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Creating Referrals Through Relational Acquisition, with Melissa Johnson

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Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneurs know that taking a relationship-based approach to negotiating with Sellers not only feels right, it works really well to get deals done too! But when done well, these nurtured Seller relationships can propel our businesses even further in the future through referrals! In this episode, Jeff interviews veteran real estate investor Melissa Johnson, who shares her insights on doing business in a way that generates future referrals for more acquisitions!

Melissa Johnson has been flipping houses in San Antonio, TX since 2003, growing and expanding the business into a thriving real estate investment operation. With close to a thousand flips under her belt, she has also built a portfolio of rental properties and real estate notes while raising five children. She provides coaching, support, and education for other high level real estate investors nationwide. She enjoys giving back to the REI community by hosting the E3 podcast for women and the MORE (Moms of Real Estate) podcast, as well as running the San Antonio InvestHer meetup group. As an active member of the Forbes Council on Real Estate and NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners), she is dedicated to the success and empowerment of women in business.

Episode Transcript

I had somebody on the team go back like three years, pull up all the people that we bought houses from and then we launched we created and launched a campaign to reach back out to these people. You know, like, Hey, remember we bought your house at 123 Main Street you know if you know anybody that needs to sell a house friend, coworker, teammate, anything like that, send them our way. That cost per lead is so low. I mean, we throw in $500 for every lead that we close, and to them that’s a ton of money. For me it’s a very low cost per lead when you look at all the other marketing channels that you’re doing. So the relationship part of it and providing a really good experience, which again, is relational you know, all the things we do we walk them through the process. We’re very proactive with things with our sellers.

Welcome to racking up rentals, a show about how regular people, those of us without huge war chest of capital, insider connections, can build lasting wealth acquiring a portfolio of buy and hold real estate. But we don’t just go mainstream looking at what’s on the market and asking banks for loans, nor are we posting We Buy Houses signs, we’re just looking for quote, motivated sellers to make lowball offers to. You see, we are people-oriented dealmakers, we sit down directly with sellers to work out Win Win deals without agents or any other obstacles, and buy properties nobody else even knows are for sale. I’m Jeff from a thoughtful real estate entrepreneur. If you’re the kind of real estate investor who wants long term wealth, not get rich quick gimmicks or pictures of yourself holding fat checks on social media. This show is for you. Join me and quietly become the wealthiest person on your block. Now let’s go rack up a rental portfolio. Hey, thank you for joining me for another episode of racking up rentals. Show Notes for this episode can be found at www dot thoughtfull. Our e.com slash e 110 e 110. Please do us a big favor by hitting that subscribe button or the plus button or whatever it is in your podcast app helps you make sure you don’t miss any episodes coming up and also sends a message back to the platforms that your listening makes them want to spread the message to other fellow thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs to find the show. honored with today’s episode. And in today’s episode, I’m really pleased to share with you an interview that I got a chance to do recently with my new friend Melissa Johnson. I think I came across Melissa on Instagram and there was something about kind of the tone of her message when I first saw it that just resonated with me. You know, sometimes when you you come across somebody and you say, you know, I can’t put my finger on it, but like the the spirit of what I get from them, the vibe I get from them feels like me. Well, that’s kind of how I felt when I came across Melissa. So we stayed in touch loosely for a while and recently decided to get on zoom together and do an interview that I could share with you. And so I’m really grateful for her taking the time to chat with me and to share this interview with you. So without further ado, let’s jump right into it. And let’s see what we can learn from Melissa about doing business in a relational way that drives referrals. and so much more. Okay, Melissa, thanks so much for joining me today. Thank you. I appreciate your your interest in chatting with me. I feel like what I started paying more attention to like, I guess social media of the real estate investing world right, trying to kind of get my bearings in there. I feel like you were one of the first people that I came across and saw and then proceeded to like see a lot of your a lot of your stuff. So it’s really cool to to get a chance to chat with you now feel like I’m, you know, interviewing a real estate investing celebrity right here. No one’s ever caught me that before. Just trying to butter you up a little bit. You know, it’s working. Nice, nice. So for everybody listening, just give us a sense if you would for, you know, how did you get to where you are now, a little bit about your story, you know, what would what would make you this real estate celebrity?

Melissa Johnson:

Well, let’s see, I have been in real estate for 18 years. In San Antonio, Texas. That’s the only market that I’m in the only market I’ll ever be in because I get that question a lot. I was just working a normal job. You know, I was I was working for a defense contractor kind of had the cubicle thing going on. very male dominated industry. It’s funny, I was on a show the other day and I was thinking about the jobs that I had before because they were asking about my background. It’s like I’ve always worked in these man like I’ve worked for welding supply for years. And then I worked for the government contractor for four years and then found myself in real estate in 2003. So was working in my job but I was also part time investing for several years before I actually made the leap to the full time and then just did you know a lot of flips, I think We’ve flipped about 1000 houses at this point. That’s all that was like the heads a lot. It was the primary focus in the beginning was the flipping, and then started buying more properties that we would sell with owner financing, buying some rental properties in there, and then gradually moving into more of a wholesaling model. And just cherry picking the flips, which was a really great space to be in. And then from there just kind of growing that business and scaling it to a point where I was comfortable. And then that my last two years, I really been more focused on coaching. And just being able to be a resource and helping other people that want to get into the

Jeff Stephens:

business. Nice. That sounds like a cool journey that’s allowed you to, I don’t know sample nibble at a lot of different aspects of real estate entrepreneurship and kind of see you know, what things you like the most I really I’m excited to dig into some of the variety of things you just mentioned there. There’s a lot of things. Yeah, absolutely. So first, I guess I wanted to ask you, I keyed in on what you said there about only doing business in San Antonio, I personally am a big believer in focusing on a market, I guess. And so I’d love to hear your thoughts on like, why is that so important to you that you just stick to San Antonio?

Melissa Johnson:

Yeah, so for me, it was really, I’ve, I have a core value of keep it simple. So that means that’s very important to me. And it feels like going in multiple markets. Although it can be done, people do it all the time, it feels a little complicated, and not really something I’m that interested in. And you know, more importantly, I really feel like it’s important to be the master of your market. Like if you know your market, you know, and I’m not even originally from San Antonio, but I can tell you everything you’d ever want to know about this market. And I think that’s a real competitive advantage there. Versus people who come in from all you know, different places, and they don’t really take the time to learn the market. And the only way you’re going to learn the market that well is just by being in that market, I feel like at least there may be other people who have a different school of thought, and that’s fine. But for me, I choose to really, really have my market dialed in so that I know when a property comes in, I mean, I can tell you about what it’s worth. And you know, if that’s going to be a rental or an owner finance, or a flip or a wholesale, you know, we’d base our whole criteria for what we do and the business on our market. And you know, there’s just there’s so many pieces to that there’s so many things that you can dig into when you’re in your own market. And you’re really mastering that like knowing here’s a good example of knowing how your marketing performs within your market. So we did a deep dive into our marketing at one point. And I was breaking everything out by zip code. And what I was starting to realize was that Hmm, this is interesting. Like all these zip codes, which are in this area of town, those were getting a lot of web leads and stuff like that nobody’s responding to our direct mail. However, in these zip codes, people love the direct mail, we have a really high response rate, not so much with the organic or PPC traffic’s not really happening over on this side of town. So when you know those things, and you know how you can reallocate stuff like Well, I’m not going to mail to that side of town anymore, because they are more web driven. So I’m going to take the money and throw more, you know, dollars for pay per click at that maybe, and focus my direct mail on these zip codes. But these are all things that you learn. As you master your market and knowing where boundaries are of like historic districts, gentrification areas, school districts are big here, at least, you know, like we’ve got this Alamo Heights. It’s a very desirable School District. And there are a lot of properties that fall within that zip code. However, there is two different school districts that run through there. So I laugh when I see emails from wholesalers. And they’re trying to get Alamo Heights pricing because it’s in that zip code, but it’s not Alamo Heights schools. And that makes a huge difference to people. They’re not going to pay that same amount of money. That’s just things that you learn when you’re in your market and you truly are understanding what’s going on in your backyard.

Jeff Stephens:

Yeah, gosh, I am such a fellow member of that school of thought right alongside you. And I always tell people, I feel like you should if I give you an address in your town, I don’t expect you to be able to picture that house but I would definitely expect expect you to be able to close your eyes have a sense for that neighborhood. The general feel of it the general surroundings the general price points, right. Maybe some of the general rent price points. As well, and to have that, you know, it’s like going an inch wide and a mile deep rather than a mile wide and an inch deep. And guy just totally, absolutely agree that if you expect to be able to have like a intrinsic ability to assess opportunity, you, you can’t, you can’t do like a little bit everywhere. You really have to master your market. And I love that expression, by the way, too. I might steal it, but give you credit. How’s that? Thanks. Yeah, okay, that’s really, really cool. So you touched on marketing a little bit there. And so I was gonna ask you just about your overall kind of, I guess, approach to philosophy on acquisition. So I mean, if we kind of made two categories of that, like generating leads, basically, and then closing the deal through through negotiation, how would you kind of describe how you go about doing it?

Melissa Johnson:

So it’s funny, we hit on this for a second earlier, but you were aware, a lot of like, it’s funny, I don’t meet many people that are like us. But I am very relationship focused. And that’s been more of a shift recently, actually, is really focusing. So one thing, one thing that I do is like, I’m not a big believer in the shotgun approach, clearly, to anything I like to be really like dialed in on whatever I’m doing. I don’t like wasting time, money, energy, any of that. I like to be more focused on the relationships. And what I had, the reason why I sort of made that shift was because I noticed as the leads were coming in, because we only market directly to sellers, I don’t buy off the MLS, I don’t buy from other wholesalers. But when we were doing all that marketing, I started to notice when the leads were coming, and a lot of them were, we were getting a lot of like referrals and things like that. I you know, I had, I love to tell the story, I’ve got this one lady, and she’s referred so many deals to us, I think we bought maybe four or five properties from this lady at a time. And she’s just like, consistent, you know, with stuff because we we sold, we bought a house for one of her friends. And she had a really good experience. And the lady heard about it, I guess, through church or something. And she started telling other people, and she would just call us like, hey, this person, you know, needs to sell their house, you know, if you want to give him a call, I told him that, you know, you guys are legit, you know, and so we would go out there. But it was great like building that that relationship, even with, you know, people that we have sold homes to before, like, we just launched a whole referral campaign, I went back. Well, I didn’t I had somebody on the team co pack, like three years, pull up all the people that we bought houses from, and then we launched, we created and launched a campaign to reach back out to these people. You know, like, Hey, remember, we bought your house at 123 Main Street, you know, if you know anybody that needs to sell a house, friend, coworker, teammate, anything like that, send them our way, that cost per lead is so low, I mean, we throw on $500 for every lead that we close. And to them, that’s a ton of money. For me, it’s a very low cost per lead when you look at all the other marketing channels that you’re doing. So the relationship part of it and providing a really good experience, which again, is relational, you know, all the things we do we walk them through the process, we’re very proactive with things with our sellers. And our buyers, too. You know, we keep, we have processes for constant communication, so that everybody knows what’s happening throughout the transaction all the way through. And when you build those good relationships, and you provide that good service like that, the referrals, just they just come in people you don’t even your marketing becomes just word of mouth and like, how cheap can you get for lead that point?

Jeff Stephens:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So when you get this lead, then then how would you kind of, you know, if you were to paint a picture, like if we were there’s a hidden camera, we’re watching you kind of, you know, negotiate these types of acquisitions? And what does that look like for you? Or you sit down in the living room with that seller kind of person? Are you doing mostly over the phone or email or even things like text? Or how do you do that?

Melissa Johnson:

Um, when we’re closing, you know, when we go on an appointment, we’re going with an intention to walk away with a contract. So for us, it’s, you know, however long it takes, and, you know, there’s so many schools of thought on acquisitions, and I’ve done all the sales training, you know, Steve Trang stuff a little bit I’ve, I’ve just started looking at some of his stuff. I’ve done all the john Martinez stuff, but really in the end, what I find is that you take the pieces of those kind of trainings from people and you figure out what works for you and make it make it your make it you like, I can take what they say, but I’m not going to regurgitate it the same way. You know, I get the concept, but I need to present it in my own way. And my way might be different from somebody else. So I’m very, like, tell me, tell me what’s going on, like, I have found in especially with being a woman. And most of the people that actually come to us are women, because we found like, women are decision makers, they’re the action taker, right? You know, it’s like, we got this problem, and we needed to get rid of this house. And by golly, like, I’m gonna call 10 people and get them all in here, and we’re gonna figure this out. And what seems to work best is just, they just want to be heard. You know, so I, I’m a good listener on appointments, I let them do a lot of the talking. And I just asked a lot of questions, and to get them talking and to uncover that motivation and to, I really want them to be comfortable. So I spend a lot of time building rapport for them, and then presenting a solution to the problem. So it’s not like we’re going to give you a contract, we’re going to give you a solution to your to the problem here. And this is what it looks like. And we try to use that approach, you know, just a little bit of a softer approach. And I think a lot of people appreciate it, actually. And we’ve had people tell us, like, you weren’t the lowest offer, but we liked you. You know, and I think that says a lot. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You know, and then building your reputation, too, I should add, also, like, the longer you’re in business, and the more you can establish credibility with people. So getting better business bureau rated, having Google reviews, or Facebook reviews, testimonials on your website, like all of those things have also made helped us close deals because they, like know, and trust us versus other people. They don’t even have a website, and maybe they’re a little shady, you know, just these are things that make people feel more comfortable. Yeah,

Jeff Stephens:

absolutely. I really like that idea that, that people want to feel heard. And, you know, I think that’s, I just think it’s so true. You know, there’s that kind of old expression in sales. It says that, you know, people don’t buy when they understand you they buy when they feel understood, and you can’t make them feel understood, unless you’re listening and making them feel heard and feeling understood, I think, are they just two peas in a pod? And so I’m really like that, I really, really liked that approach as well. I think I personally end up like slow playing things quite a bit. So I rarely am walking into a kind of a meeting expecting a purchase contract. But it’s really the same objective, though, which is to secure that rapport and to begin understanding them and to make them feel heard and just begin that whole process. So I think, yeah, we do have a lot in common there.

Melissa Johnson:

Yeah. And I think if you take that, and then you couple that with a really good follow up system, because if you’ve got the gentle clothes, kind of like I do you know, where it’s like, Okay, well, when you’re ready, you know, we’re here, you know, obviously, we want the contract. But if there’s pushback or anything, I’m not going to be super pushy. It’s just not my nature to be. Which is probably why I’m not like the best person in acquisitions. But you know, I have to have somebody else help me with that. Do that. For me, that’s not my strong point. And I understand that, but at least the report has been built, and then we put them in a follow up sequence. And a lot of times they you know, we buy a lot of things off a follow up to. Yeah,

Jeff Stephens:

yeah, I believe that. I also really like what you said about, you know, sort of synthesizing what you’ve learned from other educators, but making it yours. And I just have I personally found that like, if I just try to follow somebody else’s instructions, kind of, I don’t know, blindly, maybe you’d say, that’s like using my head completely and saying, Oh, well, this is apparently what works. But it also has to like fit to me in my heart as well, because it will come off disingenuous if I don’t really feel good about what I’m doing. And so to me, like, at least my experience was that when things really started to click for me, it’s when I did kind of make it my own, so to speak, I took the key ideas from what I had learned, but I made it my own. So my it felt I felt genuine. And I felt kind of strategically effective. And then all that together was like, oh, now, now you can make progress. Because you’re you’re not acting in a way that sort of in conflict with who you really are. No,

Melissa Johnson:

thank you at all. Now, I know. Yeah, that makes so much sense. And, you know, I have another I have a core value of, you know, keep it real is one of our core values. And so if I’m, you know, spitting out what somebody else says, that doesn’t feel real to me, and it ain’t like he said to the point like it doesn’t feel good, it feels unnatural. And I don’t like that feeling. And I feel like people can sense that when you’re not being genuine.

Jeff Stephens:

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So then today, like or let’s say, you look back at the last like three months. I use this expression of deal deal mix, which is sort of like what’s your unique recipe of like, if I did this percentage of maybe wholesale deals, you know, this percentage of flips is percentage of rentals, maybe buying and reselling something on a note which I want to circle back on to but how You describe today like you, what is your kind of deal mix now? Like, how are you allocating your energy or time and effort and deals across?

Melissa Johnson:

I would say today, because this changes, you know, this is and that’s the cool thing about business, right? It doesn’t have to be static. But today, I would say majority is wholesaling. And then cherry picking the rehab. So, um, percentages wise, I mean, I would say probably, boy, I’m gonna have to do math here. 80%, wholesale, maybe 10% flipping and then another 10% long term?

Jeff Stephens:

Yeah. Yeah, that’s cool. So I refer to this as like, to me being a real estate entrepreneur versus being a real estate investor. To me, those are different things. And I think that somebody who looks at each deal individually and says, where’s the most you know, juice in this deal? Or that most opportunity? And what do I need most of my business right now and then is willing to look at all three of those strategies like to me that’s a very entrepreneurial way to do it. And I I love that I love hearing that and I but at the same time, I actually find that that’s like, a little bit rare. I don’t know I’m sure you’ve experienced this to where you meet people who say I am a wholesaler and that that am verb, you know, like the to be verb. It drives me nuts, because I don’t I, I would rather have people say I do wholesaling rather than I am a wholesaler, because that says, Now this is my identity. And that’s really the only like, lens I look at stuff through is, is wholesaling, because I am a wholesaler, right? And I think it’d be more powerful for somebody to step back and say, Alright, I am a real estate entrepreneur, I’m willing to do wholesaling. If that’s what the deal makes sense for, I’m willing to do a flip, if that’s what the deal makes sense. I’d love to buy it and keep on keep it if that’s what the deal makes sense for. And so I love meeting other people like you who who have that, you know, kind of approach to and I’m always like, it just makes me cringe a little bit when somebody I see somebody who’s very, like, tunnel vision on one strategy, and I feel like they could be missing opportunity.

Melissa Johnson:

Yeah, for sure. And I think that’s where establishing criteria is really important. And I feel like that was like just the small little thing that nobody talks that much about. But that made a huge difference in the business, I feel like it’s just having criteria, like if I sit down and think about, and that criteria gets evaluated on a regular basis, right, because things change, market changes, strategies change. But as a whole, when you can sit down and say, This is what I want for flips. This is what I want for long term. And then in my way of doing things, everything else goes in the wholesale bucket, you know, so it’s like, then I know when that lead comes in, and everyone on the team knows when a lead comes in, where what bucket does they go into, because we’ve got established criteria for that. And if it’s questionable or on the line, then I can take a look at it and make a decision. But I don’t want to put anything in one particular box until we, you know, evaluate the deal as a whole first, and then understand what our criteria is. And it’s like, okay, it goes here, it goes here or, you know, they’re not sure. Like, do you want to rehab that? You know, like, if I don’t have time, maybe like maybe it fits criteria, but in a time frame, you know, maybe I don’t have time to do that. So it might be something I would normally flip, but it might need to go into a wholesale bucket. But you’ve got those different. You’ve got a standard, at least when you’ve got that criteria established.

Jeff Stephens:

Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. I love that. So to pivot a little bit, I, as I’ve seen some of the stuff you’ve posted and whatnot and checked out your website, I noticed that you have this expression, e three, that refers to some of your coaching stuff. Can you tell us like what is E three mean? What are the three E’s? Why are those important? Sure.

Melissa Johnson:

So it’s kind of a little thing I came up with when I decided to do the coaching. And I was just, it’s kind of funny. It’s just like throwing stuff out on paper, you know, just brain dumping stuff or whatever. And it’s like, what do I want to do what’s important to me, you know, this and that. And then I noticed that a lot of that I was just writing words down. I’m a very, like notepad and pen kind of person. So I’m writing this list of like stuff and, and I noticed a lot of the words started with an E, it was really weird. It wasn’t intentional at all. But I started thinking about that, because I was trying to figure out like, what are my pillars? What are what are the things like that mean the most to me that if I’m going to put myself out there and share stuff, like I want it to fit into one of these pillars. And so for me, it was encouragement, education and empowerment. It’s what the three E’s mean. And they go in that order. And there’s a reason because I feel like you know, when people are first getting started in this journey they need it starts with encouragement and mindsets. Like you can’t do any of this without that. I think, you know, you’ve got to have the right mindset. And so when I say encouragement, it’s encouraging you know them to build up their mindset to get your mind right. So that you’re ready to face the challenges that are going to come along with being in this industry? And then follow following that with education on what are the nuts and bolts of what we do? How do we do this, you know, just the very basic, you know how to stuff. Once you master that, then I feel like that is an opportunity for empowerment. So now, you’re empowered to go out there and build and scale your business, or you’re empowered to go out and help other people, you know, or you’re empowered to go teach them to do it now. So creating this ripple effect, through those three pillars is really like what my main focus is.

Jeff Stephens:

That’s a beautiful philosophy. And my impression is that you are especially passionate about helping other women specifically with this is that is that true?

Melissa Johnson:

It is, it’s always been a focus for me, and not that I’m opposed to working with men, I haven’t had any male clients yet. I’ve had a couple of people reach out, but they haven’t, you know, follow through the process. But the women I coach, I love and there’s just something special about that, I feel like there’s so many men in the space. And this isn’t like a man versus woman thing by any means. It’s just there’s not that many of us out there that are doing things. And so really, I feel like I’ve been so fortunate to do what I do, and to be able to, you know, help other women get lifted up to this point, too. So it’s not just, you know, a handful of female influencers in the space, there’s like a whole tribe of women doing this. And plus, I do have four daughters. So four daughters and a son, for baby, he’s the he’s the baby and the only boy, but you know, with my girls, I you know, I’ve just always wanted them to be like these strong, independent women that are that do feel encouraged and empowered, and, and everything. So it just it has a special place for me, I think,

Jeff Stephens:

yeah, that’s awesome. I personally have developed like this, this perception that or not a perception, but like an opinion that, at least in the school of thought that I feel like I’m part of and an advocate for and helping to spread the word about that I feel like women are very, very well suited to sort of do things the way that I sort of have have come to do them. And so I’m personally really like bullish and optimistic about about that. And I know it’s always kind of like a funny thing, or maybe a risk for a man to say like, Oh, I think women would be really good at this. But do you feel like do you share a belief at all that, like, there are certain aspects of this business that are really well suited to sort of female traits and talents?

Melissa Johnson:

No, I don’t want to say that because I feel like anyone can do any part of this business if they want to. But I will say, understanding what your strengths and weaknesses are, because a man could have strengths that would typically be attributed to a woman, you know, so I wouldn’t want to put anyone in a box of thinking that so it’s really up to the individual, like, what are you good at? What are you not good at? And then embrace the things that you are good at? And delegate everything else? Yeah,

Jeff Stephens:

yeah. No, that’s, that’s a great point. There’s in this business to like, such incredible, I guess, breadth of things you you have to do or get done, I should say, and, like, yeah, you can’t be good at everything. Certainly, I know that I’m not even close. And like, you know, like a couple things. I’m, like, really good at those like the other, you know, 90% that I’m like, no, not so much. So you definitely need to have some major help with those other things.

Melissa Johnson:

And it’s scary how much time we actually spend in those things to write. You know, like, I tell my clients all the time, you know, because they’re like, well, I’m doing this, because I have them dump out everything they’re doing. I’m like, I want to see what you’re doing. Like everything. I don’t care, like how minor you think it is, if you’re buying stamps at the post office, write it down. Because it’s amazing how much time we spend on the things that aren’t so important and not playing into our strengths and leaning into our purpose, you know, with what we’re doing. And I think that that could be a missed opportunity, if you’re wearing all the hats and your business and you know, jack of all trades, master of none. That’s that that can hurt your business. They really can.

Jeff Stephens:

Yeah, yeah. Oh, that’s cool. You mentioned before the idea of notes and selling some properties with owner financing. I’d love to hear more about that, like on this show, we end up talking about buying with seller financing a lot. We don’t talk so much about like using that as an exit strategy as well. So are the notes that you have? Are they because you sold properties? Or have you actually bought other people’s notes? I mean, that’d be one question. And then do you intentionally buy properties with the sort of preconceived idea that you would resell them with owner financing?

Melissa Johnson:

Yes, so there are ones like again to that criteria. You know, if it fits into the owner financing criteria, then definitely like that’s how I look at those but I love selling houses with owner financing. It’s such a we did a lot of it at the beginning, and then it kind of slowed down because of all the Dodd Frank stuff blew up and everything. And then now we’ve kind of got that figured out. But you know, what I love about it is that you have the, you have that long term passive income coming in, like you would a rental, but you don’t have all the headaches of having a rental, you know, you don’t have to deal with tenants, you don’t have to deal with repairs, you’re not paying the insurance, you’re paying the taxes, like, you’re just collecting a down payment, and collecting their monthly payments, and you’re making interest. And it’s just such a great thing. And the way I structure mine is I wrapped them. So you know, I have a long term private money, I only use private money, I don’t use banks or hard money or anything like that. But I have a long term private lender. So if one of these properties comes up, and I decide like, this is definitely a candidate for an owner finance, this is something I want to keep this note long term, then I go to him, you know, we do a normal closing, I, you know, close the he pays, then I turn around and sell the house to the end, you know, who’s gonna live in it. And so my note is might be like five to 10 years, but I’m selling it on a 30 at a higher interest rate. So I’m not making too much the first couple of years, but I’m okay with that. And people have different strategies for this, some people want more of the cash flow, like upfront, I would rather pay it off super fast, and then cash flow for the next 25 years. To me, that makes more sense. But I mean, everybody’s got different needs. So it depends on what your cash flow needs to are. Because I’m doing flipping and wholesaling, I’m generating enough revenue on that in to where I don’t really need to generate a lot of cash flow monthly on those properties. So that’s, that’s really how I do that. And then you had another question about the notes.

Jeff Stephens:

Oh, yeah. Like if you’ve ever bought notes, spot notes. Yeah.

Melissa Johnson:

So I have bought notes. But not too many, I don’t really buy a lot of notes. But I will tell you, when I first got started, sold a lot of notes. So we would create notes, and then hold them for like 90 or 120 days, I forgot what the seasoning period was at that time. But and then we would sell them. So that was another good exit strategy, because we could sell it on owner finance note, hold it for just a little bit, and then cash out the whole thing, you know, taking a little bit of a discount. But it was a great strategy for being able to move property, especially around 2008.

Jeff Stephens:

Yeah, yeah. Well, I hope everybody listening, like enjoys, I guess geeking out on deal structure. You know, like, I think you and I probably do, I love thinking about that stuff. And I’m not actually actively selling properties in that way. But it’s as I think about what I want to be doing in the future. That’s definitely a big part of it, as well. So that’s really cool to hear that you’re sort of engineering those deals like that with intention even from maybe the moment you meet the seller in the first place.

Melissa Johnson:

Yeah, usually those I like to go in knowing that that’s what the exit strategy is going to be.

Jeff Stephens:

Yeah. Awesome. Wow, super cool. I do think we have a lot in common I think we could probably talk for for a long time and I hope we can stay in touch. Speaking of staying in touch if there are people who want to learn more about you and your coaching and and everything else you do. What’s the best way for them to find you?

Melissa Johnson:

To go to my website, it’s the Melissa Johnson calm so me l i SSA Johnson, j o h n s o n and then the number. The number eight that’s my gmail.com Yeah, that’s it. Okay, I was feel like I need to spell my name because I don’t know that’s, I get so many weird spellings. Make sure you got to the right side. So the Melissa Johnson calm.

Jeff Stephens:

Awesome, awesome. Well, thank you for being here and sharing not only your story, but some, like a little sneak peek under the hood of kind of what you’re doing. And it’s super, super fascinating. And I think you know, in many ways very aligned with like, what, what we’re all doing as well. And so I really appreciate it. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for having me on. So there you have it, my conversation, my interview with Melissa Johnson. Be sure to check her out on our podcasts and our social media channels and our coaching services and everything that she does. And that is a wrap on today’s episode of Racking up rental.

So that’s it for today’s episode of racking up rental. Again, show notes for today’s episode our thoughtfulre.com/e110. Please do us a big favor by hitting the subscribe button in the podcast app and rate and review the show. Did you know we have a Facebook group for thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs too? It’s called Rental Portfolio Wealth Builders. We’d love to have you join us over there. Just go to group.thoughtfulre.com and the magic of the internet will take you right to that page and you can hit the Join button. If you liked this episode, please take a screenshot and post that to Instagram and tag us we are @thoughtfulrealestate.

I will see you in the next episode. Until then. This is Jeff from the thoughtful real estate entrepreneur signing off.

Thanks for listening to Racking Up Rentals where we build long term wealth by being a win-win deal makers. Remember solve the person to unlock the deal and solve the financing to unlock the profits.

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