By James Vasquez
I successfully flip houses full-time; but I didn’t become a real estate professional seven years ago to start flipping houses. One of the main reasons I became a flipper early on in my career is because it gave me a huge leg up on my competitors. Also, like many young, aspiring real estate entrepreneurs, I struggled to make a living for my first few years in the business. The lure of being my own boss and large commission checks, was just that, a lure—so shiny and pretty. I found that flipping homes offered some stability.
I shifted my business model from listing houses to buying houses after reading Shift by Gary Keller. It was then that I started to see my business income begin to grow. Now, we buy houses in San Antonio from homeowners on a weekly basis.
Here are a few ways learning to flip houses can catapult your traditional real estate business.
Flipping Houses Will Force You Learn Your Market Quickly
Many think that flipping houses is risky business; far too much risk for most people to stomach. Having flipped more than 50 houses, I have never once lost money on a flip. God’s honest truth. I can just see the emails pouring in saying, “That’s impossible.” Flipping houses is supposed to be chalk full of risk—big rewards but big potential losses, too—right? Well, kind of, sort of, but not really.
In my opinion, a house flipper’s risk exposure is highly correlated to the extent of his or her knowledge of the local market. So, less local market knowledge equals more risk, period. My aversion to risk caused me to quickly learn what houses in various subdivisions across my entire market are worth, and more importantly, why. When you’ve got $30,000 or $40,000 on the line, and not just a $3,000 commission check, you’d better be right about the current value of the house. Because of this pressure of having to perform well on every deal, you will be forced to learn the local housing market very quickly, or fail.
Flipping Houses Will Force You To Learn To Market Creatively
It’s been said that “if you don’t have marketing, you don’t have a business.” So true, but let’s go deeper. I’ve found that the more competitive a niche, the more creatively one must market their services. The house flipping business is one of those highly competitive niches—and the competition is brutal. Worse than the Shark Tank, this business requires creative marketing that stands out from the crowd. It requires techniques like 100 percent real, handwritten postcards sent out to hand-selected mailing lists (not the same, tired lists that every other investor and agent are mailing to). This business might require you to dig deep and figure out how to find people who not only want to sell, but need to sell their house fast. Once you figure out how to effectively market to and find those homeowners, then securing a listing from those same leads is a walk in the proverbial park.
Flipping Houses Helped Me To Spot a Fear and Overcome It
I believe that what holds us back from accomplishing our hearts’ desires in all areas of our lives is fear. The same holds true in house flipping. As mentioned earlier, most people see flipping houses as risky; but why? Because of a deep-rooted fear that many have: the fear of loss. I’ll never forget my first $1,500 direct mail campaign. There I was, the sole provider for my family with less than $8,000 to my name, but I had 100 percent authentic faith. Long story short, I made $20,000 in two short weeks, just from that one mail-out. Looking back, I saw the fear of failure and loss, but I looked beyond it and saw what was possible.
I’ve been tested in a very competitive niche, stricken with big problems that require big, costly solutions, and I’ve found that it’s consistency about overcoming fears with faith. That’s what has helped me to succeed in this niche—that, and knowing the market like the back of my hand.
My faith has transcended into all areas of my real estate business, and life. I hope the same for you.
James Vasquez is the broker-owner of Done Deal Buyers in San Antonio, Texas, a real estate company that buys houses directly from home owners. Learn more at DoneDealBuyers.com