#104: Elite Tactics for Finding Deals

Welcome to The Accelerated Investor Podcast with Josh Cantwell, if you love entrepreneurship and investing in real estate then you are in the right place. Josh is the CEO of Freeland Ventures Real Estate Private Equity and has personally invested in well over 500 properties all across the country. He’s also made hundreds of private lender loans and owns over 1,000 units of apartments. Josh is an expert at raising private money for deals and he prides himself on never having had a boss in his entire adult life. Josh and his team also mentor investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world. He doesn’t dream about doing deals, he actually does them and so do his listeners and students. Now sit back, listen, learn, and accelerate your business, your life, and your investing with The Accelerated Investor Podcast. 

Josh: So you’re welcome back to Accelerated Investor. I am so excited to be on this journey with you and talk about the war stories of real estate and entrepreneurship and help you along with strategies and tactics and stories to help you achieve all of your goals as an entrepreneur and as a real estate investor. For all of you’ve been sharing all of our episodes on social media, on Facebook and through all the different podcasting platforms, I want to thank you for that. And you can tell some of the guests that we’ve had lately on the podcast are people that are actually listeners of the podcast who have an amazing story. 

Josh: We talk to them, we get them out and then we bring them on the podcast to actually share their journey, journey with all of you. So if you have a great story or a strategy that you’d like to share, let us know. We’d love to take that out to our audience today. Have a special guest. His name is Travis Tomlinson. He’s the founder of a company called Local Real Estate there, a local real estate investing and brokerage firm in the Cleveland, Ohio market. They do about 30 to 35 transactions per month, both listing properties, working with buyers who buy properties, as well as flipping properties and wholesaling properties. 

Josh: For those of you that remember back in 2016 and 17, I told a story about how I built and grew a real estate brokerage and eventually sold it to my brokerage was very investor friendly. Well Travis and his partner Adam have taken that concept and ingrown it even  much bigger than I did back then to the point where they’re now doing about three to four hundred transactions a year. A combination of listing properties, working with buyers, wholesaling properties, both residential and commercial. And we’re excited to hear Travis’s story about his entrepreneurial journey. So, Travis thanks so much for popping on. Appreciate you being here.

Travis: Yeah. Thanks, Josh. I appreciate you having me on.

Josh: You got it. So, Travis, tell me about the moment when you guys, you and Adam decided to start and found local. What was sort of the value proposition of creating a brokerage that was super investor friendly and having real estate agents who were also investors themselves? What sort of need or what sort of niche in the market did you guys see that was underserved that you guys could take advantage of and create a footprint in our local market here when you guys founded and started local? 

Travis: So it actually started off because we were acquiring property and we needed to start a property management business to facilitate our own properties. And then in order to do that, make that feasible, we needed to manage properties for other investors as well. And then we were basically focused on investing. We were buying a lot of rental properties, we were flipping houses, we were doing turnkey rentals, and we just started acquiring people who were also interested in doing that. And I always tell people, if you want to get into real estate investing, you have to everybody’s got to pay bills. So you have to have some form of income that puts you in the mix of everything. 

Travis: And instead of having a 9 to 5 and trying to do this business on the side or after hours get into real estate in a way that allows you to have income. So if you have your license and you can do transactional income, that allows you to pay your bills, but you’re already doing it every day, all day. And so that allows the flexibility in having this schedule to be able to, you know, facilitate your investment business as well.

Josh: Yeah. No doubt. And that’s really a great value proposition for local, right. You provide training, they can get their license, they can do deals, they can wholesale deals or flip properties to create income. And then they’re in the mix right there in the middle of everything, residential deals, commercial deals. They can buy them, keep them, rent them. I believe very much the same way. Matter of fact, my business is built very much the same. For the first six or seven years in this business I was a wholesaler primarily focused on short sales and pre-foreclosure properties. Then when the crash happened, we got really big into flipping properties and doing huge rehabs and doing 20 or 30 or 40 of them a year that provided that transactional income. 

Josh: And then as we’ve grown, you know, now we’re huge private lender for both flip’s and for resi and commercial deals as well as for long term permanent financing. That’s kind of a the day job, if you will, in order to take the profits from the day job and invest them in income properties that provide long term permanent, you know, income and passive cash flow. It sounds like you guys have very much the same model, very much the same mindset. 

Travis: Yeah. So when I started investing in real estate was right around 2006, my first investment property was a duplex right on Baldwin Wallace College. I graduated from Baldwin Wallace. It was a natural fit for me. Just bought a double rented out the other half to some college kids, and so that was my first rental that I had. And. Soon after that, we were flipping properties. You know, maybe four or five a year. Just really trying to get away from my day job, which was finance. I was doing mortgages for a couple different banks and trying to make that leap into just being a full time investor.

Travis: And so I didn’t have much I wasn’t spoiled too much because soon after that 2008 happened and that’s when the crash occurred. So financing was very difficult to obtain at that time and not having the knowledge of being able to get private financing and everything. It was a struggle over a period of years. So we would flip a couple of properties. Then we have some cash and then we’d buy a rental off of that. And that’s kind of how we funded our deals. And as you know now, it’s a completely different ballgame where money is actually probably the easiest thing to obtain and deals is that’s where, you know, that’s where you’re making your money is being able to find those deals. 

Travis: So we transition from flipping. Then it became, you know, that was it was tough to find financing, FHA deals and everything for residential homeowners. And we kind of turned our niche over to turn rental properties where you’re dealing with cash investors and then you’re not tied up trying to find people to get finance. So that evolved into us acquiring more property and then us being more involved in the investor world. And that’s kind of how we got into the property management, into the brokerage and that type of stuff. 

Josh: Yeah, it’s interesting, out of all the podcasts we’ve done, hundreds of them and all the students we have and people we’ve lent money to it. The recurring theme I hear, Travis, is nobody really is today doing what they thought they’d be doing when they started. That’s one of the things I love about this business, is the ability to say I want to get in real estate, but I don’t really know what flavor I like. It’s like walking into Mitchell’s Ice Cream in Strongsville, Ohio and there’s 40 different flavors of ice cream. And you’re like, I know I like ice cream, but I don’t know which one I want to eat. With real estate very much the same. 

Josh: When I interviewed Tim Bratz or I interviewed Steve Morris or I interviewed some of our clients and students from all over the country, none of them are really doing today anything really close to what they thought when they first got going. They just knew that real estate created millionaires. If you did it right, if you bought assets and hold on to them long term. And it’s very much, you know, what you’re doing today, I would imagine is not exactly what you thought when you graduated from BW, but you’ve morphed into it. So let’s talk to the listeners and our students who maybe want to get into real estate but don’t necessarily know exactly what to do. What advice would you give them based on your experience? Now for ten, twelve, fourteen years, you know, is what advice would you give them to kind of get started? 

Josh: And then what things have you done right over your entrepreneurial journey over the last 10 or 12 years to get you where you are today? What kind of advice would you give  them on kind of picking a niche? Because within real estate, there’s a million different ways you can slice this thing, whether it’s rentals, turnkey, AirBNB’s, being an agent, title company, mortgage broker, wholesaler, flipper, commercial real estate like there’s a million different things to choose. So tell me a bit about that story. Are you doing today anything remotely like what you thought you were when you first got started? How did that journey change? And what advice would you give our audience based on what you’ve learned? 

Travis: Yeah. So I read Rich Dad Poor Dad like a lot of people and that was what really inspired me. You know, I come from a blue-collar family. I wasn’t taught real estate. I wasn’t, my dad had a couple rental properties. But, you know, that was something that he was kind of doing on the side. So read the book, really got kind of motivated as a way to kind of come up and build wealth in and build passive income. And so I was determined to do that. And I decided I’m going to get in some sort of field that facilitates me learning while I’m also in that field. That’s kind of why I ended up getting into finance.

Travis: But what you’re touching on is basically adaptability. You know, you have to be able to adapt in this market. And like you said, I’m not doing now what I kind of set out to do. And you have to be able to kind of see things coming and know what to get into when that kind of maybe transition into another field. Today, you know, flipping is very popular. It’s very easy for people to get financing for, you know, homeowners on the retail side. So, you know, you kind of you kind of have to have a pulse, I guess, for where the market is and where it’s going. And I just think that we kind of touched on it.

Travis: But I think getting into the field as a way to have some income and what I tell everybody is do some wholesaling, get your license, become an agent, and then you’re in that world and you can learn while you’re growing that investment business and kind of figure out where you want to be in that market. Whether you want to be a landlord, whether or not you want to just focus on stockpiling cash, whatever it is your goals are, get in the field in one way or another as a way to generate income because everybody’s got bills to pay, rent, mortgages, car payments and everything. So you’d have to be able to get in there in some way. And so that’s what I tell everybody, is get your license and get in that world. And that’s what we teach everybody, is how to sell and how to generate income while you’re learning the business. 

Josh: Travis, talk to me for a minute about some of your agents, some wholesalers that work inside of local. What are some traits, character traits, habits that they have of the ones who made that successful transition? Maybe they were formerly in sales and maybe they’re selling medical supplies or pharmaceuticals or they were in the insurance business. Maybe they were a teacher or a nurse who knows? And they’ve successfully come into local they’ve made that transition and now being successful at doing transactions, replacing their income in real estate. What are some things that you teach them? What are some traits that they do or habits that they have on a regular daily, weekly, monthly basis for those ones that have successfully made that transition?

Josh: Because once they’re in it, I don’t know anybody that gets out of it, right. It’s like having a friend I have that’s made a transition into real estate doing a full time. None of them ever leave. They just keep doing it. They adapt. They stay with wholesaling. Or maybe  they’re moving up to commercial properties. But it’s the transition that’s kind of the hard part. So what are some of those traits that you observed? 

Travis: Yes, you got to take a leap at some point. One of our most successful agents, Mario Russo. He started working for a bank and he was doing it, doing investments, investment portfolios for customers at a major bank here in the Cleveland market. And he was just really interested in getting into real estate and started off doing some wholesaling. We were able to teach him how to do wholesaling, make a little bit of cash so that he had like a little nest, you know, a little safety net there, so that if you didn’t have as much regular income, like he was getting at the bank, he was still able to survive and grow through that. 

Travis: And, you know, it’s not an easy thing and you have to have faith in yourself. And I think really what it comes down to is effort and determination. You have to believe in yourself and you have to be determined to succeed. And if you have determination and you’re willing to put in the effort, I feel like anybody can be successful in the business.

Travis: But it’s easy for somebody to jump in, not get that paycheck that they’re used to and get, you know, get disgruntled and kind of lose focus on what it is that they’re going after. But Mario was able to do that and able to triple his income within a year, year and a half. And he’s super successful, he’s now our sales manager. He’s been with this for four or five years now. So he was with us pretty much right when we started. And he manages he’s basically he’s our sales training manager and he also does a lot of recruiting for us now. So he also has rental properties. He flips quite a few properties a year. He’s a great example of somebody who is just really determined and puts in the effort day in and day out. He’s always prospecting and he’s always doing the right things that we teach it. 

Travis: And it’s kind of like. It’s easy to maybe think that you have your own ideas and you’re going to do this or do that, but if you just stick with the bread and butter stuff, you know, that’s how you’re successful. Just stay with it and be persistent in doing the things on a daily basis that’s going to make you successful. You know, we kind of tell everybody it’s like a funnel. You have to have so many appointments to get so many deals and then you have to have so many deals. And, you know, not every deal is going to close, obviously. So you have to, you can’t just sit around and babysit the one deal you got going on. The next day while you got that deal signed up. You have to go out and find new deals. So you have the right pipeline in order to be successful. 

Josh: Yeah, I agree with that. You know, real estate works. The question is, are you going to work it right? It works, I tell everybody, like, what makes you so special that this won’t work for you because it’s worked for thousands of people? Not almost. It almost makes me laugh, Travis, when I hear somebody say he does real estate investing really work. Do you know how many people, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of people that own rental properties and do flips have a full time career in real estate? 

Josh: What they’re really saying is, will this work for me? And when I really, what I tell them is it will work for you if you work the system, like if you have a system like the local system of finding deals, getting in. Being an agent, wholesaling properties, if you have a system  to follow. You don’t need to be good at everything. Just good at really one niche to create that income. So what makes you so special that this won’t work for you because it’s worked for so many others, right? 

Josh: So it’s my way of reframing to somebody who’s second guessing real estate for me to say, really, the problem isn’t real estate the problem is you. The problem is will you work the system? Are you going to stay determined? Are you going to put in the effort? Because for everybody else that is determined and puts in the effort. It works for them regardless of what niche they pick. It’s something that they do and that they’re successful with. 

Travis: I completely agree with that. And we’ve got people that come in from all different kinds of fields. We’ve got people that come from sales and we’ve got people that one of our best wholesalers came from. He was managing a bunch of pharmaceutical offices. So it doesn’t necessarily, you don’t have to be a salesperson. You don’t have to have any formal training. You can come from multiple fields. And you can be successful if you’re determined and you listen and you seek out those people that can mentor you. And, you know, you just do the daily things that are going to make you successful. 

Josh: That’s right. Travis, what are your thoughts on? Obviously, I know where you come from because you teach people both wholesaling and you do it and to get their real estate license and also list properties. Many people ask me, I want to be a real estate investor, should I get my license? So what are the benefits as a real estate investor of having a license? Obviously, you encourage all your people to invest and get a license. So what are the benefits of that? And also, what are any kind of licensure requirements, disclosure requirements that once you put on that realtor hat that you have to make sure you disclose to people because you can never really take the hat off once you have that real estate license. 

Travis: Yes. So our broker, Roman Tarnowski, he’s been in the business for almost 40 years. He handles all of our compliance items and making sure that everybody stays above the water as far as really when it comes down to disclosure. So if you have your license, you have to disclose that you’re an agent if you’re going up wholesale and you have to let them know that you have that expertise. And as long as you do that and make it very clear to them and say, hey, look, I’m an agent, but I’m not here representing you. I’m here representing me. That’s what it comes down to. 

Travis: And a lot of people kind of shy away from that, especially traditional brokerages. They don’t know how to get middle into the middle of the deal. And they kind of view it as well if you’re wholesaling, you know, we kind of have some liability there and we’re not really getting paid on those deals. And they kind of just kind of scare everybody away from that. When really it’s as simple as disclosure is being honest, having the integrity to tell somebody, hey, look, I am an agent, but I’m not here representing you. I’m not here to list your property, I’m here as an investor to purchase your property. 

Josh: How much additional credibility do you think it gives someone when they walk into a house to say, I’m here to buy your property? And I can make you an all cash offer. And also so there’s a credibility piece of having the license. But then also, I think it opens up  a whole other sales opportunity, because if somebody doesn’t want to accept a cash offer price and investor price, you can now pivot into, well, if you want full retail price, I could list your home for you. And you’re already in the living room. So you’re building that relationship with the client. So talk for a second about credibility of having the license and then also that a second opportunity to be able to say, I’ll buy it or list it and make a commission, really either way. 

Travis: Yeah. So you definitely have credibility when you go in there. And when you disclose that, you know, it shows that you’re an honest person, that you’re saying, hey, I am an agent, I do do that business. I’m not here for that. I’m here to make you a cash offer as an investor. And then, you know, that’s exactly what a lot of our agents do, is they pivot if they cannot work a deal out on the cash offer type of situation. They pivot right in and say, hey, look as I said when we first met, I am an agent. If this deal doesn’t work for, you know, a fast close cash offer doesn’t work for you. I can list that property for you on the MLS. 

Travis: And that’s kind of why I tell everybody you got to get your license, because as you were already there, you already put in the effort. You made that phone call, you did your cold calling, you’re driving for dollars or whatever effort that you did to get in from that appointment. If you have your license, you’re just passing up on all that income that there is to earn. 

Josh: No doubt. You already spent the money on marketing or you spent the time to prospect and farm an area, you might as well get paid one way or the other, wholesaling or listing it. So, Travis, let’s talk tactically about lead generation. Your agents slash wholesalers. They’re out looking for motivated sellers, looking for deals that are not on the MLS. What are some strategies and tactics that you teach your team and that you work on to find deals that are off market? 

Travis: So we don’t do as much traditional marketing maybe as some other brokerages. A lot of our marketing is just effort driven marketing. So they’re driving for dollars. You’re driving around looking for properties that look abandoned. You’re looking up who the owner is. You’re contacting them or you’re sending them a letter. But we don’t just buy billboards and do all this traditional type of marketing. All of ours, most of our lead generation is that is finding and targeting the properties. So if you’re looking for. You’re going to look for properties with equity, right. You’re not going to look want to look for homeowners that bought their properties two years ago. They probably don’t, numbers wise, have a ton of equity in their properties. 

Travis: So you’re going to target properties where maybe the owners it’s either in an LLC, then you know that they’re most likely an investor or you’re looking for somebody who’s owned their property for 15, 20 years. They’re going to have equity in that property and then you’re going to find ways to contact them. Whether it be letter, writing or whether it be using white pages or whatever search function that you have to try to get their contact information. And, you know, it’s a little different. It’s not like we’re out here selling Kirby vacuums, we’re saying we want to buy your property. So it’s a little bit more of a warm, cold call, I guess, than to say, you know, you’re not really pitching them on,  selling them something. You’re pitching them on buying what it is that they add buying your asset. 

Josh: So I talk with my students and our listeners all the time about, you know, if you don’t have enough deals, you have to expand your market, go into other markets or expand your marketing and get more kind of on the ground tactical with your marketing. Everybody wants to automate their marketing on a send out direct mail number to get a bunch of phone calls. There’s so many people doing that. And so many of my podcast guests have said they walk into houses and then the seller, the motivated sellers, get a stack of postcards like this and they all look the same. And, you know, how do you get into the property? 

Josh: Again, it’s maybe door-knocking. It’s driving for dollars. It’s picking up the phone. When we were really prospecting for wholesaling, you know, in the first kind of six or seven years of my investing career, we would get on the phone every Monday night and every Friday afternoon we found those to be the best times to bang the phones, pick up the phone, talk to people on the phone, follow up on our direct mail. That’s really where we got a lot of our deals, not because sellers just called us back from a postcard and said, hey, I’m ready to sell it 50 cents on the dollar. It was, we got some deals like that for sure. But a lot of the deals came from, hey, I sent you a letter, I sent you a postcard and the guy’s like, I’ve got 10 of these. But you’re the only guy that called me or you’re the only guy that stopped by the house. 

Josh: It’s very congruent with what you’re saying, Travis. The extra effort, the driving for dollars being a little bit more tactical, a little bit more boots on the ground as opposed to just letting, you could certainly make a lot of money just doing the marketing. But the return right, the return on the phone calls for every letter has gone down, the number of people answering the phones is going down. So you got to be a little bit more strategic about the marketing and really the follow up sales behind the marketing is a really big piece of it. 

Josh: Travis, tell me about the future. Where do you think locals going? Where do you think you’re going with your business? And what do you think, if the market were to change right where maybe at the back end of this cycle, this boom that we’re on? If a market were to change, where do you see the opportunities in a market where maybe there’s not as many borrowers? The economy is not necessarily as good. 

Travis: Yes. So to touch on the first part of that, as far as where I see where we’re going, our next goal is to get to 100 agents. And that’s kind of our focus this year is to get to 100 agents. And we’re at right around 35 agents right now. It was a lot harder to get from 0 agents to 15 or 20 agents. Now, you know, you’ve got a name out there. People will say, hey, well, if you want to be in investing, maybe you should talk with the guys over at local. And so it’s getting a lot easier to do the recruiting because people are interested in investing and not just being in retail agent. 

Travis: And then the second part of the question as far as if the market changes. Which is different from 2008, where I didn’t know how to react to that. I actually feel like I can take full advantage of that now. I can raise private money. You know, I’ve got more  private money available to me right now than I have deals to fund. So if the market does turn down, I view that as you know, nobody wants the market to turn because, you know, it’s obviously profitable right now and everything. But I feel like I’m going to be in a great position to take full advantage of that. If I would have known what I know now back in 2008, I would have been able to be a lot more productive as far as that goes, you know. 

Travis: So learning, you know, being able to teach our agents how to get private money and how to fund those deals, if the market turns, you know, hey, we’ll just deal with that and we’ll adapt like we always do. And we’ll just be in a position where that may be where we’re going to be trying to acquire more residential singles and doubles. And, you know, the market has a, you know, the prices have increased over the years. They’re relatively high to where they were in 2008. I remember in 2008, 2009, 2010, you’d be able to run around 30 different properties, REO’s and lowball everybody and you’d come out with some killer deal and your going to stick a tenant in there in 30 days.

Travis: And, you know, that’s just it’s not the way it is now, you know? Now, what’s different is the financing is there now. So you can acquire those properties a lot easier where maybe in 2008, 2009, you wouldn’t be able to get the financing for it. So there’s always a balance there on available financing vs. deals and what type of equity position you can get in there. 

Josh: Yeah. No doubt the next crash is really, Travis the next buying opportunity, right. I mean, I think if I look back at real estate, I think what’s happening now and I just had this conversation yesterday with an investor, a passive investor. The Jobs Act of 2011 that was signed in by President Obama at that time, The Jobs Act and the opportunity to do crowdfunding and the opportunity to do 506C private placement memorandum and securities exemption, those are all important. Although the average investor doesn’t use those, I don’t think people give Obama enough credit. I don’t care which side of the aisle you’re on, okay. 

Josh: That piece of legislation for real estate investors has brought private lending in real estate investing as a passive scale. It’s brought that right to the front of the market. So crowdfunding platforms, 506C, federal securities exemptions, people raising money for multi-family and developments and all the different stuff. That’s why the market is flooded with cash right now, because there are so many ways to invest in real estate. Versus before 2011, it was basically only a 506B federal securities exemption and private lending and it just wasn’t as well known. 

Josh: And I think what we found is your local mom and pop investor is now reaping the benefits of the fact that so many more passive investors, both accredited and noncredit, are just familiar with private lending. They’re familiar with private lenders, hard money lenders, crowdfunding platforms, syndications, PPM’s. And I feel like that’s a massive windfall for the average mom and pop investor that they don’t even know where the credit belongs. They think, oh, there’s so much money in the system. Let’s reverse back and let’s understand why there’s so much money in the system. It’s because, one, legally, you could raise more money. Legally, there’s more crowdfunding. Legally, there’s more PPM’s. 

Josh: But that has created a certain amount of brand awareness or product awareness, if you will, that now. I think, you know, a lot of the more advanced investors I talked to, they’re all saying the same thing, which is I have more money than I have deals. So I want to make sure we recognize that that’s one of the amazing things that Obama, I don’t care if you love Trump or Obama I don’t really care about any of that right now. What I care about is let’s recognize what that did for us. It did an amazing thing for us.

Josh: And I also think the second thing is when there is a next crash. It’s the next great buying opportunity, because when there’s a crash. Guess what happens? People lose jobs, go through divorces. There’s more foreclosures and people move to rent and rent rates go up. So it doesn’t matter, even if at the top of the market now, it’s always going to be profitable to buy, renovate and rent that property out, especially in a down market, because even if the property value goes down, because the comps are lower, that’s okay, because the rent’s going to go up. And if you bought that asset to own that asset for the rest of your life, it doesn’t matter if the value goes down by a little bit during the next crash or the next recession. It doesn’t matter. What matters is how much cash flow am I getting in order to get more cash flow in a recession. So I want to go on those two little rants for a second. If don’t know if you have any follow up thoughts on those.

Travis: No, I mean, I just completely agree with that. I mean values aren’t nearly as important when you’re in that investment world. You know, I’m selling a lot personally of my rental portfolio that I had purchased in 08 09. Just because the values are up there and you know, the advantage of that equity now. But, you know, I don’t care what a house appraises for if there were to be a market downturn, as long as that cash flow strong. You know, it’s something that’ll it’ll come back eventually and you’ll be able to take pull that equity out. But really, in that scenario, you’re really just concerned on cash flow.

Josh: That’s right. It’s like a bond. You know, I was in the financial planning world for about seven years before I got into real estate and people bought bonds and bonds have a coupon that pays a certain amount of interest every month or every year. And you only lose money in bonds if you sell a bond while the values down. It’s the same with real estate. The value of the real estate is down and you sell, then you lose. You hold that bond or hold the house it’s still going to have that coupon, which is the rental income, which is amazing. 

Josh: So, Travis, thank you so much for joining us on Accelerated Investor. I know a lot, especially of our local contacts listen to this throttle high, who are going to love to connect with you on social media or reach out to you through your Web site. What’s a great place for people to connect with you if they want to become an agent or learn about joint venturing with you, or maybe be a wholesaler on your team or learn more about your business? 

Travis: Yes. So I’m pretty I have a presence on Facebook, Instagram. You can contact me through any of those platforms and then get you put in front of the right person in order to get you trained. And we invite people, hey, if you want to come in, come to one of our meetings and see what we’re all about and see the people that work for us. You’re  welcome to do that. So you make sure it’s the right fit for you. But yeah, just get a hold of me through social media, Facebook, Instagram, and then we can connect that way.

Josh: That sounds great. Travis, thanks so much for joining us today on Accelerated Investor.


Travis: All right. Thanks a lot, Josh.

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When somebody asks me, “Does real estate work?”, what they really want to know is, “Will real estate work for me?”. It works for anybody that wants to put in the time, and who wants to work the same bread-and-butter system as thousands and thousands of other real estate investors have done.

Travis Tomlinson from Lokal Real Estate here in Cleveland has an interesting approach to real estate investing. He plugs his investors into the traditional routes, but he also encourages them to get their real estate license. This helps them start learning the business from the Realtor side, and it puts a little money in their pocket at the same time.

If you decide to invest and hold a real estate license, there are definitely some disclosures you need to make to stay on the right side of the law. Travis talks about what that looks like for some of his agents, and how it’s helped them adapt to the market.

There are a hundred flavors in real estate. You could start out rehabbing and move on to wholesaling, or pivot to fix-and-flips or multi-family. Whatever you start with though, you have to be ready to adapt. You have to be able to adapt in this market, and you need to know when it’s time to transition into something else.

Opting out of traditional marketing, Travis focuses instead on property driven lead generation. That means he looks for homes with equity, or distressed properties, or sometimes it’s just driving around looking for vacant properties.

If you’re not making enough deals, then it might be time to expand your market. It might be time to get out there and start driving for dollars like Travis.

What’s Inside:

  • Why Travis thinks all real estate investors should have a real estate license.
  • How Travis looks for leads on properties.
  • What a boots on the ground marketing strategy looks like for Travis.
  • How Obama and The Jobs Act changed the face of private lending for the average investor.
  • Where Travis sees the market going in the next year.

Mentioned in this episode​

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