This is episode #367, and my guest today is Ryan Stewman – better known as the Hardcore Closer.
Ryan is one of the nation’s leading sales and marketing trainers with a following of hundreds of thousands of salespeople and small business owners.
As real estate investors, it’s critical that you know that you have 2 primary roles: Sales and Marketing, and Operations. And, unless you’re good at sales and marketing, you won’t need to worry about being good at operations!
Today we talk about how to get more deals through improving your sales abilities. We also discuss why “sales” is much more about listening and helping real people solve problems than ‘hard selling’ someone.
You’re going to love this discussion….so let’s get started.
Please help me welcome Ryan Stewman 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 person responsibility, and taking control of your life and financial destiny, you’re in the right place.
This is episode number 367 and my guest today is Ryan Stewman, better known as “The Hardcore Closer.” Now, Ryan is one of the nation’s leading sales and marketing trainers with a following of hundreds of thousands of salespeople and small business owners like me and like you. As real estate investors, it’s critical that you know that you really have two primary roles in this business. Sales and marketing and operations. And unless you’re good at sales and marketing, well, you don’t need to worry about being good at operations.
Today, we talk about how to get more deals through improving your sales abilities. And we also discuss why sales is much more about listening and helping real people solve problems than hard selling someone. You’re going to love this discussion. Ryan’s a rock star. So let’s get started. Please help me welcome Ryan Stewman to the show. Hey, Ryan, welcome to the show.
Ryan: What’s going on, Mike?
Mike: Good to have you, man. It’s funny because I’ve been following you for a long time. Not in a creepy way. Following you. Obviously, you’ve got a huge following of hundreds of thousands of people and have really kind of shaken up the sales and marketing space that has kind of been stodgy for a long time. And you’re just so much more real than most of the other people out there that talk about sales. So I’m excited to have you on the show today, my friend.
Ryan: Yeah, I’m excited to be here, man. Thanks for having me. It’s kind of cool. We don’t live too far from each other. And we’re both obviously action-takers and doing a lot of the same stuff. So it’s really cool to hang for a little while with you.
Mike: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for being here. So, hey, before we get started, we’re going to be talking about sales and marketing. And I’ve been telling people for years, whenever I coach people, that you are in the marketing and operations business. And a lot of real estate investors, because of TV shows or whatever, they think I’m in the house beautification, “I make houses pretty.” But that’s not the business side.
There’s a whole business side of this. You’ve got to find the deals, which we do through lead generation, and there’s a whole bunch that goes into it as a business. I know that’s what you teach people on, how to not just try to sell somebody that is next to you or friends and family or whatever. You have to become a lead generation machine. But before we jump into that stuff, why don’t you tell us a little bit about who you are and your background?
Ryan: Well, here we go with that weird part we were talking about before the show. I’ve never had a salaried job in my entire life. I have always been on commission and I’ve never taken a paid vacation. I’ve never had a paid day off. I’ve never taken personal time off where I was compensated for it. I’ve eaten everything that I’ve killed my entire life. And so I have lived off the fat of the land if we were hunters, as we would say.
So sales has been the one thing for me that’s always been there. I can count on it. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my life. You’ve been following me, Mike. You know that I’ve been divorced, been to jail and a bunch of other things that I wouldn’t wish upon anybody. And sales has been the one thing there that’s always been waiting with its arms open to bail me out in the end. It’s like I’m in a jam and XYZ is happening in my life. I’ve always been able to rely on my sales skills to buy myself out of that situation.
In 2010, I lost my mortgage license. I had been originating mortgages prior to that for about eight years. And because of my stint in prison, I wasn’t allowed to get a new license. And they changed it from state to feds, long story. And so I got into this whole coaching thing. And for the last seven years, I’ve been teaching small business owners and salespeople and everybody but your favorite corporate staunch-type person.
I’ve been teaching real people how to build a real business. People like you, Mike. You’re an entrepreneur, you’ve got your own dream, you’ve got your own idea how things work. You’ve got your own ideology of how to plug in and run a business. And you’re the type of person I’ve been helping for the last seven years. I’ve done really well at it. In all reality, I have seven years of doing this on a very high level and I have zero complaints online. And I think a lot of that is because people are scared of us. I’m just playing. But I do. I’m not on The Ripoff Report or Salty Droid. I don’t have people going and saying that I ripped them off or anything.
We’ve always delivered above and beyond expectations. And we’ve kept it real the whole way. You guys watching on video, you can see I’m not sitting here in a suit and tie, like, “I just got out of church,” and all this other stuff. I’m covered in tattoos and I’m wearing a t-shirt and stuff like that. So we’ve kind of built this thing with our own rules.
I’ll say this before we move on. I saw, and obviously, you did too, but what I saw in the sales world was a bunch of guys in suits and ties that talked about their perfect lives, church on Sunday, and they’re really the kinds of guys that sold to your manager. They’re not the kind of guys that you’d buy from as a sales guy. They’d sell to your manager and then you’re like, “My manager paid for us to go to this crap.”
And that was the whole sentiment when I was in the sales game too. So when I switched over to this sales trainer, whatever world that you want to call it, I decided that, hey, you know what, I’m going to be the guy for the salespeople, not that’s forced on the salespeople.
Mike: That’s awesome, man. And I talk about this all the time. My wife, we have a son that’s 10 and we’re starting to think, what’s he going to be? What is he going to do? He doesn’t know what he wants to do. I don’t know if I know what I want to do yet. I like what I’m doing now. So we talk about what’s important all the time and my son, if anything, is a salesman. There’s something comforting to know . . . I think about this for myself. So you don’t know my back-story, probably, but I left corporate America about 10 years ago after a couple of rounds of layoffs and getting fired and stuff like that. I just couldn’t rely on corporate America anymore.
And I’ve said this before and I don’t say this in a . . . this isn’t ego saying this, there’s a lot of comfort in knowing when you’re good at sales, you know that you can work hard and build stuff, to know that at any point in your life, someone could take it all away and I’ll be back. You and I would be back. That’s so comforting because there are a lot of people that are in corporate America that feel like they’re trapped. They don’t feel like that yet. “I don’t know what I would do if I lost my job.”
Ryan: That’s what most people think. If they lost their job, they wouldn’t know what the hell to do. They’d be in a complete panic.
Mike: Yeah. So kudos to you for training people. And truthfully, that’s the same thing I do. I train people on how to use real estate investing as a vehicle to find financial freedom because it’s worked well for me. It’s worked well for a lot of people that I know. And probably, unlike almost anything else, you have the opportunity to make some major paydays without necessarily having a ton of capital and without having a ton of experience. Cool, man.
Ryan: All you need to do is watch one episode of “Flip This House,” go buy something from an auction, freak out a little bit, hire a contractor and make $1 million. Then you get the wife and the Ferrari and you can be doing seminars around the country.
Mike: It’s exactly like that.
Ryan: That’s exactly how it works. That’s all you have to do, man. I just saved your people a bunch of time, Mike. That’s all you’ve got to do.
Mike: You’ve saved them a bunch of time because they shouldn’t do that. They should just enroll in FlipNerd and learn how to really do it. Man, so let’s talk about . . . we were talking about this a little bit before we started recording today. A lot of real estate investors or those that want to be real estate investors get hung up on the function of the business, which is rehabbing a house or doing things without thinking of the business side.
The business side of it is you need to become a lead generation machine, a salesman and an operator. You really have to be a sales and marketing rock star or you’ve got to aspire to be and you’ve got to work on it. And you’ve got to operate your business because, truthfully, a lot of people that get into this business end up doing everything themselves and then they’re not good at anything and they don’t get that life freedom that they wanted because they are their business.
But let’s start talking about sales and marketing. Because I know you haven’t really talked about it a whole lot on this show, but I know that you also are a real estate investor. So talk about the importance of lead generation. Let’s start talking about just the importance of honing your sales skills and the importance of lead generation in real estate investing.
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Ryan: Well, one of the things that we do here is we get something called the foreclosure listing report. Here in Texas, you can only get foreclosed on one day of the month. What’s that?
Mike: The Rowdy Report, right?
Ryan: Yep. And you only get foreclosed on one day a month. It’s the first Tuesday of every month. And so what we do is we get this data, this report. It has all these houses that are up for foreclosure. And our job for lead gen is to try to close them before they go to auction. I bought a house two weeks ago from auction and the dude bid me up $40,000 on the damn thing before I got my hands on it. And the people weren’t home.
The dude was dead that owned the house that I bought, where I would have been able to go to the door and negotiate with him and saved myself an additional $40,000. It was a $60,000 rehab job so I could have almost cut . . . I could have cut two-thirds of my costs in rehab just by eliminating the dude bidding against me.
You know what I’m going to do next time, though, Mike? I’m going to take my friends with me and I’m going to have my friends bid up the house that I want, pass the dude that’s trying to outbid us and then when my friend goes to pay for it and he’s like, “No, I don’t want it,” which forces them to sell it again, I’m going to pick it up cheaper without the additional bidder. I’m going to beat them at their own game next time. I’ve got an idea. Teamwork makes the dream work, baby.
But that’s an instance where we’re trying to generate leads up front because if we just go to the auction, where there are no leads at the auction, at the auction it’s sales. If we pass the lead gen portion and we just go straight to the auction, like I said, I got bid up $42,000 more or something like that. They started at $147,000 and I picked it up for $193,000. So it’s like $40 . . . what is that? Forty-five thousand dollars that they bid up that I could have beaten, had this person been alive and I could have gone to the door like I usually do.
Mike: Yeah, so that’s interesting. I know a lot of people that buy at the auction or that have bought at the auction before. So you’re actually using the list, you’re finding people that have equity that have a house you might want to buy and you’re preemptively, before even going to the auction, basically going to door knock. And I know you’re not doing that, right? So you have a team that’s going to knock on doors and talk to those folks, trying to engage them?
Ryan: Yeah, I’ve got a dude that goes and knocks on the doors. We’ll pick out 5 or 10 every month. We’re very specific, what we’re looking for. He’ll go drive by the properties and knock on the doors and stuff like that. But really, I try to find them on social media. I’ve got their name and their address and can kind of put them together. So I try to connect with them where everybody else is. Everybody’s sending them direct mail, everybody’s doing pay-per-click, everybody’s knocking on their door, everybody’s trying to catch them somewhere else, leaving flyers here and there.
What I try to do is to catch them on social media. Especially for me. If they look at me on social media, they’re like, “Well, this dude is talking some real stuff. Whatever dollar amount he offers, it looks like he can actually afford it.” So that really helps me out a whole lot because of my online presence and everything else. But I’m trying to catch them on social media. Because if I can catch them on LinkedIn or Facebook, then again, I can have a conversation with you digitally through that digital iron curtain that keeps you comfortable because I’m not there in your face on your front doorstep.
And then you can look at my profile. And anybody that goes and looks at my profile is like, “Okay. This guy is obviously well put together and at least he seems valid. He may be a complete sham,” in their eyes, because they’re facing foreclosure and stuff, but at least I have the appearance online to try to prove the validity of what they’re interested in.
Mike: Yeah. The other thing about that, and I don’t have any stats, I don’t know if you do. Not that we have to give any stats. But there’s a significant portion of people that are being foreclosed on that have already vacated their house. So if you’re trying to knock on their door, they’re gone already. So if you can find that . . .
Ryan: Most of them.
Mike: Most of them, yeah. So if you can find them somewhere else, then that seems powerful. So what do you do when you find people that have a common name, like there are a million of them?
Ryan: Yeah. I think this dude that I bought this place from was like John Smith or something like that. It was a pretty common name. I think it was Bob Johnson, actually. He passed away. But I couldn’t find him on social media either. The way I figured out that he died was we looked at the records and his name was on the death certificate on the county record.
But usually, if someone has a common last name, let’s say it’s Charles Johnson, then you know that you’re looking for the Charles Johnson that’s in Plano or whatever city. There are usually not too many of those online. But sometimes you’re just screwed.
But most people have a somewhat unique name. They spell one word different than the other. They spelled Charles with a Y or something like that. Our parents tried to be as unique as possible. Some of them, not so much. But most of them tried to be as unique as possible. There are a lot of Mikes, but there lots of different last names to pair up with them too.
Mike: Right. By the way, I’ll say . . . I’ve told this story before. You probably haven’t heard it. So about, what was it, six or eight years ago, I started creating content and doing a bunch of stuff. So I put in a Google alert for “Mike Hambright.” And it turns out that there’s another Mike Hambright and he is in a rock band. He is a lot cooler than me. So I got tired of all the alerts being about his rock band.
Ryan: What rock band? Do you know?
Mike: No. I’m sure it was not a big name one. But something in the Carolinas somewhere. Yeah. So what’s that?
Ryan: That’s a good band name, Mike Hambright and the Carolinas. I like it.
Mike: Yeah. I’m going to buy that URL when we’re done here. So hey, let’s talk about sales skills. So a lot of real estate investors that get started, they get forced into sales. They may not have necessarily been in sales before. In my experience, a lot of . . . I’d say this. A lot of the best real estate investors have a business background of some sort because they understand the importance of an operation, coming up with systems and processes. And they understand the value of spending money on advertising.
A lot of real estate investors, right or wrong, maybe from the TV shows, just assume that it’s not hard to find deals, where that’s probably one of the harder parts of this business, generally. But a lot of times, people may have a business background or people come from all walks of life, obviously, but they don’t have a traditional sales background where they know how to talk with sellers before they get into this business. Let’s talk about that a little bit. So let’s talk about some tips that people can start to hone their . . . I know you train people.
Obviously, I train people specifically in the real estate investing space. But talk about . . . I’m sure you come across people that need to be better in sales, but they’re like at square one. So let’s talk about that a little bit, some kind of baby steps that people can start using to get better at sales when they’re talking to . . . we’re usually talking to distressed sellers, people that are in a difficult situation or a life situation of some sort.
Ryan: Well, here’s what I know about sales. The marketplace has given it a different . . . what would the word be? They’ve put a different set of clothes on it from what it should be wearing. We’ll just say it that way. And what I mean by that is people think they have to be good-looking and a fast talker and have all the right words and the perfect scripts in order to sell. And I think that’s selling the hard way. If you have to be a good looking person and you have to be a fast talker and a super fast thinker to be in sales, a lot of people aren’t going to make it, first of all, because beauty’s in the eye of the beholder.
Second of all, what might be fast-talking and smart and quick-witted to you might be stupid to somebody else that’s of different intelligence. And so what I’ve tried to do is I look at it this way. When you go in and you think you’re going to pitch somebody and close somebody into doing business with you, that’s like going in and doing karate on somebody. My boys are in karate. I’ve got a five-year-old and a six-year-old. They’re both in karate and they kick each other and they hit each other. And they come home with bruises and stuff like that. And it looks very painful when you take a karate chop to the neck or a side-kick to the head.
And I grew up, I took Aikido. And I don’t really like to fight too much. I’m just like anybody else. I’d rather have peace than anything else. And I learned just to defend myself, where you come running at me and I just move the hell out of your way and just throw you on the ground and nobody’s hurt and, hopefully, you’re like, “Okay. Well, I won’t do that again.” It’s a pretty easy process and I don’t leave with a bruise and, most likely, the person that tried to attack me is not going to leave with a bruise either. They’re just going to leave and we’re going to part ways. That’s not always the case, but that’s the idea behind it.
But I treat sales like I treat Aikido, whereas I think most salespeople treat it like karate. They come in, they try to pitch, they try to hit and they try to talk and they try to put the prospect in the corner and pressure them. And I don’t think that’s the case. So what I’m going to do is talk to you a little bit about sales Aikido and how that can make things a lot easier for you. A person that does Aikido doesn’t go out and doesn’t initiate the conflict. You let the person bring the conflict to you. So in Aikido, you’re not going to punch somebody first. You’re going to wait for them to punch, you’re going to grab their hand and use their body weight against them to get them away from you.
And so in sales, the same thing happens. We’re going to go out and we’re going to get the prospect to tell us their problems. We’re not going to go out and tell the prospect the reasons why we need this house, because we want to make money and we want to make it beautiful and we want to be on HGTV with a beautiful wife and all this because that’s not the case. They don’t care about any of that. You said that they’re most likely in a distress situation. So with Aikido, you’re going to practice up front before you get in a fight too. And in karate, they pit you against each other. In Aikido, you’re going to practice before you actually get in a real fight.
And so the thing is with sales, you need to do your background. You need to practice. So there’s a finite amount of reasons somebody would want to sell you their house. Somebody died, somebody got a divorce, somebody’s sick with cancer, their kids moved out of the house and they can’t afford to pay for it anymore, they’re of retirement age, they’re downsizing, relocating. There are only a finite amount of reasons somebody gets foreclosed on. Somebody died, somebody got sick, somebody lost their job, somebody’s significant other passed away, somebody’s insurance money dried up.
Whatever those are, you need to figure out what those emotions would be. So know that if you’re chasing foreclosures, there’s a finite amount of reasons why someone’s in the foreclosure. And not being able to pay your bills isn’t the reason. Not being able to pay your bills is the repercussion that leads to the reason. It’s the repercussion of the reason they are in foreclosure.
And so if a husband and a wife were married and the husband dies and he was the breadwinner and the wife doesn’t know where the accounts are and they didn’t save money because he died unexpectedly and he didn’t have life insurance, that person is in a situation that puts them in a delicate emotional state. And it’s not that they can’t pay the bills. It’s just that the person that’s been paying the bills for them is no longer around, hence they’re facing foreclosure.
And so the first thing you want to do is go into these situations knowing that it’s not about you. It’s about their situation. And here’s what I also know. When you’re talking with people, if you have empathy, there are two things that close sales, empathy and confidence. And if you’re empathetic toward them, then they’re like, “This guy gets it.” Empathy means that I understand your situation. “I get where you’re coming from, sir.” That’s an empathetic word track.
And so the only way to garner empathy is by asking them questions to figure out what’s wrong with them in the first place. My favorite thing is to ask people, “So what got you into foreclosure?” I just get really candid with them. “So what got you into foreclosure?” I’m not going to start negotiating on the house. First of all, I’m going to find out how the hell we arrived at this situation we’re in, in the first place, because I’m going to extract clues from the conversation that are going to allow me to close later.
And it’s going to allow me, if I’m asking them questions and I care about their situation or at least if I understand their situation, then when I offer them a solution, then what’s going to happen is they’re going to go, “This guy understands me and he seems really confident that this is our only path to avoid this situation.” So empathy and confidence.
The second thing that I’m going to do is I’m going to make them an irresistible offer. And here’s where most investors, in my experience, fail when it comes to the sales game. And this ties into number one, too. They make it about themselves, how much money they’re going to make off the house and how bad they’re going to beat the person out of the house. “Dude, I got this person. The house is worth $300,000 and we stole it from the old lady for $65,000.”
You’ve heard those stories, Mike. Don’t act like you haven’t. And the same story goes, “We tried to get it for $65,000 and she wouldn’t sell it to us and she ended up selling it to somebody else for $200,000.” But in my opinion, $200,000 with a $100,000 spread is still a pretty good spread. Sixty thousand is nice, but $200,000 is still pretty darn nice too.
So what I try to do is I try to go into it to make it a winning situation for everybody involved. And by that, I mean I want to make money off the house. You lived in the house and built the equity in the house over the years so I want you to make some money from it too. I want to make sure . . . so the house that we got before last, I’ve got a house for sale in Dallas right now, off 635 in Marsh. And that house, the deal I cut with those people, I bought it $115,000 below market value, but I gave them $5000 to leave and I gave them 45 days to live in the house after I bought it from them with $5000 so they could get their affairs in order.
Guess who didn’t destroy the house on the way out? Guess who wanted to help me sell the house? Guess who wanted to be super, ultra nice to me because I was the only guy that showed up that didn’t try to screw them out of every dollar that they’d lived in that house their entire life and I created a winning situation for everybody? So it’s hard for them to say no when I’m like, “Look, you’re broke. You’re about to lose your house and everything that’s inside of it. But here’s what. I can let you live in it for free for 45 days to get your act together and I can give you $5000 to move and to put a deposit down on the next place you’re going. Nobody else is going to offer you those terms.”
And still, at that point, I’m only out 45 days, which is a mortgage payment if we’re loaning from hard money, which I don’t. I pay cash for stuff. But if you’re with hard money, that might be $1500, plus I gave them $5000, so I’m out $6500 to still make $90,000. I’ll take it.
Mike: Give us some tips on how you can . . . so first off, I hope people that are listening heard some of the underlying stuff that Ryan said. You don’t have to be a used car salesman to be in the sales business. You shouldn’t be. You should be . . . truthfully, what I’ve trained people on for years, I’m not a professional sales trainer, but I’ve bought a lot of houses so I’ve talked to a lot of sellers, is to try to talk like 20, 25% and listen 75%. And just ask open-ended questions to get them talking. Because you don’t want to sell them. You want to learn how you can help them, right?
Ryan: Yep, that’s it. People love buying stuff. They hate being sold stuff.
Mike: Right, yeah. So if you heard what we said up front about the importance of salesmanship, it’s not used car salesmanship. It’s being a good listener, being able to empathize, understand what their problem is. Try to understand what their problem is and try to help solve that problem. What tips would you say? I don’t know if you do as much kind of direct marketing for leads as what we do or I teach because I know you buy stuff at the auction and through other relationships you have.
But it’s pretty common right now. We’re sending direct mail and a lot of things to go out. “Oh, yeah. I’m talking to 10 investors. I’m going to get the best offer.” So, first off, I’d say if they call 10 investors, somehow a couple of them won’t even show up. I don’t know how that’s even possible. Then there will be a few that just look at the house and make an offer. They get out of there as fast as they can. They certainly are not trying to build any sort of relationship or understand that person’s problem. But there will be a few that are kind of doing the same approach of meeting with them, trying to talk to them, ask them questions. So how do you stand out from other people that might be doing the same thing?
Ryan: I find out what they want. I find out what they want because you’re taking a house that someone . . . let’s say they’re getting a foreclosure. You’re taking a house from somebody that they may have lived there for 10 years. And even though they can’t live there anymore, I want to see what their vision is, what kind of people do you want this house to go to. It’s like, “Okay. What have you always wanted to do to this bathroom? You’ve mentioned that we need to rehab it twice. What did you want to do to it? That’s something that I’ll consider taking care of. Would you guys like to come back and check it out and see what we do with it after it’s done?”
You know what I mean? I just try to see what they want. And whether I do it or not, obviously, they’re not the best decision-makers on the planet or they wouldn’t be in foreclosure. But I’d still want them to tell me what their vision for it is. Again, they’re the ones that have to sign off on the paper in order for me to make a profit so I need to make it all about them. You said 75/25, two ears, one mouth. We’ve all heard that equation. I say he who speaks the least earns the most. And so I go in and I ask the same thing, just like you said. I’m asking open-ended questions to get them talking because, at that point, I can figure out what they want.
And often times, like me, I come across as a very empathetic person. “This guy gets it.” And I come across a very caring person too. Because I am. That’s genuinely who I am. So when I’m having a conversation with somebody, they’re like, “I can trust this guy. The other guy said they’re going to do this, but I believe this guy is who he says he is.” And I just have that about me because I am who I am. I come in and talk to a homeowner no different than how I’m coming into this podcast and talking to you. “I see you’re in a jam. And here’s how we’re going to get out of it. But first, I need to know what got you here and what are you going to do after this because I don’t want to kick you on the street. That’s not what I’m here to do.”
And I find that that little word track alone, it’s like, “I want to find out what your plans are because I’m not just here to make money off your house and kick you into the street.” I think that’s a powerful word track because people are like, “Oh, yeah, I guess that could happen. Nobody else has mentioned that they even give a damn about us living on the streets or not.”
Mike: Right. And I’ve found too that if you do a good job of building rapport with that person, even if they get a higher offer, sometimes they’ll come back and they’ll say, “You know what? I got a higher offer. I’d prefer to work with you, but I got a higher offer.” I say you might get a second swing at the ball. If they didn’t like you, they’re not even going to tell you. If they got a better offer and they didn’t like you, you’re out.
Ryan: Yeah. So in the mortgage business, that’s a pretty numbers-driven business. Give me an interest rate and I’m out. And my whole thing then is, “Why are you refinancing your house? Why are you buying another house in the first place?” And I start listening to them and they’re like, “You know, the other bank said it was cheaper, but I’m not sure I believe those guys. You seem like what you say, it’s 100% going to be the outcome so I’m willing to take the risk and maybe a little bit higher rate.”
Mike: Yep. So, gosh, I had a question I was going to ask you. So what would you say . . . one thing I want to say is that for real estate investors listening to this, or inspiring real estate investors, those that are getting started, honestly, what we just talked about makes this business a lot more tolerable and more fun when you’re helping people solve problems because it’s a numbers game. You might go talk to 10 or 12 people before you get one to accept a deal.
And it’s a lot more fun trying to help people solve problems along the way and just being able to go home at night or at the end of the week and say, “I didn’t get any deals this week, but I helped some people.” You just feel better about what you’re doing instead of just, “I’m just trying to get deals done and I don’t care about the people I’m even meeting with.” Clearly, that ultimately comes through that you don’t care, even if you don’t think it does. People aren’t stupid.
Ryan: You know, Mike, I go into a situation like this. We’ve got this house right now that the dude died in the house. The dude that owned the house died, sorry. He didn’t die in the house. Even though when we went in there, something died in that damn thing. I’m like, “I hope we don’t walk in the front room and it’s the homeowner.”
Mike: I’ve got some stories I can tell you sometime, man.
Ryan: Me too, man. I’ve got some off the air stuff, of course. This isn’t my first house with death in it. That’s just part of the business. But here’s the way I look at it. This house is rotting. The foundation is messed up. The roof was messed up. The neighbor’s house is beautiful.
And so I’m going to go in there, I’m going to re-beautify the neighborhood. I’m going to make the neighbors happy and I’m going to make some new homeowner happy because they’re going to get a practically brand new house in the middle of a great city. That’s probably going to raise morale within their family. Their kids are going to be happier. They’re going to go to a better school than they did before because most people don’t downsize. They upsize. The neighbors are going to be happy because there’s going to be the right couple or the right family or the right independent owner that’s next to them, that’s taking care of their yard.
I brought the value of the neighborhood up. I brought beauty to the neighborhood. I brought joy to the neighborhood. I brought joy to the people that live in the neighborhood, joy to the people that live in the house. And I look at it as if it’s a higher purpose. I’m not just grabbing a house and knocking down some walls and then making some money from it. I’m literally bringing transformation to a neighborhood, a family and a community of people.
And at first, you don’t think much of it. You’re like, “Well, it’s just one house, bro. Slow your roll.” I get it. But at the same time, Mike, you said you’ve done thousands of houses. You’ve changed the landscape of the community around here. And you say, “Well, it’s just one house,” but if we built a 90-story building in downtown Dallas, it would change the landscape of the entire city. The skyline would completely evolve. All the pictures we have now would be outdated.
So one thing is of huge significance because you never know. I could do some stuff to this house and the neighbor could go, “You know what, man? I’m inspired to rehab my house too to keep up with the Joneses.” And another neighbor could go, “You know what? I’m inspired to make my yard look like that.” The next thing you know, we’ve got a domino effect through the whole neighborhood.
But I go into it looking at a higher purpose, like the result of the house when I’m done with it is going to be phenomenal. The people that I’m buying the house from, I’m going to make sure that they’re taken care of and that they’re not screwed over. I’m going to make sure that the workers that do the job and the contractors make money to feed their families. So it’s way bigger than just me going and rehabbing a house and getting profitable. I’m creating jobs. I’m re-beautifying the neighborhood and so on and so forth.
Mike: Absolutely. Absolutely. And the most veteran real estate investors I know, it takes a while. If you’ve never done a deal, that may not make as much sense to you because you just want to do a deal. But once you start doing this, I think it gets to a point, especially when you start making money, you’re like, “It’s cool.” It used to be big paydays where my wife and I are giving high fives. We’re so excited about it. And then it gets to a point where you’re like, “Yeah, we closed two deals last week.” It starts to lose its meaning unless you tie it to something bigger like you said. For sure.
Ryan: A heart attack’s not a big deal to a cardiologist.
Mike: That’s right, man. Yeah. Awesome. Well, Ryan, thanks for spending time with us today. Definitely great to see you. I feel like we could talk for hours, but maybe we’ll have to have you back for part two or something.
Ryan: Yeah, man. Maybe we can do it in person.
Mike: Yeah, absolutely. Hey, before we drop off here, tell us if folks want to learn more about you, I know you put out a ton of content, a lot of great information, where do folks go to learn more about you?
Ryan: So the best place would be elevatortothetop.com. That’s my best-selling book. We’ll send you a paperback copy for free in the mail. Just go over to elevatortothetop.com and that’s, like I said, my best-selling book. It’s not an eBook. We’ll send you an actual paperback copy. And so the book is everything you need to know about sales from day one to retirement.
Mike: Awesome. Awesome, man. That’s a great resource. We’ll add a link down below the video here. Thanks for joining us. Everybody, this was episode number 367 with Ryan Stewman. Some real talk here on sales and just the importance of it. We appreciate you joining us today. We’ve got 366 other episodes to watch after this one if you haven’t watched them.
But we appreciate everybody for listening. And we’re recording these live now weekly so keep a look out for another one. In fact, we’re about to end the show here just to give you some context. We’re about to open up the Q&A for those that are watching live. So check us out on flipnerd.com and watch us on Facebook Live and we’ll try to get some of your questions answered. So, Ryan, thanks again for spending some time with us, my friend.
Ryan: Yeah, it’s good to hang out and talk, Mike.
Mike: Awesome. Awesome. Everybody have a good day. We’ll see you.
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