Wholefailing: The Top 3 Reasons For “Failure to Launch”

            Go to any real estate association anywhere in the country, and you’ll meet endless excited folks who are sure that their futures—and fortunes—lie in wholesaling houses. Go back 6 months later, and you’ll find that 90% of those folks have never successfully closed a deal. In most cases, this isn’t due to “inactivity” or “fear” or any of the usual excuses. Many of these folks have actually tried, and failed, to make a go of it. In my experience, there are 3 main reasons for this:

  1. They don’t understand WHY wholesalers make money. They understand, at least in a basic sense, HOW it happens: you put a deal under contract, and you find someone who wants to pay more than you did, and that “more” is your profit.

But they don’t understand something very basic: that buyers don’t just write a check because the deal is available, or cheap, or even because it’s cheaper than other properties that might be for sale in the same area.

Buyers for wholesale deals are real estate investors, right? So in order to be interested in a deal, the deal can’t just “make money”; it has to make ENOUGH money to provide a satisfactory return for the cash, and hassle, and time, and energy, that the buyer will have to put into it. No investor buyer HAS to buy a house this week; if he doesn’t see one that gets him a return that turns him on, he can just keep looking.

Wholesaler wannabes who don’t ‘understand the motivations of their buyers well enough, and therefore end up spending weeks trying to flog contracts to an unresponsive audience,  end up frustrated and convinced that it ‘doesn’t work’.

  • They don’t learn the most basic thing they need to know: how to evaluate properties correctly.  Ok, so you get it: the deals you offer have to be priced at no more than 70-75% of the after repaired value of property, so that the buyer feels compensated for his investment, and that’s the deal you’re offering.

Or is it?

One of the most common mistakes I see the ‘YouTube University’ crowd making is that they have no real handle on how to comp properties, inspect them, or estimate repair costs. Someone online told them that a property is worth the Zestimate, or the Zestimate – 10%, or the average of the values on Zestimate, Realtor.com, and Housevalues.com. And that a roof always costs $5,000 to replace. Or that rehab is always $25 per square foot. And they believe it, and operate accordingly, and then think that buyers are “just negotiating” when their buyers tell them that that their $10,000 repair estimate is 50% of the real costs.

Reality is much more complicated than these rules of thumb, and it’s just a fact of life that if you’re serious about wholesaling, you’ll get serious about learning how to do the basic evaluation that has to be RIGHT in order for your price to be right.

  • They don’t REALLY understand the process. You’d be amazed at how many wholesale deals fall apart because the wholesaler doesn’t have the right contracts, or doesn’t know when to get paid, or doesn’t know how to guide the deal to the final closing.

You can’t think that your buyers or sellers will have or know these things—that’s up to you.

If you’re serious about making real money wholesaling, you need to be serious about understanding that business. It’s simple, but it’s a lot more complex than the Facebook and YouTube gurus make it seem. If you want people to invest time and money in your deals, maybe it’s time to invest some time and money in your education.

I have the most complete, detailed, easy-to-understand, guaranteed wholesaling course available, and you don’t even have to leave home to take it. If you haven’t been to wholesale school, learn all about it and get registered HERE.

Advice for wholesaling “package deals”

It seems like every new Wholesale School student immediately stumbles upon a landlord who wants to sell ALL of his properties, then wants to know how to tackle a package of 4, or 9, or 37 single family homes all at once. And they’re already rented, and the don’t need any work, and the new wholesaler is excited because this looks like a deal that could make tens of thousands of dollars all in one fell swoop.

These deals are problematic for a number of reasons:

1. I rarely see one where the landlord isn’t asking more-than-market for the properties. He’s willing to sell, but isn’t really anxious to sell

2. It’s basically never the case that the houses don’t need work. Yes, I KNOW there’s someone living in them. That doesn’t mean that the roofs aren’t 22 years old, or that the furnaces work consistently, or that they won’t need a $5,000 turnover when that tenant inevitably moves out.

3. Each property has to be evaluated separately, which is a LOT of evaluation for a deal that’s unlikely to come together.

4. Coordinating a single buyer to buy a whole package of non-turnkey properties, especially if they’re in different parts of the city, isn’t easy. Coordinating 9 buyers to close 9 properties on the same day is even harder.

If you find one of these deals, here’s how I suggest approaching it:

  • First, get a list of addresses, rents, and major repairs/upgrades needed on each property. If the seller can’t be bothered to get you these, he’s not motivated and you can move on.

  • Next, comp each property. If he’s asking full market value and has indicated that he’s not flexible on price or terms, move on.

  • Assume that each property needs a MINIMUM of $20k in work, run your numbers. If he’s asking a lot more than your numbers tell you you can pay and isn’t flexible on price or terms, move on

  • If A-C seem fine, ask him to show you his best property and his worst one. If it turns out that even his best one needs more than $20k in work, adjust your numbers accordingly and make a soft offer for the package.
  • At this point, if you’re a brand new wholesaler, and the seller says yes, it’s time to get someone more experienced involved in the deal. Yes, you’ll have to give away some of your control and your profit, but if the package is bigger than about 4 properties, some or all of them will probably have to be CLOSED before they can be re-sold–it’s just more practical to do it that way–and you’ll need someone with money, or a bigger buyer’s list, to help you with the full inspections/evaluations of all the properties.

Most of the time, you won’t get to E on these. I evaluate probably a dozen of these packages a year, and rarely put them under contract. When I do, it’s nice, and yes, it’s a big payday–but for the most part, they’re not good wholesale deals.

In Praise of the Dog-and-Pony Show

If you’ve been around the real estate education world awhile, you may have noticed that live trainings come in several very different flavors.

There’s the “seminar” or “workshop”, which is usually 1-2 days with a single speaker on a single topic, and ranges in price from around $200-$1200.

There’s the “bootcamp”, which includes 4-6 days of training focused on a single strategy or system, and which often includes 1 or 2 additional “selling speakers” each day mixed in with the education. With a price tag of $3,000-$10,000, bootcamps are (or at least should be) extremely complete as to their particular topic.

And then there’s the “dog-and-pony show”, often pitched as a conference, convention, or wealth-building weekend. These events usually carry a low-price tag (under $400) and feature multiple speakers in 90 minute-2 hour sessions, during which they lay out the basics of their area of expertise then sell a homestudy course, bootcamp, or other product to those who want to learn more.

It’s unfortunate that dog-and-pony shows are often viewed, incorrectly,
as the lowest common denominator of live training events.

Because of their low entry fee and the lack of in-depth education on any single topic, they have a reputation as being primarily for unsophisticated investor wannabes, or for folks who are too broke to afford the 4-figure price tag of the bootcamp.

With more than 20 years (and well into 6 figures) invested in real estate education, I can attest that dog-and-pony shows aren’t better or worse than workshops or bootcamps—they simply fill a different purpose, and one that’s just as valuable as any other live training.

Dog-and-Pony Shows provide a buffet of ideas from which to pick and choose. For the real estate entrepreneur who’s looking for a first strategy, or the next strategy, investing in a full-blown bootcamp that digs deeply into a single strategy at a high cost can be risky. If it turns out that the particular strategy isn’t for you after all, you’ve invested a lot of time and money to find this out.

A better way of choosing a strategy is to compare and contrast the techniques that are—and this is important—working in TODAY’S market. A Dog-and-Pony show gives you the chance to do this, and in a very quick way with a low investment and no obligation. Don’t get me wrong, you can do the same thing by attending your local real estate investment association meetings—for a year or more, given that most groups meet just once or twice a month—but at a dog and pony show, you can discover in 2 or 3 days exactly what a WHOLE BUNCH of the most active investors in the U.S. are doing to make money right now.

I’ve never been to a conference like this where I haven’t walked away with scores of brand new ideas and at least one new strategy that I wanted to fold into my business. Just as importantly, I’ve never attended one where I didn’t hear more about something I’d been contemplating and decide, after hearing the 90-minute summary, that it really didn’t fit into my business or my life at all.

And I don’t know about you, but I’d a lot rather spend $200 figuring out that strategy “X” isn’t something I want to pursue than waste $5,000 and 5 days on a bootcamp to show me the same thing.

Dog-and-Pony Shows expose you to the BEST networking around. Real estate investors love to network. In fact, it’s one of the 3 pillars of real estate success, along with education and action.

It’s through networking that we meet the folks who help us through partnering, mentoring, or just plain motivation when they share their successes with us. It’s through networking that I discovered that Quickbooks is the best accounting software for real estate investors, and that online data backup systems are safe, and that I was paying too much for my property insurance.

It’s also through networking that you get the all-important personal referrals from other students that tell you which educators deliver on their promises, and which have incomplete courses or poor customer service. And which national lenders are still investor friendly. And which markets are still declining, and which are recovering.

Dog-and-pony shows are worth the investment just for the chance to hang out with other real estate entrepreneurs. And they’re especially good for this for two reasons—first, they tend to be much larger than the average bootcamp, which gives you more brains to pick. Second, they attract investors from a much wider range of specialties and with a much broader set of knowledge and experience. The typical bootcamp draws people with a specific set of skills or interests—dog-and-pony shows, thanks to their wider coverage of topics, bring in landlords, rehabbers, wholesalers, private lenders and borrowers, new investors looking for money partners, and seasoned investors looking for birddogs.

Dog-and-Pony Shows give you the chance to interact with lots of national experts, in person. A high-quality conference of this nature brings together real experts, not just speakers who sell a lot of courses. And the REAL experts tend to hang around before and after their presentation to network, answer questions, and so on.

Your chance to pick the brains of people who are literally at the top of their niche in the real estate field (and in many cases have been for YEARS) is absolutely priceless. There’s nothing that will build your own knowledge and confidence like spending face time with people who’ve done hundreds of deals in up and down markets—and no place like a dog and pony show to meet these folks by the handful. Since they’re NOT presenting every moment of the day (like they are in their own workshops and bootcamps), they have time to meet you, help you, and motivate you.

Plus, and I’ll admit that this is a personal prejudice of mine), I REALLY like to meet experts in person before I invest a dime in their courses or products. I want to ask them questions, evaluate them as people, know that they take a personal interest in their students, and make sure they’re really IN the market (not just making their living selling products). You can get a real feel for this just by chatting for a few minutes with the speaker about your own situation and deals. Only dog-and-pony shows give you this opportunity

The RIGHT dog-and-pony show also gives you ample opportunity for team-building. Quality dog-and-pony shows attract quality vendors to sponsor them. If you’re looking for a new insurance agent, the best asset protection attorney for your real estate business, a management company for your rentals, investor-friendly lenders, or any other team members that will help you run your business more effectively and cheaply, these conferences are the place to be.

Good dog-and-pony shows usually include vendor expos (often at no additional cost) and your chance to pick up new vendors, team members, and suppliers that truly understand YOUR business (and, by the way, compete for it with show specials and discounts). It’s worth the price of admission by itself.

Plus, they’re fun! Hanging out for a few days with your fellow investors or investor-wannabes, networking with speakers and vendors, and drinking up new ideas and strategies is incredibly exhilarating. The break you get from your “real life” and the motivation you get from meeting hundreds of like-minded people sends you home raring to take your business to the next level. For that reason alone, I will continue to attend dog-and-pony shows at every opportunity throughout my real estate career.

And the best dog-and-pony show in the country, bar none, is the National Summit for Real Estate Investors and Landlords, sponsored by OREIA. OREIA is a non-profit organization that holds the largest, most respected dog-and-pony show in the country once a year.

It’s the best, because OREIA reviews scores of speakers each year to pick the dozen or so that have the most down-to-earth, most workable strategies in today’s market—NOT those who sell the most product.

It’s the best, because OREIA attracts more than 1,000 investors from all over the U.S. for you to network with and learn from.

It’s the best, because it’s less than $200 to attend the main conference with 20+ experts on up-to-the-minute topics—and because it provides targeted education for both new and advanced investors.

And it’s the best because it includes tons of fun events, like the free networking reception, dozens of door prizes, a youth entrepreneurial academy for 15-22 year olds, and so much more.

If you CAN get to the 2019 OREIA conference and trade show in Cincinnati on October 31-November 3, do it. Your brain will benefit, your attitude will benefit, and your wallet will benefit.

Find out more about it HERE, and register while the price is still under $200 for all 4 days.

I’ll see you there!


Why Savvy People Choose Rentals By Steven VanCauwenbergh

Steven VanCauwenbergh is a landlording Phenom…at 45, he owns over 250 units, which he runs hands-off with a combination of people and technology. He’s presenting an all-day workshop at the 2019 OREIA National Real Estate Summit on exactly how you can do the same. It’s October 31st, and it’s included with your (cheap) registration fee. Sign up at www.OREIAConvention.com!

Building wealth is all about the ROI (Return on Investment). Making your money work for you instead of just stock-piling it and hoping it will be enough to retire you.  As with any type of investing there is risk involved in being a real estate guru. But it has been my experience that the benefits far outweigh the risks. 

One of the most advantageous things about real estate investing is the ability to use leverage instead of cash to do your deals. 

Let’s say you have $50,000.00 that you would like to invest. You find a rental property selling for $60,000.00. The fair market value of the house is $70,000.  Banks will generally loan 70% of the fair market value. Therefore, you could get a loan for around $52,000. You use $10,000 of your “investment” money and purchase the rental property.  

If it’s a 3-bedroom house in a fair neighborhood.  The house would easily bring $750 per month or more in rental income. Yes, there are expenses—taxes, insurance, the payment on that mortgage, vacancy, maintenance. But even after all that, in effect the $10,000 you invested in purchasing this property is giving you a return of 15%.  How many other investments in your portfolio are showing you that kind of return? Don’t forget, you’ve only spent $10,000 of the $50,000 that you are planning to invest, so you can do it 4 more times.

Another super quality of buying real estate is you earn that ROI tax deferred.  You do not pay taxes until you sell that property. Your investment is going to grow and appreciate.  The mortgage is going to decrease, and you are going to build equity. Someday you may sell the property and have to pay taxes on the capital gain, but it should be at a lower tax rate. 

If you want tax free results, you could use a 1031 exchange to defer the taxes even further.  You could pass it on as an inheritance. You could use a charitable remainder trust and you could even use installment sales to spread out the gain over time. There are lots of ways to exit that real estate and defer the taxes. 

Now… get ready for the big one!!!  Real Estate Investing can get you tax free cashflow!  You take your rental income minus depreciation, mortgage interest, property taxes, maintenance and other expenses like travel, dining, entertainment, Home Office, PDAs, laptops, Internet, cell phone.  On paper it looks like you’re losing money even though you have cashflow. Yes… you heard me right, you have tax free cash going into your pocket with a leveraged investment. 
To coin a phrase that has been around for a while “JUST DO IT!”  I’ve built my empire with real estate investments. The portfolio I’ve built would allow me to retire today, but what fun would that be? I love this business! 

Little Things in Business By Gary Harper

Gary Harper helps real estate investors build a better business—not by becoming better at finding deals, rehabbing, and managing tenants, but by creating better systems, hiring the right people, and establishing and reaching bigger goals through a complete business operating. This is what he’ll be addressing at his all-day workshop at the OREIA National Real Estate Summit, Oct. 31st in Cincinnati. If your goal is an easier, more passive business, you need to be there—and you can get tickets at www.OREIAConvention.com

It’s the little things like a free dessert or beverage that makes customers feel special and appreciated.  There is nothing difficult or expensive about paying attention to your customers likes and dislikes (Wayne’s Eggs) — remembering their names and keeping track of their buying preferences.  Little things frequently produce big results.  Unfortunately, many business owners miss the small things and then wonder why they lose the business to a competitor.  Here are just a few of the “little things” that can set your business apart from the rest.

  1. Smile. 

A smile is contagious and makes people feel welcome.  Oh, and by the way, it takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown.  Plus, research from the 1970s and 80s suggests that your facial expression might actually influence your mood.  (Try putting a smile on your face and see if you feel happy.)  So, make sure you have a smile on your face when you’re dealing with your customers, so they know their business is important to you.

  • Take Responsibility for Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes and training your customer service team to quickly apologize for mistakes and rectify them is one of the most important “little things” you can do to enhance your customer service.  Sometimes that means accepting responsibility for something that isn’t your fault.  Perception is reality.  The goal is to do your best to satisfy your customer.

  • Go Above and Beyond. 

One of the best ways to wow your customers is to go beyond what they’re expecting.  Talk about building loyalty.  One of my favorite examples has to do with two competing discount shoe stores located next door to each other.  I had reward coupons for both stores which I didn’t realize were for another location.  The first store refused to accept the coupon even though it was in the same city. It was their corporate policy!  The second store gladly accepted my coupon which turned out to be actually not their coupon.  Both coupons were only for $10.00 off, but it was the way in which they handled the situation that spoke volumes.  The first store lost a good customer over $10.00 because now I only shop at the second store.

Of course, the little things can be easy to miss. After all, they’re little. And in a fast-paced, chaotic cult­­­­­­­ure, the newest and shiniest toys can distract us from the details that really count. You’ve got to be intentional when you look for the little things. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth the extra effort.

As a business coach, I meet entrepreneurs every day that are great at creating a sellable product but struggling with running a business. They have made the jump from employee to entrepreneurship and they are having success, but they struggle with scaling properly.  

Many times, I hear statements like; my business is stuck, I have problems solving issues, I have the wrong people in my business, The business has become complex and communication has deteriorated or find themselves working more “In” the Business then “On” the business. Basically, that have plateaued, and they don’t know how to have a growth spurt. 

In order to grow and overcome these issues business owners need to focus and work on these main areas of business. Leadership, Vision, People, Processes, Data and Communication. 


As leaders, it’s our jobs to provide a vision other can follow. As John Maxwell says “The leader finds the dream and then the people. The people find the leader and THEN the dream.” Have you found your dream? Your purpose in life or as many people call it your “Why”? Your “Why” will provide focus for your employees on where you are going, and the right people will align their goals to help you achieve yours. 

Do you have a clear vision in writing that has been properly communicated to your entire staff and is shared by everyone?  

“Anyone Can Steer the Ship, But It Takes a Leader to Chart the Course” Navigation requires vision and the ability to have good interpretation of the past and ability to understand and predict the future. 

As leaders we must plan ahead and create focus for our company and employees. Having a documented Vision Plan that includes your Core Values, 10 to 30-year goals that back down into 3-5-year goals that ultimately leads to creating a 1-year focus with 90 days goals for everyone that are leaders on your team. 


Before we have the right to lead others, we must make sure we lead ourselves first. The first person you need to lead is you. You should work first and hardest on you. You should ask yourself this question daily. What areas of my life need changing? 

I love being reminded every time I fly of the important of taking care of ourselves first. Over 1000 times I have heard these words from a flight attendant. “In case of an emergency in a flight… and the oxygen mask falls… Every flight attendant instructs you to put the mask on YOURSELF FIRST… so you can take care of others.”  


“He who thinketh he is leading, and no one is following, is only taking a walk!” John Maxwell 

Do you have the right people based off your core values? Are they in the right position based on their abilities? Do they know their role or the role of others in your company? 

Every company needs to take time and document the positions in their company that are needed to grow based on the documented vision. Once this has been documented you can hire the right people for these positions based off their abilities and if they align with the company’s core values. 

By having the right people in the right position, you will have confidence to start “Letting Go”.  

Then you can stop working “IN” the business and spend more time working “ON” the business. 

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”  

     – Theodore Roosevelt 


Are your company’s main processes documented and then followed by everyone in the company? 

Many times, I hear a statement from business owners that they don’t have time or don’t know what to do? Documenting your business processes can often feel overwhelming.  

I get questions like where do I start? Do I document everything? Do I have the resources, and can they be pulled away from their daily tasks? You don’t need to create a 1,000-page Standard Operating Procedure guide; you just need to identify your 10 main processes and start knocking them out through a simple method called process mapping. 

Process mapping is a simple tool that allows you to identify the processes start and end points and the departments that are responsible for the steps in the process.  

Why Process Mapping? It helps you understand and analyze your current way of working. It allows you to redesign and improve the process. You can use process mapping to implement a standard way of working and train new employees. This allows you to communicate with other groups and external entities 

There are two categories of Process Maps: 

We us “As Is” maps to truly understand how a process works in the real world, to provide continuous improvement to the process. 

From the creation of the “AS IS” map I like to lean the process, remove waste, improve efficiency and then automate where it makes sense. That converts my “AS IS” map into a “Should Be” map which is the second map. 

We use “Should Be” maps to establish performance standards, to establish service level agreements, to establish standard processes, to establish process expectations, to provide training and to determine customer expectations. 


Most people overlook this area of their business or just justify having it by tracking their financials. But tracking data is much more than just a P&L statement.  

These data reports are also called scorecards, dashboards, flash reports, metrics, pulse report, key performance indicators (KPIs) and 1,000 other words. 

As business owners, we need this information to accurately predict where the business is going and ensure the company has a healthy heart beat. 

We usually find that there are around 10 to 20 key metrics that need tracked on a weekly basis and 5 to 10 metrics that need track monthly. 

Once you decide on the right metrics you need to add a weekly/monthly goal that needs to be obtained to maintain a healthy and growing company. Once I have these metrics and the goal outlined, I always assign these metrics to the proper people on the team to ensure they are reported on weekly/monthly. Having these numbers allows me to spend time away from the office or enjoying time off, while having peace knowing the health of my company. 

If you don’t know what these numbers are today, I plead with you to take time away with your team and develop these numbers and then use them to hold your business accountable. 


Proper communication will reduce complexity and will add accountability. We all need accountability in our businesses. Lack of accountability will lead to complacency = DEATH. 

Communication starts with having the right meetings that ensure you are delivering value to your company. I feel there are three meeting structures that are critical. 

First meeting is a quick daily huddle that has a simple agenda. This meeting is a standing meeting that we communicate the following: Good News, expectations for the day, announcement of visitors and collaboration of needs from each department.  

Second meeting is a weekly meeting to work “ON” the business. We review the current state of the business through goals and metrics and identify any key issues and then we spend the next 60 minutes solving issues.  

Third meeting, which could be the most important meeting of all three, is the Town Hall meeting. This meeting allows the visionary/owner the ability to share their vision to the whole company. In this meeting, you want to structure it to last no more than 30 minutes. We start off with public praise, then communication of company wins and then end it with the vision for the quarter and monthly we include in this meeting the long-term vision as well. This meeting helps define the culture of the business and motivates that staff weekly. 

With all meetings, you should set up a routine. Each meeting needs to start on time and end on time. They need to be at the same time and the weekly meetings need to be on the same day. 

Good communication prevents bottlenecks and train wrecks where the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. It allows you to review goals and provide accountability to your vision.  

The right system 

Having these systems in place you will be able to; 

  • Help you scale properly 
  • Bring out the best in employees 
  • Reduce employee stress levels 
  • Allow you to stop micromanaging  
  • Reduce employee turnover 
  • Dial in your business processes 
  • Create the right culture in your business 
  • Create a Vision for all to follow 
  • Get your team all on the same page pulling the same direction 

When companies have inefficient systems in place, it hinders the productivity of your employees. A great employee working with an inefficient system is not only an inefficient and ineffective employee, but you are essentially paying for an employee to do work they cannot fully accomplish. This leads to high turnover rates and lack of confidence within your organization.