What’s up Freedom Fighters! Today Travis Oglesby joins me on the show to share some of his lessons learned after 18 months in business. He has some great nuggets to share for those looking to get started, or grow their business….so don’t miss out!

Highlights of this show

  • Meet Travis Oglesby, Atlanta Real Estate Investor
  • Listen in as Travis shares tips after 18 months in business, and what he’d do differently
  • Join our discussion talking about the power of consistent advertising

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Listen to the Audio Version of this Episode

FlipNerd Show Transcript:

Mike:Welcome to Real Estate Investing Secrets. We’re all looking for freedom and the opportunity to live better, more fulfilling lives. But most of us were trained our entire lives to work for someone else and chase their dreams. How can we use real estate investing as a vehicle to achieve financial freedom? My life is dedicated to answering your real estate investing questions and helping you build an investing business that allows you to change your life and the world around you. And to enable you to turn your dreams of financial freedom into a reality.
My name is Mike Hambright from flipnerd.com and your questions get answered here on the Real Estate Investing Secrets show. What’s up? What’s up, freedom fighters? Hey, welcome back to the show. It’s Mike Hambright of flipnerd.com. Look, today we’re talking with . . . I’m pretty excited we’re talking with Travis Oglesby, here. This is episode number 456. And Travis is a special guest. I’m excited for you guys to get to know him. He just started investing about 18 months ago. And the way we met is he actually joined our coaching program.
And he’s a great guy, he has a couple of partners, they’re all trying to find a way to leave their jobs, actually two thirds of them or maybe it’s about 1.5 of the 3 of you like, have left your job so far off to a great start, done about 20 deals over the past 18 months and they’re off to a really great start. And I just wanted to share . . . I want him to share lessons learned of kind of a new real estate investor and not like brand new but about a year and a half in. Bought about 20 houses and again, lessons learned, what do you do differently? Because I think there’s a lot to learn from this. So Travis, how’s it going, buddy?
Travis:What’s up, Mike? Hey, man. Things are good, man.
Mike:Yeah. Yeah, good to have you. Good to see you. Good to talk to you. So why don’t you maybe give a little bit of a backstory just a little bit about you and how you kind of got started? I mean when we met, I don’t think you had done any deals at that point on your own, right?
Travis:Yeah. I tried.
Mike:Yeah, yeah. It was just trying to get started, knew what you wanted to do, knew you guys ultimately wanted to get out of those JOBs. And so anyway, give us a little of a backstory about when you kind of knew, hey . . . because you’re a young guy . . . when you kind of realized, like, I don’t want to be in corporate America, I don’t want to have to rely on this forever, and I have an opportunity to kind of buildup wealth and some freedom there. So maybe share a little bit of your backstory.
Travis:Yeah, I mean, I think I’m pretty much your typical guy, just like everybody else, you know, really wanted to kind of do my own thing and never really knew what it was. Started a couple little businesses, just kept falling on my face with them, but it ultimately kind of landed me . . . you know, with the interest I guess, necessarily in real estate. It didn’t really landed me into business of it. And, you know, I was fortunate enough to really . . . I met a guy in my local market that was doing . . . man, he had done like, 130 lease options that year in St. Louis. And fortunately got to know the guy. He was in medical sales just like I was. And I started bird dogging for him.
So I was just at home picking up the phone, you know, making those hundred calls a day and really helping him, you know, get all of his deals and I was never really associated with any of the deals. And then, you know, I kind of went out on my own and was trying to do my own and got nowhere with it very quickly. So it was kind of cool though, man. Because that’s sort of . . . you know, it was really neat to get that exposure but that’s how you and I ended up meeting. You know [inaudible 00:03:28] meeting . . .
Mike:He made the introduction and he knew we had a good coaching program and introduced us.
Travis:Yeah. Yeah. You know, thank goodness, I’ve been beating my head against the wall for months trying to do it on my own. And, you know, once you and I got hooked up, it took a couple months but finally got things rolling just like we talked about.
Mike:Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s the funny thing. A lot of people that are just getting started, they assume that, “Well, I can just want to get started and therefore I have a business.” Or, you know, you see people that have something on their Facebook page. I see it all the time. I want the best for people for sure, you know. I mean, we’re all about helping people achieve financial freedom through real estate investing.
But people are like, you know, their Facebook page or their little description of themselves will lead you to believe that they’re an active investor but they just, you know, they have a logo and they have something written up and they’ve got kind of a hope and a prayer at that point. And it all might start with that but the truth is, you have to follow a systematic approach to treat it like a business and really get started, right?
Travis:Yeah. Yeah. I remember, you know, before I ever even, like, got involved with it, I was like, “You know, I just want to start out doing multifamily. I think I’d like to start with 100 unit complexes.” Like, why not? It sounded [inaudible 00:04:42] . . . What’s that?
Mike:It sounded cool.
Travis:Yeah. Yeah, I was like, “Well, that just seems the path of least resistance. So why not do that?” Kind of like anybody who’s never done real estate before, you have this impression that anybody can do it. We see it on HGTV every day. But I can definitely stand here 18 months later and tell you, it doesn’t look much like that at all, nor operate like [inaudible 00:05:04].
Mike:No doubt, no doubt. So what are some of the . . . I want to cover some of the big lessons learned that you learned. I guess during the first 18 months, my guess is, you know, we’re still . . . I’ve been in the business for 11 years now. I still learn every day. And in fact, kind of a side note here, I’ve had this house that I haven’t . . . I’ve been blessed over the years, you know — we’ve flipped about 400 houses –we haven’t really gotten stuck or stung too many times. And I’ve got a dog right now that I’m trying to work out and, you know, finally my wife was like, “Let’s just go look at together. Maybe if I . . . “
She’s really hasn’t been that involved in the business but she’s kind of our CFO so she sees the interest payments and the holding cost racking up and, you know, she’s like, “Let’s just go look at together.” And we went there, looked around for a few minutes and we were like, “Here’s what we’re going to do. Just set a plan and go.” And so it was something a little bit different that we don’t normally do, but I learn every day, right? You just got to kind of . . . you know, I tell people, you don’t have to figure out how to get from A to Z just get to A to B and then worry about B to C next, right?
Travis:Yeah. Yeah. Every time. You can always walk, you know, you walked so far and then you can always see that much further. I mean, one of the best lessons I remember learning was right off the bat whenever I finally learned a little bit about marketing. You know, whenever we’d started our direct mail campaign, we’d put it together, you know, while we were in the coaching program. And after I launched it, you know, I was goofy enough to just kind of drop the mail and sort of not have anything in place to necessarily receive all the calls, sort of, dropped the mail and went on vacation. But it’s a very . . .
Mike:I remember that.
Travis:Yeah. I remember us talking about it. But it’s a good point of like, you know, we took some action, we did it, and then we adjusted and fixed it, you know, fixed it the next time.
Mike:Yeah. So any other kind of big lessons learned with advertising, lead gen?
Travis:Yeah. I mean, there was definitely, you know, a lot of lessons that were learned the hard way in advertising. I mean, we didn’t even know half of things, you know, associated with direct mail, you know. Fortunately, you know, after we did that one mail drop, we went back to you, sort of, talked about it and refined it. And we learned more about list stacking, you know, and how to do that and where to do it at, and who to even stack those things with.
You know, I didn’t even know that there was such thing as a code violation or such thing as, you know, stacking of probate and the divorce on top of each other. Like, I didn’t know somebody could die and be divorced, you know, and just a bunch of different situations like that. And it’s cool whenever you really stack those on top of each other and you’re able to, you know, target things a lot better.
Mike:Yeah, yeah. And how about consistency? Have you guys . . . you know, a lot of people that we’ve worked with over time, inevitably, even though we say it all the time, like, “You got to be consistent,” sometimes people just like they run out of money or they get too busy with their job and they stop advertising. Things dry up for a while and they’re like, “Wow, I had no idea things were going to drop off that fast.” And I’m like, “Well, you have to keep going.” Have you guys ever had that happen or . . . ? Yeah, certainly you understand the importance of consistent lead generation at this point, right?
Travis:Yeah, I mean, absolutely. I mean, I think it all comes back to sort of, you know, doing that pre-planning and stuff like we talked about. You know, if we would have brought that . . . you know, if we would have talked about that earlier on with you, instead of just kind of us just trying to think that we knew it all and do our own thing. You know, at the beginning, I think whenever you’re going to set up your marketing plan, like you need to actually put together what you’re going to do.
If you’re going to do direct mail, then you need to stick with direct mail for six months. And you need to map out your drop dates and when you’re going to do them and how many you’re going to mail, and your budget, and have that either money or have that . . . just have that plan in place. That way you’re not guessing at it. You need to leave it and forget it whenever you start it. You can tweak it and adjust it the whole way but this is a . . . you know, this is a business. You have to treat it like it. Whenever you get involved in something, you got to see it all the way through.
Mike:Yeah, yeah. I mean, I see that personally all the time. I have a rental portfolio, so we get lots of postcards from new investors. And, I mean, this is common, like, we have a P.O. box that all this stuff goes to. So we check it every once in a while. There’s always a big stack of mail in there. And I can’t even tell you. I mean, I don’t try to count but the majority of mail we get from other investors is, we get at one time and I never see that letter or that person or that company again.
There’s just a whole bunch of people that send out some chunk of mail and then they’re out of money or they like spent their whole budget at once, or something like that. Or they just, they didn’t get a buy out of it and they just say, “Oh, that didn’t work. So I’m going to stop doing it.” And that’s just not how direct mail works. You’ve got to like keep touching people just the same as when you watch TV or whatever, you keep seeing the same commercials over and over again. It’s a campaign, right? I mean, they know they’ve got to touch you multiple times. So it’s the same for us.
Travis:Yeah, I mean, you’re just waiting on him to be ready, right? That’s all you’re necessarily doing. We get a ton of them in the mail too and half of them are from guys at our REIA. And they’re still sitting in there, you know, that have never done a deal. And we’re no smarter than . . . you know, we’re by no means no smarter than they are. I mean, if anything, maybe we’re just dumber and we’re able to, you know, keep following up.
Mike:They say ignorance is bliss. So, yeah, sometimes just . . . yeah. And I also know a bit about you. You’re the eternal optimist. Like, you’re always positive and you’re just like, “Man, just keep our heads down, that’s what they told us to do.” And so that’s awesome.
Travis:Yeah, you know, the cool thing about being with you guys is like, once we start running everything by you, you guys teach us everything up front, but you need reminding of so many things along the way, you know. And it’s an ever growing process. I mean, I would have thought that I would have done, you know, 100 deals by my first six months. But once you get into this, you start to learn things. You know, you don’t know what you don’t know.
And throughout this process, you know, you just continuously grow, you want to do different things, you want to become a buy and hold investor, then you want to become a wholesaler. And it’s really just, you know, put your nose down and get your mindset right. This is the same as . . . at least for me it seems like, this is the same as a lot of other businesses. It’s different, but it’s also the same. You’re marketing consistently, you’re working consistently, and you start to work on your business and grow.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. Awesome. So what are some of the other big lessons you’ve learned along the way?
Travis:Yeah, I mean, some of the other big ones were, you know, we definitely messed up a lot with contractors up front, you know, not having things in place, and really setting the tone and getting things on paper. Some of the other ones were . . . you know, we bought a six-unit just to buy it. It looked like a great deal. We were energetic. It was early on in our career. It was an absolute terrible buy on our end. But we’re starting to make it work now. Now that you get further along, you’re able to make a terrible buy into . . . I mean, we’re getting ready to start the rehab, you know, this week, and it’ll be a home run by the end of it. But for our first six months, you know, this thing was like you were talking about, it’s an absolute dog.
So what I would say is, you know, for guys who are getting more in this, like, you’re going to want to just buy something like, “I’ll buy a deal and I’ll do it and renovate it and figure it out along the way.” That’s sort of true. I mean, taking action is definitely the right thing to do, but, man, if it wasn’t for you guys, you know, I would have bought 20 dogs, you know, in between here and there. Every one of my deals probably would have been a dog. But, you know, when somebody being able to run it by you, your partners are great, but really I mean, the coaches . . . you know, we pay more for a coach and a mentor than we do for our home mortgage. You know, I mean, that’s the ROI is there.
Mike:Yeah, yep. Yep. Awesome. How about like . . . I know you’ve done some . . . we don’t really teach like buying mobile homes and stuff like that. But, you know, when you get in this business, opportunities fall in your lap. And so I’ve always said, “Hey, we’re real estate investors, but we’re in the opportunity business, you know.” So if I have an opportunity to buy something in real estate that makes sense, you know, I’ll do it. I personally have never bought . . . I’ve probably had some manufactured homes in there, but never a true mobile home. But you guys bought a mobile home . . . you bought a small mobile home park, right?
Travis:Yeah, yeah. So we ended up buying a mobile park. So we finally, you know, we’re able to refine the direct mail campaign after the first initial drop. And I got with a local investor and ended up buying his duplex and I just asked a simple question of . . . you know, I asked the same one I ask everybody, “Do you have any more properties or know of anybody that has anything for sale?” And he was telling me how his wife had been hounding him about selling his mobile home park.
And so, I went and checked it out. You know, everything looked fine, I guess on my end, but I didn’t know anything about a mobile home park. And the cool thing was like, you know, I just called you and you guys had a buddy who does mobile homes. You know, in your mastermind, you know, I think we call him Nitro, senior in the group, but awesome guy, only does mobile home parks and he was able to really, you know, walk me through how to buy this thing. And we ended up . . . you know, again, it’s a small mobile home park but we bought it for no money down. I mean, the guy instead financed us the deal.
Mike:That’s awesome. That’s awesome.
Travis:Yeah. So I mean, I’m definitely still learning throughout the mobile home thing is and we’re definitely thinking about making a big push for those because there’s some really neat ways that you can target mobile homes only, manufactured homes.
Mike:Yeah, yeah. Cool. So what are some of the big lessons if you could go back . . . I mean, you’ve shared some lessons learned here but what’s the advice you could give somebody if they’re just getting started or looking to get started? We know there’s always a lot of people that are looking to get started. The reality is sometimes they fail because they don’t really feel like they have the right structure or they don’t really know what they’re doing or are eager to get started, but not eager enough to pull the trigger. And so, I mean, if you were talking to somebody that was looking to get started right now, what’s some of the best advice you’d give them?
Travis:Man, I mean, it would just have to be, they need to surround himself with the people who are trying to do or doing the same thing that they want to . . . .you know, there’s a reason why we join, you know, masterminds and likeminded people and things like that. It doesn’t do us any good if we go hang out with people who are doing . . . you know, who want to work in their W-2 jobs and want to climb the corporate ladder, you know. We’re trying to build the businesses and lifestyles and things like that. So you need to surround yourself with somebody doing teaching or coaching, whatever you want to call it in real estate.
I mean, at the end of the day, man, I’d say that’s like the number one thing you could ever do. That is your taking action, you know. That is taking action to me because if you buy one home . . . if you buy one, you want to buy a home. So you got to put 25% down for an investment property, $100,000 duplex, it’s going to cash flow 300 bucks a month. That’s great. It’s going to cost you $25,000 to put down, you’re just going to cash for $250 a month. I don’t know what that’s necessarily going to teach you over the course of a time that, you know, would tremendously benefit you like being involved with people or a coaching program would.
Mike:Yeah. Yeah, the challenge is, I think there’s a ton of people out there that want to get started and they never buy a single deal. And there’s a whole bunch of people that say, “Well, let me just get one and I’ll figure it out.” And the truth is, is like, if you did, you know . . . a lot of people when they buy rental properties, for example, they’re shooting for like, “Hey, I want a cash flow of $200, $300 a month or something like that.” It’s like, what is that $200 or $300 a month? That’s not going to like, revolutionize your life, right? That’s just dipping your toe in the water.
And so it’s like how long did it take you to get there? And so, you know, I think most people that have wanted to get started, have probably wanted to do it for a while. So it’s like what . . . you know, let’s climb that learning curve way, way faster and so you can truthfully make some decisions about quitting your job or doubling down or whatever it might be. And so, you know, if you want to run it like a business, it’s a different approach than just . . . otherwise it’s really a hobby, right?
Travis:Yeah, I mean, you kind of tend to get in your own way. I mean I’ve done it several times in my flipping business. I want to flip a home and it takes, you know, and it’ll take four months or five months to flip a home, whereas I could’ve wholesaled six or seven deals in between there. And, you know, you’re stepping over which there’s still no great incomes either/or, but you’re stepping over, you know, you’re stepping over dollars to pick up quarters or nickels or however you want to say it.
Mike:Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. Awesome. Well, guys, if you are listening to the show right now, if you’re listening or watching the show, I’d like to invite you to go into our Facebook. We actually have a private Facebook group. We’re only going to give access to people that request it into the group. You know, anybody that’s spamming or doing anything, we get them out immediately. So we’re trying to keep a clean place to answer your questions. And I know Travis is actually a member there. So you can get there.
If you’re not already a member, if you go to flipnerd.com/facebook, we’ll redirect you into that group. You can just request access and we’ll let you in. And if you have questions for Travis or questions about getting started, just post them there, and let’s discuss it. So let’s kind of continue the conversation from this show over there in the group. And when you join the group, we actually give you some cool training and some other tools as well, totally free. So if you could, just go on over there. As some of you know, this is episode number 456, but we’ve just kind of changed the show and rebranded it as Real Estate Investing Secrets. And I’m going to bring people on the show that can share their secrets or share their knowledge with you.
And of course, I’m going to share some of my own as well to help you either get started or grow your business. So going forward, that’s what we’re all about is, not just interviewing experts, people with a lot of expertise, just trying to give you a lot of actionable information that you can take so you can jump start or grow your business. So again, go to flipnerd.com/facebook to get into the Facebook group. And you can also, if you could, if you’re not subscribed, obviously subscribe to us on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, YouTube, of course. And of course you can watch all of our shows or listen to all of them on flipnerd.com. So, hey, Travis, thanks so much for joining us today.
Travis:Yeah, yeah. Thanks for having me, Mike. It’s an honor.
Mike:I really appreciate you, buddy. Everybody, until the next episode, stay strong, stay cool, and keep fighting for freedom. We’ll see you.
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