Mother and Daughter duo, Sonya and Jocelyn, have been in our program less than 90 days but they’ve already closed 3 deals, they have 2 more fix and flips in the pipeline, and they just picked up another home.
As a mother, Sonya, feels really proud of her daughter for getting hands on and actually closing some of these deals herself.
One of the big reasons why they got started with mobile home investing was to find a way to create generational wealth. And so it’s a great feeling to know that her daughter Jocelyn is developing the tools within her to be successful no matter where she is in life.
We love seeing families coming together to get involved in this business. Sonya and Joceyln are a really good tag team. They’re always learning from others, learning from themselves and collaborating together.
A few days before we got on this call with them Jocelyn told us that she’s ready to go into this full-time. So we wanted to take this opportunity to not only learn more about their journey, but also offer some coaching by answering questions they have about taking their mobile home investing business to the next level.
In this blog you’re going to learn about the bottlenecks they’ve had along the process of closing two recent deals. You’re also going to find out the strategic marketing advice we gave them that will help them get leads even while they sleep.
Coaching Question #1 Marketing
So on the call we told Sonya and Joceyln that we want to help them move the needle forward in their business. And we wanted to be an open book for them. We told them to ask us any question they had. And they asked several.
The first question came from Joceyln. She wanted to get our opinion on this marketing strategy she had in mind.
”Please help me convince my Mom to do this. I saw that Barry Grimes puts mobile home advertisements for his 55+ community clients in those little pamphlet coupon books that you find at restaurants and things. And they look in those.
I want to do that for our 2 homes. It’s about $200. But still I would rather spend the $200 just to get it out there than pay that $690 Lot Rent again come January 1st. Because they’re both going to be finished in less than a week. And I just need help to convince her.”
So to be honest, the coupon book strategy, we’ve never used that. We know Barry has had success with it, but we couldn’t give Sonya and Jocelyn first hand confirmation that it works.
Marketing is all about testing. And $200 is an investment. But if it works and you’re starting to get good results from it you’ll know that this is something you can do again and again.
So we advised them to test it. There’s nothing wrong with putting a little bit of money behind it and testing it. They might find that they get a lot of response from that. However, they need to make sure that they’re tracking the responses.
In the blog post where we spoke to Barry he says that he uses the coupon strategy in addition to his main digital marketing, which is Facebook. He says you’d be surprised how many 55+ sellers and buyers are on Facebook.
So it’s something they can definitely test out but they need to be tracking the results of their $200 investment. The point is to embrace the fact that testing out ideas is an investment in the business.
Sonya says she’s not opposed to the idea of trying out ads in the coupon books but she is more in favor of developing the direct mail strategy that we teach in our course. They’ve also built themselves a modest Facebook group of about 200 people where they can post images and advertise the homes in their inventory.
”We have a Facebook community. We have about 200 people right now in it. And I’m almost finished uploading pictures for one of our homes today
We created our official website. We have our EIN, so we’re all good to go. So now we just have to create the actual letter and find a company to actually send those mailers out for us. So that’s definitely part of our 2021 strategy.”
This is great because direct mail is your friend when it comes to attracting buyers and ultimately scale the business.
Talking to park managers, networking with other investors, bandit signs and things like that are low hanging fruit. And those are good, but what we want is for Sonya and Jocelyn to get leads while they sleep. And direct mailers are going to do that.
The thing about sending physical mail to people is that they hold on to them for at least a little while. We had a deal out in Phoenix once where we made $20,000. And that’s because the homeowner had passed away, but the nephew came around to clean up the home and found our letter. Then he called us and we made the deal happen.
Coaching Question #2 Handymen
Sonya and Jocelyn also mentioned that they’ve gone through a lot of different handymen on their recent fix and flip projects. And it’s been very challenging for them to deal with these handymen. They asked for our advice on how they can make the process of doing fix and flips easier.
”Our first handyman was tragic. We should have worked with him contract by contract instead of giving him a whole house to work on.
And then he got upset because we needed check-ins. We wanted pictures from when he started and when he finished so we could verify his hours worked and what work was being done. He was just not okay with that. So he literally storms out in the middle of the project.”
Since that incident Sonya and Jocelyn have learned a lot. With the handyman that Jocelyn uses right now she agrees to contract him for one particular job at a time. And she’s happy with his work and finds him very reliable.
We asked them what the difference was between the first handyman and the second. Was there something that they tweaked in their vetting process?
”We got more pictures and asked for referrals and we verified them. And then also one of the guys that had pictures, he was great, but then I don’t believe they were his actual pictures. Because we had him put up drywall and I went to go look at it and it was so horrible.
I had to have it taken down and redone. It was so horrible. But we had paid him 25% and we’re out of that money. So I was like ‘You can leave.’
We’ve gone through more handymen at the house that Jocelyn’s handling versus the house that I’ve been handling. The guy working on the house that I’ve been handling is a younger gentleman. He has less experience. And we decided because he had less experience we would pay him a set amount based on each one of the sections of the house.
So for the bathroom I’ll pay $300 bucks for putting in a new vanity and putting in laminate flooring. I’ll pay another $350 for putting in the laminate in the entire house.
If it takes a week or if it takes two weeks, their money, as far as how much they’re going to make, is going to be a flat amount. It’s not going to go up anymore.
And that ended up working for him because he has less experience, but he’s willing to put in that sweat equity. And it’s looking much better. I’ve had to send him YouTube videos of DIY on how to fix drywall or how to fix the laminate.
And so that’s working, but I don’t want to go through that again. I want to be able to find a handyman who knows what he or she is doing so that they’ll stay on time and stay on budget.
And quite frankly, after this experience of two different people, we’re not getting another fix and flip property for a while.”
With handymen you’ve got to go through that process. As much as it hurts. Finding the right handymen to work with just takes time. The vetting process takes time. Fire fast and hire slow, is what we always say.
Sonya and Jocelyn have gone through the worst of it in this case. And they’re so much more knowledgable now. They know how to speak to the handymen when they’re qualifying them. It’s got a lot to do with how you present yourself as well. That’s what gets them to fall in line with what you want.
It’s something we had to learn as well. With experience you’ll know ‘Hey, if it’s this much repairs needed then this is how much money I want to make.’ And if the numbers don’t match up then you’ll have to pick a better exit strategy.
Fix and flips aren’t bad if you get the home for the right price and all that. But what we’ve found is if you truly want to scale and consistently hit six figures we’d say to focus more on those ‘no money’ strategies.
For us, we realised that for every fix and flip that we do we could be doing 3 to 5 wholesale deals.
Coaching Question #3 Slowing down in winter?
This was an interesting question that came up during the coaching session. Jocelyn had heard from somewhere, or gotten the impression that in the winter time mobile home deals don’t come through as much. Or at least that’s the normal trend. And she wanted to get our opinion on that.
So, typically in the winter time it does not slow down. Especially where Sonya and Jocelyn are, which is Florida, where it’s nice outside. It’s not snowing like in Wisconsin or something like that. So the winter doesn’t affect the Southern states as deeply.
Maybe during the holidays when people like to stay put on those few days. But in general it really doesn’t slow down as much during the winter.
And even if there is a slow down in leads or calls that doesn’t mean we, as mobile home investors, have to slow down. That would be the wrong mindset to have. The right mindset is to be consistent and persistent even during the holidays because once the holidays are over you’re going to have to pick right back up. So keep that momentum.
Coaching Question #4 Going full-time
We were just about wrapped up and the last question they had came from Jocelyn.
”I have a question. So what would you say…because this is my first full week on full-time because last week we had a family emergency, so I had to leave for Jacksonville. So I’m back now.
And this is like my first week of actually trying to do this full-time. What should I be doing every day?”
We advised her to focus on revenue generating activities. 80% of the time she gives to her business should be spent on revenue generating activities. The main thing is how she continues to fill that pipeline of leads.
The funny thing about it is that when we’re working on mobile home investing part-time we have a limited amount of time to fit our revenue generating activities into. But that also gives us a structure to follow. We’re forced to be structured and intentional with our schedule.
Then when we go full-time we lose that structure. The whole day is open and there’s nothing there to give us that sense of urgency.
So we encouraged Jocelyn to start building a structured routine into her week, and really block out her time in her calendar. She can make a morning routine for herself to build herself up, but right after that she can hit those revenue generating activities hard and go find those homes.
80% of her time needs to go towards taking the business to that next level. And then at night she can set a cut off time for her business too. Because if we don’t do that then the business starts to run our lives.
There’s a great book that we suggested they both read called Atomic Habits.
What we do on Sundays is we sit together and set our goals for the week, which includes the time we take for ourselves to maintain our health, our minds and our relationships. Then we might break those goals down into smaller chunks and schedule time for them in our calendars.
And the last thing we suggested is that they make sure they’re tracking their key performance indicators. This would be any kind of number or metric to measure the amount of time they’ve spent on or the amount of times they’ve completed a revenue generating activity.
That way if they aren’t getting the results they want they can pull up those KPI metrics and get a data based view of their business activity during the week. And then it’s a matter of tweaking those numbers up.
KPIs help entrepreneurs make decisions without emotional influence. Entrepreneurs can start to feel bad sometimes when they aren’t getting results. But if they’re hitting those KPIs then they really don’t need to feel stressed at all.
Having those metrics will increase their clarity and access to the truth. It makes everything a little less overwhelming.
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