Meet Chi - A student of the Pro Wholesaler Program, Real Estate Wholesaler, & Investor located in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina!
Chi implemented our MLS Offer System in his home state of North Carolina and earned a $10,000 wholesale fee in 14 days while working a full-time job!
The best part is: he didn't do any marketing to get this deal!
Come hear how Chi made this wholesale real estate deal happen from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) & his honest take of the Pro Wholesaler Program's huge impact on his business.
In this interview & Pro Wholesaler Program Review, we cover:
The MLS truly can be your #1 deal source whether you want to wholesale, fix & flip, or buy cash flowing rental property each month - just like it is for us & our students!
We love using the MLS as our main acquisition source because every single day there are new leads uploaded, which allows you to close multiple deals every single month - just like Chi's doing!
Hope you enjoy Chi's Pro Wholesaler Program Review!
Ryan Zomorodi (00:00):
All right. Hello, everyone. It's Ryan Zomorodi with Real Estate Skills here, and I'm here with one of our amazing members of our Pro Wholesaler Program. His name is Chi Brown, and he's based in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina market.
He's a real estate investor, wholesaler, and home buyer in the Durham market and surrounding areas. He's also the owner of Pluribus Properties, LLC. In addition, he's a father, a very talented photographer, including some real estate photography.
He's a serial entrepreneur having gotten to start selling photography products, cameras on eBay, which I actually just found out about, and most importantly, he's a lifelong student, which I absolutely love.
Ryan Zomorodi (00:49):
So I'm really excited to introduce you to Chi. He's been sharing some really big wins in our Pro Wholesaler communities, including a $10,000 wholesale fee that he'd recently closed. He received a $10K assignment fee, and he's been dropping some amazing wisdom, and he really just gets it.
He gets our philosophy, and he's tried a lot of different marketing strategies, which he can speak to today, and he ultimately found success with the Pro Wholesaler Program, wholesaling houses on the MLS.
So I'm just really excited to have him here today and Chi, bring you on to talk a little bit more about your story, your background, and your journey as a Pro Wholesaler. So, first off, Chi, how you doing today?
I'm great. I'm great, Ryan. I appreciate you having me on today. I've been doing pretty good.
Ryan Zomorodi (01:33):
Excellent, excellent. Yeah. I really appreciate you coming on today. I know you're a busy guy, and it's just so good to connect with you like this.
To start, if you wouldn't mind sharing a little bit about your background, and what were you doing before joining the Pro Wholesaler Program?
Sure. So, yeah. So prior to joining, I was a photographer and videographer at a local university here, North Carolina Central University, and I did that for probably almost 10 years. Some portion of that was as a student. The interesting thing is I got into photography through business.
I had always been an entrepreneur, and I had the eBay business, and I happened to have somebody who had a camera. They wanted me to sell it on eBay. I ended up keeping it and using it to make my listings stand out. So I take pictures of products at the time, and I would try to make sure that my listings stood out above everybody else who was selling the same things.
That's what got me into photography, and then I had a job opportunity, and I got away from my entrepreneurial, what do you call it, aspirations at the time.
So then, in 2000 and... I guess it was 17. My mother was diagnosed with dementia, which kept me grounded at the house a lot, and then the pandemic came during that process a little bit at the end period, right before she passed. When she passed, people started asking about her house. So I had wholesalers asking about the house.
As they were approaching me about the house, a few of them gave me few tips that were helpful, and I said, "Okay. This can be a benefit. Let me see if I can learn about this business," because it seems like it was helpful to me. Even though I didn't end up selling her house, they gave me some information that was pretty beneficial.
That's where I started to look into wholesaling, and I came across the Pro Wholesaler course, and the MLS seemed like something that made a lot of sense for me. So that's when I got involved with Pro Wholesaler. I think that was 2020. Yeah. So that was at the end of the... Well, the beginning of the pandemic.
Ryan Zomorodi (03:56):
Right, right. Got it, got it. So you stumbled into the wholesaling business, the real estate side of things when the housing situation was more pressing with what was going on with your mom, and so you had people approach you about it.
So then, you started... The gears started turning, and you started thinking, "Okay. Well, this is a legitimate business model, so let's take a look into it."
Ryan Zomorodi (04:23):
So did you have any other real estate experience prior to joining the program, or was it more just like limited to the looking at the house and trying to figure out what to do with it at that point?
Yeah. At that point, I didn't really know much. I would go on Zillow, and look at the estimate, and think that's how much a house was worth.
So that's about as much as I knew. I mean, I remember looking at my house and thinking, "Oh, my house is worth a whole lot," but not thinking about the fact that that's thinking... their algorithms are thinking about a house in its best condition, in its best state, and my house needed work.
So I'm finding that out, the process, was interesting, but no, I didn't have any other prior experience. It was just what I learned once I joined the course there.
Ryan Zomorodi (05:11):
Got it, got it. So coming in, pretty fresh, pretty new. How was it like going through the program, going through the course, joining the community, and putting the plan in action?
What was your experience initially, and then how did it translate into where you're at now?
Right. So the interesting thing is I joined the course, and it was a great course, but then I went to... The part of the course is to get into the MLS, right? So I already knew I had a friend who was a realtor and that would probably be no problem.
I started to talk to him about it, and it was all negative. It's like, "That will never work in this market. It's too hot of a market." I think I made a couple of offers at that point, maybe three or four offers, talked to a couple of realtors, and I was like, "Ah, I'm just going to go direct to a seller."
I forgot about the MLS for a good while, and I was doing some direct-to-seller stuff. I've tried direct mail. I've done Facebook ads, cold calling, texting. I've done pretty much all of it and had some success here and there with those.
But a lot of times, they begin to get costly. When you're working on a budget starting out, it becomes really difficult to maintain if you're not getting consistent deal sources coming through or consistent leads that actually lead to deals.
So as time progressed, I started looking wholesaling houses from the MLS again, giving it a second look, and I started hearing about other people who are doing well, looking in the community, and seeing people doing well, and I said, "Okay. Let me visit."
I said, "Let me just put this stuff in action and see what happens." From there, I started making about... I think I started making about five offers a day and just seeing what that took me.
Also, I'm a data person, so I would also... All the things that I missed, all of the offers that I made that I did not get, I would, "Hey, I have spreadsheets and spreadsheets of all the... where they closed."
So that gives me an idea about where the buyers are buying. Now. I have a pretty good idea about the percent of ARV that buyers are buying in this area, and I use that to adjust the way I'm making offers. But yeah, so it's been pretty good.
Ryan Zomorodi (07:51):
Yeah. It's pretty incredible to hear that because a lot of people in the industry, there's a lot of talk about different marketing strategies, different ways of doing this business, and the fact is everything works, right? We're talking about this. Everything can work. It's just what are you willing to work yourself and really stick it out?
So, really, there's the differences in the marketing strategies, which you experience. There's a cost to a lot of the direct-to-seller marketing strategies, and there's also the volume that needs to go into it as well.
So I'd like to hear a little bit about that shift because you went from submitting a few offers, getting that negative feedback, which is pretty common.
Ryan Zomorodi (08:39):
A lot of real estate agents, they're not in investors. They're not wholesalers. They don't really get this side of the business, so they'll instantly think, "Oh, well, everything is selling at retail value.
Even if it's distressed, it's going to sell for what the ARV is, what the estimate is." So it's not really based in reality, really, on the investment side. So I'd be interested to hear what that shift was in your mind from going from MLS to direct-to-seller, and then kind of why that shift back to the MLS. What drew you back? Was it more on the ease of sending the offers?
Was it the cost to send the offer? What were those things going through your head making that shift back?
Right. So a part of my journey has been that I went to school for journalism. So a lot of what I do and what I did at work was social media-based, and I do a lot of typing and writing people. That seemed to be the niche that fit well with me.
I found that out through texting, so texting. Eventually, when I was doing all this direct-to-seller stuff, direct mail costs too much. I would send out these big mailers, and I'd get two or three leads. It was just too costly. Right? So when I'm starting out, that eliminated that way.
I did Facebook ads, and that was pretty cool, but it also can be expensive if you're focusing on a smaller market. So if I'm just focusing on North Carolina, it becomes more expensive than if I'm focusing on the whole United States.
So that was like, "Well, I don't really want to do this virtual thing. I'd rather do things that are local," because a partner of mine, we sometimes are looking for house flips and things like that. So I wanted to keep it local. So that eliminated that.
Cold calling, To me, because I'd tried both cold calling and texting, cold calling is very slow in my opinion in terms of get reaching a lot of people quickly. So I got rid of that process and opted for texting.
But then, texting came with all these penalties, and people were really cracking down on texting. So I was a like, "Okay. Where do I go from here?" So that brought me back to the MLS where it was like, "I have all this information and data, I have access to it. Why not use that to my advantage and see what I can do?"
I was hearing other people who were talking about the MLS and strategies there, and I was like, "Well, I already have this great course that I went, I know how to do it because of the course. I might as well start working it a little bit better and implementing that and other things that I had learned along the way into what I'm doing."
Ryan Zomorodi (11:34):
Yeah. Absolutely. Like you said, having that data is so important because now you're in the game of more making offers and really seeing how those offers pan out. Whether or not they translate into a deal, you still have, you still have this activity on your finger on the pulse of the market.
You're out there playing the game. If you're not making any offers, you're not going to be making any deals. So a lot of times with these other strategies, you're spending most of your time just getting a seller to raise their hand to say, "I'm ready to sell my property."
Then, at that point, you can go through the exercise, valuing the property, coming up with your offer strategy, and then ultimately, negotiating a deal.
Ryan Zomorodi (12:15):
So, having this data, you get to really know your market. You get to know who's buying these properties, at what price are they buying it.
Like you said, the percentage of the after repair value. So you can get to really see where's the competition at in my market, and so now you're really becoming a player in the game rather than just focusing on the marketing aspect of it because marketing itself, that's a whole another industry.
Ryan Zomorodi (12:39):
There's whole professions around each one of the things you mentioned. Direct mail, Facebook ads, texting. That's that's a whole different thing to master on its own, but then when it comes to sending offers that's something that is really an important activity in the real estate business, obviously, because that's what we consider the main KPI that translates to deals.
So love to hear when you made that transition, your experience in getting that first deal, and what that was like if you wouldn't mind sharing a little bit about one of the deals that you were able to complete.
Yeah. So the most recent deal I would say... I want to also piggyback off of what you said. I think one of the things that is a little bit different working on the MLS is I think you really have to have a lot more sales skills going direct-to-seller and be good at closing. I don't know that I'm necessarily the best closer.
With the MLS wholesale deals, I don't really have to think about that stuff as much. I've read sales books and things like that, but the MLS is like, "This is my offer, and you can either take it or leave it," kind of thing. Then, you're dealing with a listing agent rather than a seller.
So you're not really having to sell them. They've already been sold by the listing agent. It's up to the numbers.
Ryan Zomorodi (14:05):
So I wanted to say that, but in terms of the last deal that I just did, it was really interesting because I had been making all these offers since I've started, started back with the MLS, and just implementing that strategy, making all these offers on a daily basis, five offers a day, and just seeing where that took me.
At first, when I first started, I was still working at my job, and I had to have help from an agent to start with because I couldn't write all the offers that I wanted to write a day. So I was having a, what do you call it, buyer's agent to help me with some of them. So it's a little different from the strategy there, and it kind of slowed me down.
But so then when I went, I was like, "I can't..." On a weekend, I would actually make the calls myself. So my first time making the call myself, I got a property under contract, which is this strategy that you all teach. Right?
Ryan Zomorodi (15:09):
So once that happened, I took a look at the property, went out to the property, met with the agent, looked under the crawlspaces because the floor was a little bit soft. So I was a little bit concerned about that, but I went ahead, and made the offer, and got it under contract.
I had a buyer come in, and then I had a couple of buyers come in actually. Two of them said no, and then the third was like, "Yeah, we'll go ahead with it." It's been pretty good.
Ryan Zomorodi (15:41):
Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah. You were work working smart by having that... You're having a full-time job, which a lot of people in the program, a lot of people getting into real estate before they're able to take the leap.
Obviously, you got to pay the bills. You have another profession. So when you're able to leverage your time most effectively, there's hundreds and thousands of real estate agents out there that are there to serve their clients.
So when you can tap into that, you can find one that you can connect with who understands investing, then they can make offers for you. No doubt. That's what they're there for.
Ryan Zomorodi (16:19):
However, when you take a more proactive approach, and you can go directly to the listing agent, build that relationship with them, streamline the communication like you did, then you can see, In some cases, it can be a lot more effective, and ultimately, at least in this instance, you were able to get that contract, have that face-to-face with them, look at the property yourself.
So it seems like that made a difference in this situation. Maybe not all the time, but certainly, it seems like that happened in this case. Was the listing agent also representing your offer in this case?
In that particular case, the listing agent assigned me somebody else in the same agency. So I went with her, and that was cool. I'm sure she probably passed along a nice referral fee to the other agent, the listing agent, but it worked out.
After that, that same referred agent has sent me multiple properties since then. So it became a situation where now I'm getting properties sent to me just because of that.
Ryan Zomorodi (17:34):
Absolutely, yeah, because as we know, real estate agents, they're out there doing the direct-to-seller marketing too. They're sending the postcards. They're knocking on doors. They're doing all sorts of marketing.
So when they have an investor in their pocket that can make a cash offer, that can be their investor solution for those sellers who have a distressed property or they just want a quick, more convenient option, then they're thrilled to have an investor like yourself who they can represent.
They know that you're going to use them to write the offer, and ultimately, they're going to send you those pocket listings, or they're going to just scour the market for you on your behalf, and then cherry-pick the deals that meet your criteria.
So that's the way that we can tap into the network of agents out there, have them bring us deals, and you did also mention before the call that you're also looking at some off-market opportunities that were brought to you by real estate agents, right?
Ryan Zomorodi (18:33):
So can you maybe speak to that a little bit?
Sure. So some of what I do is reaching out to agents directly and just seeing what they might have. This particular instance, the agent that I spoke to told me that they had a couple of properties, and they're actually wholesaling these properties. So today, I have made offers on those two.
We'll see where that goes. I think my offers are right at their asking on one of them. It's a little slightly below on the other. So hopefully those go through, but so yeah. So consistently talking to agents, and I think in the group, I made a post about MLS access.
I think some people, it takes them some time or they feel like it's a struggle to get to the MLS. I'd like to leave them the message that the MLS is not the only place where these properties are, not the only place to find a listing agent.
You can go right on Zillow and find their name, and then go to the agency and find their phone number. It's pretty easy to do that as well.
Then, you can do the exact same process without the MLS, but using one of these websites because they often have the listing agent's name. You just have to find the number.
They're not going to put the number up there and make it easy for you like it is on the MLS, but if you do that extra step, that does work because I don't have access everywhere in North Carolina.
I only have access in my city. Right? But outside of my city, I have to sometimes use other strategies, and that is another method that I'm using. It's just going to Zillow, and then just finding that agent's phone number, and then just calling them that way.
You could still do the exact same process once you've done that.
Ryan Zomorodi (20:29):
Yeah. Absolutely, and that's a great point. For those who haven't gotten MLS access, a lot of the same data is available just on the internet. Redfin, Zillow, realtor.com, Estately. I mean, there's a lot of different types of websites.
Some are more prevalent in different markets, different parts of the country, but even for someone who's virtually wholesaling, for example, we have a lot of members who are doing it long distance.
Even if they don't have MLS access, you can still hop onto these websites, and then work the process.
Ryan Zomorodi (21:00):
Real estate agents have their contact information all over the place. That's how they get in touch. That's how they get clients. So they have their own advertising.
So it's very easy, like you said, to get in touch with these agents, and it was great because you pointed out in the community as well in your post that if you hop on to Zillow, you can use their agent finder in any market, and you get access to dozens, maybe even hundreds of agents in a particular zip code.
So there's really no shortage of agent relationships.
Ryan Zomorodi (21:30):
Certainly, for particular listings, you can easily reach out to those agents as well. So, yeah. Really great points. Not having MLS access is not a hindrance in my mind and certainly in yours as well.
There's plenty of resources out there to work the process and get these opportunities. So just tying back to that, that first deal, what was your overall fee on that? Was it an assignment fee? I guess how long did it take from sending that offer to finally closing?
Yeah. So I think it was just under 14 days. I think it was about 12 days if I remember correctly. I got an assignment fee for $10,000, so it was pretty good, pretty good assignment fee.
Ryan Zomorodi (22:20):
So, yeah. Yeah. I loved it. Good stuff.
Ryan Zomorodi (22:26):
Yeah. That's amazing. Yeah. $10,000 in 12 to 14 days. That's pretty excellent. So, yeah. Congrats again on that. We appreciate you sharing that in the community. It fires us up. We know you put in the work. Five offers a day is a very healthy amount of offers.
Not only it's the shots you're taking, it's also the relationships you're making at the same time. So I'm sure you've created some ripple effects from just working the process. Again, we say that, that on-market leads to the off-market.
You're making a presence in your community. You're making some noise, and so you're building a reputation at the end of the day. That's just really a side effect of working this process, which is pretty amazing.
Right, and I've made a lot of mistakes along the way. So, I mean, you have to be willing to put yourself out there and make those mistakes. I've locked up properties too high. A couple of weeks before that, I locked one up because it seemed like it was listed low. So I locked it up higher than it was listed.
I didn't even think about the fact that that's not a good idea because people are immediately going to go on Zillow and say, "Hey. Well, wait a minute. This thing is like $20,000 less than what you have it for. Why shouldn't I just allow you to run out your contract?" So I didn't think about it, but you got to go forward.
Press forward even if things are not going well at first. They tend to even out once you learn a little bit more, and I think that as I've been learning, it's getting better and better, so.
Ryan Zomorodi (24:08):
Absolutely. Yeah. Like you mentioned in your post, it is a numbers game. You have to get the repetition. It's like going to the gym, or it's like doing anything where you're becoming a master of.
You have to put yourself out there and be willing to fail. Real estate is one of those industries where you learn by doing. Every property is different, every deal is different, but just putting yourself out there.
Having a sense of humility, but also acting with a sense of knowledge and education, and knowing what you're doing from the get-go is also important so that you don't make any mistakes where you're going to lose some money.
Ryan Zomorodi (24:46):
Knowing your wholesaling contracts, for example, knowing the timelines, how things work, knowing the lay of the land. Those are the things that we talk about and we help guide through these transactions as well.
So mistakes are part of the game. It's part of learning. Ultimately, it makes you a better investor. So I definitely appreciate you sharing that. So what's next? What are some of your goals as far as real estate investing, wholesaling? What are your aspirations at this point? Anything you want to share here?
Yeah. So keep moving full speed ahead. I eventually left my job with the... Well, I had been doing deals, a consistent amount of deals even with direct-to-seller. So this has been an addition to that, and it's just been going well enough that I matched my income from my job, so I stepped down there. So I've just been taking it easy.
It's been about two to three weeks. It's been hectic getting my schedule and everything. It's because once you have this retail, you don't have to go to work. It's like now you have to... I used to be really pressed to do deals right after work.
I'm always taking two hours every day. Now, it's like, "Okay. Well, I was making money just doing two hours. So I have all this time. I can just..." But I really know that I need to step it up.
So I have some goals to try and do. I want to try and do... start off with just $20,000 a month. That's my goal right now.
So I'm hoping to get to that within three months, and then we'll go see what happens from there. So just still doing direct-to-seller, but now using the MLS and some of the other strategies that I've learned, other places to just combine all that stuff, and to just do really well with it.
That's where I'm at.
Ryan Zomorodi (26:49):
Yeah. Well, that's amazing. I can definitely relate to taking that leap from leaving your job. So congratulations. That's really a huge step and what a lot of people are looking to achieve with real estate. So hat's off to you.
That's very impressive. It's no doubt you can certainly meet and exceed those goals with the skills you've already learned, with the success you've had, with the knowledge you have as well. So I have no doubt that you're going to get there in no time.
So I definitely look forward to continue to be a part of your journey, and learning and growing together.
Ryan Zomorodi (27:26):
So definitely excited for you in this next chapter, having a lot more time available, and of course, just getting that schedule down, and getting into the rhythm. So yeah, no doubt you're going to accomplish that.
So just to wrap up a little bit here, if there's any advice you have or if you could say anything to someone who's looking to get into the industry, who's looking to join the Pro Wholesaler Program and take that next step, do you have any words of wisdom or any advice to someone who's in that position?
Absolutely. So just listening to this, if anybody listened, I wasn't always a firm believer in what I've learned. So I think actually making an effort to try things that you're learning. If you're learning, if you're in Pro Wholesaler or wherever you're going to get your information, you have to be consistent no matter what!
No matter what you're doing, if you're not consistent, you won't see the results. I think that's been a big thing for me is just trying to do it every day. Just make sure I'm doing it every day.
You may have some months where things are slower than others. You may need to make adjustments as things aren't going the way that you planned. But as long as you can stay consistent, I think that people can gain success.
Pro Wholesaler definitely has the tools to get you there, but you have to put in the effort to make it work for you. Absolutely. If you're doing any type of wholesaling, whether it's the MLS, direct-to-seller, on Facebook, pay-per-click, whatever, you're going to have to put in the reps, as you stated, to see the success.
That's what I would implore others to do.
Ryan Zomorodi (29:20):
Absolutely. Yeah. That's fantastic advice. We tell people all the time it's a business not cut out for everybody, but anyone can do it from different backgrounds, from different experiences. It's very attainable for anyone, but not everyone is willing to put in the work.
So I think that is really great wisdom to share for those listening. It is a commitment. You have to be willing to dedicate yourself, to put in the hours to really learn, become the person that is going to achieve those lofty goals, whatever they might be.
So just be ready for that and be willing to transform just like Chi has through the diligence, through sending the volume of offers, through extending that network like you have.
Ryan Zomorodi (30:10):
So, man, I'm really pumped for you and really excited for this next chapter. I know you're going to crush it. Really appreciate you being a valuable member of our community, and sharing your wins, sharing your wisdom, and inspiring everyone in our community, including myself.
So we appreciate you big time. So happy that you're part of the Real Estate Skills family, and I definitely look forward to keeping in touch and chatting with you again soon. So thanks so much for being with us today, Chi.
Absolutely, Ryan. I appreciate being here, and hopefully some people get some things out of this so we can see some other successes. That'd be great.
Ryan Zomorodi (30:49):
Absolutely, my man. Yeah. Thanks again. We'll chat soon.
All right. Take care.
Ryan Zomorodi (30:53):
All right. You too, buddy.
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