Special guest Samantha Baez is working in the very competitive Southern California real estate market. Lauren Hardy and Samantha talk about mindset while wholesaling and working in the crowded real estate industry.
- Samantha details her process of getting started in real estate
- Why Southern California is one of the toughest markets
- How wholesaling can replace the corporate job you have.
Visit https://WholesalingInc.com to get started today and save!
Overcoming Fears In Real Estate Ft. Samantha Baez
How did you hear about wholesaling or real estate investing?
When I was younger, I was always the kind of kid who looked for odd ways to make money even though you don’t need money as a kid. It was always doing deals and selling stuff, which was little hot dogs. I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to do something that wasn’t a corporate job or a 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM job. I always was fed that. I was looking past high school and didn’t find anything. I entered college and felt like I couldn’t find anything more.
2020 hit and everybody was on TikTok and social media. I scrolled across KingKhan. He’s a wholesaling guy. That was the spark that set it off. I was like, “I’ve always wanted to do real estate, and this is something that looks like I can do now since the whole world is shut down.” That rocketed off into a whole different thing. I fell in love with real estate after that.
I’ve heard of this guy named Khan on TikTok. He blew up on TikTok. Somehow, you went from learning about it through social media to then coming into the Wholesaling Inc. tribe. That’s how we met through my program, Virtual Investing Mastery. Before the program, you fell in love with real estate and wanted to learn how to wholesale houses. Have you tried to do it on your own before getting coaching?
I did, and that was very difficult. I’m not going to lie, especially because I live in Southern California, which is one of the craziest markets in the nation. It was a daunting time to wholesale as a newbie in such a crazy, cutthroat, and expensive market. I tried. I pulled my butt off and it was horrible. California sellers are a little scarier to contact, but I did it.
I came across a Wholesaling Inc. episode with you and Brent. I don’t think you were even a coach at the time. I watched that episode and you were talking about how you were from Southern California, that it was crazy, and that you were starting to do it virtually. I was like, “The stars are aligning. I’ve been trying to do this.” At the time, I was also talking with some other people that were possible mentors, but I watched the episode. Immediately after that, I messaged you on Instagram, and then that whole thing started. That’s how I found you. It was a perfect time. The perfect stars were aligning, and then that was history.
Let’s talk about Southern California. For anyone who is reading, if you feel like the price point in your backyard market is out of control and you live in an area where it’s super high price or an area where there’s a ton of competition, but you’re supersaturated with very savvy developers with deep marketing budget pockets, that’s where we lived. We lived in an area that was arguably one of the most competitive real estate environments in the country. You don’t even have to be SoCal. I’ve also heard of Seattle, New Jersey, Washington, DC and a lot of the East Coast markets. These are areas where wholesale is going to be very difficult. It’s going to be very hard.
We depend on the ability to be able to convince a seller to take a discount on their home in exchange for fast cash. In California and in other markets that we’ve listed, it’s very difficult to convince a seller to do that and to accept a discount on their home because they don’t need to. They have other options. They can put the house on the MLS slightly discounted and there’s a cash offer from some rich person that wants to live there.
The thing is, the people over here are sometimes not even investors. You can also have doctors who want to put their money somewhere and they’re buying houses. It’s crazy over here, especially with the price points. We have HGTV people and Tarek El Moussa who’s in Orange County, which is right where you guys are. You’re also competing with people who have millions of dollars to market, and they touch a lot of the same people. It’s hard to REIT somebody who hasn’t already been REIT.
You have to keep going because there’s no other way to learn things.
I was on a little mastermind call. The old guy I was talking to doesn’t work with Tarek, but he was talking about their marketing spend. They spent $400,000 a month on PPC ads. I was like, “We couldn’t compete with that.” It was a lot, and there are easier places to do this business. I talked to so many people that try to wholesale because they heard it on TikTok or YouTube university. They tried in their backyard and they’re like, “Why have I not closed the deal? It’s been four months. I’m so confused. Every seller is saying I’m offering way too low and I don’t get it.” Look at where you’re at and ask yourself, “Is this market a high-priced market?”
I would say if your market is starting to hit the $300,000 average purchase price, you’re going to start hearing a lot of noes. Sellers know that their real estate has high values and you’re going to have to start becoming more competitive in your negotiating skills the more expensive the market gets. You can stick with your hometown market. That’s fine.
You could also find another market where it’s easier, and that was my choice. I wanted to find another market where it was easier and there were more motivated sellers. What I offered was a good offer to them. It wasn’t such a huge discount. A 30% discount on a $1 million home is a lot different than a 30% discount on a $100,000 home.
When the seller does all the calculations and they realize the amount of time that they’d have to take to sell the home, they’d have to find a contractor that won’t rip them off, but it turns out our offer is almost in line with what they would have done if they did it themselves. That’s why it works in these other markets. There are 380 metros in the United States. Think outside the metro you live in.
Exactly, and that’s the hardest part, at least when you’re in a bigger metro. I live in the Inland Empire, which is a suburban area. Over here, houses are averaging at $500, 000. It’s unfathomable to me, and before I started real estate, people could buy houses for $100,000. Coming from this market and trying to put yourself in seems too good to be true, but once you start learning about the market and talking to people, it becomes a lot more sensible.
I get to live by the beach. I still get to live in this cool area, but I don’t have to be limited to investing in this area and doing this business in this area. I did it during the recession time. It was easier, but as soon as this market picked back up and we got out of the recession, I would have quit if I kept staying in my Southern California market. I would have maybe become a realtor because that makes more sense here or I’d have a corporate job again.
It’s interesting that a lot of the people who I talked to that do wholesale in California used to be the naysayers like, “Why would you do virtual?” Everyone started doing it, too, in the past couple of years. That goes anywhere. Virtual investing people even living in good markets are investing virtually in different markets. For anyone, it’s a benefit, whether you’re in a smaller market, in a bigger market, or in a good market. Virtual investing has taught me so much about learning about different markets. Eventually, you have to get it down for us, but the opportunity to grow is much bigger when you’re virtual than when you’re just in one place in your home state.
You also have the ability to capitalize on emerging markets. If you happen to say that Google opened up an office and saw that there’s growth, you can capitalize on that. You have that skill. I’m stoked that I have that. When I first started thinking about going virtual and I asked some mentors who lived in my area, flipped and did the whole thing in this area, they got in way earlier. They got in before Southern California was crazy. They bought all these rentals. They had rental income coming. It’s different talking to someone who started many years ago when back then, you could buy houses for $150,000. Those $500,000 homes were $150,000. You could run them out. It was different.
I remember them telling me, “That sounds like a shiny object. It’s a bad idea. You need to learn how to make it work here.” I was like, “That’s easy for you to say because you have $10,000 a month coming in rental income. I didn’t get to do that when I was in high school. The times have changed for me.” People are moving out of these expensive markets and going to Nashville. There are going to be people in Nashville that are saying, “Back in the day, I could buy a house in East Nashville for $80,000, but now, they’re going for $500,000.” That’s like those certain metros in the country that are heating up.”
Everybody’s going to be saying that, so I’m here to say that if your market is turning into this and it’s becoming out of your reach and you’re not able to cashflow on rentals anymore, you can have a rental in another market. You can have rentals in another state. Get a property manager. It’s not that hard. You can self-manage rentals virtually. It’s possible. You don’t even have to have a property manager.
People don’t understand the technology that is out there yet to be able to do these things. Even if you do invest in your own market, most people are still doing it virtually. People don’t go to physical appointments anymore. Everything’s done through DocuSign. Why would you still say not to do it when you should be spending your time wisely in the sense of qualifying, getting leads out, and not wasting time driving to each appointment? Especially for me, to get to LA is two hours, even though it’s only 45 or 50 miles away. The whole learning how to do it virtually can help you even in your own big market. California is a big state, and to get anywhere over here takes quite a while.
We’ve convinced all the readers that virtual is the way to go. Tell us all about what you went through getting your first deal and getting over all the fear and self-doubt that goes into it.
The biggest thing that I had a major struggle with was the mentality and overcoming those fears. It took me a long time to get my first deal. The last week of my six months with you is when I finally got my first deal. It wasn’t because what you and everybody were telling me didn’t work. It was the mindset. It was the fear of, “Does this work?” It was a lot of doubting and playing games with your own mind when growing up, you don’t get told that you can go do something like this and make a good amount of money. You’re told, “You got to go to college. You got to get a degree. You have to go into this big corporation, and then maybe on the side, you can do that.” It was very terrifying, but eventually, I went all-in.
As soon as I went all-in and put all my faith into it, it happened. It’s crazy what happens when you open your mind and believe in something versus when you’re still timid. I like to listen to Ryan Serhant. He’s one of the Million Dollar Listing guys. He said, “Scared money doesn’t make money.” I’m not saying that I don’t like to spend money, but for me, that meant if you’re scared to go all-in, you’re not going to do it. You have to be able to risk something and the reward will be big as well.
We all do that. We all have fear. I know some people are less fearful than me, but I struggle with fear. That’s one of my biggest things. If I ever was to write a book, I would hope it’d be about overcoming fear because I hope I overcame it. In every stage that I get into of doing a new thing, there’s all this self-doubt that I can’t do it and I’ll never be this person. I don’t know why, but for some reason, I kept thinking, “This is not for me.” I found myself even doing that.
I’m trying to level up my company. I’m putting a lot of energy into it, a lot of manifestation, and vision boarding of exactly what I want it to look like, and then doing the work. I thought I worked hard. It turns out I used to not work hard. Now, I’m working hard. I dove into a certain role in my company. I’m working in the business, not just on it but in it, because I need to figure out what it is that I need to fix here to go bigger and work my butt off.
Before I jumped all the way in, I was like, “I don’t know if I can do it. Honestly, how am I going to do this? I don’t think I’m going to do it as well as my employees were doing it. What if I ruin our sales and everything goes up and I have a fire everyone or let everyone go?” I kept doing this for days. I kept having fear and these negative thoughts in my head. I wasn’t taking action, but then, I was like, “You have no choice. You have to take action.”
I started getting into it. I started taking action. In every little win, I’d be like, “You did that better than your employee. You crushed that.” Then, I would do something else and I’d set up a new system. I’d be like, “Look at you. You did that again.” I kept proving myself wrong, and then I realized, “This was all in your head. It was you being super pessimistic on yourself.” I heard this somewhere. They’re like, “Worrying about it isn’t going to change the future.” Do you ever worry about something because you think that if you worry about it, you will stop it from happening?
If your mindset is very negative, even if you have money, it’s going to go in a very negative way. A good mindset is always necessary.
Exactly, or you try to think of all the different ways it could go and then all the different outcomes that are possible. It’s a mind game.
You think that’ll stop it from happening, and it’s crazy because then, you’re torturing yourself, and then none of it even happened. Why don’t you think positively, believe in yourself, believe that this works, have faith in your coach, and have faith in yourself that there’s nothing better about these other people that are doing it? You are as good as them. You are as worthy as this and do the action.
That was the biggest thing for me, which I love that you’ve talked about. You can think about all the things that can go wrong. You can think about all the ways that it’s not going to work out or you could shut up and do it and then see how it goes from there. No one else is going to do it. You told me exactly what I needed to do. People were telling me exactly what I needed to do and I was still terrified to do it. It wasn’t because it didn’t work. It works. It’s that I didn’t think it would work for me and I didn’t believe in myself.
Once you’re able to shake that off, take it down, and start, things are going to happen. It doesn’t have to be perfect. That was another thing for me too. I wanted to be perfect. I needed everything to be in line and to go the way that I thought it was going to go, but by marketing, things are going to come. You don’t know when it’s going to come, but you have to be ready.
There was a quote I heard. It was, “When crap hits the fan, wear goggles.” What that meant to me was that I think so much about all the bad things that can happen and that if they happen, I’ll die. Isn’t that the only option?
Your life is over. Your boyfriend or girlfriend breaks up with you and your family doesn’t want to be related to you anymore. That’s where our brain goes all the time. I was like, “That is so true,” but I thought, “What would you do if you knew there were no consequences? What would you do if you knew you had a bubble around you and nothing bad could happen? Think about that and live your life. That way, you would do so much and would probably make so much money.”
Do exactly what you love. People don’t find anything that they truly love too.
I love the direction this episode went because overcoming fears is one of my favorite topics because it’s something that’s super personal to me that I deal with.
On the show, you talked about your daughter having ADHD, which I had been informed about in 2020. I was diagnosed with ADHD. That was terrifying to me because I finally understood why I was doing the things I did, but it put me in a box. I was like, “How could I be focused enough to do something like this? How can I stay on task to do something like this?”
When I’m dealing with something that I can’t focus on or it’s hard for me to read sometimes, that’s a little daunting. Those are fears that a lot of people don’t think about because they don’t have to think about those kinds of things. I feel like when you are in those kinds of situations, you have nothing to do but fight. There’s no other way. You have to overcome that. You’ll feel when you’ve overcome, and once you feel that, there’s no stopping.
I don’t talk about my daughter, but she’s got a lot. She does have pretty severe ADHD. I was a parent from when she was one year old. I went to the doctor and said, “I think she’s deaf. I’m here to get her hearing checked.” They’re like, “Why?” I was like, “She doesn’t listen to anything.” That’s a very common ADHD child demonstration. They don’t listen to anything you say. It turns out she was not deaf. In fact, she has hyper-acute hearing. She’s got such good hearing, and then that’s even more distracting for her.
Going through raising a child with ADHD, especially at the level she had, was very stressful. To all the parents that have a kid struggling with special needs, it is hard. To people that don’t have kids with special needs, they don’t understand what you’re going through. I felt like I was on an island. People blamed me. They said it was my fault, or my parenting, or, “Does ADHD even exist?” I would get that stuff all the time. It was a struggle and then watching her struggle got me so mad because people would be so hard on her.
She was constantly getting yelled at by people all the time. At daycares or at school, she was always being reprimanded. She couldn’t help it. She had no agency. This was not her fault. She cannot help the way her brain is, so I always had to be a mama bear yelling back at everybody. I go all crazy. I’m very protective of my daughter and of kids with special needs.
As she’s getting older, I never hid that she had ADHD from her. I don’t believe in lying to my kids. I’m very honest and I’m not going to lie to them. I’m not going to hide things from them. If you don’t agree with my parenting style, I don’t care. That’s my thing because I grew up in a family where we didn’t talk about things, so I was like, “We are talking about everything and I’m not going to censor and not tell you that it’s going to affect your life. Let’s make you self-aware.”
I taught her, “Your brain thinks differently and shoots different signals. You’ve got to learn. Only you can control this. This is within you. I can’t fix this, so you’re going to have to learn how to trick your brain to get you to pay attention. You’re going to have to learn how to focus. We’re going to have to come up with tools and tricks.”
Throughout the years, we came up with tools and tricks. She wears these funny headphones in class and has little things that she does. She writes checklists. She’s a checklist girl. She loves planning. She’s got planners and calendars. We get cute, colorful, and fun ones. The worst is when you don’t know you have ADHD, but you’re wondering why you can’t stay focused and you cannot commit to a goal. You never reach your goals because you can’t do the action items to get there because you can’t focus. The best thing is to get a diagnosis and learn about it, and then you’ll learn that there are tools. You have to learn how to manage things, make it fun, put tools together to make it fun for you, and then you’ll be able to do it.
The blessing of it is those are things that people should be doing anyway with or without ADHD. These are tools that make us hyper-aware of things that we need to do, but all in all, everybody should be planning. Everybody should be doing these things. It’s great that at a young age, she was able to get that help with the whole planning thing. I know it was a journey for me at 21 to try to figure out what habits I needed to change, what things I needed to be aware of, and what are the things I needed to try.
It takes me a while to get focused, let alone keep my focus on reading. You’re trying to overcome these things and you feel like you should stop, but you know that you have to keep going because there’s no other way. You have to learn these types of things. It’s when you have a great support system and a great mom who helps you figure those things out that you thrive. Luckily, I’ve had a great support system helping me figure those things out too. Also, real estate is a self-development base. A lot of people like to do self-development things, so it helped me a lot in figuring out how I need to live, what works best for me, and how I need to work in order to succeed. Everybody is completely different.
That’s why I do the in-person coaching every month. I invite my students to do it. We have office hours and they’re allowed to come in. I remember you came to it a couple of times. That’s when we talk about emotions. Usually, it’s not tactical stuff. It’s like, “What’s stopping you right now?” I had a full-time dad. He was trying to be a super dad, but he had no balance. I was like, “You got to stop being a super dad.” We talked about that stuff. I love getting a text from him like, “You told me some stuff I needed to hear. Thank you for validating me. I’m going to come back next month.”
In the in-person coaching, we talk about emotions because business is an intellectual sport. Your brain’s got to be in the right place too. Otherwise, the decisions you’re making in your personal life will affect your business 100%. How many times do you hear the guy made all this money, but then he cheats on his wife, and then the next thing, he has some lawsuit? You’ve got to get both of them in order.
That’s where people get the misconception that money makes everything better. Money just heightens whatever the situation is. If your mindset is negative and you have money, it’s going to go in a negative way versus a good mindset is always something that is necessary. No matter how good of a business person or entrepreneur a person is, the number one thing I feel like people always talk about is their mindset because they have to wake up and battle with themselves in a sense every single day. They’re battling those automatic negative thoughts and this scary world that could be out there with what’s happening. They have to push themselves to say, “Get through it. Get through today and tomorrow will hopefully be better. If it’s not, the next day will hopefully be better,” until you find that light at the end.
You are so inspiring. Thank you so much for coming and inspiring others. If anybody wants to get ahold of you, could they find you on Instagram? Do you want to drop your social media out there?
Yeah. If you want to find me on Instagram, my username is @Scuba_Sam. My name is Sam Baez. You can always message me with any questions you have. I would be happy to help you.
Thank you so much for being on the show. Thank you so much for reading. If you think this show could inspire someone else, make sure you share it with your friends. If you are interested in learning how to go virtual in your real estate investing business, make sure you check out www.VirtualInvestingMastery.com. That’s it. Thanks so much for reading. We’ll see you in the next episode.
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About Lauren Hardy
Lauren Hardy is Virtual Investing expert and Real Estate influencer who owns multiple companies in the real estate industry including real estate investment, coaching, and software companies. She is also a Wholesaling Inc coach and co-host of the Wholesaling Inc Podcast.
Her experience in the last decade has been focused on real estate investing and creating products and services to serve the real estate investing community. If you are interested in investing in real estate virtually, house flipping, or virtual landlording, Lauren’s your girl.