Today we’re joined by Iris Veneracion, co-founder of investCLUB for Women. During this episode of the FlipNerd.com Flip Show, Iris lays out a framework for how new investors or those looking to get re-focused can take massive action and position themselves to be held accountable. There are generally some simple steps that can be taken to separate success or failure, especially in real estate investing, where action is key. Check out this great episode to learn more!
Mike: Welcome to the FlipNerd.com podcast. This is your host Mike Hambright. And on this show, I introduce to you to expert real estate investors, awesome entrepreneurs and super cool vendors that serve our industry. We publish new shows each week and have hundreds of previous shows and tip videos available to you, all of which you can access by visiting us at FlipNerd.com or visiting us in the iTunes store.
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Hey, it’s Mike Hambright with FlipNerd.com. Welcome back for another exciting VIP interview, where I interview successful real estate investing experts and entrepreneurs in our industry, to help you learn and grow.
Today I’m joined by Iris Veneracion, a California real-estate investor and co-founder of investCLUB for Women, which she’s going to tell you, she had a hard time keeping the men out. But Iris is going to tell us all about her framework that she teaches others to help achieve success, whether you’re just getting started or you’re trying to kind of reground yourself. She calls it within her club, the 60 Day Challenge. It’s a way to force people to take action. And so if you struggle with taking action or getting back to the basics, where maybe you started at, this is going to be a great show, because she’s going to go over her framework. So thanks for being with us today. Before we get started with Iris though, let’s take a moment to recognize our featured sponsors.
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Hey Iris, welcome to the show.
Iris: Thanks for having me.
Mike: Yeah, glad you are here. We were talking for a little bit beforehand and I’m excited to talk about this. We do a lot of shows, as those that are listening know, we’re coming up on 200 shows almost in just 15 months or so. But I really love the shows that are like a framework or educational, like a lesson and I know you’ve had great success teaching people this framework that you created. So I’m excited to talk about that today.
Iris: Awesome, thank you. Thanks for having me again.
Mike: Before we get started though, tell us about you. I know like myself, a lot of other people you’re a corporate refugee that once worked for a large company. Then found your way to be self-employed and all the fun and games that, that entails.
Iris: That’s right. I like to call it funployed. I came from a corporate background. My background is mortgage finance and I just remember back over 10 years ago when mortgaging was going crazy. I read a book called “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” which I know a lot of investors did. I realized I didn’t want to work for the man anymore. So I wanted to do something for myself and I was making a lot of money for my corporation. Why couldn’t I do that for me? So during months, 16 hour days, six days a week, I had a friend of mine approach me and say, “Hey, do you want to flip the house?” I’m like, “What is that?”
Obviously I’m mortgage background, so I had a little bit of real-estate knowledge. She’s like, “We got to go find a house where we can add value, and we’ll make it petty and sell it for more money.” I’m like, “Let’s do it.” I remember, this was back in 2003. I made all the mistakes buying this house. I overpaid for it. Probably overdid, tried to do all the work myself while I was working my W2. I told myself, if I can just make a couple of thousand dollars flipping this house, I can get out of this mess and I will be happy.
I mentioned a couple of thousand dollars, I know some people that I’ve talked to in the past that were like, “If I can just break even or not lose money.” I just wanted to make a little bit of money and see if I wanted to keep doing this, and it turned out. Again, this was in 2003 and the market was going crazy and it was almost like you [inaudible 00:05:25]. It turned out after working, we actually made a lot of money. I was hook line and sinker. I’m like, this is amazing. Shortly after that first flip where I made all my mistakes, and luckily was able to get out with a decent profit. I’m like, there is something here about this real-estate thing.
It was exactly what Robert Kiyosaki talked about in his book, about creating your own business. I decided to quit my corporate job, which was a big leap. But I did it anyway and I knew at that point, I knew I didn’t want to burn any of my bridges. It turned out that a lot of people in my corporate job turned to be my initial partners and funders of many of my deals, so it’s good to have these relationships. I knew confidentially that, for those of you that are maybe thinking about leaving your job. I knew I had the skill-set and stuff, so if I wanted to come back I could. Sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith and see where you land, and just go for it. Especially in this business.
Mike: Your big part of this as you know, because I’m sure you’re going to talk about this or allude to it during the program today, is the role that confidence plays. For a lot of real-estate investors, after the deals happen one time or certainly a couple of times. Your confidence level just goes through the roof, and you see it kind of come full-circle and then you kind of get it. Up until that point, most real-estate investors, even though there is people all over the planet doing it, they question whether it will work, because maybe there is something else to it. Confidence is a big part of that, so I’m sure that helped you make the leap.
Iris: Yes, absolutely. I think a big part of that for me as well was having someone like a partner, someone who can lead me through it. So I didn’t have to do this alone, and I’m like huge proponent of that. People will take classes and will do these things, hear some guru talk about some way, how to make money in real estate. But they’re alone, they don’t know how to ask for help or have anyone to actually lead the way. In this situation when I actually left my job, I had someone who wasn’t necessarily the biggest expert in the field. But someone who had done more than I had done at that time, and really helped me through the process. I think that is a huge confidence builder as well.
Mike: Yeah, absolutely. Sometimes this can be a really, I say this all the time. So people that watch all the shows are going to hear this as a repeat. But this can be a really lonely business if you let it and it’s good to have a partner, or a friend or a spouse or whatever that sees it the same way as you do. Because it’s so easy to get doubt in this business, and it’s so easy to get rid of that doubt by having somebody to just kind of shake you every once in a while and say; just move on, just keep going.
Iris: Yeah, you really nailed it Mike. You’re absolutely right, it’s going to be a totally lonely business. I ask people, “Do you want to be a lone ranger or do you want to play on the team?” It’s a lot more fun.
Mike: Yeah, for sure. Before we started recording you were telling me a really interesting story about going to a REIA club, and feeling like it was a good old boys club. Then you took your ball and went to another playground and played somewhere else. Tell us more about how you started your club, or how that kind of came about?
Iris: I’m sorry? What?
Mike: How that came about?
Iris: It’s pretty interesting. Back then I was trying to get all the real estate education I could and nowadays it’s really awesome. We have like these great online platforms, like this show FlipNerd, and back then all we had were REIAs. So you physically had to go to these clubs and find out where they were, where they met. It was almost like a secret society. But once you were in, you could figure out where these things were held. I was very, very much interested in real estate obviously. I was able to do that first flip, and I was just hungry for information. Real estate clubs are a great source of information, all of them are.
So I remember going to this one club here in Orange County, and I’m from Southern California. There was a great speaker and I remember I just wanted to come, I wanted to meet him at the end of the meeting. It was so funny, because I walked up and all over sudden I saw him surrounded by like eight guys. Eight alpha-males, and I’m not very tall. I just remember like doing like this little dance trying to sneak into the circle, so I could say hello and introduce myself. It just wasn’t possible, and at that point I was there with my partner friend who also happened to be a woman. I’m like, “We’ve got to do something about this. I’m sure there are women out there that want to invest.” But it felt like a good old boy’s club and I’m like, “What can you do?” Not that there is anything wrong with that, actually it’s been established for many, many years. But what can we do to make it a little more welcoming for the women?
So we created our business model and we wanted to focus on the niche of women. Because I knew women wanted to be financially independent, I knew women definitely can do it. I wanted to create a place that was welcoming and more collaborative versus competitive, and some place they don’t have to come and feel intimidated. As the story goes, our first meeting was about 30 women and I was so surprised. I didn’t know, I probably knew like maybe 7 or 10 of them. Ten of them were my friends and these other 20 women showed up, and I was so surprised. I’m like, “Wow. There really is an interest here.” By our second meeting our first guys showed up and I was just like, can I…
Mike: Was he trying to describe himself dressed up as a woman or?
Iris: No, he came as a guy actually. The joke was, guys are welcome, you just have to come in a skirt. Some guys actually took that on and showed up at the club in skirts, jokingly. But of course we let them in, because our platform was primarily about education and creating a sense of community and collaboration. Having a good speaker and of course many of our speakers were guys, that were experts and stuff like that. Before I knew it, we couldn’t keep the guys. The guys just wanted to come.
We have kind of a fun casual, crazy environment. A little more playful and exciting than your standard real-estate club, where it can be so boring and everyone is like so serious. We try to make it fun and playful, so people remember the experience as well as the education. I can probably say all the REIAs in the area, we probably have the most women that come to our club. The guys are getting word of it, so they’re coming too. So it’s good, we welcome everyone.
Mike: Awesome. So I know a big part of, this is what entrepreneurs do. You see something, you see an opportunity to do something different. Which you did and then you obviously went and started your club, and created, at least from your perspective, a better mouse trap. I think that’s fantastic, I think there is a lot of women that feel intimidated like you do at meetings. You can kind of sense it. When you go to REIA club meetings typically, they’re predominantly male, unless it’s the female as a spouse of somebody that they dragged to the meeting. But I think that’s fantastic. And again I’m excited to talk about the framework of your 60 Day Challenge because so much of success in real-estate investing really in anything, is just taking action.
There is so may people that, the problem is the education side of the real estate industry is a huge business, and it does well whether somebody ever takes action or not. But to be successful obviously you’ve got to take action. So tell us about… I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, but I’m assuming some of what I just said is why you created that program, to help people kind of get out of the gate. Just tell us how that came about, your charge to help people rather than just have a club.
Iris: I had this real estate club, we started back in 2007. I started seeing a common thing occur, we had a lot of people come to our meetings. Get the education, maybe sign up for a class here and there or I was meeting a lot of people that were coming through our doors, that had come from big platform, coaching programs and had paid like 40, 50, $60,000. I would talk to them and I would be like, “How many deals have you done? Have you done any deals?” What was surprising to me was, that it was always a resounding “No, I haven’t done anything.”
As a club owner and looking at my community, I wanted to create a community that was in action. That actually did deals and actually fulfilled the desire of being in real estate, which is to have freedom, more time and make money. Why are we in this? I thought deeply about this and I’m like, “How can we create a better program, where people would actually take action versus just sit there in class. Digest information and always feel that they need more.” What can we do to make them take action?
So I developed this framework and it’s called the 60 Day Challenge, it’s something we do here in Southern California. But I think the framework in which we created, the things that people have to do week after week can really help any investor that maybe had already has an educational background, but just hasn’t done anything. If you want I can just talk about…
Mike: Yeah, let’s talk about it at a high level. I don’t want to steal the thunder from your program, and we’ll tell everybody how they can learn more about it. But I think the framework will help people whether they are able to come participate in your club or not, so I appreciate you sharing it.
Iris: The promise again behind the 60 Day Challenge is really to take action, get out of your comfort zone. Work in a team and of course close a deal. In that process when you’re out of your comfort zone, you totally build confidence. What’s really surprising to me or what I always hear all the time is, people already know the stuff. They’ve taken enough classes, it’s somehow downloaded somewhere back there in their mind. But they never have the opportunity to use it. They know what they have to do. But they don’t actually use it, and it’s incredible that once they just use that little tiny piece, it opens up everything.
So framework number one, you go there you’re making calls. This is huge, it’s so basic, but this is huge. This is a people business and this is something we iterate in our club, in our community. This is a relationship business, so you need to talk to people.
Second thing, writing offers. Before you can write an offer, you need to be able to evaluate a property. Again, our framework is about talking to people. Then they learn how to evaluate and then they must start writing offers. This framework, everyone knows this. I haven’t said anything new, everyone knows you need to talk to people. You need to figure out what that property is worth, so you can actually write an offer in it.
The biggest key that I found that was missing is people aren’t held accountable, so they don’t do it. They know they have to do it, but because they are not accountable or maybe they are just accountable to themselves. They don’t do the necessary actions. So again, whether you do it in our challenge or if you’re doing this on your own or with maybe a partner, how that partner holds you accountable, holds each other accountable. I always tell people, it’s so easy to let yourself down, but it’s a lot harder to let someone else down. So if someone has to hold you accountable for let’s say, and it can be something so basic as making five calls today. It’s just something that basic.
It’s really easy for investor who’s done a lot of deals already to make calls. For someone who is starting out, that could be a huge thing. Just picking up that phone. So again, if you just take that one little action and yes you may not know everything. But believe me, your confidence from the first call you make to the fifth call you make, will be 100% different. It’s just for making the call. In that action alone you will develop your script, you will develop what feels good. How do you say or how do you approach it? Who are you? Are an investor? Are you a buyer? Are you just someone in the neighborhood? That all just comes to play, when you just start making those first five calls. Then from there the next five calls and then the next five calls.
Mike: I think you told me one of the significant things about your challenge is that, if somebody doesn’t do what they have to do in week one or week two or week three. At any point where they don’t do what they are supposed to do that week, you vote them off the investor island. They’re out of the challenge.
Iris: Yeah. We have to create consequences for people. We try and do it in a fun environment.
Mike: Are you saying that people should take personal responsibility?
Mike: Imagine that. It’s a novel idea.
Iris: It drives me crazy that people think that, all you have to do is download some CD or listen to some book and tape series. You have to put this into action. People think that you can close deals and make money. But you’ve got to write offers, and it’s like the biggest thing I see that doesn’t occur. We created a framework to help push people along, and do it in a loving and elimination kind of way. And that believe it or not, I believe in positive re-enforcement and negative reinforcement. Sometimes that negative reinforcement will get you off your butt.
Mike: Yeah. You talked about making calls, evaluating deals and making offers. Are those like each kind of a week by week? Do you have effectively about eight weeks of…?
Iris: Yes. Every week obviously we add on top, we add another layer. Again, a lot of people that come and play the challenge, they already know a lot of this information, they’ve already taken a class that show them how to evaluate. The biggest thing that we do is we give them a framework to remain accountable, where they constantly have to be in action. In this process, they say it takes 21 days to develop a habit. So guess what? In 60 days you can develop quite a few really, really good habits.
All it takes, just like anything. Like working out or something, the first week it’s going to be tough. But once you are there and once you are accustomed to doing certain actions, it becomes a lot easier. So again in the challenge or if you were just out there, start making your habits, create the habits, the good habits. Writing an offer a day, speaking to five realtors or investors or sellers a day. Its such a simple thing, and people either refuse to do it or they won’t do it and then expect to make money.
Mike: Yeah, I found that it’s a lot easier to do those things if you do it in small bites. Like you’re saying, if somebody said make five phone calls. Just get it out of the way in the next half hour, just get it over with. Sometimes it’s just helpful for people to schedule it, like from this time to this time everyday or every other day. I have that time blocked off to do these things.
Iris: Yeah. I think what’s important to say here is that, whether you are doing this full time or let’s say if you had a full time job. You can still schedule accordingly if it’s a certain block of time in the morning, or a certain block of time when you get off work or you can create a habit just by doing this on Saturday and Sunday too. You can get in that habit. I think it’s like brushing your teeth. You don’t even think about it, you just do it.
We call them warriors that go through our program. I want it to be so uncomfortable that they can’t go to bed until they’ve actually written an offer that day. I heard this from Tony Alvarez. He was like, offers are like oxygen to real estate investors. You need to write an offer, because you can’t expect to close a deal if you don’t write any offers.
Mike: After you start making offers after week three. Where do we go from there?
Iris: Okay. There is a lot of components that obviously make a good real estate investor. So after that, things will start popping, the objections start coming up. Agents, maybe don’t want to write their low-ball offers. So at this point we start talking about creating your relationships with agents, handling objections that you’re getting and we also feel it’s important. Because obviously the market changes all the time, so a huge component of our challenge right now is, we are trying to make them whole, well rounded investors. So we also have a component where we talk about seller financing and doing creative things. So you don’t have to be just the low ball cash offer investor, you can also can be a full price creative finance or solid finance investor.
So we give them the tools to think in a creative way as well, because coming up… Sticking numbers in a spreadsheet, coming up with a cash offer is easy. But actually coming up with something creative that creates some win-win situation or really is appropriate, people have different reasons for selling houses. So we try to give them another tool on top of just coming up with a cash offer, to help them try to close deals. Right now in this market, it’s probably very helpful. Because I think a lot deals are coming direct from sellers, not just the MLS. It’s pretty exciting.
Mike: It’s interesting that in some markets, because I’ve bought hundreds of houses. I have bought I think three or four off MLS, we just don’t even look. There was a period where we put in a ton of offers off the MLS, but this just hasn’t been one of those markets the Dallas/Fort Worth area where I operate, where the MLS has ever been even a tool that we hardly use. But I know it’s different in different parts of the country, and there are some places where you still can buy off the MLS. But yeah, I can appreciate that.
I think that’s an important thing to be successful as real estate investor, to kind of use the book that; I’m going to date myself here, its really old at this point, “Who Moved My Cheese?” As real estate investors your cheese gets moved all the time, you’ve got to be prepared to just shift and ebb and flow as markets change.
Iris: Absolutely, a good point.
Mike: Tell us more about this program. As kind of people progress, then where do you end up at after the 60 days?
Iris: At this point as well, we try to iterate that, they don’t have to do this alone. I know a lot of people get into this real estate thing as a lone ranger, or they may have their spouse that might be excited about it. Or at one point they might have their spouse not be excited about it, and now they’re a lone ranger. Different things happen and part of being in this challenge, this little microcosm is 60 days. I don’t want to say try, we don’t say try in the challenge. We say do, doing real estate. At this point, deals, we want deals to be popping or they’re getting counter offers or they’re able to negotiate. So this is now where they can start practicing the negotiating skills.
I think what’s great about, like giving yourself like a 60 day framework for example, is you can actually get to the end of a deal. When you’re sitting in class, let’s say over a weekend. Not that it makes the class bad or anything, but you don’t ever get to that point. What I also know is when you’re in the action, when you’re in the action of doing stuff, your questions are a lot better because the real issues come up. And so in the 60 day framework if someone was playing the challenge.
Our goal is for them to actually be in a closing, so they can learn all that aspect of the real estate transaction. Because who ever talks about escrow and how title works, and how do you get your assignment fee? If you are wholesaling. How do you protect yourself? Our goal is to actually get you to that point, so you experience something. So you can say you fully closed your first deal, and so I think that’s really important again. I can sit there and tell people in front of class all day, this is how it works. But until they’re actually in it, the understanding is like leaps and bounds if they’re actually in a deal and applying it.
Mike: I think once someone has seen a deal come full-circle from, I’m thinking about doing it to I’m making a deposit in my accounts, or putting money in my pocket, the whole world changes, because then you believe it at that point. Or it was so hard for you or you didn’t enjoy it, and therefore you at least learned what not do or what you don’t want to do. But I think it kind of takes that full-cycle of getting a deal done for it’s a really click with a lot of people.
Iris: Yeah, definitely. One thing I encourage people again is this can be a lonely business like you said Mike. I tell people that you don’t have to know everything. I think a lot of things that stop people from doing the business is because they feel like they need to take another class. Or they need to know a little bit more, before they can have a conversation. I learned this from Jimmy Napier, dumb gets paid. It’s okay to not know everything, and sometimes when you’re quiet, in the silence, if you ask for help because you don’t know, you actually learn more.
The other big component that we also encourage is to be on a team, and surround yourself with people that are doing the same thing as you. To ask for help. A lot of people are scared to ask for help, or they get into these coaching programs for six months where their coaches are available, and how often do they call? So you have to ask for help, it’s okay. You don’t have to be alone.
Mike: I think one of the things that I have people ask me all the time as they know I’ve done a lot of deals, “What did you do when this happened to you?” It’s very common. So that’s never happened to me, but here is what I would. I think it’s important to be comfortable with knowing that you’re never going to know all the answers, but just some level of confidence that you know the people who can get you the answers or you know you can figure it out.
Iris: So critical. Having communities like yourself where you have an online platform, where you can get answers 24/7 a day. That’s pretty awesome. As investors we can take advantage of that.
Mike: Yeah, awesome. Iris, if folks wanted to learn more about your club, I know it’s Southern California based. But do they have to be in Southern California obviously to attend an event, but I know you have a number of things online as well. Do they have to be physical in your…?
Iris: No. One of the big things that we promote is that you have to show up, and so yes. Right now the way our program is set up and maybe Mike you can give me some ideas on how we can take this elsewhere. But yes, this is live, this is not a webinar. This is not a conference call, your butt has to be in that seat every Monday night.
We do really fun things, if you’re actually in the program and if you’re in the area and stuff like that and you want to join, but we do some pretty amazing things. We go on field trips and things like that. We’ll go to the County Courthouse and you can see how NODs actually, or how to pull leads for the NODs. Not that you have to do it physically these days, because there is so many services. But I think it’s really important to understand the background of everything and why certain things happen. We go to trustee sales, we got look for probate leads at the actual Probate Courthouse.
So really fun hands-on things that kind of the background and stuff, that most you don’t get normally, you don’t have time to do things like that. But we have a luxury of 60 days of being like a really close-knit team, and really supporting one another. Yes, it is live. You have to be there Monday nights, and we do have a conference call on Thursdays. Yeah, you have to be held accountable.
Mike: If folks want to learn more about some things you have going on, some of the things we talked about today. Where should they go?
Iris: It’s investclubforwomen.com. Actually I think I have something, yeah.
Mike: You have sign right there too.
Iris: Come join us. If you come and let us know that you saw up at FlipNerd, we’ll let you in for free. For all the FlipNerd guests, check us up.
Mike: Thanks so much for joining us today. I definitely appreciate it and thanks for all the great work you do for the investor community and obviously for women. I’m sure that you’ve changed a lot of lives through what you’re doing, so that’s fantastic.
Iris: Thank you, I really appreciate being here. Thanks Mike.
Mike: Have a great day.
Iris: You too.
Mike: Thanks for joining us for today’s FlipNerd.com podcast, to watch or listen to more great shows please visit FlipNerd.com or visit us in the iTunes store. To access the most robust social platform in existence for real estate investors, where you can find off-market wholesale deals, great vendors literary in your market and to socialize with other like-minded individuals, please visit the one, the only, FlipNerd.com. If you’re not yet a member, you can set up a free account in about 30 seconds. It’s pretty much the coolest site that’s ever existed in the real estate investing industry, so get on over to FlipNerd.com.