This is episode #402, and my guest today is Obi Dorsey. As real estate investors, many of us are ‘hunters’. We’re always looking for opportunity. However, that also exposes us to lots of ‘shiny objects’ that more often than not get us sidetracked and causes us to lose focus.

The beauty of the opportunity as a real estate investor is that a relatively small number of deals can literally change your life. The downside of that is it would be easy to miss out on one seemly little thing and have a super profitable deal never even happen…as we were focused on something else.

Today Obi and I discuss the importance of staying focused, avoiding shiny objects, and saying “No” much more, so you can achieve your goals as a real estate investor.

Please help me welcome Obi Dorsey to the show!

Highlights of this show

  • Meet Obi Dorsey, Jacksonville real estate investor.
  • Learn the importance of a great mindset as you start or grow your investing business.
  • Join the conversation about how good habits and routines are the key to your success.

Resources and Links from this show:

Listen to the Audio Version of this Episode

FlipNerd Show Transcript:

Mike:This is the 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 402, and my guest today is Obi Dorsey. As real estate investors, many of us are hunters. We’re always looking for opportunity. However, that exposes us to lots of shiny objects, and more often than not they can get us sidetracked and cause us to lose focus on what’s important to us in our business.
The beauty of the opportunity as a real estate investor is that a relatively small number of deals can literally change your life. The downside is that it would be really easy to miss out on seemingly a little thing that could turn into a deal that could have been a super-profitable deal for us, and maybe it never would have happened because we were focused on something else.
Today, Obi and I discuss the importance of staying focused, avoiding shiny objects, and saying “no” much more so you can achieve your goals as a real estate investor. Both Obi and I agree that it’s very difficult even for us to stay focused sometimes because there’s so much opportunity out there, but you’ve got to do it if you want to be successful. It’s going to be a great episode. Please help me welcome Obi Dorsey to the show. Obi, welcome to the show, my friend.
Obi:Mike, thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to be back.
Mike:Always good to see you. Always good to see you. For folks that are listening in, Obi’s been on the show before. It was probably maybe almost . . . I bet you it’s been almost a year ago.
Obi:Pretty close.
Mike:It’s been a while.
Mike:And we actually have been talking here for, gosh, probably a half hour anyway before we started the show, just catching up. I do that with all of my guests. I like that. What I’ve found is we used to try to find new guests all the time. We were discussing this a few minutes ago. What I found is I’ve been able to forge some good relationships and develop a lot of respect for people that I’ve had on the show before.
Often you’ll see in the year ahead we’ll have a lot of guests on that have been on before because the reality is these are pretty experienced folks that we could have 10 different shows on and talk about different topics and deliver a lot of value. It’s also good for me because I’ve developed friendships. We’re all busy, and one way that I have to catch up with people is by doing the show, actually.
Anyway, I’m excited to have you back, Obi.
Obi:Be efficient with your time. Kill two birds with one stone.
Obi:Oh, yeah.
Mike:What’s happened with the show, this is show number 402, and what’s happened is over time I’ve realized that, “Hey, I really enjoyed my conversation with this person,” or, “I really like this person,” or, “I really like what they’re doing, but, gosh, I haven’t talked to them for a long time now.” We all want to follow up more than what we’re able to with people. We get so busy in our lives that sometimes months and years go by, and you’re like, “Man, I can’t believe I haven’t talked to you for a year or six months or whatever it might be.”
Obi:Yeah, so Mike, I might put you on the spot for a minute.
Obi:I [inaudible 00:03:21] is after doing 430-plus FlipNerd shows, you’ve got to have learned some extremely efficient tools to allow yourself to utilize your time so well. I think you hinted on it a little bit earlier when we were speaking offline, but I guess where I’m going with this is I’ve become more intentional with my time and my energy.
Obi:I’m trying to plan the day ahead or even a week or a month out or sometimes a quarter out, but you mentioned earlier that you’re using some software to allow people to schedule meetings with you. What are you using to do that?
Mike:Oh, yeah. Yeah, so there are quite a few out there. We happen to use one that probably most people listening won’t want to use. It’s called AppointmentCore, but it’s specific to Infusionsoft, which I know a lot of real estate investors don’t use. You don’t really. It’s like a Ferrari for hauling manure if you’re a real estate investor in terms of a CRM. We use it for a lot of marketing automation and sending our newsletters and stuff like that for FlipNerd. Yeah, there’s MeetMe, and there’s a whole bunch of different softwares out there. If you Google it, you’ll probably find 50 of them. We use tools like that.
I haven’t talked a lot about it on the show. I talk a lot about it to my coaching students, but we use a free tool called Asana, which is a task management tool, A-S-A-N-A. We’ve developed. Honestly, it’s free. They have some paid versions, but we probably have 50 projects going on right now.
A project for us could be a show like this where my team has 50 things to do from inviting the guest to editing it, publishing it on iTunes and posting it on social media and all those things and everything in between. A project could be an assignment deal that we’re doing or a rehab. When we rehab a house, we’ve got 75 tasks or something that we do over and over again from have the seller sign the contract, give it to me as the buyer to sign, send it to the title company, put a lockbox on the door, all the way to make sure the wire came in and archive the file, ultimately, of the house.
For everything we do, we’re trying to be template-based now because, let’s face it, a lot of the stuff that we do is the same thing over and over and over again. We’re very much in a templated-type business, really, right?
Obi:No, you’re 100% right.
Obi:It’s the one thing that you don’t do that ends up giving you fits.
Obi:I’ll give you an example. This week, we recently stopped putting appliances in our flips until they actually sold, because we had them stolen a couple times.
Obi:So as a kneejerk reaction, we said, “Okay, well, we won’t put appliances in anymore.” Well, we haven’t yet put a tripwire in place to make us remember to order the appliances before the deal closes.
Mike:Okay, yeah.
Obi:So this week, we scrambled to put appliances in three houses that we forgot that we needed them in.
Mike:Yeah, it’s interesting. In this business, you said, “kneejerk reaction,” but we tend to do that. Something happens one time, and you’re like, “That’s never going to happen again, and here’s how.” We just make these big decisions that impact our business and maybe our team in a lot of ways.
Well, yeah, and by the way, what we’re going to talk about today, everybody, is just being focused. I think right now in this real estate market, no matter what country you’re in, it’s competitive right now. I think we all feel the competitive pressure. The real estate market’s on fire, and that just brings in new people that want to invest in real estate.
I think it doesn’t help that the stock market’s on fire too, and there are some people that are starting to pull back on that and say, “Well, maybe I’ll just shift over into real estate now.” We’re in an up market, so there are lots of opportunities there, but what happens is I think a lot of us start trying to do too many things.
There’s a lot of stuff that could work, but we’re spread so thin trying everything, and probably social media contributes to that, right? You hear somebody talk about something that they did that worked, and you’re like, “Oh, we’re going to start doing that, and now we’re going to do this, and now we’re going to do that.” So we all have shiny object syndrome.
We’re going to talk about that today because probably Obi and I both might be recovering addicts of shiny object syndrome. I think all entrepreneurs are. We’re visionaries. We have ideas, but at the end of the day, we’ve got to execute. Did I sum that up pretty good, Obi, what we’re going to talk about?
Obi:Yeah, 100%.
Mike:Yeah. Before we dive in, maybe take a couple minutes and, for folks that don’t know you yet or don’t have the pleasure of knowing you yet, tell us a little bit about you and your background.
Obi:Yeah, sure, thank you. I’m Obi Dorsey. I own Freedom Home Buyers, Freedom REI here in Jacksonville, Florida. We’re a family-based business. My wife works with me. We’ve actually been in business for four years at this point. We’re beginning our fifth year. We buy about 100 to 120 houses a year. We’ve got a team of about six at this point, and we’re a combination of wholesale, fix-and-flip, and own a small rental portfolio.
Yeah, so you mentioned earlier some of the things that are working for us. I don’t know where your listeners are at in their business, but what I’ve found is that I do have a bad habit of shiny object syndrome. I see something that’s working for somebody else, and I want to try it and want to make it work for me.
I was pretty good at that because I’m an entrepreneur and I am good at starting stuff. Before I knew it, I had 12 or 15 different lead gen strategies that were bringing in deals, and they were bringing in deals periodically, but what I ultimately realized is that whether it’s abandoned signs or whether it’s sticky notes on doors or whether it’s MLS or pay-per-click or Facebook or the auction sites or direct mail or, I don’t know, calling people, it all can work, and it all does work.
Ultimately, when you really get down to it, it’s what works best. What works best for you and your personality and your resources and your skillset, and then where do you get the most bang for your buck?
Obi:Ultimately, what we’ve done, it’s like a pendulum, right? I’ve seen it in my business swing all the way to, “We’re going to try to do everything,” and then it’s like, “Okay. Hold on. [Inaudible 00:10:16]. We can’t do that.” It’s not what we can do. It’s what we should do. Then it’s saying to no to those shiny objects.
Mike:Yeah. Are you looking to change your life through real estate investing? If you’re interested in either getting started or taking your business to the next level, please check out FlipNerd’s Real Estate Investor Coaching Program at
I’m Mike Hambright, founder of I’m not only a successful real estate investor that has purchased hundreds of houses directly myself. I’ve been a mentor and coach for real estate investors for over eight years. In fact, I’ve mentored hundreds of other investors, many of which started with little to no prior experience, and during the time that I mentored those specific investors, they purchased over 3,500 properties.
We have limited access in our program on how many people we can work with at a time. If you’d like to learn more about our FlipNerd Real Estate Investor Coaching Program, we’d like to schedule a call with you to see if you might be a fit.
If this sounds exciting to you, please visit to schedule a call with a member of my team. We’re looking to change lives through real estate investing. I’ve worked with many, many others. If you’d like for us to consider you, please go to right now to get started.
Obi:. . . all the way to, “We’re going to try to do everything,” and then it’s like, “Okay. Hold on. [Inaudible 00:11:50]. We can’t do that.” It’s not what we can do. It’s what we should do. Then it’s saying to no to those shiny objects.
Mike:Yeah, I think we all do that. Like you said, the pendulum swings. You’re all in, and then you’re like, “Never doing that again. Let’s just do this.” It’s funny. It’s not funny. I think one of the things that . . . I know you have some employees.
I think that’s where things get a little more complicated. Not complicated, but I’ve just found that, in my mind, I can accomplish anything, and I’ll work however hard it takes to make it work, but employees don’t usually have that same attitude as a business owner. Not to say that we don’t have good employees, but it’s a job for them, and if they wanted to work 24/7 and keep conquering new things, they probably would be a business owner themselves.
So I’ve found whenever I get somebody spread too thin and I just start throwing it out like, “I want you to go figure this out, I want you to go figure that out,” they get overwhelmed, and they just tend to focus on either what I asked most recently or whatever was easiest for them. It’s kind of like they follow the path of least resistance.
For example, I’ve had acquisitions people in the past. We’ve never really had much success here with buying off the MLS in Dallas. Honestly, out of hundreds of houses, I’ve bought three or four off the MLS, and those weren’t my best deals. We put in hundreds of offers to get those.
At one point, I told my acquisitions guy at the time, “Hey, when you’re out on an appointment from our leads that we generate from advertising, you’re looking at the comps anyway. Just pick two or three houses that are on the MLS and make offers.” I thought that was efficient because, well, we already know about what the ARVs are in that neighborhood, and you’re kind of there anyway.
So what happened is his follow-up on our best leads from advertising totally fell apart because he just liked to be in houses. He didn’t really like to have to call people. So something’s going to give no matter what decision you make. Things are going to give if you try to just stack too many things on.
Obi:One-hundred percent. It’s all tradeoffs, right?
Obi:Yeah, it is determining what your core focus is and then getting laser focused on that focus.
Obi:I recently heard Darren Hardy speak, and the constant question that he asked was what to focus on with an emphasis on that focus.
Mike:Yeah, let’s talk about it. I know there’s a lot of things that real estate investors . . . let’s maybe start to dive into some advice for people that are out. A lot of these Facebook groups have thousands or tens of thousands of people in them. Everybody’s got an opinion or an idea or something that worked one time for one person, and then everybody thinks it’s the gospel now. Everybody needs to shift over here. Talk a little bit about that. Maybe give some tips on how to stay focused and not get too distracted on new shiny things in this business.
Obi:Sure. I think the biggest thing is being intentional, crafting a plan and then execution of your plan, breaking things down into quarters, essentially into three-month blocks, and eating that elephant one bite at a time.
Obi:If I can, a tool that I’ve found recently that’s really helped me out a fair amount is this SELF Journal. I’m not sure if you’ve seen this out there or not, but it’s a phenomenal tool. I’m using it quite a bit.
Mike:What journal is that?
Obi:It’s called a SELF Journal.
Mike:SELF Journal, okay.
Mike:Okay. I couldn’t see what you had. I don’t know if you know this. This is totally, totally off topic. My wife sells a journal on Amazon.
Obi:Oh, does she really?
Mike:Yeah, it’s called the Ignited Life Journal. In fact, she has a second product launching here in the next week. It’s like a bucket list journal.
Obi:[Inaudible 00:16:01].
Obi:That’s awesome that she has one.
Obi:I think the biggest thing is that you use something, right?
Obi:Let me introduce you to my original.
Mike:That’s the original CRM, right?
Obi:Yeah, the original CRM.
Mike:The yellow pad. For those of you who are listening, he’s holding up a legal pad.
Obi:Yeah, it still works. The intent or the idea, obviously, is just crafting your plan and your goals the night before, reviewing them the day of, and then the other thing would be have you seen this book, Brian Tracy’s new book?
Mike:I’m familiar with it. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve seen it.
Obi:Yeah, no, it’s awesome.
Mike:Why don’t you say it? What’s it called there for people that are listening?
Obi:Yeah, so Brian Tracy, world-renowned writer, has written a book, “Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time.”
Obi:It’s one of my recent reads. I have tons and tons and tons of notes in mind because the stuff that he’s telling is not like it’s earth-shattering. It’s really not. Some of it’s really kind of common sense, but common sense applied can have some phenomenal results.
Obi:Brian Tracy got the title from Mark Twain. Mark Twain has a famous quote. It says, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning, and if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” I’ve got it posted up on my wall big. I’m looking at it all the time.
Mike:Yeah, that’s awesome.
Obi:Yeah, it’s usually those hardest things, the things that we procrastinate, the biggest things, that we actually get the most bang for our buck when we accomplish them and we actually get them done.
Mike:Yeah. Unfortunately, I think a lot of entrepreneurs have tended to . . . your list of tasks, you can get 5 done in a day just hypothetically, but somehow you’re adding 10 to the list. So the list is growing faster then what you can accomplish, and we tend to focus on the little things because we like to check stuff off. “Let me just do this. Let me knock this little thing out of the way.” But that little thing doesn’t really have any impact, certainly not as big of an impact.
So the book, I presume – I haven’t read it – and the quote from Mark Twain there is focus on things that are going to move the needle, right? Just really focus on the big things.
Obi:One-hundred percent.
Mike:Yeah, it’s interesting because a couple of weeks ago we went through an EOS implementation. For some of you – I’ve got one around here somewhere – who have read the book “Traction,” “Traction” teaches how to put a system in place of a cadence of meetings where your whole team is focused. It says 10-year, 3-year, and 1-year goals, and then you break it down into a quarter, and then you break it down by week. “What do I have to get done this week to hit that quarterly goal and really get in laser focused?”
After you team all agrees, “This is what we’re going to accomplish,” you can’t add anything to that list for at least 90 days and just stay razor focused. It’s been good for my team. Honestly, my team loved it because we got our arms around what we’re trying to accomplish here instead of me flying by the seat of my pants. “We’re going to do big things. We’re going to do awesome things. We’re going to go do this awesome thing, and everybody’s going to love it.” You can’t measure that.
Obi:Oh, no.
Mike:It’s just too ambiguous to really just say, “Here’s exactly what to go do to accomplish that.”
Obi:Yeah, and then if I could share this, because it stems exactly off of what you’re talking about now, we live in a social media world that we’re surrounded by . . . we see people. First of all, everything on social media is not real, so everybody needs to remember that, right? If it was, then there would be a lot more happy people in the world. The reality is just because it happened on social media doesn’t mean that it’s real.
But beyond that, at the end of the day, measuring yourself against somebody else is a really bad habit, and it can get you in a lot of trouble. The only thing that really matters are the results that you’re getting, and that’s what you need to compare yourself to. That’s ultimately what we’re doing. We’ve developed our own KPIs. We’re measuring ourselves against our past results. What gets tracked and what gets measured gets improved.
That’s what we’re seeing, and since we’ve put some additional attention and focus on that, we’re seeing some benefits of it. I just encourage anybody, whether you’re a one-man band or whether you’ve got a team of all-star superstars, it’s still just a matter of knowing your numbers and then gauging and measuring yourself against that.
Mike:Yeah, that’s really powerful. EOS teaches the same thing, and we have that now. We have a weekly . . . it’s called a level 10 meeting because it’s like a management meeting. People that are there can go do things in my business. We have a scorecard, and every week, we’ve just decided up front, “Tell me what the number is for the week.” If it’s less than 5 or 10 or whatever the goal is, you’re not doing well. We color stuff red, yellow, or green based on performance.
Maybe that’s what we can talk about here for a little bit, Obi. Give people some direction if they’re newer real estate investors. You and I have never talked about this, but there’s essentially a pretty common scorecard of your funnel. How many leads do you have to get to turn it into a deal? For example, everybody’s metrics are a little bit different. It depends on what market you’re in. If you’re doing any creative finance strategies, you can usually turn more houses into deals, but they might be a little bit more complicated deals.
Let’s just say that you needed to get 30 leads to buy one house. This is what I teach. If you get 30 leads, you’re probably going to go on about 15 appointments. Some of those are going to call and say, “Well, I just don’t want to pay a realtor commission.” It’s like, “Well, if you don’t like paying a realtor commission, you’re not going to like my offer,” right?
Mike:So whatever your funnel is but just a hypothetical one of 30 leads, maybe you go on 15 appointments. From that, you make 10 offers, and from that, you get 1 deal. Something like that. Therefore, if your goal is to buy 1 house a week and if you have a scorecard that says, “Well, did I get 30 leads this week?” if you’ve got less than 30 leads, then, on average, you won’t get a deal. So right there, you know where your focus is. You’re not really focused on generating motivated seller leads.
Obi:Yeah, 100%.
Obi:Yeah, we’ve implemented the metrics. We’re tracking the metrics. We’re finding that there’s a lot of . . . every time you adjust something, it changes those numbers a little bit, but the ultimate route is to track it and improve it.
Obi:Yeah, we’re seeing the benefits of that for sure.
Mike:Yeah, and for a lot of new real estate investors, I just want to emphasize that a lot of times your interest is buying a house, but you’re not focused on generating leads. If you don’t generate leads, you’re not going to buy a house. It’s a byproduct of getting leads. You get leads, you work the leads, and then a house pops out.
Mike:Whenever I have newer people that are saying, “Well, I’m trying to do a deal, I just want to start with a deal a month.” I’m like, “Okay, well, you need to generate 30 leads a month. How are you going to do that?” You’ve got to back into, “This is my goal. Well, how do I get there?” You’ve got to generate leads. You’d agree with that, right, Obi?
Obi:One-hundred percent.
Obi:And then just to bookend that, a lot of the actual deals come from that follow-up.
Obi:A tickler system to stay in front of people, and sometimes it’s the stuff that you’ve had incubating a little while that actually pays the biggest dividends.
Mike:Right, yep. What about saying no to stuff? I know for me it’s been hard to say “no,” and part of getting focused is obviously saying “no” a lot more to opportunities or to things you might do with your time that are not going to help you get more leads or help you hit your goal. Maybe you can share some thoughts on saying “no” more.
Obi:Yeah, my thoughts are that any time you say yes to something else, you’re saying no to something else as well. We only have so much bandwidth, and there’s always got to be some give. For instance, when you say yes to a deal and the deal is a skinny deal – you think it’s a deal, but you know the numbers are a little bit tight – those are the deals that we get over the line sometimes.
When we’re all said and done, we go, “Man, we know that was skinny going in. Why did we say yes to that? It didn’t really meet our minimum deal standards.” When it’s all said and done, even though you made money on it, because there are opportunity costs, it might have stolen another deal from you that you really could have done a lot better on.
Obi:Maybe that’s not a perfect example, but that’s the one that came to mind.
Mike:No, that’s a good one. Everybody has a cash limitation. How much cash do you have? If you’ve got to go check on that rehab or do a showing to assign it or whatever, you’re taking time away from something else, right? So I think that’s a great strategy.
In my house, we have a strategy like that. My wife likes pillows. Our bed has all these pillows on it. So I had to put this strategy in place. I’m like, “Any time you find a new pillow, that’s great, but another one’s got to come off.” It’s the same thing, right? She would kill me if she knew I was telling that story.
Obi:No, I love it. I love it. We’ve implemented the same thing. I’ve got two little girls, five and three, and so for every toy that comes in the house, two toys have to go out of the house. Yeah, we’re trying to put some controls in place.
Mike:Yeah, you’ve got have a toy scorecard.
Obi:Exactly, exactly. Oh, we do. We have one for chores, and we have one for the business.
Obi:What gets measured gets done.
Mike:Yeah, I think a lot of real estate investors, though, it’s hard to say no because they see that as, “That is something I could do to maybe get a deal,” right?
Obi:I’m very guilty of that.
Obi:I need a deal or I’m going to take that deal because it’s the next one in front of me. I know I can make money on that deal.
Obi:But honestly, that kind of comes from a little bit of a lack . . . for me, I’m only speaking for myself, it came from a lack of confidence, and it came from a scarcity mindset.
Obi:With that additional laser focus and with that being intentional and knowing our numbers a little bit better and paying attention to them, ultimately what we’ve done in the business over the last six months or so is we’ve increased our spreads on deals by buying deeper and selling better and then repeating the process faster.
So I’d just encourage anybody out there, if you’re just getting going, then talk to some experienced people. Craft a goal as far as what that ideal deal looks like, and then go and hunt those types of deals and be willing to say no to some things so that you can say yes to others.
Mike:Yeah, I think a lot of times we mistake . . . even if it’s not deals, it’s like you’re trying to generate leads or you’re trying to network. It gets really easy. Networking is critical. I talk about networking and the power of building your network as much as anybody. That’s one of the things I’m doing here today is building my network with listeners and with you, Obi. So I talk a lot about the importance of networking and building relationships in your market.
But it’s really easy to spend a lot of time going to a Meetup group and having a happy hour before and maybe drinks afterwards. The next thing you know, you’ve spent half your day doing something. That stuff’s fun, and I’m not advocating people shouldn’t go meet people and network, but I think you always have to look back to the scorecard issue and what your goals are.
If my goal is to buy a house a month, let’s just say, or five houses a month or whatever it is, when you have an opportunity to go do something, you just need to ask yourself, “Does this fit in line with my goals? Is this going to help me do something that is on my goal list?” right?
Obi:Yeah, exactly.
Mike:”Or do I just really need to blow off and just need to go get away from everything?” That’s okay too, but don’t try to paint it as something that it’s not. That’s you going to have a good time. Totally fine. Nothing wrong with that, but don’t try to paint it as, “I’m doing this to build my business or to help my family,” or some of the things that we say. “This is my why. Well, I had to go to a happy hour. I’m trying to help the family.” It’s like, “No, not really.”
Obi:Yeah, well, we’re best at lying to ourselves sometimes, right?
Mike:For sure.
Obi:Yeah, we believe everything we tell ourselves.
Obi:I love it, man. That’s awesome.
Mike:When we went through the EOS process, I’ve got mine here in front of me. We’re still firming a few things up, but you spend time developing your core values. What are your core values for your business? What is my passion? What is my cause? What am I doing? What am I trying to do?
For a lot of us, our business is a means to help fulfill our core values, whether it’s giving back or whatever. It’s not necessarily to make money and live a better life. We all want that, but that’s not a value. I don’t know. Then you define your goals. So everything we do now – and we’ll try to get better and better at this because we just went through the process – is every opportunity that comes our way say, “Is this part of my strategic plan and part of my vision?”
Mike:”Does this meet what I’m trying to do here?” So I think it’s helped me because I’ve asked a couple times like, “Hey, I’ve got this idea for something,” and my team is like, “Well, does it fit our vision?” It’s like, “Well, now that you’ve said that, no, not really.”
Obi:Yeah, killing those sacred cows, right? Killing the little pet projects that don’t really align with the overall vision.
Obi:Ultimately, they sap energy from something else.
Obi:Yeah, my wife and my business partner, we had a conversation about that this week, and she promptly reminded me, “Hey, that’s not part of the overall vision.” I’m like, “Damn it.”
Mike:Yeah. But it sounds good, yeah. One thing that I want to kind of round this out with is not stopping too early. I know there’s a lot of ways to generate leads these days. You hear a lot of people are questioning whether direct mail still works, whether pay-per-click is too crowded, but I think you and I both agree it all works.
Probably why some of it’s not working for people is there’s no doubt that it’s more competitive now, but probably why it’s not working for some people is they’re spread too thin. They’re trying 10 different things, and then what happens is, and we’ve talked about this a little bit about staying focused, but the other side of that is people give up too early on stuff that does work just because they are on to the next thing. Talk a little bit about having that fortitude to just say focused on something until you make it work.
Direct mail is not dead. It still obviously works. It’s just a matter of, “Are you putting enough focus on it?” Let’s talk a little bit that, about just not giving up too early.
Obi:Yeah, well, I think you’re definitely on the right track. You’re speaking from experience, and that’s been my experience as well. It’s not going wide. It’s going deep. It’s really becoming an expert in whatever of those niches it is that suits your skillset the best and suits your resources the best and suits your overall vision and personality and skillset. I think I mentioned from personal experience we were trying to do 12 or 15 different strategies, and we weren’t really doing any of them well.
Obi:So we’ve said no to a bunch of those and said yes to the four that are really getting us the most bang for our buck, and we’re trying to become true experts in all of those. Being an expert in four little, different niches is kind of a daunting task in and of itself.
Obi:But those are the ones that we see the most bang for our buck, and over time they’ve given us the most reward. So that’s where we’re spending our time and energy. There are a lot of little nuances even in those and a lot of room for improvement. So I would encourage anybody just to master one or two before you open up more.
Mike:Right. Yeah, and back to the team thing, I think it’s easy for your team. It’s harder to hold people accountable when there are too many things going on, because they can hide behind, “Well, you asked me to do all of these things.” But the fewer things they have to do, it’s much easier to hold them accountable. It’s much easier to measure your success. Obviously, it’s much easier just to execute than trying to do a million things.
Obi:Yes. Something we’ve experienced as we’ve built out our team is that we’ve adopted the Henry Ford conveyor belt system almost. You’re responsible from this point to this point, and then you baton pass it to this person, and they’re responsible for it from this point to this point, and all the way down the line from lead gen to call intake to qualifications to appointment setting to appointment going to follow-up to title transaction coordination to dispositions to closing, it’s really segmented and some accountability. Before, there was a lot of, “Who’s on first? Who’s on second?”
Obi:We really struggled with that for a while. Everybody was trying to do good work, and everybody was trying to work hard, but we were stepping on each other’s toes and doing double work, and the stuff that was important wasn’t happening when it was supposed to happen.
Obi:That’s just something that we’ve . . . it’s really basic, especially when I voice it out loud, but truthfully, there was a time where we were really having a hard time. We were getting stuff done, but it was really ugly in the process.
Mike:Yeah. Is your team all there locally in your office? Do you have any virtual staff? Do you have any people that work remotely?
Obi:At the moment, everybody’s in-house.
Obi:Everybody’s here. Yeah, I find that for my communication and management style, that works a lot better.
Mike:Yeah, I get it. I get it. It gets even harder when you do have people that are virtual.
Obi:One-hundred percent.
Mike:Because they are not privy to all those conversations or those little hallway conversations and stuff. “Oh, yeah. We did that. We did that.”
Back to that tool, Asana. I don’t know if you’re using any systems for that, but we use a task management tool. It’s like a template of all the things we have to do, and every one of those tasks is assigned to somebody and has a date on it. So that’s one of the tools that we found that can help us stay where everybody’s at. No matter what you do, you’ve all got to be speaking the same language and be on the same page to be efficient in this business.
Obi:One-hundred percent.
Obi:One-hundred percent. That’s a great tool, man. I’m going to check that out, actually.
Mike:Yeah, it’s a good tool. Hey, Obi. Any kind of final comments? Let’s just say you’re talking to two different people. One is the person that’s a newer investor. They’re trying to get things going. One of them is a little more seasoned person, but what they were doing before isn’t working as well as it used to. Somebody’s moved their cheese, if you will. A lot of it is probably based on focusing on too many things. It’s the same topic we’ve been talking about here, but any final words of wisdom? What would you tell them to go do next?
Obi:Yeah, I think for that entry-level investor that’s getting or maybe has been going at it for a little while or maybe is just getting going, ultimately, your money is made talking with buyers and talking with sellers, and it’s making offers. There are other things that are necessary, but ultimately, that’s where the rubber meets the road, and that’s where your dollars are made.
Obi:I would just encourage anybody in that position to actually track how much time you’re on the phone with sellers, actual on-the-phone time, and how many offers you’re making, and like you mentioned earlier, obviously, how many leads are being generated. Those are your maybe three or four biggest indicators of success is just that’s where the money is made.
Mike:Yeah, absolutely.
Obi:The next piece to that would be if you’re making offers, I think you owe it to yourself and you owe it to your sellers to be able to make educated offers, a standard, systemized way to underwrite and evaluate properties and to determine offers.
Mike:Yeah, that’s great.
Obi:The quicker you can get those needed tools and utilize them and learn, the more effective and efficient you’ll be in that space.
Mike:Yeah, that’s great. I think it’s really common for people to confuse being busy with being productive, right?
Obi:Oh, definitely. It’s very, very easy. Like you mentioned earlier, I’m going out for drinks to network, but it turned out to be a four or five-hour . . .
Obi:. . . boondoggle, yeah. When you’re said and done, were you really networking with people that could actually benefit you, or were you networking with other people in the exact same position that don’t really have the wherewithal to help you?
Obi:Then to your second question, for the more experienced investor that’s building out a team, I would say at that point the biggest impact that you’re going to have is the influence that you’re going to have on your team members, and so the more that you can invest that time and energy on them and getting them up to speed, the better off you’re going to be.
Actually, I would even say it starts before you have the team, and it’s actually being intentional and focused on where you want those people to be, what you want that individual to be able to do for you, and then the recruitment and interviewing and hiring of the right person.
Obi:I think the quality of individual that you ultimately have work for you is really impactful on the level of success that you’ll have when you have a team.
Obi:So a little bit more energy on the front end is going to save you a whole bunch of time and hassle and get you a lot further down the runway than if you just fire, aim, ready. Hiring people is not a place that you want to fire, aim, ready.
Mike:Yeah, for sure. That’s great, and I think some of it just knowing what it is you want to accomplish. It’s back to your vision, right? We have multiple businesses. We have our house-buying business. We have rentals. We have FlipNerd and all the stuff we’re doing through FlipNerd with coaching and masterminds and things like that.
I found those people that are on my team that have been here for years, and until we went through this EOS process, I just kind of assumed everybody knew what we were trying to accomplish. But until I laid out, “This is our vision. These are some of the things that we’re shooting for here . . .” Honestly, when I started to have to put pen to paper or type it, whatever you do, I had to actually say it and just get it out of my head. It just helped my team line up and say, “Yeah, we agree with that now.”
So I think a lot of times in a small business, everybody’s wearing a lot of hats, and you just kind of assume that everybody knows what it is you’re trying to accomplish, but unless you clearly state that and almost put it on your wall and frame it, then your team may not know what it is you’re trying to accomplish. Therefore, they’re never going to be as efficient as they could be.
Obi:Yeah, you hit the nail on the head. You touched on it earlier. If you’re building a team out, I think unless you come from a management background or a corporate management background or something along those lines, and even if you do, I think it’s really useful just to have a tool. EOS has got a great reputation. I know you’re utilizing it.
Obi:We’re utilizing something similar, just something to harness and track and measure and communicate that vision and goals and then the rocks or checkpoints along the way.
Obi:Yeah, it’s a necessity. If you’re trying to do it without it, I think you’re setting yourself up for failure for sure.
Mike:Awesome. Awesome. Obi, thanks for being with us today.
Obi:Mike, thanks for having me back.
Mike:It’s always good to see you, yeah. Hopefully, next time it won’t be so long before we talk again.
Obi:Yeah. Well, much continued success to you and all your listeners.
Mike:You too, man. Everybody, hey. This is episode number 402 with Obi Dorsey. Some great lessons in here about how to get focused, and even we suffer from these things. As entrepreneurs, we get new ideas, and we’re always looking for opportunities. So I think if we get better at saying no, our businesses can perform better, ultimately, even though it’s hard.
I appreciate all you listeners. Again, this is episode number 402. Every time I say the number of a show, I’m like, “I can’t believe it myself that it’s been this many episodes,” but we’re going to keep cranking them out here. I love doing this. I love talking to folks like Obi.
If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, if you liked what we talked about today, we’d really love it if you’d give us a positive rating on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, wherever you’re listening to it at, even on YouTube, because those ratings help us, and they energize us to keep doing what we do.
Appreciate you guys. Wish you all the best. We’ll see you on another upcoming episode. Take care.
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