Q. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in what city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
A. We buy homes for cash. We help families who need to sell their homes quickly and efficiently without having to go through the normal process of listing a home on the market. Currently based out of Frisco, Texas and buy homes all around the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. We are expanding nationwide and experiencing incredible growth.
Q. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
A. I started in the real estate business when I was just eighteen. I bought my first rental property and thought I was going to live like a king! I ended up only making $75 per month after expenses. I’d married my high school sweetheart, and was always friendly with her parents’ next-door neighbour when pulling up to my in-laws’ house. The neighbor always saw me in different cars because I flipped classic cars to make money when I was younger. One day, she said to me, “You’re probably a good salesman. Why don’t you come work for the company where I work?” At the time it was pretty much a no-brainer since I’d had my real estate license for one year and had made NEGATIVE $6,000 in real estate!
So I went in for the interview and found out very quickly that a lot of success is about who you know, and to a lesser degree what you know! I found out you needed a 2-year work history in the field and a college degree – neither of which I had! They took a chance and hired me anyway, just because of the neighbor’s introduction and that interview.
The job I entered was in the subprime mortgage industry, and I was starting to make some really good money when the mortgage crisis hit. Needless to say, like many others, the company went out of business when the subprime loans became toxic goods. Yes, I was bummed, but there was an awesome silver lining. Though that job, I met my boss and group of friends who turned out to be my best friends, and still are to this day!
After the company shut down, I ended up working as a retail loan officer for a year. I made nothing, since it was in the down-and-dirty bottom of the recession. However, during that year, a “cash for houses” type company called me and wanted to know if wanted to buy the rights to the Houston market. I told them that it sounded interesting, but since I lived in Dallas, I couldn’t do anything with that. I asked them to call me when Dallas became available. I’d wanted to buy distressed homes for a while, but I just needed them in my back yard.
So a few weeks later, they called back and said Dallas was available! I bought the rights to the DFW market, and sure enough, sellers started to contact us wanting to sell their homes at discounted prices. Some were underwater – meaning their homes were worth less than the mortgage they still owed – and some were facing foreclosure. Some had lost jobs or were facing other financial problems, and were liquidating their best asset – their home.
There was one problem, though. It was a big one, and a real obstacle. I had some money saved up from buying and selling classic cars, but not enough to buy a home for cash. In the housing market at the time, hardly anyone was willing to lend unless you had the top tier of credit ratings and a big down payment. I had to come up with a solution, or go back to that desk job that I hated so much.
I came up with a method. I would write a contract to pay $50,000 on a home to that was worth $100,000. I would then sell/assign my rights to the contract to another fellow investor for $5,000 or $55,000 total. So the seller was happy because they got $50,000 that they badly needed, the investor was happy because they got a $100k home for $55k and I was happy because I made $5,000 without having to spend a dime! Now, this was fine and dandy for a year or two, but then I realized how much money I was missing out on by not renovating them and selling them retail.
So after saving up some money by flipping the home to an investor, I started actually closing on the homes myself and rehabbing them. I usually had four to six homes in the process simultaneously. If you have ever seen any of the TV shows like Flip or Flop or Flip That House, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I was doing the exact same thing, just not on TV. It was great, and I had a lot of successful years, but to be honest I got very burned out.
I had a home that I bought and was about to rehab, but it was the last thing I wanted to deal with at that point. I thought I’d try to sell it in as-is condition to another investor. I listed it as a FSBO it on the local MLS and very shortly a buyer came along and made an offer. Great! The problem was that the buyer was getting a hard money loan and not paying cash. I asked how much the lender was charging him, and he replied that the lender was charging him 14% and 4 points. Since I already owned the home, I offered to do 12% and 2 points. The investor agreed to the deal, and closed on the home with me as his bank.
A light bulb went off, and I thought to myself, “Hey! I should just be the bank for local flippers and make interest on my own money.” After all, the banks are the ones who make all the money, right? I started a hard money lending company, and that became our main focus. However, we didn’t have unlimited funds and needed more capital. Once again we needed to beat the bank, and started a wealth management division. We specialize in individuals who have cash reserves, but are sick of only getting around 1% interest from their bank. We provide an excellent alternative investment vehicle for our private investors with a guaranteed 8% return on any money invested.
Watch the video to see how. www.see8now.com
Q. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
- It is hard. Don’t give up.
- Always be honest with your clients, and especially with yourself.
- Be creative!
Q. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- Hard work.
Q. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Q. To what do you most attribute your success?
A. Always having a backup plan or another branch/division of my company to fall back on.
Q. How do you market your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
A. Online marketing – and that is all we do.
Q. Where did your organization’s funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
A. Referrals., referrals, referrals. We network a lot, and once we did a good job for one person, they referred us to another.
Q. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
A. Just being honest and doing right by people – be truthful, and don’t take advantage of people.
Q. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
A. Hopefully, semi-retired. We would like to double our production within five years.
Q. Excluding your own, what company or business do you admire the most?
A. I love Amazon. They’re superefficient and have great customer service.
Q. How important have good employees been to your success?
Q. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
A. I don’t think I have ever had to give up on an idea.
Q. What motivates you?
A. Providing for my family.
Q. What are your idols?
A. Honesty. Honest people are so rare that they should be idols. I hate liars, and I refuse to be one of them.
Q. How do you generate new ideas?
A. To be honest they usually just come to me. It’s like a lightbulb turning on.
Q. How do you define success?
A. Setting up a system or a business where you are financially secure for the rest of your life.
Q. How do you build a successful customer base?
A. Our customer base is a little bit different in the fact that most people are selling multiple homes. So we usually just have a one-off transaction, and then we are done. But we take such good care of our clients that we have excellent testimonials. Word of mouth and our solid reputation bring in the business.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
A. Having the freedom to do what I want when I want without somebody telling me that I can’t.
Q. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
A. They have the guts to take a chance and roll the dice.
Q. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why do you institute this particular type of culture?
A: We are very laid-back. We don’t wear suits and ties, and we make sure our employees can take care of their kids when they need to.
Q. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Q. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
A. Not much to be honest. One thing I would change is I would never have had a business partner. I wish I would have just started the business on my own from the beginning.
Q. How has to be an entrepreneur affected your family life?
A. It has blessed us in many ways. But one downfall is that you’re always working and always on the clock especially with all technology around today. The office is with you wherever you go, unless you purposefully leave it behind.
Q. What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
A. To one day not be self-employed anymore and having to go get a desk job. I manage it by waking up every day and busting my butt making sure that does not happen.
Q. How did you decide on the location for your business?
A. We were just driving by one day and thought it would be nice to own the building – then a few years later I purchased it.
Q. If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
A. Steve Jobs. He was a brilliant mind and dedicated to building a successful business.
Q. What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)
A. The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne.
Q. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
A. Not going through the proper channels or trying to save a little bit of money instead of hiring a professional who is an expert in their field.
Q. How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
A. We prevent mistakes by doing our due diligence upfront and using the proper professionals in their respective industries.
Q. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Q. What makes you happy?
A. Taking vacations with my family.
Q. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
A. Time away from the kids.
About USA Cash For Houses: USA Cash For Houses has a team of experienced, knowledgeable Texas cash home buyers that are willing to pay top dollar for your property! We’re Prepared To Give You a Fair ALL CASH Offer For Your House Today!
Company Name: USA Cash For Houses
Address: 4221 Preston Road Suite 200, Frisco, TX, 75034