This is episode #366, and my guest today is Holly McKhann, aka “Hard Hat Holly”
Holly is a Southern California investor and a networking expert. In fact, she’s purchased hundreds of deals without spending a penny on advertising…as she relies almost completely on finding deals through networking with others.
Today we talk about how you too can find deals through networking, and several different tips and tricks on the best places to start. This is a great topic, and a powerful way to do more profitable deals without a hefty advertising expense pulling you down.
Please help me welcome Holly to the show!

Highlights of this show

  • Meet Holly McKhann, professional investor and networking pro!
  • Learn from Holly’s tips on how to buy more houses through consistent networking.
  • Join the conversation on how to become memorable and stand out from the crowd.

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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 366 and my guest today is Holly McKhann, aka, “Hard Hat Holly.” Holly is a Southern California investor and a networking expert. In fact, she’s purchased hundreds of deals without spending a penny on advertising, as she relies almost completely on finding deals through networking with others.
Today we talk about how you too can find deals through networking and several different tips and tricks and the best places for you to start. This is a great topic and a powerful way to do more profitable deals without a hefty advertising expense pulling you down. Please help me welcome Holly to the show.
Holly, welcome to the show.
Holly:Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here.
Mike:Yeah, good to see you again. Everybody that’s listening, I was just telling Holly, Holly’s been on the show before and we’ve seen each other a few times and we talk periodically. Holly’s been on our other podcast, the REI Classroom, but the last time she was on this show, I couldn’t believe it, it was episode number 174 and that was February of 2015. It’s hard to believe. I had to do the math in my head. That’s nearly two and a half years ago.
Holly:That’s a long time ago. A lot’s happened since then.
Mike:Yeah, that’s like a life time. Yeah. In this industry, that is a lifetime of two and a half years.
Mike:Awesome. Well, I’m excited to talk about networking and, honestly, everything that I teach, students that I coach or anybody that I ever teach about real estate investing, I talk about the importance of building your network, building relationships and there’s really two reasons, right, and I don’t want to steal your thunder at all because I know you’re the Queen Bee on this stuff too is, for me, it was as much about building my business and finding deals and things like that, it was as much of that as it was just making this a less lonely business. It’s kind of a lonely business if you’re out there with your head down just doing your thing, right?
Holly:Oh yeah, for sure. I love being around people and helping them.
Mike:Yeah, I mean, when I came from corporate America, you know, we had happy hours and you’re interacting with people all day long. And then when you become a real estate investor, you’re interacting with contractors and stuff, but they’re not necessarily people that have the same interests as you. I mean, they’re helping you facilitate things, and by the way, my contractor has become a really good friend of mine, my general contractor. But that’s rare. Like, usually I think, it’s like, you know, I’ll go years without talking to my granite guy other than a text message, like, “Go measure 123 Main Street,” he sends me a price and I say, “Get it done.” Some of my contractors, we worked together for years before I ever met them physically. Anyway.
Hey, let’s get this started.
Holly:[Inaudible 00:03:05] punishment.
Mike:Yeah. So, Holly, tell us your background. Tell us a little bit more about who you are.
Holly:Sure. Well, my way, way, back, background was that I was an accountant. I was a CPA, fresh out of school, worked at Ernst & Young in my little cubby, not a lot of interactions with people. I guess it wasn’t a cubby, a cubicle, that’s the right word, in my little fortress. And worked as a CPA for five years and the most exciting part of my day would be to get on the phone and say, “Mr. Hambright, we’re missing a few pieces of information for your tax return. Can you tell me when I can get those and what they are and blah, blah, blah?” And the phone would go down and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I’m all alone again,” me grinding and crunching my numbers. It was not a fun job choice for me, who likes to talk to people.
Fast forwarding, you know, I got married, had a few babies—four kids. When the baby went off to kindergarten and I wasn’t needed to be the fulltime mommy so much, I started doing real estate deals with my husband. Our first deal was a land deal, got it in title and sold it to a builder, so it wasn’t a house flip. But that was his forte, he worked for home builders and knew land. So flipped a piece of land, made a big chunk of money, he quit his job and then we dove into house flipping fulltime.
Holly:It went really well for awhile because we were trained and taught how to buy at the courthouse steps, trustee sales. In California they’re happening very often. They still are. That worked really well for a few years for the first 100 or so houses. Then these big hedge funds moved in with hundreds of millions of dollars, pushed us little guys out that were working with a few million dollars and it was time to adapt and change or be done and die.
Holly:So my husband turned to me and said, “You’re kind of social, you like to talk to people, go find us some houses. Go network with realtors. Go find deals.” Okay. I was plenty excited to do that, and it worked out really well. So since that time, we’ve bought over 100 houses all through networking, never through direct mail, not that I have anything against that. I know it works really well for a lot of people but I haven’t needed to, so it’s just been a fun ride.
Mike:That’s awesome. So you don’t do any . . . do you do any traditional marketing at all, direct mail, pay per click, like anything like that?
Holly:Not yet. I’ve considered the pay per click but even this year, as I’ve been wanting more deals, I’ve thought, “Why don’t I just connect with the wholesalers that are already doing that?” To me, it’s almost like a whole other business. I know you do it all and do it really well but I don’t have enough . . .
Mike:It is a whole other business, yeah, finding deals. I mean, even networking for you, it really is a business. You have a lot of activities around doing that. But it’s a whole other business in regard of if you’re not doing direct . . . if you’re not directly marketing to customers, then you don’t have someone sitting around waiting to answer the phone, you don’t have to have some of those functions of setting up appointments and so I have an office manager that is effectively a dispatcher. She grabs information. We have an acquisitions guy that goes out to make offers.
So that whole piece is kind of unique to wholesaling. Like if you’re networking and finding deals and even buying from other wholesalers, you don’t have to have that kind of . . . you don’t have to . . . it’s just different. It’s a different animal, right?
Holly:Right. And the way I view it, right or wrong, is I’m either going to pay for it with the cost of direct mail and the cost of people for somebody answering the phone and somebody going and negotiating deals in that way. Or I can pay a wholesaler to do all that stuff for me. I do buy some stuff from wholesalers in that way, but the bulk of my deals has come through realtors.
Mike:Yeah, that’s awesome. And for some people, you know, you like to socialize, you like to go meet people. There’s some investors that don’t want to do that or, at least in their mind, they don’t have the time for it. They would rather just dump money into direct mail and kind of outsource the whole thing and teach people how to do it and create their processes, but they just say, “Well, I don’t want to have to . . .”—to use a quote from “Office Space”—they don’t want to have to deal with the goddamn customers.
Holly:I love it. Yeah, it’s true. And speaking to that, do what you like. I mean, if you don’t like any of that, then don’t force yourself.
Mike:Yeah, for sure.
Holly:[Inaudible 00:07:54] is not a social, outgoing person. It’s so painful for him. It’s fine. I don’t force him into it. I’ll go network, I’ll go to the parties. You just stay home and watch “Deadliest Catch” or whatever he’s into, you know.
Mike:Yeah. Let’s talk a little bit more about that. Networking to find deals, so just talk about kind of why you do that, why you chose that path. I know you talked a little bit about it already, your courthouse stuff kind of dried up. But just maybe explain a little bit more about what that means, then maybe get into some ways that you network.
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What that means, then maybe get into some ways that you network.
Holly:Sure. Well, my number one piece of advice would be to, like . . . I wish I had a pair of sunglasses or any kind of glasses right now. You’ve got all these glasses in your logo. But to put on your deal finding glasses on. I learned to be always on the lookout for deals and to make it about the person I’m talking to.
So let me explain what that means. I mean, I remember a few times if I’m pulling into a grocery store or something and I see a realtor with a name badge or a car magnet, I’ll just go up to them and I’m sure they thought I was a little nuts, but, “Oh, hi. Your name’s Susie? You’re a realtor?” “Yeah.” “Well, I am a cash buyer investor and I’m always looking for realtors to be on my team and help me find houses that I can buy, fix and flip. Does that sound like it would be of interest to you?” “Oh, yeah, sure.”
“Well, let me tell you real briefly what I’m looking for. I’m looking for a house that I can add value to. I’m looking for something that’s either outdated or maybe it had fire or mold or any kind of problem, it’s just really ugly or smells bad, anything like that. So when you’re out in your, you know, realtor world or showing clients or brokers and you see home like that, think of me. Just to give you a general idea, I need to buy it about 70-80% of the after repaired value. So if a house would sell for $500,000, which is a starter house in Southern California, if the house itself were $500,000, you take that times 80%, $400,000.”
And I do the math, Mike, because not everybody’s a math whiz, so I do it. “Five hundred thousand times 80% would be $400,000. So if I could buy it for about $400,000 that would be a potential deal for me. So here’s my card.” I have my card with my pink hard hat on me, you know, a photo of me so they remember me. And even just I saw someone just this week when I handed her my card, “Oh, yeah, I remember you. You’re the pink hard hat lady.” I am out there, being known for the pink hard hat.
It’s just a great way. I get their information and sometimes I follow it up with emails and texts. I need to be much better at that because I have a huge database of realtors. Just talk to people.
Mike:Yeah. Imagine that, talking to people.
Holly:And then this step for non-realtors . . . I mean, realtors are motivated . . . Oh, and then I used to say, “I will buy it with you and I will resell it with you. You’re guaranteed two commissions.” And I did that for, you know, a long time, until the last year or so. Now the market’s gotten so competitive that I can’t offer that. I say, “I will buy it with you, you will represent me as a buyer and if there’s enough profit in the deal, I will have you represent me on the resale too,” which I did one like that this year. It worked, but I can’t always guarantee that.
But I want them to feel my genuine concern for them and that I want them to make money. It’s not about me take, take, take. It’s like, “I want you to be successful. I’d love to do 10 or more deals with you.” They feel that and they love it.
So if I can then jump over to the non-realtor.
Mike:Sure, yeah.
Holly:Yeah, so I’ve got those glasses on, my radar up, listening and I’ll tell a quick story about my daughter’s club volleyball owner. One time I was talking about sponsoring the team and trying to pay her fees in a tax advantaged way through the sponsorship, that whole kind of thing. He mentioned something like, “Oh yeah, well, I can get a banner for you at my real estate sign company.” “What? Are you a realtor?” And he said, “Yeah, but I’m not really active.” I’m like, “Oh, well, I’m a flipper and always looking for houses,” did that whole spiel. “Do you know anything? Are you aware of any homes?” He goes, “Yeah, there’s one next door to me.” “Oh, okay, great.” I mean, I was down . . . it happened at 9 in the morning, we were down looking at the house at another couple hours later. It was in Laguna Beach, California and I think that house eventually sold for $770,000 and it was 700 square feet.
Mike:Oh my gosh.
Holly:But this guy, you know, I was just thinking and brought up, “Oh, are you a realtor? Do you know a realtor?” And if the person isn’t a realtor, I throw a financial incentive at them. I say, “Hey, if you lead me to any house I can buy, I’ll give you at least $500, hopefully more, depending on the deal.” So then they have motivation to have their glasses on and be out looking for ugly houses.
Mike:Absolutely, yeah. So one thing as a realtor, that’s a natural person to kind of try to network within our space, right? But what about, like, when you said non-realtors, other than just kind of overhearing somebody say something about real estate, how do you identify that person? Is there kind of a group of people . . . like, you could say maybe code compliance officers or general contractors or, you know, you could kind of group people that some of that stuff makes sense but are there any other kind of groupings of people that you say, “I like to go after these . . . or try to associate with or try to find a networking event where these people are going to be?” Anything else there other than realtors that’s kind of a natural kind of a grouping?
Holly:Yeah, so I’ll say going to networking groups is another great way. So I’ll share another story of a non-realtor but he was a big networker. Yeah, I guess my last story, he did turn out to be a realtor but I didn’t know he was going to be a realtor. So this guy is not a realtor, still not a realtor, Joel.
I went to a professional business networking group and there’s these groups out there. Around here we have a lot of what’s called BMI, Business Management International.
Mike:Yeah, those are all over, I think, yeah.
Holly:Yeah, they’re worldwide. And there’s other networking groups like that. If you go [inaudible 00:15:30] and look for business networking groups, you’ll find some in your local area.
I’ve had this group of about 10 people and instead of doing, “Hi, I’m Holly and I’m a house flipper looking for houses to flip,” instead I hopped up and said, “Hey, I know you . . .” and I knew these guys were all in multiple networking groups and part of their responsibility in that is to pass leads or referrals to other people in the group and said, “You know how you’ve got realtors in your group and it’s so hard to find leads for them because people move only an average of every seven years? Guess what? You’ve got me. I’m the lead for all the realtors and now you can pass me as a lead and if you lead me to a realtor that I do any business with, I’ll pay you at least $500 per every deal that they bring me to.”
Okay, within 24 hours, this young, motivated man, Joel, had eight agents call me. I couldn’t believe it and I did do deals with two of them. I think I’ve done only a total of three deals. But he made money and you know what else? I capitalized on that. When I went to pay him, I said, “Let’s meet up,” we met at Chick-Fil-A, it was, like, the local place. And I brought my husband to film us and we did a Facebook Live and I counted out my five $100 bills to him with my hard hat on and I put it out there.
And people remember that and they talk about it, like, “Are you still paying money for houses?” Even one of my contractors called me and said, “Are you paying money to people to find houses?” I’m like, “Okay, you’re crazy, dude. I usually pay you $30 to $40 grand labor. If you want an extra $500, yeah, I’ll give you $500 if you think you want another job.” But people watch it on Facebook so that’s my other tip is leverage it. Let people know you’re doing it. Show everyone on Facebook. “Hey, thanks, Joel, for the lead and I’ve got this house.”
Mike:That’s awesome. Yeah, you said something about contractors. I told you I have a really good relationship with my contractor. He’s rehabbed probably 150 houses for me and he asked a couple months ago, he’s just like, “Can I . . .” It was his idea. I mean, we’ve done this in the past but he’s like, “Could I get, like, a door hanger or something to hang, you know, when I see houses?” I was like, “Yeah.”
So, you know, we use CallRail and so tracking phone numbers are, like, $2 a month. So I just gave him an individual phone number and any leads that come in we can track back to him and I ordered him a stack of, like, 500 door hangers, and basically the deal was, like, we’ll kind of J.V. on these deals if you find them, but anything that comes through that will be incremental to me because I’m not out doing that, you know, not the way that he is.
There’s all sorts of opportunities like that if you just kind of start to think about it, right?
Holly:Oh, I love that. When someone comes and asks, “Would you give me door hangers?” like when people have done that to me, “Oh, do you want this?” “Oh my gosh, why didn’t I think of that?” Awesome. You’re a powerful magnet, Mike, attracting great things. I love it.
Mike:Well, the thing is, what you’re really looking for are, if you think of contractors, certainly realtors, those are natural ones, other sorts of contractors, like in my market there are a lot of foundation . . . we have a lot of foundation issues here and they have their ear to the ground of like, you know, there’s people that when they find out that they need $20,000 in foundation work, they’re just like, “I think I might just sell it,” you know? So it’s a natural thing to say, “Well, bring those leads to me and, by the way, I’ll have you do the foundation work then.”
So there’s a lot of . . . Whatever market you’re in, people that are listening, there are ways to kind of do that. You just have to . . . I think the key, you’ll probably agree with this, is you have to kind of not just . . . from my standpoint, this is why I teach the art of networking is that that initial contact is not networking. That is meeting somebody. The real art is building that relationship over time, following up. And I know sometimes it gets hard but just checking in, “Hey, how are you doing?” Because you need to kind of be tapping on their shoulder, like saying, “Don’t forget me, don’t forget me.”
Otherwise, they forget you, right? People, their lives are busy and they move on and meet lots of people, probably plenty of other people that say that they want them to help find deals too, right, so you just have to stand out. I know if you have a bubbly personality like you do, you’re known as “Hard Hat Holly” with a pink hard hat, there’s ways to just stand out from the crowd, right?
Holly:Oh yeah, for sure. You need a different colored hard hat but yeah.
Mike:Yeah. So no pink hard hats because Holly’s got that trademarked.
Holly:Well, you can wear pink. Since it’s mostly men in this business, if they want to wear pink, more power to them.
Mike:I will say that there are a couple people that I’ve known just in real estate circles that, you know, it’s always the guy with the bow tie, right? There’s the guy with the bow tie, it’s like, okay, that guy always wears a bow tie, which you never forget him, right? So what are some other things that people could do to kind of stand out when they’re building relationships so that they stay top of mind?
Holly:That’s a great question. I mean, the one thing that pops out in my head is, okay, this is mostly men that do this business and I know that. But maybe just get a shirt with a logo on it. Maybe you always wear a yellow shirt or a green shirt, blue shirt, “I buy houses,” something like that and you’re wearing it to Home Depot and around town and out to lunch, because you’ve got to get out of your house if you want to network. It’s tough. I mean, I guess you can network on Facebook in your house, but other than that, you want to get out there and be seen. So, like, a bright, colorful shirt, get a car magnet, yeah, I think those are great things.
I don’t really have any other good ideas for guys. Maybe, like, some special little glasses or something?
Mike:Yeah, well, hey, I used to have them right on my desk here. I have, like, 2,000 Flipnerd glasses in the back room here right behind me, but I don’t really wear them out at events. There’s really not any reason why I don’t. I should.
Holly:Yeah, yeah.
Mike:What would you say, Holly, about, you know, one of the things that I teach people is the way to kind of stay, not relevant but just kind of stay top of mind is to teach people, like, I like to stay in touch and say, “Hey, if you want to come watch us rehab this house,” or, “Here’s some before and after pictures,” or kind of use what you’re already doing as a platform, as a reason to stay in touch and kind of stay top of mind.
So what I’ve done in the past is I would have a list of people that I’m networking with that I want to kind of build a relationship with and I would just send them a picture of, like, “Hey, I just bought this house. Look, the kitchen’s all burned out.” I mean, you know, and basically just say, if you ever come across anything like this, let me know, but I just thought you’d be interested in . . . and I’ll send you an after picture once we’re done rehabbing it,” or something like that.
I think the more you can do stuff like that, because most people aren’t doing that, right?
Holly:That’s really clever. I haven’t done that. So I’ll tell you one thing I have done is I’ve sent out blast emails, just in my team, I don’t want to say blast, you know, I mean, I don’t have like a blast CRM or anything. I think I probably have a couple hundred realtors on my list and on CCM I don’t let them all see each other’s emails. And I will put in there, “Looking for moldy house. Have you seen one lately?”
And then the next subject line is, “Hey, have you come across any fire houses lately?” The next one is, “Hungry investor with cash need to buy houses now.” Next one is, “Have any escrows fall through lately on old problem houses?” So I would change up the message because if I think, I don’t know, a problem house or whatever, oh, there was the one with the mold. If you say different words to trigger their mind, that can be really powerful. Like, “Oh, I didn’t know Holly would do a mold house. Oh, okay, sure.”
Mike:Yeah. I think just, you have to find some way to stay in front of people. Otherwise, you know, everyone has busy lives and they meet people every day and they go to events and they meet a ton of people and . . . I don’t have it with me here, but you come back from a networking event and you’ve got a big stack of business cards and you just, like, well, in your mind, you’re like, “Well, I networked.” But a lot of times we put a rubber band around it and, like, throw it into the drawer. It’s like, “Well, the relationship’s over now if you do that.” So yeah, you spent all that effort and all that time meeting people, that’s just where the relationship begins, right?
Holly:Yes. Amen, brother. You’ve got to stay in touch. And I really love Facebook too. I always think that just because I’m not getting, like, likes and comments, I think, “Oh, nobody’s really seeing it,” or whatever. But in real life when I’m talking, networking with people, I’m like, “Oh, I love that house you just finished. Oh, I saw you paid that guy the money.” I’m like, “Oh, wow, way more people see it than actually interact or respond.” So if you’re posting on Facebook and it feels like nothing’s happening, don’t think that’s really the truth.
Even if I don’t have, like, the most awesome thing to post, I want when people are, like, scrolling through that newsfeed, “Oh, there’s Holly.” Because I’ve heard it said, you know, it used to be the marketing world it took seven to eight touches before a consumer would respond to a hard message, and that’s why in the old days of magazines, I remember [inaudible 00:24:45], you would flip a magazine page and three pages in a row there would be the Dove ad. And you’re like, “Why is it over and over?” Because they’re trying to get you.
Now I’ve heard it’s 14 to 15 touches with all the ads that are constantly grabbing our attention. So just be in that newsfeed. You know, I’m in my pink hard hat in someone’s newsfeed. I want them to remember. So when they go, “Do you know someone . . . someone’s complaining about their problem tenants or something?” “Oh, that pink hard hat lady, who is that again? Hard hat Holly.” [Inaudible 00:25:18] Facebook.
Mike:Yeah, that’s great advice. And I tell people the same thing. One of the challenges with you’ve probably found, you know this now because you’ve done it so much, but when you go network . . . this is what I tell people. If you go to, like, a real estate club or somewhere else to meet people, it’s a long term play, right? You’re never going to say, “Hi, I’m Mike and I buy houses,” and you’re going to meet a realtor and they say, “I have a house for you right now. Here’s the contract. Can you sign it?” You’re like, “Yes. Done deal.”
I went to a networking event and I got a deal out of it. It doesn’t work that way. What happens is over time, if you build that relationship, then they’re going to come across a house with mold or a burn out or something else, and the key is to make sure that they think of you.
So for us as Americans, we want immediate gratification. I want to take a pill and lose, like, 40 pounds overnight. We want all these things to happen right away. But you’d agree with that, right, that networking is kind of a long term play and it takes work to continue to do those things, right?
Holly:Definitely. And along that same line if I can add to it, make sure that you are acting in integrity. Being a long term play, and I think everybody knows this, it takes a long time to build a reputation of trust and quality and integrity that people know they can trust you. They might see if you’re still hanging out in the real estate club a few months from now, those wholesalers and stuff, but it only takes, you know, one bad action or you screwing one wholesaler and not paying him to ruin your reputation.
I’m always the one that acts in integrity. I mean, there’s been at least once, maybe twice where we paid three commissions instead of two on deals because we want these realtors to all be happy. Everybody that was involved in a deal wanted to get paid and we’re like, “Well, we’ll just pay three commissions. It was a fat deal.” And guess what? My reputation was, like, I got bonus points and then this realtor that I did that with brought us back more deals. So make sure that you are being a good guy.
Mike:Yeah, for sure. Any tips on . . . you alluded to it a little bit there, not that the tip is to always pay more or commissions out, but any tips on how to get repeat business when you’ve gotten it from somebody like Tejada, incentivize that person to come back again and any tips there?
Holly:Sure, now, mine are all realtors. I should say my networking is almost always with either realtors directly or people that lead me to realtors, because the realtors are usually the ones that know about the deals. So they’re friends and relatives, other realtors are often leading me to deals. I just make myself an easy customer for that realtor so they’ll bring me back more and more deals.
Holly:I show them total, you know, respect and trust. I think I’ve only had one realtor in 200 deals that I’ve done that’s been really bad that I thought, “Oh, she was so awful, I could never do business with her again.” But I show a lot of respect and appreciation to the agents that are doing deals with me. A lot of them, before I got my license a couple years ago, when we list, we list with them and I would, you know, ask their opinion and want their opinion on what’s the right level of finish and what are the right finishes for this area, this city. I would ask them, “Hey, do you have any showing reports or price?” And then I would be responsive when they asked me for things too. So just be an easy, nice client.
[Inaudible 00:28:53] the realtor and I’m like, “Wow, Holly was . . .” I mean, I remember one agent when I called her to relist the house, she was like, “Oh my gosh, Holly.” I go, “What?” She goes, “I can’t believe you’re really relisting with me.” I’m like, “You brought me the deal. I told you that’s what it was.” “Oh, but, Holly, people just, they don’t do that. They don’t give it to you again.” I’m like, “Well, I do,” and then she got me a couple more houses after that. So it’s always nice to surprise them in pleasant ways.
Mike:Yeah. And a lot of times, you hear this, I’m sure, relisting and giving somebody a commission, especially in California where the sales dollars are big is obviously people would love that, right? But just some little things that you can do. I had one sitting right here on my desk and I just moved it right before we started. But just getting, like, a thank you card. I got a nice thank you card from somebody that was, like, wax sealed. You know those little wax sealed thing?
It turns out you can buy those things on Amazon for $20. It doesn’t take that much effort, but it’s like it’s just, you see it, you’re like, “Oh, this is awesome, so thoughtful,” you know? But you would agree there’s probably little things you can do like that to wow people because so many people don’t do that, right?
Holly:Oh yeah. And personally, I get pretty excited about a Starbucks card. If somebody gives me a $5 Starbucks card or if I win it, and I’m not even a coffee drinker, but I still like to go to Starbucks. There’s lots of other delicious treats and fun drinks you can have. And I get so excited about that. It’s so dumb, like, why am I so excited over a $5 Starbucks card but it’s just, like, it’s really nice.
Mike:Yeah. It doesn’t take much to be thoughtful, I think. Sometimes people forget how far those little things can go, you know.
Holly:Yeah, so I’ll give you my address where you can mail my Starbucks card, Mike. No, I’m kidding.
Anyone listening, who can you send a $5 Starbucks card today that did something great for you that you might want to get repeat business from or more referrals from, because guess what? You are going to stand out. Like a lender one time was trying to get more business from me. It was on the other side of a transaction and this was kind of a retail deal. The client said, “Can you do a mini renovation on my house before I resell it?” “Yeah, sure,” and I did it.
But this lender gave me a $5 Starbucks card at the end, said, “I hope I, you know, did well and would love to be able to sit down and meet with you.” Guess what? I felt really obligated to go sit down and meet with him. And I remember him. He’s the only lender I’ve ever known to do that and I remember, Matt Cady, great job. I mean, he stands out in my mind so . . .
Mike:Yeah, you remember those things, yeah. I teach this about . . . when I teach about networking, you know, I’ve kind of told some people that are listening may have heard this story before because I’ve definitely said it a few times, but it’s been a little while so maybe you haven’t heard it. If you go to a real estate investing event and you . . . let me see if I can find something here. I’m going to go off script a little bit.
Holly:We need, like, some little background music.
Mike:You come back from a networking event and you’ve got this, like this big sack of, like, business cards, right? And then you put a rubber band around and throw it in the drawer. That’s what most people do. But if you take those cards, and even if you have a virtual assistant, you can lay, like, 10 cards out and just, like, take a picture of it and say, “Hey, put these in a spreadsheet for me,” or, “Put these in a database,” or even, “Send them a message for me.” Just send them a message that basically just says, “Hey, it was really great to meet you last night. Just want to remind you that if you ever come across this or that, I’m looking.”
It happens so rarely when you meet somebody that they kind of acknowledge it the following day, people remember that. It’s such a little thing, like, “I can’t believe you wrote me.” But it stands out because so few people are doing that, they just kind of move on and do the next thing.
Holly:I have something to add to that that I did just in the last couple weeks. So it does require a smartphone and it requires the receiver to have a smartphone, but I think most of us are at that level. So I will have a contact in my phone of myself. Like, most phones have you saved. So I put a picture on that.
I have one . . . since I have two identities, there’s Holly McKhann realtor and then there’s Hard Hat Holly when I’m the house buyer. I put a picture in that contact for Holly McKhann with the pink hard hat, because people remember that, and I’m trying to remember what I made my name, like “Holly McKhann cash buyer flipper,” something like that.
So after I meet someone, I send them a text, “Hey, great to meet you.” I’ve been doing this with realtors lately. “Remember I’m a cash buyer. I would love to buy a house from you and have you represent me.” And I attach the contact. I’m like, “Here’s the content, just touch it to download it.” Smartphones do that. So then, like, “What was that girl?” [Inaudible 00:33:57] It was like cash buyer, investor, flipper whatever, all three of those words.
So they’re searching in their contacts, they’re going to find me that way because, otherwise, I might have heard of some networking thing. What was her name? I actually had a hard hat, but yeah. It’s gone. So send people your contact info with a nice note, not just like, “Here’s my contact, download it. Hey, I would love to do business with you and we can make money together.”
Mike:Right. That’s awesome. Yeah, yeah, awesome. Well, we’ve been sharing some tips here. For folks that are just looking to get started, some of this can get overwhelming. Where would you recommend that they just start networking to try to find deals? Any kind of guidance there?
Holly:I could say so many different things. Well, I think a great thing to do is to search out people who are the outgoing, connected people with lots of friends. They could be people at your church or your kids’ school or formal networking groups or chamber of commerce. Look for the Mike, look for the Holly in the room who seems to . . . because people with our personalities are usually really excited to meet more good people. The great thing about that is you’re leveraging their contacts.
So wherever you’re going to choose, the soccer field or whatever, look for the Chatty Kathy or the Chatty Charlie, who seems to be in the know and have lots of friends and ask them who they know that either has that problem house with tenants or who do they know that are realtors, because it also has a lot of power when you’re a third party referral, like somebody else introducing you has great power.
So say you have Chatty Charlie on a soccer field, he’s friends with everybody and you go meet him and tell him what you’re looking for and say, “Who do you know that is a realtor or who do you know that’s a property manager?” or whatever.
Holly:When he introduces, people already like him and they’re like, “Chatty Charlie so Holly must be a good person to know too.” [Inaudible 00:36:01] with lots of friends and you can network anywhere, really. You can go to the realtor meetings and boards. I never had a huge success but let me say one thing about that. I found a lender who was super outgoing and network-y, and I asked him, “Who were the realtors you know that are doing a lot of business?” And he’s like, “I will take you around and introduce you.”
It was awesome. I got these nice little bakery cookies in cute little bags with bows. It was, like, a stack of six cookies [inaudible 00:36:31]. He took me to realtor offices around town and one of those realtors ended up buying three houses, was some of my most profitable deals. Because I was being introduced by John. John was like, “Oh, this is Holly. She’s an investor/flipper. She’s looking to buy houses. Do you have anything right now, Michelle, blah, blah, blah?” Well, Michelle ended up bringing me houses, so the power of being introduced by the other network people is awesome and ask, “Who are the players? Who are the people in the know?” I mean, that’s a great thing to do too. That worked out really well for me.
Mike:Awesome, awesome. That’s great information. So, Holly, if folks want to reach out to you, you have a podcast as well, give us some kinds where people can go learn more about you.
Holly:Sure. You can find my podcast on iTunes and all the podcast player apps. It’s called “Secrets to Real Estate Investing,” and you’ll see me in my pink hard hat. I used to be afraid, funny enough, that if people saw on my podcast cover art that I was a girl, no one would listen. But I decided it was okay, so I changed my logo from the blue and green houses, non-descript, to the pink hard hat. I own it.
Mike:There you go, yeah.
Holly:And my website is and from there you can link to my podcast. On the homepage of you can get my free download with great networking tips. So some of this I’ll talk a bit more. Networking and talking to people is a great way to start in this business, so, and you can email me there. I’m happy to talk and share what you can’t tell.
Mike:Awesome. Well, this is great information. We’ll have the links down below the show notes here for anybody that’s watching. It’s on So, Holly, appreciate you joining us today. Great to see you.
Holly:Great to see you too, and I’ve got to say one more thing: if you’re in Southern California and you’ve got deals or houses, you’re a wholesaler, sell me some houses.”
Mike:There you go. Yeah, yeah, awesome. Also, everybody, hey, this is episode number 366 with Holly McKhann, great information on networking, so appreciate you joining us today. Appreciate you being a listener of Flipnerd.
By the way, if you’re not an active subscriber, please go to iTunes or Stitcher radio, anywhere else, Google Play, anywhere else where you might watch it at, watch or listen at, and subscribe. And by the way, I don’t think I’ve said this in 366 episodes, we actually get an insane amount of views on our YouTube channel. We put all of our shows on our YouTube channel. I’ve never actually publicly said that before, but we get a massive amount of views on YouTube. So if you’re not subscribed out there, you can subscribe on YouTube as well. So appreciate everybody for being a loyal follower. Thanks again, Holly, for being with us.
Holly:My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Mike:Awesome, awesome. Everybody have a great day and we’ll see you on the next episode.
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