Today we have Alex Pardo with us, a real estate investor, coach, adventurer, and sports enthusiast. He is the founder of FlipEmpire and its parent company, Creative RE-solutions. He began working in corporate America and after working stressful 75-hour weeks, he quit and found his calling in real estate investing. To date, Alex has flipped over 500 homes.
Insight of the Week:
3 skills to master for acquisitions:
1) Analyzing deals
2) Building rapport
3) Be hungry
3 John 1:4
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
In this show, you’ll learn:
- Alex’s background
- The year he really started (going to seminars, sending direct mails, etc.)
- Why he started his podcast
- Advice to people/newbies
- The answers he gets when he asks people what they want and why
- His morning routines
- His routines at night
- What he and his team does to find deals
- How he does skip tracing
“I always start with the simple question, ‘what do you want and why?’”
“Money is just a tool, it’s just paper.”
“Your desired lifestyle is usually a lot cheaper than you might think it is.”
“If you’re in real estate and you think you wanna do this long-term, treat it like a business, don’t treat it like a hobby.”
“I genuinely try to wake up better the next day than I did the previous day.”
“Whatever’s not consistent is non-existent.”
“Your goal should be to be in a room with people where you’re the dumbest person.”
Profile: Alex Pardo
Thanks for Listening!
Brian: Brett, I am your wholesaler.
Brett: Do you want to buy a house from me? Let the force be with you. This is the Simple Wholesaling podcast episode 102.
Welcome to Simple Wholesaling. A Christian podcast that supplies simple, yet effective content for real estate investors and business entrepreneurs. Get advice, tips, and tricks so that you can stay true to your values and achieve your dreams with real estate investing you can trust. Now, introducing your host, Brett Snodgrass.
Brett: What is up all you Simple Wholesalers out there? Thank you for joining us again on another episode of the Simple Wholesaling podcast. I am your host, Brett Snodgrass, and I am with my amazing beautiful co-cost, Brian Snider. What is up man?
Brian: How is it going?
Brett: Good. That was an amazing Darth Vader impersonation you just did.
Brian: I am not a Star Wars guy at all so I did my best and I apologize for all the Star Wars fans out there because that was absolutely horrible.
Brett: I would say out of a one out of ten, that was like a minus three.
Brett: But it was good man. How was my Yoda?
Brian: It was good.
Brett: Let the force be with you.
Brian: I feel like it was good anyway. I honestly I do not know.
Brett: The green guy.
Brian: I know who Yoda is but I cannot tell you what he does or anything.
Brett: That is right. We are a real estate wholesalers investors, we are not Star Wars enthusiasts. It is okay. You guys, apologize for all that. The reason that we did that is because we are going to be talking with our guest today, Alex Pardo. He runs a podcast called The Flipping Empire. If you have watched Star Wars, this is The Flipping Empire Strikes Back. I totally did that today but stay tuned for that. He is a good friend of mine and we are in a Mastermind Group called the Collective Genius together. He is a wholesaler out of Miami, Florida. Cool dude and he has flipped over 500 homes and he has an amazing business and his spreads are absolutely crazy.
We are talking about our margins here, our hustling margins, about six grand, seven grand, and he start talking about fifty grand. Obviously it is a different market but he is a cool guy. Anyways, what is new, Brian? How are you?
Brian: Pretty good
Brian: Not too bad.
Brett: How are you feeling about this is your what? Like sixth episode in and getting your feet wet at the Simple Wholesaling podcast?
Brian: I am a little less nervous back here behind the desk. Yes, I think it is going alright.
Brett: I think you did an amazing job man.
Brian: I think when you have guest like Alex on here, it makes it just a lot easier because he just gives a ton of insights that are just great for real estate investing, for life, and everything. It is really easy to come up with questions.
Brian: For stuff like that. Yes, that makes it easy when you have good guests.
Brett: He is like the wise wise man. The wise empire strikes, right?
Brett: Yes. Okay. Anyways, stay tuned for that and we wanted to send a shout out to one of our audience member who left us a podcast review. If you guys are interested in leaving a review, please go to iTunes right now. You can actually go straight through your iPhone. Go to your podcast, search for the Simple Wholesaling podcast and leave a review right there on your podcast app. This is from blue02ss, I always love the names on iTunes. I do not understand what any of them mean but blue02ss has left us a five stars and sure and sweet to the point. He says, ‘I have enjoyed listening to this podcast. Brett really knows real estate and even gives the God the glory He deserves. I will be listening more.’ Thank you so much, Blue. You are my boy, Blue. You are my boy.
Brian: I was waiting to see how long it will take you to do that. You always put it on, it is cool.
Brett: Yes. Anyways…
Brian: Thank you very much. You guys, please leave a review because like we sit back here behind the desk and we do not have an audience in front of us so we never know what everybody is thinking and stuff. We would love to hear your feedback, we would love to hear what you think about us so feel free to give us a review on iTunes.
Brett: You know what we should do? We should invite people in our studio so we have like the old comedies. We have the studio audience where people laugh and cheer.
Brian: I love that.
Brett: We should do that.
Brian: We should do that.
Brett: We should invite our wholesaling meet up over and we would do that one time. If you guys want that, let us know and we will put in some laughs.
Brian: We would do a live podcast of the meet up.
Brett: That is true.
Brian: That would be great and that would also be one less meet up I have to plan before that.
Brett: There you go. That is awesome.
Brett’s Insight of the Week
Now, simple tips and tricks that make real estate investing easier, faster, and better. Brett’s Insight of the Week.
Brett: For today’s Brett’s Insight of the Week guys, we are going to be talking about three skills to master for acquisitions. If you have been in the wholesaling game or real estate game at all, you know that the money is made in the acquisitions department and here are three skills that you have to master in order to be successful at acquiring good deals at a discount. Number one, you have to be a master at analyzing deals. People sometimes really get caught up in this, that is where they get paralyzed by analyzing deals. We call that analysis paralysis and it is something to watch out for.
I believe that you really have to know your area, you have to know the comps. A lot of times people get hung up on figuring out the repair and how much the estimate is for repairs on a property. I would say fall around a couple of contractors and learn, if they are doing a full rehab, learn their quotes and how much it cost to repair the houses. That is where you really learn. I learned the most about repairing houses when I was actually flipping house. A lot of people do not have the capacity or the time and the money to do that so up next to that is to fall around a contractor and a few of their properties and learn how to find out the repair estimates. But maybe do not even get into all of that, I would really focus on the comps in your area and instead of you find your ARV, the pretty comps, and those are the pretty houses that are already fixed up around your area, but if you have an ugly house like we buy a lot of, also look at the ugly comps.
Look at the REO comps, look at the houses that need a lot of work, what are those selling for on the MLS and that can give you a general idea of hey here is what it probably could sell for if it was fixed up. But if it is not fixed up, here is what it is selling for as is and now and go buy that. Learning how to analyze deals is number one. Number two is building rapport. This is key and crucial when you are talking to sellers that are motivated to sell properties. It is not about the numbers all the time, it is not about figuring out the best price, a lot of it is do they like you? Do they relate to you? You need to talk to a lot of motivated sellers out there that do not really relate to you, they are not like you. Maybe they like sports and you do not like sports, maybe they like cats and you do not like cats, maybe they like surfing and you just like sitting in your basement.
I do not really know what it is but when they start talking about their interests, try to find some sort of commonality what you can talk to them about and you can talk them about in a good way that you know something about that you can build that commonality, build that rapport to get them to like you, to like to hang out with you, to feel comfortable with you, to trust you and that is where that rapport comes in. Number three, this is what my biggest pet peeves that I talked to my team about, that I preach, is showing up day in and day out, being hungry. What are you going to do that that the next wholesaler is not going to do?
Maybe they want to sleep in until eight o’clock and you need to get up at six o’clock and get that extra work in analyzing deals, looking at your lists, building that rapport, putting your to do list down. What are you going to do that nobody else is doing and you have to be hungry in this business. You have to take action, you have to really hit it hard, especially at the beginning. Once you have built that system up, you scaled a little bit, yes maybe you can take the foot off the gas for a little bit but at the beginning especially you have to be hungry and you have to go out there and crush it. Analyzing deals, building rapport, and being hungry. Those are the three master skills that you have to have when you are working in acquisitions department.
Do you dream of a life that is purpose-driven and makes a difference? Spiritual Foundation.
Brian: Alright, now we are going to move into the Spiritual Foundations. Today we are going to go to the 3 John 1:4, ‘I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.’ I just want to talk about this verse a little bit as I have like kind of two stories that happened this week that I thought were really cool. As I got to see just children walking in the truth of God. One of them is I got to hang out at the Snodgrass house the other day with Brett and his family and it was so cool. Like within the first two minutes that I was there, his son Ethan came running out. Like brought me all those pictures that he got to do at church that day with his little Bible group and he showed me his pictures that he drew of the Jesus face and talking about how he was praying for people and just all the little things that he got to do with his little group at church.
I thought that was really cool because he is just so excited about it and just really that is what he want to do. He just wanted to show off and kind of talk about what he did a church. I thought was really cool. Then something else happened this week too. My nephew is in second grade and I heard the story about basically like at they are also around a group one day and they were just talking about a bunch of different stuff and somehow the church got brought up. My nephew was talking about how he does not go to church. Right away, all of his little friends like they were instantly worried about him. They want to know just why he does not go to church and had all these questions for him and everything. But then kind of coming off of that, the next day a little girl from his class like came up to him and said, ‘Hey, I just want you to know that I talked to my mommy about it and I want to invite you to go to church with us next week. It is really cool.
We can kind of talk about our walk with faith and just like everything that we have done just in our churches, in our service projects, stuff like that. But it is just so cool when you can see young children, really just of any age, just be developed in prayer and just be excited about Jesus and who he is and just on mission. The innocence behind it, just the excitement that they get from it, there is nothing like it. It is just so cool.
Brett: Yes. Definitely man. Thanks for coming out to Snodgrass house and that was pretty cool. My son, he always does that. Ethan., he always get so excited about whether he is doing papers in school or church and I actually felt terrible because that very same day I was cleaning out a bunch of stuff and my wife, Karen, she never throws away any of his papers so literally there was about four weeks of all this papers stacked up and I was going through them and you cannot keep everything. I was tossing stuff away and I was keeping the good stuff because we have a box for both my sons and all my kids, that special box, that they can look at when they are 30 years old. I was keeping the special stuff and I was throwing everything away and I was looking at those church papers that he got that exact same day and I was thinking well these are not that special and so I threw them away.
After I looked at him, and he literally, I think when you guys got there or a little bit before that, he was so concerned because he could not find his papers and I had to tell them that they are in the trash can. He had to dig them out the trash. Luckily they did not have the barbecue sauce on them or tossed rotten apples on them or anything like that. They are still in good condition but I felt so bad and because he was so happy and filled with joy. It is about his paper, it is about his work and he is just proud of it.
It is just simple things and I love that about kids and I get to see that every day just working with my kids. They do not care about the big things, they care about me getting underneath the blanket with them or snuggling with them or playing monster with them or building a block tower with them and that is what they get so excited about. I think that if we, as adults, can embrace that and that is where Jesus talks about coming to God like a child, like an innocent child and that story about was it Lionel?
Brett: Lino, yes. It is just so amazing because as adults, we get so afraid to ask our neighbors to church and it was awesome to see the kids so concerned about someone that they are not getting fed the gospel. If us, as adults, we can just have 50% of that. That when we see somebody not going to church, that we are thoroughly concerned for them, man that was just so amazing. Such a good story. Thanks for sharing that, Brian. Appreciate that dude. Guys, we are going to get into our interview now with a good friend of mine, like I said, Alex Pardo. You are not going to want to miss this. He is the founder of FlipEmpire.com. He came from the corporate world where he is working 75 hours a week and he said, ‘You know what? This is crap and I do not want to do this anymore.’ Now, he has flipped over 500 homes. He is out at Miami, Florida. Stay tuned.
Brett: Alright, guys. We are so excited to have a good friend of mine, Alex Pardo, with us today. Alex hails from Miami, Florida. He has been a real estate investor for about a decade or more now. He is a coached, he is an inventor, and I am super excited to talk about that. What all his tales are about all that. He is a sports enthusiast, he is service oriented which fits so much with our show at Simple Wholesaling, that is why we had him on. He is also the founder of FlipEmpire.com and its parent company Creative RE Solutions. He began his career in corporate America and realized after working 75 hours a week, this is not the gig for him. He decided to quite cold turkey and go into full time real estate investing. Today, Alex has flipped over about 500 homes, give or take about a hundred. We are so excited to have you on the show, Alex. How are you doing man?
Alex: Hey, Brett. I am doing fantastic in every way man. Super blessed and grateful to be on the show man so thanks for having me.
Brian: Awesome. We are so excited to have you and let us just start with… Give us a little bit about your background. You are in corporate America, decided that was not for you, got into real estate investing. How did that transition happened and just kind of give us a little the background for us?
Alex: Yes. In college, I had aspirations of climbing the “corporate ladder” and I thought I wanted to be a future CFO or CEO of a big company, the Fortune 100 companies. I remember going into college, that was always my goal. For whatever reason, I do not know if it was the title or the prestige of it, I just felt like I wanted to lead a really really big company. My junior year in college I started interviewing with companies like Johnson and Johnson, General Electric, Pfizer and companies like that.
I ended up getting a job offer from General Electric for their financial management program which I was really stoked about because it is a program where only about 25 to 30 people a year get accepted at the time anyway. I remember when I saw the letter, they were offering me I think it was $47000 or $48,000 a year, I was 20 years old at that time, I thought that was like all the money in the world. I jumped all over the opportunity and I will never forget two or three months into that job, I was working like… Towards the end of the month we have to close the company books and all that stuff and I was averaging for those two months, my first two months in the business, I was averaging 70 plus hours a week and all I did was work, looking at Excel and PowerPoint. Like that was my entire job and it just hit me like a ton of bricks guys that there was no possible way that I could have the freedom that I really wanted.
I love traveling and so I knew that was not really going to be possible just working so much. I looked at my bosses, I looked at the CFO of the division that I was in within General Electric and that guy would put in 70 or 80 or 90 hours a week like it was nothing. I was just like there is no way, like this is not what I want for my life. Not only did I not enjoy it, but I just felt in my core it was not for me. I started kind of… I went back to the drawing board, I decided to finish that two year commitment with General Electric but I started looking at alternatives and I was like okay I want to move back to Miami in a couple of years and I want to start my own business because I really felt that that was the only way I was going to achieve the freedom that I was after.
I had read Rich Dad Poor Dad, I always had an interest in real estate and I started just doing some research online and I came across a program called No Money Down by an old school guy named Carleton Sheets.I am sure probably a lot of your listeners have heard of him. What I learned in that course was not really applicable. I found out but it got me going on that path. At that point, I made a decision. When I finished this program, when I moved back down to Miami, I am going to start a real estate business.
Now, I did not know what that looked like how I was going to do it but I have always been someone that when I commit to something and I kind of set my sights on it, I will make it happen one way or the other and that was just my mentality at the time. But before I did that, Brett you mentioned that I am an adventurer and I absolutely love traveling and so I was single at the time, I was in between careers, and so I had an opportunity to go backpacking around Europe with a couple friends of mine as so for three and a half months right before I started and gone to real estate. I think we went to like 53 cities and like 24 countries in a three and a half month period.
I was telling you guys before we started recording, I never forget kind of my fork in the road moment. I was at an internet cafe in Ibiza, towards the tail end of that trip, you got to remember at this point it is not like I was staying in fancy hotels or anything, at one point we slept under a bridge, we were sleeping in hostels, we were bouncing around from place to place, just absolutely roughing it. My credit card was like almost maxed out, I did not have any money to my name. I got an e-mail from a buddy of mine that was going to a boot camp in Atlanta and the name of the boot camp was marketing for deals.
I had no idea what that meant but it was about real estate and so even though I did not have money, I put the last $997 on my credit card, I attended that seminar, and right when I got back I essentially took out one of the letters in the manual that I got at that boot camp and I sent out about 300 to 400 to people that were in pre-foreclosure and fast forward about 60, 65, 70 days later give or take, I ended up closing my first deal which was $44,000 and that almost replaced my salary at my corporate job. That was back in end of 2005 and I have not looked back ever since.
Brian: That is a great first deal right there, $44,000.
Brett: That is a lot. My first deal is six.
Alex: Unfortunately, I was spoiled and I thought every deal was going to be like forty plus. I quickly found out that was not the case but it was a pretty good first deal.
Brett: That is. That is a pretty sexy first deal. Mine was six. Which is still a lot. That is a crazy amount of money for me at that time.
Alex: Hey, $6,000 is a lot of money dude, however you slice it. That is right, that is cool. It is funny how our paths crossed. My brother actually worked for GE in the financial department in Cincinnati.
Brett: I got a little bit of feel about what he did. Yes, a lot of spreadsheets, a lot of power points. He works at Purdue now here in Indiana.
Brett: That is pretty cool but let us get back to you, Alex. Kind of fast forward, you are in real estate, you got some deals. What year was that when you really started, when you went to the seminar, you started sending Direct Mail? What time frame was that?
Alex: Yes. This was October 2005, October 14th or 15th, like middle October that I went to that marketing for deals boot camp. That deal closed sometime in January 2006.
Brett: Awesome. You actually started in 2005, that is a few years before I had started and I felt like I always am curious about people that started 2005 before the market kind of took a shift, right?
Brett: I want to hear your story with that. You started doing deals, did you really get hurt during that time or kind of fast forward us up to today?
Alex: Yes. One of the biggest mistakes I made, Brett, I saw coaching and mentoring as an expense instead of looking at it as an investment. From two 2005 through 2007, I basically did it all on my own and I made just a ton of mistakes. The only deal I really got hurt on, fortunately for me it did not set me back too much, is in 2007. I took on a partner to go at this one particular deal. It was more of a luxury property. This property, the after repaired value of it was about 750, 775. We had an opportunity to buy it for 525. But keep in mind up, up to this point, I have probably done I do not know 20 to 30, 35 wholesale deals in the first couple years in business and so that was all I knew. I had done some subject to deals and some lease options but I had never taken on a rehab, a fix and flip.
We felt that about $200,000 to $250,000 in equity on this kind of property, it would make sense to take it down and fix and flip it and that was probably not the wisest decision. This was middle 2007 and so everybody knows what happens six to twelve months later. We ended up holding the bag on that deal. We estimated it was going to take about $50,000, it ended up being slightly more than double what the rehab was. We miscalculated there just a bit and my partner ended up buying that property in his name and we each put in about $51,000 to $52,000 into that deal and we lost it all.
I lost about $51,000 or $52,000 in that deal. I am just fortunate that I had a savings to fall back on. I was wholesaling and I was I was being smart with that money. I just was not going out and blowing it. I was putting it back into marketing, I was putting a little bit of a nest egg aside. Fortunately, that allowed me to kind of get through that shift in the market because I know a lot of friends that were just taking down properties and they were speculating and a lot of people got hurt. Some people went bankrupt, some they just lost the property in foreclosure and for me it was a big learning lesson.
I know that if I would have had somebody in my corner to kind of steer me in the right direction, I would have saved a lot of stress, headache, and money obviously. Around that time, 2005 and 2007, it seem like if you had a pulse you could make money in real estate. I quickly found out that we were benefiting from the market at that point. It was a big lesson learned. Yes, that is one of the ways I really got hurt during that time but like I said I was able to recover fairly quickly from it.
Brian: Yes. I know you said and kind of talk that you generally have… You are kind of doing it on your own, you do not have anybody in your corner like to kind of help you, coach you and stuff. I know now you have your own podcast called the Flip Empire. Is that why there is a kind of or purpose behind that, just be able to kind of speak out to people and kind of help them a little bit?
Alex: Yes, a great question man. I have always had a passion for helping people. I have always just been, like you mentioned Brett, service oriented. I felt like that is God’s calling. One of my callings is to help people and sold, this is crazy saying this, I am not passionate about real estate per se. I enjoy it, I like it, I feel like I am good at it, but will I do it if I was not getting paid, probably not. You know what I mean? But to me I use real estate as a vehicle, as a tool, to help people to obviously help myself and my family. I always knew I wanted to leverage some sort of platform to help others like at Mass or at scale I should say and I have never been one to kind of be out front and center, being a public speaker. I knew I did not want to travel and sell courses or anything like that and so I launched the Flip Empire show back in June of 2016 and it has been awesome.
It has opened up so many doors, opportunities, and why I do it is every… When I get e-mails or when I get messages on Facebook of people that tell me, ‘Hey, I heard this show. I loved it and I have implemented and these are the results,’ or ‘Hey, this has change the course of my life.’ When I hear stuff like that, it just gives me all the fuel and the motivation to kind of keep pouring into that podcast so that is why I did it. When I launched it, I was not trying to monetize it through coaching or anything although I have had those opportunities. It was more because I enjoy talking shop and I like helping people.
Brett: That is cool. Definitely, like mine did, we love helping. That is why we do this show as well. It is kind of I do not make any money I mean I guess for the show.
Brian: We spend money on it.
Brett: We spend money but we just enjoy doing it and just helping people and pouring in the people. I really want to talk to the newbies out there, the people that are kind of in your shoes back in 2005, when you are getting ready to go to that conference, you are talking to them right now.
Brett: You have mentioned you are able to coach some people so if you are bringing in a student and they have not done a lot of deal, is there some structure? What do you start out with? What do you tell them? Can you give some advice to this people out there that are really interested in getting out of the rat race, getting out of corporate America and getting into real estate, but always get the question where do they start? Can you take us into that and how do you start people out?
Alex: Yes, absolutely. I do not think it is a cookie cutter approach. I do not think that you can just take anybody and say okay here is how you get started because there is so many different paths to success and the truth is is that I always start with what do you want? Like start with the end in mind and then let us come up with a game plan to reverse engineer that process. I am really drawn to Lifeonaire, it is one of the masterminds that I am a part of. Lifeonaire essentially is about creating a vision for your life first and then building a business that supports that vision and that lifestyle that you want, whatever that might be. I always like to start and ask people like what do you want and why do you want that?
That sounds very basic and just not sexy but I truly believe that that is the start because somebody that tells me, ‘Hey, I want this in my life.’ Well, I might tell them okay, well maybe this is not the best niche for you, right? Maybe this is another way to accomplish without all the brain damage that goes with building a business. I always start with kind of simple question, what do you want and why? What is interesting guys is that most of the time that I asked that question, I kind of either get a blank stare or they kind of mumble and they are just not sure and what is interesting to me is that most people spend more time planning a dinner or planning a weekend trip than they do planning their life. I always just like to figure out like hey, in an ideal, if I gave you a magic wand and you could wave it at your life, what does this life look like and what is truly important about whatever you are going to tell me?
That is where I started and then based on that, I kind of guide them not so much like hey here is what you need to do because again I think everybody’s path is going to be different but based on my experience and what I have done, I try to lean on that to help people and kind of come up with a custom plan for whatever it is that they are looking to achieve. Does that make sense?
Brett: Yes, definitely. I went to our last… We are part of the same Mastermind Group and Lifeonaire was at that Mastermind Group. They really opened my eyes and I honestly have been thinking about it for the past couple of months. It is still hard for us, especially as entrepreneurs, to sit down and to plan our life and to figure out what do we want. Sometimes I even feel like I got into real estate to get out of the rat race to find myself ten years later in the rat race because I am in my business so much. I think it is a great plan to start off with what you want. What are some of the answers that you get? Is it always like I want a million bucks or do you try to like ask them some questions to really drawl out, but to really get to the answer like what their bottom line is, what do they actually need and all that?
Alex: Yes, absolutely. What I find is that most people say they want money, right? But when you really like just drill down to it, it is not so much the money they want because money is just a tool. It is just paper, right? But it is what they feel the money can do for them. It typically boils down to freedom, for many people it boils down to family. They want to be able to provide for their family, what they want their significant other to feel secure and safe. They want experiences, right? Yes, they are people that want the sexy toys and the shiny objects, that is perfectly fine.
I do not think there is anything wrong with that. I mean it is out there so go get it. But yes it is about asking questions and really like taking it out of them because it is you. You know what you want, you might not be able to verbalize it but I think a good coach is able to ask you questions like, Brett, you mentioned Lifeonaire. They were at that last Mastermind that we are a part of. Shaun, who is a good buddy of mine, like he is one of my coaches and he… Sometimes I am stuck and he will ask me questions and it makes me, it almost forces me to think different. When you ask yourself the right types of questions, it is usually going to draw out the best answers. Yes, it is really about just drilling down and figuring out okay well you say you want to make $20,000 a month but why do you want to make $20,000 a month? What I have found through Lifeonaire is that your desired lifestyle is usually a lot cheaper than what you might think it is.
Brian: It is true, yes.
Alex: That sounds crazy but if you really break it down to like what your desired lifestyle costs, for some people it could be $5,000 a month, for some people it could be a $100,000 a month and whatever the number is there is not a right or wrong. It is just usually I find that people say I want to make a million bucks but when you ask them and you break down their desired lifestyle, they can accomplish that for less in it. I just find that interesting and I did not know that prior to being exposed to Lifeonaire.
Brett: So cool.
Brian: Yes, definitely. I like that. Getting to the core of what you really want at life is really what you really need to look at as opposed to kind of what you think you want. Let us think about real estate, let us get back to that a little bit. What are some practices or maybe some tools that you use in your real estate to be able to get to those points of where you want in your life?
Alex: Yes. I will kind of lean on life first and then I think that is going to transition into your question with business. The first thing for me is my morning routine. I have gone through several variations of my morning routine but for me what I find is when I am able to get through that morning ritual, that morning routine, I feel like it just sets my day up for success. For me, that involves a combination of things from exercising, meditating, prayer. Then really launching into my day from there versus just I think a lot of people will get up in the morning, the first thing they do is they go to the bathroom, they check their phone, and then they start getting kind of reactionary mode. They see an e-mail, they see a fire they have to put out. I find it kind of changes your state and your mood.
By the way guys, I do not have everything figured out. Sometimes I fail at this but to the best of my abilities, I try not to even look at my phone for the first half hour or hour of the day. I typically like to wake up early and go through this process. For me, one of the things that I do is I watch. I have a six minute vision video that I created. The videos are made up of motivational speakers speaking in the background but then there is all these pictures of my family and vacations and people I am helping and charities and so things that are just important to me. I watch that religiously every single morning.
Brian: Wow, I like that. It is awesome.
Alex: I find that it just kind of puts a smile on my face. Yes, guys, to answer your question Brian for me is I go through this ritual. Then as far as the business is concerned, about three four months ago we implemented Traction, the entrepreneur operating system. Traction is definitely one book that I would highly recommend people read by Gino Wickman. We implemented the EOS, Entrepreneur Operating System, which if you read traction, you will learn more about that. One of the tools that we used from that system is our level ten meetings. Every Monday morning, for an hour and a half, I meet with the leadership team in my business and it is a very formulaic structured way of running a team meeting.
Ever since we have done that, it has just been a complete game-changer as far as the things that we execute and initiatives that we are able to move forward in the business. That book has had a big impact on my life obviously. The typical ones like Rich Dad Poor Dad, The E Myth by Michael Gerber, Tim Ferriss’ For Hour Work Week. I mean those are all books that everybody should read. I do not know about you guys, for me reading has… I go through kind of seasons where there is months where I will knock out two or three books and then sometimes I will kind of hit a little bit of a pause and I am consuming more content like on the podcast side but something that I think has really helped me as a leader, as an entrepreneur, and then just in general as a person, as a father, is just constantly striving to grow and it is cliche but I genuinely try to wake up better the next day than I did the previous day.
Brett: That is awesome. I mean I love the morning routine. That is something that I have tried to implement and I have struggled with it and I have kind of a routine but not like that video, that is amazing. It is just something simple and it probably would take you, what? Not very long to make something like that. Get some pictures of your family, get some motivational videos that you have and put a video together for six minutes and watch that every day. Yes, just something comes alive inside of you and I know that when I do get my morning routine, yes it definitely sets me for the day and I am happier, I am loving my family more, no matter the circumstances that happens throughout the day, it does not shake me as much. I am not a stressed and it is just awesome.
Brian: I think you brought up a really good point too and I know I am horrible at this but I wake up, first thing I do a lot of times is jump right on my phone, looking at my e-mail and then like you said, you think you are being productive because you are getting on there and you are answering e-mails, you doing that stuff, but really you are starting your day off being reactionary.
Brian: I thought that is a great point that you brought up. If you can just kind of get your day started the right way and then you can be productive after that. I think that would make a great tip.
Brett: Definitely. What do you do before you go to bed? Do you have any routines before you go to bed, Alex?
Alex: Yes. I have recently been exposed to this guy by the name of Ed Maillet, super successful guy. I think I mentioned earlier that I go through variations. I try to take best practices from successful people and I make them mine and so sometimes I do not always do this but I try to stay away from TV or the phone at least half an hour before bed. Again, sometimes my wife and I just want to hang out and just watch a show or something and every now and then we will do that but for the most part I try to just disconnect from technology like half an hour before bed and so I pray. I pray before I go to bed. I usually like to read in the morning but I also find that when I read at night, it kind of gets me sleepy and it allows me to kind of my subconscious to absorb more what I read or what I am thinking about. I do not know if that is bias or not but for me…
Brett: Is there certain books that help you fall asleep more? Because I know sometimes if I am reading a novel, it maybe makes me sleepy. But if I am reading a high intense business book, sometimes that jacks me up and I do not go to sleep at all.
Alex: Yes. No, I am totally with you. First, I do not really read fiction. Most of the books I read are either person or business…
Brett: I do not either. I just though you do need your romance novel.
Alex: No, not at all man. Not at all, dude. But yes, also for me, whenever I read something at night it is usually not a business book. It is not strategy, it is more personal development. I really believe in just kind of feeding the subconscious mind and so I want to go to bed with those types of thoughts.
Brett: So cool.
Alex: I do not have as much of a strict nightly ritual as I do with my morning one but just some tips I try to disconnect from electronics at least half an hour before, there is prayer involved, I usually read. I am a big fan of meditating. Although I do not really meditate at night unless I feel like I had a stressful day, it kind of puts me in a relaxed state but I prefer to meditate in the morning.
Brett: That is cool. This stuff is so good guys. I know we are not talking a lot about real estate but you have to start with this. Your mind is so powerful and it can set you off and set your day out on a positive note or on a negative note, whatever you… Or a proactive or reactive state like Alex talked about. I know when you are answering your e-mail on that phone and you read that nasty e-mail that is negative, then your whole day is a shot. That is why we are talking to some of the stuff but let us get really into just real estate to a few minutes before we go in the next section of the show. I know a lot of our guests really like to talk about finding deals, finding leads, is there any tips or advice that you are figuring out right now that you are using in your business to find good leads? I mean what is your team doing to find deals?
Alex: Yes. Great question, Brett. Our bread and butter has always been Direct Mail. When I got started in this business, I started like I said with pre-foreclosure and Direct Mail, and to this day we send out Direct Mail. The biggest tip that I will give us far is Direct Mail because there is a lot of moving parts when it comes to that is a couple things. Number one, whatever is not consistent is nonexistent. Meaning that I have gone through periods in my business where I have shut off the marketing funnel and that is the absolute worst thing in my opinion that you can do is you always always always have to be generating leads. I will take our Direct Mail campaign of X amount of thousands of pieces that we are mailing and we will break it up over a four week period so that every single week we have mail that is being dropped and we have calls and leads coming in versus just sending it all at once. I find that a lot of people will send out a mail campaign and they will not send the follow up, right? They are just not consistent with it.
That is the first tip is that with any marketing you do, you have got to be consistent. If you are going to commit to Direct Mail, if you are going to commit to whatever that might be, just stick with it and follow up. As you guys know, I do not know about you, but for us follow up probably 70% to 80% of our deals come from the follow up. Very rarely we hop on the phone with the seller and close that deal basically on the first call or two. It is usually involve some sort of follow up process. Direct Mail has always been our go to and as of the last probably eight to nine months, we have really leaned heavily on outbound cold calling. We have gotten some great great deals off of cold calling. I mean our average profit per transaction in this market off of Direct Mail is about $19,000 to $20,000 a deal. With Direct Mail, we average like between $45,000 and $50,000 a deal which is actually crazy for me.
Brett: That is for cold calling you mean?
Alex: Yes, for outbound cold calling. Yes. We will take our Direct Mail list and we will skip trace them. Skip trace is just a way to get contact information for those people, get updating mailing address, updated phone numbers. We have an outbound dialer that essentially will call these people and we just ask them. Hey, we keep it very simple, there is no magic behind this. Like, ‘Hey. Look, just curious. If you might be interested in a cash offer for your property or if you have even given any thought to maybe selling your property?’
Brett: I am going to ask you just two questions on this because I want to make this really actionable. You use the same list that you send Direct Mail out to, you use that same list to cold call, is that right?
Alex: Correct. That is right.
Brett: How do you skip trace and what service do you use to skip trace and get their phone numbers?
Alex: Yes. We use a service called TLO. If you guys go to TLO.com, that is the service. Now, just a little bit of a heads up. I will kind of give you a fair warning here, you got to make sure that whatever you do, obviously I am not an attorney or a CPA, just consult with a local attorney because there are compliance laws that you need to adhere to. There are some people that kind of throw caution to the wind and they just go crazy on the dialer and they just call everyone and their mom, that is one approach. We have started to look more, Brett, into the compliance and that is actually one of the things I will be talking about in our next mastermind is just how to remain compliant and kind of stay out of hot water. But yes, we use a service called TLO.
Just a tip, when you contact TLO, you do not want to say you are a real estate investor and you are going to… Essentially you do not have a relationship with these people because they may not approve your account and so fortunately for us we have been in business for a long time and just because of our track record we were able to get approved for an account and we use it. When we initially started skip tracing people, it was only the returned mail, okay?
We would send out Direct Mail, a small percentage of that would get returned to us because there was not a forwarding address or the property was vacant. Maybe there was a death in the family and so we would take those return mailers. We would skip trace them basically just we had somebody that would input he information into the system and then it would return their contact information. TLO is one service but there is other ones. There is LexisNexis, LexisNexis.com, they also provide skip tracing. There is a handful of others out there. I think IDI is another popular one that has been discussed in our mastermind but yes skip tracing is a fantastic way to reach people that many people are just not able to reach.
Brett: Awesome. You get the list, and I just want to hit home on this, you get the list and you get the number, who calls them?
Alex: I have a dedicated outbound caller. Somebody that her sole job is to jump on the phone and call these people, that is her only job. Really all she is trying to do, Brett, is we are not trying to close a deal in the phone. We just want the people that raise their hand and say, ‘Yes, I have a property that I might be interested in selling.’ She basically just submit that information into a web form that goes right into our CRM which is Podio and then I have my acquisitions team that will essentially follow up with them and process the lead from there.
Brett: Cool. Sounds good. Yes, that is a great strategy. I know that is becoming hotter in this day and age and we have heard about it at our Mastermind a couple of times and I think you always have to be changing and you always have to be… I think Direct Mail is great and Direct Mail has been working for us for the past few years. I do not know about you Alex, I have seen it become more competitive here in Indianapolis and I am sure in your market is the same.
Alex: Yes, for sure.
Brett: You have to find a different ways to get leads and I think cold calling, that is awesome. That is something that not a lot of people are willing to do because it is harder but those spreads sound really cool man, thanks for sharing. Hey, this is going to be in the show notes guys. If you go to our website at simplewholesaling.com/episode102. I think it is time for us to go into this section of the show that Brian and I like to call Going Deep.
Brian: Going Deep.
Brett: In this section of the show, Brian, why don’t you kind of shoot off the first question?
Brian: Alright. Alex, we know that you are part of the mastermind, the collective genius with Brett, I just kind of want to know what has that done for you, just in your life and in your business, that you are around other real estate investors that are basically just crushing it and doing a great job.
Brian: What does that mean to you to just kind of be around these people that are as successful or if not more successful than you and how to surround yourself with those people to help elevate you?
Alex: It forces you to elevate your game, it forces you to think different. When you think you have a lot going on and you are out there crushing it, you look to the left and you look to the right and you realize that you are not doing anything. I recently joined that particular Mastermind but I have always been a fan of just surrounding myself with just positive like-minded people because, like I said, it gets the best out of you. I am not trying to duplicate Brett’s path to success or yours or anyone else because I think there is just so many ways to get there and we all have our own unique ability per se but it is done everything for me.
I mean I think your goal should be to be in a room with people where you are the dumbest person and that might sound kind of harsh but when I am in that particular room, I feel like I am not doing anything. I look to guys like Brett and just other people and I am like I really need to step up my game. Legit, that is how I feel.
Alex: I absolutely love Mastermind.
Brian: I know being a part of like Brett’s team, we are always worried about when he goes to these Mastermind groups. He comes back and he is like we are fixing this or we are changing this or how do we do this.
Alex: There you go.
Brett: Yes, yes.
Brian: But that is good.
Alex: My team tells me the same thing.
Brian: I think it is so important whether it is in business. Surround yourself with people that are doing better than you. Like kind of Alex said, even if you are the dumbest person the room where you cannot be proud about that or let your pride jump in the way of that like that is okay. That is a good thing that you can learn from it. I think that goes for like spiritually too. Surround yourself with those people that are spiritually further along in their walk than you. Always helps out as well.
Alex: Yes, yes. I mean I have a spiritual coach and he is more than a spiritual coach. He is kind of like a life coach. I have been working with him since 2010. We have developed a really close relationship and this gentleman is in his 50’s. In draw of his life experience, I can draw from his challenges, his mistakes, and there is nothing more powerful to me than to be able to pick up the phone and call someone that you trust.
Someone that is dependable and you just bounce things because I certainly do not have life figured out. I do not think anybody does. I mean we all have our challenges, we all have our ups and downs and there is times where I need counsel and so whether that is being able to go to a coach or somebody in my Mastermind Group, I think that is the power of surrounding yourself with mentors and masterminds is that you can talk to people that have kind of been down that road and that counsel is just super super valuable.
Brett: Yes, definitely. Thanks for sharing, Alex. When you said that you feel like you are the dumbest person in the room at our Mastermind, I would agree that you are the dumbest person. I am just kidding.
Alex: Well, thank you. I appreciate the confirmation, Brett.
Brett: I am just joking with you, I am just messing. You talked about sounds like you have so many coaches. How do you have time to meet with all these coaches but it is so cool that you have because you are not only getting mentored in your business, you are getting mentored in your life. The Lifeonaire, the spiritual coach, that is awesome. Just talk about that, what does it mean to have your faith involved in your business?
How do you incorporate it all, how do you not separate at all because I know sometimes as entrepreneurs we get the world tugging us over here that we are supposed to be super successful, make all this money and drive this and live in this or whatever. Then you got the Bible over here telling us that if you are really rich, that it is difficult to enter the kingdom of heaven and all that. Talk about that, how do you balance all that? I want to hear it.
Alex: It is a tough balance, it really is. Like I said, I certainly do not have everything figured out. There is times where I feel like I have hit my stride and there is other times where I feel like I kind of fall back. Going back to Lifeonaire, I look at my vision, and so one of the things, if you ever look Lifeonaire, you break down your life into seven or eight different categories, right? For me, the top four are God first, God/faith. Family second, health third, and then business fourth. For me, those are my top four and so it probably sounds like I have a lot of coaches but I have a coach in Lifeonaire through that Mastermind then I have my spiritual coach or my life coach who I have been working with, like I said, since 2010.
Man, sometimes I fail. Sometimes there is, you know this, operating a business I mean there is so many moving parts and there is so many things going on and it is so easy to just get stuck into that go go go mentality that you forget about life and so that is why watching that vision video every morning, it kind of grounds me. Because there is not a whole lot of business in that video. Like yes, it is a tool, it is a vehicle. But it is more about my family, it is more about my faith, it is more about making an impact and helping people. Yes, that is why I think to kind of circle back to one of the questions you first asked me when I worked with somebody who is getting started in this business, I think it all boils down to like what you want, why you want and then make sure that is at the forefront because when you have that vision in place, I think it allows you to filter the decision making process.
Before, I used to have opportunities come my way and the question was how much money am I going to make? I am going to make a lot or if there is an opportunity okay let us do it. Now, I kind of run it through my vision. Okay, does it fit my vision regardless of how much money it makes? Then as far as faith is concern, I think if I am being just totally transparent with you guys, I think I can do a much much better job of incorporating faith into my business the way that you guys do. I start my day with prayer, I end my day with prayer.
If I am being just totally honest with you, I think I could do a much much better job of incorporating that faith into my business. I have not figured that out, what that looks like for me, and I certainly do not hide the fact that I am a man of faith. I mean I think I put it out there front and center but like I said I do not know that I have really made that a fabric of our business, right? Look at your business, Brett, I was really drawn to you. When you spoke at the last Mastermind, you know when you hear someone you are like that is somebody I can connect with, that is somebody I can relate to. We have really identified our core values and we live and breathe those core values and one of those is definitely being faith based whatever that might look like for you. For me, it is being a Christian.
Ever since I was a kid I was fortunate that I was just part of a school that they embed that in me and it has always been a part of who I am. But yes, like I said guys, I certainly do not want to sound like I had everything figured out because I certainly do not.
Alex: I do not know if that answers your question.
Brett: Yes, it does. Likewise man, I mean I met you at the last Collective Genius and just that connection was there and just watching your business and your team and everything and none of us have it all figured out. I think bottom line, I listen to you, I listen to your morning routine, I listen to things that you are doing that I skip out on sometimes and like man I think it is just if we can get better, and as a Christian, each day is a new beginning. I think that maybe that is why God created day and night because he wanted us to we go to sleep, we get up, and now here is a new journey. A new beginning each day, we can start fresh.
Brian: I love that.
Brett: That is what we have and just living in the moment. Yes, I fall back. I try to do my best and try to glorify God in everything that I do but we all fail, we can all get better. As Christians, we are just trying to get closer and be more like Jesus every day and that is what we are trying to do. Yes, man. Thanks for sharing. We appreciate you just opening it up here and everything that we have, what you are all about.
Alex: Brett, if you do not mind, if you can give me another minute or two because I think this can have a big impact on people.
Alex: One thing I did not mention before as I am hearing you speak is the last five six years, tithing has been a huge part of my life. I think that is one way that I have connected my business and how I am able to generate money for myself, my family, and for others is I am a huge huge huge advocate of tithing. Tithing is essentially the Bible calls it such first fruits, right? Taking 10% of everything that comes in and giving it to the church or wherever you get your spiritual food from. I am not here to tell you where you should send that money but I can tell you just my personal testimony is whenever things have gotten tight and I did not tithe, it got even tighter and the struggle was that much harder.
I have been tithing for five six or years consistently now. Just every single time we do a deal, a tithe comes from that. Even when things are tight, I feel like God is kind of testing you. When you tithe and you give that money away, something happens man. I do not know what it is and I can share with you a handful of stories but there has been several times where I will tithe and then like men within days or like within a week, something incredible happens. It could be something incredible financially or in my personal life and I really feel like that God is just kind of tapping me on the shoulder saying just trust me. You know what I mean?
Alex: Anyways, man that is the last thing I wanted to throw out because tithing has just made a huge impact on my life.
Brian: We really appreciate that. I am glad you do that in there and I am glad you just do that and it was great so I appreciate that.
Brett: Yes, definitely, I think God just did it. He does not need our money obviously. He just does it because… The Bible talks about money so much, is because it can have such a hold on us and God does not want anything to have a hold or control over us. That is why he asked us to do it. When you do that, and you open up your hand and you give it back to God, you are saying this does not have a hold on me and then I think God bless you for that. Thanks, Alex. Appreciate that.
Touch of Randomness
It is time for a Touch of Randomness.
Brett: In this last section of the show, we just want to end on a little bit of a lighter note. As you know, this is called the Touch of Randomness. Brian, why don’t you kick this off with the first question.
Brian: I think I read on your profile, on that your website Alex, that you are a fantasy football guy. Let us say that you have the first pick in your fantasy football draft next year, who are you taking?
Alex: Guys, I love this segment of the show man. I never thought I would be in a podcast that is not real estate. Talking about fantasy football.
Brett: There you.
Alex: Yes, I would go with one of the Steelers which is kind of ironic because I am a Cincinnati Bengals fan. If you know about football, you will know that the Bengals and the Steelers do not really like each other.
Brian: Oh, yes.
Alex: But if I have to pick next year, I am either going to be Le’Veon Bell on Antonio Brown.
Brian: Alright, not bad. Do you guys play in a PPR League?
Alex: Yes. Point per reception needs.
Brian: Okay. There you go, that makes sense. Alright.
Brett: There you go. I have no idea what you guys are talking about, Fantasy Football guys over here.
Alex: That is awesome.
Brett: That is awesome. Next question, last question of the show, are you someone that if I were to drive up at a stop light, I looked over and I saw Alex Pardo, would you be like just rocking out and singing in your car?
Alex: You know I would like to say yes because that is the more fun answer but the truth is probably not. I am not the one blasting. I am kind of boring in that sense that I am usually is, this is going to sound super super cheesy, I am usually listening to like a podcast when I am in the car. The only time I have like music on is when I am with my family and my daughter is the why, Arianna, she is probably the one that is more like she is almost three years old and she like knows all the songs and she is singing out loud. I kind of just look at her and just kind of smile and laugh. But yes, I am probably not the one that is like singing my head off at a stop light.
Brett: That is why you are so successful because instead doing that, you listen to books, you listen to podcasts, like the Simple Wholesaling podcast and you are just trying to get better, aren’t you?
Alex: There you go my man, there you go.
Brett: Hey, thanks so much for joining us today Alex and sharing some time out of your busy schedule. If someone wants to find your podcast or reach out to you, where is the best place for them to go?
Alex: Yes, they can just go to FlipEmpire.com and I have a podcast Flip Empire Show. I know Brett you are going to be… I am going to have the opportunity to interview you out in a couple weeks. Really really looking forward to that. But yes, they could just check out FlipEmpire.com
Brett: Definitely. We will definitely. Check that out, FlipeEmpire.com, at our show notes guys. That is again the simplewholesaling.com/episode102 and this is a wrap with Alex Pardo from Miami, Florida. Thank you so much, Alex. Enjoy the rest of your day and God Bless man.
Alex: Thank you. I really appreciate it.
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