This is episode #323, and my guest today is Kevin Ramirez. Kevin is only 22 years old, and already doing 2-3 deals per month. He started investing when he was just 18 years old. He’s wise beyond his years, but has a lot to teach us…whether you’re the same age as Kevin, or whether you’re 2-3 times his age! Today we talk about something that defies age…the topic for today is how to define and create stepping stones to your success, to help achieve your goals.
Kevin shares his knowledge and his techniques to define your goals, then create specific processes and activities to help you achieve your goals…no matter what they are.
It’s a powerful lesson, whether you’re new, or a veteran…or whether you’re completely unorganized, or totally buttoned up. I promise…you’re going to enjoy this episode.
Please help me welcome Kevin to the show.
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 323 and my guest today is Kevin Ramirez. Kevin is only 22 years old and already doing two to three deals a month. Now he started investing when he was just 18 years old, if you can believe that. He is wise beyond his years though and has a lot to teach us. Whether you’re the same age as Kevin, maybe younger or certainly whether you’re even two or three times his age, he has a lot to share. Today we’ll talk about something that defies age and that is the topic for today, is how to define and create stepping stones for your success and how to help you achieve your goals.
Kevin shares his knowledge and his techniques to define your goals, then create specific processes and activities to help you achieve your goals no matter what they are. It’s a powerful lesson whether you’re a new or a veteran and whether you’re completely unorganized or whether you’re totally buttoned up, I promise you’re going to get a lot out of today’s episode. Please help me welcome Kevin to the show. Kevin, welcome to the show my friend. Kevin: Hey, Mike. Thank you for having me. Mike: Yeah, I’m excited to talk to you today. I can tell you that you are mature beyond your years. For everybody who’s listening, I’ve been talking to Kevin here for a little bit and getting to know him a little bit. But Kevin is 22 years old, started investing when he was, when you’re 19?
Kevin: Full time at 19, yes. Mike: Full time at 19, part time when you were 18.
Kevin: Yeah. Mike: When I was 18 I was working in a hardware store for like several years, making probably just over the minimum wage or maybe isn’t even minimum wage. I was telling you that a lot of real estate investors that I know whenever people talk about regrets or if they could do things differently they always say, “I wish I’d started earlier,” because they realized like, “Wow . . .” I started investing like in my early 30s, so I was like, “Man, if I could just go back and get eight extra years or something.” I’m not saying I wouldn’t be doing the podcast right now but it’d be a whole different situation if you had an extra 8 or 10 years to invest. Kevin: I bet. Mike: Yeah. Well, tell folks about you. Tell us your background a little bit of really just . . . it’s a few years, right? But it’s incredible because you had the kind of insight and the stomach to get started earlier and not really kind of go do the other path of bagging groceries or whatever else a lot of 18 year old kids are doing. So Kevin, tell us your story.
Kevin: Yeah, for sure, for sure. So I’m originally from Caracas, Venezuela. I moved here when I was around 15 years old. I finished high school and decided that I wanted to take a year off back to my country of Venezuela. During that year I started reading about real estate story. I discovered forums and stuff like that, like bigger pockets and things like that to where I started reading about real estate and wholesaling and real estate investing.
After my year off, and that’ll be a year and a half, I came back and I knew that I wanted to do something with real estate. I didn’t really know much about it other than the things that I had read, but I guess I knew enough to take some action.
Mike: Why real estate though? You said you knew you wanted to invest in real estate or you knew you wanted to do that. Where did that come from? Did you have a family member or do you know somebody else that did it and you saw that’s an option for me or what?
Kevin: Yeah, absolutely. I had a family member. She was doing more into the multifamily investing rather than flipping. She had done a little bit of flipping but she was more into buy and hold and multifamily investing, and I saw that she was doing well. I mean she was very passionate about what she did, and we will talk about it from time to time.
I just said, “Hey, this is something that I could do.” It just seem to be very interesting and the books that I was reading, everything was telling me real estate is the way to go, real estate is the way to go. I just said, “Hey, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to do real estate investing.”
Mike: Yeah. It’s funny, so we have a 9-year-old son and this is all he knows. I mean we weren’t always self-employed but we started real estate investing nine years ago so this is all he’s known of us.
Kevin: Right. Mike: So funny, literally this morning we were on our way to, I was taking him to school. Normally, we listen to music. It’s earlier. We’re still waking up and all those stuff. But today I put on a podcast and I don’t want to brush anybody’s ego so I’m not going to say who it was, but it was a fellow podcaster in the real estate space that I was listening to and he’s like, “Dad, turn this off. This is boring.”
But I was like, we’ve been talking a little bit about investing because great grandma sent him 10 bucks for Halloween, another grandparent sent him 20, so he has this $35 and he’s trying to figure out how he’s going to spend it. So I had a little talk to him about, “You could invest it.” He’s like, “In what?” We started talking about buying houses and so, we’ll see. We’ll see. He’ll have that option for sure, but whether he wants to do that or something else, who knows, but that’s awesome.
So for today’s show we’re going to talk a lot about stepping stones to success and from defining your goals to breaking it down to actionable steps. I think you’re going to really help a lot of people that listen to this because action is everything in this business, right?
Kevin: Absolutely, action really is everything and a way to take action is a way for you to figure out what the right actions to take is the most important thing that you can figure out.
Mike: Yeah. How did you learn that though? Because truthfully, this industry is full of people that absorb information, they keep gathering information and they have a hard time taking action because it’s overwhelming. So how did you learn how to boil that down to actually understand that the most important part is action?
Kevin: Right. Books, I mean reading books about successful people, books about business, everything kind of guided me to having a sense of okay, I have to write my goals down. But there was one specific book that I read called Traction that made me realized how or gave me kind of a blueprint that I could use to break my goals down, to set my major goals, break them down into smaller goals, break those goals down into processes and the processes into actions. It kind of gave me the ability to build a blueprint for myself and for my business.
Mike: Yeah, that’s great. In fact we’ve talked about Traction and EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System quite a few times on the show. In fact, a buddy of mine, Frank Curtin, who was on the show before, he is an EOS Consultant so he goes into businesses and helps people set that up.
But I’m fortunate and blessed to be connected to some of the top real estate investors in the country and EOS is the hottest thing right now. What Traction talks about is implementing that in your business. I know you’re still a small shop but it gets more and more important as you have like a team and because the management part of this business isn’t the fun part. So you’ve got to be buttoned up.
So that’s fantastic. Let’s talk about the importance of goals, like where do you get started here. So at the end of the day I think this is another place where a lot of real estate investors fail or struggle is the goal might be, I want to leave my job.
Or sometimes they’re like vacuous goals like “I want to own a hundred rental properties” without really thinking like well, why do you want to own . . . why is a hundred and what does that going to do for you? We just kind of put these big goals . . . I’m not saying you shouldn’t dream big and have big goals but you don’t really know what that means. What does that mean financially, what does that give you and stuff?
So talk a little bit about kind of defining your goals, a little bit about what you did and maybe even some kind of action steps and advice for other people.
Kevin: Yeah, absolutely, and I had that same problem as well. I had the same problem that where I would set goals that were astronomical and huge and not necessarily that it’s bad like you’re saying, that it’s not bad to have huge goals. But you have to set a goal that has a meaning behind it. So there’s got to be a reason why you want that goal.
For me it was just kind of, okay, this is what I want to do. I want to achieve a certain goal because it’s going to make me feel this way for me. It was more of a freedom thing I wanted to be. I had been used to being free for, I mean since I was 18, I’ve been an entrepreneur since I’m 18 so I want to stay this way. I want to stay being my own boss and running my own business and eventually for my business to run itself and for me to kind of sit back and follow other projects and more in person projects. So that was my why. It was always about freedom and freedom of time and just being able to do what I’d love to do, anything that I was passionate about.
So taking that I decided what my goal was going to be, I turned that into a monetary goal, a personal goal, bigger goals. Like okay, this year I want to close this many deals and I want to close these many deals with this amount of profit per deal. Then this amount of profit for deal will lead me to get this major goal, and the reason why I want to have that goal is this reason and this reason.
Actually when I read Think and Grow Rich I made a, this is funny, I made like a type of like a visionary board and I mean this is dated 2012. It had something like make $3 million in a certain amount of time, in three years. From this I’ve grown to what I have now which is now what the Traction book talks about where I’ve been able to break it down into processes, break those processes into actions, and follow through with them. Mike: Yeah. So maybe, can you give some advice on people that struggle with that? You said you struggled with the goal setting part because sometimes what I tell people ultimately is the goals needs to come down to a financial number. When people talk about units of houses it’s like well, I know people that their average gross profit on a deal is 5 grand, I know people that their average gross profit is 50 grand, and so you can’t put units of houses in a bank, right?
Like you said you can say, “Hey, I want to do these many deals” and as long as you realistically estimate it, like my average gross profit is going to be $20,000 per deal and I want to do X deals and therefore, that means this much money. But kind of share your thoughts on that for folks that are listening here. If they kind of struggle with that how you might be able to help them get over that hump because maybe they could learn from your mistake?
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How you might be able to help them get over that hump because maybe they could learn from your mistakes?
Kevin: Yeah, absolutely, so many mistakes. It really has to do with what their main goal is and what their main strategy to reach that goal is. For example, there’s investors that are going to be focusing more on buy and hold and investors that are going to be focusing more on the fix and flip like I am. So it really has to do with that.
So for example, they want to be able to quit their job. Okay, well how much money do you currently spend right now, what are your monthly expenses, and also on top of those monthly expenses, what would you need to be able to cover your monthly expenses and then do whatever else it is that you want to do that makes you feel free, that makes you feel whatever personal projects you have or start another business.
Get that number, figure out what that number is and then that’s how you are going to make your major goals based off of that smaller goal. So before when you have to get $5000 per month income, well, then you’re going to, okay, well, I’ll make $5000 close to this to be able to do what I want and that’s how you’re going to make your bigger goal.
Mike: Yeah, yeah, and one thing that I’ll add is, because I’ve helped a lot of people through mentoring and coaching, it’s always funny to me when somebody is used to making . . . we have the conversation, they’re used to making, I’ll just make some numbers up here, they’re used to making $80,000 a year. They’re like “I really want to be able to leave my job” or kind of offset that income, right?
Kevin: Right. Mike: Then I’m like, “Well, what do you want to accomplish in your first year of business?” They’re like, “I want to make a half million dollars a year.” I think that’s great goal. I mean I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t dream big and stuff like that but maybe your first goal should just be offsetting your income.
Kevin: Correct, absolutely. Mike: Okay, now I had this, and trustfully I had this conversation with a guy that I mentored before. He had another small business. He made $80,000 a year. He’s like “I really want to stop that business and I want to focus on this.” He ended up making $80,000 on his first deal, which is awesome. They’re not all like that. But the people that sometimes dream too big to where it paralyzes them and they can’t get out of the gate because they’re like, “I don’t know how to get to a half million dollars.” I was like, “No, no. The goal is let’s try to make a $100,000 first and then kind of boiling it down into what are the pieces of the puzzle that help you get there,” right?
Kevin: Correct, absolutely. That’s how it should be. Mike: Yeah, yeah. Well, so next step is that you kind of define your goal and then where do you go from there?
Kevin: My main goal I figured out what I need to do in order to achieve that goal. So I break it down into activities or processes. I break them down into processes that I need to have running in my business in order to give me the outcomes that I desire. That’s another thing that I got from another book, books like E-Myth and the E-Myth for real estate investors. So I just kind of broke it down into processes and in those processes I break them down into activities. Okay, so what activities do I need to do every single month, every single week, and every single day in order to achieve my bigger goals? I make sure I have it in a way in front of me that is in the way that I’m going to feel accountable for. So for . . . office that goes across pretty much half of my office that just has my goals for the day, my numbers for the day.
So for example, make certain amount, make 20 seller calls, drive around for dollars for at least two hours and collect at least 50 leads. Set so many Craigslist ads per day. I’ve talked to three older leads, and stuff like that for the day, for the week. and for the month. I make sure I see it every day and I’m checking off as I do it every single day.
Now, when it comes to having a goal you have to know what your major goal is for every single day. So I take out whatever it is for the week that I need to do and I’ll break it into the five most important things that I have to do for the week. I make sure that for every day, I make sure that that first thing, that major thing I do it first thing in the morning and I make sure if there’s anything that I’m going to be doing that day is going to be that activity. I have to do it on my board, it’s going to get done after that particular activity is done.
Mike: That’s awesome. A lot of people I think when they’re first starting off don’t realized that those little steps add up. Like do five of these a week. Well, that’s 250 of those a year, it just adds up. As long as you’re religious about it and you just chip away, every day I do this. Truthfully, when you start to get to a point, and I know you said you have a virtual assistant, so when you start to have virtual assistance or team members or things like that, that’s how you need to manage their work too is, “I need you to do . . . ” not everything is that way, but some things. “I need you to call 10 people a day, I need you to do this 10 times a day. I need you to do this 5 times a week,” or whatever it is. Kevin: Absolutely. I mean that one thing that I figured through being in real estate investing is that it’s definitely a numbers game. If I wanted a way to put it into a process where I could measure it or even outsource it, it had to be put down into specific numbers that I could have someone else or even myself hitting those numbers for every activity.
Mike: Yeah. That’s a good point because for a lot of other people, I mean, truthfully, even when you’re starting off as brand new, I was kind of creating some training stuff for this recently, even when you’re starting off you need to have almost an org chart. This is what I do for marketing. This is what the marketing person does. This is what the administrative person does. This is what the operations person does. Right now, initially that org chart may have your name on every single seat, it probably will, right? But over time the hope is that you start to fill those seats with other people that can help you take it to another level, right?
Kevin: Absolutely, that’s the goal. That’s the ultimate goal. Drag yourself away from the business and sit back and run it to where other people are running it for you.
Mike: Yeah. Well, let’s talk a little bit about accountability. So it seems to me like you’re a very . . . you do a good job of holding yourself accountable, which I think by having it on board right in front of your face all day long helps. You’re staring it like, did I knock it down again today?
But let’s talk about that because a lot of people struggle with that as they probably deep down, don’t want to be held accountable. Facebook, I just heard something today like the average person gets on their Facebook account like 13 times a day or something ridiculous. There’s a lot of distractions in this world.
Kevin: I believe that. Mike: There’s a lot of distraction I this word. Let’s talk a little bit about accountability though, how you can set these goals, start to define exactly what it is you need to do and how often and then hold yourself accountable. What do you about accountability?
Kevin: Yeah, absolutely. Accountability is, I mean if you’re an entrepreneur you have to hold yourself accountable. I mean if you don’t go out there and do what it is you need to do in order to achieve your goals, in order to achieve your numbers, then you’re not going to be successful, you’re not going to reach, you’re not going to be what you want to be. To be an entrepreneur you have to be accountable for everything that has to do with your business.
So like I said techniques like having a board, a score cards. I have it on a board. I have it on my phone. I have it on my computer, setting time blocks for certain activities that I have to do during the day. I make sure that every week I have a schedule for the . . . I run my schedule for the whole week and I time block certain meetings that I for sure have to be at a certain place at a certain time.
Then I work around those meetings. For example, on Mondays I time block the first half of the day for following up with my probate leads, calling my probate leads, anything that goes after noon, then that’s when I start filling up whatever other activities I have to be doing. Then one thing that helps me hold myself accountable other than tracking it is also rewarding myself for doing these activities.
For me, for example, the most rewarding thing is always seeing the result, like when I see my board and I see, okay, 10 properties under contracting and 4 properties closing next week. That to me is the most rewarding thing because it obviously is telling me that whatever it is that I’m doing every single time I’m hitting those numbers, there’s something that’s happening and it’s making that goal real.
That for me is my major, major accomplishment when it comes to rewarding myself. But I mean I have smaller things like, “Okay, if I hit this goal today then tonight I’ll have another extra work for to do something personal.” For example, I practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so I like to practice, I like to go at least an hour and a half every single day. If on Friday I’ve hit all my numbers I’m going go to go in two hours early to be able to drill whatever it is that I’ve been wanting to drill, to practice for an extra hour to . . . then do it that way.
Mike: That’s awesome, yeah. Kevin: Those are things . . .
Mike: Reward yourself with an extra choke hold. Yeah, I’m going to choke one more guy out today. Then you say when you’re choking him out, you just say “I earned this.”
Kevin: Yes. [inaudible 00:20:49] being choked out right now. But I mean other things like that. Anything that you’re passionate about that you don’t necessarily get to do every week because your time is being taken by you reaching your . . . by you wanting to and working towards reaching your goals is something and you could reward yourself with at the end of that day.
Mike: That’s awesome, yeah. You said an important phrase a minute ago which is time blocking. So I found I am, one of the biggest challenges that I have is I have shiny object syndrome. I get distracted and that’s truthfully part of building up a huge network and having access to hundreds of people and have maybe a lot of friends and acquaintances through the show. There’s always somebody trying to get a hold of me for something that’s easy to get distracted. Kevin: Absolutely.
Mike: So I still struggle with that but I know for a fact that there are certain things that are in my goals that I have planned and I literally have every day from 8:30 to 10:30, I have times blocked off for very specific tasks and I try to do shut everything off and just focus on that. Otherwise I’m inefficient, right?
Kevin: Right, correct, correct. Like I said producing small techniques here and there you’re going to be able to eventually build it to where you’re efficient at it.
Mike: Yeah, absolutely. Well, so where do you go from there? We talked about setting it up specific processes and specific tasks that you have to do. What comes next? I mean you talked a little bit about accountability. Kevin: Right. Mike: I guess maybe we kind of got ahead of ourselves a little bit by jumping down to reviewing your results, but in the middle of there what happens?
Kevin: Like you’re saying, after you’re doing these activities, you’re making sure that you’re hitting your numbers every single day, month and week and holding yourself accountable, something that’s going to come inevitably is going to be change. It’s going to be growth. So as your business grows, as you’re hitting your numbers you’re going to start collecting, you’re going to start getting more leads, you’re going to start getting more calls, you’re going to start getting more deals on their contracts and so one thing that comes with that is change. So I try to review my goals or my activities and my actions at least once a week. So every week I’m reviewing my activities, making sure that okay, I’m going to see, okay this is the activities that I hit this week and I’ve hit them to the dot for the past six months. I definitely feel that I can add more to it, I can grow in this way. So there I’m going to be adding more activities, growing my numbers.
For example, talking to three deals instead of meeting with three sellers per week, now I’m going to jump that number up to five. I’m going to meet at least 5 sellers every single week or talking to 20 probate leads every single day. Well, now I’m going to be talking to at least [inaudible 00:23:38] probate leads every single day. So the key is really to adjust to your goals and adjust your activities to where you’re going to be growing all the time.
Mike: That’s awesome. Well, Kevin, I want to ask you a question of the week here that I want to go over and like I said early on, one of the things that I hear people say that have been in the business for a while is typically that their biggest regret is that they didn’t start earlier. When they hear you or they hear your story, they’re like, “Wow, you’ve got a long ways to go and you’re going to achieve presumably your financial goals.” People will envy the fact that if I had started when I was 18 or 19 like I would be in a whole different place right now knowing what I know.
So for you, you’re 22 years old, you started when you’re kind of 18, 19-ish, so what regrets do you have? What would you do differently if you could go back three years and do it again?
Kevin: Right. So it kind of comes back to what we’re talking about right now. If I were as accountable and if I were as precise as I am to hitting my numbers every single week back then I would be at a whole other level right now. I will be a lot more or profitable just in every way that I am right now. So I wish if there was one thing that I wish I did back then was to make sure that I followed my goals to where there would be processes and in those processes breaking them down and really following up with it every single day, holding myself accountable.
I mean there was months back when I got started, and this is normal, where I wouldn’t get a deal and I’ll be dry for one, two, three, four months, five months at a time and then I would get a deal. So it wouldn’t be consistent. So I feel like being consistent in my activities and being consistent in everything I needed to do was definitely something I regret not doing back then. Consistency really is key. Mike: Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah, and if you’re tracking, which you should be tracking everything that you do, particularly your leads and your lead sources. So if you start to track that stuff, like you’re talking about tracking your goals, you’ll clearly see patterns. Like for every, especially, let’s just say across all the lead sources, but diving into one, but for every 20 leads I get, I’m going to go on 10 appointments and I’m going to make eight offers and I’m going to buy one house.
Kevin: Right. Mike: So then the goal is well instead of getting 20 leads how do you get 40, how do you get 60, how do you get 80, right?
Kevin: Absolutely, absolutely, it’s growing.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. Any thoughts there on what you’ve see from an advertising standpoint like how you start? You said you’d go several months without getting a deal and then you get one. I can tell you, even if you advertised a lot, even if you buy on average, if you buy five houses a month just from my own experience, some months it’s nine and some months it’s two. I mean it’s a roller coaster even if you are doing a lot of advertising. But what are some of your lessons that you’ve learned along the way there in terms of lead generation?
Kevin: Right. Again, it has to go back to staying consistent. For example, when I got started, I made it into a process that I would, okay, I didn’t have a lot of money when I got started so my lead generating techniques had to be things that stayed with the budget. So I was doing a lot of Craigslist as I was doing a lot of driving for dollars and I was doing a lot of door knocking as well. So I feel like if that’s what you’re going to pursue, being consistent with it. So hitting your door knocking numbers every single day, pursuing your driving for dollars every single day, and it’s just growing from there, adding on through those techniques. So I started with those three then I added going to the courthouse and getting probate leads every week and calling those leads. To that I added a direct mailing and just it kept growing to pay-per-click and now it got about six or so marketing techniques that I have mastered, if you can call it that, that I’ve been using now.
Mike: Yeah, yeah, that’s great. What a lot of folks start to see when you start to scale is you start to think of techniques or things that you can do that you can turn the knob on. So driving for dollars, for example, you probably can’t like 10x that because you’re going to 10x your time.
Kevin: Right. Mike: Now pay-per-click or direct mail or whatever, if you spend more money you can throttle it up. Kevin: Absolutely.
Mike: I think as you mature you start to look at those things and say, “How can I really ramp this up and I’m not the bottleneck on those activities?”
Kevin: Absolutely, absolutely. Leveraging, I mean leveraging your resources that you’re collecting from the deals that you’re getting and putting it back into the business and growing your marketing and your lead generating sources.
Mike: Won’t you talk a little bit about what you’ve done in terms of your network? What could have derailed you, I don’t know your whole story here, but what could derail you is not being around the right people. Because truthfully at your age, there’s a lot of people that are 19 to 22 doing a whole bunch of other stuff, out partying, having a good time, going to college, whatever it is.
Mike: It’s just part of life especially at those young ages. So it would be easy to say, your buddies want to go out again, they want to go out again. I’m not saying you don’t go out, I don’t know, if you do or not. But there’s a lot of things that could distract you from the people that you’re around. So share what you had to deal with and what your advice is for people that could benefit from this?
Kevin: Yeah, yeah, I mean that’s big, especially at my age. Like you’re saying, there’s going to be a lot of distractions. What I’ve been trying to do, I mean really I’ve been doing this since high school, which is kind of associating myself with people that can give something to me, someone who I can learn something from. So a lot of the friends that I do have now are entrepreneurs in other businesses other than real estate or just graduated college and they have a lot to teach me. For example, I didn’t go to college so I can learn from their experiences in college and how they run their lives now. So I always try to surround myself with people who are doing great things with their life and then just networking with other like-minded people. Even in real estate, I have a lot of friends who are real estate investors as well. So people who are where I want to be or going to places that I can see that they’re growing as I am. So that’s who I try to associate with.
I do have the occasional friend that still stuck in the 21-year-old, 22-year-old mindset where he’s still in college, he’s kind of like, “How should I finish this, or should I go into the workforce or I’m going to switch careers now and I’m going to do something else.” So I do have those friends too. But you somehow associating yourself with like-minded people and really people that are going to help you grow and be the best you that you can be.
Mike: Yeah, that’s awesome. Well, Kevin what have we missed here? For folks that are listening, as I think there’s a lot of certainly great lessons learned here from defining your goals, setting up processes and tasks that you have to do, ultimately tracking them and making sure that you’re doing them, and just following up to see, “Did I shoot too high there. I can’t really do this 10 times a day,” or figuring out how to take it to 50 times a day. What else are we missing here? What other advice could you give to people that are listening today?
Kevin: For real estate investors, I mean it really all boils down to taking action. I mean if you were just getting started even if you’re already in the business, taking actions on usually the things that you’re putting off the most, usually the things that you’ve been putting off for months or two to three months, that that project or that activity that you were supposed to do two months ago, that’s probably going to be one of the most important activities that you should be doing right now. So taking action on those things and tackling them on and then just going after it and getting it. That’s the most important thing. Mike: Yeah, I think it was good advice that you gave to say, the thing that is the hardest and the most important to do, do that first. Kevin: Right, absolutely. Mike: Because if you have the tendency to do the less important little things first then you may never get to the big thing and that may be what moves the needle the most, so typically obviously it is. Kevin: Typically it does. Usually, you’re trying to avoid the hardest things. So I feel like just tackling it on and getting it done, that’s going to take you farther and farther. I mean I have so many examples of me trying to tackle things to where they just sat in the back burner for a while, but then when I did them I realized, “Wow, why didn’t I do this before? This just grew me and my business tenfold just by doing this one activity that I’ve been wanting to do.”
Mike: Yeah, and maybe we could talk real briefly because some of the things that you said, so you’re primarily a one man band but you have some help with virtual assistance.
Kevin: That’s right. Mike: So maybe you could shed some light on this. The importance of, if you know that you’re not good at something but it has to get done, sometimes the best thing you can do is just find somebody else to do it for you, right?
Kevin: Absolutely. Mike: So maybe share your thoughts on any experiences you’ve had or what other people might consider doing because let me tell you an example for me that I give all the time. For years and years people come to me because they think I’m an authority on follow-up. I will say my business is, we’re very good at follow-up and I know how critical it is. But what I usually don’t tell people is personally I’m horrible at it, I would give a third time of calling somebody and the number is disconnected or they don’t answer, I don’t want to leave another voicemail, like forget this. But my VAs will call them, dozens and dozens and dozens of times, will call them for years and years. We bought a house not that long ago that we made our first offer 53 months earlier. I looked back at the notes, we literally had called them approximately 53 times, every month we just called like clockwork, “Do you need to sell the house?”
The number was disconnected. Sometimes they said “I decided not to sell it.” Sometimes they said, “Well, I’m just going to rehab it myself.” Sometimes they said, “Well, I’ll just put a tenant in there.” But they never said stop calling me and they never said that they weren’t interested in selling it, take me off your list. We just kept calling and eventually they said, “Is that offer still good?”
Kevin: Right. Mike: But I would not have lasted 53 months. So sorry to kind steal the thunder here, but what are some things like that or what kind of advice can you give to people that if you know something has to get done but you don’t like to do it or you’re not good at it, just find someone else to do that.
Kevin: Right, yeah. As you’re saying, I mean there’s a lot of things in the business that I just necessarily don’t really enjoy doing. Like you’re saying, follow-up is a big one. So finding processes or other people who are able to do those things for you. For example, we’ll have some of my virtual assistants who are doing my blogs, writing my blogs for me so that I can post them on my website and collect leads that way. I have virtual assistance doing my data entry work. For example when I go driving for dollars, I collect those leads myself, something, again, that I could outsource to another person to drive for me.
But right now I’m doing that myself. Those leads, I literally take a picture of a piece of paper, send them to a virtual assistant who’s going to run it through the tax assessor’s office, see if it’s an actual lead, put it into a spreadsheet that I can turn it in and put it into my direct mailing funnel. So things like that. I mean there’s a lot of things that I don’t enjoy doing that I’ve always been able to find someone who can do it even better than I can. The key is to find that thing, find whatever it is that you can outsource and make the effort to actually have someone else or have something else do it.
Mike: I haven’t seen your board, your task board that you’re talking about there but I use a [inaudible 00:35:38] tools. If you see that you’re always, it depends on the tool you use, but in the red like past due, or past due again, don’t have this done yet. This one is three weeks past due. Those are the perfect things to say, “I’m beating myself up because I’m not getting them done.” But the truth is “I’m not good at it, I don’t want to do it.” So what else can I do here?
Kevin: Right, right, absolutely. Mike: Yeah. Well, Kevin, hey, thanks for sharing your stories with us today and everybody, thanks for listening. I’m glad to have you here.
Kevin: Yeah, thank you. Thank you for having me. Mike: Congrats on figuring this out at a much younger age than a lot of folks that are in this business. That’s awesome.
Kevin: Thanks, man. Mike: I’d like to have you back on the show at some time down the road to see how you’re progressing. You’re like our case study for getting started early.
Kevin: I’ll look forward to it, absolutely. I’d definitely be happy to. Hopefully, I can come back and show you how much I’ve grown in my business and in everything.
Mike: That’s awesome. well, everybody thanks for joining us today. This was episode number 323, hard to believe we’re getting up there. But we’ve got a lot of other great episodes and some great stuff coming up, so stick with us. Thanks for joining us today and watching or listening. Everybody, I hope you have a great rest of the week.
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