This is episode #395, and today’s I’m joined by my pal Joe Calloway. Joe is a Pittsburgh area investor that has become a dominate force in the market, where he owns hundreds of properties in Allentown, including single family houses and commercial properties.
Despite Joe’s success, he periodically suffers from ‘shiny object syndrome’, which is definitely something I’m familiar with. As real estate investors and entrepreneurs, it’s sometimes easy to assume the grass is greener by focusing on a different type of investing, or even on other markets. But, you’re often best served by just focusing on what you’re good at…and getting better at your core competency.
On today’s show, we talk about the power of staying focused, and how to stop chasing the next big thing.
Please help me welcome Joe Calloway to the show!

Highlights of this show

  • Meet Joe Calloway, successful Pittsburgh based real estate investor.
  • Join the conversation on giving back to your community, and learn how Joe and his team are making a difference in Pittsburgh.
  • Learn the importance of getting ‘back to basics’ as a real estate investor, and not getting distracted with ‘shiny objects’.
  • Join our discussion on how to take small steps towards your success, and not let big scary goals keep you from taking action.

Resources and Links from this show:

Listen to the Audio Version of this Episode

FlipNerd Show Transcript:

Mike: This is the Expert Real Estate Investing show, the show for real estate investors whether you’re a veteran or brand new. I’m your host Mike Hambright, and each week I bring you a new expert guest that will share their knowledge and lessons with you. If you’re excited about real estate investing, believe in personal responsibility, and taking control of your life and financial destiny, you’re in the right place.
This is episode number 395, and today I’m joined by my pal Joe Calloway. Joe is a Pittsburgh area investor that has become a dominant force in the market where he owns hundreds of properties in the Allentown neighborhood, including single family houses and commercial properties. Despite Joe’s success, he periodically suffers from shiny object syndrome which is definitely something I’m familiar with here. I drive my wife nuts.
But as real estate investors and entrepreneurs, it’s sometimes easy to assume the grass is greener by focusing on a different type of investing, a different exit strategy, even on other markets. But you’re often best served by just focusing on what you’re good at and what’s worked for you in the past and getting better and better at your core competency.
On today’s show we talk about the power of staying focused, how it’s worked for Joe, how it can work for you, and how to stop chasing the next big thing. Please help me welcome Joe Calloway to the show. Joe, welcome to the show.
Joe: Hey, thanks for having me again. I appreciate being here.
Mike: It’s good to see you, man. So here we are in the winter and I can see that you got a surf board behind you there.
Joe: You know, we get all of our office decor out of the houses we buy, and I keep the wackiest things and usually tape them or staple them to the wall as our decoration.
Mike: That’s funny and we found a lot of . . . it’s funny the crazy stuff you find in houses when you’re in this business for a while, right?
Joe: Oh yeah. We have bikes on the wall, we have portraits of some our former tenants that we keep as tradeoffs because they usually bail in the middle of the night leaving us with a big bill. So we put them on the wall to remember those fallen.
Mike: That’s funny. We found a couple of stripper poles before. We didn’t move into our office though.
Joe: Come on. That’s really cool stuff.
Mike: In hindsight. In hindsight. That might’ve . . . something bad might’ve come out of that. I don’t know.
Joe: [inaudible 00:02:22] Mike: Yeah for sure. Cool, man. Well I am really excited to talk about this. As we’re kind of beginning the year here, talking about focusing, it’s really easy for real estate investors that are entrepreneurs that are . . . a lot of times I refer to us as we’re in the opportunity business, right? So it’s really easy for us to get distracted with shiny objects and stuff.
So it’s going to be a good discussion today to talk about some of your experiences with getting distracted and trying other things and realizing that you just need to focus on what you’re good at. And for a lot of people that are listening, that’s probably the right thing for them to do as well. So looking forward to discussing that.
Joe: Yeah, I’m excited to do it because I’m the king of getting distracted. But I’m also very good at focusing for long periods of time and seeing great results from focusing on what I’m good at and not being caught by the butterflies that are always flying in my entrepreneurial head.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. Cool, man. Well, before we jump into this, tell us a little bit about you, your background and where you are right now. You guys are doing very well, winning a lot of awards, really making a difference in your market there. Tell us more about that.
Joe: Yes, so we are in the hometown I grew up in, a neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania called Allentown. We bought a lot of this community on approximately 60% of the commercial districts. We own about 60 or 70 houses in this particular neighborhood, then we own another 400 units within a mile of our office. So that’s comprised of about a little over 200 buildings.
So a lot of single family houses and that’s where we really made our niche. Buying in underdeveloped communities on the brink of trendy or on the brink of coming up and going and buying them cheap, renovating them and renting them and then bringing the community up. And ultimately, the real estate values follow, our rents rise, and then we do very well.
And the community appreciates it a lot too because we go in the neighborhoods that most investors do not dare to tread way before now, five years later the investors are starting to follow suit. They’re bringing the price points up, paying a lot more and we control not only the commercial district and the businesses that go in there, but also, we have residential houses that we’re turning over to owner occupants.
And a lot of people who have always been in the community, who were renters are now going to be owners. So working that two-sided strategy. We are profiteers, we are capitalists, but we also want to see this community thrive as well.
Mike: That’s awesome and you literally have made the market, right?
Joe: Yeah, this market was nonexistent, and it was used as the butt of jokes, it’s called Allentown, not Allentown, Pennsylvania, but the neighborhood is called Allentown. And I went to a real estate class about six years ago and the gentleman who was a very knowledgeable investor in Pittsburg used Allentown as a place that when a wholesaler calls you and says, “Do you want to buy a house in Allentown?” don’t even return his call because it’s worth nothing.
So I was like, “Oh boy. I have about a million dollars in Allentown right now. So I’m either smart or really, really stupid.” And I’ve been shown that I was right, but we take a lot of risk and risk equals award and now we’re reaping the rewards and getting recognized for it. Most recently I won EY, Entrepreneur of the Year, regionally in the real estate construction category. Went out to California and Palm Springs to compete on a level against giants of industries. So it was an honor to be there. I didn’t a stand a chance to win on that on the big stage, but even locally I was against the big scale developers here in our region.
Mike: That’s great. That’s great. Congrats on that, man. It’s easy, especially if you’re active on social media, you see all these people. You always assume people are doing things that maybe they’re not really doing. It’s easy to see somebody driving a fancy car but you don’t know what’s behind that and we get distracted. It’s easy for us to get distracted I think as a real estate investor especially because let’s face it, the deals are . . . you’re obviously a high volume guy but for a lot of real estate investors, they can have a really nice business but do a couple deals a month.
So what that means is 28 days out of the month they’re not doing deals. So it’s easy to get distracted on, “Well, how do I do more? What else can I do?” and jump into other things, and we kind of start to assume that the grass is always greener. But I know you’ve tried some things and just talk a little bit about your findings there.
Joe: Yeah, I’ve had a history since I started being an entrepreneur about 10 years on the [inaudible 00:06:45] things. So at the point where I drove my wife crazy, opening up eight businesses on top of my real estate business, on top of my construction business, and all of those things have one thing in common, they were not successful, and they made no money. So I continue to have this problem as an entrepreneur and I think it’s a gift that a lot of us share that we like trying new things, but we have to make sure that we don’t get off track of our core competency to chase the next big thing.
And in real estate that’s very common because you do see these things that you mentioned, guys driving Ferraris online and doing these fancy videos about how they’re making all this money. But as I get deeper engrained in this business, I see it happening in our region where these people are standing in front of these cars and I know them in person and I know they’re on the edge of bankruptcy.
And I know they’re trying to maybe go outside of real estate, actually development, now trying to coach and trying to entice people in because they’re standing in front of a car. But the reality is, they don’t know what they’re doing in real estate investment yet. They’re trying to teach because they believe they can get more sums of money without having the requisite experience to actually coach.
The reality of it is that the market is smart and those people who are living the fake dream never actually launch or actually make any money. A good investor can see that. Okay, I’m making $20,000 of flip. But hold on, a big company might charge $30,000 for a seminar for a week in a little bit of light coaching. I’d rather do that. That’s a lot less time, that’s a lot less energy, but that’s a whole different business model. And so it does sound enticing. Including myself, I had a platform which I was doing for free and I was just putting out videos thinking eventually I could sell this content. And I enjoyed doing it.
However, it took so much time out of what I do great which is what I’m winning awards for which is buying houses and small commercial buildings and now warehouses, renovating with my construction company and renting them and making money. So I went outside of that and tried to do something totally different, and then I stopped focusing on my core business which that made an impact, my money went down, and I was trying to live the dream and focus on something that I was not good at.
So I think that’s common to entrepreneurs. In real estate we’re chasing the dollars, we love investments because we love the numbers of $10,000 house, $20,000 investment, I flip it for $80,000 or $90,000. That’s a big spread. We like the big numbers. When you see these other avenues, you see other businesses, it’s so easy. Grass is always greener, especially for me. But what I found, if I focus and I don’t get distracted, I make more money.
Mike: Yeah, absolutely. Even the side of real estate investing, there’s people that become really good at one exit strategy. They’ll say they’re primarily a wholesaler and then the next thing you know they’re interested in multi-family or they’re going to start doing something else. I mean, even inside of exit strategy there’s a lot to be said for focusing on what you’re good at, right?
Joe: Yeah, definitely. A hundred percent. I did commercial real estate when I finished college for about two years. I look at my commercial real estate buddies who are now brokers in the big world of commercial estate, and they always say, “Joe, why don’t you to get back in commercial and make some real money.” Frankly, they can’t pay me enough. I make more pound for pound doing this single family houses where they think I’m a joke because I’m in my work boots and I have my construction guys all around me and they’re in some suit, but they’re off to the next meeting and they have to be there at 8:00 a.m. and they have to make phone calls from 5 in the morning and I’m living the life.
But that used to distract me because I’m like, “Yeah, maybe I should be doing these bigger deals and I should be doing that.” But then when I really peel the layers back, I go hold on. I’m doing better doing these houses and, yeah, my boots are dirty because I have to go into a house that’s covered in raccoon feces and that might not be ideal to some people, but guess what? I’m making money with those raccoons.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. It’s true. There’s a lot of people too that also want to lead you to believe that what they’re doing is more appealing without actually knowing. Personally, I went to something recently. I went to a more formal event. I just felt uncomfortable. I used to wear suits in the corporate world and my suits don’t fit me anymore and I’m not buying new ones, I don’t want to.
Joe: Oh yeah. I had to go and buy a tux for this event. [inaudible 00:11:12] where I’m used to wearing Old Navy t-shirts and crappy jeans every day.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. Well, let’s talk a little bit more people finding their core competency because sometimes I think real estate investors they might have a business that’s going well or starting to go well but they don’t really know what their core competency is. And maybe sometimes they get distracted because they don’t really . . . they haven’t kind of like soul searched and said, “What am I really good at? What do I enjoy doing and how do I focus on that?” Can you shed some light on how folks can kind of find what their core competency is?
Joe: Yeah, definitely. Mine came on a whim. I started doing these houses and I felt when I’m in an old nasty house to this day, I genuinely enjoy it. I like sifting through the junk in these houses, I like seeing the mayhem and madness when I go in and there’s water racing through the roof and determining if we can’t fix it or if we can, negotiating with the buyers. So I think a lot of cases if you chase what is bigger, you might not love it and if you don’t have passion for it, you’ll never actually succeed.
So if you’re trying to find that passion, I think it’s going to have to start from within. It has to start from something that you truly will like, and you should feel that. You should that, not all of us have that blessing to be in an industry that we like. Most of the people watching the show are not looking for their next 9 to 5. Most of the people who are watching this show have that passion, have that entrepreneurial passion. And at first, I think, thinking and experimenting with those things and then focus on it. Don’t jump every month. Jump every year if you have to. But make sure you test the waters and understand that a business model does not happen in 30 days.
If anyone is telling you, “I’ll make you rich in 30 days,” they’re lying. My cycle took years to actually make real money. It took about a year of going, “Okay, stop doing commercial real estate, stop residential real estate, stop doing construction advisory service, stop doing real estate growth and residential [inaudible 00:13:10]. Those are my first companies when I first started the RE360. We did all those very poorly. I cut everyone out, I shut down the brokerage, I shut down the commercial, I shut down everything and I started buying ugly houses, these crappy houses, and I started fixing them. And I focused, and one year later I went from making no money to making a sustainable amount of money to live.
Then the next year I doubled, the next year I doubled, and now it’s a multiple every single year. So you have to spend the requisite time determining if you love it. But keep in mind, love doesn’t mean, you come to work every day and 100% of you day is great. If you love 5% of your day, you have hit the gold mine of business, of being in a job that you love because most people hate 100% of their day at work. So if I love 10, and 90 kind of sucks, arguing with contractors, arguing with tenants, all the other things, people not paying, going to court, dealing with employees. That all stuff suck.
And if people like that, God bless them. I don’t know if [inaudible 00:14:13] But what I do love is I love looking at these houses, I love doing deals, I love seeing checks come in, I love seeing people in my company go from making $30,000 a year to six figures. I love seeing . . . those are those moments that make it all worthwhile. So love doesn’t necessarily mean 100% love, it just means it doesn’t suck all the time.
Mike: Right, right.
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Joe: So if I love 10, and 90 kind of sucks, arguing with contractors, arguing with tenants, all the other things, people not paying, going to court, dealing with employees. That all stuff suck.
And if people like that, God bless them. I don’t [inaudible 00:15:39]. But what I do love is I love looking at these houses, I love doing deals, I love seeing checks come in, I love seeing people in my company go from making $30,000 a year to six figures. I love seeing . . . those are those moments that make it all worthwhile. So love doesn’t necessarily mean 100% love, it just means it doesn’t suck all the time.
Mike: Right, right. You got to start somewhere, like you said. Sometimes when new real estate investors, if you’re listening to this right now and you just left your job or you’re thinking about leaving your job and wondering whether you should or not, we’re not going to tell you to leave your job today. But what happens is, things get better with time, basically you’re not going to be good at what you’re doing, you’re going to be as good at what you’re doing on day one as you are in year one, year two. And it’s going to suck more in the beginning because you’re doing everything.
I mean, when you first start, you don’t have resources to go build a team usually. And truthfully, you wouldn’t know what to do with a team when you first start. So you just start to suck less as time goes by and your days start to suck less because as you build your business you can find ways to say, “Hey, I don’t like . . .” whatever. It could be dealing with tenants, right? “So I’m going to find a way to outsource that whether it’s through a property manager or somebody else.” So just give it time.
Joe: Give it time and focus and start small. Don’t quit your job. Do one house. Make sure you like it. A lot of people think, “Oh, I love what you do,” and then they do one house and they’re like, “I’m never doing what you do.”
When you think the grass is always greener sometimes you walk in and realize it’s a swamp, and you hate it, you hate life. And if you just quit your banking job that used to make six figures at to go do what I do and realize you’re a banker. People are bankers and bankers love being bankers. I’m not a banker, that sounds awful to me. But to you, it may be you love that job. You just don’t even know until you realize how crappy my job actually can be.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. Joe, let’s talk a little bit about how to get started with small steps because as we kind of are starting the year here, when we’re doing our shows now I want people to lay the foundation to have a successful year ahead, whatever that means for them.
So sometimes people are overwhelmed with like they hear your story and they’re like, “Hey, this guy is basically just made a market.” Right? It sounds overwhelming. I know you started with one deal. I mean, everybody starts with one deal. You start with one lead before that. But let’s talk about like small steps that people can take and some advice you can give on how people can start the year without getting overwhelmed of going from zero to super successful.
Joe: Yeah, I mean, 2018 should be a year for people to scale responsibly. So many people who want to go from zero houses 20 houses, or they did 5 last year and now they want to do 50. But scaling responsibly it’s something that when we do it, we do very well, and we’ve run that responsibility and conservative investment philosophies ultimately win. It’s not exciting. But the people watching this show they’re like clicking off right now, “Oh conservative investments. I want to hear how to make millions.” Well guess what? Millions are made over 5 or 10 years.
There are few people who make them over a year. Zuckerberg didn’t do it. Like everyone uses him and he was . . . Gates was programming when he was like 12 or something. Let’s take that 10,000 hours. Tiger Woods, 10,000 hours started when he was four or something like that. So just because you think people are overnight successes, I’m a young success when I walk into these room with successful entrepreneurs. “Oh, you’re so young. You’re so young. You’re lucky.” Well, I started when I was 22 and now I’m 37.
I think the baby steps, they are, starting with one house. Real estate is an amazing investment vehicle because you can do one house and it can impact your life. One house can be something that you do and in 10 years you have it paid off and now you have $100,000 or $200,000 nest egg, just sitting there. That’s a lot of cash. And maybe that first year you do one, and then the next year you do two. That’s successful real estate investment in a lot of people’s mind. You don’t have to take over a community, you don’t have to do it on scale.
I know so many people who are . . . we deal with these people all the time. We end up buying their portfolios, and they 20 units and they’re a big landlord in the big scheme of things. They own more real estate. They’re probably in the 1% of real estate owners if they own 20 units. That’s a big number. Those 20 units we buy them out at $1.5 million. Those 20 units they bought for $100,000 back in 1989. So that’s a huge number. That person has a million dollars from something that I look at with my portfolio as a relatively small portfolio.
But the rest of the world, despite the guy driving the Ferrari and telling you he’s a billionaire real estate investor, he’s not. He probably doesn’t even own [inaudible 00:20:27]. That guy who drives [inaudible 00:20:28] has a million dollars in his bank account because this guy has just been paid 15 times more than he bought it for and this guy cash flow over the years. He quit his job when he was 45, and lived off his cash flows from the rentals, and when he was 60, he sold it and retired to the beach. So you can start small. Don’t think you have to blow the world up in real estate, and you will be a millionaire off of those 10, 15, 20 units if you’re patient and responsible.
Mike: Yep. Joe, talk a bit more about how you . . . I mean, I know you obviously are very well known in the community, you’ve got your hands in everything. What do you do for lead generation? How do you find deals? I guess you probably do a lot of stuff via word of mouth, but it didn’t start that way though, right?
Joe: No, it didn’t. But in a way, it did because this community, I grew up here.
Mike: I guess you’re from there, yeah.
Joe: A lot of the people knew me by Gip. That was the nickname they called me in high school.
Mike: What was it?
Joe: Gip, G-I-P. It comes from like a family member of mine. My dad wanted to name me that. My mom was like, “No, he needs a real name.” However, my nickname stuck. So growing up, Joe was never even mentioned. So when I came back people were like, “Hey, Gip has some money. He’ll buy your house.” It was very much word of mouth. I think that’s a great real estate strategy to stick with what you know.
Everyone wants to fly out to a different coast because they see opportunity. We have it in Pittsburg. Pittsburg is getting a lot of buzz right now as a tech city, and people want to dabble with it. So you see people from Cali coming up to Pittsburg and they’re paying [inaudible 00:22:00]. I welcome that because they’re borrowing stuff off of me. However, they don’t know the market, so being in that community and generating leads through your local connection is huge.
And after that step, there’s this basic template stuff that you can Google on YouTube about how to generate bits. We dial for dollars all day long. People want to put up signs and they want to send mailers. We do that as well. But the best strategy that we do is we target streets and then we call every one of the owner starting with the out of state landlords because they’re going to be the ones most likely to sell to us quickly, investor related pricing. And we look for dilapidation, we drive by, we put our eyes on the property and we call, and we talk to people. And if we can’t find their number through a White Pages or People Search, then we go to Facebook, we go to LinkedIn, we go to Google, and we find these people.
And it takes a lot time, but you think about, if it takes you two hours to find one deal, that’s a deal that our spreads on our deals when we buy them or between, let’s say if we really mess up $10,000 and if we do well $50,000 to $70,000. That’s worth a couple of hours of work to really dig deeper. And the beautiful thing about that market strategy is most people in this industry are lazy and they’re going to do the easiest stuff. They want to get rich from the beach, they don’t want to get out there and get their hands dirty.
So, two or three hours a day of cold calling, which everyone hates cold calling, can differentiate you and find a boat load of deals. While everyone is putting their sign in the telephone pole next to 50 other signs on the telephone pole, no one’s calling you.
Mike: Yeah. There’s a lot to be said for, even in my market, the DFW, like 7.5 million people. And, I’ll basically admit it. I’m kind of a mass advertiser, so I’m sending out mass stuff. But I know people that focus on, they farm certain areas of town, it’s usually that’s a phrase you don’t hear that much anymore because everybody does everything en mass. Farm an area that you know well. But there’s a lot of value in that.
Can you maybe talk about . . . obviously, it sounds different now because you’ve done so much in Allentown, but I know you didn’t start there. But let’s talk a little bit more about how other investors can just focus on one small part of town maybe and just become known to be the expert in that part of town. Anybody that wants to sell their house knows that I need to call this guy or this girl. Maybe talk a little bit more about that because I want people that are listening right now to be able to take action from this.
You talked about cold calling and you talked about door knocking and just kind of where everybody on that street or everybody in that neighborhood knows that if they want to sell their house and when I sell my house I need to talk to this person.
Joe: Yeah. So it starts by action and you have to go out there and do it. I think a lot of times people are looking for the easiest route. So they want a list and they want to buy a list with numbers and everything’s going to be there. Most lists you get are not going to be high quality, they’re not going to be the real numbers. It’s something [inaudible 00:25:02]. So the most basic strategy, the number one way to start is, figure out where you want to buy and drive one single street which might be 20 blocks. Focus on five of those blocks. Each block is going to have 10 to 20 houses on it. That’s a lot of houses. You do those 5 to 10 blocks, you have 50 to 100 prospects.
You then just back search it, very simple Google searches. Ours is Allegheny County, real estate site. We go, and we literally look at each one because while we’re looking at that we’re also seeing, oh look, they have back taxes. That’s a good sign. That means they’re in trouble. Then we Google and we see him on LinkedIn and we know, “Oh, I know this person’s daughter. This is fantastic. I’m going to call him and say, ‘Suzie and I went to school together.'”
So if you just start with very basic action steps and not trying to find this entire system that’s going to deliver you deals, you go with drive the street. You don’t even have to write it down. You don’t have to drive the street. You can just Google Earth. You can Google and then figure out the street you want and then start taking action on that. We have streets where we own . . . a street of 50 houses, we own 12 of those houses. Twelve houses don’t sound like a lot, but when we think, “We own 12 houses on one street. We own more than 20% of that street.” We control the flow of that street. We can make it nicer, we can build our houses, everyone will pick up a route. We run that street.
So you can start in a very, very small footprint with a very, very basic simple strategy and then start picking up these houses because if you’re just starting out, you don’t need the mail bomb the entire world. You could be inundated then all of a sudden you have so many leads you can’t call them back. You don’t know what the heck the difference our area is like each neighborhood is literally totally different.
Allentown is right next to Mt. Washington. Mt. Washington has million dollar houses. Allentown has $10,000 houses. Different areas. So out of state buyers or someone [inaudible 00:27:01] comes in Allentown and goes, “Is this Mt. Washington? I’ll give a million bucks for that.” And we would say, “We’ll take it.”
So by being an expert in that area and then doing very basic strategies, we knock on doors, we hang little tags on our doors. By transaction volume, we’re the biggest volume buyer in Allegheny County or the city of Pittsburg, I don’t remember which one, but we’re the biggest. And so we’re not some organization that we can’t afford to mail. We mail as well. Mailers are amazing. Mailers are great as well. The best mailer is one that goes into mail. You don’t need the best letter, you don’t need the best strategy.
You need to get it out there and make it happen and do that en mass. But you can target those areas too. One neighborhood might be hundreds and hundreds of mailers. So if you do the entire city, now you have to learn all these different areas. So focus, focus, focus and start with very basic . . . sorry. Something just clicked on my screen. Gosh. Sorry.
So focus. Focus, basic strategy, and then most important is action, picking up that phone, “Hi, this is Joe. I’m calling you. I’d love to buy your house.” “I don’t want to sell my house.” “Why not? I saw it. It’s dilapidating. Where are you? You’re in California?” “No one wants to buy my house.” They want to sell. So very basic strategy.
And the best way to learn how to do that is just by doing it. You don’t have to practice, you don’t have to have a script. You just go in, like the worst thing they can say to you is, click, hang-up, and then guess what? You have hundreds and hundreds of houses and more prospects. Action, focus in a small area. I think people have luck if they’re trying to buy a handful of houses.
Mike: Yeah, and the truth is I think I want to ask you a little bit about branding because you guys have done a great job of obviously branding yourself. Certainly, in your market now you’re dominant, right? But for new investors, a lot of times it’s hard to stand out. Like, in a market like I’m in, there’s probably thousands of investors that would refer to themselves as investors. All sending direct mail, they all look the same, buying mail from the same mail houses. Everything pretty much looks and sounds the same.
How can new investors, maybe give some advice to new investors that want to stand out, aside from being that local expert, from a branding standpoint? I’m not talking about the logo, I’m not talking about anything other than what they stand for and how they position themselves.
Joe: I think in this industry we have a lot snake oil salesmen, a lot of people who BS their way through life. They don’t actually do deals. They talk about deals. There’s tons of them. I know so many in this area that if I didn’t know them, I think they have the bull by the balls and they barely have enough money to buy coffee.
So, I think the best differentiator, it’s even better and more important than our brand, our logo, any of that stuff, even me, is that when we send out a mailer and someone calls us, we call them back fast. When we go to their house and we look at it and we’re ready to act and we’re ready to buy. If we tell them we’re going to do something, we always do. We’ve done handshake deals.
There’s a differentiator in this business can just honesty and openness. If you don’t know something, telling someone I don’t know and not trying to be the expert. The old lady who you’re buying this house off has lived for 75 years. She probably knows something, she’s probably smarter than you think. You think you’re going to pull the wool over her eyes, she’s looking at you like you never get the call back. She might give you an ice cream cone on your way out the door, but she’s going that [inaudible 00:30:38]. “I’m not dealing with him.” Versus, not trying to do that.
When you can’t answer something, or you don’t know, don’t try to. Just say, “I’m not sure, but I’ll definitely get back to you. This house isn’t for me. I can’t do this, but some of my partners in the area I know would love this house. How do you feel about me bringing them through and checking this out because I’m pretty sure I know a person who would buy it?” You know, not, “Yeah, I’ll close in 30 days and I’m the biggest investor in town.” She Googles you and the only thing that comes up is your Facebook video of some nonsense.
So, people, they’re going to Google you, they’re going to know who you are. So don’t BS. Be honest and you’ll be differentiated this industry and clients will know that. And even if the word doesn’t spread, if you stay that way with every one of your clients, more often or not they’re going to respect you and they’re going to want to do business.
Mike: Yeah. Isn’t that crazy that honesty and good service will differentiate you in this industry.
Joe: A hundred percent. So many people are trying to present that they’re the big fish in town. We had a guy yesterday and he said, oh yeah, we kicked him off one of our jobs because he was awful and rude. And then we had a call from one of our other contractors saying, “This guy owes me money, but he got the job because he said he does all of your roofs.” I said, “He did a half of our roofs and we said, ‘Get the heck out of here. You don’t know what you’re doing.'”
So he’s presenting around here that he does all of our roofs and now he’s getting in the investor community, people know so they start using them, and then he’s screwing everyone. You know what I mean? Like, that lasted . . . his run of dishonesty lasted for about 15 to 20 days.
Mike: Right, right. Yep, yep. Awesome. Joe, this is great stuff. Thanks for sharing with us today.
Joe: Yeah, definitely and I appreciate it.
Mike: Yeah, if folks want to learn more about you, what you got going on, where do they go to learn more?
Joe: So the real estate company is We’re Facebook, we’re on Instagram, we’re on all that stuff. Then we have a training platform that has a lot of free content called RE Investor Professor. We have three to five-minute videos. A lot of it is held on Facebook where we’re talking about different topics for two minutes, three minutes. We have about 100 episodes on there. Google it and check it out. We have a lot of content out there to rate institutions like FlipNerd where we’re talking through what we do.
Mike: Awesome. We’ll add some links download below the video here if anybody wants to check it out. So thanks for spend time with us today.
Joe: Thank you for having me. I always appreciate talking to another pro, a real deal pro who I know is a real deal.
Mike: Good to see you man. Good to see you. Everybody this is episode 395. We’re getting up there. I don’t know if we’re doing anything special for 400. I don’t know if . . . some of those milestones have come and gone. I always feel like I need to do something special, but we’ll see. Everybody, this is episode 395 with Joe Calloway. Joe is a great guy. He’s got a lot of good information. I’m going to add links down below in the show notes here. So check out the stuff he’s working on.
And truthfully, one of those people that you just have to appreciate that in the process of doing well for himself and his family, he’s truly changed his hometown and his neighborhood and his community which is something that a lot of us aspire to do but it’s kind of hard to do. But just learn from Joe. He’s got some great stuff. I follow him on social media. He’s doing some incredible things in his hometown there. So really cool.
And if you have not left us a positive review or left us a review or subscribed on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, any of the other million places you can get a podcast at or watched us on YouTube or subscribe out there, we’d appreciate it. That’s what fuels us to keep us going forward here and doing hundreds of episodes. So everybody, have a great day. Joe, thanks one more time, buddy.
Joe: Great. Thank you.
Mike: Good to see you.
Joe: See you soon.
Mike: Everybody have a great week. We’ll see you next time.
Joe: All right. Great.
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