Dominating In A Less Competitive Market With Stinson Bland

FO 11 | Less Competitive MarketFO 11 | Less Competitive Market

FO 11 | Less Competitive Market

 

It is no secret that the real estate market is becoming more and more competitive by the day. For some of us who find ourselves in this frustrating situation, maybe a change in scenery could be the fix we need. In this episode, host Paul Lizell interviews real estate investor Stinson Bland. Stinson is making the bold move of leaving the hyper-competitive Dallas, TX market to add rentals and add a wholesaling business in Waco, TX which is less expensive and far less competitive. He shares this transition along with the story of his real estate investing career – what it was before and where he is heading in the future. Stinson also talks about going from being an entrepreneur into a business owner and creating systems. Tune in for more insights from Stinson who opens us up to the vast opportunities there still are in real estate that many thought has long been crowded.

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Dominating In A Less Competitive Market With Stinson Bland

In this episode, I interview Stinson Bland. I’ve known Stinson for quite a few years. We’re in the same mastermind group. He helps run that mastermind group. Stinson talks about how he got into real estate investing, what his career was before then and where his mindset is heading into the future years with real estate investing. He talks about his transition from an entrepreneur into becoming a real estate business owner and creating systems. Having those systems implemented, active and ongoing without him having to do anything, which is great.

He also talks about a big move he’s doing. He’s moving from the Dallas market to Waco, which is about an hour-and-a-half southeast of Dallas. It’s a market that’s always been pretty good and strong. It’s a lower-income market, great rental market, great fix and flip market. There’s less competition in that market for sure. It’s a market that he’s going to be able to dominate and be a big player in and it makes total sense. For those people who are out there that are not entrenched in their current market and frustrated by how competitive it is, moving further away to a less competitive market could help boom your business and take it to the next level. He talks about how he looked at the numbers and how the numbers made sense. It told him to go there and do that. It’s something he does.

With me is my guest, Stinson Bland. He’s a good friend of mine. We’re in a mastermind group together. Stinson is one of the guys who runs that mastermind group.

I appreciate it, Paul.

I want to start by getting into a little bit of your background. What got you into real estate investing? What led you to go to that direction?

From 2004 to 2008, I was doing online marketing for companies to help raise capital and raise awareness. This is not related with real estate at all. It was pretty up into the beginning of pay-per-click being a big thing. Before the gurus, agencies and online was a big thing, we were helping companies get awareness through pay-per-click. The company did well until the Wall Street collapsed. I can remember the day. I’m sitting in our office and we were watching CNBC and the Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. That was the nail in the coffin. The sky was falling.

Things were as real as it was. There was no speculation. The market was crumbling right before our eyes. I didn’t know what to do. I’ve always been self-employed, a street kid. I just made it work. I had made good money in that business, but when the economy collapsed, that market disappeared instantly. At that time, online advertising was a newer thing and was a higher risk because people weren’t used to it as improving out on the mass scale yet. I didn’t know what to do. I was trading stocks to try to survive and that was eating me alive. It was so volatile back then. Some of my clients were based out of Wall Street. We help raise capital for them and my mindset was Wall Street.

What I knew is that I wasn’t a good trader. I was losing. What I knew instantly was I needed to find a new industry to go into and I kept thinking, “Buy low, sell high.” My mindset was in trading and that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a Wall Street guy. I started looking around at that time before the market had collapsed, I was looking to buy a new townhome. I was going to move out of my condo and start a family. I noticed the prices were dropping at a rapid rate. I was shopping and the prices had dropped. Even in Dallas, it wasn’t hit significantly, but we could see the prices have dropped.

The biggest asset I know that’s around, they’re all around here. We’re sitting in one. It was real estate. A funny story. I know you had Mike on the show before. Mike is my partner in Investor Fuel and a great friend of mine. I started researching real estate investing and how they get into it. A friend of mine I saw on Facebook was like, “I know you’re researching about real estate investing. I’m into this too.” There’s this guy named Mike Hambright doing this thing called Rehab LIVE. I don’t know what it is. He’s doing online marketing back then. Essentially, what Mike was doing is you could go to a property that you recently purchased and get it rehabbed and then come back two weeks later and see that in the end.

Once you have a good contractor, there's no reason to wholesale. Click To Tweet

Mike and I clicked well. He’s a smart guy. I went through that process and it’s pretty cool. It’s a crappy little townhome. We looked at the numbers and I’m like, “I can do this all day.” When Mike broke down the business, there are two core components. The most important part is the acquisition. It’s the marketing and the sales side. How good are you at sales? I’m fairly confident about my sales ability. I was like, “I can do this.” The long story there is he was selling HomeVestors franchises. I ended up buying one franchise in 2009, which worked out well. They’re based here in Dallas where I’m out of. Say what you will about HomeVestors, I think the model is a little busted, but from 2009 to 2012, the franchise treated me well. I learned the industry that way. There was a simplified version of learning the industry. Focus on the assets and not the big picture of running the business.

At the end of the day, the two most important parts to me, you need the capital and the knowhow. You need to be able to figure out how to have the leads coming in and then how to negotiate with the sellers. I know that your model is different. You buy from the auctions, but buying direct from sellers, that’s the two most important part. How do you get the people to talk to and then how do you convert them? HomeVestors was the easy button for that. I wrote a check and bought the franchise. In HomeVestors, you’re given what’s called a development agent, it was Mike Hambright who’s a development agent, mentor and a trainer. He and I got along well. That relationship grew quickly because my first year, we did fourteen wholesale transactions and he bought all of them. As a DA he was getting some high fees in HomeVestors, so that works well. I was getting his knowledge and learning from him. We were both making money together. That’s a great way to grow a relationship. That was a start for me from 2009 to late 2012. It was through HomeVestors here in Dallas.

You did some fix and flips in there as well?

In the first year, I had a partner, one of my best friends. I said, “The marketing thing was still generating some money, not like it was before.” He was running the marketing business. I focused on the home-buying business. I say, “Let’s learn what we’re doing here and only focus on wholesaling. Let’s not screw up. If we overpay for our property, we can make it work.” The first year, all we did was wholesale. The following year, we doubled our business. We started rehabbing one property at a time. In the third year, we sustain that same growth of about 30 deals a year. We were doing one and a half to two properties at a time.

I was always nervous about it because we always had contractors’ issues on the flipping side. That changed fast forward a couple of years. My relationship with Mike grew a lot. I started getting access to his personal contractors, his best friend and a good friend of mine. Once you have a good contractor, there’s no reason to wholesale. Kevin is an amazing guy. We weren’t having to go to the properties. There’s a 100% trust there. I’m not worried about timeline, money, budgets or anything like that. That’s when we started gearing back into the rehab side of it.

The biggest issue most flippers have out there is contractors. The old saying was a contractor is good for 2.3 flips because that third one ends up going bad.

Kevin, between myself and Mike and then several people in our network, he has probably done a little over 400 houses for everybody. I don’t know anybody that has issues. He’s a unicorn. Mike’s pretty much his best friend. We share stars tickets together and he’s around all the time.

He understands the systems.

The one thing that Kevin has done well, he’s built an army of subs. He’s not doing any work anymore. He’s managing an army and he’s able to have those people under his umbrella because he has a steady flow of deals coming in no matter what, and he knows that.

I’m doing a few flips, four of them are going on. I don’t normally have that many going on at one time. I’ve got three different contractors doing them. The guys I’ve used in the past throughout the years have always been pretty good for me. We’ll see if I increased the volume a little bit if they can handle it as well. I’m a little nervous about giving them more and more. You’re also transitioning your business. You’re moving from Dallas to Waco.

FO 11 | Less Competitive Market

Less Competitive Market: The two most important parts to real estate investing are the capital and the leads coming in to negotiate with the sellers.

 

To back up a little bit. In about 2014, Mike came to me and he had this idea. I can remember we met at a Starbucks in uptown Dallas and he’s like, “I have this idea.” I own some pretty big websites and I was part of the marketing thing. He’s like, “I want to start a website called FlipNerd.com. I already have the podcast and I want to build this up.” I can remember we’re drawing out on these napkins. I’m like, “That sounds like a cool idea. I appreciate you sharing it with me.” They asked me to do some consulting with them on the SEO front and PPC and general consulting. It was him, his wife and me in the office for about two weeks.

Cool stuff and ideas happened. After consulting, they came to me and say, “We want you to work with us. Are you willing to put your home buying business on hold for a little bit and focus on this?” I was like, “Yes, I think this is a cool idea. My passion is in marketing.” As you know, in the home buying business, you can get burned out quickly. In 2012, I sold my franchise. I had it up to a year with the fees through HomeVestors and the politics of the HomeVestors. We were spending significant money there, $16,000 to $20,000 a month in advertising. I was getting frustrated because a large percentage of that was going to billboards. They weren’t doing online marketing at a big level. I was like, “I’m wasting money here.”

I left the franchise and then my business was running pretty decently without the franchise, but Mike was like, “Do you want to do this?” I’m like, “Absolutely.” We’ve been working together for several years on that project. FlipNerd grew into coaching, Investor Fuel, which you’re a part of. Thank you so much. Investor Fuel is a huge machine. We have hundreds of members. I’m constantly talking to those people. My home buying business took a backseat to everything. I quit marketing. In 2019, we picked up about seven different properties. It was all through referrals and people knowing what we do and things like that. My active marketing and active home buying business has completely been put on hold to build out these assets, Investor Fuel, FlipNerd and our coaching. My long-term goal, we’ve talked about this a bunch, is rental property or cashflow. It’s all I care about.

I’ve been self-employed my whole life. I don’t have a retirement or a pension. Those properties are my pension. Things are stable on our businesses and I’m about to transition and move down to Waco, Texas. I’ve launched my marketing business down there. We’re buying direct from home sellers in Waco, in McLennan County and Bell County for a couple of different reasons. One, there’s less competition down there from Dallas to Waco. Everybody says it’s competitive, but you have places like Phoenix, parts of Florida, Dallas or Memphis. There are markets that are hyper-competitive.

Dallas has the eye buyers. They have the hedge funds. They have new westerns acquisitions and they have guys like me and Mike running seminars every two months teaching a thousand people how to put bandit design as well. It’s competitive here. My private money has always been in Waco. My good friends are down there. I’ve very wealthy friends down there. One of them, his wealth all comes from real estate. He owns apartments and shopping centers. At one time, he had 1,800 rentals down there. That’s where my money comes from and that’s where I can operate with much less competition. The cashflow is a lot better down there versus Dallas.

We’re buying properties. We’ll be all in for $40,000 to $60,000. They’re running for $8,500 to $10,500. That doesn’t exist in Dallas. The most profitable deal I have rental wise is from 2011 here in Dallas. We’re all in for $37,000. It’s probably into $40,000 now because of water heater and whatnot. It rents for $1,200 a month. In hindsight, all those wholesale deals and those flips we did, I’m like, “I should have held onto all of them.” A funny story, we were eating at this neighborhood in Oak Cliff and it’s me and my fiancé. I was like, “Let’s swing by this house.” I showed her and I was like, “This is my and Steve’s first flip.” We thought we were geniuses because we were all in for $55,000 on that property and we sold it for $100,000. Oak Cliff at that time was not a good area. We thought we were geniuses. That property resold within 2019 for over $200,000 with nothing done to it except for our original flipping back then.

Imagine if we had held that and cashflowed it. It’s always hindsight. I was starting this thing called Living Your Best Year Ever. It’s a Darren Hardy thing. I was working on that and she’s like, “You’re super focused.” I was like, “Yes, 2020 is the year to learn from my mistakes.” Hindsight is 2020. It’s going to be the year that I’m reflecting on all the mistakes I’ve made and all I’ve learned. I’m going to try to implement that and I’m going to try and make it my best year ever. That’s an amazing news, so I hope I can do that. I will do that.

I am in the same boat as you and we’re both transitioning. Our businesses are transitioning in a similar way. We’re both acquiring a lot more rentals. That’s our philosophy. We want it long-term. This is our pension. It’s our retirement fund. These will help pay for my kids’ college, education and their houses and able to pass it down. Todd Murphy got us on that, our friend there at Investor Fuel.

At the last meeting, I’m looking around the room and everybody’s happy. We all do well for ourselves. We all are self-employed. We are our own bosses. We all make good money. When I look at the person with the least amount of stress, I look at Todd or these other people who own big portfolios, I’m like, “They can literally get hit by a truck and couldn’t work for months or years and their family’s still going to be fine.” That’s what I want. I don’t foresee myself ever sitting back and live in the beach life, but if I want to be able to go take two weeks off or if I want to go to tour Europe for a couple of months, I want to be able to do that. The only way to do that is to have either a big business with systems and processes in place that create that residual income. You never get to check out of that. The property side of it, if you have a property management in place that you trust and it does a good job, you can check out of it. That’s the goal for me.

You can get burned out quick in the home buying business. Click To Tweet

Truly passive income at least as much as it can be. You’re always going to have repairs and maintenance, but you’re also going to have somebody else funding your savings account more or less and you’re getting appreciation overtime.

What’s cool is it’s like my friend down in Waco. He started in the same way we started, buying rental properties. EMS is almost $1,800 at one point in time. Now his business is incredible. He’s building apartment complexes and selling them. He owns a shopping center with Target. When I go to his office, he doesn’t even have a computer. He’s living the best life. I was like, “Where’s your computer?” That’s what he does out there. He’s not being cocky about it. He was like, “I don’t deal with anything except for doing and putting deals together.” That’s done through conversation at his level. I have probably eight computers. I have a dream of not being in front of the computer all day, but it is what it is.

I have too many. I get the laptop, desktop and iPhones.

iPad sits in the living room just in case of emergency.

We’re in a technology-based world. Technology has made me be able to do what I do, virtual wholesaling. We’ve got guys in our group that are doing virtual wholesaling. You couldn’t do this years ago, not easily.

The truth is I have our window here and behind it, I have my call rails up because I have somebody in the Philippines sending a text to highly stack lists and I can see it. Two calls have come in from a different market. My guy controls it from the Philippines and both of them pressed one. One of them probably left them your message to go screw off and one of them might be interested. We couldn’t do that without technology. While we’re here, I know he’s sending out texts. I want to see what the results are. While we’ve been on this, I’ve gotten two calls. Without technology, none of that will do.

That’s how you know you free your day up and it allows you to come up with ideas and different business models. It is changing to do things. VA’s have been huge for me. We utilize them so much. She’s putting offers out on the MLS, on properties. I’m only going to have to do it. I get the response back from the other agent that says either, “Go to hell, this is way too low. Maybe we can work here somewhere in the middle.” We targeted certain ones.

There are a couple of guys, Brad and BJ in Phoenix. They created a software where they put in their parameters and it’s automatically filling out these offers and submitting these offers. They’re submitting dozens of offers a day, all through technologies. It’s bringing them true written offers and they’re out there. They own a construction company, a plumbing company, they’ve invested. They have all this stuff going on and every day there are these dozens and dozens of offers going out. You get lucky when it hits.

We’ve gotten them. We’ve done through the MLS and there’s no cost except for what my VA cost per hour. We’ve done well and then we’re going to keep doing it. That’s going to always be a big part of our system. I’m going to figure out new methods and new ideas.

FO 11 | Less Competitive Market

Less Competitive Market: Back then, it was easy to buy and hard to sell. We’re in between that now; it’s hard to do both.

 

What’s crazy is the last time I was truly focused on buying houses and not the FlipNerd and building these other businesses, text messaging wasn’t around. RBMs weren’t around. These automated follow-up sequences weren’t around. It’s insane how much stuff has changed in the last few years. I know most people are reading, but all this stuff back here, these workflows, they’re all automated workflows that years ago wasn’t around. I had a notepad in my car. These calls I needed to follow up on and now if somebody calls, I can change a tag in my system and they’ll start receiving calls from me, essentially.

It’s not for marketing. They were dropping RBMs from me saying, “Sorry, I couldn’t catch you. Please give me a call back.” They’ll start calling me back on my cell phone. We’re trying to get sellers to call us rather than us chasing them. These technologies didn’t exist a few years ago. It’s a game-changer instead of how quickly we can move and how much impact we can have on the marketing side. We’re still relying on direct mail and the fundamentals of online marketing and direct mail, but there’s technology involved that’s changing things. There’s a guy in the Philippines texting on my behalf highly motivated sellers and trying to get a conversation started. You couldn’t do that several years ago.

I never heard anything like that several years ago for sure.

I’m late to the game, but luckily for the most part, Waco is several years behind. That’s another reason why I want to get out there. I know here in Dallas, everybody’s doing this stuff. I think that I can beat the upper percentage in a smaller market because of all the technology that I’m willing to use and implement.

They’re going to be less sophisticated investors down there for sure. There’s more mom-and-pop type. There are smaller wholesalers, smaller guys out there. Operationally, you’re going to be much bigger than anybody else out there and you’ll be able to dominate that market. No doubt about it. It’s a great market. You could do fix and flip and you could do buy and hold in that market. To me, that’s a great market to be in. You got a lot of them like that in Texas. That’s why I love Texas.

Waco is a strange one. I’ve never lived there. Typically, I’m down there Thursday, Friday. I did a charity event. Anytime I’m down there, I’m driving in the market. It’s like any other city, but there’s a lot of low-end stuff. You get into these nice flip opportunities. On the low-end stuff, we haven’t done this yet, but we’re trying to capitalize on these leads. I think what we’re going to do is we have the cash, we’re going to pay cash and I want to finance it. We’re chasing cashflow, myself and my partners, who are putting up all the money. They don’t like the risk. We’re going to try it a couple of times. My private investor is a cardiologist. It’s hard for him to understand that we can buy these properties for $5,000 and turn around and create a fifteen-year note for $15,000 and get cashflow. It’s hard for him to believe it, so he’s going to see it in action. Do you have a lot of those?

Yes, I do a lot. I had two pay-offs and that hurts, so I need to add more.

It’s nice to get the paycheck, but you have a target. I’m sure you have a number of what you want in passive income. Everybody does. When one of those sells off, you’re moving backward, not forward. The truth is I don’t like rentals, toilets and tenants. If I’m truly thinking about retiring, legacy, wealth and my future children, owner financing is not going to do it because there’s a stop date on that. What it does is generating many leads. I do like that we’re able to capitalize on these lower-end properties. I’m not willing to hold a rental in a D-class neighborhood. I’m willing to pay $5,000 for it, put a sign in the yard and sell for $15,000 on a note at 8%.

One of my first owner financing deals is in Waco, Texas. This is back in 2012, 2013. I bought this property and I probably paid $3,750 for it and I sold it for $15,000 to this guy. The problem was he ended up paying off too quickly, which is great because I got paid on it pretty quickly. It’s a win-win. I had no risk out there. I started doing more in Pennsylvania. I’d done a couple of owner finance deals down there in Texas. I want to do more in Texas because it’s easier to do owner finance deals there to make more sense. PA is pretty good too. I do a lot of the installment sale contracts where it’s still in my name. Those things are great and there is a finite period of time where you’re getting paid.

The only way to enjoy life outside of business is to have a big business with systems and processes in place that create residual income. Click To Tweet

It does end. However, occasionally I’ve got a couple that are going to be coming back when people went bad on them and now I can owner finance them again. I got some appreciation. The values of those properties are more now than they were then. A little bit of benefit there too. Even if they go bad, it’s not like you’re rooting for them to go bad but when they go bad, it isn’t the worst thing in an accelerating market. If the market’s going down, it’s not good. I didn’t expect it to happen. My income from rentals exceeded my owner finance income because I added a lot of rentals and then another duplex, another single-family. I’m going to have three more units and I’m going to keep on adding potentially a unit a month, which should be good.

You’re buying rentals all over the place. How are you managing the property management?

I’m the guinea pig in this one. I’m the experiment. I’m using my VA to virtually manage these properties. For each property, there are the contacts of both people who live there or however many people live there; plumber, electrician, handyman, roofer, exterminator, anything that you can need so that if they contact her. She lets me know via email that something’s going on and that she has to hire somebody. I’m in the loop but I’m not involved directly. If this goes well as it’s been going, it could be a system I could sell down the road. Somebody you want to buy. We’ll see if it did scale. If it’s 50 properties, it might get hard on one person.

I don’t know where your VA is, but luckily there are common rates in Singapore to pull somebody on that pretty easily.

She’s in the Philippines. She’s cheap, inexpensive.

He’s the old transaction coordinator.

He was somebody else that she referred me too. She’s done a good job and so far, so good. She does multiple things. She’s managing those properties, which honestly hasn’t been a whole lot of maintenance or calls because most of them I’ve rehabbed to some extent.

You rehab them on the frontend.

They’re in pretty good shape. They shouldn’t need too much. It’s mostly exterminator stuff that I’m getting. Occasionally mice, ants, and those things, which is no big deal. Hot water heater went bad or something like that, but it’s working.

Is she building the contacts for you in these cities? Is she finding a plumber?

FO 11 | Less Competitive Market

Less Competitive Market: If you’re not in a great neighborhood and you don’t have the best house in the neighborhood in a decent price, you’re in for an uphill battle.

 

Yes. You can find all these people at HomeAdvisor.com. If you google, you can find a 24-hour handyman. There are always people out there like 24-hour plumber. They get expensive, but it’s great. It’s hands-off for me, so far so good. I’m working on it. I have a plan for it and hopefully, it’s something I’ll sell. Another question I have for you, and this is when I ask everybody. Where do you think we are in the market? We’re all trying to guess where we are. Are we at the peak? Are we at plateaued? Are we slightly down?

I’m blessed in my position that I get here. I don’t think I know anything, but I know a lot of people. In Investor Fuel, we have 180 members between 100 different companies, between the partners and whatnot. We get to hear all their opinions. There’s no right or wrong answer. For the last several years, I’ve been saying the market’s going to turn. I keep saying it, but the truth is I know every market is different. I don’t want to be too much of a homer, but Dallas is a stable market. It didn’t get hit hard when there’s recession. We’re seeing it where prices are coming down.

Properties are sitting on the market for a long time. I’m at home and there’s a house one street behind me. I looked it up and it’s a nice rehab. It’s a little bit overpriced, but it’s been listed for 290 days. Several years ago, that didn’t happen in a nice rehab. Even if it was overpriced. If somebody was dumb enough to buy it or it would move. They dropped the price three times. I lived in a pretty desirable neighborhood. It’s not moving. That’s happening all over the city. I think that we’ve hit the top and we plateau and we’re starting to go down. The truth is I started in this business at the worst time.

2009 to 2012, people are running from the heels. What I was told on our coaching side of business, I tell people that they’re fearful of the market turning. For me, it was a lot better back then. We do direct marketing to sellers. Every call that came in, I felt like it was a true deal. Now it’s the opposite. We’re going out to the sellers begging to get in front of them because of the way the market is. I always say this, back then it was easy to buy, hard to sell. It’s hard to buy, easy to sell. We’re in between that. It’s hard to do both. The properties are listed longer. If you’re not in the best neighborhood or a great neighborhood and you don’t have the best house in the neighborhood in a decent price, you’re in for an uphill battle. Not that it’s impossible, but it’s getting tougher. I think we’ve plateaued and are starting to see signs of a downturn.

We benefit from that.

My family is more important to me. My future in-laws, they think I’m a nutcase. They don’t understand how could somebody that invests in real estate wants the real estate market to go down. With our mindsets being that I want cashflow, I don’t care what happens in the next few years. If the market’s going down, I want to keep buying and cost average. You’ve done some of that. Keep averaging down. If the market keeps turning down, I’m not betting on appreciation. I’m buying based on the cashflow.

You’re looking at what it brings in each month compared to what your costs are. As simple as that. If it goes up, great. If it doesn’t go up, it’s not going to kill you. It doesn’t matter. Somebody’s paying it down for you.

Waco doesn’t appreciate. The houses I’m buying, they don’t appreciate it in any rate that’s working and I’m betting on if somebody was willing to do that. If I would bet on appreciation, I would be knocking on my neighbor’s doors and not driving down to Waco.

Waco is about an hour and fifteen outside Dallas, is that right?

If the market keeps turning down, don’t bet on appreciation but buy based on the cashflow instead. Click To Tweet

It’s about hour and a half. It’s 90 minutes to downtown. When we’re going into Collin or Woodway, we were all in that area. It can be up to about 2.5 hours. I have an apartment and an office down there. I spend a couple of days down there. I’ve spent Thursday and Friday down there. I’ve made some relationships with other wholesalers, ones who I trained several years ago. He’s a guy I trust. On days that we’re not down there to run appointments, I’m going there. The truth is, between you and I and everybody reading is that I’m early into this.

The first thing, I’m moving to Waco and what we’re doing is I’m working on getting a full-time leads manager and acquisitions person because I don’t have the capacity to run all these businesses and to make all the appointments. I think that I’m happiest when I sit down and talk to somebody and get them to lower their walls and tell me what the problem is and we solve the problem. I’ve had people close it. What brings me the most joy is helping people, whether it’s in a mastermind or buying houses. That’s where I thrive and have the most fun. I’m not going to retire sitting on dirty house couches talking to old ladies and trying to help them out, even though that’s what I enjoy.

I stopped direct mail marketing in 2013, but I used to do that same thing as well. When you’re talking to them and a lot of these people have serious issues going on outside and this house is a total nightmare for them, they want to get rid of it so bad. We bought one not far from me here. We’re rehabbing and this guy wanted to get out in the worst way. He couldn’t wait to get out. We got the property so cheap. We let him call a number. We were willing to offer much more than what he said. He’s like, “That’s fine. Here it is. I want it all in cash.” “I can do that. I can make that happen for you.” We did and now he’s living a better life. We text occasionally, things are better for him and he’s happy. He wouldn’t go down South. He was sick of the winters. I tried to get him to go to Dallas, but he wanted to go to Florida.

It’s normal from the Northeast. When you go down to South Florida, it’s either South American or Northeastern. You have South America and less people from the Northeast. I was there for a wedding. The wedding party was from Boston, so I was surrounded by South Americans in Florida and a bunch of people from Boston.

I appreciate your time. Is there a good way for people to contact you? Let’s talk about whether it’s the Investor Fuel website. If people are interested in joining a mastermind group. Investor Fuel’s a great one. I highly recommend it. How do they get in touch with you for that?

The best way to get ahold of me and I talk to people all day on the phone, so I enjoy the most is through Investor Fuel. That links right to my calendar. Whether you want to join the group or not. If you want to talk to me for whatever reason, I’m an open book. I’m blessed with this network. I have a wealth of information from what I learned from running a mastermind and being surrounded by guys like Paul. I have so much information at my fingertips. I don’t have all the answers, but I know the people that have the answers. If anybody ever wants to talk to me about marketing, systems and processes or whatever, the best way to reach me is through Investor Fuel. If you click on the Request Invitation, you’ll schedule a call directly with me. I’m happy to talk to you about skiing, football or real estate.

I highly recommend it. It’s a great group. I’m in the platinum group and that’s a great group. That gold group is under 50 deals pretty much a year for newer people.

The gold group is 20 to 50 deals. The platinum group is for guys and girls doing 50 or more deals a year. They meet the same week. We meet quarterly. The gold group meets Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The platinum group meets Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and they overlap on Wednesday. For me, it’s an amazing week. I’m surrounded by friends. I’m getting to learn, I’m getting to help people, watching businesses thrive and grow. More importantly, solving people’s problems. A lot of what we do is we dive into people’s KPIs.

Every quarter, our members set goals and have KPIs that support those goals and bring in the KPIs. We’re able to see the business grow and importantly is identify people that are having problems and try to dig in as a group and solve that problem. I’m a member of other masterminds. We own a mastermind. I’m a member of other groups because there are other people out there with other skillsets that aren’t in Investor Fuel. I think masterminds are huge. Between myself and Mike, we’ve probably been in six different masterminds. It expands our network, expands our knowledge base, grows relationships, and grow as a person.

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I have as well and they are all great. I agree 100% with you, Stinson. They are tremendous. They’re great resources for people. It’s something that wasn’t around years ago. They didn’t have these mastermind groups.

I always tell people that to me it’s a sign of the economy too. The economy is thriving. Most people’s businesses are doing well. That’s when you start getting all these different coaches, gurus, and masterminds. If the market changes, some of these things will change. We’re in a position with Investor Fuel that we think that most of the people in there have very stable and strong businesses. We’re talking about this stuff on a regular basis. We’re trying to make as much money as possible but prepare for a downturn. Almost everybody’s mindset, I know yours for sure, is make money, create cash, invest in it when it’s good, but more importantly, be prepared for when the market turns down. Because in hindsight, I don’t want to look back and say, “I wish I had to liquid for more so I could buy some.”

You wouldn’t get a good cash position for the next 5, 10 years to be able to buy some good deals out there. Stinson, I appreciate your time as usual. People are getting a lot of good stuff out of it. Talking about these different markets that not a whole lot of people are in. Most people are in these bigger markets: Phoenix, Philly, St. Louis, these things. I talk about going to a smaller market like Waco is big and other people hopefully can learn from that. It takes a lot of guts for you to get up and move an hour and a half, two hours away and be able to do that.

It’s difficult to convince my fiancé to quit her high paying job and leave her family to go build something that she doesn’t even understand. When we put it on paper and explain it to her, it makes total sense. Not to drag us any longer, your readers, I get to talk to a lot of people. I see a trend of direct seller marketers. Everybody I talked to has pulled off direct mail. I talked to super big guys that have huge companies. Everybody’s pulling back on direct mail and going to text. I believe in going against the herd. If everybody’s running away from direct mail, I’m doing texting too, but there are times when you’re super pumped. I’m going heavy in direct mail because everybody’s running away from it. I believe we’re losing some of the personal touch. People like to touch things. Everything’s a cycle. We’ll talk again and I’ll tell you how it goes.

That was an important point you said about not following a herd. Usually, if you follow the herd, you get in trouble. If you go to the opposite direction, you’re going to usually be more successful. Go back to that nightclub fire in New Hampshire, Connecticut years ago. Everybody’s running that direction. There were three exits on the opposite direction. People are going the other way. Most of them would have survived. It’s because everybody’s following a herd. In a movie theater, the shooting can go the other direction. Go the opposite way people are going and generally, it’s going to be good for you.

It’s what Warren Buffett says you can do. If he says to do it, he’s probably right.

He’s been doing it for a long time. Stinson, thank you so much.

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About Stinson Bland

FO 11 | Less Competitive MarketStinson starting investing in Real Estate in 2006 and is an active wholesaler/Flipper in the Dallas, TX market and is a coach for TheInvestorMachine.com and passiverental.com  He is also the co-founder of Investor Fuel which is a real estate investor mastermind group with members from all over the US.  Stinson is engaged to be married and is planning to move to the Waco, TX market to build a rental portfolio and establish a wholesale business in a less competitive marketplace.  Stinson enjoys the outdoors and hikes & skiis frequently.