First Course and First Slap in the Face

This week it seems that a lot has happened, but when I think about it, it doesn’t feel productive.  I suppose most days fall into that category of a “day of small things”, where our many many days of doing seemingly insignifcant, or unimportant things on our to do list add up to a lifetime of accomplishment.  I hope that’s what this week was.

I bought my first ever REI course at our REIA meeting Thursday.  It’s Vena Jones-Cox’s Real Estate 101.  It might have been the coincidence of her speaking about REO’s, probates and evictions – the very strategies I want to use, or the fact that she focuses on wholesaling (also what I’d like to focus on).  Several investors told me about their experience with Vena, and recommended her course.

I wasn’t tempted when I sat in front of all the gurus who gave their sales pitch at the REIA meetings, but I really liked her and what she had to say.  The kicker was the email coaching and the free t-shirt!  🙂

I’ve learned a LOT asking questions from investors and using my dear friend Google to introduce me to the world of wholesaling.  Bigger Pockets is a wealth of information.  But I needed something to fill in the gaps.  I hope this is it.  We’ll see!

Also, I’ve had my first bad experience in the business.  Considering that I’m not actually “in the business” yet (i.e. haven’t even done a deal), I’m surprised. 

Tell me if what I did sounds unethical.  I am extremely committed to honoring God in every one of my thoughts, activities and relationships, so this felt like a blow to my own integrity and possibly my reputation.

This man was interested in having me do research on probate leads for him on our courthouse website.  We met a couple of times, but I couldn’t get anything conrete out of him.  How did you want to compensate me?  How do you expect me to handle this information?  How long do you want our arrangement to last, seeing as how I am also an aspiring real estate investor and do not plan on researching for you indefinitely? 

I told him I needed to know the answers to these questions so that I could know exactly what his expectations were and how to honor them (if possible).  He was completely vague, and honestly spent more time telling me how much he knew about real estate than WHAT he knew.  You know?  The only thing he asked of me was “not to mention the word ‘probate’ to any other investor”.  I took that to mean, while you’re selling me leads, please don’t tell my competitors what you’re doing for me.  It really restricted me, but I could understand.  Although his secrecy was strange considering probates are a common way of finding motivated sellers in the REI world (even I know that).

We discovered a glitch in the system that prevented us from doing our probate research, and he said he would get back to me.  The weeks passed, the glitch remained, but he didn’t get back to me.  I discovered a way around the glitch and tried to approach him about it.  That’s when he started avoiding me.  Hmm….

Enter Nick Johnson’s great post about how to get into probates while not paying for marketing.  It came at a perfect time, since I’d been spending all these weeks compiling probate leads and wanted something to do with them.

I decided to ask this guy first, since he did approach me first about it two months ago.  I thought he would definitely be interested.  When I called, he dodged me and said he would call back, but (surprise!) didn’t!  I emailed him and laid out what I wanted to do.

POW! BAM! BAP!  He blew up.  He was angry.  He was appalled.  How could I turn on him.  He made it sound like freakin’ Absalom and David.  Please!

I apologized for any misunderstanding, but explained myself as I did above.  Surely even a man like himself could recognize an honest person when they see one?

Nope, he emailed me back tonight saying that he didn’t get back to me because I was “extremely ambitious” (why, thank you) and he was suspicious of me “not wanting to have a boss” (um..why do you think I’m interested in REI?!) and that me turning around and selling leads was his “worst case scenario” (so he assumes that despite us NOT having any agreement, I would never mention probates to any other investor??  That seems crazy!).

“Bottom line I didn’t trust you and that’s why I pulled out.  You seemed so innocent and honest”.  Ouch.  Really?  Because I AM.  I’m so trustworthy I’m naiive, fellow!  And you think I took advantage of you because you helped me “connect the dots”?? Excuse me??  I knew about the courthouse, I knew about getting records, I knew it all.  You did manage to put the spotlight on probate for me, but what’s wrong with me running with it? 

He did say that I could make more money marketing to realtors, and I could make $75/lead.  I don’t know why he told me that.

My husband (who is less suspectible to bouts of panic and depression over what people think of him and tends to scream less than I do), says he’s an ass and there you have it. 

But I can’t help but wonder if I broke some sort of REI law that I didn’t know about. 

In other news, I decided to go into a 30-day buyer’s agreement with the realtor who’s been sending us mls properties in our farm area that have been on the market 180 days or longer.  I tend to think buyer’s agreements wouldn’t be good for an investor, but she’s the only realtor who would work with us at all at this point, and is requiring it.  We’ll see if it goes anywhere.

Phew.  Rambling and getting it out feels so much better.  My apologies to whatever person ends up reading this far.  Verbose is what is I am.



Filed under Education, Ethics & Etiquette, Probate

5 responses to “First Course and First Slap in the Face

  1. When someone talks like that about his “Deals” or the money he has made in REI. It’s a sure sign they are full of S**T. I don’t like people who are secretive and don’t share information. There are plenty of deals out there for everyone.

    You did nothing wrong and I would have dropped that guy like a bad habit!

  2. Thanks, Scott. It’s good to hear you say that. I’m a chronic second-guesser! (I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunities to work on that with REI!)

  3. Sam

    I second that opinion. It sounds like he’s trying to convince you how much better than you he is when it’s probably the exact opposite. I’d steer clear of that one.

  4. He did not have an abundance mentality. You didn’t do anything wrong here. Every profession has its jerks, high money potential draws in even more. Think about it this way, when your the pro in a couple years, he’ll be clamoring for your help.


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