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Episode 166: Lauren Hardy from This Mom Flips

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Show Notes

Today, David joined by the founder of Hardy Real Estate and the new host of the Wholesaling Inc. Podcast, Lauren Hardy. In this episode, they talked about how Lauren started in real estate and gave a preview of her virtual investment journey. You can learn a lot in this episode. Check this out!

Lauren Hardy is a house flipper and wholesaler in Southern California’s competitive market. Lauren is a mother of two, and loves to be a full-time mother and a full-time investor in real estate and would have no other way because real estate investment allows her to spend more time with them than if she worked in the business world.

Things that will cover in this episode:

  • Who is Lauren Hardy?
  • How Lauren got started in real estate
  • How competitive the market in California.
  • When she started in Virtual Wholesaling
  • How Lauren learned about marketing
  • Shares her experience in Flipping and Developing
  • Lauren’s New Market
  • The New Coaching Program of Lauren Hardy

Lauren’s Tagline:

“Live anywhere, Invest where you want.”

You can connect Lauren Hardy on social media:

Links that mentioned in this episode:

David: Alright guys, welcome back to the Discount Property Investor podcast. I am your host David Dodge. My co-host Mike Slane is in the field buying us rental properties today. But do not worry, I have an awesome guest on the show. Somebody that I’ve been following for quite some time, she’s in the circles that I’m in, but we have never had the opportunity to meet. So I am excited and I’m grateful to being Lauren Hardy on the show from ‘This mom flips’. Lauren, how are you?

Lauren: Hey I’m good, how are you?

David: I’m great. Thank you for coming on the show. You are new to the Wholesaling Inc podcast, which is awesome, but you are not new to real estate investing, which is even more awesome. One thing I like about what I’ve been seeing from following you online and all that type of good stuff, is that you are virtual. You do wholesaling and real estate investing in virtual. I love This Mom Flips, I think it is such a great catchy name, because there are a lot of women and moms out there that want to invest, or are maybe interested, and you prove to those people that it is possible, and they can do it too. I think that message is also just amazing. Lauren, again, than you for coming on the show, it is great to meet you. What’s up? How are you today?

Lauren: I am doing good. Today we are doing a quarantine addition of this podcast with me at home, my children, hopefully they are not going to bombard us, but if they do it might make it more interesting. This is real life right now.

David: This is real life. That’s right, guys. So today is April 29th, may or may not matter when you listen to this episode. It will probably go live in about two weeks. But, as of today, we are like six or seven weeks into this whole Covid 19 thing. We are in it, this is quarantine central here. Hopefully– I’m getting, maybe it’s different for you, Lauren. But I’m getting news that restaurants and establishments are going to start opening up mid May here. Is it different there?

Lauren: Hopefully we are not getting any dates or anything like that. It’s more that they are going to start unraveling in a four phase plan. That’s what the governor was saying just yesterday.

David: You’re in Southern California.

Lauren: Yeah so– but they haven’t exactly said when. I am very excited. Mostly I am very excited for day cares and Summer camps and school to be open.

David: Yes, I am sure most people that have children are, I love it. So Lauren, tell me a little bit– because I honestly don’t know. This is going to really beneficial for not only the listeners and the viewers, but for me too here. Tell me a little bit about how you got started in real estate. I know that you have done this a million times, but I am going to have to ask you to do it one more time. Tell me how you got started in real estate and when– and a little bit about how that all began.

Lauren: Well I get started a little under eight years ago. It was when my daughter, she is now nine, but she was a year old. I had Presley on the way, I had just found out I was pregnant. I was working a full time corporate job, very 8-5 schedule. It was an hour commute there and back. I basically never saw my one year old. I was dropping her off at daycare in the morning, picking her up at night, putting her to bed an hour later. Figuring out that gosh, I’m going to have another baby soon. I can’t raise kids this way, they don’t see their parents. Both their dad and I had corporate jobs. One of us had to figure something out. I decided it was going to be. I really wanted to be self employed just so I could have some time freedom. It wasn’t so much money motivated, it was more that I just wanted to be there for my kids.

David: I think a lot of moms are going to share that message. Money is like the end all be all right, but sometimes it is not the motivation. The money is what keeps you doing it. But, the motivation in the beginning and most of the time may be the time. So I think that is really cool.

Lauren: Yeah, it wasn’t so much money, it was more that I wanted control of my time. I wanted time freedom. I would have done really anything, but somebody had mentioned that I should flip houses. I started doing it, you should try it out. So I started as a house flipper in Orange County. It was a lot easier at that time to flip houses here, because we were coming out of the recession. So it was pretty easy to find discounted properties. We were still in a market environment where there was a lot of distress. So that’s how I got my start. I started in my back yard. As the years progressed and as the market started getting hotter and hotter, and it became more of a seller’s market, that’s when I realized I needed to diversify, because I love in a very high priced, very populated area, Orange County California.

David: Probably only of the highest priced in the country.

Lauren: Yeah.

David: Definitely top ten. What’s the average house cost in your zip code?

Lauren: The last time I checked the average house price just in Orange County was like $650’000.

David: Wow.

Lauren: That isn’t even getting you that nice of a house, honestly. We have a lot of condos. We have condos that are that amount. So it’s pretty up there. In an area like this, when you’re in a high priced market. It’s very difficult to convince a seller to take a discount on their home, because they don’t really need to. They could put the worst house in the worst condition on the block on the market, discount it maybe $10’000, and boom! They will have like ten cash offers from foreign investors. I had to diversify and get out of my local market. I decided to try an out of State market and do both at first for a while.

David: When was this, Lauren:

Lauren: That was about four years ago. I went virtual you could say around 2015-2016. My first virtual market was Nashville Tennessee.

David: Love Nashville. Great city.

Lauren: It is a great city.

David: Great city.

Lauren: It was cool.

David: If I ever go for any reason to check on anything–.

Lauren: I was like, gotta go there.

David: Love that. So let me ask you. I want to stop you for a quick second here. So you saw that the market was drying up with the motivation it sounds like. That’s the kind of way I’m looking at this big picture. The motivation dried up because– there were more people buying than selling, there was not as many foreclosures or short sales, or all these other things, or off market deals. So you pivoted which is great. In real estate we have to learn how to pivot which is awesome. So you pivoted to a virtual market. The question I have for you is, did you just say, I’m just tired of doing it here, It’s not working, I wanna do it elsewhere and I’m gonna do it in Nashville? Or, were you like, I’m gonna find somebody else that is doing it elsewhere in virtual and have them teach me? Did you pioneer this? I mean virtual wholesaling not of course. That’s been going on for a long time. But, for yourself, do you know what I’m saying? Did you get a coach or someone to mentor you? Or did you say, I’m just going to learn.

Lauren: Honestly, I trail blazed it myself. There wasn’t a lot of education at that time.

David: There wasn’t.

Lauren: This was like four years ago. Virtual wholesaling–.

David: I worded that question so terrible by the way.

Lauren: It’s all good. But really there was not a lot of educators that– virtual wholesaling was very new. So yeah, there wasn’t a lot of education on the topic. I just had to figure it out.

David: Confidence, I like it. So you went in and said, alright, I can do it here, I can do it there, just change the systems up a little bit. You ran with with it. So are you still doing local? Or are you basically all virtual at this point?

Lauren: Pretty much all virtual. If a flip deal falls on my lap I would take it.

David: Of course.

Lauren: But yeah, I don’t spend marketing dollars in my local market right now, because it doesn’t make any sense to. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t go back. If there was more distressed properties out there, and more motivated sellers in my local area, I would happily go back–.

David: Of course, it doesn’t make sense necessarily. I had Scott Oots on earlier today, are you familiar with Scott?

Lauren: No.

David: He’s in your market.

Lauren: Cool.

David: He does 50-70’000 a month on postcards alone.

Lauren: Yeah.

David: I was thinking, man, you have to do that much I guess in that area to be able to get deals. That’s a crazy amount of marketing. So wow, very cool. So went virtual, pioneered your way. Nashville was where you started. What happened next? Are you– did you stay there? Did you go to other cities? Are you doing others now?

Lauren: I moved from Nashville. I really put no thought as to where I was going. I just thought Nashville seemed like a cool place to visit. I was on a vacation there and I found that there were all these new builds everywhere. I thought, this looks really cool.

David: Tons.

Lauren: Tons of new builds. So I thought this is cool, I want to get in on this. So actually my first virtual venture was not wholesaling, I was building homes.

David: What!?

Lauren: Yeah so I got–.

David: Crazy, I would never have guessed that.

Lauren: Yeah, that’s the one thing people–.

David: You were still marketing to motivated sellers, that didn’t change.

Lauren: Right.

David: When you found those, you were basically doing what?

Lauren: I was doing a mix of flipping and developing. Those were my first deals that were virtual. Then I moved to just wholesaling– I was wholesaling to other developers. In Nashville it was really common at that time to– you would get an older home, knock it down and build maybe two in its place depending on where it was zoned. So that was the game there.

David: So you did some new construction?

Lauren: Yeah.

David: Hell yeah, that’s crazy. Was it difficult to manage that? Were you going there a lot?

Lauren: No, you know what’s funny? New construction is much easier than a flip. So the flips were very difficult to manage. I still like to this day say I don’t really like flipping out of State. But, the new builds were easy, because there wasn’t anything a contractor could make up, considering–.

David: If it wasn’t done right, it’s either right or wrong.

Lauren: It was either right or wrong. It’s like– so it’s like– it came from nothing.

David: Like you tore a wall down and didn’t know something was there, you built it.

Lauren: Right, there’s no surprises.

David: That’s actually pretty cool. How long were you doing that for? I’m really interested in that.

Lauren: I was in Nashville probably like two, two and a half years, and then I decided– because Nashville got really hot. Nashville became like a California again. I go, gosh, I picked one California to go to another California. So I picked another market in Oklahoma, that was more of your bread and butter rental market. That is– then I just went to a pure wholesaling model. I have been doing that every since.

David: Okay, so tell me about the wholesaling model that you have, it’s virtual. You don’t live– it’s multiple markets. You don’t live in these markets. You are in multiple, right?

Lauren: I am in multiple– yeah in multiple markets. We do all of our acquisitions here locally in California. I have my team here, that’s a philosophy that I have had to come up, and I came up with it the hard way by trial and error. But, I decided that there is much you can have local, keep it local. Whatever you absolutely have to have in that market you can have in that market, for the most part I keep as much as I can local to me. So we do all the acquisitions here in house. We do the dispositions in that market.

David: Love it, very very cool. I buy from virtual wholesalers sometimes. I get the process. We do a lot of wholesaling, most of mine is done in my own city. May or may not go to the property every time. But I think it’s really cool how you just kind of did the pivot from doing your own market to going virtual and you’re in multiple– have you found it difficult to do it in multiple markets versus maybe just one? Or is it just one of those things you get to the point where it’s like– it’s the next step, it makes sense to do. That’s been one– the reason I ask, it has been one of my– not headaches, but I guess something that’s holding me back from going in two or three markets at this point, is because I don’t necessarily want the extra work. My partners and I, we buy about a hundred houses a year here in St Louis where we live. We have about 65 rentals, so we are gaining rentals every couple of weeks. We usually have five to ten flips going. So it keeps us busy.

Lauren: Right.

David: On average we wholesale 8-10 deals a month. Our spreads here are average 6, 8, 10 grand, something like that. Whereas in other markets it is 10, 15, 20. Orange County could be 70 grand, right? It’s relative. But, I have been wanting to do a second or third market– being doing this full time for about five years and I’m thinking, it’s time. At the same time I don’t necesarily want the extra work. So how did– what was your take on it? Why did you go from one market– you don’t even have to tell us those markets, but how many are you in? Let’s start with that.

Lauren: Right now I am in two and a half. Two and I have been playing around with a third market.

David: So you’re in three, that’s great.

Lauren: So I just started a new market.

David: That’s exciting.

Lauren: I mean, to answer your question; it is, every time you open up a new market, I would say it’s like your baby. You do have to put a lot of focus in it. So what could happen is, it can take your focus off of the one that you’re doing well, because now you’re focusing on this new one.

David: Yeah.

Lauren: You have to either hire out, so somebody is focusing on the one that is producing, so you can focus on the new one. No matter what, you are going to be spread thin.

David: Sure.

Lauren: It’s not like a plug and play, now that I know how to do it virtually and I can open up markets all over the place. It’s not really like that. It does take a while to figure out pricing in the area, what’s the main play in that area. Every area is so unique. It does take a little bit to figure out. I would always recommend to do one market at a time. Give that market a solid shot. A lot of people go virtual and give up after a few weeks.

David: Don’t do that, guys! Give up after a couple of weeks, it takes a couple of weeks to get the ball rolling.

Lauren: Yeah, it really does. Honestly for me, I said wait– it will take you probably six months to really–.

David: Totally agree.

Lauren: Established, making a net profit, you know? Because you might be breaking even for six months. So you do have to give it a solid shot. You probably would need to focus on one market at a time.

David: Love that. So the way I’m interpreting this is, just like marketing. In the sense that– all marketing works, right? No matter what you choose; bandit signs, letters, postcards, driving for dollars, cold calls, cold text, door knocking. You name it, all that works. But don’t try and do all of it at once. You won’t be good at any of it. So find one source, and I’m sure you teach this to your students. Find one source, get really good at it, then go to the next one, outsource that one, or get someone on the team to do it. So it’s very similar to that when it comes to markets then, right? You just got to get good at that market. Either keep an eye on it with someone on your team that’s managing it, or maybe even have someone on the team help open that second or third market. I absolutely love it, I love it. So Lauren, you are– you have a coaching program. Again, I think a ot of people, a lot, are going to resonate with you and your message, because you are a mom, and you have shown it to people that it’s possible. So let’s talk a little bit about your coaching.

Lauren: Awesome, yeah we recently launched it. I am actually a coach for Wholesaling Inc. That has been a fairly new thing, I think we launched about three weeks ago officially. I am very–.

David: Congratulations.

Lauren: I feel very blessed and excited to be a part of that team. I am coaching, it is a virtual investing program. We are calling it Virtual Investing Mastery. It is all about virtual wholesaling. It goes into– not just virtual wholesaling, but virtual investing. It is a course that is made for anyone that– any experience level. We have people who have never one a single deal, your newer investor. To experienced investors who either want to learn how to expand out of their current market, or even just closing deals on the phone because of this whole quarantine situation. It has made people have to think, okay how can I do deals over the phone? Virtually, because I’m not supposed to be meeting with sellers right now. A lot of my clients have come to me just asking, how are you putting deals under contract, over the phone, never seeing the properties, never meeting a seller. How are you even doing that? So my coaching program addresses how to do that. We did not mean for it to come out during a pandemic where–.

David: Nobody every does! That’s just how it works, Lauren, you know how this business is.

Lauren: Right, but that was never an avatar we were going for. It is the person stuck in their home.

David: It fits well, because being virtual means you can be in your home and do that. When we are out of this, it also works. It’s the thing that always allows work, right?

Lauren: Yeah.

David: You can be anywhere in the world essentially too, and be wholesaling anywhere else in the world. I just saw in one of my masterminds, this guy who lives in Australia is wholesaling over here in Texas or Florida, something like that. He has never even stepped foot in the United States. That’s great, that’s possible.

Lauren: My tag line I say is, live anywhere, invest where you want. I came up with that, because I live here in Southern California, a beautiful place to live. My office is in Newport Beach, and amazing place right across from the ocean. But, it’s not a great place to invest. I’ve had to–.

David: Totally different–.

Lauren: I want to live here, but I want to invest where I want. That’s basically what I’m able to teach you, that you can do that. I have team members, my employees, they work from home primarily. For example, one of my acquisition guys who doesn’t have kids, he has nothing holding him down. I said, why aren’t you traveling more? You have the job where you can travel. I am telling you–.

David: You need to.

Lauren: He went to Vietnam for a month, and it was like nothing was missed, because he had his internet connection.

David: It was probably better. He’s happier, having fun. He is probably more excited and enthusiastic whenever he was doing his actual job, that’s awesome.

Lauren: Absolutely. I tell you honestly, I was virtual before I went out of State. I lived in an area where traffic just to get to the next county over, or to get to these properties I was flipping, it would take me three hours to get there then get back. That’s how bad traffic is in Southern California. I used to basically refuse to go to seller meetings, because I didn’t want to waste my time unless I had a contract. So I started putting houses under contract over the phone, pretty much when I first got started. I was tired of driving in traffic all day.

David: I like it.

Lauren: That’s where I started going, gosh if I can do this over the phone, why couldn’t I do this out of State? So that’s where my virtual thing came from. I was like, well I will just figure it out, right? So that’s where it really started honestly.

David: Very cool, very very cool. Guys, check out DPIPodcast.com/Lauren. I have a link to her coaching. There is a special incentive in there as well if you go to that page. DPIPodcast.com/Lauren. Lauren Hardy with This Mom Flips. I think she has a very awesome, very cool message. She is crushing it in multiple markets around the country, and she has an awesome program to teach you guys how you can do it as well. But also, to the new investor that just wants to learn what wholesaling is and how marketing works, you can get that as well. I absolutely love it. You can check it out Lauren on– she’s a new host of the Wholesaling Inc podcast, which is awesome. You guys are crushing it, it’s like the number one wholesaling podcast, so I am super excited for you. I am happy and grateful to have you on my show today. Lauren, how can people reach you on social media if they were to have questions or what not?

Lauren: The best way is following me on Instagram, because I am very relevant on my Instagram. The handle is This Mom Flips. So if you guys want to follow me there, I host everything, where I’m at, what I’m doing, you can find me there.

David: Love it. This Mom Flips, Instagram, check it out. Again, get a special incentive over at DPIPodcast.com/Lauren. Flipping real estate is easy. Lauren can teach you how to do it virtually. Guys, don’t forget, in this business we are trading convenience for a discount. It’s very simple. You make your money when you buy, you get payed when you sell. Lauren, any departing words for our listeners and viewers today?

Lauren: Oh my gosh, I don’t know. I want to say thank you for having me on. It was really great, I’m glad we got to finally meet each other.

David: Absolutely. Thank you for coming.

Lauren: I look forward to having you on our podcast next time.

David: Thank you. I am always looking forward to that as well. Guys you heard it, check out Lauren Hardy, This Mom Flips. She has got an awesome program, you don’t want to miss it. Signing off.

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