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This Stuff Works If You Want It to Work

by Minh Pham (Phamtastic)   

It's time I told my story...To all those who helped me get started back a couple of months ago when I was a newbie: Thank you, thank you, thank you. You know who you are: gals and dudes who were real cool with their time and experience to help me with some questions I had to get me started.

Thanksgiving 2001 - I received my Fast Cash program from Ron LeGrand. I subscribed to Nightingale Conant, and Ron LeGrand got a hold of their mailing list. So I sent in for a free tape, and the rest is history.

I got interested in real estate investing. I took December to really see if this business is for me, posted questions, read books, talked to experts, and found a way to win.

Christmas - Big time present for myself! I DECIDED to go forward with this business and DO SOMETHING!

New Year's Day - I started something grand in my life with the launch of my real estate investing business. I ordered marketing materials: bandit signs, cards, and flyers.

I continued to learn this business every night. I made a promise to study the boards and read and understand this business at least an hour or two each evening. I learned from people, and I gave whatever I knew, mostly encouragement, to newbies. You cannot keep getting good advice without trying to help someone else, so I posted a response to a question on the Main Real Estate Forum each time I had a question of my own to post.

I looked at this business and realized that lease options fit my style. So I went forward focusing solely on lease options. I figured there was no need to know about everything about real estate, just lease options.

I wanted to cover every angle I could about lease options because it was the way to go for me. No money down, no credit, no risks (almost), fairly easy, no fix up needed, and I would deal only with pretty houses.

So I got ahold of almost every course on lease options. You name it, I probably have it. I was learning and listening to audios of lease options in my car, posting questions and learning, over and over again, brainwashing myself to build my knowledge base.

BINGO! I won the lottery! When you keep at something you really want, the universe answers your requests. I figured the fastest way to be an expert an anything is to know what the experts know, beyond the audio programs and books.

I looked for a mentor to guide me through this initial learning curve. I found an experienced lease option investor in Florida who was willing to help out this young ambitious investor. He said, "All I need from you is effort." And that was a no-brainer. We were Rockin' and Rollin'.

We had an arrangement of a 50/50 split. Fantastic decision. I make money; he makes money. No risk to him besides his time, and no risk to me because I did not fork out $3,000 to $5,000 for a mentor. He would guide me on my first couple of deals, and we covered every angle of lease options.

There would be days sometimes when I spent one or two hours at a time asking questions and getting coaching. (I am forever grateful for his time, patience, expertise, and help.)

We worked on the leads coming in from the marketing. NOTHING HAPPENED for a month! I placed 150 bandit signs, and all I got were weak leads and investors calling me--a total of about seven calls.

I got a little worried, since most gurus say that bandit signs are VERY effective for them. They all told me to be patient and "you only need one to make it all worthwhile." I held my breath, took their advice, and pressed on.

So I got proactive, and I called ads in newspapers. Nothing there either! Good practice though. If you want to learn this business, cold call. It is good practice. I do not cold call now, but I needed to in the beginning, so I could practice my lingo with prospects, sellers, and tenant/buyers.

Flyers: I tried passing them out. Seems like a dumb thing to do because it was wasting my time. I tried looking around for high school kids to do it for me. No luck, so I paused that campaign for the time being.

I also went to Real Estate Investor Club meetings. Good networking opportunities to share and meet fellow investors. Some possible alliances that could help my business and good relationships forming for me at those meetings.

I give a cool message when I go. In the Baltimore meeting, there are about 200 investors and attendees. (I'm Asian) I stand up and say , "I did not come here to make an announcement about real estate, but did anyone order the Shrimp Fried Rice? The Hunan Lo Mein? How about the General Tao's Chicken?"

I usually get a good laugh, and then I fish for leads by announcing a fee of $500 for referrals from bird dogs for FSBOs, tired landlords, pre-foreclosures, expired listings, and houses with no equity. It never fails. I usually get four or five bird dogs calling me after a meeting, not to mention a person or two wanting to learn about lease options. It's a good lead generator.

After much effort and hustle, a motivated seller finally called me from my bandit sign--a wholesale deal. I put a Pure Option Agreement on it and fished for investors by placing an ad in the Sunday Post:

$35K Instant Equity, Rehab Special, phone number.


And the phone rang off the hook! It was a madhouse, and my real estate investing machine was working! Almost too good to be true. Those experts were right. Man, flood gates opened!

I also called Internet FSBO ads back in January and after about a week and a half, surprise, surprise, surprise. A prospect was buying a new house and was open to a lease option, so she called me back and wanted to move forward with the lease option program I offered to her.

Funny thing, nothing was happening, and then it all started to roll for me. I signed two deals on the same day, and I get two contracts signed! I'm in business. A wholesale flip contract with one seller and the lease option with the other seller. Total money out of my pocket is $5 for the wholesale contract and $5 for the lease option agreement (to make it binding). Two houses! YEE-HAW!

I collected a cashier's check for the wholesale deal to an end investor for $5,000. YEE-HAW again. I collected a cashier's check for $6,000 on March 21st, right before my flight to the Creative Real Estate Online Convention in Atlanta. YEE-HAW! BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. I've been busy since.

The coolest thing is that I am still learning, but I feel with those two deals under my belt, I am very confident of my system and process. I came back from the convention with about five colleagues who want to team up with me to do a couple of deals together.

I have a deal in the works that will net me $20,000 to $30,000 at the end of this month from an investor friend who attended the convention. So for those of you that did not go, you missed out on some good learning and some great opportunities.

A couple of months ago, I was hustling around getting answers to my questions. Now I have bird dogs and mentees (if you want to even call them that) calling me asking for advice.

It's almost too funny, but I tell people who are interested in this business that they can do what I do. Some believe me, and others don't, but I'm not here to convince anyone. It works for me, and that's all I needed to know.

Most people never get started because they are stalled at the starting gate (fear). If this is you, get over it and do something, and the fear will disappear. ACTION is a fear killer! I did not start this business with a boat load of money or knowledge, nor did I know a single person in real estate, but with time all things are possible.

Go ahead, ask me how good life is. The money I made so far sets me straight, covering my expenses and marketing costs for a couple months, and I already have lots of other deals in the pipeline that will manifest in the upcoming weeks. Especially that sweet deal that will net me all that green. So the good news is it only gets easier. I'm flyin' baby! Life is absolutely beautiful!

My advice: Have faith in yourself, work with a mentor, always continue to learn, help others if you can, and just chill baby 'cause this stuff works if you want it to! Much wealth and success to you my friend!

 
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