Where to Find the Deals | HTH027 | 593


It is essential to find the deal before looking for the cash. That’s what we told you last time and today we are going to help you understand why and how you can close a deal for less money than someone else is willing to offer for it. In today’s episode learn what the deal is, why you need to established certain criteria before looking for it, and how to find and close good deals.

What You Will Learn About Where to Find the Deals | HTH027:

  • What the deal is and why it is important to establish the minimum deal standards
  • Why anyone would sell a deal for less than it really costs
  • The motivated seller example
  • Where to find distressed properties
  • The key to finding and closing good deals

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Speaker 1: This is Theriault Media. Don’t wait for appreciation to buy real estate. Buy for cash flow and wait. In other words,

Hold that house.

Matt Theriault: Your host Matt Andrews and Matt Theriault. A, flipping houses can make you rich, holding them will make you wealthy. This is the Hold That House Show and I am Matt Theriault and over there is Matt Andrews.

Matt Andrews: Honey, I’m home.

Matt Theriault: Before we begin, we’ve got a free gift just for you. Go to holdthathouse.com and download the four hour work month, the 10 commandments to managing property managers, the key ingredient to financial independence through real estate that they are not telling you about. And you can get that for free at holdthathouse.com. Holdthathouse.com.

Matt Andrews: Holdthathouse.com.

Matt Theriault: That’s almost like a jingle or something.

Matt Andrews: That’s right, holdthathouse.com. Yeah.

Matt Theriault: The humidity is getting to me.

Matt Andrews: That’s right.

Matt Theriault: Seven straight weeks of human hotness and type of bay.

Matt Andrews: It’s got it’s right and jingle so no.

Matt Theriault: It does.

Matt Andrews: Skip about boot.

Matt Theriault: Yeah, we should go back to our previous career.

Matt Andrews: Yes, we definitely should.

Matt Theriault: Yes, we could get good at this one.

Matt Andrews: Exactly.

Matt Theriault: Anyway, last week we talked about where do you find the cash to get started? And it really came down to find the deal first.

Matt Andrews: Yup.

Matt Theriault: Right?

Matt Andrews: Absolutely.

Matt Theriault: So that’s the most important part. Also, don’t act like you need it, don’t act like you really need the money specifically-

Matt Andrews: Don’t be desperate.

Matt Theriault: Don’t be desperate.

Matt Andrews: Don’t be that bad date.

Matt Theriault: Exactly. Keep the drool in your mouth.

Matt Andrews: That’s right.

Matt Theriault: Be transparent and just be straight forward, pay people back when you said you’re going to pay him back, and definitely pay them back how much you said you were going to pay them back.

Matt Andrews: What a novel concept?

Matt Theriault: I know, right?

Matt Andrews: Yes.

Matt Theriault: It’s amazing that in today’s world that that is actually what gets you more business.

Matt Andrews: That it’s even something we need to talk about it as a tip.

Matt Theriault: Right.

Matt Andrews: Here’s a tip. Be Honest. Here’s a tip. Haven’t you heard it.

Matt Theriault: I like that.

Matt Andrews: Yeah.

Matt Theriault: That’s worth it, its waiting gold right there.

Matt Andrews: Exactly, right.

Matt Theriault: So if finding the deal is so important because that’s how the money is going to find you, find the deal, the money will find you. That’s my favorite saying cause it’s absolutely true.

Matt Andrews: Totally.

Matt Theriault: Absolutely true. And every real estate investor I’ve ever had on any of my podcasts or I’ve ever talked to, not one of them disagree with that notion.

Matt Andrews: Absolutely.

Matt Theriault: All right, so finding the deals, that’s your most valuable skill that you can create as an investor. So where do you find the deals? We’re going to talk about that today, but let’s talk about what a deal is and then why a deal is a deal. Meaning why can you buy it for less than what someone else is willing to pay for it. So let’s talk about a deal, that’s very subjective and each and every person, it’s a very personal question actually.

Matt Andrews: Sure.

Matt Theriault: And it could be a different answer for every single person that we had asked that too.

Matt Andrews: Yeah, many answers to that question for sure. Yeah.

Matt Theriault: Right?

Matt Andrews: Yup.

Matt Theriault: So a deal is, first you’d probably have to look what are your goals are, what is your intention with real estate, and a deal is something that’s going to get you there. It’s kinda something that’s by acquiring or investing or whatever that transaction may be, whatever is going to get you closer to your end mark. And then obviously the better deals get you there faster.

Matt Andrews: Yep. And you can’t know what the deal is if you don’t have that measure.

Matt Theriault: Right.

Matt Andrews: To put it again straight.

Matt Theriault: So I was talking about something called your minimum deal standards. So those are really important for you to establish first because it makes the decision process so much easier. And also in this game of real estate, it can be competitive in the sense that, typically if you can act fast, you win more often. The guy that can act fast, and acting fast doesn’t mean, don’t confuse that with acting irresponsibly, acting fast is just acting fast.

Matt Andrews: Yeah, being decisive.

Matt Theriault: Being decisive, absolutely.

Matt Andrews: That acting rashly.

Matt Theriault: And you can act fast, be responsible and be smart and be very good at this, if you know what a deal looks like before you ever go shopping for one. Right?

Matt Andrews: Sure.

Matt Theriault: So a couple of different ways that the parameters are, I guess characteristics of how you can measure deal is, if you’re an income investor, maybe it’s your return on investment, your cash on cash return or maybe if you are a capital gains investor, maybe it’s the amount of equity that you are able to acquire upfront, or the amount of equity that you project in the future. It’s another way. Like for example, you have $100,000 house and I’m not going to buy anything unless I get $20,000 of equity with the purchase. So that means a $100,000 house, you are not going to spend a dime over $80,000 for it. So now you know, when a deal comes across, this is a beautiful $100,000 house, but it’s $84,000 to me, you need to negotiate $4,000 less.

Matt Andrews: Yup.

Matt Theriault: But if it comes across as 80,000 bucks, you can act fast and you’re right on the mark. But if you don’t have those criteria, then you don’t know how to act fast, you can’t act, you won’t have the confidence to act fast.

Matt Andrews: Right.

Matt Theriault: And especially for us buy and hold investors, I mean you and me, we look at a ton of properties to find the ones we would want to have in our portfolio. So if we don’t have objective criteria to disqualify the ones, even more so than qualifying the right ones, we see 100 come across our desk, we’re not buying 100 of them, we’re buying like one or two. So how do we quickly take it from 100 possible deals to nope, these 98 don’t work, these two fit the criteria, I’m going to look at it more. Well, you’ve got to have those criteria. So for me, it’s having a simple, when I’m looking at rental properties or properties I want to put in my portfolio, it’s having a simple pro forma that I can plug some numbers into very quickly. Just plug a few numbers in and just know, hey, if this is not a possibility at all-

Matt Andrews: It’s a pro forma Matt.

Matt Theriault: A pro forma is something that just gives you-

Matt Andrews: We don’t get that sophisticated around.

Matt Theriault: Yeah, I know that sounds like, what am I? From Wall Street or something. So basically a spreadsheet that you’re plugging numbers into that lets you project the numbers. So if you’re trying to figure out, hey, I’m buying this property, I’m going to rent this out, you know what it rents for, you know what your purchase price would be. You quickly put together some estimates of insurance taxes, the other expenses, that the property manager managing it what’s their fee put that in there, and then it gives you an idea, okay on a yearly basis, here’s my return or on a monthly basis here’s what I’m looking at. Here’s what kind of cash flow I’m looking at it, here’s my return on investment. And if you can look at that and know, hey anything under, and I’m just going to pull a number out of my head, but anything under 10% return on investment is not even a possibility, not even interested in looking at it. Well, a lot of those deals are going to be seven and 8% deals so you just get those off your table.

Matt Andrews: Yeah.

Matt Theriault: Now you’re just looking at 10% up and then like you said, you’re getting 20% cash on cash in a lot of your stuff. Right?

Matt Andrews: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Matt Theriault: So now you take that next step and say, okay, I’m looking at the highest and best use, what are these really going to produce, but have a cutoff there. So for me in certain markets, it is a 12% ROI that we won’t even look at anything unless it’s at least that. Right now it still may not be the deal we want, but at least that lets us get rid of 95% of the ones we know we don’t want. And then as you scale up a business like you and I have and have people working for us and staff kind of looking at some of these things, then it becomes even more important because now it’s not just your time, it’s the time you’re paying people to look at that and qualify or disqualify that.

Matt Andrews: Right.

Matt Theriault: [crosstalk 00:07:17]if you don’t have an objective criteria.

Matt Andrews: You don’t want their best guess.

Matt Theriault: Right.

Matt Andrews: That didn’t work right.

Matt Theriault: You don’t want their opinion of the deal.

Matt Andrews: You don’t want their opinion. You want that pro forma filled out or whatever it is.

Matt Theriault: Right. So it’s just having, and it’s different for everybody like you said, but it’s having something definitive to say, look here’s what I do and here’s what I want and here’s what’s not even in the realm of possibility, I wouldn’t even look at this. And knowing that, and then that brings you the luxury of being decisive. And people that can move fast and move fast quickly and intelligently, those are the ones that win and get the best deals. So there you go. Please stand by. We’ve got overhead to pay. We’ll be right back.

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Matt Theriault: So let’s talk about how we find these deals, right?

Matt Andrews: Right. Well, yeah let’s talk about why someone would give us a deal. Why would someone sell us $100,000 house for $80,000? It’s a great question and it happens all the time.

Matt Theriault: It does.

Matt Andrews: That question comes up all the time.

Matt Theriault: All the time.

Matt Andrews: And there’s a phrase that’s thrown around in our industry called motivated sellers and it’s a little bit, I guess counterintuitive when you hear the word motivated because motivated has a connotation of something positive in our society, in our nomenclature, our lexicon, I’m pulling them all out today.

Matt Theriault: Yes, all right, our lexicon.

Matt Andrews: Yes.

Matt Theriault: You told me about pro forma and you just said lexicon.

Matt Andrews: Yes, that’s right.

Matt Theriault: This is a high rob show. We’ve got an ivy league in this one I think, yeah.

Matt Andrews: Other people are like, what are you talking about?

Matt Theriault: Let’s get back down to the way we normally talk, okay go ahead now. Right?

Matt Andrews: That’s how I do down here in Tampa.

Matt Theriault: All right, come on.

Matt Andrews: So got sidetracked. Like Lexicon, nomenclature, what were we talking about?

Matt Theriault: Oh, motivated.

Matt Andrews: So motivated has a positive connotation in our language. But when you’re in real estate, what causes a seller to be motivated is typically not something positive that’s going on in their life.

Matt Theriault: It’s like a negative motivation?

Matt Andrews: Yes. There’s something negative going on in their life whether it’s death, disease, divorce, bankruptcy, job relocation, there can be financial distress of the person and it can be personal or emotional distress of the person, the property itself could be in distress. So there are all these different types of distress or what causes somebody to be motivated to sell their property fast and at a discount. And the logical questions, well, I guess it’s somewhat logical from the outside looking in, but it’s not from the inside looking out from where we are is, well, why would they sell it to you for $80,000, I think it just listed with a realtor and sell it for 100,000?

What you’re doing there is you’re placing your value system on that seller’s values system. What has them motivated and going through life is nothing that you’re experiencing yourself. So you’re analyzing, you’re almost negotiating for the seller on their behalf when you asked that question, and you’re placing your value system on that seller as well. Real estate investors like you and I are household’s great value, to someone that just got divorced and is filing bankruptcy that house represents okay, I’m going to get to live a few more months. It’s not a house, it doesn’t have the value or the investment value that we still have. It’s a quick fix.

Matt Theriault: There’s a whole back story there that we don’t know anything about, and we don’t understand it. Right?

Matt Andrews: Right.

Matt Theriault: Right. Yeah. I had a property we bought just the other day, a couple of weeks ago in Michigan and the seller came to us, was highly motivated, was a motivated seller like you said, because she was in Michigan for a week. Her mother had just died, she was there for the funeral and to pack up some things at the house and to get rid of that house. And she was doing all of that in seven days. Now, she was not thinking what can I get for this house if I have three months to wait and can parade a bunch of people through this with a realtor, and none of that stuff was in her mind. Could she have gotten more for the house than I eventually paid her for it? Absolutely. She could have listed it, she could’ve waited. She could’ve had … If she had time, she could have done that, and she wasn’t even interested in talking about that.

What she needed and what she wanted was to move on in her life, and she needed to get back home, she lived a state or two away. I think she was in Indiana or Ohio and the house was in Michigan where mama died. It wasn’t about a financial motive even really, it was about my mother died, I need to move on. And My company, I was the buyer of that property and gave her the ability to do that, that’s what she wanted. And once I found that out, then I was like, we can help you move on and here’s what we can do for this and this can be done in three days. And we met her needs, gave her what she wanted and she moved on. So you don’t know that many times, and so like you said, you put your own thoughts into that whatever is in the seller’s head. Well, people have all different motivations. So she wanted to sell me that house for probably 50 cents on the dollar and I bought it. You know-

Matt Andrews: Of course you did.

Matt Theriault: That’s how it works.

Matt Andrews: You know one of my early mentors in the business when I was just really learning had said, motivated sellers will trade equity for peace of mind all day long.

Matt Theriault: Absolutely.

Matt Andrews: The peace of mind holds a higher value than the sale of the households for them. And once you understand that it’s like, now all you have to do is go around and okay, I’m gonna go talk with this person and I’m going to provide them peace of mind in exchange for some equity. And if you approach it like that, all of a sudden you can start getting very creative, you started seeing the light, you started seeing the opportunities and possibilities where they did not exist before. So distress, that’s what we’re looking for. The three different types of distress we’re looking for financial distress, emotional distress and property distress. Now how do we find that?

Now what we’re talking about, keep this in mind also, we’re talking about only probably one of the 5% of all real estate transactions that happen. 95% of all real estate transactions will happen on the multiple listing service above board with realtors involved 95%, so we’re looking for the small 5%. So where do we find that 5 %?

Matt Theriault: Lots of places.

Matt Andrews: Lots of places, but just if you stay focused that you’re looking for distress, so where do you find property owners that could be experiencing some sort of distress? We dropped some hints already a little bit, but for example divorce, that’s someone that’s going through some emotional distress, maybe some financial distress. And if they own a property, that property could be reasonably gathered that that would be sold at a discount at some point. That’s a logical place. Not 100% but that’s a place where your possibilities are far greater right there than it is just going knocking on random doors, cause that’s 95% of the transactions, we’re looking for that 5%.

Matt Theriault: Increasing the likeness slightly.

Matt Andrews: Right, so just narrowing our scope. So it’s still not a guarantee, but that’s where our likelihood is. So a divorce record, people that haven’t paid their property taxes. You find tax liens, so there’s some financial distress going on right there right?

Matt Theriault: Increases the likelihood that they’re who you’re looking for and would be motivated.

Matt Andrews: Right.

Matt Theriault: Sure.

Matt Andrews: No guarantees, but it increases the likelihood-

Matt Theriault: Absolutely.

Matt Andrews: And the percentages go way up.

Matt Theriault: Much more than just asking random people and bumping into one that has the house.

Matt Andrews: Right. One of the favorites of real estate investors for as far back as we can remember is driving up and down streets looking for distressed property, the property that looks unkept-

Matt Theriault: The grass is four feet high.

Matt Andrews: Exactly.

Matt Theriault: Windows are broken. There are notices sitting in the window, you know. Yup. Absolutely.

Matt Andrews: You go write down the address, you go look up the title records to see who is the owner and you mail them a letter, or you give them a call, whatever that may be. So those are the different ways of, if as long as you maintain okay, I’m looking for someone that’s in distress and that person owns the property.

Matt Theriault: Sure.

Matt Andrews: So now that we’ve kind of put that all together, let’s kind of run down a list of places where we find deals.

Matt Theriault: Sure. Well, and those sellers, those distressed sellers can be individuals and it can also be banks or funds too. We’ve seen a lot of that over the last few years especially with foreclosures. Sometimes it’s Bank of America that’s distressed because they’ve got 5,000 toxic assets in one market, so they can be a motivated seller too.

Matt Andrews: Absolutely.

Matt Theriault: And so it’s not just with the individuals, although that is kind of a sweet spot for a lot of people that get started in real estate investing, definitely a sweet spot to start looking. So let’s break down some of the different sources that we have, obviously MLS like you said is one source, that’s where most properties are listed, most transactions happen.

Matt Andrews: That’s probably a least like we placed to find a deal.

Matt Theriault: It’s probably the least likely place but it’s people’s most likely place to start looking.Right?

Matt Andrews: Right.

Matt Theriault: It’s where most people start.

Matt Andrews: Yeah, exactly.

Matt Theriault: Yeah. So not what we recommend necessarily for the best deals, but that’s definitely one place. Another one, and this might seem like a super crazy concept, other real estate investors, that’s one of the first places I always look. If nothing else, even if I don’t buy properties from another wholesaler in the same city I’m in or another investor in the same city I’m in, it gives me a great idea of what they’re buying and what investors are looking for and what they’re looking at, that’s a real-time market research right there. So I always look to, when I first go into a market, look at the other wholesalers and try to do some deals out of their deals, if they were real deals and if they’re not marking them up too high for it to make sense for you. So that’s another place. The auction is another place.

Matt Andrews: Auctions?

Matt Theriault: You’ve probably seen some TV shows, I think TLC and some of these other channels have had some auction real estate shows, and it’s probably not as glorious as it looks on those shows and storage wars and stuff like that. But I’ve many times bought properties at the courthouse right here in Tampa, and it’s highly competitive. It’s at a different point, and many times they are bank owned or about to be, I should say about to be bank owned at that point because it’s a foreclosure. It’s about to change from the ownership of the individual to the bank, and if you get in at the right price and you can make that work, that’s another place to pick them up. Highly competitive, and you’ve got to have cash pretty quick if you’re buying at the action but that’s, I know you bought them at auction, I bought them at the auction too, so that’s another place. Boy, there’s just so many on this list. I’m just going to run down a rapid fire. HUD properties, there’s a, what is it, HUD.gov is that?

Matt Andrews: HUD.gov, yeah.

Matt Theriault: So you can go to HUD.gov and you can see government owned foreclosures. You can see what’s for sale there, you can bid on those right there. Now that’s a whole business entity itself, again, highly competitive. You got to know what you’re doing but that’s another place that I bought multiple properties, from government owned sources that sell through HUD. So that’s been a good source for us as well. Asset managers, going directly to … And again, it’s something you’ve got to learn how to do, but going directly to asset managers who work for the banks. So let’s say a property goes into foreclosure, it goes to the auction, maybe there’s some offers on it or no offers on it, but whatever it is the bank didn’t accept whatever came in, the bank then takes that back at the auction.

So it’s gone from individual owner to the auction. Now the bank has said okay, we didn’t get what we wanted for this or no one bid on it, we’re taking it back. And that happened a lot here in Tampa, they didn’t get as much as they wanted. I’d be down there giving low ball offers, it wasn’t enough, the bank would take it back. At that point, that property lands on an asset manager’s desk, probably with a hundred other files, and those asset managers are tasked with the job to get rid of those properties. Now what usually happens is, and many times what happens especially with some of the bigger banks, is they commission a local REO broker, a real estate agent that specializes in getting rid of bank owned foreclosures, and they give a 100 properties or 50 properties or whatever to that REO broker and the REO broker puts them on MSL and sells them.

But if you can create relationships with those asset managers, I have been successful at being able to buy them directly from them before they go onto an MLS market. So asset managers and reaching out to local banks that have taken back homes, that’s another way to do it. Again, is it easy? No, it’s a whole business in itself. It’s a whole strategy that you can form an entire business around, but that’s certainly a place that you can buy those. So asset managers is another way. And then man, I just think about all the different ways that you and I have used to find direct sellers, distressed sellers, motivated sellers, individuals, and that’s direct mail campaigns and yellow letter campaigns. And you can go to a site like yellow letters complete or something like that, and they will actually send targeted letters to these people that look like they’re handwritten.

You can send postcards, bandit signs, talk about low tech ways, I will buy your house today, surely almost all of you have seen that. Seen those in your town or in your neighborhood, I’ll buy your house cash in three days or whatever it is. So bandit signs.

Matt Andrews: I saw some today on the way that the way to here.

Matt Theriault: I’m sure you did.

Matt Andrews: Yeah.

Matt Theriault: Yeah. You’re not going to drive around Florida too much and not see some of those cause there are still foreclosures here. So you’re gonna see advertising like that, and then there’s just a number of different internet-based options to reach out to people who might be in distress and say, hey, I’ll buy your house. And so you guys have seen the signs, we buy ugly houses and seen home based type operations. It’s all the strategies that they use. So anything from billboards to TV ads to radio ads, appealing to people who have a real estate problem and saying, we can solve the problem by buying this house and doing it quickly and doing it with cash right now. And I mean, the list could go on and on when you go down the internet marketing[crosstalk 00:21:19]

Matt Andrews: Totally.

Matt Theriault: Right?

Matt Andrews: I know when people drive down the street and they see signs like that or they see a billboard and they scratch their head and they’re like, do those things really work?

Matt Theriault: Yeah.

Matt Andrews: Well, yes they do.

Matt Theriault: Yes they do, if you do them right. Yeah, absolutely. And you can’t just do that one bandit sign and think it’s going to work, but just like anything else, it’s a full strategy. And if you employ it with, there’s track records for those kinds of things and there are numbers. And Matt and I can tell you in different markets that we’ve done direct mail in, in this market, when I send out these many postcards or this many letters to the right targeted list, I’m going to get this many phone calls, and out of that many phone calls I’m going to probably get this many deals. Now without a system, it’s just wasting your time and money, but that’s one way to do it. So all of these, and there’s probably a dozen more, but those are all ways that we have recently purchased properties and sources that have brought us deals that we bought for far less than what they were actually worth.

And most of the time are ones that we’ve wanted to hold onto as well because we’re always looking for buy and hold properties. So we’re using our criteria for what’s the minimum we’d want to make on a buy and hold property? What’s the minimum we want to make for this multifamily property? What’s the return that we would say hey, nothing lower than this. And then you run it through the same process like we talked about, and you have definitive criteria and you weed out 98 out of the hundred you brought in and you get two that have a real possibility of being real deals. And that’s how it works but it’s always a numbers game. The question I guess, that’s not the question, it’s always a numbers game, but the question is what acquisition source works for you or what do you want to use?

Matt Andrews: And so the good thing to point out that there are a lot of different ways, we’ve run down some of them, I think we only cover about 60, 70% of what we know. Let’s see. The real estate, other real estate investors, auctions, banks, HUD, asset managers, REO brokers, direct mail, probate, inheritance lists, tax liens,

Matt Theriault: Tax liens, yeah.

Matt Andrews: Tax liens and other biggies. Between all of those, like which one do I use? Which one is the best? They all work.

Matt Theriault: Sure.

Matt Andrews: Each and every one of them works. What I would recommend if you’re just getting started and finding your own deals is pick one, stick with it and go deep, become an expert at it.

Matt Theriault: Exactly.

Matt Andrews: Don’t go wide and shallow trying to do everything, that is the fastest path to frustration.

Matt Theriault: It’s the plight of the real estate entrepreneur when they’re getting started is that it’s 20 different business, I’m sorry, a 100 different businesses in one really. There are all these different directions you can go, but if you don’t pick one and get good at it, then it’s not going to work. And the key to getting good at something guys is finding somebody who already did it good. And write this down, I want everybody to sharpen their pencils and read this down, find somebody who already figured out how to do it well and ready here it is, here’s the big secret, copy them, all right? That’s the big secret guys. All right, no need to reinvent the wheel. Guess what? People before you were born, bought and sold properties for a profit, buttonholed and held properties for good returns and they’re going to be doing it after you die too, find somebody who’s doing it really well now and copy them, emulate them, or work with them. That’s the quickest way to learn anything. So, absolutely.

Matt Andrews: Right.

Matt Theriault: And there are so many different directions, but like Matt said, choose one and you know, a Jack of all trades, master of none is not the way to approach real estate, it’s become a master of one strategy. Do it well, automate it and then move on to the next one.

Matt Andrews: Boom.

Matt Theriault: Boom.

Matt Andrews: That’s where you find the deals.

Matt Theriault: That’s it.

Matt Andrews: So you’re looking … Let’s just sum that up. You’re looking for motivated sellers, what causes sellers to be motivated? They’re financially distressed, they are emotionally distressed or their property itself is distressed. Keep that in mind and love your creativity, let that go and become a master at that one path that you choose.

Matt Theriault: It sounds like a plan man.

Matt Andrews: Love it.

Matt Theriault: All right.

Matt Andrews: That’s sounds familiar.

Matt Theriault: It does sound, yeah. So that’s it for today. Flipping houses can make you rich, holding them will make you wealthy. We’ll be back next week until then remember, don’t wait to buy real estate, buy real estate and wait.

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