EP 479 – There Is No Shortcut To Success

NCS 479 | Setting Goals And Expectations

NCS 479 | Setting Goals And Expectations


Getting yourself involved in the note business can be daunting because, to put it simply, there is no shortcut to success. For this reason, Scott Carson discusses the importance of setting goals and realistic expectations in your note and real estate business. He breaks down some things you can do to drive results as a full-time or part-time real estate investor. He also identifies some of the challenges that you may encounter in the note business, and shows some ways to get out of them.

Listen to the podcast here:

There Is No Shortcut To Success

One of the great things about marketing and doing all of the different podcasts and videos and channel in different places is we give people plenty of opportunities to contact us. Whether it’s through an email, a text message, opting in, texting NOTES to 72000 or just going to the website and comment in there and liking something. I encourage everybody to check in with us. I encourage people to reach out, whether it’s on Facebook or YouTube or Instagram. I want to hear from you. When I hear from you, don’t be surprised when I’m talking to you, but I’m going to give you some sound advice. I’m going to give you something that you can use to expand your note, your real estate business, just help you with your marketing all in, all out to take it to the next level. I wanted to title this, There is No Shortcut to Success, because there is no shortcut. You have to put the hours in. There are no magic Willy Wonka lottery tickets. There is no lottery that you can go win the Powerball. There is none of that.

Doing The Most Optimizing Thing

You have to put the work in first and foremost. It means putting in hours each day, putting in hours each week. Looking at what you’re doing on a regular basis and doing the most optimized thing that you can do. If I tell you to do something, if I give you the advice about doing something, it’s not to hurt you. It’s not to harm you. I’m only going to give you things that I would actually do myself or am doing myself or have done in the past. I get is phone calls all the time. People schedule phone calls. I love talking to Note Nation. I love talking to our members. The thing that I want you to know is I want to hear from you, whatever your experience is, the good, bad, long, new whatever. I had a great phone call with a guy who is working part-time as a real estate investor, works full-time in sales. Unfortunately, he had some of his money taken in a Ponzi scheme years ago. He’s a little snake there. He’s like, “I want to get started but I don’t have a lot of extra income.” I’m like, “That’s great. No problem.”

I told him, “This is not an overnight success.” You’re not going to make $1 million in the first 60 days. You’re not going to make $1 million in your first six months. You’re not going to be $1 million in your first year. If you want to make six figures, you can but you’ve got to put the work in. If you want to replace your income, if you want to replace what you’re making at your job right now, you have to set the time aside to do this.” I think we’ve all heard that to be an expert at something, you’ve got to spend 10,000 hours doing something. Look at it this way. If you only spent two hours a week and you did that one night a week, it’s 100 hours in a year. It would take you ten years to get to 1,000 and you’ll never get there. Unfortunately, a lot of people want to do their bare minimum to find success. Most people want to do the least I have to do and that’s unfortunately the wrong answer. The question is, “What do I need to do? What all can I do?”

One of the most profound quotes I’ve ever heard is I was attending a Traffic & Conversion Summit which is a huge marketing convention in San Diego. Daymond John, Shark Tank, Founder of Fubu was one of the guest speakers and he’s talking about how overnight success for him was eight years. Most of us want to have success happen overnight, but we’re not willing to put the work in and it never happens. It didn’t happen overnight with me, it didn’t happen overnight for anybody in the note business for the most part. Eddie Speed, Donna Bauer, Dave Van Horn, Troy Fullwood, some of the bigger names out there, it didn’t happen to us overnight. It happened to us because we put in the time, we put in the days, we put in the work doing the same thing over and over again. That’s what you’ve got to keep in mind. This business is a fun business, but you’re doing a lot of the same things over and over.

That’s the only reason I’ve gotten to where I’ve gotten is that I’ve put in the work, put in the time. You have to put in the work, put in the time, no matter what it is. If you want to go the route of mailing postcards and to send letters, that’s fine. If you want to put in the work of filling out bandit signs and putting it out on the roads, that’s fine. It is what it is. I see people doing it all the time. I’m like, “That’s a lot of work.” If you want to do the least amount, then what I would do is spend time marketing, not the old way of doing marketing. I would do the smart way of marketing. You have to do the simple things on a regular basis. You’re not going to get to 1,000 notes by sending out one email blast or sending out one letter campaign. It doesn’t work that way in the note investing side. You have to do things on a consistent basis, on a regular basis of doing the same things. You’re going to build wealth over time. I don’t care if you’re going after nonperforming outs or you’re going after performing notes or you’re going the partial route.

I don’t care who you’re learning from whether it’s me, Eddie, Donna, Troy, any of the guys that are teaching stuff. As long as you’re doing the actions on a regular basis, you will find success if you continue to follow up and do the things that you need to be doing on a daily, weekly basis. Don’t get me wrong, life gets in the way of all of us. We get sick, we take vacations. Summertime is when a lot of people are taking time off. I know I took a big chunk of time off to enjoy myself and our annual vacation, but it’s still doing the same things day in, day out to make you successful. That’s what it comes down to. Success is not going to happen overnight for any of you out there unless you’ve got $1 million suddenly and you go out to buy a pool of notes with your $1 million earnings, it’s not going to happen. What you have to do is realize and set realistic goals for yourself. Give yourself some flexibility. Give yourself the opportunity to learn over time with these milestones.

I’ll give you an example. One of the big milestones I said early on in the note business when I was reaching out to banks and asset managers is that the end of year one, I wanted to be direct to 100 asset managers or banks. This is going back over a decade ago. I want to be direct to 100 asset managers. That means I had them on my phone. I can dial them. I can text them. What did I do to get there? Here’s the secret. Do you want to know the secret sauce of how I got to where that was, where we started having deals sent to me? It wasn’t mailing out letters to them, it wasn’t mailing out postcards. Where it came from is literally dialing for dollars and connecting with them online. That’s one of the easiest things, if you’re a part-time note investor in his business and you want to find deals, you’ve got to do that. Most people sit around on their thumbs waiting for the low-hanging fruit to show up, the condors over the old granite tapes or the direct store stuff. People want that low-hanging fruit because they don’t have to do any work. They make one contact, they send my list every month or quarter. They wait for that.

Set Your Office At Home And Start Reaching Out

We have a question, “If I learned this skill set, I could use other people’s money?” You can use other people’s money all day long. Here’s the magic thing. If you’re able to sit at home, you’re able to sit your office. Many of you are working full-time jobs and that’s totally fine. Here’s what you can be doing. It’s very simple. If you learn in marketing, that will apply in no matter what type of real estate you’re in. If you get tired of notes, you’re going to fix and flip side or the landlord or Airbnb, I don’t care. The bare staple of what you can do in your part-time at night on the train, on the bus, on flights is something I still do to this day. I go into LinkedIn. You have the free account, but I would make sure you have your profile filled out completely. It’s got to say something about real estate investing or note investing. I don’t care if you have another job that’s in there as your main priority place. Banks will deal with you. They will deal with you as long as you pass the smell test, and the complete LinkedIn profile is the first smell test.

What you have to do next is start reaching out. Type in special asset manager, secondary marketing professionals. Type in those two titles and the categories and you’ll see list of people that have that in their profiles. You go to LinkedIn and change it from the connections tab. First of all, you look for people, not job titles when you look for special assets, so that gives you a million-plus people that have the category of secondary marketing or special asset managers. You click on connections to second connections, people that you don’t have a connection to. You start sending the messages. If you don’t have that many connections on LinkedIn, it’s going to limit you the number of people you connect with. You use that until you can’t use it anymore.

By doing it on your computer, you’ll limit out faster than you would on your cell phone. The key to making this work effectively is to be able to copy paste what you’re going to say to these asset managers in a simple thing. Whether you’re using Notepad or Microsoft Word doc on your computer simply, “Wanting to see what you might have on your books and if you’re the right person to talk about buying your institution’s NPNs or PNs.” PN is performing notes, NPNs are nonperforming notes. “I’d love to visit, buy from my own portfolio. I would love to hear from you. Scott@WeCloseNotes.com.” That’s something simple. You’re going to be limited on the number of characters you can put in that box, but that’s what I would do.

You might want to include a link to a short video. It could be a recorded short five, ten-minute video about what you’re focused on, what you’re looking for and include that link in there. That’s a nice thing that can help you get the word across. You could connect with 100 people on that list. You could literally copy, paste, connect, copy, paste. You could do that while sitting there watching TV, sitting there watching the World Cup, sitting there at night. You are sitting on the train, sitting on the bus, sitting on the plane, waiting at the airport. That’s one of the things that you can do. I still do this to my day, but I’ll send it on there and connect with asset managers. I’ll connect with the real estate investors. I’ll connect with podcast hosts. You’ve got to realize only about 20% of people are going to open your emails. It’s going to be a little bit higher rate than on LinkedIn. You don’t have to have the paid version of LinkedIn. You can do on the free version. The paid version will give you a few more InMails, but that happened.

NCS 479 | Setting Goals And Expectations

Setting Goals And Expectations: If you don’t have that many connections on LinkedIn, you’re limited in the amount of people you can connect with.


What will happen is you reached out to these people, they’re going to look at your profile and they’ll see if you’ve got any real estate investing experience. Hopefully, you’ve got a paragraph of what you’re looking for, maybe you’ve got some projects and fix and flips or wholesale, some deals you’ve done. Maybe put some of those down in the project side of your LinkedIn profile, but that’s going to be a really powerful thing to do. A tool that I like to use is a software called LeadFuze. LeadFuze is a great thing that you can use. I think it’s $97 a month for 1,000 leads. I use that to run for a variety of things. Type in special asset managers, secondary marketing professionals and look for leads that have just their emails showing.

I did this and I was able to pull quick 1,209 leads and I’ve got that person’s name, their contact information, their LinkedIn profile, sometimes their Twitter or Facebook profile, their phone number and a chunk of the things. I have a name that I can do a mail merge and do a direct email out to them. Well-worth the $97 a month I pay for it because it helped me narrow that down. What I want to do is I want to reach out to them. I want to connect with them. Whether it’s through LinkedIn saying the same thing. I have their email address. I can follow up with an email out to them as well. I just made two touches with them. If you send an email out through MailChimp or Infusionsoft, you can see who actually clicked on the email. Those are the people that would call. Those are the people that would pick up the phone. If you have 809 you send out or 1,000 you send out, you have 200 people that are probably going to open an email roughly. That’s 200 phone calls. That’s three to four days of phone calls.

Follow Up Emails And Call Clients

If you’re working full-time, I know it would be hard to make phone calls throughout the day. This is why you want to leverage technology. You want to leverage sending an email out through MailChimp or Infusionsoft and having to go out during the day while you’re at work. You come home at night and log in to see how many opened your email. If you’ve got a 10% open rate, congratulations. That’s a great start. Connect with those people on LinkedIn. Send a message as well, “I wanted to follow up on the email I sent you.” Very few people do this. I had a lady call me, “What’s the least that I have to do?” I said, “The least that you have to do is nothing.” She said, “What do you mean by that?” I said, “You won’t have any success with the least amount you do. You should be looking at what’s a little bit more that you can do?” A little bit more goes a long way. That little extra 5% adds up to a lot of time.

If you want to get more information, we’ve got an amazing training program, NoteBlueprint.com. It’s an easy way for you to sign up with us. There are tons of educational stuff. More so, it’s going to have a contact in LinkedIn, send an email with a phone call. If you get 100 phone calls and you’re limited to an hour a day because of your break or things like that, maybe you need to dial for dollars. Maybe you need to leave a message. Call at night, leave a message if you can find a direct message. A lot of times you’re not going to see a direct phone number. It’s going to be going to a voicemail or it’s going to go to a switchboard and you’re going to have to leave a message there or try to use the dial by name directory. You have to look at it, see where that person is located. Identify the best times.

The best times, if you do have time to call, 10:00 AM to noon their timeframe or 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM in the afternoon. Sometimes you can reach them on a Thursday night before the end of the quarter. They may be hanging around to see what’s going on at the end of the month. Thursday nights are always a good time because they don’t want to hang out on the weekends. Sometimes call them on Saturday afternoons. You’ll get people in the office working at the end of the quarter because they were creating quarterly reports.

A valuable thing to do is also track this stuff. You’ve got to keep in mind that you have to track this and you’ll also have to set some time to schedule this. What I mean by this is in scheduling this is time blocking your schedule. The last thing sometimes you want to do when you’ve had a long day at work is come home and go back to work. This is why I’m telling you not to spend ten hours in the evening. Maybe two hours at night. You can do this LinkedIn strategy and email at night. You can do it in the mornings before you go to work. You can do it in your spare time. Let’s face it, if you’ve got family and kids, you’re not going to come home from work and spend eight hours working on something else. That’s not fair to them. It’s not fair to you. You’ve got to loosen up your brain a little, relax and do this on something that makes sense for you. You’ve got to do this at the time where you’ve got some flexibility.

Sit down with the family. You’ve got to recharge those batteries. Tell your spouse, “Give me two hours a night. Let me come home, I’ll have dinner and hang out and I need to spend about an hour-and-a-half, two hours of working through this.” That’s why I say you can do this two to four, say if you can get ten hours in a week, you’re going to be a success ten times faster than you would than somebody who’s only spending one day or one hour a week. I’m trying to get easy bites to do this. One of the most valuable things you can do, somebody talked about using other people’s money, is you’ve got to network. You’ve had to take your database of contacts, people you meet at business events, networking clubs, REIAs, expos. Take those business contacts and put their business cards in a spreadsheet. Put them up, load them as a contact in your database and in your MailChimp or Infusionsoft account.

Those are people that you want to email out to. I’m not talking about like, “Buy my crap.” That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m talking about is, “Let’s talk. Here’s what I’m focused on.” Those people that you meet at REIA clubs, that you meet at expos, they’re in the starting blocks too or maybe they’re a little ahead of you. They’re looking to do something and many people are scared to do things. They run around all crazy like a chicken with their head cut off on a Chinese fire drill. If you have a plan of action, you will get more things done than just trying to be a gunslinger in the Wild Wild West. This is why I get into the whole of time blocking schedule of your week. Otherwise, if you don’t time block, life will get in the way. You’ll find your other things to keep yourself occupied. You’ll find things to do to avoid sending an email blast out, just jumping on LinkedIn to doing the things that you need to do. It’s very easy to do. “I’ll get to that later.” We all do it.

Take An Active Approach

Cut yourself some slack. It’s never too late to start now. Start planting that forest. Start planting that success trees right now. Ten to fifteen hours a week, you can be a note investor whether actively or passively. By passively, I think you should be taking an active approach. Passively, you would be making a return on investment for the most part. There’s a lot of hurry up and wait in the note business. Hurry up, send an email, wait for a list to come. Hurry up, make bids, wait for counters, come back. Hurry up, get them serviced, wait for the servicing, board them. Going from, “Send letters out to the attorneys or send letters out, direct mail out to the borrowers,” and go from there. Another thing that you can do in your part-time to find note deals, to find buyers and sellers. It’s very simple to do, go to the county clerk of any county that you’re buying in that allows for you to search by document type. If you’re in Travis County, Texas, go to Travis County Clerk. If you’re in Cuyahoga County or buying in Cleveland, go there. It doesn’t matter. If you go to Orange County in California, I don’t think they’ll let you search by name. I don’t know if they let you search by the document. I think it is all the address type. If you go to the actual county, they’ll let you do the searches.

Here’s what I would do. I have done this. Maybe reach out to a title company to do this. You’ve got a good title relationship. Take a county that you like. I happen to like Orange County, Florida, which is the Orlando area. We pull annually a list of assignments of mortgages or just assignments. Assignment of mortgage is about transfers and ownership when a note is being bought or sold. I sold some notes. We have an assignment of the mortgage being filed. That’s an easy thing. If you do look for an assignment of mortgage and accounting, you’ll see who was an original mortgage company, who they sold it to. Whether it was to another mortgage bank or another company or note investor, it’s this huge list of names. Let me give an example. Orange County, Florida, there were over 15,000 assignments recorded and transfers. When you narrow that down, it can do roughly about 7,500 unique entities. A lot of that is the bigger banks, the Wells Fargos, the Bank of Americas, the Deutsche Banks, those things. There is a tremendous amount of smaller institutions, smaller entities in that list that are buyers and sellers of note deals.

You have to realize that those are opportunities for it. If you want to, then you’ve got to Google it. What you’ll find with a lot of those is they’re entities and maybe special purpose entities. They may not have a website. A lot of them will be a company that you can reach out to. What would you use to track those people down? You could just Google the company name, but you could also go over to LinkedIn. Type in the entity and try to find somebody in charge of special assets, secondary marketing at those institutions or the VP of special assets or just the person in charge. That will give you a lot of stuff. You can do that at any time. You can run the searches anytime by going to NETR Online and using that. That will give you every county in the country. What you could also do if you’ve got a title rep in an area that you use or somebody that you use on a regular basis, you can reach out to them, see if they’ll pull that for you. Some title companies will charge for it because it might take them some time to pull it too and organize it. All you need is the institutions on both sides of the assignment. You don’t really care about the address. You just want what’s the signee and the signor names. You’ve got two names and a ton of potential leads on note buyers and sellers.

NCS 479 | Setting Goals And Expectations

Setting Goals And Expectations: People want to hang around or work with people who are actually taking action and doing things.


It’s a beautiful thing because you’ll often see people who have used their IRA to fund the note purchase and you’ll see Quest Trust for the benefit of John Michaels or equity trust for the benefit of Brett Michaels, whatever. Those are great leads not only for note deals, but potential private money contacts. Who’s already bought, sold or not? They understand the process. Quest Trust company tells us that paper notes origination or buying nonperforming stuff, partials, are their biggest percentage of their portfolio. That should tell you something. This is why we tell people, “Check out the appraisal districts and the county clerk for typing in the self-directed IRA trustees to find potential investors that are using their IRA to either buy assets, buy properties or who lend.”

These are all simple things that you can do on a regular basis. Here’s what I would do. On a Sunday night, I would make it two hours all about writing your email that goes out Monday to your database. Do it 24 hours prior to if you can because then you can use a tool called Timewarp on MailChimp. It’s pre-scheduled to go up in the time zone that you want. If you wanted to go out at 9:00 AM Central, it goes out 9:00 AM Eastern, 9:00 AM Central, 9:00 AM Mountain, 9:00 AM Pacific, 9:00 AM their time zone. That’s a smart thing. I’d have it go a little bit later until 11:00. Your email goes out to your database. I think 7:00 PM is a great one. Maybe you want to spend some time on Saturday night writing the email so that it goes out Sunday 7:00 PM or Saturday afternoon. Spend two hours working to have that go out.

It’s going to take you an hour. The first time you send it out, it could take you two hours because you’ve got to set your profile up, set up your template. You want it to look good. Have somebody look at your sample email before it goes out so they can pick up little mistakes, grammar issues, link issues. That’s a huge thing. Once you write one to get one going, it’s going to be faster and faster each time you send it out. You need to set up an email that goes out to your database and then also goes out to your asset manager emails. Another hourly thing that you can do. This is doing things over and over again. If you do this for a full five weeks to eight weeks, you’re going to have a lot more success if you do it on a weekly basis versus the person who does it once and then complains. That’s what I see happening the majority of the time out there with investors, especially newbies and other people that aren’t committed to it. They don’t do it more than once. They want instant success like, “I sent one email, I only got 3% open rate. It doesn’t work.” You were successful for 3%. What’s that 3% mean to you? Did you follow up with that 3%? No. You are your own worst enemy. You just shot your own self on the foot. Things to keep in mind. Sending an email blast out to your asset managers and your contacts. That’s for two hours. Do one email each.

The second day, spend two hours on LinkedIn connecting with asset managers. Maybe you jump over another day. You spend time looking for real estate investors or note investors. Expand your LinkedIn profile. Some people are asking, “Scott, why should I spend more time building my LinkedIn profile? Why can’t I do an easy download and download their email addresses like you’re used to before?” It still works. It’s still the best place to do it. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy Facebook. I enjoy BiggerPockets. I enjoy Twitter, I enjoy Instagram but nothing is as powerful as using LinkedIn in the real estate business. It still is the best place to go to. Not everybody uses it, but it is still very powerful to use. Another thing you could do is you could go another two hours out of your work week or your evenings. You can go to Buffer.com. It’s free to set up for you and actually most of you just need the free version where it shares it to your Facebook, your Twitter, your Instagram. Create a couple of infographics, a couple of images.

You can talk about an article. Find something on USA Today Finance or find something on DS News or find something on HousingWire.com. Set up to share that article four or five times throughout the day, throughout the week. Share it 6:00 at night or at 7:00 at night to those platforms because that’s where people are in bed looking at their stuff. Do that. Share it at noon every day. Share it once or twice. You do the same thing on Twitter and share it across the board. I always share the same article a couple of times each day just because Twitter is such up and down. You can pre-schedule these things for you. That’s figuring out what’s going on. If you need some help, do yourself a favor and download the Daily Calendar. What’s a Daily Calendar? That’s literally typing in what day of the week is or what holiday of the year is now. There’s a whole calendar of National Margarita Day, National Secretaries Day, National Shop Locally Day, National Martini Day, whatever. You can do whatever. Those are simple things that you combine with the day of the week, the daily holiday, some news or whatever it is. Share those nuggets there and then share something about you. Take a picture. Share your personal.

If you have a farm where you got little chickens running around, “Down on the farm, here’s what we’re doing. Here are some of the things we’ve got going on. Here’s what we accomplish. We’re doing not only in our business life, but also in our personal life.” People want to buy into you. What happens is people want to hang around or work with people who are actually taking action and doing things. Maybe you share a book that you enjoy. God knows most of us are readers. Leaders are readers. Share a book that you like, “I’m reading this book this week or here’s my book of the month that I’m reading.” Start a book of the month club. You could be a book of the month club of one. Share what’s been your biggest accomplishment. Share your wins, even though they may be little. A little bit of success adds up to a big amount of success over the long-term.

Let’s do this. I wanted, at the end of one year, to be direct to 100 asset managers. I used this LinkedIn strategy that by the time one month rolled around, I was already connected to 100 asset managers. I was like, “This is working.” I then reset my goals. I challenged myself to be connected to 1,000 asset managers at the end of year one. I hit that number, but it became much more realistic. I stretched myself. I got outside my comfort zone. It led to a lot of success. Anytime you can get out your comfort zone, you’re not only going to grow as an entrepreneur, but you’re also going to have more success because you’re not going to limit yourself. I was talking to my trainer, Thomas Nee, at lunchtime as we’re working on, talking about things. Our minds are our biggest limiting factor. They’re our biggest hurdle because we have to get beyond what we think we know. Sometimes we don’t know what all we can accomplish because we set ourselves with limiting beliefs. We have our safe spot, our safe space.

As I like to say, fear is false evidence appearing real. We like to tie ourselves in or imprison ourselves in this jail of fear, “I can’t do that. I couldn’t do that. Somebody might get mad.” What if not everybody got mad but a lot of people pushed you to do other things? That’s what you have to realize. I believe that everybody can achieve things. I believe we all can do more than what we’re doing. I believe I can do more than when I’m doing. One guy asked me on a phone call, “You’re all over the place. When do you have time?” I only spent about an hour a day on marketing. Everything else is my team doing it. I just outsource stuff to my team, my podcast production company. Shannon in my office is my marketing. I have VAs that are doing stuff for me. I’ve trained them to make things happen, but I had to show them how to do it first. I had to train them on how to do it.

That’s what I’m trying to get to everybody. You don’t have to have a huge team. You can be an army of one by simply taking time and putting things in place each day. Book your schedule. Tell your spouse, “We’ll come home. We’re going to have dinner. I get home about 6:30 every night, have dinner. By 8:00, 8:30 I’m going to spend an hour, hour-and-a-half working on something or from 10:00 to midnight or 9:00 to 11:00. I’m going to spend an hour, two hours working in my business because it’s something I want to accomplish. Here’s why this is important.” Share your goals. Share your strategy. Put it on the freaking wall, “I want to be connected to 100 asset managers in month one.” It’s not that hard to do. You can do it alone on LinkedIn.

Gain Flexibility

As you add more connections, LinkedIn’s going to give you a little bit more flexibility. What do I mean by flexibility? They’re going to allow you to connect with more people. As you make more connections, they’re going to give you a percentage increase. Usually, they only want you to connect with about 10% of your existing connections. If you only got 500 people, expect to be shut down after 50 connections. That’s okay. Keep connecting. The beautiful thing is you can go back and see who you’ve connected and see how far away you send a connection to and then go cancel that connection. That’s what I do. When I get a database in of investors or people, I’ll upload them 2,000 or 2,500 at a time on LinkedIn, send invites out to them, see if they respond. If they don’t respond after a month, I’ll cancel it and resend it. If they don’t return within the next 30 days, then I just cancel it. Move on, next. We have plenty of people out there to connect with, whether it’s a special asset, secondary marketing, real estate investors, note investors.

One of the great stories I was reading about is there’s an article about Luol Deng, who’s an NBA basketball player. He went to school at Duke University and he’s been in the NBA for several years now. He’s played for the Chicago Bulls, one of my favorite teams. He’s made about $151 million, $152 million in salaries as an NBA player since he started. What he has done, he’s leveraged what he’s made and turned it into $125 million portfolio of real estate of apartments, hotels, rentals. He’s done a great job doing it. He’s leveraged that. His full-time gig is playing in the NBA. Let’s face it, you make $151 million, you’re probably going to chill around. Most people, they’re going to have some fun. This guy has done an amazing job of building a real estate portfolio and doing some big things. We had Ryan Broyles on, who was a wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, all-time record keeping for most interceptions in the NCAA, played at the University of Oklahoma, the Boomer Sooner. We had him on and he talked about the fact that he took all his money, his big salary, a couple of million bucks each year, and he put it to the side where he and his wife lived on $60,000 a year. They were smart. They’ve leveraged that into businesses. They own a restaurant and a bunch of other stuff in Norman, Oklahoma. He’s accumulating $1 million-plus portfolio in real estate because he’s doing it a little bit of the time.

NCS 479 | Setting Goals And Expectations

Setting Goals And Expectations: When investing in notes, connecting has got to be full time. It should be your sole focus.


You have to realize, one asset at a time, and that’s the whole goal. A lady asked me, “How do I get a list of assets? How do I connect with banks?” You’ve got to reach out. You’re not going to sit here and they’re not going just to reach out and call Glen. They’re not just going to reach out and call Karen. They’re not going to reach out and just call Tony. They’re not going to call this Rob by just sitting there and you being like Jean Grey from X-Men, “You will call me with your asset manager list. I am commanding you.” It doesn’t work that way. This is why you’ve got to get in front of them in some fashion. That’s why you’ve got to market. You’ve got to do little things on a regular basis. That means connecting with them. That means sending them an email. That means making a phone call. Using some technology things to do it. Is it going to cost you some money to do this? Yes. It’s marketing. It’s the cost of business. If you’ve got 5,000 connections, it’s going to cost you $100 a month with a MailChimp account. You paying for it is going to make you use it more. You scheduling the time in your calendar each day doing the same thing or two hours at night is going to force you to do something. You’re going to see success by doing the same things over and over again.

In that way, you look back five weeks from now or a month from now or six months from now, and you look at all the connections you’ve made. You’d be like, “This actually works.” This is how you find deals that nobody else did. Why? Nobody else is doing stuff. People preach, “You can’t buy assets from the bank.” Yes, you can. You’re not going to buy from Bank of America, Chase or Citi. There are plenty of other institutions. There are plenty of other investors out there, plenty of companies that want to move assets. If you just do the things you do and stick to it and remove your distractions, if you’re trying to be a little wholesaler and fix and flipper and an apartment investor and a note investor, note investing are going to get the short stick on that. Why? Because it’s a different mindset. It’s different marketing. It’s a different philosophy. As a note investor, it’s got to be your full-time. It should be your sole focus when it comes to real estate investing. You’re going to find other excuses to go do other things that seem to drive more traffic. It’s going to feel great to go out and shove 100 bandit signs, “Yes, I did something. I got some phone calls off it.” Maybe you’ve got a phone call. That person may have one deal.

If you spend the time reaching out to the banks and the asset managers, you might get one phone call, but that one phone call could lead to deals every month, every quarter. You’re further up the food chain. You’re further up the ladder. You’re closer to the sources because all the fix and flippers, all the REO people, all the people looking for distressed assets are down at the bottom level. If it was Louisiana, they’re all down there in Louisiana in the bayou with the gators snapping at everybody. You don’t want to be down in the bayou. You want to be up at Lake Minnetonka, upriver in Minnesota at the mouth of the Mississippi, not in the bottom. You want to be at the mouth of the Mississippi direct to the banks, 6, 12, 18, 24 months ahead of where everybody else is fighting down here at the bottom. People don’t realize this. This is how it flows. It starts with a nonperforming note and that’s where it goes.

Realize Your Side Of The Cash Flow

Everybody’s in the note business. You’re just in the wrong side of the cashflow. That’s what you have to realize. Have we seen some pricing increases take place? Yes. Has the market gotten a little bit tighter as fewer defaults are happening? Yes, but there are still millions of notes being originated and we still see a 3% to 3.5% default rate, depending on who you talk to. Even on the owner finance side of things, there are default rates with owner financed notes. You use that to find one asset. Move on to the next one. I just happened to like going directly to the source. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m from Minnesota originally. I have dipped my waters in Lake Minnetonka, walked across the stone path.

You have to realize, investors that are all across the country, I don’t care what state you’re in, what excuses you want to give yourself. The things that I just outlined, reaching out to asset managers, using the LeadFuze, jumping on the county records, the county clerk or the appraisal districts. Not only to find note sellers and people originated or selling their notes, but also finding IRA investors. That’s the lifeblood of our business. If you do those things and then make a phone call or with the IRA investors, you reach out with a direct mail piece or try to track them down online, you’ll be surprised. A lot of people are doing these business buying assets. You don’t need a lot of money. They’re putting some deals together or they’re partnering with other investors that are going and buying together. That’s how you leverage your time. If you’re a part-time investor, find somebody else at your local REIA club or find somebody else who went to the Note Expo or the Distressed Mortgage Expo or who was on Note CAMP.

Find someone else who was in the same space as you are and reach out to them and be an accountability partner, “What did you get this week done?” Be competitive. Do a little gamification, “I challenge you who’s going to get in the most LinkedIn connections,” and then maybe you share. “You get 100, I’ll get a 100. You get 75, I’ll get 75 this week. Here’s a list of 1,000 people that have bought and sold notes in this one county in the last few months. You take the first half, I’ll take the second half and see if we can find contact info.” That’s how you get ahead. You leverage yourself. I know you may only have ten hours a week or less, but maybe find somebody else who’s got ten hours a week or less. Now you’ve got twenty hours going into your business and you’re working together. You’re rolling in the same direction, you’re believing in coopetition. Cooperating to work together, but also very competitive in your own nature. Row the boat. Row the same direction. Coach PJ Fleck from the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, previously from the Central Michigan University, CMU, that’s his thing. Row the boat in the same direction. That’s what’s so great about the note business is that if you do that, if you’re rolling in the same direction with a lot of other people and you’re leveraging each other’s times, you can make this happen.

That’s what we believe in The WCN Crew Facebook Group, it’s a private group. It’s there for people to share resources. It’s there so that your learning curve isn’t six months, but maybe it’s 60 days. Success is not going to be overnight. This is not a get rich quick business. This is a build wealth business. Who would turn down $250 a month coming in from a deal? I wouldn’t. Get $250 a month, that’s $3,000 a year. It’s $90,000 over 30 years. You don’t take too many of those to add to your financial independence. If you want to look at what you’re doing, do yourself a favor. Take how much you want to make in the next twelve months, divide that number by 50. If you wanted to make $100,000, divide that by 50 weeks. It means you may want to make $2,000 a week. If you’re working full-time, that’s 40 hours a week. That means you’re worth $50 an hour. That means anything that you would be doing that would cost you less than that, you’d delegate. Outsource if you can. Finances are tight. I know you’re initially going to do some stuff, but you should write that $50 an hour is what you’re worth. The only way you’re going to be able to capitalize on your time is if you take your time seriously and that’s the only way others will take your time seriously.

Figure that out, “What do I need to do?” If you want to make $8,500 a month, divide that number by 500. What’s that come to? Seventeen notes, times 500 is going to bring in $8,500 a month for you. That’s not bad. You could do two a month and within eight months, you’re getting pretty close to where you need to be financial-wise or to be able to make that leap to full-time. I’m not telling you to go quit your job. That would be the worst thing for you if you have no marketing and not done nothing to set yourself up. You have to look at yourself. If you’ve been toiling for the last few months, look at what your actions have made. If you’re all over the place, like I asked some people, “Do you do the same thing every week?” “No, we don’t have any type of schedule.” I’m like, “That’s why you’re floundering. You’re drifting. You’re not being focused.” You don’t have to do a million things. You do four or five things and do it on a regular basis and do it well. You’re all capable of doing these things. I don’t care how old you are. Everybody’s capable of doing the same things I just shared. I’m not talking about being fancy on YouTube. I’m not talking about being fancy on Facebook. I’m not talking about being fancy on anything else. A YouTube video would help you draw audiences a whole lot faster for you and grow your audiences.

If you don’t want to do that, do your LinkedIn, do your emails and reach out to people and be smart. I’d rather send an email blast out to 1,000 asset managers and then 24 hours later, look to see who actually opened the email. That’s who I would call. Those would be the people that I reach out to LinkedIn as well as the ones I send out. Those are people who have actually opened it and I followed up with them again and said, “I just wanted to reach out to you. I saw that you opened my email. I would love to schedule a time with you.” That sets yourself above as being more professional than somebody just sent an email out once and walking away. Somebody just sends an email, doesn’t do anything to follow up. You have to follow up. That’s how you get successful in this business. Half of the deals we buy are from deals that we follow up with on, stuff that didn’t get approved the first time around or they didn’t accept their bids. I followed up a month later. I followed up two weeks later, “Did you buy that deal? Did that deal close? It didn’t close? Why? The potential buyer found this stuff that was wrong that we found the first time. It sounds like my bid looks a whole lot better now, doesn’t it?”

Get Offers

That’s the thing too. You have to make offers. You’re going to learn more than any book, any note buying blueprint training, any workshop, webinar. You’re going to learn more by actually taking the time to make offers. What does that mean? It means making offers. If you want to close on seventeen deals to get to $8,500 in cashflow, that means you need to make 170 offers. “What?” Yes. It’s ten times what your number should be is on average. If you’re using other people’s money, double that number. If you need to close on seventeen but you need to use other people’s money, it means you need to close on 34 because you’re figuring out half going out and cashflow payments and things like that. That means you didn’t make 340 offers in your first year. That’s 30 offers a month. That’s like seven, eight offers a week. Everybody can do that. It all starts at the front end. You have to heavily load your front end with potential leads, bankers, asset managers, hedge fund, assignment of mortgage lists. Those things are going to be the best way. Going on to BiggerPockets and asking questions about who has the deals. Nobody’s going to answer that. Going on to Facebook groups and asking, “Who’s got an asset they’re not going to buy?” It’s not going to work.

I like looking to see who’s closed on deals. If I was on a tape six months ago, I’ll go back in and look at those addresses and see who were the institutions that bought those notes and then I’ll contact the institutions directly. “I saw that you bought a tape six months ago. Would you be interested in selling a chunk of that off?” That’s a very powerful tool. If you get an old list and look to see who did the assignment of mortgage on any of those assets. If anybody bought, reach out to those institutions. Everybody’s a buyer. Everybody’s a seller. Everybody has a funding source that we know. That’s the biggest thing.

NCS 479 | Setting Goals And Expectations

Setting Goals And Expectations: 30 minutes is better than nothing. A little bit goes a long way.


Marketing is great, but those are the simple things you need to market for deals in the note business. It’s not writing letters or mailing postcards or door knocking or putting out bandit signs. That’s great for traditional real estate investors. They need to do all that extra work because there’s a lack of deals for most people. If you’re a note investor, if you’re dealing directly with banks and asset managers, it’s all smart these days. Smart marketing, emails, LinkedIn, you could jump on Lane Guide and buy that for $165 a year and start tracking down asset managers, phone numbers and emails that way. You could jump on DistressedPro.com by Brecht Palombo. See the service that he does that looks at quarterly reports and then connects that to LinkedIn to find somebody to reach out to. Note investing is the graduate level. It’s the PhD, the Doctorate level of real estate investing. It’s one contact leads many, not one contact leads to one. Because if that’s the case, that’s not duplicable. You have to constantly do it over and over marketing again and again to reach that. It’s not the case.

Note investing is all about online marketing. You can learn this stuff, LinkedIn, email and then phone calls and follow up with the people out there to make it happen. I guarantee you, they get the third or fourth or fifth email from you and it looks the same, the same logo, same colors, and you’re following up again, they’re going to reach out to you, “I got something. I may have something. I might have something for you.” Why? Because you didn’t give up. You’re a bulldog. I am not the smartest person in the room. I just know what works. I see what I’ve tested. I’ve done over a decade of marketing in the real estate field. I’ve gone from a downturn and worked through this. A lot of people in the note space have only been around a couple of years on an upside. That’s not the same thing as learning how to market directly. I am proud of the fact that we have a lot of students closing deals because they learned their marketing. They’ve got the email that goes out, they’re reaching out to asset managers. They’re getting lists that nobody else has seen because they’re doing the things that need to be done to be successful.

What I want to get at is set yourself some realistic expectations. Challenge yourself to make 100 connections, 100 invites on LinkedIn to asset managers or do it to note investors or real estate investors. Pick your poison. It doesn’t matter. You’re going to have success with either one of those three. Pick it, set it 100 contacts a month, “I can do this.” At the end of twelve months, you’re going to be over 1,000 connections and those are going to be great relationships. You’re not going to buy something from everyone every month, but maybe when they have something and they see you’ve made that connection and seeing the follow-up, you’re the person that they call. One of the things that I do is the asset managers we’re connecting, I take them out of my general email database and I just follow up with them, “I wanted to touch base if you have any on your books this month. I reached out last month. I just wanted to follow up to see what you have on your portfolio that we can take a look at and create a win-win scenario for you.”

I know it’s easy to take time off. I know it’s easy to slack and say, “I’ll do this later. It’s too hot. I don’t want to do any work.” Trust me, we all struggle with those things. We all struggle with being focused on things. It’s easy to do that, but make sure if you can do anything, make sure you set aside two hours a day, Monday through Thursday, an hour or two on Saturday, an hour or two on Sunday. You’ll feel so much better about your journey. You’ll feel so much better about the actions you’re taking to have success. If you do it again and again, you’re going to see activity again and again. You’re going to feel a lot more motivated to keep going. You can’t focus on, “I’m going to do this once and it doesn’t work, I’m going to give up on it.” If that’s the case, then you need to quit while you’re ahead and go do something else. I sure as hell don’t want to waste my time with you. I don’t want to waste my time. Go ahead and unsubscribe, unfollow, turn the channel, whatever. I promise you that if you do these things and you do on a regular basis and you time block your schedule, you can knock two to three hours, an hour is better than nothing. Thirty minutes is better than nothing. A little bit goes a long way.

My trainer likes to joke, “The weight didn’t go on overnight. It’s not coming off in over an hour.” Strength isn’t going to go on overnight, but you’ve got to do a lot of pushups. This is doing the pushups every night before you go to bed. This is doing the note, the marketing pushups, the sit-ups so that your note business is in a much healthier spot than being something that’s not doing any focus. Thank you. As always, if you’d like more information, check out my eBook by going into the NoteBlueprint.com/freebook. I’d love to have you there. As always, check out our training at the NoteBlueprint.com to find out our amazing training. For more information, you can always text the word NOTES to 72000. You’ll get a ton of information from our Note Night in America videos that way. Go out and make something happen and we’ll see you off the top.

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