Let’s welcome Mark Ferguson. He’s from Colorado. His website gets 200,000 hits a month. He’s a great guy and a family man. We met at a mastermind that we’re both a part of. If you’re not in a mastermind, you really should consider getting into one. If you can find a good mastermind group, you can take your business farther than you can imagine.
After graduating from college, he tried to get a job in the banking industry to use his finance degree, but couldn’t find anything. So, he went back home to help his dad out in the real estate business. He never wanted to be a realtor. In 2007, he got a chance to do a Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO). That caused him to consider trying this more frequently. So, he started cold-calling banks to see if they wanted to do BPOs and REOs. He got into flipping houses and buying rental property.
After all this, he decided to start a blog. He hadn’t really written anything since college, but decided to try it. He decided to be honest and share his exact numbers and what he was doing. It wasn’t an easy decision. He was afraid of what would happen if he shared what was going on.
As a part of this process he went to a conference, scared out of his mind. While there, a more successful person took him under his wing and introduced him to 20-30 others. He couldn’t imagine the kind of success they were having, each doing 100-200 deals a year. At the time, he was only making $50,000 a year, so this was amazing.
A lot of people assume that successful people are too busy to give you time. They assume that they’d never get help from them. You can’t be afraid to ask. Most of the time when you reach out to someone they’ll help you out. It’s because everyone is convinced that they’re too busy to help so no one asks.
If you hire right you’ll pay a person $50,000 a year (or whatever) and they’ll bring in $200,000 in return. So, how important is hiring the right people? It’s huge. If you hire the right people, it will pay off in ways you can’t imagine.
Another thing is that you need to hire people before you think you need to hire people. If you’re like most people, you wait until you’re swamped. Then you hire someone to hire them. You don’t have time to train them because you’re so swamped, so you throw them to the wolves and hope they figure it out. It’s not a good situation. If you do that, you’ve set them up for failure and you’ll be worse off than you were before. When you hire, attitude is everything. When someone has a bad attitude, it will bring down the whole team. If someone has a great attitude and work-ethic, it will help grow your team.
Some people think of hiring as a drain financially, but it’s not. It’s an investment. Not all hires will make you money directly. Sometimes they just free up your time. They take away busy work and allow you to do bigger deals that make you money. You almost have to take a step back to free up some time before you hire them.
If you remember nothing else, remember that focus is important. The wrong way to get started is to be mediocre at 10 different things. You should get 100% focused on one and then once you get that right, move on to something else. It’s easy to get scattered. Society almost trains us to be ADD. We can’t spread ourselves too thin. Focus on one or two things.
Mark has a Lamborghini and uses it for pleasure, of course, but he also uses it for marketing. He used to believe that some people couldn’t have one. He started to believe that maybe it would be possible. In 2013, he made it a written goal to buy one by the end of 2014 and he did.
Now, he uses it to motivate people on his team, offering rides when they close deals. He uses it for open houses and happy hours where his team gets together with clients and potential clients. So much of real estate is networking and since the car draws attention, it makes talking to new people so easy. Use what you have in the way you can to draw people into your business.
Also think about what can be your motivator. For Mark, visualizing the car, planning for it, saving for it, helped him expand his business. He made sure he could afford it before he bought it. Don’t bankrupt yourself to buy a car.
It all starts in your head. If you think you can’t do something, you can’t. You’ve got to believe you can do it. Every business book talks about mindset. Why? Attitude is a huge part of success.
He started the blog because his businesses were in place, so he thought that he’d start writing about it. It’s the entrepreneurial mindset, looking for more and what’s next. When he started, he thought he’d share what he’d learned about rentals, then flips, then being a real estate agent. He got some great feedback, so he kept going. Looking back, the articles have all been rewritten. It’s all about getting it out there.
There are tons of strategies out there. When you get investors together you’ll find that some people use other people’s money. Some refinance and get equity out of current property. Others only pay cash. Your way to do it isn’t the only way.