Today’s guest was the very first person I interviewed for this show and I’m very excited to have him back on! He is Danny Johnson, and you might know him from his website, Flipping Junkie, or from his book, Flipping Houses Exposed: 34 Weeks in the Life of a Successful House Flipper. Danny is a very successful house flipper in San Antonio, Texas, and if you haven’t checked out his website and book yet, I highly suggest you do!
I’ve made 220 episodes since Danny was last on the show, and hopefully it’s been a big help. I know that when I started in real estate I had a lot of questions that I thought were dumb, and it’s great to have these shows out there where people can get inspired by investors like Danny, who are actually flipping houses and not just talking about it.
At the time of his first interview, Danny was flipping about 25-30 houses a year in San Antonio, as well as doing some wholesaling. Danny talks about how his business has adapted and changed as the markets have changed. Over the past year, he has been wholesaling more and has been working on systemizing his business and getting some help. He talks about having trouble with that because he likes having control over everything, but as his business has grown he realized that his old systems had been falling apart, especially around the time when his children were born.
Danny has struggled with trying to do everything himself, so he brought in and trained someone. They worked together for about a year, and now he’s training someone new to take over a lot of his flipping business.
I have struggled with learning to train other people to help me too because I’m kind of a control freak and I’m really impatient. I feel like I’m going to do it better anyway, or that I can do it myself faster than I can show someone else. But at some point I realized that I’m never going to scale my business if I try to do everything myself.
Danny explains that it’s necessary to spend some time doing everything yourself so that you can create optimized, efficient systems. He also mentions that it’s amazing how much you learn by teaching someone to do things because you have to write everything down and really think about how you’re doing everything. Even if you don’t plan on bringing someone on, you should always be writing down your plans and documenting your process.
For example, Danny talks about how he recently had to fire a contractor and really struggled to find a new one because he hadn’t documented or thought about his process the first time around. Danny also explains why he had to find a new contractor; you trust a contractor more and more when you work with them for a while, and unfortunately sometimes you don’t stay on top of things and the quality of the work goes down. Danny put up with this for longer than he should have, but if problems are consistent it’s time to find another contractor. It’s important for new investors to realize that contractor issues can arise no matter how experienced you are. But when you find a really good contractor who sees the big picture and cares about the work, it really saves you time and energy and makes you want to flip more houses.
I have consistently said in this podcast that a successful real estate investor is spending most of his or her time on two things:
- finding deals
- finding money
In my real estate market, inventory is low and people who used to find all their deals on the MLS (including myself) have had to implement direct marketing campaigns and other lead generation activities to find deals in the past year.
Danny has recently started a project where he helps people generate leads. Lately I constantly hear new and experienced investors alike complaining that they can’t find enough deals. That’s a problem, and Danny’s new business is a great solution.
Danny says that when you don’t have a lot of leads coming in, you tend to spend more time than you should on each lead trying to turn in into a deal. The key is to get as many leads as you can so that you can find the good deals out of those. It’s fantastic when you start getting leads directly from motivated sellers. The goal is to get as many leads coming in as you can. From almost the beginning of his career, Danny has had a website for motivated sellers to submit leads. It started out as a corporate website that he didn’t focus on too much, but around 2008 he switched over to a more personal and friendly website and it made a huge difference. He wanted to be able to help other investors build websites to generate leads. He says that he hesitated to do this for a while because he didn’t want his competition to do exactly what he does, but he eventually realized that when you give, you always receive. Helping other investors has actually helped grow his own business.
This is what led Danny to start Lead Propeller, his website that helps investors create their own website to generate leads. Investors become members and can create a lead generating website using great, modern templates without knowing anything about creating a website. Danny’s website is DannyBuysHouses and mine is MikeBuysHousesforCash; real estate investors are often guilty of trying to look more corporate than they are, but in fact it pays off to be more personal. I love my lead generating website–it’s easy to customize, user-friendly, and there are tutorials that talk you all the way through it. I think one of the coolest features about this is that you can get a text whenever you receive a new lead through your website. It’s very important to see a lead as soon as you can and to get in touch with the seller right away, before they send the lead to someone else. Right now, the price for Lead Propeller is $29/month for your own, fully customizable website that can start generating leads from day one. The price includes hosting and a domain name. Even if it generates one deal per year, depending on your market that can be worth anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000. If you’re sending out letters and doing direct mail, having another way for people to find out more about you is huge. A website can really help build rapport and credibility, because people don’t want to have to call strangers.
If, like Danny suggests, you make your website very personal, include a little bit about yourself and a picture of yourself, and are a human being, it’s going to make people more willing to contact you. People are afraid of being taken advantage of, so if you are personable and present yourself as someone they can relate to, they will want to work with you.
I don’t often promote programs or products on this podcast, but I’ve made two exceptions in 220 episodes: Justin Williams‘ Fail Fast Flipping Program and now Danny Johnson‘s Lead Propeller, because I really think it’s necessary and offers incredible value for the price. I’m also very excited because Danny has offered to give the listeners of Just Start Real Estate the first month of Lead Propeller free! Just go to Lead Propeller and enter the promotional code “juststart”. You really can’t beat this offer, and I highly suggest that you go try it out. Danny lets us know that the price might be going up soon because he’s adding more features, but if you sign up now you will be grandfathered in and only pay $29/month after your first free month.
Generating leads from the internet is a great new way to have leads come in. It definitely requires a little work upfront, and you should make sure to include your website in all of your marketing efforts, but I think it’s an important tool that’s missing from a lot of real estate investor’s toolboxes. I’m new to it too, but I am very excited to see what happens.
If you try Lead Propeller and have some feedback for Danny, make sure to shoot him an email because he is always looking for ideas for improvement. Lead Propeller also has a support line where you can resolve any issues you’re having.
Finding deals is step one of investing in real estate, and these websites are incredibly helpful. Making your own is easy, it’s intuitive, and I think you’re going to love it.