Real estate investor and entrepreneur Mike Wolf joins the Note Night in America broadcast to discuss some of the different strategies that are working in a chaotic time for borrowers, home owners, and real estate investors. He shares his favorite strategies for investing in real estate that are working in today’s market. He also shares his upcoming three-day workshop where he will focus on helping investors create a Money Mastery Mindset, build multiple streams of income, and highlight the six to seven strategies that you should focus on depending on your market.
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How To Create Your Real Estate Mastery With Mike Wolf
Our special guest is ready to rock and roll, and he shares with you some of the great things about developing your real estate mastery. I call him a friend now. I’ve been honored to be on his podcast. We have him on our show. His episode on Tax Lien Investing was the number one downloaded episode with about 1,500 downloads in May 2020. He has been an active real estate investor for many years, had over thousands of deals, worked with investors not only in the United States, but also in Canada. He loves working with new investors to help them identify opportunities that are working in the market. What you will be learning are three big bullet points on how to create a wealth mastery mindset, which I’m a big proponent of, strategies working in the markets, and multiple ways to create cashflow during COVID. This is one of the most important things out here. We’re honored to have my good friend, Mike Wolf, join us here. What’s going on, Mike?
Thanks for having me, Scott. It’s good to see you.
You do a variety of things. I’m excited because you got a wealth of knowledge and a lot of experience. We’re two peas in a pod. We both have passions for helping people out there and you’ve got some great stuff you’d be covering.
I’ve been doing this for a long time as have you. As times change, you have to adapt to the changing times. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, the stuff that made you successful at one point won’t necessarily keep you successful, especially when we have a pandemic that could throw a little monkey wrench in things. Change is where the opportunities are, change is where the money is at and change is also where the people in need are. That’s what we are. We’re problem solvers. There are going to be a lot of people with a lot of problems when we shut down the global economy.
It’s definitely been a crazy timeframe. There are already 4.1 million homeowners in default. They’re 90 days late in the United States here, 40-plus million on unemployment, about an 8% default rate across the board, and expect 52% to 60% of small businesses to fail here in the United States. I’m excited about what you’re going to share with us because there are a lot of people that are joining us here. I’m going to shut up because I know you’ve got some solutions for some people out there that can help to take their business to a whole different level.
You don’t have to shut up because this is interactive. I want you to send me your questions and I want to make this as meaningful to the people as possible. I’m not one of those people that come on, preach and throw a bunch of stuff. I’ll give you some of my two cents worth as to what I see coming down the pipeline and where are the biggest opportunities will be, but it’s all about the people that are on here. I’m happy to answer all the questions. I will start or at least give a general idea of the question I get asked the most. Since COVID started, I’ve been on these many podcasts, summits and online events. I keep getting asked the same question on every single one of them and that is, “What is going to happen to the economy? What’s going to happen with real estate?”
What I see coming down the pipeline, depending on how you look at things, it’s going to be the greatest wealth transfer in history, in my opinion, because it shuts down the global economy and thinks that everything is going to be the same as when you left it. We’re seeing a lot of bankruptcies on JCPenny, companies that have been around forever. The mom-and-pop operations, all these restaurants that shut down that probably will never reopen. When you have businesses shutting down, that means there are people getting laid off. When there are people getting laid off, there are people that can’t afford their mortgage payments.
What we’re going to see is the greatest transfer of wealth in history. The key word there though is transfer. The money doesn’t disappear. It’s not banishing into thin air, it’s a transfer. We’ll see some people that are going to slide down the ladder a little bit. Luckily, a lot of those people, if they had the right mindset to get there in the first place, they will rebuild. It might take a little bit of time. That money is getting transferred to somewhere else. Where that is getting transferred to depends on you. You could be the recipient of that.
To me, the best way to do that is to look for where the main opportunities are going to be. Number one, pre-foreclosures. There’s a moratorium which is being lifted in some places but still going on in others. The banks can’t foreclose on people, which I’m glad. I’d hate to see people being kicked out of the streets in the middle of a pandemic, that would be bad for lack of a much better word than that. We’re going to have a lot of people in trouble.
Back in 2007 when the big recession hit especially the United States but worldwide, I had set up a company called Foreclosure Fixers. I’m sure a lot of people that are reading are sending out or have sent out postcards, “We buy homes, even ugly homes. We’ll pay cash for your home.” If you sell enough of those, that works. A lot of times, the people receiving them, especially if they’re in a bad situation, are not opening their mail. They’re not looking at anything. They’re depressed, stressed and freaking out.
I sent out marketing that said, “We can help stop the foreclosure.” I came in from a different angle. I took the time to learn the foreclosure laws. Back in those days, I would sit across the table from them. If I’ll do it again, I would definitely automate it, use technology and hire a team. I would sit across the table from somebody who was in big trouble of losing their home. I would take the time to sit there and explain to them how they could either slow down or stop the foreclosure process. A lot of these people’s understanding was that somebody was going to come into their home at 2:00 in the morning, kick them and their kids out on the streets, and throw all their furniture on the front lawn. That’s what they thought was going to happen to them.
They were going crazy because they didn’t know when this was going to happen. They were living in fear. I would sit across the table from them and say, “The foreclosure is a legal process. Nobody is kicking you out in the middle of the night. You’re going to get a statement of claim in the mail from a lawyer saying, ‘You’ve got a court date.’” Most people never go to their court date because they don’t feel like, “What’s my defense? I’m not paying my mortgage.” I would explain to them that the judge hasn’t seen anybody else except for the lawyer of the banks. If you show up and say, “I would love to pay my mortgage, but I’m out of work right now. I’m trying to fix that. Can we make some arrangement?” The judges are going to be sympathetic.
The first thing I would do is I would go and calm them down, let them know nobody’s kicking them out of their home, and then I would come up with solutions for them. Sometimes bad things happen to good people and we’re seeing a ton of that. Nobody chose to have a pandemic and lose their job. People that previously were good with money aren’t making their mortgage payments. For people like that, a lot of times once they get working again, they can afford to make their payments again. They just can’t get caught up on the arrears. I’d become a hard money lender for them. I loan them some money to help stop the foreclosure. They would pay me back in installments and it’s a win-win.
For some people, they would be in trouble even if there was no pandemic going on. Sometimes people like to live beyond their means. People like that, as I was sitting across from them, I would say, “You’re going to lose this home no matter what. There’s nothing we can do to save this. You’re going to lose it.” I would give them a soft landing. A soft landing is instead of trying to take every single penny out of the deal, leave nothing for them and leave them homeless on the streets, even if they have little equity, I would make sure they have enough money for a damage deposit, several months’ rent, food money, etc. I would then help them find a place. I’d have somebody on my team find a place. Sometimes I put them in one of my own places. Sometimes I do a rent to own for them and help them get back into home ownership down the road.
The great thing about that is you create a win-win for people like that. A lot of vultures like to go in and take every penny out of the deal and get that homerun to use a baseball terminology. Instead of taking every penny out of the deal to get that homerun, what if you leave something on the table for them? If they lost their job, they used to work with ten other people that lost their job. They’re going to send 9 or 10 other deals to you. One good strategy coming down the pipeline is definitely pre-foreclosure. These people that haven’t lost their homes yet, but they’re in trouble. They’re on a bad trajectory. Learn different ways to help them and create a paycheck for yourself.
There are lots of other things you can do with that. If you don’t have the cash, wholesale it. Find these people in trouble, put it under contract, wholesale to somebody else. There are lots of different ways to play with that. That’s one strategy that I know is going to be extremely lucrative but more importantly, there are a lot of people needing our help. On the other side of the equation, as I specialize in tax liens and deeds, there are going to be a lot of people that are going to go through the process. Unfortunately, we can’t save everybody. They are going to lose their homes.
For those of you who don’t know what tax deed is, if somebody hasn’t paid their property taxes in a number of years, eventually their homes go up on the auction block for pennies on the dollar. I’ve had students pick up single-family homes in Houston, Texas for $7,000, just to give you an idea how cheap these homes sometimes go for. My favorite auction takes place in Harris County, which is a greater Houston area. You’re a Texan, you know what I’m talking about. That auction has been shut down for five months, I believe. Are you allowed groups of ten or small groups?
Houston has done a weird thing where they will allow groups of ten or protests of 100 people. In tax protest, you can have it happen.
These auctions attract several 100 people. It’s going to be a little while before they open. As you can imagine, there’s a whole bunch of several thousands of properties it would have got auctioned off over these past months. Plus, you have a moratorium and at the same auctions where they have these tax deeds, you also have foreclosures. These are the bank-owned properties that’s been shut down. Tens of thousands of properties have not changed hands, thousands of properties that would have been foreclosed on, there’s that moratorium. There’s going to be a huge glut of properties in the foreclosure space and the tax deed space. That word pivot gets used awful lot these days, but for people that are doing a certain strategy, it’s time to pivot.
I know notes are going to be big too going forward because whenever you have foreclosures, there’s the opportunity to purchase these performing or more often nonperforming notes. I know that’s your area of expertise. You need to switch your tactics at times because as the opportunity switch, if you’re not moving with it, you’re missing out. Another cool strategy tied to all this stuff that we’ve been talking about so far is something called overages. A lot of people don’t have a clue what that is so I’ll explain it. An overage is when you go to these auctions, if the opening bid let’s say is $5,000 and the property sells for $50,000. The first $5,000 belongs to the county fair and square. That’s for the back taxes. Most homeowners have no idea that additional $45,000 is owed to the previous homeowner.
The county makes little if any attempt to reach them because that money has a statutory limit. There’s a certain amount of time that people have to reclaim that money and if they don’t, then the county gets to use that as that a slush fund. They don’t want to give up those funds. It’s a cool strategy. This is also great for people that don’t have a lot of money to invest and you want to buy properties. You go and track down these people and say, “I know somebody owes you $45,000. If you’re willing to give me 20%, 30%, 40%” or whatever you negotiate with them. You’ve created a win-win.
This person lost their home. In a lot of cases, they are penniless. You approach them and say, “I know somebody owes you $45,000. If you’re willing to give me power of attorney, I’ll go get that money for you.” That’s a great win-win. I call that the trifecta because you can do three things with the same list. Every month, there’s a list of people that are going to lose their homes at the auction. You get that a month in advance. First you do the pre-foreclosure thing. You try to track them down and try to create a win-win for them before they lose their home. If unfortunately, you can’t do that and they do lose their home, then you go to the auction and bid there. Whether you win or lose at the auction, you try to track down these people that their home sold for more in the opening bid and try to reunite them with money that’s owed to them.
See if you could do three different strategies off of one list of properties. To me, these are things that are going to be huge money centers, huge potential to help people, especially with the 1st and 3rd part, the pre-foreclosure and the overage. Once they’ve lost the home, you’re helping the county because the county needs that money to keep their schools open, if schools are going to ever open, and keep their police force and their fire department going. You’re creating a win-win in all three of those. With the first and third, you’re helping the homeowner, which I particularly like. I’m going to open this up. I could keep going on strategies but I’d love to take some questions.
You said something relevant there at the beginning about how a lot of people will talk about mainly not postcards on a regular basis, how borrowers aren’t checking their mail or refusing to get to the mailbox because they knew there are all these demand letters and things like that. Let’s talk a little about that. I think that’s one of the big things. When I was a brand-new investor, I was like, “Send out postcards or yellow letters or notices to all these foreclosure lists.” When I get a few phone calls and go talk, there would be a stack like a foot tall in those houses.
My marketing worked a lot better because these people are getting stuff and letters from lawyers and banks. It’s all negative stuff that they don’t want to open. They know these things and the postcards that say, “We buy homes.” They know us as people that they perceive as being vultures that take advantage of them while they’re down. When they’d received something in the mail saying, “I can help you stop the foreclosure.” That got a lot more response. I did take the time to learn the foreclosure laws. My goal wasn’t to go steal their home. It was to create a solution that worked for them. If it happened to make me a paycheck too, that was great.
Even if it didn’t, there were a lot of times where I would give them advice. They didn’t want to do the different options I have for them and that was fine. Quite often, they sent their friends. One of the things that I did that was different is I always encourage people to be creative. Instead of doing what everybody else is doing, make a little tweak like with that marketing. Another thing that I did is when there are people in trouble because they can’t make their payment, who else is in trouble? The banks are in trouble. I would go to a lot of private lenders and hard money lenders and say, “I know you can’t necessarily give me all your client’s information, but you can certainly pass on my information to them. I can help create a win-win to help save your mortgage.” I helped a lot of banks too. Instead of going after one client individually, I sometimes have lenders that mailing out to 100 different people for me and going at it from a different direction. I always think of who’s got access to the people that you want to get to, instead of trying to go after the people that have access to the people.
There are two things. One is the mindset, “Let’s help you,” versus “Help me. Let me be the big, bad investor,” which everybody thinks of real estate investors above attorneys. The point is, “Let me try to help you get a couple options for you. You need to know your rents.” Let’s all face it. The banks aren’t going to tell the distressed borrowers all their options to track out of foreclosure. Rob’s asking, “Where can we find a list of the overages? What part of the county? Is there a specific section or county office that handles the overages?”
The counties don’t want people to claim this money. They quite often make it difficult and each county does it differently. I wish I could give you one source where you can go in and get all that information. Quite often, they make it difficult. Some places aren’t bad. If you go to Georgia, a lot of that stuff is online. In other places, you got to make phone calls and they will give you the run around to try and get that. It depends on what county, but some of that is online. I would start by Googling overages, sometimes it’s called surplus funds. I would google and find different counties.
Some of them do have it online. Georgia is one of the better ones. There’s not any one place that you become a detective. When you’re doing overages, your job is to become a detective because not only do you have to track down these lists, but you also have to track down these people. Quite often, they aren’t living at that address that they used on file. You might need a skip tracer to help you get more of them. The great thing about that strategy is once you get a little bit traction with it, it’s a great win-win. You’re helping people that had no idea this money was coming to them and it’s profitable. One of my friends, all they do is overages. The lowest paycheck so far is $21,000 for doing this.
That’s the beauty of it. It’s going to be lucrative. Now, it’s a little bit tricky because a lot of court houses and a lot of the auctions are shut down. It’s a great time to take the time to learn and see how it’s all done so that when things open up, you’ll be ready as opposed to the people that when everything opens up, then they’ll start doing their training. The counties with that particular strategy do not make it easy to find.
Someone asked a question, “Can we buy the list of the taxes? Who will sell it?” Each county is different. Each state is a different, it depends on who files it. Texas doesn’t publicize the notice of default list, but they do the tax foreclosure list that comes out. It’s a fast 21-day prior to aspect of things a little bit. Going and looking who has pending tax sales on a state month-by-month basis. In some counties, it’s once a quarter. In some other areas of the country, it’s once a year. Pick up the phone, call the tax office of each area you’re looking to and ask them individually. Sometimes, they’ll sell out. Sometimes, there’s a list that you can download off the website too. There are some list services, depending on county by county because most of the counties have to publicize this in some fashion that there’s a foreclosure. They may even have used in some counties a periodical. There may be a listing in the local newspaper where it’s at. It’s different on a county by county, state by state level for the most part out there.
That’s where the overage is. If you’re looking for the list of properties that are going up for tax deed auction at least in Texas, there’s a law firm that deals with that. The website is called www.Publicans.com. They will list all the tax sales. That’s normally where you would go. That’s one of the sources and every month it publishes for free. You can use that for pre-foreclosure and foreclosure. What happens after the auction, unless you have somebody there that’s monitoring what they’re selling for, it’s a different list to find out what the overages are. That’s a whole other can of worms to try and get that.
Some counties are easy. You fill out a surplus form and send it in with proof the you are the previous property owner. We use it with the note business where we got to send in a copy of the assignment of mortgage and then pay off with either a copy of the mortgage. That helps us with that.
Somebody was asking where you get the list and what attorney. That’s called www.Publicans.com. I want to caution you though that once you have the list, doing pre-foreclosures is safe. Going to the auction though without knowing what you’re doing is dangerous. I have seen many people lose a lot of money there. You need to definitely learn how to do it properly. Somebody in Fort Lauderdale thought they bought this beautiful villa worth $200,000 something. They got it for $9,000. They were all excited until they found out that they didn’t get a villa. They got a 100-foot by 1-foot long strip of land that separates two villas, a useless piece of land that they now own. They got upset and said, “The county misled us. We want our money back.”
There’s a big disclaimer on every site that I’ve ever seen that pertains to tax details saying, “You’re buying at your own risk. You have to do your own due diligence. Whatever you’re buying is as is where is.” You have to be careful. You don’t have any recourse if you buy something that you shouldn’t have bought and there are a lot of ways to mess up. Don’t just take the list and go to an auction. Pre-foreclosure, yes. You don’t have to know what you’re doing within reason. If you go to the auction though, you will lose your shirt a bit if not the first time, the second time.
You need to do your own due diligence and know exactly what you’re looking for and not wanting for. I’m going to wing it because I watched a webinar or listen to a podcast.
That will lead you to a lot of trouble. That was minor compared to a lot of the things I’ve seen. Normally, when you go to these tax deed auctions, the great thing is that whatever mortgages were on there, drop off 90% of the time, and 10% of the time though, they don’t. The bank will come back after you bought that property. Maybe you thought you got a smoking deal, but the bank will come back and say, “You have a $300,000 mortgage on this property cash or check, how do you plan on paying for that?” You have to be careful. You should know what you’re doing because there are many pitfalls, but once you know what you’re doing, the rewards can be great.
I’ve seen people win at these auctions and then the next month they come there, and I’ve seen people say, “I’m leaving town. I won this property last month. I’m taking off.” They’re giving away properties for free because they bought a liability, not an asset. Be careful whenever you take over a property. Whenever there’s ownership, there’s liability. You’re taking on the previous owner’s liabilities, if there’s anything on there. Once in a while, that’s why the properties are going for auction. One good example is we see a lot of vacant lots there. Maybe that vacant lot at one point had a gas station on it and now it’s contaminated. To make that land bring it back up to code, it’s $50,000 or $100,000. You might get that land for almost for free thinking, “How can you lose?” That’s how you can lose because whatever liabilities are attached to that are now yours once you own it. Be careful with that.
Using the list for pre-foreclosure is a great strategy. If you know how to do basic wholesaling or a basic flip, that’s a great way to do those. I love to teach people how to ethically invest, how to help the other person on the other end of that deal. If you go in there, always trying to make it a good deal for that other person, and you still get a paycheck. A lot of people when they’re on their way down, they’re going to come back up. If you’re smart and you keep in touch with them, give them solutions, work with them. They’re eventually going to be a client on the way back up. You’re going to make way more sales, way more paychecks that way and getting that home run. They’ll also send their friends. I’ve seen that over and over again.
It’s definitely a good point there to work out with people. People that are in difficult times are often surrounded by people that are also facing or have bad lending habits or bad housing, or are working with people that have been laid off. I’ll give you a great example. I was dealing with a short sale that the bank was EverBank on Florida. I got to the person in charge of the short sale department to talk with them a little bit. I said, “What is going on?” We came to a conclusion and I said, “How are you doing?” She’s like, “It’s a tough time to be living in Tampa.” I was like, “Are you struggling?” She’s like, “I have a house. I need somebody to help negotiate my short sale. I had a social asset.” I said, “We’re glad to help.” We helped her and she referred me to all twelve people that worked in her department who were all also upside down on their mortgage than need help with foreclosure. People are surrounded by problems a lot of times.
They’re in the same boat. They’re hanging out with other people in the same boat. We’re seeing a lot of businesses that are shutting down or aren’t going to reopen. That’s going to be the biggest problem for most people. They don’t have employment anymore. Some of these people will find other employment. They will reinvent themselves. They will find something different. They will be able to make their payments, but they may take them a while to be able to catch up on their arrears. That’s an opportunity to be a lender.
Some of these people are going to be depressed. They’re going to be not in a position where they’re even thinking straight and trying to move forward. They need our help to make decisions for them and help give them that soft landing and have somebody on their side because they’re surrounded by negativity and people that are after them for money and making all mean phone calls and lawyers. They’re in a bad spot. If you go there and you lend a sympathetic ear and give them some solutions. It’s a great win-win possibility.
I’ve got a comment on here that Publicans is comprised with invalid certificate. It’s got an invalid certificate there. I’m going to post the link here to the Linebarger law firm, which is the firm that handles most of that.
That forwards to www.Lgbs.com. I always remember Publicans doing this a long-time.
A question here from Rob, “I go to the auctions to hear the opening price and closing bid over just the between?” Not always, Rob. You’re going to realize, yes, if it bids. Starting bid is usually what this minimum of the tax auctions or if you get a bid above that, if there is a mortgage on the property, that money would go to the bank. First lien holder or second lien holder will see that and pay the taxes to auction, and then take the property back that way. If it goes above what’s up the first thing, there’s also a tax overage that goes out there. You need to get a little bit more training. It’s not as simple as showing up and listening. You need to know what’s going on with that specific property and that specific asset will be different there.
The other thing is that’s a lengthy process. These auctions go for hours and it goes all day. You don’t want to sit there. You might want to hire somebody, but a more efficient way is to find out what part of the county keeps track of this and how you can get those lists. You don’t necessarily only want to do it close to home because you’re doing most of this on the computer, over the telephone. It’s not stuff you have to do in person. There are certain parts of the country where it’s illegal for you to help somebody else get that overage. There are some other places where it has to be an attorney. In which case you can track down these people and you can hire the attorney.
There are some places where there’s low-hanging fruit. You don’t necessarily have to go and fly there and hang out at the auction all day. There are much more efficient ways to do that, but you do have to do a little detective work upfront. Once you figure it out one month, then you’re golden for the rest of your life until they change it up and make it more difficult again. You don’t want to spend your whole day at auction recording all that. It would be a lengthy process. It’s much more well-served spending your time doing other strategies.
There are some counties like Florida that does a lot of their stuff online that you can log in and take a look there. If you are a property owner in a specific county, you’ve got to register that you don’t owe back taxes because they won’t let you bid if you have back taxes as well. There are a lot of moving parts versus just showing up like, “I’m ready to rock and roll.” Think of any type of property. You’re going to need to check title, pull values, whether it’s online values initially or having a realtor pull comps or paying for a BPO. There’s due diligence. You’ve got to check about how do you check value on a property. Jump online, talk to a local agent so you have an idea and know what you’re doing. You don’t want to show up to an auction and start bidding when you don’t know what the heck you’re bidding on.
I would tell you another horror story. I do a four-day training in Houston a couple of times a year. My students and I, during our workshop, we determined that a certain property is worth $100,000. We decided our maximum bid was going to be $60,000 on this property. We went to the auction. We bid up to $60,000 and then it kept going and going. We stopped bidding. This property sold for $120,000. It was only worth $100,000. I went up to the person who “won the property.” I said, “Congratulations on getting the property. Can you tell me about it? What do you think it’s worth?” He said, “I went on Zillow and it said it was worth $150,000.” He thought he got a good deal.
That is exactly how not to determine the value of a property. Do not go on Zillow or Redfin or Trulia. You want to have somebody on your team, a realtor, maybe you’re paying them $10 a comp. If you don’t get that part right, then nothing else is going to work. If you think it’s worth more than it is, you’re already in trouble before you start. It’s important to have accurate information. The best way to do that is through a realtor. If you don’t have that part right, you’re pretty much doomed before you even start.
You don’t want to end up buying that 1 foot by 100-foot strip of property, or to buy the slab where something used to stand. You went off to Zillow photos, and the Zillow photo is two years old of something that’s been demolished or burnt down.
We looked at it all the time. On my training day, day 3 of the 4 days we go driving around. We have a list of all the properties in the classroom that we thought looked good on paper. We’ve seen quite a few of those where they look great in the pictures and the students were all excited, and then we get there and there’s smoldering ashes where the house used to stand. If that’s what you bought, that’s what you already bought. You can’t go back to the county and said, “Your pictures look nice half the time.” Those employees that take the pictures, they’re on an hourly wage. They’re driving as fast. They don’t want to spend time. If they say, “I’m looking for 123 Main Street. I can’t see the number. That looks close enough.” Half those are random pictures. I don’t even know what they are. They don’t look anything like the house half the time.
One of the things that drove me crazy when I was trying to figure out tax deed, this is going back many years ago, I took every course and read every book I could find. The more I read, the more I tried to learn, the more confused I got because there’s much conflicting information. A lot of the trainees get you excited and said, “You can do this from the comfort of your own home.” You can do it from the comfort of your own home, if you don’t mind losing money. That’s what they said is, “Go look online and go on Google Maps and look at the pictures online.” Nothing could be more dangerous than that because you don’t know when that picture was taken.
You have to have people on your team. That’s one of the things that I do. I don’t live in Texas. I have a team in Texas. I have people go around and drive the properties for me. It’s not me, it’s somebody else. For my students, I give them access to my teams. Make sure you have somebody on your team, you have a realtor on your team. Make sure you have somebody you can go and videotape not just the properties but also the streetscape, especially if it’s in Houston because there’s no zoning there.
That beautiful house might be next to a brothel or next to a pawnshop. You don’t know. Anything goes there. You need to know what the whole street looks like, the neighborhood looks like. I have somebody on my team who goes to the auction on behalf of my students. You don’t necessarily have to live in the place where you’re doing this stuff. You have to have a solid team on the ground. It’s much more efficient to have other people doing most of the heavy lifting for you anyway.
I love what you mentioned about private lenders. Often, you’ll see at the foreclosure list stuff like public lenders, where it’s not a bank on the name. It’s somebody’s name or it’s Quest Trust for the benefit of Mike Wolf. Those can be some great leads to find some private deals, but also find private money lenders to fund on your next purchases too.
The great thing about these auctions, and this isn’t for every county, I’m talking specifically Harris County, and I think most of Texas. You have to have the cash physically on you and/or your bank drafts. You can’t say, “I’m going to get a mortgage.” There’s no conditions. You have to buy it as is. You have to have the cash physically on you. It’s a great way to find potential money partners. It’s a great place to find lenders. The people that are there, the serious ones, there are a lot of people there that will never get a property. They don’t know what they’re doing, but the people that know what they’re doing usually have access to capital. If you have great deals, that’s a good place to go find people that might want to team up with you. It can be a multipurpose thing when you go to these auctions. I have my teams go so I don’t do that anymore, but if I was going to the auctions, that’s one of the things you want to keep your eyes open for.
It was one of the best things that I did as a new investor and advisor coach. First Tuesday of the month, I go and take a bunch of business cards and go meet and talk to everybody. You never know because there are people with armed guards there with briefcase. They are carrying cashier’s checks that’s $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $100,000 increments. You can’t say, “Let me go to the bank. I’ll go file for a mortgage.” No, you’ve got to pay.
You have to have it right there on you. You can’t say, “I’m going to go to the bank. I’ll be right back in ten minutes.” You do that, you will be banned forever from those auctions. The great thing about it that I like about Texas is the auctions are done by the constables. They all have guns and that’s got to be the safest place, no matter how much cash you have on you. Everybody there has a gun, except for me, apparently. I felt safe because there are lots of constables. They’re actual auctioneers which is unusual.
It’s definitely interesting time and it’s good to be there but usually a lot of people there. First Tuesday of the month is when it takes place here in Texas. Every other place, you’ll need to check on a state by state or county level for it for the most part. Looking at the foreclosures, and then you talked about a couple of things working as a lease back with some of these borrowers out there, or even maybe taking over property subject-to. Do you foresee those subject-to strategies having increased here in the post-COVID market?
Big time and it’s a great opportunity for people that maybe don’t qualify for financing to go take over other people’s mortgages. The banks are always lenient. A lot of people are worried with subject-to that all the banks are going to call it in. They almost never call it in. Especially now, they’re going to be happy to have anybody on the other end of that mortgage making a payment. It’s a great time for that strategy. Potentially, short sales are coming down the pipeline, although they take forever to do. There are many great opportunities. If there was one time in my many years that I’ve been doing this and I can pick the time to start, it would be right now. If any of you who are reading in and you’re on the fence, you’re thinking of jumping into real estate or want to test the waters, now is the time to test the waters. This is the best time ever in terms of opportunity to make money and help other people. These are crazy times. I don’t think auction has ever shut down in 100 something years.
The only time I can remember is when the auction fell on the 4th of July.
They just move it. They bump it. These are physically shut down. No auction in sight until things ease up on how many people can get together in a room. It’s totally crazy. I can’t even imagine how much opportunity there is going to be once it’s reopens. There will be less competition because a lot of people don’t have the cash right now. For people that are ready to take action, the opportunity is going to be massive.
“Who do we need to learn all these strategies from?” Mike, you’ve got something you’ve put together to help people out with that.
I do live trainings. Your audience doesn’t know me but I normally travel full-time. I’m a nomadic person. I do trainings once or twice a year. I take people to Houston, Texas for the tax deeds. I’m not doing that anytime in the near future. I’m using this downtime though. I decided to create a training. It’s three days long. I’m teaching some of the best strategies that if you want to take advantage of what’s coming down the pipeline. You’re on the good end of that transfer of wealth. That’s the stuff I’m teaching. I’ve decided to make it affordable. It’s $97 for three full days. I’m teaching all my best stuff.
I won’t be teaching tax deeds. That in itself is four days. If I focused on that, it would take up all three days and we still wouldn’t finish because there’s a lot of things you need to know. I will be teaching you the basics of that. We’ll be teaching overages and everything from subject-to, wholesaling and pre-foreclosure. I’m going to be teaching the actual steps I did to get people to call me that were in trouble, how I had the banks sending people to me and how I funded those deals. Especially back in those days, I didn’t have the amount of cash that I have available these days.
I’m going to be teaching other people to fund those deals. I got to be in the middle of it. Lots of cool strategies that you can do right now. A lot of it is pertaining to no money or low money down strategies such as overages. You need little cash to get started with that. The tax deeds, once they open up again, I’ve had students pick up single-family homes for $7,000. I had them pickup vacant lots, empty lots for $500, go and flip it for $5,000.
When I started off, I had less than zero. I was trying to pay off my student loans. I was $25,000 in debt, which back in those days seemed like an insurmountable amount of money. I have to be resourceful and creative. I’m going to be teaching creative financing and how to get deals done even if you don’t have a lot of cash. Limit your credit SOX. I’m going to teach you how to do all that. These days I’ve been getting a lot of calls from people. I always get emails from people saying, “Can you help me? I’m thinking of selling my home. What do you recommend?” I got real estate questions. I’ve been getting a lot of people that are strong people to say, “I’m scared.”
I’m seeing a lot of people that are in a different frame of mind that I’m used to seeing. I want to help as many people as possible. I want to train as many people to invest ethically so we can go help as many people in trouble as possible, but also to make a paycheck as you do it. I’m going to be teaching all my best stuff. I want to be transparent that I can’t teach you the entire tax deeds strategy. I’ll be teaching everything else but that in great detail.
You go over that a little bit. It’s like note investing. You can’t learn note investing in 1 or 2 days. You’ve got to dive deep into it. You’ll talk a little bit about it, but not the deep end aspect of it.
I’m never going to teach something where I give people enough information to make them dangerous to themselves. If I give you a little bit information and then you go and think you know what you need to do, and then you go and screw up, you’re going to lose a lot of money. That comes with a disclaimer. I’m going to teach you the basics. If that interests you down the road, when I do my live trainings again, and I may do it online instead, the tax deed training, I’d love to have you there.
In the meantime, this is a great way to see if it’s something that interests you. I’m going to teach you a whole bunch of stuff that you do right now. Your auctions, even if I taught you it, if it opens in four months from now, you’re going to lose that momentum anyway. It’s better to take your training right when you’re getting ready to the jump in. You need to start to do it now from your computer. You don’t have to go look at homes. I haven’t looked at homes. I haven’t looked at house and I can’t remember the last time.
The last time I did, it was a few summers ago. I was buying a portfolio in Michigan. I was like, “I haven’t been in Michigan forever, let’s go.” I flipped but I hit 50 properties in a three-day period.
You’ve got a couple of baseball games too.
There’s so much to do. I love that you show people how to do this from other stuck at home still to be looking at and discovering deals out there in a variety of fashions out there. That $97 is a great price point. It’s affordable for everybody. It’s enough skin in the game that they’re going to be serious and show up for them. Free has no value. Nobody wants to show up when it’s free, but it’s makes it worth your time out there. Even though you charge a lot more for different classes. I charged a lot more for classes. Let’s get you started and at least get you to see if it’s a fit so you can dip your toe in the water and see if the water’s warm.
The other thing is there are a lot of great opportunities out there. Tax deeds aren’t one of them yet. It will be soon when the auction is open up again. It’s going to be massive. Right now, why not make some paychecks? With those paychecks, you’ll be able to afford to come to my live training. I do small groups. Normally, when I do live events with 10 to 20 people, that’s it. I make it as a boutique operation. I don’t want to work with 1,000 people.
The reason for that is I give my students access to my teams. I want to be able to over deliver to my students. My teams have to be able to handle the volume that I’m bringing there. I have to be able to handle the volume because my students have access to me. That’s why I do small groups, but because we’re doing it on Zoom, I’m also training as many people as possible. These people are not going to get access to my teams, but I’m going to teach you how you can go build your own teams and do these strategies from home.
I’m going to show you how to make some money, and then when I do my next live training, you’ll already know me, like me, trust me, and then you’ll be ready to work on a bigger level with me. This is the buffet where you get to learn a whole bunch of different strategy and see if I’m a good fit for you. If I am, great, I’d love to work with you. If I’m not, Scott is also a pretty darn good trainer. I know Scott and I are going to be doing a bunch of stuff together here and cross promoting each other. I’d love to work with more Scott students and vice versa.
Everybody should know that we’d bring on a lot of stuff. We stay focused on the note business, but I like what Mike is doing. I love how Mike teaches. That’s why we’re doing something a little bit more generic than note investing. Bill reach out of Cleveland, Ohio. He’s a big Cavaliers fan. He goes, “Is this recorded to watch another time if we can’t make it all three days?”
It is. If you sign up and you can’t make all three days, I know it’s short notice. You’re going to get the recordings of it. Even if you are there all three days, which I recommend, because we’re going to have prizes and it’s going to be a lot of fun. In Q&A, you can pick my brain for three days long. If you can’t make it for whatever reason, we’ll get you the recordings. I recommend even if you are there all three days, rewatch it and pick the strategies that you like best. I’m giving you a buffet of strategies, but then afterwards go back and hone in on 1 or 2, don’t try to do 100 different things. Pick 1 or 2, do them well and master them, then go onto the next one. I recommend that you watch recordings even if you are there live.
The website is Bit.ly/WealthMasteryBootcamp. It’s Friday, Saturday and Sunday. What time are you kicking off?
It’s going to be 10:00 to 5:00 Mountain time. We’re always going to start running on time at 10:00. I do not guarantee we’ll finish at 5:00 because I tend to go way over time. I’ve done this only once before online. I’m new to this online training and we ended up going to 7:00, 8:00 or 9:00. Try to keep as much time open in the evenings as possible. Once I get started, I love teaching and I love giving as much fire hose. I want to answer each and every question. As questions come in, I don’t finish until everybody else is happy and raved or sleeping. If I see everybody sound asleep, then I stopped.
Is there a manual that goes along it or a schedule that we can see what’s covered subject by subject?
If you click that link, it tells you some of the topics we’re going to cover. I don’t have a manual per se. There will be some PDFs and there’s going to be a section once we get online where I’m going to be posting some of the tools that I use. The topics are the things that I believe are going to work for you right now. The stuff that you can do while you’re hunkered down, while you’re stuck at home without having to look at properties. That’s some of the stuff we’re going to cover there. Scott knows how to work all this stuff.
You’ll be talking about pre-foreclosures and foreclosures, wholesaling, flipping, overages and surplus funds, turnkey real estate, multifamily, low down and no money investment strategies, tax liens and deeds, which I love there. What’s it means to create a wealth mindset? What’s one of your biggest things when it comes to that?
The main thing is I could give somebody all the skills, tactics, strategies, but if you have the wrong mindset, what I mean by that, if you’re watching the news and in a negative frame of mind, you think the world is collapsing around you. The best quote ever is Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” If you take this information and you say, “The world is falling apart, why should I even start?” You’re not going to get a result. If you see that through all this chaos, there’s this amazing opportunity being created. If you’re feeling optimistic about that and you get out there and you take action. If you’re using this downtime to educate yourself, these are people that are like me and you and they’re lifelong learners.
If people go with a right mindset, positivity is one of the best things you can have in a negative environment. Gratitude is very important. I normally would be traveling. I’d probably be somewhere on a beach right now and to be easy for me to say, “Stupid COVID, but thanks to COVID I’m stuck. I can’t travel. I can’t do things I want to do.” Instead, I said, “This is an opportunity for me to go and create more trainings, help more people. I’m going to record all this and whenever I want to travel, whenever things open up again, I can go back to traveling. People will be able to watch these recordings and I’ll be able to help hopefully a lot of people so they can go help a lot of people.”
Instead, I’m grateful because I wouldn’t have chosen this time to settle down for these few months. I’d still be traveling, but instead I’m grateful that things got quieter for me. I didn’t have early morning flights to cash. I’m not running around and it gave me an opportunity. A lot of it is gratitude and positivity. You filter that you see the planet through. We’re going to talk a lot about mindset on that. If I give all the strategy, but you think of the world’s falling apart, then it’s not going to work. If you think you can’t do it, I’m going to show you that when I started as 24 years old, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I happened to get a course to do a real estate deal because my mortgage broker called me up. That’s a long story which I’ll explain on the three-day, but I got into this by mistake.
I wasn’t even looking to be a real estate investor. When I got that first paycheck, I was like, “I like real estate investing.” After that I was living with my parents. My parents wanted me to be a lawyer. I racked up all these student loans, getting my first degree and decided, “Before I get my second degree, I want to pay it off,” and I stumbled upon real estate by mistake. People that are tuning in and wanting to be successful at real estate. You’re already a bunch of steps ahead of me. If you’re thinking, “I’ve got no money.” I had less than. I had negative $25,000. Back in 1989, that was a lot of money.
Each and every person can do it, but you have to have the right mindset. You have to believe in yourself and you have to be able to go out. There are going to be a lot of naysayers around you and they say, “You’re investing in real estate. Are you crazy?” There are going to be a lot of people around you that are going to try and talk you out of it. If you let what they say bring you down, you’re not going to get a result.
My goal is to help you to get above all that. I’m going to teach you a lot of the things that you’re going to have to deal with from external sources to be successful at this. It’s not that tough. Once you have the right mindset, it’s not just in real estate that you’re going to succeed in. Everything around you will start to work better, whether it be your relationships or your health. I don’t claim to be a relationship coach or a health coach. I can tell you that when you have the right mindset, everything falls into place a lot better because it’s your perception of the world that makes the difference.
Bad things happen, everybody. You can choose either dwell on it and wallow in that pity “woe is me” thing, and you’re going to attract more of that negativity.
Five years from now, people are going to look back at this time in history and say, “I was successful and everything was going well, and then COVID hit.” That’s going to be their story for the rest of their life why they’re not successful. Other people, including myself, I think I’m going to look back and say, “I wouldn’t have chosen that, but during that time, I pivoted and did things a little bit differently. I reinvented how I do things. I made little tweaks and made a big difference.” Everybody has the opportunity to do that. It’s easy to get caught up in the news and it’s easy to watch every single thing on Netflix. If you take some of this time to learn and people that are doing that, they’re lifelong learners and they’re taking this opportunity. Five years from now, we’re going to look back and say, “In many ways, this was one of the best things that ever happened to us in a weird way.”
There are some handouts. You’re going to cover a couple of things. You’ve got an Amazon expert coming on as well. It’s like they’re going to talk about some of the things you can do on Amazon.
Even though it’s not real estate, the way we shop has definitely changed during the downtime and we’re seeing a lot of retailers going under. The beneficiary of that is Amazon. My buddy has been selling on Amazon for a few years now. He started with $6,000. In 2019, he sold $1.5 million worth of products on Amazon. He’s going to be teaching exactly how he does it, how he picks his products, the software he uses. He’s going through all the details. That’s a great business as well for people that are thinking of other ways that maybe they want to reinvent themselves. I’ve watched him crushing it out there. I’m bringing him as a guest speaker. That guy is not in real estate, but I’m always wanting to learn these strategies if they work and he’s totally crushing it. Amazon is going to get bigger over the next years.
One of the things is we’re about to enter into the beginning of 2021 with a garage sale economy. Some of the houses I bought that are distressed or subject-to deals had all this property and all stuff in here. It helped us to sell the stuff online through eBay or Amazon. Our house has paid for full rehabs off of what we were able to sell from inside.
Even pre-COVID, I do a lot of shopping on there. It’s not even of the future, it’s the wave right now. Greg who’s my friend who does the Amazon, he’s spoken at my live events before. It works well a lot of times. I’m not trying not to stereotype, but quite often the husband is like, “I want to do tax deeds,” and the wife goes, “I want to get paid to go shopping.” Quite often, we see that happening as well. Ladies, if you want an excuse to go to the shoe store and buy purses, this is your big chance.
Husband sell it to your wife, “Let’s sit through something together this weekend and it’ll be something we both can learn and add value to our lives.” Mike, thank you for coming on. I’m looking forward to seeing you. I’m excited to have you on here to talk about this and looking forward to those that are going to find some success.
Thanks for having me, Scott. It’s always great to see you. When this is over, let’s get on another call and I’m looking forward to doing some more work with you all year long.
Take your business to a whole different level. If you’re struggling, instead of trying to find which way to go, if you’re pounding your head trying to do a strategy that was sold to you that had worked few years ago, put it away. Sign up and learn about what’s working in the market. There are many things that are working. You just got to know how to put it to work and learn it. Join Mike and you will not go wrong. It’ll get around to you, everybody but otherwise, have a great day. We’ll see you all later at the top.
- Tax Lien Investing – previous episode of The Note Closers Show
- Mike Wolf
About Mike Wolf
Mike Wolf is a self made freedom lifestyle entrepreneur, seasoned investor, and international speaker. He has been investing in real estate for almost 30 years and has been involved in several other entrepreneurial ventures.
He is a regular contributor in the media with his extensive background in business, entrepreneurship, and real estate. His experience investing in the U.S. as a Canadian has given Mike a unique perspective on taxation and other cross-border investing issues.
Mike not only loves investing in real estate but he loves teaching his students about it as well. He has helped thousands of his students successfully invest in his turnkey properties and as well as teaching others strategy on how to do it themselves.
Mike is passionate about showing people how to successfully invest and grow thriving businesses. Mike has a passion for entrepreneurship and sharing that wisdom with his students.
As a heart centered entrepreneur his passion is giving back to the entrepreneurial community to help people make informed, educated business decisions to build long term passive income and wealth for themselves and their families.
Mike helps people realize their dreams of creating both time, location, and financial freedom by teaching strategies to achieve passive income. Mike believes that you should love what you do every day and really enjoy life!
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