What One Real Estate Investor Is Doing During Coronavirus Pandemic: Read About REI BlackBook User’s Industry Insights
It seems as though almost everything has come to halt in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, that’s not the case for one novice real estate investor and REI BlackBook user.
After getting his start in the real estate industry with a friend two years ago, Eli Goodman, 22, Chicago, Illinois, has since created his own wholesale business, The Goodman Group, and has partnered with a rehabber for the development of TVE Properties.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Goodman said he was getting about 2-3 leads per day for his wholesale business, and now, that number has declined.
Not only has his number of leads gone down, but the spread of advertisements too. Eli noted that he had one client like a recent offer, but decided to wait until the pandemic is over.
“What I’m kind of assuming is going on is more investors are cutting their advertising, and I’m getting more of those views from them cutting their advertising, but people are not converting,” Eli said.
In the face of industry and economic obstacles, he came up with a plan to keep pushing his wholesaling business forward.
Since Eli has more free time, he said his business plan is to start looking at auction properties and to create advertising campaigns.
“I’ve been working on just building out more campaigns on YouTube and Facebook, retargeting people, so that when this whole thing is over, I hopefully will have first eyes from them,” Eli said.
In addition to his online advertising campaigns, he has been working hard long term drip campaigns inside of REI BlackBook. So far, Eli said he has had two people respond to his email campaign.
To help him rest a little easier about the future of his real estate investments, Eli reached out to a real estate coach/mastermind in the Chicago area.
“He’s basically just been saying, ‘Everything’s fine. Don’t worry. There’s not going to be like a housing crash where everyone goes out of business, but just be careful,’ ” he said.
Eli mentioned other advice that he received from industry experts on rehabs.
He said rehab investors typically pay 70 percent of the after repaired value (ARV) of a property, minus the repairs needed.
In the wake of the pandemic, investors should consider paying 60 percent because “there’s a good chance there may be a market dip, as well as longer holding times,” Eli said.
He added that he has heard of private lenders increasing their prices because of expected longer holding times.
“I think a lot of people are learning how important it is to have three to six months worth of savings,” Eli said.
Before he became involved in real estate, Eli was a full-time personal trainer.
He loved doing personal training, however, Eli said waking up at 5:30 every morning wasn’t his thing.
In 2018, Eli’s friend asked him to join his wholesale business because he ran out of capital. Eli agreed to join as partners, and that’s where he got his start.
Six months later, Eli and his partner closed their first deal thanks to Google Ads. They attended a Google Ads webinar and hired someone to set up their Google Ad account.
Eventually, Eli and his friend parted ways and he went to work for a rehabber as a cold caller.
After 10 months together, along with two other partners, they started a rebab business, TVE Properties, in December 2019.
Not too long after that, Eli developed his own wholesale business, The Goodman Group. In January of this year, Eli set aside personal training weights completely to focus on real estate full-time.
So far in his real estate career, Eli said he has completed two rehab deals, two wholesale deals and has cleaned up two properties.
Eli hopes to build The Goodman Group into a six figure company where he can make a comfortable income.
“From there, either keep it small and just kind of have a nice, locally owned business, or kind of grow it to whatever I can make it,” Eli said.
In addition to developing his business, Eli wants to build his rental portfolios and diversify his investments into other investment strategies.
Advice for Newcomers
Calling prospects and leads day after day until they answer, and deciding whether to go on appointments or not, are some hurdles Eli has overcome and continues to deal with.
“What we’ve been taught from other people is (with) every call, you’ve got to go on the appointment,” he said, even if not all of the houses are worth your time.
“Focus on one thing” is another piece of advice Eli has received from his coach, who helps him do just that.
He tries to focus more on his wholesale business than his rehab business.
With rehabs, Eli said there are unexpected problems that can occur, which can lead to more repairs and spending over budget.
He discussed a problematic rehab that was completed in December 2019. Eli said the original plan was to paint the house, fix the floors and repair the roof.
However, when he and his team were about to put the house on the market, their contractor called to say the porch wasn’t up to code.
The porch remodel took about two weeks, and then more problems emerged when a pipe burst, and installation fell out. The extra repairs took two months to complete, according to Eli.
In real estate investing, “there’s a lot of money to be made, but there’s also a lot of money to be lost and people shouldn’t get into it unless they really know what they’re doing,” he said.
“A lot of people don’t realize that a lot of my leads are actually from other investors who have gotten into a rehab and now something’s come up or they have a rental and the renters aren’t paying.”
To make rehab jobs less of a headache, Eli mentioned an easier and faster turnaround. He mentioned the plan that he and his rehab team did for one property.
“Instead of just fixing the property, we just took a cleaning crew, cleaned it up, took some nice pictures and sold it within four days without putting any money into it, and made a pretty similar profit as opposed to just fixing and flipping it,” he said.
Eli added that he and his rehab team receive calls from wholesalers who have deals for them, however, their “numbers are not at all correct,” he said, “and it’s giving real estate a bad name.”
Real estate investors can help people, according to Eli, but it’s about finding the right fit.
“A lot of people are definitely not going to like their real estate investors because they’re not the right fit, but the people who are the right fit for, they will love their real estate investor,” he said.
Thanks to a Facebook post about CRMs, Eli read the mention of REI BlackBook.
What got his attention was how REI BlackBook offers a variety of tools including CRMs, calls, websites and more under one package with one monthly price.
Before, Eli said he was using one software company for CRMs, one for websites and another for recording calls.
“At the end of the day, I said, ‘Well, why don’t we put all of this into one package, save money and be able to send out voicemail drops,’ ” he said.
Eli’s favorite REI BlackBook tools are the Workflows and Callflows. He said he likes how the software “heavily tracks” callers and that he can set up automated tasks, notifications and reminders.
“I can’t sit down every day and be calling up 100 contacts,” Eli said. “There’s a certain time where I just say ‘OK, they’re not answering their phone, I’m just going to set them on a drip campaign, call them every once in a while and let the drip campaign do the work for me.’ ”
He noted that REI BlackBook’s Ringless Voicemails (RMVs) have helped him get leads.
Eli also talked about the pros of having webforms and websites through REI BlackBook.
“I definitely think it’s a major advantage when people fill out a webform on my website and two seconds later they get a text message from me,” he said.
“When they filled out the webform, probably, I’m the first person that they’re getting a notification from.”
For REI BlackBook beginners, Eli suggested taking the time to play around with the software tools.
“Don’t try to learn REI BlackBook in one day, just kind of use the basic thing and then from there, you’ll kind of just learn new tricks every day,” he said.
Facebook Connect Group
A major advantage of REI BlackBook is connecting with other real estate investors in the REI BlackBook Connect Facebook community.
Eli takes advantage of the community by reaching out to investors who are in different regions to learn tricks, tips and ideas.
“Every Facebook group has kind of their own niche and I think it’s good to have a community that’s sharing ideas pertaining to their CRMs,” he said.
He also keeps in contact with experienced real estate investors in the Chicago area who have him since day one.
Eli and his original business partner met with an experienced real estate investor who advised them on a price for their first wholesale property.
They also didn’t know how to find a buyer, so they met with another experienced wholesaler who helped.
To this day, Eli said he still reaches out to this experienced wholesaler.
“The main way I’ve learned is through sitting down with someone who knows better than me and just kind of working for them,” Eli said.