Hey everybody welcome back to the show! Super excited for today’s episode with my buddy, John Medina! Today, we’ll talk about a topic that is near and dear to my heart. At the investor fuel mastermind, we talk a lot about having the right people to help build your business, having the right team in place. A lot of us as entrepreneurs, one way or another, kind of try to do everything ourselves because it’s cheap. This is until you get to the point where you realize, you didn’t want a job, you want a business, and for you to have a business, you have to have the right team. Let’s go ahead and jump in!
Mike: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the show. Super excited for today’s episode. First, I got my buddy, John Medina, here with us. Well, we’re going to be talking about a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Something we talk about a lot in our Investor Fuel Mastermind is having the right people to help build your business. Having the right team in place. And a lot of us as entrepreneurs we kind of go one way or the other. We try to do everything ourselves because we’re cheap and real estate investors, we’re just cheap. Or, you get to a point where you realize, “Man, this is it. I didn’t want a job. I want a business and for me to have a business, I have to have the right team.” That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Voiceover: Professional real estate investors know that it’s not really about the real estate. In fact, real estate is just a vehicle for freedom. A group of over a hundred of the nation’s leading real estate investors from across the country meet several times a year at the Investor Fuel Real Estate Mastermind to share ideas on how to strengthen each other’s businesses, but also to come together as friends and build more fulfilling lives for all of those around us. On today’s show, we’re going to continue our conversation of fueling our businesses and fueling our lives. I’m glad you’re here.
Mike: Hey, John. Welcome to the show.
John: Hey, Mike. Thanks. Appreciate you having me.
Mike: Yes, good to have on, buddy. You’ve been a part of the group for about nine months now, maybe?
John: Yes, I’ve been to three meetings. Yes, it’s been great [inaudible 00:01:34].
Mike: And I always appreciate the insights and the conversation we have with you and you sharing your experience. And so, I’m really excited to talk. I know you’ve been going through this yourself, like building your team out, finding the right people, the right seats, and all the stuff we’re going to talk about today and why that’s critical. Before we jump into that, why don’t you tell us a bit about your background, how you found your way to real estate investing?
John: Yes, thanks, Mike. Well, it’s kind of a interesting story. You know, I was kind of an entrepreneur since I was a kid. I’ve lived here in Los Angeles, in the port of Los Angeles. I didn’t realize this until, you know, a couple of months ago when I thought about it. I used to work on a fishing boat when I was a kid. I used to get on for free when I was like 13. And, they let me on from free, I catch fish, and then I get to clean the boat afterwards. And then when I was done at the end of the day, I was like, like I had all these fish if we caught them. I’d go up to the parking lot and sell. So I started, kind of, my negotiation skills at a young age.
Mike: Yes. There you go.
John: Just fishing and making some money, and though I had no money, I didn’t have plenty to go on the next day, then I had to beg my parents for money. So I, kind of, started at a young age, with, kind of, buying and selling stuff, you know. Then in high school, I got into Volkswagens. Then I used to buy Volkswagens and I used to flip cars too, right? So, at a young age, I, kind of, had that entrepreneurial spirit. So, starting out with that, and then when I was about 19, I got into the plumbing world. And I was a plumber for about 25 years. I had my own business for about 25 year . . . Well, I was a plumber for 30 years, and I basically had my own business for 25 years. So, I started out pretty young. I just learned a little bit about the trade and went on my own and figured it out, so.
Mike: There are about five years in there where you worked for somebody else. Other than that, everything has been your own gig.
John: Exactly. I mainly just, yes, I just basically just figured if I do five years working for someone I could figure out this. And I was pretty good at plumbing, it came naturally to me, so. Anyways, I did that for about 25 years and I was able to get some good . . . especially in the last five years, I was able to get some pretty good jobs. You know, it was a small company, but I was able to sock away some money. I had some good jobs and, you know, I just wanted to buy some real estate. And I just always heard it was a good investment, you know, rentals, especially in our town. A lot of people have rentals and it was something I wanted to do to kind of maximize the money I had in the bank.
I wanted to buy . . . I just didn’t want to buy one, I would buy as many as possible. So I started studying, you know, how could I buy as much as possible real estate and houses for the amount of money I had. And, next thing you know, I just started studying, found stuff online, and then I kind of went to the . . . In 2009, I went to the Rich Dad Class, right? Where you go and for three days you sit in a room and they basically give you all this information. Well, wow, I had so much information. I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t want to pay for their expensive classes. It wasn’t like I met you right from the beginning where you’re a straight shooter, you know, especially with your students, you can give them value. I feel it’s reasonably priced. And you basically learn from you guys and you kind of on your way.
Well, it was really expensive to buy in and they were so vague. It was all over the place on what you could do. So I didn’t do anything for three years. I just kind of kept studying and studying. And my son was born at that time and I had a lot of time at home and my wife was basically, “What are you doing? Why are you reading all the time?” And I was like, “Yes, I’m trying to figure this real estate thing out so.” Anyways, fast forward, in 2012, I needed to take some action. The market was good. I had that money still sitting there. I was like, “Man, I got to basically do something. So, I took a boot camp with a guy named Bruce Norris down in Riverside. He’s a Californian.
Mike: I know Bruce. Yes.
John: Yes, awesome guy. And I took a boot camp like in the beginning of 2012 and it’s still scary, right? I didn’t do anything. I needed to take another one of these boot camps. So, I went back to the boot camp with Bruce again. And I was like, you know, after like the first day I’m like, “Why am I here? You just need to take action, you know, you got money in the bank, you got nothing to lose, the market’s good, short sales were happening, just go for it, you know?”
So that’s kind of how I started. In 2012, I bought my first rental, so to speak. And with the construction background I have, I rehabbed it and refinanced out of it and kept one of them. I just, kind of, was on my way and I bought two or three more thinking I was going to keep them as rentals like I originally planned. Well, then, I thought, “Hey, this is pretty easy.” At least I thought so at the time. I was like, “I might as well sell these things and make some money.” Well, I did that and I liked it so much. I quit my . . . I transitioned from my plumbing business and at the end of 2013, I went full time in 2014 as a real estate investor.
Mike: That’s great. That’s great. Yeah, and it was rental stuff too. It’s hard, you know, you’re just outside of LA there. It’s harder to keep houses as rentals when you could get a big payday today or, you know, they tend to know cash flow as well as they would in Midwestern markets and other things like that or at least appear to on paper. And so it’s hard to . . . you know, you’re in the type of market where you tend to do lower volume but the deals are bigger, right? Than in other parts of the country. And so it’s hard to forego those paydays.
John: Yes. Well, looking back that was like, “Do you know anybody that wants to get into buy and hold stuff, but rates are low. I can go ahead and W2 you.” You know, hindsight, me in 2020, I should’ve kept those things. It is what it is. I mean, I’m back where I’m at and it all worked out.
Mike: Yes. So what we’re going to talk about today, like your experience of kind of moving from really a one-man band into a team. A team that’s growing, the business is growing. And, you know, one of the things we talked about upfront is this psychology, like as real estate investors everything we do is at a discount, right? We, like, we try to buy houses at a deep discount. We try to get cheap money. We try to get cheap labor. Like we do all this stuff where we’re constantly negotiating the price down. And then sometimes when you have your team, you’re like, “Well, I don’t want to pay for that person. I’ll just do it. I can’t afford that person.” And we look at people sometimes that could come into the business and help us as an expense more so than an investment. Then, you probably had some of those same thoughts early on before you, kind of, got your mind a little bit right. Is that right?
John: Yes, totally. Because I remember when I first started, it was like, you know, I made my own postcards and I, kind of, had one person because I had Patricia who was really good at multitasking. She’s really good. She could do anything. So it was like really good. I had her doing a lot of different things and, you know, and the volume of postcards I was sending out and the system that I learned to send them out from another guy I took a class with in Orange County. It was like, “Just send these out and see what happens.” Well, you know, from, I think, about ’14 is when I started mailing it. It was pretty easy. I just made up these little postcards and they were on an orange piece of paper. I put a stamp on them. I had a little team going.
You know, Patricia, she had some nieces and nephews that would put the stamps on and we had this little system going, and go to two different printers to save money. Like you’re saying, we’re trying to save money, but you just went and put those things in the mailbox. Next, you know, the phone started ringing, you know. So I think I invested like $8,000 that year and I got four deals with high margins, you know. So it was really and again, this is simple. I mean, I didn’t have to bid a job. I didn’t have to, like, I didn’t have to have a crew of plumbers. I didn’t have to deal with a bunch of, you know, crazy construction people so to speak. So, yes, I learned that it was like, just go out there and take action and do it, but, you know, we know how that goes.
Mike: Yes. So as your business starts to grow, talk about when you started. Because I know you have a larger team now and you’ve gone through some changes over the past year or so. Talk a little bit about that realization that like, “I can’t grow as fast as I want to and I can’t get any of my life back if I’m doing everything.” Talk about kind of that transition to [crosstalk 00:08:47] people in place.
John: Well, that was a big one because I think it was like . . . and, you know, it’s around this time in 2016, like, kind of, going, like, heading towards the fall. I met my partner . . . I do have a partner, Ricky Magana who’s great. He’s a great guy and I met him at an open house just up the street on a Saturday. I was driving home, this guy . . . and I recognized his name because I knew he was an up and coming real estate agent and because he has a license. Went by an open house and started talking to him. And then we just started, kind of, like just to hit it off and, slowly but surely, I realized I was going to be in need for someone like Ricky because I couldn’t do everything.
So that was kind of the first thing I did. It was kind of good because he was a new agent and I had these rehabs I was going to sell. So I just let Ricky, you know, it was a good way for him to make some money right at the beginning, out of the gate and get to know each other because he was listing my properties. So it was a win-win for everybody. Right? It was a good way to get introduced to each other, but also for him to get a taste of making some money too because he was new. So we’re talking about getting into a great job.
So, fast forward to like, when was it? I think it was like March of ’17, we became partners officially. Right? And then we just started, you know . . . At the beginning, I was doing all the sales and the rehab, and Ricky was just . . . he’s a process guy. He knows how to use [inaudible 00:09:59]. He has a gym here in town and he was really good at outsourcing. So he was doing a lot of the outsourcing and trying to build things through outsourcing, but I was still running around with my head cut off. I’m doing the rehabs, I’m meeting with people, I’m going through the pains of having the wrong people, like, as you know, like, in the wrong seats, so to speak. [inaudible 00:10:16] and trying to make one person do three things, and they’re only probably only good at one. [inaudible 00:10:23].
Mike: Yes, that happens. That happens all the time. And I think as a small business, you know, here’s the truth. I’ll say, I’ve been saying this for years. I always say the same line is, “It’s a small business, I can’t afford to have redundancy.” I don’t have like backups to my people because my business isn’t that big. I can’t afford to have like, you know . . . if my main office manager leaves, well, I’ve got the assistant office manager right behind them to step in. Like that doesn’t usually work that way for us. Right? We have one or two acquisitions people maybe and like we need them. So, if one leaves, it’s like as the owner, a lot of times you’re like, “Oh crap, I got to step in and do it.” Right?
John: Right, yes.
Mike: Somebody is out of the office sick today or something and it’s like, “Huh, I’ve got to jump in. I got to do what I got to do.” And it’s hard to get away from that entirely, but some of it is back to what you just said, I think it’s having the right people in the right seats. Right?
And so let’s talk about that a little.
Let’s talk about first the right seats because I think early on, for me, and I still struggle with it sometimes because I just like find somebody, I really like them, I want to find a place for them. I’m like, “Well, can you do these like five things?” And they’re like, “I’m pretty good at these.” I’m like, “Well, I just need you to do these things too.” You know? It’s just like you do that all the time. Like we find somebody that we’re like . . . And the truth is we often find people, like when we need them like yesterday, you know, so we’re just, where sometimes you’re like, “Ah, I don’t know if they’re really the right fit, but, man, they’re going to work for me now and this it has to work.”
But, anyway, before we get to the right people, let’s talk about the right seats. Like, kind of, defining those roles of what somebody does so that they can focus on what they do well and make it, for our business, they can focus on what we need for our business. Let’s talk about the right seats first.
John: Right, and that’s kind of something that Ricky and I did right away. We bought the, you know, the “Traction” book, the EOS Model, [inaudible 00:12:01]. Looking back, we probably couldn’t afford it. I’m a little bit different. I throw up monies at things. My wife just came, she’ll tell you, she’s sitting over there. But it’s funny how like I want something so bad, I’ll invest, right?
So I’m looking at it, it’s like an investment. So, right away, Ricky and I got EOS trainer. We bought the book. We’re like you got to go away to a hotel or do something. I’ll just hire a guy, right? So this guy’s probably going like, “Man, there’s like two of you. What do you . . . ?” Of course, you know, he worked with us and we set out right from the beginning with having and went through all the EOS Model and having the mission statement and the core values and so we established that foundation right from the beginning.
And then we got to the seats, you know, and I think, you know, with having the right people in the right seat, so to speak, we defined what everybody was supposed to do, but we were in all the seats. You know? We’re having one person answering the phone. So, seats would be like, now we call it the inbound lead specialist that some people might call the lead manager. And they were supposed to answer the phone and delegate the leads out to people. And I was in the sales position, but I was in the rehab position too, you know, because I was rehabbing the process, the properties. Ricky, at the beginning, was kind of like just trying to get stuff set up so we could scale. And he was in operations heavily just creating.
But it was funny, we were creating a lot of operations for things that are working now, but at the time, we were really trying to like get everything set up and it, kind of, glad we got it set up because it came later, you know. But we were doing the booking upfront and then it was just crazy. We started scaling our marketing, but we didn’t have the people in place to handle it. Because now all of a sudden you’re spending all this money on pay-per-click, and mail, and all the stuff’s going out.
And I was kind of always getting the low hanging fruit. You know, I go out and meet with people and get a deal, but I wasn’t that great at following up. You know? It was like, if I closed you on the first deal, I’d come back with a contract. I would call you for a couple of weeks because I knew you were hot, but, you know, like the six-month call down the line, I wasn’t making it. And I was being honest with myself. It just wasn’t something that was in my personality type. Right? Which we can get to. It’s like, you know . . . So, basically, we had the seats set up, but I think we had the wrong people in the wrong seats. I mean, yes.
Mike:Yes. And sometimes some of those people in those seats are you, right?
John: Yes. [inaudible 00:14:09]. Right, exactly. And I was . . .
Mike: You’re seeing that org chart, like Gary, has shown this before with Gary Harper. It’s like you have this org chart and all these boxes, like marketing, sales, finance, operations, all that stuff. And the CEO it’s like you, you, you. It’s like your name is on all of them. Right? That’s how it starts for everybody.
John: Yes, and it does and it’s like, you know. And then, you know, like with me, I was thinking I’m going to do everything myself. Right? So you’re always in there trying to make it better. And I don’t think there is better. Sometimes you just have to take action and move forward. You know? It’s just interesting.
So, yes, we were all over that. Like, in the EOS, it’s the accountability chart, we were just about every seat, you know. And then we had a girl working here that was basically, she was the accountant. She answered the phone. And then we were trying to scale things and then every day I would be changing my mind because it just wouldn’t work. You thought it was a good idea and it wasn’t. Then you’d realize, “Oh, man, I hired the wrong person for the wrong job.” Now, what do you do? You got to make some difficult decisions, so.
What we did is, to kind of fast forward into how we made everything work. Probably towards the end of like last year about this time, it was about this . . . I think it was like, yes, it’s around August or September.
So like Ricky and I were together. Ricky ended up getting married last year. Right? It was one of those things. He was getting married. My wife and I built, kind of, remodeled this big house that we were living. I was involved with that because I needed to move my family and Ricky was getting married. So, “Hey man, let’s just slow this thing down a little bit. We’re all over the place.” So go get married, you know, do your thing. Go on your honeymoon, when you get back we’re going to think about what we’re doing. Let’s try to go smaller and more focused instead of trying to be bigger and all over the place. Right? So, we kind of just started cutting back on the marketing and started doing, like, kind of, went more on RBM because it was easy to do it. It was a low cost of entry, so to speak.
So we just, kind of, just . . . and the guy that we had working for us in like the lead manager inbound lead specialist’s seat was as good enough to get by. You know, he was just good enough to get you a deal every now and then. Like, he wasn’t a rock star like we have now. Right? So, basically, we just kind of slowed it down, and got some houses rehabbed and made some money a bit. We had a lot of debt because we were all over the place. We paid off all our debt at the end of the year.
And we said, “Okay, now moving into 2019, what do we want to do?” I was like, “Well, Ricky, I think we should join another mastermind because we need focus and we need to really get this stuff laser-focused. And if we want to start texting and doing these different meetings of marketing, we should probably get with a mastermind that’ll basically accelerate us and answer all the, you know, all the little questions we have instead of trying to figure it out on our own. Let’s get with a group of guys that . . . because we know there’s power in there and they’ll help us get where we want to go.”
So, come February, we joined your group, which is probably one of the best decisions we ever made. You guys are awesome. You guys, you know, it’s a great, great family like you call it. Mike, Stinson, you guys were welcoming, you’re really accessible. You’re in the groups helping everybody achieve their goals. And you guys are big on accountability and writing your goals down. So, in the February meeting, after seeing Sean, right? Sean Whalen, it was like, “Man, I got to, like, I got to, you know, I got to get these core. I got to get the flow of things going again. What do you call the core four? The process [crosstalk 00:17:10].
I left there with that in mind and we just started working on this, like on this business to grow this business with the intention of using our core values and our mission and what we really want to be as a company to grow this thing. You know, and we established all that stuff a couple of years ago, so it was really easy to get back into it. And we wanted to hire people that believed in what we were doing. Right? So, as we started moving forward, I think the first three months with you, I kind of . . . it was from Salt Lake City, kind of, I think that we’re going to be in Dallas. In that time, I kind of just swept through the company and started redoing our website and started really focusing on wanting to get the leads coming in, but I wasn’t ready yet because we didn’t have the right team in place.
The guy we had that was answering the phones was just good enough at the time. Right? So, we ended up making some decisions after the second . . . we set some goals coming out of Salt Lake City that we wanted to do six deals coming out of the meeting. Right? And I told Rick, “We can’t do six deals with our structure right now. So, back to the investment thing.” We went ahead and said, “Okay, we’re going to start sending more mail. We’re going to start scaling and marketing,” but we started thinking about the investment with our team. So what we did is we basically, we brought on a VA from Rocket Station, which actually was through Christina. Christina Cross has that . . . what does she call it? They, basically, call it like a lead manager. So they have a company that you can hire.
So we brought in Nino to be the lead manager. And then Nino’s job is the lead manager. To sit in that seat is basically just to basically distribute the leads. And we thought at first we could have him answer the phone, right? But, really, his main job is just to watch the leads and figure out where to go and to work to keep, hold everybody accountable. Right?
So, Nino started listening to the phone calls. He was like, “Wow, this other guy that was answering the phone wasn’t doing this job because now Nino is managing me, he’s managing Ricky and sales, he’s managing this guy. So we made a decision, let’s get another VA to answer the phone. And what was key about that was, is that we realize that when we hired Nino, we gave him the DiSC Test and we really made sure that he was the type of guy that was going to be able to handle managing everybody. Which we really, you know . . .
Mike: Talk about that a little bit more? Well, for the folks who don’t know that the DiSC test is as DiSC profile. It’s a personality profile to sort of find whether somebody is the right fit. You know, I’d like to have a little discussion here around the right people we talked about because in the past I was just like, you know, there was this point, what was it like two and a half years ago or something? I’ve been in business for eleven and a half years where my wife, Lindsay came in and she read a book . . . shoot, I’m going to forget what it’s called right now, but we learned about how to interview, you know. She was reading about how to interview. And she’s like, “Mike, we’ve been doing it wrong the whole time.”
And, you know, me I’m like a sales guy. So I’m always trying to sell people on how great the opportunity is instead of like just shutting up and letting them sell me on why they should come work for me. You know?
John: That’s true. That is key [inaudible 00:20:00]
Mike: I bet you, I’m sure, I know in you, I know you probably had some problems with that or like, “This is so awesome. We’re flipping houses. It’s like HGTV. You like those shows, you love it here, you know?” And it’s like, they’re just like, “Yes, I like those shows, but they might suck. Right?”
John: Right. Then you’re going off with what they tell you. And what’s so good about this DiSC profile, I think they changed it a little bit from where it was like maybe you [inaudible 00: 20:19].
Mike: They changed it recently. Yes.
John: Yes, but the bottom line is you’re going to be giving someone a test and they’re going to answer these questions that at the time they’re just asking you 50 random questions. But, out of those 50 random questions, they’re specific to, you know, put you in a personality type. What you’re good at. The D and the I and the S and the C. DiSC stands for, the acronym stands . . . that stands for different categories that you will be in. And you can be a DI or I’m not that great at . . . A guy like Gary would really know how to read this [inaudible 00:20:49] to be.
But, you know, by giving somebody like Nino, we gave him that test and it was like, “Wow, this guy could actually . . . his personality fits the role for what we need. We’re not going to be forcing him.” Like I wouldn’t be good at that job. I’m not going to taking notes and being really specific like that. I’d be [wanting to 00:21:06]. By hiring me, I’d probably have to fake my way into it. I wouldn’t be natural at the job. And then I would be really, really fighting every day to come here, which means I wouldn’t want to be here. I don’t like my job. I’m going to drift away. I’m not going to catch keynotes in the conversation.
So what we found with Nino is, and he’s doing a great job, is that we basically, his job is just to basically take notes and facilitates where the leads go. Right? So that’s what we have him doing, but let’s fast forward. We have, her name’s Kat, she answers the phone, right?
But Kat, we gave her the test and her DiSC test was perfect for someone that can talk like me and basically . . . but not take notes. So you don’t really want Kat taking the, you know, doing an intake. So the phone rings and Kat answers the call. “Thank you for calling, you know, John Medina Buys Houses and oh, what’s your name?” “Mike.” You hear all this in the background, right? Well, you’re getting somebody that’s just asking a bunch of questions that might not even mean too much. The bedroom bathrooms, you just trying to get in rapport with that person. But, at the end of the day, you’re asking all these questions that don’t . . . things that you can look up online. You really want her to have a conversation about empathy. What can we use from this conversation for us to basically go out there and know a lot about them to buy their house because we know [inaudible 00:22:22]
Mike: Where’s the pain. Where’s the pain at? Yes.
John: Yes, it’s a person. If you could touch, if you could, you know, people want to do business with people they like and if you know their story or their situation, you’re going to be able to probably get that deal a lot better than someone going out there that doesn’t know anything about them. Right?
Mike: Right, right.
John: So, we’re just thinking, you know, the phone rings, Kat answers the phone. We tell them it’s being recorded. She has a free-flowing conversation with them. Right? It’s recorded. It goes over to Nino and he’s the lead manager and he transcribes all the notes, but it’s all . . . everything that happened in that conversation in Podio, right? And then now Ricky has an appointment. Say, Ricky, can read all that or listen to the call and we’re all making notes about these people. We’re trying to get their stories so that we can build rapport with them. And, actually, we like people. We want to do good business with people. So it’s helping us hopefully solve a situation that they’re in, you know.
Mike: Yes. You’re the first person I’ve heard use that model and I really like it. You know, what happens is back to the right people in the right seats. What tends to happen is if you think of that administrative role, that front end role, we call them the admin, and the office coordinator, office manager, lead intake. There’s a million names you could use. The truth is, is you want somebody that . . . you often want two traits that is not present in most people like together. Somebody that is bubbly on the phone that can listen, be a great listener, carry the conversation, ask good questions and the detail-oriented person. Because more often than not that detail-oriented person is a little more introverted and not necessarily bubbly on the phone. Right? They’re not as warm of a voice.
I’m not saying that if you’re an introvert, it’s bad, it’s just you’re kind of more like, “Well, get to the point, I’ve got some notes to take, right?” Instead of like, “Let’s just have a conversation and let’s just, kind of, see where things go.” But then you have somebody else that’s, kind of, listening to those calls afterwards and saying, “Let me grab the information I need.” And I like that.
John: Yes. And it’s good so that Ricky, can, you know . . . And Ricky is doing a great job as a sales guy, so he’s able to take those notes out and then, you know, we always, before you go on an appointment, you call him, right? It’s all John Martinez stuff, you’re going to give them the . . . So everybody is using the advanced agreement. All of us that know John, and you know, we’re talking on meetings a lot. Everybody is getting an advanced agreement, right? So it’s like Ricky is, kind of, just going over this information and what to expect for the appointment and he’s, kind of, getting more notes and then he can record that call and then, Nino, can go back and transcribe that. But you think about it in a six month period, because we all know the key is in the follow-up. You know, you’re going to have a story about these people.
So it’s back to what we talked about this investment in your team and your company because everyone just wants . . . I mean, you know, everybody is . . . Any business, it’s like get rich quick type of thing. That’s a bad mentality to have for me at least. I just haven’t ever been able to find that. You know, I don’t . . .
John:Yeah, I just don’t know anything about that. I’ve always had to grind it out and work hard. It just always . . . and I believe in that and I’m fine with it because I think, you know, I’ll go the extra mile and work a lot harder than most people because I’m going to get what I want. Right? And it might take me a while to get there. It’s not usually a straight line, but I like [inaudible 00:25:21] investing in these people, and they’re good people. They come to work every day.
And then we have meetings every day. We have our big meeting on Monday, but then we talk to them every, every day. At 9:30 we have what’s called a Daily Huddle. And we just talked for about 10 minutes. We talk about what happened yesterday. If there’s anything that we need to know about. Was there any tech issues or do we need to . . . You know, is there something we need to deal with right now? Because if you wait until next Monday, you’re never going to deal with it. It just gets pushed to the side. Right?
So that’s a kind of a big thing too, to keep the continuity within the group. Right? So that’s what I’ve learned. It’s like . . . and then we have the right people like in the right seat. So, Kat is a really made to talk on the phone. She has that personality. She’s doing a great job. Nino is good at transcribing the notes. Nino can talk on the phone if he had to, but, you know, it’s not really something that he, you know, that . . . we just don’t want him . . . we don’t want to crossover, is what it is. We want to keep everybody in their seat. You know, Ricky is just going on sales, sales calls, and following up with people, which has been, we’ve never done that before at the extent and he’s doing it. So he’s doing a great job and what’s happening at the end of that since we did all this, to get to the point, we got six deals by the next meeting that we wanted to have with you. You know?
Mike: That’s awesome.
John: So, it was awesome. It kind of all came to fruition. So it’s awesome.
Mike: Yes, that’s great. Yes. I think having the right people in the right seats, I mean it’s amazing how much, you know, you just feel better as a business owner because shit is getting taken care of. You’re not like a whole bunch of stuff’s probably falling through the cracks. The people are happier because they’re doing what their superpower is. They’re like good at that. Right? I mean the people that if they’re doing the job that they’re good at, they like it more. They love it more. Right?
John: Yes. And that’s the key. I mean I can go to 10 different places today, which I, you know, since we’re rehabbing and doing all these different activities that drive the business, you know, marketing. I’m kind of looking at all that stuff. It’s just good to know that I have people answering the phone. Because, you know, if you don’t answer the phone correctly, you’re out of business. Right? And here we’re, I mean, it’s anywhere from $400 to $800 a lead. I mean, it’s expensive here in LA.
John:We have a bigger piece of the pie down the road. Right? I think it’s all relative to what you guys do in Dallas or we know from our other investors. It’s, like, it costs you $3,200 to get a deal and you might make a certain amount. Well, here it costs us $8,000 to get a deal, but we make a bigger piece. So it’s all relevant.
But, you know, what’s so great about like, Investor Fuel is everybody’s keeps doing . . . we all have different markets, but the process is the same. The process is the same. It doesn’t change from market to market, you know, which is great. So, now I’m kind of just like free to do what I feel I need to do. You know, I’m kind of putting all the fires. The marketing’s off. I can really dive into the marketing, so I’ll stay on that until I figure out and then I’ll move on to the next thing.
Then my wife is really good at . . . for the rehab, she took a design class, which is . . . she was good before, but now she has a design . . . like, you know, it took a 12-week course and she’s really good at that. So she’s dealing with all the colors and all this stuff and she does a great job. So, we’re kind of working like she’s here right now. She works about 20 hours a week and I don’t have to deal with . . . I’m horrible. I don’t want to deal with that. Right? She goes to Home Depot and, you now . . .
Mike: Off-white, just off-white. Everything off-white.
John: Don’t let her to come in here. But, anyway, she buys all the, you know, all the accessories and stuff for the house to give it that touch that . . . You know, the last two houses that we put on the market, we didn’t put a sign in front, because I know agents. They came and gave us like full-price offers. So I was wondering if the house isn’t going to appraise for 517, and it did, no problem. The other one sold for, I think, it’s 509.
Ricky didn’t put a sign in front because he’s an agent. Right? So, that goes to show you that you’ve got a good product, right? People will pay good for it. And I think the other agent was thinking, “Oh, this thing will never . . . Let’s give them a high price and we’ll appraise and then we get to deal with that.” It never happened. We got what we wanted and I’m not greedy, I’ll take what I . . . you know, right off the bat. [inaudible 00:29:10].
Mike: For those of you listening, I think the lesson here is like layout your seats. What are the roles? Before there’s even faces on it? I mean if you already have people in some of those roles, it’s almost like you just have to set them aside and say, “If I was building this from scratch, what would it look like? What will my hierarchy look like? What’s a job description for that? What is the compensation for that role?” Like, just lay that all out because what it gets mucked up when you have people here or you’re like, “Well, I got to keep my brother busy, so he’s going to be . . . “You know, when you start to put faces on stuff, you start to not be true to the structure that you need in your business and, kind of what you need in your business.
John: And that’s what’s key is we have that accountability chart and it’s like, yes, you’re right. I mean, it’s like, you can basically, it’s not a person’s name, just like you said, it’s a seat and it’s inbound leads specialists, so, theoretically if someone’s sick or they go away, you can plug another person in. And I think that’s key too when you have a job description, this is your job description. If something changes, let’s talk about it. We could change the job description if you feel there’s a better way. But, most of the time that job description, we got to kind of dialed in and we want people to be free to do, you know, improvise if they need to do something a little different, but we don’t want to . . . like we had that happen last week.
We had another meeting and things got changed around. I didn’t know about it. Now let’s have a meeting and get it back to where it needs to be. Right? Because everybody is staying in their lane, so to speak, which is awesome.
Mike: So, you know, we’ve talked about it a couple of times here, John, but . . . So if you wouldn’t mind sharing just an outside view of maybe a little testimonial on Investor Fuel. I know you’ve been in some other masterminds before, just your experience in Investor Fuel in just, I guess, the past nine months.
John: Wow. It’s been incredible because in your, as you know, I won’t mention names because I was in a couple of other groups and I like . . . And, you know, the group is there to help you. And the other group was great too. I mean, I learned a lot of stuff from being in these masterminds. And the stuff I learned in the other ones, kind of, prepared me to come to you guys and really focus even more, right?
Because you guys, what I like about you, first of all, you’re awesome. You’re always in there helping people. All the posts get answered either with you or Stinson. We’ll make comments. You guys are involved with everything, but the greatest thing is you have a great family, a great group of people that want to help you and, kind of, give you insight on what you . . . If you need help with texting two or three people . . . and there’s two to three different platforms you could use. But people are saying, “I got this process, try this, try this.” Or, you know, everybody is just, kind of, just sharing the love, so to speak, which is awesome.
They, kind of, like make you expedite the process so that you can basically get there faster. The end goal is we all want deals, right? Without reinventing the wheel. So I think that’s been helpful, and the accountability part. Like, when I left Dallas and I said I wanted to get six deals, I didn’t want to go back to San Diego. We had to get that going. And Rick and I were really, like, we were a little bit behind at the beginning because our process wasn’t there yet. But, now, every week we’re looking at this whiteboard I have over here and we’re like, “Man, we got to get that six, we got to get that six, we got to get that six. And we showed up with five, and then by the . . . we ended leaving on that Wednesday when we’re done with the meeting and we got the sixth one.
So it’s just a great group of guys. I mean, I know, you know, like back to the investment thing, you know, to me it’s just a no-brainer. I think it’s totally, it’s reasonable. It’s affordable and it’s helped us grow and get focused a ton. But, you know, a lot of people are going to think that, not a lot of people, but some people might think, “Hey, you know what? Where’s the value in here?” And it pays for itself. It really does. And I recommend to you guys 100%. You know, especially if you’re just starting out, you might think like, “Wow, I can’t even be involved with something like this. I don’t have anything to offer.” Believe me, you have something to offer and you will learn stuff to offer even more. There’s just a lot of great . . . It’s just a great family. So I appreciate you [inaudible 00:32:54].
Mike: Yes, thank you, John. I appreciate that. So, John, thanks for sharing some great knowledge here today. I think, you know, we all struggle with this because we all, what happens for a lot of real estate investors is they leave their job or they leave their other business or whatever and you’re like, “I want to go be a real estate investor.” And, some people have a decent level of success, maybe making more money than they made in the past or making more than they need to live on or whatever.
But often we find ourselves, and we’re still just in a job, right? We’re like we’re the guy or the gal, like, we’ve got to be there all the time and we don’t necessarily have the time freedom that we want. Right? And, so, I think we all know that now we’ve had this kind of discussion during this show is you got to . . . it’s kind of a cheesy clichÃ© that I use here. “You can’t have the dream without a good team, right?”
So you’ve got to have people in place that allow you to get freedom from the stuff that you’re not good at or don’t like doing or both. And, it allows you to focus on whatever your superpower is, which is clearing obstacles and growing, maybe raising money or finding more deals, whatever it might be. Like things that are more strategic to your business, right? So, and for those of you who are listening right now, you got to take some of the lessons we learned here, lay out what your team should look like, and start trying to find the people that fit those seats the best. Right, John?
John: Yes, that’s it. You nailed it 100% and have patience. You know, it’s not going to happen . . . Then, you know, I guess in closing here and make sure you have the money to do it. Right? Because everybody is like, I made that mistake too. You know, you basically just throw money at something and then you mail for a month and you’re like, “Oh, wait a minute, it was a rough month. Where’s your cash flow?” Right? So [inaudible 00:34:27] make sure you have enough to go six months, right? I mean, we’ve all made that mistake.
It’s like you want something so bad, you’re just throwing stuff and see if it sticks. Right? So, I think once we stopped doing that and, like you said, like think of the long run. Right, so, we’re in it, like, I would say we’re marathoners. We’re not sprinters, right? Just keeping that mentality. And, hey man, you’re going to get a cramp halfway through there. Yes, there’s a lot of things happen during a marathon, right?
So, you know, but know that there’s a finish line and you’re going to, you know, someday get there. And it’s great that you guys are really good at, you know, Investor Fuel is really good at supporting you and, you know, it’s great because, you know, sometimes you’ll tell people like, “Hey, don’t come to a meeting if you’re having problems. Come when you’re having problems because we want to help you.” So we’re all trying to get where we want to go, but we all want to support each other, and that’s what you get with Investor Fuel and you’re awesome.
Mike: That’s awesome. Well, thank you, John. So if folks wanted to reach out to you or get in touch with you somehow, where do they go to learn more?
John: Yes. You can go to my . . . Well, let’s see. I have a website. johnmedinabuyshouses.com. We’re here in Los Angeles. I’m on Facebook. You can hit me up at John Medina on, I guess, and through Messenger, you know. Or you could email me at [email protected] So if you’re in the LA area and you want to network or looking to get started. I mean, we have people coming there all the time that have questions and we, you know, we’re here, we’re trying to help you and grow our team too. So when I [inaudible 00:35:54] that we want to work with.
Mike: If folks were to go to funkyjohnmedina.com, could they find you or?
John: They might. You know, it’s funny . . .
Mike: It was an inside joke for you. Those of you that are listening to that.
John: Let’s see if we can get this going. I have this queued up. Now my wife’s going to die over there when she hears that.
Mike: [inaudible 00:36:16]. But, hey man, appreciate you for the time. Thanks for joining us today.
John: Yes, thanks, Mike. I appreciate everything and thanks for all the, you know, you and your team and all the help you’ve given us.
Mike: Of course, my friend. Always excited to see you continue to grow your business and have some success, so. Everybody, hey. Thanks for joining us today. Watch some steps to learning how to build your team, grow your team, put the right people in the right seats, very important information for really all entrepreneurs, but especially us as real estate investors because we’re cheap and we sometimes take shortcuts and we end up cutting our own throat in the process sometimes. So, we appreciate you joining us.
If you’ve been watching, and this is the first show you’ve watched, you know, thanks for joining us. But if you’re watching this for a while and you haven’t subscribed yet on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, YouTube, anywhere where you can watch or listen to us, we’d appreciate you subscribing and following along. And, of course you can find all of our episodes on investorfuel.com. Appreciate you guys for joining us. We’ll see you next time.
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