I'm a real estate investor from the greater Cleveland Ohio area, which for a long time people called “the mistake on the lake.” But right now there's amazing things happening in Cleveland.
Not only is it amazing for sports, with Lebron James and the Cavs winning a championship, and the Cleveland Indians making a World Series run, but there are also amazing things happening in real estate. The Wall Street Journal just recognized the city for having one of the top ten revitalized downtowns in the US, and RealtyTrac ranks it as one of the top ten markets in the country for cash flowing rental properties.
ATTOM Data Solutions also just recognized Cleveland as the number one market in the country for the margin of profit per flip, by looking at gross sales price compared to gross sold price.
Now, I've been investing in Cleveland for 12 years. I didn't start investing in Cleveland because of those stats. Those are all new.
As a matter of fact, when we do our Flip and Fund Summits around the country, some people end up turning around and investing in my market and they become my competition, which is just fine. I'm a big picture thinker. I think the world is a big place.
I founded a bunch of companies. Right now my focus is on funding and automating my business, bringing in the people, the staff, the team to automate what we're doing. As the CEO of these organizations, my number one focus is people.
My friends that own multimillion dollar businesses, even billion dollar businesses, say, "Look, when you cross the threshold of making a million dollars a year or more in your personal life, we all believe the same thing, which is it's all about the people.
So for many of you that are just getting started in your real estate investing business, you need the knowledge, you need the material, you need the information to be successful, but you can only take your business so far.
My focus right now in my businesses is finding all the right people in all the right spots, because they are all systemized, they are all operational and they are all making money. Now it is just about pouring gas on the fire.
I'm a former series 6, 66 and 63 licensed financial advisor. I had about $30 million under management when I was 26 years old. I walked away from it cold turkey to do real estate, because I noticed that most of my highest level financial planning clients didn't have all their money with me in the market. They owned real estate, they owned golf courses, they owned rental properties, and they owned buildings and restaurants. I took notice, and at 26 years old I just started buying real estate. Around the fall of 2003, I walked away from a six-figure income to do real estate full time.
So I know everyone has a story, every single person is in a certain circumstance right now, and you're probably thinking, "How do I get out of my regular job, the thing I do every day, to pay the bills, take care of my spouse, take care of my kids, my family, and how do I do real estate full time?"
You might be thinking, "How do I just add a bunch of passive income to what I'm already doing?" Maybe you really like what you do from 9:00 to 5:00, and you really enjoy it. You've built up a career, you like your employees, the people that you work with, and you're thinking about passive income. It’s really all about you knowing exactly where you want to go.
Now, above all else, above everything else that I've accomplished, the businesses that I've built, the businesses that I've sold, all the real estate investment transactions that we've done, the most important thing that ever happened to me was being diagnosed with cancer.
Some of you have heard the story. In 2011, I was doing my real estate business, came home, just playing with my kids, playing with my two little daughters. At that time they were one and two years old, and my wife was six months pregnant with our third. We knocked them out pretty quick, back to back to back.
And I remember lying in my living room floor looking up at the ceiling fan, and I had my hands crossed on my stomach. And, all of a sudden, I noticed that I felt this giant lump on my left side. I checked, and it wasn't on the right side. And I thought, "Man that's weird, that can't be right. I wonder if I have a hernia or something, I wonder what's going on."
So I went over to my wife Lisa, I said, "Honey, come check this out." She kind of starts poking around and she says, "Well, that can't be good."
One of my best friends that I played college football with is an orthopedic surgeon, and he lived across the street from me at the time. So I went over to his house and he poked around and said, "No, that's not a hernia, and it's not a sports injury."
I have three aunts that are all nurses. They live pretty close, about an hour away. They're all poking around. "No, that's not something that we've ever seen before." So Lisa and I made the decision as young parents to put things off, and wait until our son was born.
When our third child, Dominic, was born, he was born with a birth defect in his neck. There were some complications with it, but he had minor surgery two weeks after he was born, and he was in the clear. And when he was in the clear we decided to go in. I went and got checked out and September 12th 2011, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a disease that has just a 7% survival rate.
We started making plans. Plans for the worst-case scenario and, me being eternally optimistic, plans to have surgery, recover and come back. November 21st 2011, two weeks before surgery, I bought a property. I bought a property on Sunny Acres Drive in Copley, Ohio. I bought it for $53,000, and I had a private lender that gave me $79,000.
I bought it, we got the construction in line, and we determined the budget, schedule, and scope of work. Then I went in for surgery. They took out my stomach, my gallbladder, my spleen, most of my liver, and most of my pancreas. They took arteries out of my leg and put them into the back of my liver. I was in the hospital for ten days. I lost 50 pounds in three weeks.
The surgeon, Dr. Walsh, the man who saved my life, was sitting at the edge of the hospital bed when I woke up a couple days after my surgery. We were talking and he showed me his hands. They were all black and blue. I didn't understand why that was. He told me that the surgery was so long, it was so complicated that he actually had his hand inside my body to try to get this thing out of there, and he was banging his hands against the medical equipment.
So it was big. I turned into a case study for the entire Cleveland Clinic. The number two hospital in the country, and the other surgeons were studying what Dr. Walsh did to me. And through it all, we were positive, we were upbeat, and after the surgery the doctor told me that they had gotten all the cancer out and that I was going to be cancer free.
When I got back to work I had my first coaching call with my buddy Kyle. Back then he was a student of mine, but he's a good friend today. Kyle and I got on the phone; I was in my sweatpants, still recovering, sweating, and losing weight. Nobody knew, none of my coaching students, none of my extended staff. Most of my friends didn't know. I got on the phone with Kyle, and it just felt good to talk to real estate and be normal again.
And then I got on the phone shortly thereafter with my brother and our construction team, and we worked on that property on Sunny Acres and finished up the house. I only saw it three times. By the time it was done, we launched it and sold it, and closed and made a profit of $35,200. Here's the HUD-1 when we bought it.
You can see the date is November 7th 2011. My surgery was November 21st, two weeks later.
Four months after recovering from surgery I got a wire transfer for $35,000. After being out of work for seven months, even with all the real estate successes that we had, we needed to start rebuilding our lives. But we needed to rebuild our financial life and our personal life.
This deal restarted my real estate career. I controlled that transaction from my hospital bed because I controlled the funding. I controlled the deal when we set it up. I didn't need to go see it. We bought a great property, we outsourced the improvements, and I thought to myself, "Why wouldn't I just do that again and again and again." And that's exactly what we did.
We started to recruit more and more private capital, we started buying more and more properties, we started sorting out how to interview and work with qualified general contractors to do the work. We systemized it so that we could enjoy our lives, while other people did the work of improving these properties. We were able to completely start and scale the business, and with my first year back, we flipped over 30 houses using this process:
Number 1) Get the Funding Handed Over to You
Focusing on the funding first. The "Funding Opportunity" does the talking for you, so private lenders are chomping at the bit waiting to fund your deal.
Number 2) Choose the "Best Deal on Your Doorstep"
Because we had the funding, other people, like realtors, asset managers, wholesalers, and bird dogs, would bring us really good deals because we had the funding and they didn't. So we had people delivering us deals, handing them to us for a commission or an assignment fee.
Number 3) Hand Over the Fix Up Details to "the Handymen"
Outsource all of the improvements to qualified contractors so you aren't doing any of the work yourself. I do this every single time, I don't even know how to use a hammer!
Number 4) Realtors Run the "Property Launch Formula"
Launching and selling properties using our Property Launch Formula works 100% of the time every time if done correctly, and we simply hand over the checklist to our realtor and let them run it.
Number 5) Title Company Runs the "Closing Checklist"
Again, we simply hand over the checklist to our title company and have them run it so we can cash our profit check!
We took this simple five-step process and duplicated it over and over and over and over and over again. We created the documents and systems that we needed to grow and scale our own businesses and so that it could be used in any market at any level. We recruited so much private money that we created several of our own private equity funds, and now we're funding our student's deals and helping them achieve their personal and financial goals, just like I did.
If you want to learn more about how you can use this 5 Step Process, you'll get all that and more in The Flip System, a 45 minute no nonsense, no fat training that cuts right to the bone of how to flip for average profit of $40k on every deal.
No experience necessary. Really.
THIS SYSTEM WORKS! And the ROI you get is INFINITE.
It's been proven and time tested over and over by brand spankin' new, never-done-a-deal before newbie investors.
5-figure paychecks right out of the gate, first-time flippers.
Now, back to the price. For a limited time, you can get The Flip System training for the price of a pepperoni pizza.
Why so cheap? Because I want to prove to YOU that you can literally change your life by doing just 1 deal.
Just 1 flip.
CEO Strategic Real Estate Coach
CEO Freeland Ventures and Freeland Lending
CEO Yellow Jacket Properties