He was driving for his full time job when he heard his friend on our podcast. Brent Decided to reach out to his friend and learn what he was doing. After thoroughly educating himself on how to wholesale, he went out and made $20,000 in less than two weeks! If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!
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Brent Moreno Real Estate Background:
-Founder at Cash Homes Carolina Studied real estate business after a friend was on the show and started posting checks
-Studied for 2 months how a past guest made his money in real estate
-Began 1 month ago and landed his first house and had it sold in less than 24 hours
-Based in Columbia, South Carolina
-Say hi to him at www.cashhomescarolina.com
-Best Ever Book: Richest Man in Babylon
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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluff. With us today, Brent Moreno. How are you doing, Brent?
Brent Moreno: I’m doing fantastic, Joe. Thanks for having me on the show.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, my pleasure. Today, Best Ever listeners, we’re gonna get a different perspective from a guest, like we usually do. Today Brent is just starting out. He has done two deals, and he’s working on two leads on two more deals, so we’re gonna hear about his first couple deals, how that happened, and we’re gonna talk more about the beginning aspects of getting into real estate obviously, because he’s just getting started.
A little bit more about Brent – he is the founder at Cash Homes Carolina; his website is appropriately named – CashHomesCarolina.com. He studied the real estate business after a friend was on the show and started posting checks. He studied for two months and he has since, as I’ve mentioned, closed two deals. He’s based in Columbia, South Carolina. With that being said, Brent, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?
Brent Moreno: Yeah, so currently I’m mostly focused on wholesaling. I’m looking for the right deal to actually fix and flip, but like you said, I just got started… I actually launched the business in May; I was actually at home for about a month — or actually not even a month, I was home for like a week, and I got two deals done in that week’s time, which brought me about 20k… But I didn’t have any background, I just saw my friends doing it, and I heard my buddy on the show, [unintelligible [00:03:50].08] Once I saw those checks posted and heard his interview, I was like “I’ve gotta dive into this show some more and learn everything I can, because the thing is really promising.” So that’s where I got to, and that’s where I’m at now.
Joe Fairless: And by “show” are you talking about this podcast?
Brent Moreno: Yeah, the Best Ever Show.
Joe Fairless: Oh, wow, that’s cool.
Brent Moreno: Yeah, I really dove deep. Basically, I drive a lot for my current job, so I basically just listen to and catch up on all the podcasts that I miss, and I do them over and over and over.
Joe Fairless: So you were listening to this podcast and you heard Max Maxwell being interviewed, and you knew him already and you heard that he was making the money? Or you got introduced to him by listening?
Brent Moreno: No, so I knew Max from several years ago; we both worked in the same field of event marketing, and we had worked a couple events together and just kind of stayed in touch. I’ve always kind of kept up with him via social media and what he was doing. He had posted the link to this show, and I called him up and I was like, “Hey man, I wanna do what you’re doing. This seems really promising. Can you give me some pointers?”
So I drove up, met with him for a day and I got some pointers, and really took off from there, and just kind of buried myself in books and podcasts, and like I said, I officially launched in May.
Joe Fairless: When you met with him, what were some of the pointers?
Brent Moreno: I’m like everyone else that thinks you have to have a lot of money to get started in real estate. I’ve always thought that and I’ve always been interested in real estate, but I always assumed that if you don’t have like 100k in the bank, then you’re probably not gonna really get anywhere, you’re not gonna be able to find a good deal and put some money into it and make [unintelligible [00:05:24].07] I never knew about the wholesaling side and the fact that I could walk in and put $100 down on a contract and find an investor… That was really new to me, so it was really exciting to know I could do that.
His pointers were “Read this book, listen to these podcasts, and once you get some money, set up your website, get your LLC, and go out and drive for dollars” – he said that’s the best way to get your first deal, it’s to drive for dollars… So that’s what I did.
My first deal actually came from an Uber driver, which is — I don’t know about a lot of people doing that, but I run a Uber Facebook group in Columbia, South Carolina, so I basically asked the question “Hey, would you like to make some extra money? $500-$1,000 extra/month.” I had a bunch of people interested… No one did it, but one girl came through and just was sending lead after lead after lead [unintelligible [00:06:11].15] because I’m out on the road, I can’t be there.
So she’s sending me lead after lead and I’m like “Okay, I’ve gotta start calling these people.” Sure enough, the very first person I called — I ended up calling him probably around eight or nine times, just having a bunch of different conversation with him, and [unintelligible [00:06:27].22] he just didn’t have time to fix it up. It needed about 30k with the works, and I got it for 27k and within 24 hours I sold it for 39.9k.
Joe Fairless: Congratulations on that!
Brent Moreno: It was a pretty good deal. I literally laid up in bed all night, thinking “What am I gonna do if I can’t sell this thing? Who am I gonna call?” But I went to a foreclosure auction and that’s how I found my buyers. I sat in there, listened, and found the people that were spending the money, found out where they were buying at [unintelligible [00:06:57].17] It’s five minutes from the University of South Carolina. It’s a good spot, and literally the first person that I called and showed it to, took it. It worked out great. I didn’t expect it to work out so great.
Joe Fairless: Do you physically went up to the foreclosure auction?
Brent Moreno: Yes, I physically went to the foreclosure auction, just to meet buyers.
Joe Fairless: Alright. Do you drive a car or a truck? I’m guessing truck.
Brent Moreno: I drive a truck, yeah.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, I knew that… I could tell. [laughs] You just pulled up in your truck… You get out, you shut the door, you walk up to the foreclosure auction – what did you do?
Brent Moreno: It was inside of a courtroom, so I just walked in and sat down, and I had the list of all the pre-foreclosures or all the houses that were going up for auction, and I just sat there and listened, because after every sale, the buyer has to state the name of their business or their name… And I would just write down all their names and then try to introduce myself to as many of them as I could after the auction was over.
The ones that I didn’t introduce myself to, I went back and just googled them and found their phone number and added them to my buyers list. I called them and said, “Hey look, I’m a wholesaler. I’m working on getting some deals in place. What areas are you interested in? What’s your criteria?” and I filled my buyers’ list that way.
Joe Fairless: Bravo! That’s what I’m talking about. That’s some resourcefulness, take action in an intelligent way. Did the buyer who ended up buying it meet you in person at the courthouse, or was that someone you didn’t have a chance to meet and you googled later?
Brent Moreno: That was actually somebody I did get a chance to meet. It was pretty quick, even whenever he came to the property. He just basically was like “Boom, boom, boom! Okay, what do you gotta have for it?” I had it listed for like 41.5k, and I said “I’ll take 39.9.” He’s like “Okay, deal. We’ll have 5k earnest money and we’ll close in seven days.” I was like “Wait… Did that just happen?”
Joe Fairless: [laughs] Oh, man… What’s he gonna do with it?
Brent Moreno: He actually assigned it for $4,500 more, so I was like “Damn, I could have gotten more money…”
Joe Fairless: No, no… That’s okay. [laughter]
Brent Moreno: I was like, “That’s good, man. I’m glad you did that.” The great thing is that I have my fiancée back at home and she handles a lot of my closings for me because I’m constantly traveling. [unintelligible [00:09:07].11] and then he asked if we had another property. Well, I just got one under contract, and he actually bought that one, too.
Joe Fairless: Same guy.
Brent Moreno: Same guy.
Joe Fairless: Did he assign that one?
Brent Moreno: No, he didn’t assign that one. The end buyer for the first house that I bought was the one that was assigned on the contract, too. He’s the one that bought from me that time [unintelligible [00:09:26].02] I was like “Yeah, I could have saved you $4,500.” [laughs]
Joe Fairless: Alright, so let’s talk about that part of it. Is there any stepping on toes issue where you’re now skipping the guy who helped you make the 10k or so on the first deal?
Brent Moreno: No, not at all. I talked to him… They actually had the first [unintelligible [00:09:46].17] it was a very big property; it was like a $325,000 property, but it needed about 70k-80k worth of work, and was on a private golf course.
I sent it over to them and said “Hey, is this of any interest?” They went and looked at it and they were like “Oh, it’s just a little more than what we wanna spend on rehab, but thanks for the offer.” It just so happened that the next guy in line was good, so I basically sent it over to them first and gave them the first chance to look at it because I enjoyed having everything work smoothly and close in less than a week.
I told them “If you guys can do that with all my properties that you guys are interested in, I’ll just keep sending them to you.”
Joe Fairless: Just so I’m on the same page in terms of how you found each of them… You said you got the first deal being an Uber driver – will you just summarize that for me again? Because I was trying to follow and I’m not sure I followed.
Brent Moreno: Okay. Like I said, I used to drive Uber, just because when I’m home — my fiancée’s in law school, and I’m like “I’ll drop you off at school, and then I’ll try to make some money for the car payment just because I don’t wanna stare at the walls.” So I started a Facebook group for everybody to share information on events coming up and stuff like that.
I posted on there about finding a bird dog, basically. I posted on there to find a bird dog. I got one person, like I said, that was really interested and really motivated. She found my first house, and I gave her $1,000 for finding it. Basically, what she does is she just drives around, takes pictures of vacant houses and send me the addresses, and then I research them.
Joe Fairless: Okay. And you started a Facebook group… What’s the Facebook group’s name?
Brent Moreno: It’s Ride Sharing Community of Columbia South Carolina. It used to be just “Uber of Columbia South Carolina”, but now there’s Lyft and all that stuff, so I just changed that. I’m not really active on there anymore – like I said, I stopped driving Uber, but…
Joe Fairless: I’m just curious, who joins that? What’s that for? Is it just for other Uber drivers who want to stay in touch with each other?
Brent Moreno: It’s more just about “Hey, this is what’s going on in the area. These are the concerts going on, these are the football games going on…” or “What’s the best areas? What do you think about sitting at the airport?” It’s not a very huge market, as far as like a major city would be. It’s a small group of like 150 people who are on there, who just share information with each other to help each other out to make a little bit more money, sharing where the events are, and stuff like that.
I thought about it as “Well, they’re Uber drivers… All they do is drive around all day.” I was like, “If you see a vacant house, take a picture of it and send it to me. If I close on it, I’ll give you 1k.”
Joe Fairless: It’s a no-brainer for an Uber driver to be a bird dog. That’s great. So this is a much deeper and more impressive conversation than I thought we would have, because you’ve done tactics that people who have done maybe 10-20 deals would be doing, and you did these on your first couple deals. I’m really impressed with your approach.
You said earlier when you met with the gentleman who was on this podcast (Max) he said for you to read a book… What book did he ask you to read?
Brent Moreno: Actually, it wasn’t him that suggested I read the book… It was my friend in Mississippi that’s doing the same thing. He’s like “This was the one I started off with.” It’s called “Flipping Properties”, and it was like $4 on Amazon. It’s the second edition; it’s kind of old, but it’ll give you a good idea of where to start.
I read that book, and he’s like “Just come back to me with any questions.” So I’ve shot questions to my buddy in Mississippi and to my buddy Max [unintelligible [00:13:14].29]. They’ve both been helping me out and they’ve both been giving me really good information, because Max won’t talk about the technology side of things, and I’m a bit of a techie… Whereas my buddy in Mississippi likes to call it [unintelligible [00:13:25].26] So I’ve been trying to help him with this technology side of things, but he’s been kind of giving me some old school, grassroots [unintelligible [00:13:39].03] how to go about finding these deals and finding these buyers and stuff. Both of them have been very helpful to me and they’ve been someone I could lean on, and I highly suggest to anyone that wants to get started to find somebody that’s doing it in your area or even anywhere remotely close to you that you can drive, and will spend some time with you.
I spent maybe three hours with Max and I’ve probably spent two days with my friend Adam in Mississippi (which is where I’m originally from), just riding around and [unintelligible [00:14:05].29] and looking at records, and going through the computer systems there in the courthouse… He’s got a really good system going down there that he’s doing 4-5 houses a month and he’s not using really any technology platforms. He doesn’t even have a website, and his e-mail address is Hotmail.
Joe Fairless: Oh… At least that’s a step up from AOL. [laughter]
Brent Moreno: I think it actually might be AOL…
Joe Fairless: Okay, there we go…
Brent Moreno: Actually, I think it is AOL.
Joe Fairless: [laughs] The second deal that you closed – remind me how did you get that one?
Brent Moreno: I found it actually driving for dollars with my buddy from Mississippi. He came up [unintelligible [00:14:42].16]I picked him up in Mississippi, stopped off in South Carolina for a few days to hang out and look for some properties. We were just driving around in the neighborhood and I was like “Man, this one [unintelligible [00:14:53].29]” so we jumped out, took a look at it, and I skiptrace the owner and it was an older lady who was living in a townhome. I couldn’t get a hold of her; I tried calling all the numbers I could find, but I found her next of kin…
Her next of kin was her son that was a developer in South Carolina. I look him up, I find him on Facebook, I notice we have a mutual friend… I hit the mutual friend up after talking to the guy, and I’ve called him, probably.
He said he was interested in selling it. I said “I’m out of town right now, but I’d love to take a look at it next week, when I get back in town.” He said, “Okay, that works. Call me when you get back in town.” Well, I was only gonna be in town for a week, and I called him immediately when I got back in town – no answer. I sent him a text message – no answer. I called him the next day – no answer.
I was like, “Well, maybe this guy got the cold feet”, but I kept calling and calling and calling, so that’s when I went to Facebook and I found that we had that mutual friend, so I hit him up. I said, “Hey, how well do you know so-and-so?” and he’s like “Well, it’s my boss’ son-in-law.” I was like, “Oh, really?” I actually had worked for his boss and those guys before in the past. I was like, “Could you tell him I’m trying to get a hold of him? If he doesn’t wanna sell it, tell him to let me know and I’ll quit bugging him”, but I just stayed on his case and finally, the day before I had to leave, I went and saw the property.
He wanted 195k, I got him down to 175k. The house, like I said, is worth like 335k. I was really worried, because I didn’t really get it for the typical 70k minus repairs, minus my fee and all that jazz, but I knew it was such a great property, it was in such a great neighborhood that if somebody wanted to come and put an extra 500 square foot on the property and really dump some money into it, that could increase the value about 100k and they’d really, really make some good profits on it.
So I took that chance and it worked out for me. I was kind of stressing, because the first one went so fast; the second one took like four days.
Joe Fairless: Well, that’s pretty quick turnaround. You said he wanted 195k and you got him down to 175k – how specifically did you get him down $20,000?
Brent Moreno: Well, my first offer to him was 136k. I was gonna say 136.5k, and then my buddy in Mississippi was like, “No, 136.581k and some change. It makes it seem like you did some calculations.”
Joe Fairless: Oh my gosh…!
Brent Moreno: I was like, “No, I don’t really wanna do that…” [laughter] But then I was like “You know what, what do I care?” I was like “If I could get it for 150k I’d be happy”, so I started at 136k, and I really thought I could get it at 150k. So we just went back and forth and I finally — he said it was too low of a number for him, that he would just do it himself, but he had already said that he was tired of fighting with his mom about doing the rehab, because it was his mother’s property… He didn’t wanna deal with it anymore, he just wanted to offload it and get rid of it.
I finally called him back after we went back-and-forth a couple times; he wasn’t really budging, and he went from 195k to 185k. I was like “Well, I’m at 145k [unintelligible [00:17:46].18].” I just called him and I said, “Look, I really don’t wanna beat each other up over prices, I don’t wanna go back and forth and waste all that time… What is the absolute most that you have to have for the house?” He said, “You know what? Since you got the ball rolling and everything, I’ll have the deal at 175k.” I was like, “Okay, I think I can make that work.” Just persistence, that’s all.
Joe Fairless: And what did you assign that for?
Brent Moreno: I assigned that for 187k, I believe.
Joe Fairless: Great stuff. Over what period of time did you get your first two deals done?
Brent Moreno: Most of those deals were done within a week and a half of each other.
Joe Fairless: And how long did it take you once you had that first conversation with Max, after you listened to him on this podcast, to actually get the deals done?
Brent Moreno: I wanna say Max was on there in February or March (I can’t remember). I really started studying in February, and I wanna say it took three months of just studying, and then literally I put everything into action beginning 1st May, as soon as I got back home. I think I was home for two days and I went and looked at some properties, and then I started making all the phone calls on the leads that were coming in, because she was sending me 10-12 leads every three or four days… And I was like “This is a lot.”
I go very deep into the research. I wanna make sure my numbers are right and I wanna make sure that I know what I’m doing. I don’t wanna make a mistake right off the bat and sink my ship immediately. I guess I launched everything at the beginning of May and I did those deals before 17th May, so it took 2-3 weeks until I really went after it, to get my first two deals.
Joe Fairless: Based on your experience, starting out right out the gate quickly with these two deals, what is your best real estate investing advice ever for someone who wants to do what you’re doing but hasn’t started?
Brent Moreno: I would say find somebody that can answer your questions, study as much as you possibly can, and be persistent. I’m like a shark; if there’s blood in the water and I feel like somebody’s interested in selling, I will not let up; I will try every means possible to get in touch with you, or to get in touch with somebody that knows you, and figure out if we can make a deal or not. I’d say persistence in the follow-up – I think that’s what most people probably don’t do, or maybe they’re scared of cold-calling somebody.
I just really kind of [unintelligible [00:20:05].01] after listening to my buddy on the phone and just kind of going after it. I was like “I’m gonna talk to him like I’ve got a million dollars in the bank, because that’s how I have to be.” So it’s about being persistent and following up. Follow up, follow up, follow up. Do not let up on somebody that’s interested in selling their home quickly and needs to get rid of it quickly.
Joe Fairless: Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?
Brent Moreno: Absolutely. I’m looking forward to it.
Joe Fairless: Alright, let’s do it. First, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.
Joe Fairless: Best ever book you’ve read?
Brent Moreno: I would say the one that got me started years ago is one that everyone talks about, obviously – Rich Dad, Poor Dad. But most recently, one of my favorites is “The Richest Man In Babylon” that I just read, and “The Subtle Art Of Not Giving a F*ck”
Joe Fairless: I haven’t heard about that one. Another one I think you’d like is Three Feet From Gold.
Brent Moreno: Three Feet From Gold? I haven’t heard of that one.
Joe Fairless: I think it’s a Napoleon Hill Foundation book.
Brent Moreno: Okay.
Joe Fairless: Best ever way you like to give back?
Brent Moreno: I would say right now I’ve honestly been kind of talking to a lot of people who I know have the same kind of mentality and drive that I have. I’ve traveled all over the country, I’ve met a lot of friends, I have a lot of friends all over the place, but I see them in the same routines that I am, just getting really nowhere. We have great jobs and we have a lot of fun, but there’s a point in time where you realize you’re not gonna get much higher than when you’re are at; you don’t wanna always be gone, so… I’ve been giving those people advice and they all seem to be taking it very well and they’re all interested in getting started.
Where they go with it — I don’t have answers to a lot of people’s questions, but I like to give back by trying to at least be that person that Max was to me, even though I’m just starting out. I feel like I have a fresh perspective on just starting out and helping somebody get off the ground… So that’s how I like to give back.
Joe Fairless: What’s a mistake you’ve made on either of the first two transactions, that when presented the same situation on a future transaction, you’ll approach differently?
Brent Moreno: I would say a mistake that I really still think of, even though I turned a really good profit on that house — I really still think I should have got it for 150k, honestly. It just wasn’t in the parameters; I had a lot of people look at it…
Joe Fairless: The second house?
Brent Moreno: Yeah, the second house. This wasn’t in the parameters that I feel comfortable with, but I had a gut feeling that I could get it done if I had just really busted it and met somebody and got it done. Fortunately, it worked out; it was the same person I had sold the first house to… But I had a bunch of people go and look at it, and no one was really [unintelligible [00:23:26].23] some offers for like 160k and 170k, and I was like “I can’t do that, obviously. Maybe I’m gonna have to go renegotiate”, but I’d already been kind of firm with the guy that I was not gonna beat him up over price, so…
I really didn’t feel like I got that one as low as I should have, but it worked out. I just trusted my gut, but I would say that one really kind of kept me up at night a little bit, thinking “How am I gonna get this thing done?”
Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners get in touch with you?
Brent Moreno: Well, they can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give me a ring. I’d love to talk to anybody. 803-335-56-59.
Joe Fairless: Brent, this has been an impressive conversation. The word “impressive” is the one that comes to mind when I think about what you’ve done on these two deals, because they were not cookie cutter deals, in terms of how you approached getting them. The two next level strategies that you implemented is 1) going to the foreclosure auction, sitting down in the courtroom, listening to each transaction, writing down the names of the people who are buying the properties, introducing yourself to as many of them as possible, and writing down the names of the others, googling them later, and then calling them and building your buyers list. It’s such a smart, effective move. Clearly, it was for you, because it closed you the first deal.
And 2) you started a Facebook group for other ride-share drivers and you posted about having them take pictures of properties and be a bird dog for you. One person was really active and she ended up finding that property for you and you paid her $1,000, which is a whole bunch of Uber rides that she didn’t have to do to make that $1,000. She was happy, right? She loved it.
Brent Moreno: Oh, absolutely. Now she’s trying to get other Uber drivers to work for her… [laughter] I was like, “I love it!” I love her drive, I love the way she goes about it.
Joe Fairless: These are stories that put a smile on my face, and it’s a beautiful thing to hear. And then lastly, the persistence in follow-up. You said that about seven times in a row, and I’m glad that you did. No elaboration needed there.
Thanks for being on the show, Brent. I hope you have a best ever day. I’m glad that you got value from a previous guest and you took action on it; we didn’t even mention that… And now here you are. I hope you have a best ever day, and we’ll talk to you soon.
Brent Moreno: Absolutely. Thanks, Joe.
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