Taking Advantage Of Small Town Real Estate with Larry Goins

FO 1 | Small Town Real Estate

FO 1 | Small Town Real Estate


Technology has greatly shaped the way real estate is functioning where closing deals in small or big towns has become so convenient. However, there are seasoned real estate entrepreneurs who stick to typical marketing and investing schemes and are still making tons of cash. Active real estate investor, author, and radio host Larry Goins talks about the advantages of investing in small-town America and the different exit strategies that you can utilize. Learn more from Larry as he shares his insights on picking deals from MLS or HUD and other proven strategies in surviving an unpredictable market.

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Taking Advantage Of Small Town Real Estate with Larry Goins

Investing In Small Town America

Our first guest is a personal friend of mine and someone whose business model I have followed since 2004. We’ve been in the same real estate mastermind group for the last few years. He’s none other than the great Larry Goins. He has been investing in real estate since 1986 and continues to grow his business and educational platform. He’s used many different disposition strategies, but thrives on lower-end properties that he flips for big margins. We can all learn something from Larry as he has survived many market cycles using his proven strategies. Unlike many gurus, Larry lives the business of real estate investing on a daily basis and adjust quickly to market changes. Sit back as Larry throws continuous nuggets of wisdom and strategies that can help you thrive in this changing real estate market.

I’m so happy to have a good buddy of mine, Larry Goins, as my first guest. I have a rock star on day one.

I love it. Thank you so much.

I appreciate it. Larry and I are friends. We’ve been in CG together for years and we’ve known each other. I’ve actually bought Larry’s system. Larry, when did you first do the MLS system?

That was in 2004 or 2005, something like that.

It’s when the market was red hot.

That’s all we did for years. Even when the Boom before 2007 and 2008 and then after it started picking back up in ‘13, ‘14, ‘15. We started doing direct-to-seller in 2018. That’s been more of our focus now, but until then we were doing all hot and all MLS stuff.

How is the direct seller going for you?

It’s going phenomenal. We mailed out about 40,000 postcards a month and I had to skip August because we have so many leads we need to follow up on. I’ve got 22 deals in the pipeline right now.

That’s a good bit of deals going on there and you’re basically wholesaling pretty much everything. Are you keeping anything?

I am selling everything unless it goes in any type of a tax advantage account, like my IRA 401(k), ESA or HAS. Other than that, I’m selling everything and I’ve been telling people, “Stash cash for the crash,” because this is going to happen. A house that I could buy right now for $25,000, I’ll probably pick it up for $15,000 in a couple of years. I am selling everything and we’re doing good with wholesaling. I had a three-day event and I was asking people around the room, “What’s your average wholesale fee?” It was $5,000, $7,000, $8,000 and $10,000. Our average wholesale fee is $15,000 to $25,000. It’s $35,000 and $40,000 on a wholesale deal. I was excited about that to realize we’re doing something right.

You’re getting bigger margins. There are much better stuff. Off the MLS and HUD, you’re not generally going to get as big of margins as you will with the direct the seller but you’ve got the marketing costs.

The marketing is huge. We’re spending $12,000 to $15,000 a month, but one deal covers that.

It’s well-worth it. It’s one of those things where you keep it going and when you get too much, you wheel it back like you’ve done here for August and then you turn it back on when you need it again and follow up with those. We stopped our direct mailing in 2013 locally in the Philadelphia market. We’re still buying off the MLS and we’re buying all over the country too. We’re buying on auctions. With that, we have a little bit more inventory to go after. You’re basically in North and South Carolina, correct?

A fit and safe house is when you can legally enter into a landlord tenant relationship. Click To Tweet

That is correct. We have done deals in twelve different states right from our office in South Carolina, which is right across the state line from Charlotte, North Carolina. However, we focus on about seven counties. You get good deals on auctions because you go outside the MSA. You’re looking in small-town USA. I created a training program called Small Town Profits. We look in the small towns and people say, “What about buyers? There are not a lot of buyers.” I only need one per house.

I’ve always found that the margins are bigger in those smaller towns like that. You just have a little longer hold time. You’re waiting for that buyer to come in, but you have good margins. That program could be one of the best that people can pick up in my opinion. That’s a good one.

I love two things. I love the small towns and the cheap houses.

I’m with you on both 100%. Our models are pretty similar.

They are because you and I did a little joint venture on a deal that you got in that area not too long ago, but we love the same kind of deals. I’m buying a lot of little rental properties, two-bedroom, one-bath rentals. We’re picking them up for $5,000, $10, 000, $15,000 and we’re selling them for $20,000, $30,000 to $40,000. The little brick ranches, we’re picking them up for $15,000, $20,000 and $30,000 and selling them for $30,000, $40,000 to $50,000. Occasionally, we’ll do a higher price one, but what I’ve found is we typically don’t even make as much on the higher price stuff as we do the lower price stuff. I don’t know why. We had four closings. One of them was a rental house that had a tenant in it. The tenant was only paying $275 a month, but we only paid $3,000 for the house. We had it under contract for $12,000, but after we took all the pictures and did our due diligence, I went back to my seller and I renegotiated it from $12,000 down to $3,000. That is 75% discount.

I guess you found some issues with the property. It is sheer madness. It’s harder to do that with the banks for sure than it is if your homeowner because they want to get out of it generally.

When you’ve got a seller that doesn’t need the money and they live out of town or out of state, $275 a month is a pain for them to have to deal with. They’d rather have a few grand and move on.

It’s about moving on and doing something else with those funds. I’m going to jump back for a little bit since I didn’t do this in the beginning. Give us a quick background of how you got started in real estate investing and when you got started.

I did my first deal in 1986 with FHA non-qualifying assumable loan. I used to be able to take over those loans. You had to fill out some paperwork. They didn’t even pull your credit. That was my very first deal in 1986. They stopped that in 1976 or ‘78, but there were still some loans left over for the next ten or fifteen years. That was my very first deal and I’ve gone on to do deals in twelve different states. I got away from wholesaling for a while and people say that’s a great place to start in and yes it is but it’s also a great place to stay. There are three things about real estate I hate. I hate rehabs, tenants and short sales. Those are the three things you can’t make me do. I lose money on rehabs and I hate tenants. I’m not a good property manager and I hate short sales. I know you can make a lot of money on short sales, but I won’t do it.

They’re too much of a pain. They’re too long. The process takes forever. There are too many issues that can go on with short sales. They were popular in 2004, ‘05, ‘06 timeframe in there and they fell off the cliff. Now, they’re just nowhere near as popular as they had been and they’re difficult. Why do you want to bother with something so difficult?

I tell people, a short sale is a long buy.

Then something comes up, something pops up on the title and then you’ve got issues when you go to resell it to your buyer and your end buyer. That could be an absolute nightmare.

Don’t get me wrong, with the cheap houses, you have title issues also. You probably don’t because you’re buying a lot of auction and MLS. Those title issues have already been dealt with, but probably about a third of the houses I buy, there’s some title issue. Some relative doesn’t want to sign or there are heirs out there somewhere. We’ve got one deal and we’re buying this house for $10,000. We sold it for $27,500, but we’ve got to have a survey. It’s the first survey I’ve had to do in years, but our attorney said there are a lot of issues that came up on the legal description. They said a survey will clear it up. We’re just waiting on a survey and then we can close in a week or two.

That’s good. It’s like $17,500 spread.

FO 1 | Small Town Real Estate

Small Town Real Estate: There are three things about real estate most investors hate – rehabs, tenants, and short sales.


That’s not bad. That’s a typical deal. We bought one for $35,000 and we sold it for $65,000. The other one that we bought for $3,000 and sold it for $15,000. We have another one closing. We did a price reduction because it was getting a little stale. We bought it for $55,000 but we ended up selling it for $60,000. It’s a small deal. It’s funny when you’re like, “I don’t want to make $5,000 on this deal.” I remember the day when $5,000 was like, “Wow,” but now it’s like, “We’re only going to make $5,000? It’s not even worth our time.”

The more expensive ones, you run into that more often too with the tighter margins on that, like we were talking about earlier. The smaller ones, you get some big margins and the return on investment is unbelievable.

I’ve got an eight-unit mobile home park. Some tenants have been there for twenty years. It’s bringing in $3,625 a month. I’m paying $100,000 for it. $100,000 for a $3,600 a month income and we’re going to wholesale it for $130,000. That’s a good deal.

For $130,000, that’s a great deal. That’s a bargain for somebody.

With the mobile home park, they need to be a hands-on manager. It’s not going to be something somebody in Dubuque, Iowa is going to buy and manage in Dallas, North Carolina. For somebody that’s local or can send somebody by there and pay them a little bit, then it’s an odd deal investment. It’s not a remote property manager type thing, but it’s huge cashflow. It’ll be paid for in less than five years.

There are people who specialize in those mobile home parks. It’s not something I want to get into, but there are people that do well with them.

I’ll tell all my buyers, “You’re going to be glad you found me. I’ll provide deal flow to investors. That’s all I do.”

One of the savings you have by dealing direct with the homeowners is you can assign these contracts, where me, when I’m buying a bank-owned stuff, you have to double close on these properties so it adds additional costs. You’ve got to come up with a revenue to purchase if you’re not doing a straight assignment.

The other thing is when you’re making $20,000 or $30,000 or more on a wholesale deal, you better not assign it. You’ve got to double close. I remember I had a deal, it has been a few months now, but there were seven heirs that had assigned. I told my guys, “Make sure we double close this because when you’ve got more than one or two people, somebody is going to kick it back.” I already negotiated a discount on this property and we were making $20,000 on this. For some reason, the paperwork got done as an assignment. When we went to the close, sure enough, there was one heir in Florida. He would not sign whatsoever. He said, “I see what you’re doing. You can make $5,000 but that’s it. That’s all you can make.” We had to go back and pay the original amount and we only made $5,000 because one of them killed the deal because it was an assignment. Because in an assignment, your seller and your buyer see what you’re making.

That’s the drawback and that’s usually what you want to avoid, unless it’s a smaller margin one. You don’t want to lose a deal.

Where assignments are okay is if you’ve got a cool seller, they know what you’re doing and you’ve got an investor buyer that understands, “I don’t care what you paid for as long as my numbers work.” You don’t want to do assignments also with an owner-occupied buyer. They don’t get it. They don’t understand it.

You can talk to them until you’re blue in the face and they won’t get it still. They just don’t understand. It’s a whole different world. They don’t understand the real estate investing world. You made that shift. You’re buying exclusively off the MLS and buying off HUD. Now, you’re doing the direct mail. When did you start that again?

We started it in July or August of 2018. We were buying just HUD and MLS up until then. We were still doing two or three, sometimes four deals a month, but it was thin and down. Once again, you don’t have the advertising expense. We’re spending about $12,000 to $15,000 a month on marketing and it’s all direct mail. We’ve got Chris Rector’s list. We’re doing that and we’re mailing out 37,500 per month. It’s going well.

If there’s a HUD deal, you’re still looking for those too. If there’s another deal that you see on MLS, I’m sure you’re still looking for those as well.

The only downside with wholesaling is every month you go from hero to zero. Click To Tweet

I’ve found one that we’re bidding on. I’m not doing like I used to do. I wrote a book called HUD Homes Half Off, how to buy HUD houses for pennies on the dollar. I’m not bidding on every HUD house in the state like I used to but when we find one we want to bid on, then we’ll bid on that house.

I’ve done a little bit of that too. I’m trying to avoid the train wrecks I see on HUD where it needs everything and you’re going to be into it negatively. You hit the ones that you think, “This is going to be easier to move. That one’s not going to be as easy.” It’s targeting. Even with the direct mail stuff, there are some of these things you’re looking at. They’re done deals and you know they’re not going to be good deals. Do you refer any to realtors if you can’t get them out of contract?

I really don’t and I’ll tell you why because we cover about seven different counties outside of Charlotte. We’ll have to refer them to multiple realtors. Also, our stuff is so cheap. For the most part, it’s a $20,000 $30,000 $40,000 house. What I’ve found is if I can’t help them, I say, “Here’s what you need to do. You’re going to be best served by contacting a realtor. I would call three, look up online and see who’s selling houses in your neighborhood and call them. Have them come out and list your property.” That’s what I tell them to do but before I do that, if we’re far apart on the price, I try to get them to accept owner financing.

It’s not unusual for us to buy. You can’t do this with the HUD or the auctions or the bank-owned property. I’ve got a deal right now. The guy’s got to be in $112,000. That’s his number. We’re going to do owner financing, stretch it out for twenty years with maybe a five-year balloon and the payment is going to be pretty low where I could sell this property to a landlord and then the landlord or owner-occupied buyer, and they’re going to put about $20,000 down and that’s how I’m going to get paid. It’s a little tweak on wholesaling. We did a deal a couple months ago. I needed it to be at $66,000. The guy was stuck at $82,000. I presented him with the opportunity of owner financing and we set it up and the payment was about $600 a month.

I found somebody that would pay me $99,900 and they put $18,000 down and then they moved in the house and they’re making payments to the seller. I tell the sellers upfront exactly what I’m doing. “I’m not going to be the one making payments. I’m going to find somebody that’s going to have skin in the game and they’re putting money down and I’m getting paid for putting all this together.” That’s how I’m getting paid. They appreciate that when you’re upfront with them. I even tell my direct-to-seller sellers, I tell them upfront. I say, “We market and advertise every property so don’t be surprised if you don’t see your property online somewhere. I don’t know what the price is going to be, but we’re just trying to build our buyer’s list all the time. Don’t be surprised if you see it online.” That way you don’t get the irate calls and emails about, “You’re already trying to sell my property for $30,000 more and you’re paying me and you haven’t even closed on it yet.” We eliminate that.

By being upfront with them, it makes it so much easier. They understand and they know you’re a seasoned investor. If they look you up, they’re going to say, “This guy’s legit. He’s been doing it for years. There are not going to be any issues here.” That owner financing, that’s another tool in the tool belt. To have that is so powerful. Sean Terry utilizes that a lot and sells a lot of his properties out there in the Phoenix market doing the exact same strategy. It’s a good, easy wholesale fee because you can get a nice spread on that.

You could also do subject-to deals. Sometimes you run across somebody who has a mortgage. I don’t do subject-to, I don’t like them. I don’t want to be tied to a seller and a buyer or if the buyer quits paying, I don’t want the seller coming back to me, “You did this to me.” All I do is if I have a potential subject-to deal, I’ve got a couple of local people that I know, like and trust that do it. I tell my seller, “I don’t do this, but I can refer you to somebody if you want me to that might be able to help you as long as you’re okay with keeping the loan in your name, understanding that you’re still responsible for the loan, whether they pay it or not.” If they say okay, then I will share my Podio app for that property with one of those subject-to people and they give me half of the down payment or whatever they collect.

That’s a great way to do it. I used to sell with owner financing. I still sell with owner financing. Are you still doing that or are you doing lease with an option to purchase to get around the Dodd-Frank Act?

The only seller financing or lease options I’m doing are in a tax advantage account, but when I’m doing it, here’s my model. If the house is what we call fit and safe, in other words, you can legally enter into a landlord tenant relationship. Let me give you an example. If a house doesn’t have a water heater, you can’t rent that house out. You have to owner finance it. If a house has a deck that’s four feet off the ground and it has no rails around it, you have to sell that house. If the house is fit and safe and the only issues are cosmetic, then I’m going to enter into a lease option with that property. By doing that, I do a couple of things. Number one, the title stays in my name, the same way as a land contract but it’s a much simpler process. It’s just an eviction and I’m building up what we call twelve months of seasoning and then I could convert it to a land contract and sell it if I wanted to. I could season it for twelve months and then convert it and keep the note. I could keep it, but that way I know they’re probably going to stick because if they default, they’re typically going to default in the first twelve months.

I’ve seen that. I do a lot of owner finance. I do a lot with land contracts in Pennsylvania. It’s the first twelve months that’s always the key. People had been paying three, four, five years on these notes right now. I’m glad I kept them. I could have sold them, but they’re tremendous. It’s another income source. It’s better than rentals. I like it even though it has a finite period of time on which you’re going to get a return on it. I like that ability to continue to get that monthly mailbox money and not have to be the landlord. Although, I have rentals. I’m being more strategic with my rentals. I got my first Airbnb going up in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. I have the Superhost who’s going to do the hosting for me and manage everything. She’s going to get 20% because I don’t want to deal with that part of it.

There’s a lot you can do with Airbnb. I just have elected not to do it because there are only so many hours in the day and I’d get so fired up about real estate. I’m like, “I want to do this,” but I’ve come to realize I’m good at buying houses over the phone. We don’t go look at the houses or anything. We do it right over the phone like we do it over the computer. I do it right over the phone with sellers. Sometimes you get a seller that says, “You can’t buy a house over the phone.” I’ll send one of my guys out, but for the most part, 99.9% of them, we buy them and negotiate them over the phone and then we’d go out and take pictures after we have it under contract

Do you send one of your guys to take pictures or do you use that resource like BPO Photo Flow that you’ve given me in the past?

Now that the majority of our stuff is within an hour-and-a-half, what I do is I have a couple of acquisition guys. They’re on the phone out here all day long, which by the way, they also flip deals on their own on the side. I encourage them to do that but 9 to 5, they work with me. What they do is all the leads come in and I have a lead manager. She farms it out to one of those two guys. They’re on the phone all day qualifying the people. They’re going through with motivation and property condition and all that and then they put me on the phone. When I get on the phone, I’m going to make them an offer. Sometimes if they feel comfortable, they’ll make their own offer but if they don’t feel comfortable, then they’ll just transfer it to me.

I’m getting them to the point where they can do it all and they just need to TO a call for me to take over. Where they can’t close it, I’ll close it. They all wear headsets and stuff. I’ve also walked out here and then they’ll be walking around in the room out here and I’ll be feeding them lines to say and stuff like that and then they can close it which is pretty cool. They’re earning while they’re learning. For the most part, the vast majority of them, they forward them over to me and I close them over the phone. Once I get a yes, then I say, “I’m going to get Trey back on the phone and Trey’s going to set up an appointment to come out there and look at the property as soon as we get the contract back and then we go from there.”

FO 1 | Small Town Real Estate

HUD Homes Half Off!

That makes total sense there. I’ve been debating getting back into the direct mail marketing myself in my local market, just in two counties. I’m keeping it small and local. I’m trying to figure out if I wanted to do that or not. You’re talking about before doing different things in real estate. We definitely get that shiny object syndrome. We want to do this, that and the other thing but wholesaling is our bread and butter. I know wholesaling is your bread and butter as well. When you start to go into other lanes, it’s when things can become unraveled.

Do you have a CRM that you use for direct-to-seller?

Podio is what we were using when we did that.

You got a system. My problem was I did HUD and MLS so long that my Podio system was set up for MLS. I didn’t have any follow up campaigns, text messaging people, getting their email address, follow up and condition of the property and all that. I didn’t have all that. I’ve had two different Podio systems in the past, but they were all based on HUD and MLS. I had to hire somebody to do a totally new Podio and I love it. We’re getting accustomed to it now and we love it. You’ve been there before. You’ve done direct mail before, so you’re already set.

We may get back in and we have everything set up to be able to do. We probably will end up doing that at some point down the road here. I want to see what inventory changes in our local area. If inventory changes, we have more on the MLS, I might continue blasting the MLS just because it’s free. We use our VA. She makes all the offers for us and whatever comes back. That was really handy. She writes everything up, sends it, emails the agents. If we get a lot of, “No way. We’re not taking that offer. We get some who are like, “This could be interesting. We could work and we can go back and forth.”

Do you have a cover letter also?

We haven’t developed a cover letter too much now. That’s something we probably should do to make it seem a better presentation probably.

Let me give you an idea. You’re going to love this. When we used to do that. What we would do is we would have a cover letter. We had a buyer’s agent for everybody. It wasn’t us, it was the buyer’s agent. The buyer’s agent would do a little cover letter. It said, “Please find attached an offer for your property at 125 Oak Street. I know it’s not anywhere near list and please don’t be offended or it’s not made offend the seller but my client is a cash buyer. They buy and sell a lot of properties and I’ve closed a lot of deals with them. Sellers like you and realtors like you have been very surprised at the outcome when they thought the seller would never take it off for like this, but 30 days later they’re cashing a commission check. Please run it by the seller and see if you can get us a counteroffer.” It’s something like that. It takes down that defense. Here’s the bottom line. It lets them know, “You’re not going to sell it here. We’re not going buy it here, but take a look at our offer and give us a counter and let’s meet somewhere in the middle.”

That’s a great way to do it. That’s something I definitely going to have to look at implementing here for sure. That’s something that definitely can help. I have a question for you. You’ve been investing in real estate since 1986. You’ve seen several market cycles. Where do you think this market cycle is going?

Trees don’t grow to the sky. Markets go up and markets go down. We are going to have a downturn. You’re already seeing some areas start to slow down. The way you can tell is the higher price properties, the luxury homes, the more expensive houses, it starts by them getting longer days on the market and then they start dropping the price a little bit. In some areas of the country, it’s already happening. You’ve just got to be prepared by stashing cash for the crash, but the market is going to start turning down. It’s not going to be anywhere near like it was in 2008 because you didn’t have the over exuberance of lending. You don’t have that now like you had then. What I think is you need to start being prepared. You need to start having a fire alarm.

In other words, “What am I going to do if the bottom drops out?” I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to do nothing different than I already do and I will tell you why. It’s because I’m in small town USA and I’m into cheap houses. A $30,000 house is always going to be a $30,000 house. I don’t care what happens to the market up or down, it’s always got to be about a $30,000 house. The same thing with the $50,000 house, the same thing with the $10,000 house. When the market turns, I’ll be able to get little better deals, but it’s not that big a deal at all. The better deals are probably going to be on the bank home properties. I’m already getting those better deals now by going direct-to-seller, but when the market turns, I can save a lot of money on marketing and just pick up these same houses cheaper off the MLS or HUD.

In 2009 after the crash happened, we started wholesaling bank-owned properties. We were getting spreads of $50,000, $55,000 or $60,000 on some of these properties. There were properties listed for $230,000 that we were picking up for $90,000 off HUD. It was awesome. We’re not going to get that kind of spread again anymore, but still, I do agree with you. There’s definitely going to be a crash or a downturn. We just don’t know to what extent. The lending is not a big issue right now, so people are a little bit better off there. Probably some REOs but not as many as we had back then. It was such a glut of inventory they had with REOs.

That’s so true but you’ve got to be ready. You’ve got to have that plan in place.

Have the cash in hand and be ready to buy because you make your money during the crashes. That’s when you make it. Have the cash in hand ready to be able to pounce on those markets. There’s a couple of them, I wish I would’ve held as rentals for a short period of time because I could have turned them for a ton more later. That’s what are on the bridge. We make great wholesale fees on them. I don’t regret it one bit.

There's a buyer for every house at the right price. Click To Tweet

The only downside with wholesaling is every month you go from hero to zero and you’ve got to swim over. That’s the only downside, but look at all the money you make. A lot of people think, “There’s no way I could do this.” It’s not that difficult to have $100,000 a month. Once you get into it and you get comfortable, just get that very first deal. Get one deal under your belt. I don’t care if you make $3,000 on that deal. What’s that going to do to your confidence level? It’s going to go way up. I tell people, “It’s very important that your first deal is a home run. Don’t try to do a marginal deal.” People get into the mode of, “I got to get a deal.” No, you got to get a good deal. Make sure it’s a good deal and you’re going to make money on it. I see people that talk to me about, “I got this house I can pick up for $250,000. I think I can wholesale it for $255,000.” If you’re a Poker player, that’s not good pot odds. It’s $250,000 chasing $5,000. I would a lot rather spend $15,000 and sell it for $30,000.

We push that to our students. We review every deal that they get. We tell them, “Don’t send a deposit on this one. Get rid of this one. Let it go another market cycle or let it go another cycle or two on the auction.” It’s something that’s really important because your first deal, if it’s a good one, you build that confidence and you’re ready to roll with more. If that first deal is tight or you’re losing money, you start to lose confidence. It’s important on those first deals to really do well. I agree with you. You want that home run. It spurs everything. All the momentum builds. Larry, where can people reach you? I know you’ve got a lot of good programs and systems that you sell and I’ve bought some in the past. I bought the MLS one. Where can people reach you?

My main website is LarryGoins.com. If they would like to get a free copy of my book, I’ve written a couple of books. The first one is HUD Homes Half Off and the other one is Getting Started in Real Estate Day Trading: How to Buy and Sell Houses the Same Day Using the Internet. That’s what I do. You can call my outsourced virtual assistant from India. You could call her at 877-Larry-Go. If she’s on the other line or whatever, she does all of our marketing for our properties and stuff too. She’s also in our accounting department. She’ll get you a free copy of these books.

These books are tremendous. Larry’s programs are awesome. If you follow what he says there, you will do well. There’s no doubt. One of my first deals I did off the MLS was from his program. As matter of fact, when you were selling the system, it’s somewhere around $750 or $850. You said, “If you get a deal, you prove it and send it to me, I’ll send you your money back,” and you did.

We sell that for $788 and then I updated it later and we started selling it for $1,288. We’ve literally sold thousands and thousands of them. I used to travel around all over the country and I was on the road more than I was home. I don’t do that anymore. I love staying in the office. I love hearing the bell ring and doing deals and own the phone buying and selling properties. That’s what I enjoy doing. That’s what we do now.

You’re a true virtual investor that way too and I feel the same way. I don’t want to go running around and do all these different trade shows and these organizations coming to dig in this state and that one. Everything we can do in real estate now with technology, we have right here at our desk, we can do everything. You literally don’t have to leave your desk to be able to do this business and make money. You can do it in your underwear if you wanted to.

The other cool thing that I don’t know if it’s cool or bad or not, but going direct-to-seller, you find a lot of houses that have stuff. I’m old school. I’m 58 years old. I can’t leave valuable stuff in a house. I can’t do it. I’ve got a workshop that I built and it’s got compressors and it’s got generators. All kinds of power tools and everything that people just left behind. We bought a house in Forest City and the lady I bought it from in Florida, her mom lived there. When she went and picked up her mom in Forest City, they locked the door and went back to Florida. When her mom passed away, she sold me the house. It’s a 2,000 square-foot house with about a $200,000 ARV. It’s got everything in it. There are two double garages out back full of stuff. This is a house that we bought and paid for. We’re going to start going up there and going through the stuff. It’s almost like treasure hunting and the seller told me, “I wish I had time to do this. I really don’t. Don’t be surprised if you find some cash because my mom was really bad about having cash in different places.” We’re taking our kids up there. It’s like a treasure hunt.

You’re going to have a little extra on that wholesale fee, plus these are things that if you want to have a yard sale, you make some money on.

That’s what we’re planning on doing. We’re planning on having yard sales and have the kids work the yard sale and stuff. It will be a family thing and it’ll be fun. We’ll make money at the same time.

I have one more question for you. With what Zillow is doing and with what Amazon’s plans for the future with real estate, how do you think that’s going to affect us mom and pop investors?

It’s not going to affect me and you. It’s going to affect the fix and flip guys. It’s going to affect the higher priced areas in the MSAs. You and I have a very similar model, except for right now I’m doing direct mail and right now you’re doing MLS and auctions. We do small towns, cheap houses and Amazon, Zillow and Facebook are not going after that market. They’re going after the median price and up market. We’re going after the cheap stuff so it’s not going to affect us one bit.

That’s why I love the markets like the Carolinas. I love Indiana and Ohio and parts of Georgia as well. In these markets, if there is a big economic downturn, you’re not going to get hit. Those prices are what they are. They’re stabilized. It can’t go down. There’s no room for them going there because there’s cashflow ability for people to rent.

That is so true and there’s a buyer for every house at the right price. Remember this too, everybody needs a place to live. Somebody might think, “There’s no way anybody would ever live there.” Somebody would love to call that home and fix it up.

Larry, I really appreciate it. You’ve given us so much information here. It’s tremendous. I always love talking with you. I always love brainstorming with you.

FO 1 | Small Town Real Estate


Thank you so much. I really appreciate you having me on and I’m the first guest.

We got to start with a bang. You have been doing it for a long time. This can’t start out better than that and there was nobody else I’d want to start with other than you, Larry.

Thanks. I appreciate that. That means a lot.

You help me when I was first getting started. I was doing a lot of fix and flips. You showed me this wholesaling method and put another tool in my tool belt because I was always fixed and flip because I had a construction background. It changed everything for me and the wholesaling thing is like, “Why do I want to do anything but wholesale?” I do occasional fix and flips locally to keep some guys busy, but otherwise, wholesale. Some of the owner finance land contract deals, lease options and pick up an occasional rental. I appreciate it. People, reach out there to Larry. He’s got great programs and an awesome system and all the tools in his tool belt, these are tools that you’re going to want to utilize yourself.

Thanks a lot. I appreciate it.

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About Larry Goins

FO 1 | Small Town Real EstateLarry has been investing in real estate for over 30 years. Previously, Larry served as president of the Metrolina Real Estate Investors Association in Charlotte NC, a not-for-profit organization that has over 350 members and is the local chapter of the National Real Estate Investors Association.

Larry is an active real estate investor and travels throughout the United States speaking and training audiences at conventions, expos, and Real Estate Investment Associations on his strategies for buying and selling houses.

Larry has also written several books on real estate investing that are available wherever books are sold.

Larry and Kandas are also the hosts of the BRAG Radio Network. BRAG is all about investing in real estate to Be Rich And Generous.

Between speaking engagements and mentoring other investors, Larry oversees the daily operations of his investing business that wholesales properties, seller finances properties and holds properties for investment.

On a personal note, Larry and his wife, Pam, have two children, Linda and Noah. He also has a granddaughter, Ember and grandson Keagan. They are a member of New River Community Church in Lake Wylie, SC. As a husband, father, businessman, and real estate investor, Larry holds true to his core values and moral integrity.

“People and principles before profits.”