75 Don Fowler Real Estate and Realeflow
Don Fowler Real Estate and Realeflow
In this episode, we have two guests in Don Fowler of Real Flow and Jenna Hoover.
We get to hear the story of Don Fowler conceptualize and make the idea of Real Flow into reality. It also includes how the ripples of the company got Jenna Hoover involved.
www.realeflow.com, Relationship Expert. Win-Win Architect. Devoted Husband & Father of 3.
“I love Realeflow! The multi-touch direct mail campaigns are the best. I love the automation of all marketing aspects! It allows my wife and I to enjoy our time with each other and all we have to do is wait for the calls from motivated sellers. Thanks Realeflow! You gave us automation and more time ownership!”
Wendy Sweet (00:03):
He just rambles and rambles and rambles. How you doing today? Y’all.
Bill Fairman (00:09):
That’s my job.
Wendy Sweet (00:10):
That’s right, that’s right!
Bill Fairman (00:11):
So we’re live now?
Wendy Sweet (00:12):
Yes, we are. Do you feel it?
Jonathan Davis (00:14):
Fifteen seconds, yeah!
Bill Fairman (00:18):
Yes, I’m a professional.
Wendy Sweet (00:21):
Bill Fairman (00:21):
So welcome to the show. I’m Bill Fairman, this is Wendy sweet.
Wendy Sweet (00:25):
Bill Fairman (00:25):
We are Carolina Capital Management, our website is CarolinaHardMoney.com. Don’t forget to like, subscribe, share. All that good stuff.
Wendy Sweet (00:35):
Tell all your friends.
Bill Fairman (00:37):
Wendy Sweet (00:37):
That’s right! And Jonathan Davis!
Bill Fairman (00:40):
Oh yeah! I’m sorry, Jonathan. I forget. You’re always next to us and today you’re not.
Wendy Sweet (00:42):
Seriously, social distancing, he’s got a baby on the way any day now, right?
Jonathan Davis (00:54):
Yep, hopefully she stays in the oven for at least two more weeks.
Wendy Sweet (01:00):
Yeah. So the last one I have to tell you this great story! The last one they had, which was the first one he had, they actually gave birth on the bathroom floor. It’s so cool! I can just picture Jonathan with the baseball map you know, ready to catch it. Come on, Let’s go!
Jonathan Davis (01:17):
It was ad hoc accidental homebirth, everything went well!
Wendy Sweet (01:18):
It did, he’s a good catch!
Bill Fairman (01:27):
So tell the real story, why you want to wait another couple of weeks? You just bought a brand new boat and you want to use it, well you won’t get a chance anymore.
Wendy Sweet (01:35):
Cause life is over after the new baby, right?
Bill Fairman (01:39):
Alright, so we have a great show today. We have two wonderful guests. Don Fowler with Realeflow and Jenna Hoover, she’s with Jenna buys houses!
Wendy Sweet (01:52):
And she’s his brand ambassador, right?
Jenna Hoover (01:55):
Yes, I am!
Wendy Sweet (01:56):
That’s awesome! You know when we say Don Fowler with Realeflow we can’t just flow over that. Everybody knows Realeflow everybody who’s any kind of an investor knows Realeflow. I know so many people that use that program. It’s just, it’s amazing what all it covers and we definitely want to talk about that, you know, while we’re on today, for sure but I will mention it once or twice. What we really want to do is, it’s so encouraging for other investors to hear your story. You know, how did you even get to developing a product like that? You know, where’d, you get started? Then to take that story and show, you know, one of your mentees, one of your students or your brand ambassador. How she got into it and what you did for her? That’s just amazing how you were able to, it just shows the ripple effect. You know, how one little touch can affect Jenna’s daughter and make her an investor. So that’s kind of a neat story. So go ahead Don, tell us!
Don Fowler (03:11):
Yeah, that’s so true. You know, it really started like in 2004. We’re up in Northeast, Ohio and we were doing short sales of all things in ’04 and I remember people saying like short sales, like there’s nothing going on. You know, this is a fast market right now but in Cleveland it was a different type of market. It’s a very slow, steady, and there was a nice business of short sales. So Greg Clement, my partner and the founder of our company, he’s like, you know, it’s got all this paperwork and the short sale documents and really needed something to just manage the process of dealing with short sales. So that’s how we started back in ’04, ’05. Started just a really small platform and then really, probably a bad word but got fortunate with the downturn because we were kind of the only short sale platform on the market and, that’s how our growth kinda went up into the right when the market downturn back in ’07, ’08. Since then it’s been a wild ride so we’ve redeveloped software a few times. Right now we’re really focused on data, we have artificial intelligence data and just a huge amount of data feeds that we provide our clients. Again, that’s really where our focus is moving forward. We’ve got all the tools built out over the years but it’s been a fun ride for sure, for 15 years now.
Wendy Sweet (04:35):
That is awesome. So short sales, I mean, they, well, yeah! They are coming back, aren’t they? I mean, cause they truly just went away for awhile and they’re coming back in a big way. How do you see that market growing?
Don Fowler (04:53):
Yeah, I mean the forbearance market is hidden right now and we see that, that demand kind of growing and demand in a bad way for the homeowners. But you know, as investors, we’re out here to help those homeowners because in 2000, our 2021, I think in my personal opinion is we’re going to see a big influx of foreclosures, unfortunately. So as investors and as money lenders, we really need to be there for those homeowners and help them out of that situation. So we see that, you know, we’re positioned nicely. Again, kind of unfortunate but as the helpers that we need to be in good citizens, we’re really positioned in a great place. Our users, you mentioned how many users we have, we’ve exceeded over a hundred thousand Investors that use our platform. So, so we’re really excited about that for sure.
Wendy Sweet (05:50):
Wow, that’s awesome! Don’t you think? I want to get your opinion too Bill. Don’t you think that a lot of the people that went into forbearance didn’t really realize what it meant, you know, they don’t get that “Hey! You know, when it’s over, you gotta pay all this money, now!” It’s not just “Hey, you get to skip some payments and move along”, right?
Don Fowler (06:20):
Yeah, it’s unfortunate the media, it’s just unfortunate because there are real consequences and this economy is really bad for a lot of people, so we want to be very considerate of that. And again, we come from at a point of service and I think your investors, I think we all should come at that our viewpoint is to help our fellow citizen.
Wendy Sweet (06:46):
Bill Fairman (06:47):
Well, I know that last week there was a survey and I think it’s an apartment management type company that did the survey but a third of all mortgage and rental payments were missed in July. Now it doesn’t mean they were missed for the whole month, but they weren’t on time.
Wendy Sweet (07:10):
Bill Fairman (07:10):
And that’s a lot of people! I mean, that’s a ton. At the same time those that are still employed, they completely change their way of thinking and I think a lot of them are going to be moving out of the major cities and moving into single family. You’re going to have, we already had a housing shortage in a lot of areas. So I don’t see a big drop in values in some markets, like we saw in ’08, ’07, ’09. So I don’t think we’re going to have the big financial crisis that we had previously.
Don Fowler (07:55):
Bill Fairman (07:56):
But it is a loss of job. If you don’t have any income, you can’t make your payments whether it’s rent or mortgage but you know, every bit about the real estate business is cyclical. You know what didn’t work before suddenly works and that’s just the way it is. We’ve been doing this a long time. Before Wendy and I got into the real estate business, our mom was a real estate broker for 30 years.
Wendy Sweet (08:21):
I swear I would never get into it.
Bill Fairman (08:23):
We grew up understanding the cycles.
Wendy Sweet (08:27):
I never seen her on holidays because that’s when everybody wanted to see houses. So Dawn how do you think, what’s your opinion on the banks and how they’re going to think now? ‘Cause before, you know, short sales are anything but short. I don’t know why they call them short sales other than the fact that it’s short on the payoff but there’s nothing short about them, right? So did you think banks are going to be thinking differently now that they’ve been through the experience?
Don Fowler (08:56):
I think they have to.
Wendy Sweet (08:57):
Okay, how do you think that’s gonna play out?
Don Fowler (09:01):
Yeah, hopefully it’s a little more streamlined than it was back in ’07, ’08. I mean that was just a massive cluster, you know, just unbelievable problem that the entire market had and I think they’ve grown up, the technology will help too. Hopefully the process is a little more streamlined and a little bit more organized than it was back in ’07, ’08.
Bill Fairman (09:26):
Do you think that you’re going to see a lot more nonperforming notes sales versus short sales?
Don Fowler (09:34):
Yes, that’s a great loaded question for sure. So we have some mutual friends in that business and they’re really gearing up. So nonperforming notes and I think creative deal structuring, that’s gonna be something that’s a lot different from my point of view back when ’07, ’08. There’s a lot of really creative ways that investors we as investors can constructure the deal so that it’s the “proverbial win, win, win”, right? So I’m absolutely seeing that big difference, really from ’07, ’08.
Bill Fairman (10:12):
Well, you know, as a lender ourselves, we don’t want to foreclose.
Wendy Sweet (10:19):
We don’t want your house.
Bill Fairman (10:19):
We would rather modify it if we can. If we can’t, we’d rather just sell the note off and move on to something else. Because as a bank or as a lender, the cost of the money not working is a lot more than even if you made a profit on the sale of the property. Are you really making a profit?
Wendy Sweet (10:37):
Bill Fairman (10:37):
Because you’re missing out on that opportunity to keep that money invested and earning. Jonathan, do you have anything to add? Cause I want to get the Jenna’s story. We made her jump through all these hoops to get into our studio. We’re not asking her anything.
Jonathan Davis (10:55):
Okay, great. But yeah, we have a lot of people that are starting up, not performing funds to take on this issue and I think a lot of people see it as an opportunity to stay kind of like almost like full tree. It’s really not. Nonperforming loans in that market, those people in playing it play a crucial role in helping people stay in their homes. The vast majority of those lenders do not go to foreclosure, they get worked out. So it’s a great thing, so hopefully we will see a lot more of those sales going on and those people helping other people for like constant win, win, win.
Wendy Sweet (11:37):
Bill Fairman (11:38):
Don Fowler (11:39):
Yeah. I know Jenna is transitioning into that too. She’s in a really unique market and I’ll let her talk about that but I know that this is a real big point for her moving forward.
Wendy Sweet (11:48):
And that’s a great segue.
Bill Fairman (11:50):
Yeah, you’re kinda in the middle of the state of Pennsylvania towards the Western half, right?
Jenna Hoover (11:58):
Yeah, I’m the bottom left corner, yeah.
Wendy Sweet (12:01):
She’s on the left hand side.
Bill Fairman (12:04):
Jenna Hoover (12:04):
The left hand side.
Bill Fairman (12:06):
Wendy and I are originally from Philadelphia so we know the state.
Wendy Sweet (12:09):
Can you tell from our accent?
Jenna Hoover (12:11):
I wouldn’t say we don’t do that at all, like “oh you’re from Philadelphia”
Bill Fairman (12:14):
Well, we left the cheese steaks and the pretzels behind early in life.
Wendy Sweet (12:18):
And the poor girl.
Jenna Hoover (12:19):
There you go.
Bill Fairman (12:21):
So tell us how you got started Jenna.
Jenna Hoover (12:24):
Well, I went to school for radiology which, you know, prepared me for real estate, I guess. I got into medical sales and I did that for about seven years, but, I mean, I did really well. I was 20 years old, I was making six figures but I just didn’t wake up with that conviction each day that this is what I was supposed to do for the rest of my life. And that alarm clock would go off. And I, you know, you just think, man, it’s like, you think you’d love this more but I always wanted to do real estate. I always would watch the shows on TV and I’d always just think “man, this is for me” and it was always kind of like my plan B. So, you know, this job didn’t work out, It’s like who cares? I know I’m going to do real estate or this, you know, this relationship fails, who cares? I’m going to be successful real estate investor. They’ll miss out. You know, it just, it was always like my plan B, but I just, I wanted to flip houses, just didn’t don’t know anybody who did this. There was nobody in my area that did this and I just didn’t know anybody. And so I was at the gym one day and I saw an ad for a company to do some education for me and so I got involved in it and a portion associated with that was Realeflow And so Realeflow was part of my real estate journey from day one. It took a lot of the guessing out of things because I got into real estate with zero experience. I didn’t even know what the word escrow meant and I think sometimes I laugh and I think like “man, I had no idea what I didn’t know”. And maybe that was good because I didn’t have a lot of fear because I just thought like, you know, “Hey, let’s just do this!” And so I had no idea how to estimate repairs, I had no idea what houses would sell for, how do I pull comps? How do I talk to contractors? I didn’t know to do any of that type of stuff. And so that was one of the beautiful things about working with a software company like realeflow, where if I go in and I type in a property address, it’s going to automatically pull up that property based on the tax site for that particular area. So I’ll pull up who owns it, what is their address, what’s the square footage. So it’s going to pull up all that information for me and if I can be smart enough to look at a house and say, yes, it needs a roof. Yes, it needs windows and I can click, yes. Then from there, it’s going to populate how much will it cost for me to renovate that property. Somebody who’s getting into a brand new with no real estate experience like me, I was able to walk in there and confidently know here’s what it should cost for me to renovate this property. And so I got into that, I started started renovating properties and kinda how Don was talking about my area where I invest in is a, is a little bit unique cause I invest in some of the poorest counties in the state of Pennsylvania. So it’s, great because I don’t have a lot of investor competition but when it comes to the properties, there’s a lot of motivated sellers. A lot of distress properties, but you know, the fact that there’s not a lot of investors, I don’t really have a lot of wholesaling opportunity, but there’s just a lot of properties that are available. So when I got into it, I started my marketing, I started putting signs up and I started making offers. All of them were getting accepted and so I was like “Oh my gosh, what am I supposed to do?” And I know that it’s a great problem to have and everybody’s like, you’re crazy! Like, why were you, why would you complain about that? Well, I was like, Oh my training and I have six properties accepted and I’m like, “what, how do I even buy these? I didn’t get that far in my training yet, I’m still on the previous training module” And so it was just like zero to 60 very quickly, which it was great learning. It’s kind of just threw me into it, but I made some mistakes along the way, which I quickly learned not to make again. So I started flipping houses. I mean, we were doing you know, close to 10 a year and then we realized we needed more of a monthly income just because, you know, when you flip a house, it’s kind of, you’re still living paycheck to paycheck, It’s just one big paycheck to one big paycheck. And sometimes it could be several months between you sell the next house. And so I wanted to have a consistent monthly income so we started acquiring rental properties, which we have 20 right now. So we have our rental properties, we still renovate houses, I also have my Pennsylvania real estate license. I saw on one of your videos that you have your license, Wendy, I think you said in two States.
Wendy Sweet (16:48):
Jenna Hoover (16:50):
So I went and got my license cause I just felt like I’m just leaving a lot of opportunity on the table. And so we do a lot of Realeflow marketing where we’ll market to and Dawn touched a little bit on AI, which is artificial intelligence. And so what that means is, you know, we have our list of people that Realeflow has, you know, where it’s people that may want to sell their house. It can be you know, a list of people that are in pre foreclosure or a you know, all the different, maybe an absentee owner. And then now they’ve on top of that added in artificial intelligence, which is going to take out a lot of the guessing game on who may actually really be willing to sell. I like to say it like, it’s almost like a sifter, so I can send out a hundred letters or I can incorporate the AI and it’s gonna, you know, maybe narrow it down to 15 or 20 and I want to send out my letters and I’m going to have a lot higher success rate on you know, my call rate that they’re going to call back. But but we’ve been doing a lot of great marketing with that. And so the fact that I have my license, it’s like, if it’s not a good deal as an investor, well now I can pull up my other sleeve and be the the real estate agent who now can list that particular property.
Wendy Sweet (18:03):
That’s awesome, I have like a bazillion questions.
Jena Hoover (18:06):
Just kinda like people call that in. I get excited about real estate.
Bill Fairman (18:11):
Just to comment, as a real estate broker, going in to list the home with that data at your disposal, you have insight into why they want to sell, which they may not be telling you in the first place. So you have a good idea of whether you could get that at well, you know, go ahead and do a cash offer versus listing it for sale. Whereas another real estate person wouldn’t know that if they’re coming to list the house
Jenna Hoover (18:37):
That’s entirely correct. Because a campaign I just did is I was targeting absentee owners. So, you know, owners who have a property that they’re not personally living in and I targeted, I incorporated vacant. And so you have property, that’s sitting here where the owner’s not living in there and it’s sitting there vacant. So it’s not, a rental at this point because it’s sitting there vacant so that person’s going to have a higher level of motivation to want to sell that property. Then I also incorporated, you know, a certain amount of loan to value ratio and how much equity they have in it. And so I narrowed it down to like 54 properties on one of my last campaigns that I did. I sent out a couple of postcards, two postcards. So all 54 of those and I had 13 calls back. And so, I mean, and I I’m terrible at math, so I’m not going to pretend to know what that, you know, where that success rate was on 3%. So it’s pretty good that I had, you know, really I had about seven of them that were worth actually analyzing better. And I went and looked at, I think about five of them. And two of them were ones that we said, yeah, these are ones that we should move forward on. When we actually postponed buying it, just because we had just brought, purchased a big renovation project, but the other one, we actually purchased it and we bought it subject too. So we bought it subject to their existing mortgage. The person was a landlord, it was sitting there vacant. Then they actually had just occupied it right after they had received my letter. They said that they just don’t want the uncertainty of, if something goes wrong and her husband’s out of town, the mortgage is 300, the rent 600. So all I do is sit here every single month and collect a positive $300 for a campaign that costs me $87 to send out. And that’s what all 54 of them now, all those letters.
Wendy Sweet (20:23):
That was amazing.
Jenna Hoover (20:24):
But when you walk in there, you know, those things. You know, that it’s sitting there vacant, you know, that they’re not living in that house, you know, that they’re paying taxes. You know all those things.
Wendy Sweet (20:34):
That is awesome!
Don Fowler (20:35):
One thing to add to the AI, which is really kind of a really the coolest thing that we’ve ever developed in my opinion, is we actually take 136 billion data points. And we collected all the data from 1980 on. So that’s not included in that 136 billion. So we have all that historical data. We not only have all the property information, watching the properties, sell and resell, and we can see which ones are selling, you know, for a profit as like a fix and flipper and those are tagged appropriately. But we also have all the people data so we know what kind of car you drive. If you’re late on your payment, any life event, divorce, marriage, you know, if you get arrested. Any of those things that happen, we put that into the algorithm, right? So what happens is, it’s a called a genetic algorithm and it basically just looks for correlation. So if somebody, two years ago was facing, they got arrested, they’re late on their truck payment and they matched like maybe like 30 or 40 criteria and then somebody right now, today is facing a very similar circumstance, they’re going to have a much higher score. So we’re actually predicting at an incredible rate. So on our top 1% is a little confusing and the number wise but if you take a market, let’s say a hundred thousand people in a certain market and you take the top one percentage so the top 1000 people, we’re really confident that we know out of that 1000 about 120 of them will sell their house in the next 90 days. And then these are houses that are not listed, you wouldn’t have no idea that they’re in this situation.
Wendy Sweet (22:11):
Bill Fairman (22:13):
Yeah, you sound like google now.
Wendy Sweet (22:13):
Yeah. It’s amazing that you can dig that deep. I can’t believe there’s, what’d you say 138 million?
Don Fowler (22:20):
136 billion data points that our software algorithm is just turning and is turning all the time every day. So we actually produce a new score once a month. So every month this thing is just turning and it’s getting better. It’s smart. It’s really kind of freaky, right? So it gets better and better, smarter and smarter as as time goes on. But the cool thing is, and we realized this, we had to make a huge investment to start this. We had to get that 1980 on to get so that the computer had enough data to learn.
Bill Fairman (22:54):
Wendy Sweet (22:54):
That is absolutely amazing, that’s absolutely amazing! So I’m going to pop back to Jenna real quick and then I want to get more details about exactly how Realeflow works and all the different modules that you have available on that. So, Jenna, the first thing I want to say is go girl!
Jenna Hoover (23:13):
Yeah, you too!
Wendy Sweet (23:16):
Our biggest show that we’ve done when we’re doing all of these interviews, our biggest one was one that we had all women and it was an invest her show. So we had just a great following from that had the most comments and everything. And, you know, here you are, I got to watch your video on the real flow website. So I know that, you know, you were a single mom, you jumped off the cliff, you know, right in to being a real estate person and you know, picking up six deals or having six offers except that all at the same time. It’s scary for anybody and look what you’ve been able to accomplish. In the real estate world, I think that’s one of the places that women can do just as well as men. I don’t think there’s a gender issue in there now. I may be crazy for saying that, but I don’t think there’s a gender problem.
Bill Fairman (24:21):
Actually, I think it’s an advantage talking with contractors, especially when you know the language and you know what, cause a lot of times they’ll think of what they’re doing and then you surprise them right off the bat and they pay a lot more attention.
Wendy Sweet (24:34):
Jenna Hoover (24:36):
And that was one of the things that I did when I got into real estate is because I didn’t have a lot of experience. And so I kind of would play like the blonde card, you know? Wow. That roof looks so big. How much do you think it will cost to fix it? Cause there’s going to be times where I would have to rely on my contractors and trust them and I’m not going to know all the answers. And so I wouldn’t use it as my opportunity to really see where they take advantage of me have they had the opportunity. And so they’d be like, you know, Oh, that looks to be like a $16,000 project. And I’m like, Oh, that’s crazy. Cause the way I look at it, it’s only 2000 square feet and I should be paying $4 a square foot. So really you’re charging me example. So that like draws on the ground. And really, I didn’t know, I just clicked a couple buttons in Realeflow. Yeah, I didn’t even know anything more than does anybody else.
Wendy Sweet (25:23):
That’s awesome, That’s awesome! I just love what you’ve done and you are a great example of everybody can do this, but you have to have a certain I’m not going to quit attitude just like getting online today. You’re not going to quit. You keep on keeping on and you just, you not only made it work, you knocked it out of the park and you’re a great example!
Bill Fairman (25:55):
By the way, I want to add that the building real wealth and real estate means you’re going to own property. Fix and flip is your eat money and we keep talking about this every single week. Your income is very fragile, It’s your passive, you know, cashflow that gets you to your wealth and freedom points. It’s not your income cause that could go away quickly, right?
Wendy Sweet (26:19):
That’s right, that’s exactly right!
Bill Fairman (26:21):
So good job buying rental too.
Wendy Sweet (26:24):
Yeah. How many rentals do you say you have now?
Jenna Hoover (26:27):
We have 20.
Wendy Sweet (26:28):
Awesome. What’s your goal?
Jenna Hoover (26:31):
I’d like to double it with probably within the next five years and knock on wood, we’re at full occupancy and we haven’t during the entire pandemic. We haven’t had anybody missed their payments. Like we’ve had a couple people where, you know, they’re waiting for unemployment to start. So they maybe pay half in the first part of the month and the other half on the 15th. And we’ve been very flexible and lenient with certain things like that. But knock on wood, everybody has worked really hard and we have that great relationship with our tenants that they realize that this is our business, our income, and we’re a normal family just like they are so everybody works together to make it happen and we’ve been very fortunate with that.
Wendy Sweet (27:12):
That’s awesome, that is awesome! So Don, I really want to hear details. How? Tell us.
Bill Fairman (27:21):
Give me the deats!
Wendy Sweet (27:21):
yeah, If you were explaining Realeflow to a third grader.
Don Fowler (27:27):
Wendy Sweet (27:28):
Pick me and go for it.
Don Fowler (27:30):
Yeah. It’s basically an all in one real estate investing platform. So we’ve taken a look, a holistic look at the entire business and we actually have a thing called the real estate investing life cycle. So you start with just filling your funnel with leads and then you end with selling that property off. And then there’s, you know, 20 steps in the middle and we cover, we have a tool or tools that cover every single step of the real estate investing life cycle. So it really is a very comprehensive platform wait way too much to describe in a couple of minutes. But the idea is you know, really focused again on data. So data from the front end of, you know, acquiring properties, but then on the back end, we have a really cool platform. It’s kind of like an underground in Lavesque, but all of our users participate in this and we have the ability it’s called power matching plus. Once you have a property you want to sell, you just push a couple of buttons and you actually communicate with all of our members and say, “Hey! I’ve got a property to sell”. So it’s like a little nice little wholesaler network, if you will. And when we created it originally, you know, it was like, why aren’t we doing this? We only have like a hundred users. But now that we’ve got, you know, over a hundred thousand users, it really is probably one of the most powerful tools that we have now from the disposition side of the business.
Wendy Sweet (28:54):
Don Fowler (28:54):
But that’s the short version of Realeflow.
Wendy Sweet (28:57):
So as a business owner, red flags go up in my head and I think how in the world do you police that people sell and property at a hundred, you know, a hundred thousand people selling property and you know, not everybody is as upstanding and individual as we all would like them to be.
Don Fowler (29:18):
Yeah, absolutely. It’s an internal messaging platform, but we’re really like a matchmaker. And then we step out of the way. So we’re really just making introductions to other real estate investors and then it’s up to them to go off and work you know, the deal that they want to do but we’re matching a specific properties to specific buyer. So it’s not like ‘Hey, you get access to our a hundred thousand users where it’s very targeted. And you load up your buyers in the platform and you can be, you can be a buyer yourself in your platform. But it’s a really a great way for investors to communicate and do deals together.
Wendy Sweet (29:56):
That’s awesome. So, If I were, well, Jenna, have you used that part of the platform?
Jenna Hoover (30:02):
Yeah, absolutely. And just to kind of sum up what he’s saying about the power matching, how that basically works is let’s say for example, Don is an investor in the Cleveland area. We’ll just say Cleveland, cause it’s, you know, like a lot of people have heard of Cleveland, so he puts himself in the system. So he just types in, I’m an investor, I’m looking for houses that are three bedroom, one bath, and, you know, he just puts in his location and things like that. So he’s in his own system and basically he’s in the entire Realeflow database. And so here I am in Pennsylvania, let’s say I get a lead for the Cleveland area. And I think I’m not going to drive two hours to three hours to Cleveland to renovate this house. Let’s just put it into my Roku account. And I just click a button that says power matching. And so what that does is it scrubs through all a hundred thousand of the Realeflow users. And it matches me with the people that are in that account that match that buying criteria. So it would pull up and it will look through all my buyers list, but then if I don’t have anybody, then it was scrubbed through all of real flows and it will show you know, Don amongst other people that will say, ‘Hey, here is this investor that is buying that same exact criteria of what that property that you just had entered it, what it matches. And so what it will do then is it gives me the option to send him a message that says, ‘Hey, I have a property. It doesn’t show everybody your poker hand. It just says, ‘Hey I’ll just send him a message hat says, I have a property that meets your buying criteria and then we can take it from there. So it doesn’t, it’s not like that we’re throwing it out there to a hundred thousand people. It’s going to eliminate a lot of the people that are kind of, you know, somebody who’s in one of the Carolinas that doesn’t care about this Cleveland property.
Wendy Sweet (31:46):
Wow. That is, that’s amazing, that’s amazing! Wow!
Bill Fairman (31:51):
I noticed you’ve got private lenders in there as part of the leads too. Tell me a little bit about that side of thing.
Don Fowler (32:01):
Yeah. That’s basically people that have assets that are performing assets in real estate. So these are, it’s very different from the standpoint of ‘Oh, I see that, that’s awesome! Yeah, I know Lane!
Jenna Hoover (32:17):
I did a call with him.
Don Fowler (32:19):
Yeah, he’s awesome.
Wendy Sweet (32:24):
I think he lives in Hawaii too. Doesn’t he?
Don Fowler (32:25):
Wendy Sweet (32:25):
He make us sick
Don Fowler (32:30):
Yeah, we were supposed to go back, but with COVID that didn’t work out, so
Wendy Sweet (32:35):
I’ll work that out. I’m sorry. Go ahead. I interrupted.
Don Fowler (32:39):
What was I talking about?
Jenna Hoover (32:41):
Wendy Sweet (32:41):
Don Fowler (32:42):
Oh yeah! So private lenders. So they have a performing assets in real estate. I think it’s a million or $2 million at least. So but these are, it’s a different than what the private lenders are on this call. So these are people that are kind of raw. They may or may not be wanting to invest in your property. So it’s a cultivation process. So it’s really raw data. We have some websites and we have direct mail and we have some 10 step email autoresponder to communicate with these people and get them to understand about you and your business where you just go in and edit those a little bit but all that’s written and it’s really to warm up that private, that prospective private lender. But it’s a different type of list than you would normally see for a private lender.
Wendy Sweet (33:27):
Bill Fairman (33:27):
Well that might be a good prospect list for someone who runs a fund and is looking for investors.
Wendy Sweet (33:33):
Yeah, I don’t know somebody like us?
Bill Fairman (33:34):
They may want to invest that money into a fund instead of actually investing into an individual asset.
Wendy Sweet (33:41):
Don Fowler (33:41):
That’s exactly right, yeah!
Bill Fairman (33:44):
I like it.
Wendy Sweet (33:45):
Don Fowler (33:47):
We provide that data nationwide and just our normal monthly standard monthly package. So there’s, it’s not like a big huge investment. We have a free trial, so there’s no, it’s not like, you know, $5,000 type investment upfront. So, and that all that data comes included.
Wendy Sweet (34:03):
That’s awesome! So talk about your phase. I mean, what does it cost? You know, most new investors are on a shoestring and they think they can’t afford something like this, but really they can’t afford not to do something like this.
Don Fowler (34:19):
Yeah, It’s 125 bucks a month and it includes all that public information data, it includes stuff like absentee owners, all of the mortgage information, private lenders, renters, cash buyers. All that stuff comes included in there our bankruptcies are in there too in our $125 a month program and that’s also includes all the other tools that Realeflow has to offer that Jenna was talking about earlier. Whether it’s the hammer point project estimator or the comp tool or the deal analyzer tools and we have a really cool integration with home Depot. So all that stuff comes in our normal three free 14 day trial and then 125 bucks. We have two upgrades, just so you know. So just to be fully transparent, one is a one time fee of $1,000 and that includes a bunch of other data feeds. So stuff like all the foreclosure information, vacancy data zombie properties and some cool stuff like that. And then we also the AI piece that we talked about you have to first have the we call lead pipes premium, that’s the $1,000 upgrade. And once you have that, then you can add on AI if you’d like. And those are $75 a month for a zip code, or we charge $50 a month, if you do five or more zip codes. And then we have a special if you want like a whole market, then that’s where you just reach out to us directly.
Wendy Sweet (35:53):
Bill Fairman (35:54):
Is there a way to find other, let’s say owners, maybe they own three or four, maybe they’re a cash buyer and they’ve bought four or five other properties in that particular neighborhood. Is there a way to plan that out as well?
Don Fowler (36:09):
There is, yeah. You can see that we’re actually creating a new button if you will. That will sort on all of the properties that that particular cash buyer owns the problem with it, as you guys know, there are a lot of LLC creation, so it’s hard to track, you know, there might be one person that owns a dozen LLCs.
Wendy Sweet (36:27):
Don Fowler (36:27):
But we’ll be able to group them by property owner. But yeah, you can sort through that. We’re just going to make it a little bit easier in the next little rev and the other revision that we’ve got coming out too is a skip tracing included and cause I know this call is recorded, so I’m a little nervous about saying this, but I think we’re going to be able to offer it at 10 cents a skip trace and this is like a tier one in our industry. So we’re really excited about that. And that one more quick thing on pricing is we try to provide all the tools and stuff where we don’t make any money. So for example we have a full color postcard. You can upload your upload your own and you could send out one postcard and the cost is always the same. It’s 35 cents a postcard and it gets delivered inside of two days so the time that you place the order to the time that the homeowner gets your postcard: two days at 35 cents. So we really try to drive that with our buying power. We try to drive that cost down for our members.
Wendy Sweet (37:31):
Bill Fairman (37:31):
That’s including the postage?
Don Fowler (37:33):
Wendy Sweet (37:33):
Don Fowler (37:33):
Pick a color, really thick postcard, whatever kind of graphics you want and includes first cost postage.
Bill Fairman (37:42):
I need that just for a Christmas card!
Don Fowler (37:45):
It’s true, I mean, so we, quick little aside, we have a lot of people that use our platform outside of real estate. Everything’s customizable and editable and websites, all that stuff. We have a lot of really unique users out there to take advantage of our stuff.
Bill Fairman (38:02):
That’s really neat.
Wendy Sweet (38:04):
It really is. How long have you been building real flow? I mean, for me it seems like it’s been around a long time,
Don Fowler (38:11):
14 years. We’re coming up on 15 right now.
Wendy Sweet (38:14):
Wow, that’s amazing!
Don Fowler (38:17):
Yeah. And we continue to redevelop. So we’ve got about 20 programmers on staff right now and we’re just continually trying to innovate and improve the platform always.
Wendy Sweet (38:26):
That’s amazing. It’s like having your own mentor in your computer. You’re real estate mentor in your computer because you’ve got every step included.
Jonathan Davis (38:41):
I thought that was us?
Bill Fairman (38:41):
Jonathan Davis (38:41):
I thought that was us?
Don Fowler (38:45):
Put you out of business.
Bill Fairman (38:47):
I did forget to mention this at the beginning of the show, which is, again, I’m a professional. You can ask any questions you want in the chat box and we’ll try and ask them before we get out of here, which is in the eight minutes. So Jenna you’re mainly in single family. I’m assuming you thought about expanding in the some multi or maybe going into self storage or maybe mobile home parks or anything like that.
Jenna Hoover (39:18):
Definitely! I mean, that’s definitely something that we’d strive for. I mean, we have some multifamily properties and then we’ve done a couple of commercial properties and and my dad was actually wanting to get into storage and so he had bought a piece of property so we had talked about doing some storage units so that’s like kind of like the glorified rental type of property sentence, you don’t have to worry about fixing toilets and that for sure!
Bill Fairman (39:44):
Well, even better than owning a barn.
Wendy Sweet (39:48):
Oh no, I have a barn. It works out.
Bill Fairman (39:49):
Self storage is very recession resistant as I like to say because as people are moving up, they need a place to put their stuff. People are downsizing, they need a place to put their stuff.
Wendy Sweet (40:01):
That’s right, works every time.
Bill Fairman (40:03):
Because we form an emotional bond through our stuff so our $500 worth of junk that we’ll keep for five years in a storage room is extremely valuable.
Jenna Hoover (40:16):
Either you know it’s there.
Wendy Sweet (40:17):
Yeah, that’s for sure. Out of sight, out of mind.
Bill Fairman (40:19):
You just can’t stand apart with it.
Wendy Sweet (40:21):
Jenna Hoover (40:23):
Now for you guys, do you mind if I ask you a question?
Wendy Sweet (40:25):
Bill Fairman (40:26):
Jena Hoover (40:27):
With everything that has happened and changed recently, have you guys changed your lending criteria?
Bill Fairman (40:33):
Yes, we have.
Wendy Sweet (40:34):
And that’s a great question. Everybody’s lending criteria has changed. I don’t know that it’s changed for the worse, I think it’s probably changed for the better just like, you know, back in 0’7 and ’08 loans were insane, crazy. You know, fog a mirror, you got alone. It was pretty simple. And really at, just before COVID hit, there was money out there that was so cheap like, rehab money down in the six and 7% range, you know, especially if you’re in California, there are just companies that just had so much money. Not only were they lending at cheap, but they were lending on anything and they didn’t care cause they had to get that money to work. So you know, I’m kind of, I’m glad there was a little bit of a reset on that,
Bill Fairman (41:28):
And we didn’t, we didn’t go up on our fees.
Wendy Sweet (41:31):
Yeah, fees are the same.
Bill Fairman (41:33):
All we did was a lower LTV by 5%, we’re requiring the borrowers to have slightly more skin in the game than they had previously. We’re kind of unique anyway in our area, we were allowing for up to a hundred percent, all in, as long as it was at 70% or less after repair value and now we’ve gone to 65% and then we’re doing 90 on the acquisition and then a hundred percent of the rehab. So we haven’t changed a lot. We’re still very reasonable. But you have to protect yourself cause you have no idea what the value is going to do until it happened. So we’re just being a little bit more cautious. That’s all right.
Wendy Sweet (42:18):
And I think that was our biggest fear is that we didn’t know what would happen to property values. Now, one of the things that we did back in January of 2019, we decided that we weren’t going to do any high-end houses anymore. Anything that we’re the after repaired value was over 600,000. We didn’t want to touch it because we could already see those properties sitting on the market for a longer time than they were. So we kind of got back to really concentrating in that affordable arena and we’re so glad that we did because now we’re in a position where we’re loaded up with loans and good loans, strong loans, strong borrowers and the houses are just turning really, really quick.
Jonathan Davis (43:11):
To add to that, If I can, you know, as a lender and as an investor, right now you don’t want super high LDT. You want to control and protect that equity because we don’t, every day is in flux of what that long term refinance loan looks like order drafter. So we want to make sure that the equity’s there, if there is, you know, right now there is more conservative exit for that long term refinance for an investor. So we want to make sure that you have that flexibility. If your house doesn’t sell that you can pivot and move over into a rental.
Bill Fairman (43:49):
Yeah. One of the things that we it’s a shame, the dilemma that we have, we’re asking an appraiser to value a property based on a rehab on it and what it’s going to be worth in the future based on information from the past.
Wendy Sweet (44:09):
Bill Fairman (44:09):
And it’s hard to do that. There’s a lot of guesswork in there, so yeah.
Wendy Sweet (44:12):
Yeah, especially during times like this.
Bill Fairman (44:15):
Yeah, but again, each market’s a little bit different and there’s still a housing shortage. So I think we’re in a, we’re very comfortable where we are.
Wendy Sweet (44:25):
And that’s a great question. So I got to ask you, why did you ask that question?
Jenna Hoover (44:29):
Well, just because I know like with the, how they changed you know, like the government loans with the credit scores, they’ve changed their lending criteria. Since I’m an agent, you know, I’m working with different buyers and I just, I know that you guys most likely have a criteria and I just wanted to know as far as like on a hard money lender, point of view, how all this is has changed for you and what has changed,
Wendy Sweet (44:52):
What one of the benefits of being in the private space is that it’s real easy for us to do workouts and modify and that kind of thing. And the banks don’t have any, I think they can’t do that, they don’t have the bandwidth for it. So once they’ve sold it to the secondary market, it’s a real pain to pull it out and then modify those things. So they’re going to be real stringent and they’ll easily just cut stuff off.
Wendy Sweet (45:17):
Bill Fairman (45:17):
And that’s one of the benefits of working with private lenders, even if it’s a long term, private lender, which we are not.
Wendy Sweet (45:23):
Yeah. Then the program, I think that disappeared the most and that hurts us all the most is the long term buy and hold program that was coming from a hard money company or a private lender, you know, a non Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac type loan, those have kind of disappeared. Cause those institutional funds are just, they’re too chicken right now to step out and lend money and it’s crazy because now is the perfect time for them to be dealing with it but especially if you’ve got the right loan to value on it. So we’re seeing that kind of creep back, but boy, is it taking a long time to get those folks back in the ball game?
Bill Fairman (46:07):
Absolutely. We are at 12:59. Have to cut it off, guys. Thank you so much for joining us. I’m done. Where can people get ahold of you?
Wendy Sweet (46:18):
Don Fowler (46:20):
realeflow.com. So there’s the website right there. Just hop on there and we have a support tab if you have any questions, just reach out to us.
Wendy Sweet (46:29):
Bill Fairman (46:29):
And Jenna, I’m bringing you up and their way of saying.
Jenna Hoover (46:35):
So you can find me on any social media, just type in that same thing in Jenna buys houses and share it with plaster all over your search engines.
Wendy Sweet (46:44):
Awesome. She’ll stalk us.
Bill Fairman (46:47):
This has been excellent, guests and I know our listeners are getting a lot out of this. So thank you so much.
Wendy Sweet (46:53):
Thank you so much.
Jenna Hoover (46:55):
Thanks for having us!
Don Fowler (46:55):
Thank you for having us.
Bill Fairman (46:56):
And thank you Scott, for pointing out that I needed to say it. Please subscribe, share like, and what else? I think that’s the other one. View our website Carolina Capital Management. No, that’s not it. It’s CarolinaHardMoney.com. If you’re an investor interested in passive returns, go to our investor tab. If you’re a borrower looking to borrow money, click on the borrower tab. That makes it pretty easy.
Wendy Sweet (47:24):
Bill Fairman (47:24):
Thanks everybody so much. We’ll see you guys next show.
Wendy Sweet (47:30):