This is episode #312, and my guest today is Mark Evans DM, the Deal Maker. If you’re new to real estate investing, or if you’re currently operating…but want to take your business to the next level…you don’t want to miss this show.
Mark started with nothing, but has built up a successful business doing hundreds of deals a year….but most importantly, he’s built a business that allows him to enjoy life.
None of us get into real estate investing with a dream of working more or being a slave to our business…and today Mark and I talk about how to prepare yourself mentally to build a business that serves YOU, not the other way around.
It’s a powerful episode…don’t miss it!
Mike: This is the flipnerd.com 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 312 and my guest today is Mark Evans, DM. Mark is the deal maker if you don’t know. If you’re new to real estate investing or if you’re currently operating but want to take your business to the next level, you do not want to miss this show. Mark really started with nothing. He’s going to tell us a story, and has built up a successful business doing hundreds of deals a year, but that’s not to impress you.
Most of what we’re going to talk about today is how he’s built a business that allows him to enjoy his life, travel, spend time with family, all those things that we all want. None of us got into real estate investing with a dream of working more or being a slave to our own business. And today, Mark and I talk about how to prepare yourself mentality to build a business that serves you, not the other way around, to build a business that allows you to live the life that you want to live.
So please help me welcome Mark Evans, DM, to the show. Mark, welcome to the show, my friend.
Mark: Hey, thank you, Mike, for having me, buddy.
Mike: Yeah. Good to see you. I know we’ve been talking a couple of times lately and I’ve really been excited to get to know you a little bit better because I know we run in a lot of the same circles and everything you do is pretty impressive that I’ve seen. And I’m excited to share you with our subscribers on FlipNerd today, too.
Mark: Awesome. Like I said, thank you for having me, Mike.
Mike: Yeah. So tell us a little bit about who you are and tell us what DM means. Everywhere in your name, it says Mark Evans, DM. Demystify that for us.
Mark: Yeah. No. Absolutely. So real quick, I’ll get that out of the way. The beginning, it meant dream maker to my mother. And really to the world it means deal maker. So in real estate, and business in general, you better be a deal maker if you want to make money so kind of just added that to my name.
Just a small town boy, Mike, like you’re asking kind of where I come from. I grew up in a small town an hour east of Columbus, Ohio, 666 people, no cops, no stoplights kind of thing. Country boy, just lying in bed watching “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” trying to figure out how to make money and how to get rich and for a non-smart kid. I was not smart. I grew up in a trailer court until I was ten years old. My parents still live in the same house after I was ten years old today just my parents have been together actually 39 years which is pretty awesome.
Mike: That’s awesome. Yeah.
Mark: So great country, just good people and working hard every single day and they bought into the belief, “the harder you work, the more you make,” but unfortunately, they just keep working hard to work hard. The only time I really saw my parents fight, Mike, is over money. So I just always would remember like I hated seeing them struggle financially, hated to hear them talk about money all the time and just said, “How do I get rich?” And whatever that meant back then, back then it was probably like maybe a hundred thousand a year.
So just trying to figure that out and trying to change the environment. I barely graduated high school with a 1.8, not bragging, just telling the truth. But never had college in the plans. It wasn’t even on my thought process ever, truly not in my plans at all. So I never went to college.
But I always had kind of like an entrepreneur spark or spirit, if you will, where I would do lawn care and I’d hire my buddies to do the work and I’d collect half the money and give them half but I could do four lawns instead of one lawn and stuff like that. So kind of had that thought process in my early teens, so paper routes, anything I could do, I’d hire my friends.
Mike: Yeah. I was the same way. Yeah.
Mark: So I think a lot of guys like us, we’ve run across and always had that kind of entrepreneur spirit so we’ve been tapped on the shoulder, if you will. But for me, it’s kind of, lying in bed . . . I went to a seminar one time and saw a TV infomercial, went to a seminar, and saw the guy make a phone call. Mike, I swear to you, I’m not kidding, I’m not even exaggerating, I was sitting in the front of the room, there are about 65 people in the room. I saw this guy call, this is newspaper days, not internet days.
He picked up the newspaper and said, “We’re going to call this person that says for sale by owner.” And the lady said, “Yes, I’ll sell my house,” and like literally practically give it away. I was like, “I can do that.” I had no money. I had no credit. I had no life. I had no job. I’m 18 years old. And literally I’m like, “Oh, I can do that.” There’s a lot of other people in that room that were way older than me that had other options, that had other jobs, very comfortable a lot of them and I knew darn well that they’re not going to go out there and implement. So I just went out there and did it. I mean, that’s really how I got started in this.
Mike: That’s interesting. So how old were you when you did your first deal?
Mark: Eighteen years old.
Mike: Eighteen? Wow. That’s awesome. And so, what was the . . . How did real estate . . . I mean, it was an infomercial that brought you in? I’m always interested to hear how people, like, how did you get into real estate? Like what made that happen?
Mark: So I’ve never actually had a real job in a corporate world ever in my life. So at 18 years old, two days after I graduated high school, I went and found a seamless gutter company, like gutters, the fascia, collect water. There was a guy in my hometown, the truck was parked there, 1978 Ford F-350, a big red truck. And I just knocked on his door and said, “Hey, my uncle is interested in your company.” My uncle, it was me, I was making that up. I’m like, “Why would he listen to a snotty nosed brat kid like myself?” And literally, his name was Larry, super awesome guy, he’s like, “Yeah, I’ve got a bad car wreck. I can’t climb ladders. I want to sell it.”
So I bought the company with zero money down, $287 a month. I still can’t believe he did but I’m glad he did. But it takes balls. You’ve got to step up and you just never know. I did that. He could’ve said no as easy as he said yes. And I went out and I was doing jobs for people and everyone I was talking to, they’re pulling up in their Porsche smoking cigars, and I’m like, “What do you guys do?”
And they’re cutting me . . . paying me on the spot and everyone’s like, “Real estate investor, real estate investor,” and again, I’m not that smart, but if five guys tell you the same thing and they’re all driving nice cars and they can do what they want on their own schedule. They’re in shorts and flip flops. I’m like, “I want to be a real estate investor,” whatever that meant at that time.
Mike: Right. Yeah. It’s interesting because a lot of people because of what we do, we know there’s a ton of people that are interested in what we do, investing. And I know that’s what we’re going to talk about today is kind of building your real estate investing business. And in the back half of the show, the taking action, I know you’re going to give some kind of a deep on what people should be thinking about how to build their business.
And I think we talked a little bit beforehand and I think it’s going to be an interesting show for those that are listening because a lot of people end up tying their goals to what somebody else’s objective or agenda is, right? You see somebody else . . . I mean, you even said it yourself, you saw that and you’re like, “I want that.” And I think a lot of people do that, but ultimately, it comes down to what do you really want in your heart? What do you really want in your life? Because there’s some negative things that come with tying yourself to somebody else’s goals, right?
Mark: Absolutely. Well, listen, Mike, I want six pack abs but I’m not . . . I don’t have the dedication and the drive to do it. I want it, but will I do the work that takes to get it? The answer is no or I’d have it, real simple.
Mike: So today we’re going to talk about kind of building up your business and there’s a number of things I think we’re going to cover from the people that want what you have or what they see other people have. They want something big but they never get out of their own way of just being a one man shop and could never . . . basically, you created a job for yourself. To the people that maybe have a great business but it’s just never enough and they never can be happy because they just want to grow forever and have some issues there, too, how do we get that started? How do we get started talking about how to build a business?
Mark: Well, I mean, I think, first and foremost, kind of what you’re saying is asking yourself what do you really want. What does a business . . . like, a business to you and I and the person watching this could be way different. And for me, it might mean I want to make $5,000 a month doing nothing. To someone else, it might mean I want to make $10 million, the world knows my name, if I walk into a store people want my autograph.
I mean, there’s so many different levels of business of what do you want. And that’s when my life changed is when I really said this is what the hell I really want out of my life and my business. They’re two separate pieces, by the way, but they kind of integrate together just a tad. So in the beginning stages, just asking these questions that allow you to percolate. A lot of times people could go out there and say, “Hey, I want this,” but all their actions are taking them down a different path. And I see that all the time.
Mike: And the interesting thing is that, because we’ve had this conversation before, the interesting thing that a lot of people . . . might surprise a lot of people, because you said it and I told you, like, I said the same thing to my wife last night, is that, for me, even though I’m in real . . . everything I do is real estate. Everybody knows me as a real estate guy. Everybody knows you as a real estate guy. It’s interesting because we think the same way that that just happens to be the kind of vehicle that we’ve chosen, the widget we’ve chosen, but it’s ultimately not about the real estate, right?
Mark: Dude, listen. It’s a business. This is the difference. This is the difference we’re talking about real estate investing, teaching techniques, and strategies, wholesaling, retailing, like, that’s all just a technique inside of a business . . . like real estate investing. But business building and real estate investing, they’re two totally separate pieces. Like you said, we’re just using real estate as our widget/product to get out to the marketplace.
The good news is if we’re in real estate, the profit margins are pretty big. It’s not like we’re selling a pen and making 23 cents. Maybe it would be smarter, too, by the way, if we did have shorter margins. But we take it a little more serious. At the end of the day, you can pop off $10,000 in a deal. It’s so easy to make. When I see people say, “Oh, I wish I could make $10,000.” To make $10,000 a day, week, month in this business, it’s so darn easy it’s disgusting.
Mike: And all of it comes back to knowing what you want, right? A lot of times I think people set the bar artificially . . . like in their mind, they want something big, but they act like they want something low, right? They kind of self-sabotage, right?
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Like in their mind they want something big but they act like they want something low, right? They kind of self-sabotage, right?
Mark: Well, it’s not self-sabotaging. What it is is really giving . . . that’s a defensive mechanism so when they go out there and they actually suck in the marketplace they can say, “Well, I knew that wasn’t for me.” “Oh, it’s too hard.” “If I had money, I could do it.” Like, it allows them to be lower level than what they’re really capable of doing, right?
It’s like, go to any gym, Mike, in the country and watch the guy that’s pushing up 400 pounds or 300 pounds bench pressing or whatever and then watch the guy beside him that’s doing 80 pounds like 85,000 times in reps. The truth is he could probably do more weight but he’s just comfortable. He’s comfortable pushing that 80 pounds a hundred times over. The guy stretching himself, that could fail, by the way, right? Because he’s at that one thing and he gets at 300, and all of a sudden, he’s like, “This is real now.” Now, all of a sudden, he could fail. In my eyes, though, you and I, as business, we fail . . . I fail, every single hour I’m failing on something. So it all depends how you [inaudible 00:11:40].
Mike: I don’t even know what your conversions are. We don’t have to kind of get deep there, but truthfully, most real estate investors that are optimized and running well are closing maybe 5% of the leads or some small number, right? So obviously, the majority of houses you look at, the majority of offers you make, don’t get accepted, and I think early, we kind of accept that early on.
It’s like, “Hey, man, let’s fail as fast as we can because there’s going to be some wins in there.” It’s kind of like, I’m just thinking of this out loud here, if you watch any of those gold mining shows. I mean, they’re cranking through like massive amounts of dirt to get to a couple of little nuggets, right? That’s . . . real estate is kind of similar to that.
Mark: Well, any business is similar to that. Like, if you think you’re for everybody, you’re nobody. I promise you that. If you think you’re looking for 100% conversion rate, you’re living in fantasy land and you’re not, first of all, you’re not talking to enough people if you get 100% conversion rate. Not only that, too, Mike, I look at the business a little bit differently as well. I don’t make offers. My team does not make offers on properties. We don’t make offers ever. We’re going to a marketplace to serve the market. We’re there to answer questions and guide them down the path and give them options and give them solutions to their problems.
So if the solution is sell it to us at X and we can make that number work, we’ll do it. If we can’t, we’ll give them a couple of different alternative solutions and we want the best for them. So we’re going in with the intentions of we know that the massive population is not for us, but we can still help them, we can still serve them, and we can still give them guidance. And then knowing that, this is an abundance mentality thing as well, where I see a lot of investors fail is they’re like, “Oh, if I don’t do this deal, I can’t pay my bills.” Well, if you’re approaching the world like that you’re always playing scared. You’re always playing small. You’re always protecting the downside, not looking at the upside.
Mike: Yeah. The other thing that I’ve seen when people have that mentality, one, you’re not serving the person because I agree with the same thing. If you go out there and you’re like, “I’m going to serve this person. I’m going to try to help them, whether it means I buy the house or not,” then good things come out of that over time, right? And you can do that over and over and over again because you’re going into it with an abundance mentality. But the other thing is if you’re like, “I’ve got to get this deal,” then you get stupid and you overpay for it and you make mistakes because you’re so worried about not getting the deal that you just you make bad decisions.
Mark: We always thought . . . everyone in real estate talks about motivated sellers. As you know, Mike, there’s really motivated buyers out there, too. I am a motivated buyer. I’m not a stupid buyer but I am a . . . I know in business if I buy more product and I sell it, guess what I do? I make more money. So I’m motivated to buy so if you bring a deal and it’s a great deal, we buy it. If it’s not a great deal, we say, “Hey, we can’t buy it. Here’s where we need to be. If it works, great. If not, cool. Sell it to someone else.” But real buyers want to buy. That’s how we make money.
Mike: Well, Mark, we were talking beforehand about . . . let’s talk about kind of the importance of kind of how people can determine what they want. I know that sounds kind of funny, like people should just know what they want, but that’s a hard decision sometimes to really say, “Here’s what I want.” Maybe talk a little bit about setting unrealistic goals so that you can shoot high but realistic enough to where you don’t get demotivated when . . . if you don’t kind of get there right away.
Mark: Yeah. Well, I think the thing is I think everyone sets very realistic goals even though they think it’s unrealistic because again, who are you hanging out with and who’s setting goals with you? Or who are you trying to mirror or mimic? I don’t know what words I can use here, but I call it king of the DS mentality, dipshit mentality. So if you’re hanging out and everyone’s making $100,000 and you’re balling in at $150,000, you’re the king of the group. Like, they’re looking at you like, “Oh, Mike’s the most amazing guy in the world.” And in your head, you’re like, “I’m not doing that much, but actually I kind of am.”
And then you start comparing to those guys or gals and these are probably the closest people you know, your friends, your family, people you care about the most. So what happens is you start having that internal battle with your head saying, “Be grateful for what you have. You’re working hard.” You start saying all these words to yourself, and then all of a sudden, you start settling. And then all of a sudden, you’re like, “Well, if I made $200,000 that’s a realistic but unrealistic goal and no one can get hurt if I still make $150,000. I’m still amazing.”
But then in my world, if you make . . . my AmEx bill is more than $200,000 a month. So it’s like if I only make $200,000 in a year, I’m in massive trouble, right? So I’m looking at this saying, “Okay, who are we comparing against?” And I’m not saying it’s a number. It doesn’t even have to be a number, but like, I’m saying lifestyle. Like, what do I really want? Because when you say that, Mike, people are like, “I want money.” Everyone wants money but what does that mean?
Mike: What are you going to do with it?
Mark: Yeah. What are you going to do with it? How much do you need? They don’t even have a definition. “Well, if I had a million dollars.” What is a million dollars? That’s like nothing in today’s world. And if it’s only one million dollars then that’s it? Like, you’re going to burn through that money in no time flat. So it’s like, okay, how can I create something that will create me residual income without me being present, without me . . . me traveling the world doing whatever I’m doing and all these things?
In truth part of that, Mike, is I kind of like forced myself to do this because my wife and I traveled the world for seven years. And I love traveling so much, well, first month was scary [inaudible 00:17:00], but once I started traveling and started understanding letting go of problems, letting things happen, I started really sitting on the beach at South Beach saying, “Wow, this is a pretty amazing life. I’m still making money. I’m still serving people and pushing the boundaries and really what’s possible.” I don’t think we put ourselves in these situations that allow us to elevate our game.
Mike: Yeah. It’s funny because I don’t travel as much as you. We travel quite a bit and we tend to do more deals when I’m gone. It’s the weirdest thing but it’s like my team kind of knows, “Hey, we need to get this done.” It’s like a joke now that like we need to leave more often. It’s like, “Okay, sounds good to me.”
Mark: I’m thinking why aren’t you? But yeah. True story is I have a small mastermind group and the guys that come when we do events, we’re actually getting ready to do one in Italy here at the end of the month of September, but like they’ll come there, and literally, I’m telling you, every single time they close more deals, like you’re saying, because we do that. That’s what we do. And what if we could do that consciously every single week? And what I’ve realized is that we can, it’s just we don’t force ourselves or position ourselves to do that.
Mike: Yeah. Mark, I’ve got a quick question for you that came off of Twitter from Tom and we’ll see if you can answer this one for us. This is going to be a good one for you. What is your single best piece of advice for someone starting with zero experience?
Mark: Well, first of all, I don’t think anyone has zero experience in anything. That’s like coming out of the womb like, holy cow, let’s go make deals. I don’t think that anybody’s in that case. Again, I don’t think people give themselves enough credit for what their capabilities are. You either have resources or you’re resourcefulness.
So I’d start asking myself what’s my unique ability, if you will? And I great at sales? Am I great at phone calls? Am I great at emailing? Am I great at face, hand, chest to chest selling? Am I great at engineering? What are you great at and then find someone that sucks at what you’re great at and vice versa, and don’t partner, but connect with and then value at each other and make money together.
Mike: Yeah. That’s great. That’s great. I think a lot of people don’t realize that until they get into real estate investing because I would say basically it’s your experiences outside of real estate that can carry you far in real estate, right? It’s like your ability to build relationships, your ability to do deals and negotiate, raise money, a lot of things like that that are some common fundamental traits that a lot of people have that they just don’t really know how to . . . they just don’t know yet how to apply them into real estate.
Mark: Well, listen, there’s nothing to it. The truth is, Mike, there’s nothing to apply. I think the problem is they’re looking at it wrong. They’re looking at it like, “I can make money so there must be a different application process.” The application is just get your butt out there and do the work. Like, if you’re going to find a girl or a guy and you’re trying to go on a date, you don’t sit in your house and do nothing. You actually get out of the house and you go walk up and talk to people. The concept is very simple. And it’s like real estate is like go there and solve a problem.
And Mike, yeah, I could go on and on about this. But I don’t think anybody . . . who’s out there telling you quit your job? I tell people, many people, every day to quit their jobs. Who’s out there telling you you’re worth more than you’re allowing yourself to be worth more? I don’t care if you’re making $100,000 or $10,000 a year, or $5 million a year or $100 million a year, like, you could make more and do more. And it’s not about making but it’s about doing more with what you make at that level. So there’s a lot of different things, like who’s telling you, I would ask that person, this Tom, who’s telling you you have zero skill sets or zero X or whatever that is, like zero experience? You have lots of experience. It’s called life experiences.
Mike: Yeah. And it’s interesting because I think in my experience, I know we have a little bit different models of how we buy houses but when you meet with sellers, yeah, you’re ultimately meeting with people that you need to be able to relate to, right? And when you come in and you’re like all business minded, like I have something to accomplish here, then that’s where you get into trouble, but if you just come in and you just talk to people, build relationships, build rapport, then that’s where things kind of break down and say, “Well, how can I help you? Here’s what we can do to help you.” So it’s a very fundamental skill of just being able to relate to people and help solve problems.
Mark: Yeah. It’s true, Mike. I think a lot of people aren’t trying to do it but I think there’s a lot of selfish people out there in this world. If you’re going there just to make money to make money, they’re always saying “win-win solution.” No, it’s not. It’s lopsided and you’re stealing from the marketplace, including yourself. So if you’re going, like you’re saying, to serve that prospect your client. The good news is you don’t even have to even meet people in person. I haven’t been to a house since December 31st, ’05. I haven’t been to a closing since December 31st, ’05. I mean, none of that. So it’s like you can do the same exact thing we’re doing. Mike, you and I’ve never met in person.
Mark: We’re talking. We’ve connected, different levels, not even just personal, but like business back and forth, so the communication levels are really changed and that’s all value driven.
Mike: Yeah. I want to jump into the taking action here in just a second. But before we dive into part two of the show, why don’t you talk about maybe a little bit about just team building, the importance of whatever your goals are . . . let me just say this. When people are listening to this and we’re talking about what are your goals, people start thinking about it, I can promise you one thing that nobody’s goal is and that is I want to work more, right? I think the problem is a lot of people, a lot of real estate investors, get in a situation where they’re the ones doing all the work.
Mark: The reason is because again, they don’t have good management skills. I’m included in that. Everyone . . . we’re not born with management skills, right? We manage expectations, financial stuff, etc. So I would say, for me, you have to let problems happen. There’s great books out there [inaudible 00:22:40] there’s problems right now, Mike, I mean, we have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pieces moving every day. There’s problems going on right now as I’m talking to you that if I jumped in I could probably solve quicker, easier, smoother, cost me less money, but if I constantly do that I wouldn’t be able to even do this interview because I would be in my business, not on my business.
So you have to just start thinking business building. If you’re sitting here watching this and you’ve read 35,000 different ways to do real estate and this and that, you’re probably educated up enough where you need to . . . and you’re doing deals. Now we have to start talking about building a business, and that means hiring people, that means firing people, that means paying people maybe more money than you’re even making today, right?
There’s a guy I talked to yesterday, Dave is his name. He literally was making $80,000 a year to his job. He came to me. He’s like, “What do I do?” I was like, “You’ve got to hire these two people, these three people.” And now he’s paying more money in salaries and commissions than he was making in his own internal job every year. So it’s a mental thing. It’s like freaking him out. He’s like, “This is a lot of money.” But I’m like, “Yeah, but you’re making a million dollars a year now. You’re not making $80,000.”
So there’s a lot of people playing at the $80,000 level trying to figure out how to get to a million but they don’t have that mindset to get to that next level. So you have to just kind of say, “Okay, hire an assistant. Hire a dual coordinator.” Guys like you and I, Mike, I don’t know how you are, but like I don’t know any great sales guy that’s great at paperwork at all. Like, we’ll do anything but paperwork, even if it’s our signature, for some reason we avoid it like the plague. So it’s like get your business so boring that it doesn’t need you to be a part of it.
We have this Superman effect. We jump in. We make things happen. Boom, we make $5,000. Everyone’s happy. Next week, it’s riding that emotional roller coaster, emotional and financial. So how do we get out of that? And Mike, I hope I answered your question. I think the thing is what do you want? What are your unique abilities? And let’s hire someone that’s not . . . I see a lot of people spend time on their weaknesses. I spend zero time on my weaknesses. I hire people where my weakness is and it allows me to elevate my game in what I’m good at.
Mike: That’s awesome. Well, let’s jump into the taking action segment here. I want to kind of explore this a little bit more. So a lot of times I think I’m hoping you could give some tangible takeaway points for people that basically what you just said, but how do you bridge that gap? You said you just talked to a guy about this but a lot of times people need somebody to talk to. They need a mentor or they need sometimes form part of a mastermind group, whatever it might be, but it’s so helpful to have somebody there to just bounce ideas off of or say, “You’re going at it the wrong way,” or “Am I doing this right?”
Just somebody to kind of interact with and you talked a little bit about surrounding yourself with the right people and stuff, but I think a lot of times people feel like they don’t need a coach or they don’t . . . they can figure it out on their own, but I’ve not found that to be true. I found that if you surround yourself with people where you can bounce ideas off of or you can learn from what someone else has done and maybe apply that back to yourself, that helps a lot. What do you think about that?
Mark: Well, I think it’s stupid thinking if anybody thinks that they don’t need help, right? So and I truly believe a lot of people might be able to figure it out on their own but you’re going to be 95 years old in a wheelchair finally figuring it out when you’re 30 years old today. So the question is, how quickly do you want to get to where you’re going? Listen, if you want to take the slow path, take it. It doesn’t affect me at all.
I feel like, though, Mike, and I know you feel this way, too, but like, when I’m talking to someone and I know they have “it,” and we know what that “it” is and that’s that thing, like they can move the needle forward and change people’s lives, their lives, and their families’ lives, and the people, buyers and sellers that they can help, I have it in my blood like I cannot leave it alone.
Like, if I don’t tell you and push you, I want you to go home and cry. I want you to go home and dry heave. I want you to go home and your wife and husband smack you around, not physically, but mentally smack you around and say, “You can’t do this. This guy’s screwing with you. He’s ripping you off.” Everything all these people say. “If you bought seven programs, what makes this one different?”
Well, every one that you’ve bought, I promise you you’ve elevated your financial and mental capacity to that next level. So okay, maybe you’ve spent $5,000 on it and it didn’t work out as planned but to make, again, I can’t even say it in a silly way, but to make $5,000 or $10,000 or $50,000 in this business is so easy if you actually apply yourself.
You have to . . . I have coaches still. I spend over $100,000 a year on high level masterminds and coaches of people I call. I have a financial coach. I have a business consulting coach through Traction which we pay. I have sales coaching for my sales guys and myself. I sit in on those meetings either virtually or in person. We have coaches on everything. Coach up. The more coaches I have, the more I make.
Mike: Yeah. I’ve said it before, the best professional athletes in the world have coaches, right?
Mark: And then someone watching this, “Well, that’s easy for them to say. They have money.” I didn’t always have money. I was broke as a . . . I used to go to the library and sit . . . this is library days, this is not internet days. I think the problem is now, Mike, people have too many conveniences. People have too many options. This is all I need. This is our secret weapon, cellphone. If you have a cellphone and you have a pen and paper, you can put deals together. I don’t need amazing contracts. I don’t need amazing lawyers. Just go do the work.
And I think this is why people don’t coach up, honestly, Mike. It’s because they’re afraid of what they actually might get, right? They’re afraid they actually might get rich. They’re afraid they actually might close a lot of deals and it might change their life. So I think people are scared of that and that’s not in a silly way. I was scared of it. I know a lot of people you have to go down that . . . You don’t even know you’re in front of massive problems before you get there. So it’s like you’re scared. It’s a scary territory.
Mike: Sure. What do you think about one of the challenges, there’s a lot of training programs. I’m not here to . . . there’s some crap out there and there’s some good stuff out there. No doubt about it. But I think a lot of people tend to keep doing training or learning about the fundamentals of real estate investing instead of working on themselves. A lot of the things you talked about are personal things, mental things, what are my goals, what do I want, what can I achieve, what are my talents, instead of thinking of just fundamentally how do I wholesale a house, right? Would you agree with that?
Mark: I call it seven year newbie syndrome. People have been training for seven years. They’ve spent $50,000 to $100,000 on learning how to wholesale, wholetail, retail, wholetail [inaudible 00:29:15] whatever crazy concoction words, it’s all the same stuff, dude. Like, find a buyer, find a seller, put in the middle, and make money. That’s the concept of wholesale. It’s really, really simple.
Now paperwork and dynamics, it’s really not a big deal if you’re doing the right things and you do things properly . . . the truth is, Mike, I think people are afraid to win. I’m not even joking. I think if you really look down to it they’re afraid to pull up their panties and actually do some real work and make a lot of money because their friends are going to look at them different, their parents are going to look at them different, their spouse maybe even look at them different. You can change your life with one, two, three, four, five deals. Like, it is a massive opportunity right in front of you.
Mike: Yeah. We talked about this a little bit before about that there’s no one way to do anything. I think a lot of times most people are learning, are training, or I’m hoping that we can . . . you could maybe give some tips here, too, for what you would recommend people just go out and start doing right now. If they’re doing a deal a month, how to take it to two or three. If they’re doing none, how to take it to another level.
But I think kind of with the basis of the fact that there’s not any one way to do anything because I think a lot of times when people are listening to stuff they’re like, this is exactly how you do that. And it’s like, well, in real estate, you’re dealing with people and problems and personalities and stuff changes, right?
Mark: Well, the reason people are looking for one way to do a certain thing is so when it doesn’t work they have someone to blame, right? So listen, you and I have different skill sets. We have different unique abilities. We have different goals. We have different drives. We have different financial reason. We have everything different. We’re all different human beings.
Mike: Right. Both very good looking, though. Both very good looking.
Mark: Well, yeah. That’s why I didn’t mention that because I thought that was a given.
Mike: That’s obvious.
Mark: I don’t point out the obvious, Mike. But in all seriousness, how did you meet your spouse? How did you get to where you are in your life? There’s no one way to do anything. I don’t care what it is. You brush your teeth different than I. You might put the toilet paper on upside down and I think it should go up. Like, there’s a thousand . . . there’s no right or wrong way. It’s your way. And I think when you take responsibility for what you want and for what you want today and what you want the outcome to be in the future, that’s when things really start changing and you really start seeing things open up. And you’re actually going to fail. It’s okay.
So for me, Mike, I always tell people go out and get a hundred no’s, a hundred no’s from sellers, a hundred no’s from buyers, and a hundred no’s from private money guys. You get a hundred no’s I guarantee you’re closing deals, 100% you will close deals. So go out there and change your . . . again, what you’re talking about. We’re talking about mindsets, not strategies. This whole life, this is life stuff. So go out there and get hundred no’s. It’s easy. You’re going to do deals with that and that’s what I teach my team.
My whole team is built off of non-real estate investors. They’ve never been to areas where we buy deals. They’ve never done real estate before they’ve met me, so what happens is I can educate them and train them on how to look at real estate differently. It’s just a product. Just like if you were selling stocks, it’s just a product. If you’re selling cellphones, it’s just a product. What we’re going to do is I’m going to teach you what makes this product amazing, how we can serve the community in that product category, and how we’re going to deliver value to everybody involved.
Mike: That’s awesome. Why don’t you tell us . . . well, we should’ve done this probably at the beginning of the show, but tell us a little bit more about your model. I mean, you’re primarily running a turnkey model where you’re basically providing rental properties to those that want to own rental properties, right?
Mark: Well, they don’t want to own rental properties. They want to collect checks every month without the headaches. So I own a turnkey investment company. I think one of the largest in the U.S. by far. And everyday we’re out there finding great sellers, finding great buyers, nurturing relationships. Ninety-three percent of our buyers buy a property, another property, within the first 90 days of them acquiring one from us. We have an amazing retention. We have long-term clients for many, many, many, many, many years. Referrals are out the roof.
And while we look at ourselves as more of financial consultants, financial planners, even though we’re not, but we’re not just selling houses. We’re selling assets. We’re selling people lifestyle. We’ve retired hundreds and hundreds of people from their real corporate jobs [inaudible 00:33:35] cash flow.
And I think when you change, again, this is something I talked about in one of my articles I wrote about flying first class and then flying private, it’s like you change your mindset and realize that there’s a market out there that exists that people . . . it’s not about money necessarily. Like, if you’ve not talked to anybody that has millions of dollars in the bank, you’re not talking to enough people because there’s a lot of people that do.
So while we’re talking to these people, they’re 62 years old and they’re like, “Hey, I want to retire but I can’t.” And I’m like, “But you have $2.3 million in the bank.” It’s like, “Yeah, but I might outlive that.” And I’m like, “Well, how much do you need a month?” It’s like, “Oh, I need $4,000 a month to live.” You could easily take $2 million to create $4,000 a month of residual income, ultra, ultra, ultra . . . actually they could create probably $20,000 a month in income.
So what we do is we bring realization to something that is real to them that can change their life. So we consult. We listen. We have conversations with them. So my model is we’re in Palm Beach, Florida. All of our deals mostly are in Ohio markets. That’s where I’m originally from. I’m actually [inaudible 00:34:34] to you in Shaker Heights, Ohio right now. But I’m here hanging out this is where I stay partially through the year, but my team is on Palm Beach and they deploy out and do deals remotely.
Mike: That’s awesome. Can you share roughly, I know you do a lot of volume, are you open to sharing what kind of volume you do typically?
Mark: I mean, again, so I will. I’ll definitely share, but Mike, this is the problem that I have with sharing. It means nothing. Like, if you’re watching and you’re doing one deal a month and I say we do 20 there’s no right or wrong answer to this. And the truth is maybe I’m having a bad ass month and maybe the next three months are going to be really rough. So like if you’re watching this three months later, you’re like, “He’s crushing it.” And I might be on the verge of bankruptcy tomorrow.
Again, I’m saying that because what I talked about earlier, like it’s not about what that guy you’re watching is doing. It’s like do you believe the guy you’re watching, you and I, and if you do, actually listen to us and do something about it and take action, and or shut it off and move on, but for our . . . I mean, this week alone, we’ll do about 32 transactions this week alone. So on average, we’re probably about 60 to 80, 100 a month.
This month, what is this, August? September is going to be a huge month. We already have about 62 deals booked to buy. And then buying is easy but then you’ve got to sell. So there’s different sides to the acquisitions and not only that, I have money, I have partners, people that have money, I have a team, I have an infrastructure. So I always love sharing it because like what’s possible in the business, but don’t look at me and say, “Oh, I want that,” because you might not want it.
Mike: You might not want the headaches.
Mark: Sleepless nights.
Mike: Right. Yeah.
Mark: Well, I mean, dude, listen. I’m in the turnkey business. You’re dealing with people’s financial futures. There’s a massive responsibility and we take it ultra-serious. So if you’re out there just want to screw around and go on the beach and drink cocktails with your friends, I don’t think turnkey investing is your game because you’re dealing with financial futures and that’s not what we do.
Mike: So Mark, have you, and I’m curious for myself, when did you start in the turnkey business? I mean, did you start off by wholesaling or doing something other than that and then kind of find that, hey, that’s a great exit strategy, or did you always start that way?
Mark: Eighteen years old, I started buying properties because that’s the only thing I know. I didn’t learn 23 strategies. I learned one and I went and did it. And then I discovered, holy cow, I’m not a good landlord. I’m not good at collecting rent. I’m not a good property manager. I’m not a good maintenance guy. I’m not good at any of these pieces. So I had about 60 something doors. I almost went bankrupt actually, Mike.
So what happened? That’s how I learned about wholesaling. I didn’t know wholesaling existed. I did it out of necessity because I was going bankrupt. I literally was going bankrupt. The city was hammering me. I had 30 something warrants out for my arrest, just bench warrants, nothing big in Columbus, Ohio. I had so many . . . I was becoming a slumlord, not on purpose, but through sheer . . . and this happens all the time, but I over bought.
I wasn’t good at anything I did and I was doing homeowner financial deals. It’s not bankrupt through the bank but I had to bankrupt . . . I literally still own . . . I have the paperwork when I was getting ready to file the bankruptcy because I look at it and remember. I don’t look at it as a bad thing. I look at it as the chapter in the book that made [inaudible 00:37:38].
So I did that, learned wholesaling and I was like, “Wow, I can make $5,000 doing nothing, no risk, very little work, very, very little work, literally hand off, hand off, boom, made $5,000, $15,000 or whatever.” I mean, we’ve done deals in the $500,000 range now, wholesale deals. So there’s different strategies and a $500,000 deal doesn’t happen unless you do a lot of $5,000 deals. FYI, if you’re listening and you’re like, “Oh, my god. I’m going to do a half a million dollar deal.” So I started doing that and then what happened is I love the passive environment of real estate. I hate the headaches of real estate but I love the passive money from real state.
Again, this is ’05. I started thinking about, I’m on the beach, I’m traveling with my wife. I own property. I have management teams that work for me. I have a company. And I’m like, “I don’t think I’m the only one out here that has this problem.” And I just started thinking about who could . . . I’m my own client. I don’t go to my properties. I don’t talk to my tenants. I don’t talk to management. I just want money without the headaches.
So I created a plan and said, “Okay, I’m cool with double digit returns net ROI. Could I go make 50% ROI? Yes, but I can still do both. So it’s a take and give. So I was like, “Okay, I’ll take a portion of my life in savings and put in this piece and start building a thing.” And all of a sudden, it started really becoming a business. I was doing turnkey before I knew it was even called turnkey. I mean, it wasn’t even . . . when did the term turnkey . . .?
Mike: Who knows? I don’t know. It’s still a nebulous term that could mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people. But yeah, I think the interesting thing is we’ve seen that, too. I did this presentation a while back on like active versus passive investing and I think there’s a lot of people that like real estate investing, the idea of it, but when they realize how much work goes into being active and doing work from lead generation to all the closings and all the stuff you have to go through, they’re like, “I don’t want that part of it. I just want the cash flow.”
Mark: I want it, too, but you’ve got to do the work.
Mike: Yeah. Or you have to work with somebody that provides a solution for you that does the work for you.
Mark: Exactly. Yeah. And that’s the difference with active and passive, right? So I’m kind of in the middle. I’m both sides. I’m active investor. I’m a passive investor. So I see both sides and I can tell you right now, 99% of people watching this, they say they want to be active and they want active returns but they want passive activities. So it’s like they don’t want to do anything, but they want to make big money and I’m like, real life doesn’t work like that.
Mike: Yeah. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I think once you decide what you want, back to the whole thing about what do you want and it’s like and it sounds cool and looks cool on TV and that’s not how it works, right?
Mark: It’s not.
Mike: But the reality is once you realize that it’s okay if you don’t want to do that. There’s another way to do it, but you’re not going to . . . you may not get the benefit of buying it really deep like you would if you were an active investor, but you didn’t have to do any of the work to get there.
Mark: Yeah. And I think, Mike, too, it comes back to what are you good at, what do you want to do more of. If you want to be an active rehabber but yet you’re saying on the other side of your mouth I want to travel the world and spend time with my wife and kids, that’s water and oil. It doesn’t mix. But if you’re saying, hey, I have $300,000. If I had $3,000 a month coming in passively I could be able to travel the world, do things with my kids, blah, blah, blah, go to every school event that they do, or church event, or whatever, now we’re talking business. Now we’re talking real turnkey stuff that can actually happen and you can actually get results.
But if you come at it . . . the truth is, people are so mixed up, Mike. I don’t think most people even know what they want. Like, I talk to people every day and they’re like, “Oh, I want this but I’m doing this and I really want that but actually now that we’re talking, I really, really want this.” Like, what do you want? I can’t help you if you don’t even know what you want. I don’t know you, but how can I help you?
Our job is to actually elevate people on to that next level. And I do that all the time. I take people on the private jet. I take them in the Rolls. I have the show, Rollin’ with the DM. I’m doing that stuff because I like it, first of all. Secondly, because I think just mentally it elevates them to another level, like, “Holy cow. This could be real.”
And now, we have to ask ourselves different questions to get different results which brings me to the question you asked, like, someone is watching us, how do I go from one deal to two deals? I don’t think you do. I think you ask yourself how do I go from one deal to ten deals because then you start thinking bigger. You start thinking systematic. You start thinking like a real business person.
It’s easy to just do one plus one equals two. I want to do one times ten equals ten. How do we just multiply and then grow tenfold because when we grow to ten, this is my magic from taking people one to three deals a month to going ten plus a month, my magic is saying, “Hey, let’s start thinking operational. Let’s start thinking business. Let’s start thinking that next level,” because if I do ten deals and I make $10,000 a deal, now I have $100,000 a month to work with.
Now I can hire a great ops person. I can hire a great COO. I can be involved on certain activities. I can pay for marketing at a higher level. I always see people like, “Get cheap leads.” I don’t want cheap leads. I want good leads. If you’re making $10,000 a deal, I don’t care if I pay $9,900 for that deal, I want the deal, right? So it’s like the leads and stuff, we’ve talked about lead stuff in the past, so it’s like trying to figure that out on acquisition mode and just start thinking different when we start multiplying our focus.
Mike: Absolutely. And back to the whole thing that nobody’s goal is to work more, I think the more you scale up, it allows you to kind of automate and build in stuff to take yourself out of the mix, right?
Mark: A hundred percent, Mike. And I truly believe everyone watching this isn’t afraid of work. We’re just afraid of working without accomplishing what we’re going after. So again, it comes back to what do we really want? Like, some people are working, including me, like when I hit my $100,000 a year number in business which is super easy to do knowing what I know now, like, I’m still working. But I’m working differently.
Like, I’m not in the business. I’m on the business. My team’s working in it. They’re growing. They’re amazing. I would do anything for these guys. I have to get better at managing skills. I’m reading different books. I’m not reading “Real Estate Strategies.” I’m reading “Business Management,” how to grow the team if you’re Tony Hsieh’s model, like, learning all these different business growth models so for us it’s like, how do we grow a business.
Mike: Yeah. Awesome. Well, Mark, I really, really appreciate your time today.
Mark: Yeah. I’m excited if you can’t tell. I should’ve calmed down on the coffee.
Mike: If people want to learn more, I know you’ve got a lot of great stuff going on. You’ve got your show. You’ve got a blog. You’ve got a number of things going on. If people want to go learn more about you or even want to get in touch with you, where do they go?
Mark: The simplest is markevansdm.com and I have a real estate show called “Real Estate Power Hour.” And it’s on iTunes. It’s huge. It gets hundreds of thousands of downloads a month. But it’s something, again, I’m giving back to the community. There’s nothing to buy on there. I just want to give back. This is an amazing business, amazing lifestyle, and I really feel like my calling is helping people extract what they’re great at to go after what they really want. And there’s no right or wrong. That’s the thing. There’s no right or wrong.
Mike: Yeah. That’s awesome. Well, hey, my friend, thanks for sharing your time with us today. Great to see you again.
Mark: Awesome, Mike. Thank you, buddy. Thank you, guys. Keep it up.
Mike: For everybody out there listening, thanks for joining us today and we’ll see you on another show coming up. Thanks.
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