This is episode #351, and my guest today is Luis Ontiveros. Do you ever feel like you can’t overcome challenges you may be facing in your life? Truthfully…you’ll probably agree with me that it inspires you when you hear how someone else overcame something far worse that what we’ve personally had to deal with…which then makes our challenges or our complaints pale in comparison.
I don’t want to steal the thunder from this show, but Luis shares that he was hanging around with the wrong people from an early age…and that landed him in prison. He left and had the mindset that he had a blank canvas to start his life over, and has gone on to create a very successful real estate investing business that operates in many different markets and states.
Luis shares some tactics on how to overcome this challenging market that we find ourselves in, and how to squeeze more juice from the leads you’re already creating.
This is a very powerful episode….let’s get started.
Please welcome Luis Ontiveros to the show.
Mike: This is the flipnerd.com Expert Real Estate Investing Show, the show for real estate investors whether you’re a veteran or brand-new. I’m your host, Mike Hambright and each week, I bring you a new expert guest that will share their knowledge and lessons with you. If you’re excited about real estate investing, believe in personal responsibility, and taking control of your life and financial destiny, you’re in the right place. This is episode number 351 and my guest today is Luis Ontiveros.
Do you ever feel like you can’t overcome challenges that you may be facing in your life? Truthfully, you’ll probably agree with me that it inspires you when you hear how someone else overcame something far worse than what we’ve personally had to deal with and found success which often makes our challenges and our complaints pale in comparison. Well, I don’t want to steal the thunder from today’s show but today, Luis shares that how he was hanging around with the wrong people from an early age and that landed him in prison. Now, he left prison and had the mindset that he had a blank canvas to start his life over and he could paint any picture that he wanted. And he’s gone on to create a very successful real state investing business that operates in many different markets and even several states.
Today, Luis shares some of his tactics on how to overcome this challenging market that we find ourselves in and how to squeeze more juice from the lemons or the leads that we’re already creating, if you will. It would be easy to take our ball and go home in this market but when you’ve overcome something major in your life, well, a challenging market doesn’t seem so bad, does it? So this is a powerful episode. Let’s go ahead and get started. Please help me welcome Luis Ontiveros to the show. So Luis, welcome to the show my friend.
Luis: Mikey, thank you so much man. It’s a true honor to be on the show man. I’m super excited. I really am.
Mike: Hey, I appreciate you being here. I know we’ve been talking about it for a while. You were elusive for like the last year and we finally penned you down.
Luis: Staying busy, man, staying busy, but super glad I made it, man. I appreciate it.
Mike: Great to see you. So we were talking before the show a little bit about how to survive, like what do you do to survive right now in a competitive market. And for sure, California which is, you know, Dallas is super competitive. It feels really competitive more than it ever has for me in the past 10 years. But I know that California markets are just as competitive and have their own challenges. And truthfully, every market has its own challenges right now, right?
Luis: Absolutely. Now California, it’s smoking hot right now. I mean I’m in San Diego, California. That’s where I live and we’re in about six or seven different markets in California and every single one of those, competition has rised. Every time our team is talking to home owners, they have a few different options and postcards and stuff like that in front of them. So it’s definitely pushed us to get more creative and just find a way to make it happen and stay profitable.
Mike: That’s awesome. Hey, before we get into talking about this and for those listening, Luis is going to share literally some tactics on what he’s doing to kind of beat the competition into today’s markets so it’s going to be great. But tell us your background and your story, kind of how you got started in real estate investing.
Luis: Okay. Well, it’s an interesting story and I’m basically from Mexico and came over here to study in college. Grew up on the border, from Mexicali, and when I came over here, I basically took a route in life. I was young and I was just reckless and doing stuff that I shouldn’t have been doing and I ended up in a bad situation. So when I was 23, I ended up dealing with the wrong people and got caught up in some organized crime and just drug related situations and got arrested and ended up doing 13 months in state prison. So all that’s heavy but it is my story and it’s the truth for some time in my past. I was even ashamed to share that but as one of my good mentors told me one time, he said, “Luis, your mess is your message.”
So that really made a shift in my mindset and then every time I share it, somebody is either inspired or appreciates the fact that that happened. So the real estate story really begins after that because when I came out in 2009, I was basically . . . I had a blank canvas like a lot of people do right now in life and every day [inaudible 00:05:09]. The canvas was blank, the brushes and the paint were right there and it was up to me to paint whatever picture I wanted to paint. And so, I got married. I came out a different man and thank God for that and got married, had my daughter and I had to make a living somehow.
So I started selling phones on eBay and I was living with my parents at the time. I mean, I was just hustling to make stuff happen and create a better life for my family and myself but it wasn’t cutting it. So I started to get desperate and my wife and my daughter were living in a tiny living room and we wanted a better life. So I’ve always had an interest in real estate and it’s interesting how I came across it because I remember one night, I mean it was a point of desperation where I was on my knees, I was praying and I was like, “Lord, just give me some direction. Show me something. All I want is a good living for my family and myself.”
So one of these days, we were looking at possibly moving out and renting a house or something like that and I was looking on Redfin and Zillow which seeing the properties, I ran across these houses that were beautiful. They had the granite counter tops, brand-new appliances, fresh coat of paint and I started looking at the price history and I was like, “Whoa!” Somebody bought this like two months ago for half the price. And so, that’s kind of when the light bulb went on and I told my wife, “Hey, hey, we’ve got to do this. We can flip houses and stuff like that.”
So that’s when the spark began. The interest came along and I started going to the auctions, started going . . . I was trying to get myself wholly immersed but really didn’t have a clue of what the heck I was doing. And it wasn’t until I was just scrolling the internet and I came across this video from Michael Jake. He’s in our group.
Mike: That’s right. Mike Jake. He’s been on our show as well.
Luis: And he was basically saying how can you buy . . . I’m going to give you ten ways to buy houses with no money, no credit and he started going over assignments of contract, double escrow, subject to, just going down the list. And then I downloaded this audio, free audio, that he was giving away and I went to the gym and I just devoured. And that audio was talking about wholesaling, how you can basically put a property under contract and flip it to another buyer legally with no money or no credit or anything for that matter. So after that, I really just started . . . I am a product of other people’s information products. That’s the reality.
Mike: We all are though.
Luis: And that’s awesome. So I started. I bought a course and I started putting it into action and it wasn’t easy. It took me months to get going but I remember at one point, I was so close that I had a $50,000 deal under contract and then the seller backed out and I mean, everybody was already celebrating. Everybody was going crazy and the naysayers were getting crushed and all of a sudden, I lost that. So a lot of people would’ve given up right there and then but that’s when you’re really three feet from goal. Right? Like I say, don’t give up, keep going and I did and then I got my first deal and then the rest is history basically.
Mike: Yeah. I appreciate you sharing your story here. We’re in a masterminded group together with a bunch of really incredible real estate investors and I’ve heard the longer version of your story there and I remember looking around like . . . this is a bunch of grown men just weeping like babies. But just the facts of the challenges that you’ve overcome and a lot of people in our group have overcome challenges. And I think that’s a lot of what we’re going to talk about today is a lot of us are facing a challenge right now in this competitive market and not that that challenge compares to what you’ve been through or anybody listening to this, you may have hit bottom and something in your life that has caused problem here but hopefully, what we’re going to explain to you today is how you can overcome anything.
And a lot of us that are whining about a difficult market, we can definitely overcome this but you’ve got to be willing to put in the effort and put in the work to get it done because the low hanging fruit just isn’t as available right now as it used to be. Do you agree with that, Luis?
Luis: Absolutely. And like you said, I mean you’ve got to be willing to make some changes and not only changes in what you do and how you take action, but changes in how you think and how you feel every single day. I remember one last thing regarding the story, because I had $3000 left to my name and provide for my family and I was at the point where I was getting desperate. I was getting a little scared but I decided to choose faith instead of fear and that’s the choice that we can make every single day. And I believed that we can do it and that I could do it.
And one of the things that I think that helped us out is, and we’ll get into this here in a second, but I started . . . one of my mentors said, “Whenever there is a lack in your life, especially like a financial lack, you need to give.” So even when I didn’t have, I started giving and I think that’s one of the things that helped turn everything around for us.
Mike: Yeah. Well, let’s talk about why it’s important to do things differently in this market and I’ll start by, I kind of shared this one with you, is I found myself, Dallas is really competitive right now and we’re doing some things, differently going to move out to some new markets and things but I find myself feeling how competitive it is and talking with other veteran investors I know that are like struggling, it’s like, “This is really difficult here right now.” And then you see somebody that’s brand-new that’s just crushing it. It’s like I know somebody that literally just started in the past year and he’s going to do like 40 or 50 deals here this year and they’re not spending as much as I am on advertising and it’s like, “What do they know that I don’t?”
And I look back, like that’s how I was. When I started in 2008, everybody was running away and we were just crushing it because we didn’t these hang-ups about how the old market used to be. And so, let’s talk a little bit about why you have to do things differently and why you have to kind of reset yourself mentally. Any thoughts on how a lot of us carry forward baggage from the good old days or how things used to be and that brings us down? What are your thoughts there?
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. . . how a lot of us carry forward baggage from the good old days or how things used to be and that brings us down. What are your thoughts there?
Luis: Well, I mean first of all, I think it’s important to always be growing regardless of what the market is doing or what’s going on. I mean you always want to be sharpening your mind, sharpening your toolset and just becoming a more evolved human being. So that’s number one. And hand in hand with that is real estate markets, they’re always going to be changing. As you know, that’s the only constant that there is in real estate is change, always going to change.
So I mean, yeah, a couple of years ago, we had the luxury of being a little bit spoiled. Just send out some mail, leads come in, offers go out, put deals together and it was great. But right now, it’s a little different and there’s a lot of competition, a lot of new people coming into the markets. Now, you’re talking to a seller and their mindset is in . . . it’s a seller’s market. We got options. We can sell.
So one of the things that I think it’s super important is to get out of that old mindset where things used to work and start looking for new ways to stay profitable and basically asking yourself, “Where is the motivation?” Because when we all started, we were all talking about finding a motivated seller and everything changed with motivated. When you have a motivated seller in your life, things get easy, a little bit, at least on the money side. So the question is where do these motivated sellers live? You need to ask yourself that. I ask myself that every day and then I try to go find them wherever that is. So that’s one of the ways that we’re doing things that are helping us stay profitable.
Mike: Yeah. And I think, like you said, that mental, there is so much of this that’s in our heads like this is how we do it, this is how we always do it. Even if we think we’re king of our own hill, you just start to get lazy, you get a little comfortable, you get your systems and processes in place but maybe don’t keep them updated and the reality is, is markets shift. The great thing about this message is that if you can crack the code on this and you understand the markets are going to shift, that you understand you always need to be looking around the corner, then I guess the beauty of the real estate investing business, the opportunity that we have is not just to be able to do well in one market, it’s to be able to thrive for decades.
It’s to be able to transcend any market up or down. I know what I’m going to do here. I mean, the reality is people that invest in the stock market, people that are successful real estate investors, or investment managers, they have that strategy. They know, “Hey, in an upmarket, I’m going to do this, in a down market, I’m going to do that.” They have different levers that pull in to kind of take advantage of whatever is going on. And in real estate, we kind of get hung up on this is the one way to do things all the time and that’s just not the case. It’s no different than the stock market.
Luis: Absolutely. No, absolutely. And something that reflects exactly what you’re talking about is, for example, a couple of years ago, I mean I’ve always been a straight wholesaler and just flipping contracts and stuff like that. And lately, last year and this year, we’ve been actually taking down a couple of properties and rehabbing them and maximize profits. A couple examples of that is properties that were not deals. I mean, they were deals but they weren’t wholesale deals. They were tight. We got one right now that we bought for 190 and it was worth 240 but I needed this 3000, 4000 paint, stuff like that. That’s the kind of deals that we’re taking down that are making a difference and it turns into a zero dollar deal into a $50,000 deal, $40,000 deal.
Mike: Yeah. We teach that too. A lot of people that say well I only wholesale, one of the challenges we have is making the most out of our advertising dollars. But if you truly only wholesale, there are deals, like you just explained, where you might be able to make 20,000 or 30,000 if you take ownership, put a little bit of work into it, and turn it around and sell as a retail deal. But you might not be able to make anything as a wholesale deal because you couldn’t get it cheap enough because maybe the person out on a situation of that deal that you just shared. But sometimes people, sometimes you’re buying a house and that’s their pay-off. They’re like, “I’ll walk away with a zero or like $1000 but I’m not bringing money to table.”
And sometimes, it’s like well, you might be able to make that work if you retail it or you take ownership of it but if you get two different investors in the middle with two rounds of closing costs and all that, then it just doesn’t work.
Luis: Exactly. I mean, a couple of ways that [inaudible 00:18:01] to maximize their advertising spend and all that is you can take down a couple of rehabs. There is a lot of lenders that one of the things that we were doing is something that I was calling double dipping but basically is we get the wholesale price and then . . . I mean this is a little . . . it could be a little bit advanced but we have the contract with the seller, then I would assign it to myself as another entity and then make that profit in the middle and use that for rehab money and I put a little pocket of my money and then get the other half of the deal on the backend when they sell it.
So for people that might be tight on funds and stuff like that, that’s a great way to be able to take down a rehab with little money out of pocket. You just got to find a lender that is willing to do that and there is a ton of them out of that.
Another way, refer leads to agents. You want to know what good agent in your area that hey, maybe they don’t want to wholesale the property or give it to you at a low price but they want to sell it and give it to that agent, refer it, and then he’ll cut you a little percentage or a little fee for the referral fee.
Mike: Yeah. And that’s how like in the info marketing space, like if you’re advertising online, there are a lot of the top info marketers, when you’re not in the space, you don’t really maybe get this, but those of you that already understand it is there is a lot of focus on trying to get your advertising to break even. So I sell some low dollar product to offset my marketing cost and you could do that in the real estate investing space with what you just said, is you can refer leads to an agent. You’re not going to get rich doing that but if it helps offset your marketing costs or allows you to advertise more, then that’s really . . . the purpose of that is not to make money from generating leads and giving them to agents but it helps offset your marketing cost, right?
Luis: Maximizing every single lead, absolutely. Yeah.
Mike: Of course, it helps that person. They needed a solution, it turns out you weren’t the right solution to buy the property for cash at a deep discount but they still need to sell it. They still have a problem so it allows you to kind of help more people ultimately.
Luis: Helps the person, helps the agent. Now the agent is willing to help you out whenever you need anything.
Mike: Well, let’s talk a little bit about . . . let’s kind of dive into in terms of doing things differently. Let’s talk about what people need to be thinking about and maybe some of the things that you are doing from a lead generation standpoint. Like what is different now than it was four or five years ago when the market was not as competitive as it is today?
Luis: Well, that’s a good question, Mike, and if we were having this conversation two years ago, I would’ve told you that my bread and butter was absentee owners. And yeah, there is still deals in absentee owners and we mail them still. But I’ve noticed that the cost per deal has gone up the roof. So when I started noticing that, I started asking myself the question, like I said, where is the motivation, where did they live and where can I find them. So one of the things that’s working really well for us and if anybody is not doing this, you probably need to get on it, is going down to the county or mailing the county and asking them for a tax delinquent list.
Tax delinquent properties, I have done it a couple of ways. I’ve downloaded the ready to mail data that you can find online and certain subscription services and I’ve done it getting it straight from the county, converting that data into mailable [SP] and usable data and then mailing and skip tracing and calling those sellers and black and white honestly. So right there, I mean when we mail the tax delinquent, my sales team, they love it. They are talking to motivate itself. I mean not everyone, but there is those sellers that call and say, “Hey, I got this situation.” They’re usually tied to more title problems. So escrows are going to be a little more chaotic and stuff like that but hey, it’s part of . . . it’s the name of the game and that’s just how it is.
So we’re doing the tax delinquents. You can get the free list or I don’t know. Some counties charge, some counties don’t but you can get the list from the county and then you just need to find some data company to convert that data for you and then [inaudible 00:22:24].
Mike: So I know there are some list providers that provide tax delinquent data but you’re saying you got advantage if you go get it directly because there is probably some incremental data that they don’t provide you when you buy in a list format?
Luis: In my experience, Mike, and I’ve tested both ways, I’ve had better results with the one that I get from the county. I’m not saying that data is not good but that’s just my results, that we get direct from the county seems to give us more leads.
Mike: And one thing I want to kind of point out here is what you’re suggesting to do is hard. It’s harder than subscribing to a list or going to list source and just downloading data in your boxers at 3:00 in the morning and sending it to a VA that ship out your letters. That’s easy or teach your VA how to do it and you don’t even do it at all. Hopefully where we’re going to kind of take this conversation is that the stuff that is harder to do to generate leads is what you have to do to survive and thrive in a competitive market because everybody and their brother is all over the real estate training.
Everything and their brother is a real estate investor now, which we love people that are real estate investors, so we’re not talking down to those people. But the reality is they all go right to absentee owners with a certain amount of equity or to a probate list that you could buy online or other things that are kind of easy. So the people that separate themselves from the pack are the ones that are willing to roll up their sleeves, kind of roll them up and go do the hard work, right?
Luis: Exactly. And totally, I mean you made the point, Mike, because it’s not easy. I can pull an absentee owner list in an hour and be ready to mail, less. But doing what I just told you, with the tax delinquents, it takes me about a week to get it to the point where I can use that data if everything goes smoothly. It takes you about a week to get the data because they usually mail it to you unless you go and pick it up. So that’s the difference. And then it’s honestly, it’s a headache to get it done but once you do it once or twice, it becomes a little easier and it’s totally, totally worth it. Everybody that I’ve ever told this strategy and it’s usually just people in my circle of friends that are close, they come back and they’re thanking me later.
Another thing that I want to share, Mike, if it’s okay, is that similar to that mindset of doing things that are counterintuitive, things that are not just the easy way, the path of least resistance is we’re basically, and this is still in beta mode like I told you, but we’re putting out ads on Craigslist and all the markets that we’re in and we’re basically putting an ad that says, “Make a dollar a day or make 100 a day.” And basically, it’s hiring people to go drive around and flag down the vacant properties or the tear down . . . just properties that look that they’re in distress. So then they come back and they need to submit the lead through an online portal and they need to have a picture of the house showing the house number and the address and it has to be beat up.
So then once that happens, we pay them $1 to $3. We’re probably going to bump up the price because one and three seems that they get demotivated pretty easily. So we’re trying to get bump it up by five bucks a lead and we’ve got a couple of deals out of that. It’s still kind of new but it seems to be working. And in the process . . .
Mike: And what do you do from there? So you find a vacant house and so the interesting thing, I want to hear more about your process. So a lot of people do refer to as driving for dollars. You’re out driving for dollars and you visually find something that looks like it’s distressed or vacant but what you don’t know behind the scenes, and I bet this is part of your processes is to research it, to find out does somebody live there or do they live somewhere, maybe how long they’ve owned it for, does it even have equity in it.
So sometimes, you don’t know those things unless you do research which is part of what we’re talking about here. That’s the hard work. Like you found something but some people would just go mail to that address or put a door hanger on there or stick a business card inside the door because that’s easy. That’s what everybody does. We’ve all seen those vacant houses where you walk up, it’s got a bunch of business cards and door hangers and notes on there. People are doing the easy stuff but tell us how to be more effective. What’s the harder way?
Luis: A couple of things is number one, we put them on a monthly mail campaign. And that’s because the lists are not that big at this time. So mailing them monthly is definitely a one thing that you want to do. And then the other thing, we skip trace every single property and we find the owner if it’s available, if the data is available and we have somebody actually cold-call them and tell them, “Hey, we drove by your property. I’m an investor in the area and I’d love to pay cash.” And some of them say no, some of them, they’ll respond positively. But skip tracing the property is an extra step that requires going into your skip trace software, pulling some data and actually doing a little digging to make sure you’re finding the right person and then calling him. Nobody likes cold-calling bet hey, it’s what you got to be. You got to do it.
Mike: Yeah. And you can create systems for people that are cold-calling too. So as an owner, as you’re hearing some of this for those of you that are like, “Man, I don’t do any of that stuff myself.” But you can create systems and teach people how to do it. I think we somehow always hung up on my cost per lead. Like yeah, I’ll spent three grand and by house or in some markets five, six, seven, eight grand to buy house and that’s fine. Sometimes, we look at cost per lead. Well, I need 30 leads to buy a house and so if I can pay under 200 bucks a lead, that’ll get me the six grand and I’m cool with that.
It’s like okay, well, you don’t really what’s your cost per lead is. If you did all this extra work, it might make your cost per lead much more expensive but you have a much, much higher conversion rate on some leads because the quality is so much better ultimately because you did the homework, right?
Luis: High quality leads. These are high-quality leads that you just want to stay on and keep following up until they’re gone.
Mike: Basically. And I know people, we both know people that . . . I’m calling myself out here. We sent out a lot of direct mail, we get the postcards back, and sometimes they just sit in the box for a while. We don’t really get to them right away. But you and I both know people, and I know exactly what you do, that are automatically, they have a process of skip tracing that person and trying to find out if they’re somewhere else because that’s part of what we’re talking about here, doing the legwork that most others won’t do because they just consider that, well, that’s just a byproduct. I mean, yeah, I sent out 10,000 letters and I got a few 100 back, big deal.
But the reality is is that if you’re getting those back, the post office doesn’t even know where that person is at probably because a lot of us use, I can’t remember what’s it called, but the post office scrubs those addresses before our mail house sends them. The bad thing is those people are hard to find. The good thing is those people are hard to find so most people won’t look for them, right?
Luis: Exactly. Yeah, absolutely. One way that’s also good, and this is a way that I’ve actually found true vacant houses is through that software called [inaudible 00:30:12] and it’s basically . . . that’s a software that’s meant to reduce the amount of return mail. So it’s not really meant to find vacant houses but they run whatever list you’re going to mail through the vacant database from the US, United States Postal Service which they don’t disclose the properties but they know the addresses and if you run your list, they’ll match and append it, and flag it. Okay, these ones are vacant. So a lot of those, if you mail them, they’re going to come back.
And yeah, some of them are rental properties, vacation homes, there is all kinds of other stuff where they’re selling the property, it’s vacant, but there is some gold in that. I mean, if you would just run your list, flag the vacant, and then skip trace and call them, I mean that’s another thing. Yeah, it’s laborious but there is deals in there. It’s not like just downloading an absentee owner list and mailing them which is totally fine and there is deals in that too but it’s going to be an uphill battle in today’s market.
Mike: Yeah. We’re seeing whenever we go to an appointment and they’ve got . . . sometimes they show us like a stack of letters or postcards. “Yeah, I’ve got like 30 letters or postcards.” It’s like, “Okay, well” and I call ten of them and so you’re one of ten. You’ve got to compete now. That’s what I would do. I get it but for us, it’s like can you find the ones that they only got your letter, that they only got your phone call.
Luis: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Mike: Well Luis, let’s talk a little bit about how you have been on the cutting edge in terms of your mentality of just giving back and I know that it’s counterintuitive and I know there is going to be people that are listening to this right now that it’s counterintuitive that man, I am down. I’ve been beat down, I don’t have a lot of resources. I just have to figure out a way to use real estate to get ahead and you were there too but you found that even when you were at the bottom before you found your way up there, that kind of having the mentality to give back and share has been a big part of your success.
Luis: Absolutely. Before I ever made a dime in real estate, one of my virtual mentors basically told me that you need . . . if you wanted to become successful, you need to be a giver which is the opposite of what everybody normally . . . the way our human nature really is. We’re little kids. I want that cookie and I don’t want to give it away and I was challenged by that. And I remember, like I said, I had $3000 in my bank account, I was marketing for sellers, I was spending money [inaudible 00:32:56], I was running out but I was like, “If I run out of cash and I’m marketing, I’m going to get a loan, I’m going to do something but I’m going to die trying and I’m going to make this happen.”
But one of the things that I noticed that shifted and it still . . . I mean I think we wouldn’t be having this conversation, we wouldn’t have met at a mastermind if it wasn’t because of this, because I learned to become a giver. And not only in monetary wise but with your time, with your talent. But I’ll give you a quick story. When I was getting started and I learned this from my mentor, he said, “Give 10% of every dime that comes into your household.” And yes, this is going to be a challenge for a lot of people but I challenge you to do it because it’s going to change your life. I guarantee you that if you’re consistent with it, you will see unnatural things happen that are amazing.
And so, I had a little bit of money and I sent some money to this guy that I knew he really, really needed it. He was a guy that I met inside and I remember he never had any money, he never had any food in there and I just anonymously sent him 50 bucks. And then I was just driving down the street, I saw this homeless guy, I’ve changed a little bit in that and now but back then, I would just like step out of the car and I had . . . “Here, here is 50 bucks. Here’s whatever.” And all of a sudden, I know . . . I’m not saying you’re going to get deals if you do this but this is what happened for me. All of a sudden, deals or motivated sellers started calling and it’s happened to this day.
I’ll give you an example. Another quick story that I did that once I started doing deals, I had my 10% and I was looking for places where to give it. I had this ticket at court or this traffic ticket that I had to pay and I had to go in there and I was waiting there with the jury and all the people that are waiting to get their case heard. And there was this judge and she was just crushing people. She was just like, “[inaudible 00:35:04] $1000.” Just killing people. I mean no mercy. And then this little girl came up and she was like . . . I was there for like two hours. She came up and she was saying like, “Oh, I missed my court date and my daughter and the check bounced,” and the judge was like, “You have a fine of $300. Go pay over there.”
And something told me like, “Hey, pay her fine.” So I raise my hand, the court was quiet. Everybody was just in silence and scared and I raised my hand and the judge looked up to me like, “Are you serious? What?” And I was like, “I want to pay your fine.” And she was like, “What?” I was like, “Yeah, I want to pay your fine.” And then she’s like, “Why?” I don’t know. We’ve all been in situations and I just want to help her out. So she said, “Fine.” So I went over there, and gave her the money and she went away and paid it. And the feeling, the vibe in that courtroom got totally changed. All of a sudden, the judge started showing mercy and I got my case dismissed by the way. So that was awesome.
But the bottom line, what I’m trying to say is that’s how aggressive I was with looking for ways to be a giver. If you’re in a gas station, just find a way to help somebody out, it will come back to you. And just recently, just a last quick little story here. We had about $113,000 deal that the seller wanted to back out and we’ve been challenged with for the last couple of months and we stayed consisted in giving and we donated to Make a Wish. We granted a wish to this nice, young kid that’s unfortunate situation and got a call on Monday from the lawyer that they decided that we’re going to move forward. We’re going to pay them a little more, about 20K more, but the deal is moving forward. So just stuff like that that happens when you’re in that frequency, if you will, like you’re bound to get, receive good things.
Mike: The universe speaks, right?
Luis: Exactly. The universe, God, whatever you believe in but it’s the way it is.
Mike: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Well, thanks for spending some time with us and thanks for sharing your story. I know that it’s an inspiring story and I know you didn’t tell the longer version to get a whole lot of detail here but hopefully people that are watching today or listening today picked up enough to know that no matter how bad your situation is or no matter where you came from or matter where you started or no matter how bad your market is right now, we can overcome this stuff, right?
Luis: Yeah. That’s right.
Mike: If I can do it, ex-con, there is no excuse. Anybody can do it.
Mike: Yeah. I didn’t say this earlier but I think one of the things that I would encourage people that are listening to this to do is I get . . . this kind of stresses me out with just the political climate and stuff like that. It’s easy to get pulled into. What side do you believe is right? And so, I don’t want to go there but I will say that it feels like it’s gotten far easier than ever before in my life for people to be labeled a victim and maybe even label themselves a victim. And politicians do that because that helps us get our votes. So if you vote for me, then I’ll get you all the stuff that you deserve.
It’s like well, if you have that mentality, it’s going to be hard for you to be successful in business and I think even if you have been a victim, don’t label yourself a victim. If things are tough, you can overcome them and hopefully, sharing your story with us today will trigger these people. I know that at one point, Michael Jake did not know your story and that you had appreciated everything he had taught you and he didn’t even know that and when he found out, it was just kind of . . . it’s one of those things that just makes your year. You kind of hear that you impact somebody’s life in a positive way.
And so, hopefully with our listeners and our watchers, people listening today, hopefully you’re going to impact somebody’s life and in fact, I know that I appreciate your story and I get a lot out of it myself and hopefully, some others have today.
Luis: Thank you.
Mike: Well, before we end here, if folks want to learn more about you or learn more about some of the things you’re doing, where should they go?
Luis: That’s a good question, Mike. I have a website that they can go to. It’s a chains, like chains2riches.com, chains2riches.com. I’ve sent a few emails every now and then and anybody that wants to get in touch, go in there and just reply to the email and I’ll get that.
Mike: We’re going to add a link for chains2riches.com down below. Hey Luis, sorry. You froze up there for a second. So chains2riches.com and we’ll add a link down below the video for that.
Luis: Yeah. Awesome. I appreciate that, man.
Mike: And for everybody that joins today, this is episode number 351 and we’re going to keep cranking them out for you and I appreciate guys and ladies likely, not that Luis is lady. Everybody that’s been on our show, I appreciate them. We’ve got a lot of great shows, a lot of great content and just when I think they’re nothing else we can talk about that we haven’t talked about before, we have a show like today. So thank you, Luis for sharing your story with us and your time.
Luis: Mike, you’re awesome man. Thank you very much for having me. It was a true honor and everybody, take care and God bless you.
Mike: Awesome. Thanks. Everybody, thanks for joining us today. Have a great day.
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