believe it now so I took action. I got a mentor. I went to work and it completely changed my life. I make over $1 million a year. It is an incredible experience. It is life-changing and I get to focus on what’s important to me.
One of the biggest recipes for success is combining a work ethic with the right action steps. Do that, and you are unstoppable.
I wanted to give that same gift to others and pay it forward. I wanted Tom Krol, who changed my life and pass on that legacy. I wanted to do something more. I was up late one night thinking about this. I was like, “How do I inspire people, not my students, but everyone? How do I show them that it is possible?” I have decided to do something that I saw on a TV show called Undercover Billionaire. If you guys have not watched Undercover Billionaire, the concept is they take $100. They fly to somewhere they had never been and they had to turn it into a $1 million company in 90 days.
It is pretty cool. I only watch season one but I want to do something similar around real estate wholesaling. I took $1,000 and flew to Tampa, I had never been there. I chose Tampa because it was warm and wintertime. I did not want to freeze my butt off while I was out and about. I decided to use a strategy that I love and teach. It has made me a ton of money. I have done land deals and all sorts of cool stuff with driving for dollars. The goal was to turn that $1,000 into $40,000 in 40 days so I went for it.
I told everybody about it and I announced it before I went. I was terrified I was going to fail. I went and did it. I was pretty blown away by the results I was able to get, but I documented day-by-day exactly what I did, how I did it, and what tech I used. You guys have to watch it and learn it. It is amazing. It is like the best free educational content that I know of around wholesaling out there.
I am sure if you failed, you would have deleted that video.
The thought that I had was, “If I don’t do a single deal, at least they will see what the grind is.” I am a successful guy. I do make $1 million a year. If I did not do a deal but I got some good conversations, I was like, “That would be good content. Someone might benefit.” I didn’t fail. Thank goodness.
It is because you knew what hard work was. You knocked on doors to get window cleaning jobs like knocking doors or driving for dollars to get big real estate deals. That is way more powerful, motivating, and a big goal that keeps you going when it is hard. I love that you said that deal with a lifetime. There is a quote that I heard Dolf de Roos say, “The deal of a lifetime comes once a week as long as you are looking for it.”
It is like when you buy the black Chevy, the blue Jeep, or the red Camaro. You see them everywhere. We look for deals as deal finders. As Tom Krol says, “Become a deal finder, not a deal creator.” I want to be both. I create deals and find deals but we get what we look for. You mentioned land. I want to hear about one of your land stories. What are your best land stories because I do not want to take too much time here?
I have a bunch. A lot of creative stuffing be dumb, but one of my coolest ones was driving for dollars. We will take driving for dollars land deal. We find this house that has a hole in the roof. When we ended up getting the lead, the guy had passed away. The dude had a bunch of properties. It was one of his properties. He had a bunch of large multifamilies and that stuff. The family wanted to sell that one cash because it had a bunch of foundation issues. There was a lot attached to it. That was now not usable. It did not have enough street frontage. It could not even be used.
If I had another 10 feet of frontage, it could have a duplex on it. It was worthless but the lot next to it had this house that had some foundation issues. They were not sure if it was a teardown. There was a literal hole in the roof that the raccoons were getting down in the house. There was dust all over the house and the little raccoon tracks everywhere. There were six raccoons living in that house. It was hilarious.
We ended up putting it under contract not knowing what was going to happen. What I always do is if I think there might be a higher and better use for the land, I always go to the city planner. I did not know much but I knew that the city planner would tell me what I could do or what I should know. I did not have to be the expert for each city, all the codes, regulations, and all that stuff.
I went to the city planner and I said, “What can we do with this lot? I have got this property under contract. What do we do?” I found out that if you own both lots, you can do a simple lot line adjustment as long as it still fits within the city requirements. You can’t turn an existing parcel into a non-conforming parcel. They would not let you do that, but I could do a lot line adjustment and still keep enough frontage on the old lot with the house on it.
There was a detached garage with a breezeway. That garage would have had to come down. The funny thing is that is where the foundation issues were anyways. I had to get a structural engineer out there. This is all during my inspection period. I gave myself three weeks so I am scrambling. I have talked to the city planner. I find out that I can do a lot line adjustments but we have to tear down the garage.
I called the engineer. I have him come out and look at the foundation. I am like, “What is going to happen if we tear down this and shore this up. What retaining wall do we need in these back corners?” We look through all of the requirements there. The foundation issues were going to cost a max of $30,000 to have the structural engineers team do it.
I have a written bid for $30,000 for a house that I thought was a teardown. He was also going to tear down the garage for me to shore up the corner of the house. That was the teardown and that. The lot line adjustment was $100. It was nothing. I took a lot that was worth nothing and turned it into a $60,000 lot. I salvaged the house that could be an up and down duplex. I did not do all the work, but I figured out the real value of what could be done there.
I put all of this together in my email blast and I sent it out to my cash buyers list. I said, “I have a duplex and a duplex lot for sale.” That is what it was. When I got everyone interested, I had to educate them on what I had educated myself on. I did not know anything about this stuff when I got this deal. I was able to move the contract, not any debt, for over $83,000 profit when before maybe I had made $10,000.
It was amazing. There have been lots of stories like this. I know one of the big wholesalers here messed up. My real estate agent lists all my flips. He is investor-friendly and on all the cash buyer’s lists. He came to me and he was like, “I closed on a house from your competitor wholesaler. They did not realize that the higher and better use is an apartment complex on this land. I closed on it and listed it. In two weeks, I got a cash offer. I am going to make $160,000 on land because the house torn down in the land for multifamily is worth way more. The whole seller sent it out as a single-family flip. I bought it for a single-family flipped pricing happily and listed it.” He did not even bulldoze it. He listed it as this is the potential and he got $160,000 above what he paid cash offer.
First of all, where can we find that video with your 40-day Challenge and more about you.
There is a specialty link. It is DFDMaster.com/40in40. It is a link and it is free. Go get free access also.
You have learned it from Zach Boothe. Hard work pays off. Being resourceful in just making a few calls. How many hours did you have spent on that $83,000 profitable contract that you have signed?
I did not do any of the cold callings. I had some VAs called calling for me for $7 an hour. They called me on a postcard. No time and a little bit of marketing dollars. The total time invested into that deal for the acquisitions and finding the buyer and stuff is maybe 7 to 8 hours.
Let’s say you only made $80,000. It is $10,000 an hour. That is what you can do in this business. You learned it from Zach Boothe. If you are looking to get started in real estate and you want to see if this is a great fit for you or maybe you want to talk to one of us on the Wholesaling Inc team, head on over to WholesalingInc.com/Land, schedule a call with me and my team. We will see if we are a good fit. If we are, I would be honored to coach you. Thanks, Zach.
Thanks for having me.
- Zachary Boothe
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
- 40-day Challenge
- Undercover Billionaire
- Driving for Dollars Mastery
- Be sure to join the Wholesaling Inc Facebook group
About Brent Bowers
Brent Bowers is an investor and coach with a focus on buying and selling vacant land. As an Army Officer with over 8 years of service, Brent was spending a great deal of time away from his family, and he knew he needed to make some changes in order to be more present with his wife and children. In a short period of time, Brent was able to expand his business, hire a team, and (most importantly) spend quality time with his family while still working hard and helping others.
While Brent invests in many different types of real estate, his favorite investment strategy deals with buying and selling vacant land, and he enjoys sharing his expertise in this area with his coaching clients. Brent chooses to live his life based on Bob Burg’s quote, “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.” He is passionate about helping other people find success in real estate investing, particularly inland investments.