Full-Time Flipping (Out-of-State!) at 24 by Doing What Most Don’t Know

Forty real estate deals is a lot, especially for an experienced investor. How many people do you know that have done forty flips, wholesale deals, or own over forty rentals? Odds are, probably not many. So how does a nineteen-year-old do that many deals in only a year? Even better, how do they then take that experience and build a successful flipping business thousands of miles away from where they live? The answer might surprise you.

Dominique Gunderson is an anomaly in the best of ways. At fifteen years old she became privy to short sales, then at age seventeen, she left high school to start wholesaling full-time. Now, at age twenty-four, she runs a full-time flipping business based in New Orleans while she resides in her home state of California. She’s managing this entire out-of-state real estate investing venture strictly through her phone, laptop, and conversations with her contractors. Impressive, right?

But this level of speed and growth didn’t come without its tradeoffs. Dominique failed many, many times in her pursuit of passive income and real estate profits. She’s the first to admit that she wouldn’t trade a single failure for anything she has now, as they’ve been the stepping stones to her success. So if you want to stop sitting on the sidelines and start succeeding at record speed, you better prepare to fail, just like Dominique did.

David:
This is the BiggerPockets Podcast show 587.

Dominique:
When I would meet certain sellers, or go on appointments, even with the buyers that I was potentially bringing deals to, there was always that kind of gut reaction of like, oh, this is who I’m meeting? Do I have the right person here? So that was definitely a thing I had to overcome, especially if I was going to check a property and walking around at a job site or construction site, I just don’t look like the person that would be showing up there.

David:
What’s going on, everyone? It’s David Green, your host of the BiggerPockets Podcast, the best dang real estate podcast on the planet, here today with my co-host Rob Abasolo. Look, if you’re trying to figure out how to build wealth through real estate, or maybe you want to find a better life and you know that real estate can help you get there, you, my friend, are in the right place. BiggerPockets is a community of over 2 million members, full of people that are all on the same journey as you, and we take full advantage of that to bring you people that will help you with your goal, building wealth through real estate.

David:
Today’s guest, Dominique, is very young, but very successful, and is a great example of taking action, leading to growing skills, which leads to growing success. Now, I’m not going to tell you too much about her, because I definitely want you listen to this podcast, but you’ll be incredibly impressed by both the business that she has built, and her skill at communicating what she’s doing, and realizing how simple it really can be to build wealth. Rob, it’s great to see you, as always. What were some of your favorite parts of today’s show?

Rob:
Man, this was a very inspiring one, because as you mentioned, Dominique is a very good communicator, almost like… It’s a very annoying how easy she makes this feel, because she’s just so good at what she does, and I’m like, “Man, how do I get there? I want to get there.” Some of the things that she talks about, from a high level here, is like, she’s talking about hiring a project manager to help you manage your long distance rehab. That one, to me, it always seems a little jarring, when you’re taking on a big project like that, and she just of walks us through the steps, and by the end of it, I was like, oh, that makes a hundred percent sense.

Rob:
Now, she also talks about how to build the perfect buyers list. She’s just a really storied person. She had like 40 to 45 deals in her first year and a half, and also just a little plug there for the end, we get some advice for those looking to actively invest along the San Andreas fault line. So you’re definitely going to want to stick around until the end.

David:
That’s a great point. If you have ever wondered, what’s the best way to invest on the fault line, this is the episode. Make sure you listen all the way to the end, because you’re not going to hear it anywhere else. All right. Today’s quick tip is, consider doing more than just learning. Look, learn earnings is very important. BiggerPockets has an amazing bookstore, biggerpockets.com/store, where there’s lots of books, some of them written by me, many of them written by other people that will explain to you how to be successful in this world. Dominique mentions a books that was her favorite book by a BiggerPockets author, Matt Faircloth.

David:
But here’s the thing, it’s not about what you have in your head, it’s about what you actually put into action. So the quick tip is going to be, load yourself up with the ammunition that you need to be successful, but then get out there and start doing things. Dominique is the best example I can think of, of somebody who found big success at a young age because she just started doing stuff, and she didn’t listen to that little voice that sits on your shoulder that says, you can’t, you’re not smart enough, you’re too young, you’re too old, you’re too rich, you’re too poor.

David:
There’s always reasons that we have, that tell us, hey, this isn’t going to work for you. She’s a great example of how that is not always the case. So, everything that you’re learning, ask yourself how you can take action today. All right, Rob. That’s all I got before we bring Dominique in. Anything you want to say?

Rob:
I’ve thought about it, I’ve outlined it, I’ve hopped it, and I’ve ultimately decided, I do not have anything else to add to what you just said.

David:
Very nice. Let’s bring in Dominique. So let me tell you a little bit about today’s guest. A lot of people start in real estate very young. Dominique took an interest and action real estate at 17 years old. Not only did she start learning about real estate, but she started to actually take action and learn through doing, not just from listening. As many people as are getting into real estate younger with the new information that’s out there, even fewer people are doing this are as young as Dominique. So we brought Dominique on to share a different angle.

David:
Dominique cut her teeth on wholesaling in Los Angeles doing 40 to 45 deals in a year and a half. She moved into long distance, self-funded flipping in new Orleans, 70 to 80% of her business coming from fix and flips with less of her own capital. She’s still [inaudible 00:04:35] and wholesaless several properties a year, while flipping five to six properties at a time. Most of the deal that she finds comes through off-market and six other strategies, and she uses her age to her advantage, instead of seeing it as something that holds her back. Dominique is driven by the chase for the next deal, and is looking forward to bringing her husband deeper into this business as he transitions from military life. Dominique Gunderson, welcome to the BiggerPockets Podcast.

Dominique:
Thank you, guys, so much for having me.

Rob:
Wow, quite the intro.

Dominique:
Thank you. Yes. I know. It’s been a fun ride since a young age, so I’m stoked to dive into it all.

David:
And you’re 24 right now, right?

Dominique:
Correct.

David:
Yeah. I don’t know how long your bio’s going to be, if it’s already this big by 24 years old. Your bio’s going to be its own book. We know you were interviewed on episode 170 of the InvestHer podcast here on BiggerPockets. So if everybody would like to get a little more insight and nuance into Dominique’s story, that’s a great place to start. But for those of us that are first hearing about you now, can you give us a brief background of how you got started in real estate, and what sort of drove you to get into this world?

Dominique:
Sure. So yeah, I got into real estate at a really young age, I was in high school. I was probably 15 or 16, when I first found out about real estate. It didn’t necessarily come from any background or my family wasn’t in it, it was actually pretty random. It was around 2012, 2013 when the market was really down, and my mom had finally been in a position to purchase her first home. We lived in Southern California, so it was very expensive, and neither of my parents had ever owned real estate or done anything in that realm. So I didn’t know anything about it, but she ended up purchasing a short sale that came on the market for a really low price around that time, and that was my first hook to the whole process.

Dominique:
The fact that she got a short sale was an even greater hook for me into the actual renovation and potential to add value to the property, because it was… it wasn’t bad, but it was a little bit run down. And so that was my first… gosh. Yeah, I was probably 15 or 16. That was my first introduction to it, and I knew that I loved it, I loved the idea of being able to add massive value to an already massive purchase and create huge wealth, and I just knew that that’s what I wanted to do for a living as soon as I graduated high school.

Rob:
So that’s awesome. So you were… you said that was 15, 16. And then when was like the… I imagine that was the catalyst that started everything off, but from that point, did you go straight into wholesaling? What was your transition into doing this a little bit more consistently?

Dominique:
Yeah. So when I graduated high school, I was 17 team, and I started working, actually, for a real estate agent at that point, someone local that was really successful in the Southern California market. My goal there was to do some deals. I wanted to get my real estate license and just dive in. But more than that, I wanted to work for somebody who was really successful just at being a real estate agent. I wanted to learn sales, and the contracts, and all of the basic foundation before I actually got into the investing side of it. So I worked for the agent for about two years, and then at 19 is when I started the investing side, when I jumped into wholesaling.

Rob:
So that this is really impressive, because in your very grand intro that David… He’s never given me a very grand intro like this, but he said that you closed between 40 and 45… or you did 40 to 45 deals in about a year and a half. So I think that’s about… I’m not the most math-forward person here, but about 30 a year, sounds like. So this was in partnership as somebody’s mentee, and working with a mentor?

Dominique:
So those deals were when I started jumping into wholesaling. So that was after I was working for the mentor real estate agent. So the wholesaling deals were more so done on my own. I was working with a small group of people, a wholesaling team, I guess, you could say. So that was also a really cool aspect of it for me, because not so much that I did a bunch of deals with other people, although we would work on stuff together sometimes, but just being surrounded by that team of people that were doing the same thing, it allowed me to jump in, and I could ask questions whenever I needed to, I could figure out about the process and what’s the best way to do things. And so that definitely helped me. But as far as the actual mentor we were talking about, that was before any of those deals.

Rob:
Okay, cool. So you learned from your mentor very fast, you went, you jumped straight in, and you’re crushing it here at 40, 45 deals. What was your goal? Was your goal, when you were doing this, to just get as much experience as possible? Was your goal to expand your… yeah. I guess like, was it the experience side of it? Were you just trying to make money? Were you trying to save up for any specific thing? Tell me a little bit about what was the actual fuel to that? Because most people, I don’t know if you know this, they’re not actually doing 40 to 45 deals in any capacity, in any form of real estate in the first like one and a half years of really going solo.

Dominique:
Definitely. I had pretty strong goals at that point. I actually knew I did not want to do wholesaling, but I also knew that I needed to start somewhere like that to build capital, learn, get deal experience, meet people that were farther ahead than me, and could train me up. So my main goal, from the start of doing wholesaling, was yes, to get the experience, but mainly was actually to build the capital and save the capital that I could go and start my own house flipping, buying rentals, more my own deals that I’m going to keep and hold. I wanted to do it for maybe a year, year and a half, two years. I didn’t know how long it would take. It ended up taking about a year and a half. That was always the goal, to start building capital, to flip houses, do other things on my own.

Rob:
So I imagine from doing this amount of work, were there processes or was there steps that you would take to basically build out this business? Can you tell us a little bit about any kind of process or… If I know you a little bit, because I did hear that podcast, you have a six-step process that actually kind of walks us through this general business, right?

Dominique:
Yeah. So I can definitely dive into a couple things. The six steps is probably more so on the side of some of the off-market strategies I used to get deals, six or seven different ways that I have gotten deals. So I’m happy to dig into that. I can also share a couple things that helps me be really successful in the wholesaling space. So I’ll start there, just a couple quick points. One thing that I think is super important, I think a lot of people, when they’re starting wholesaling, they focus on the deal, which is really important. You can’t make money or wholesale anything until you have a deal to wholesale. But I also realized how important the other side of it, which is selling the deal, was. I didn’t want to get a deal before I had anyone solid to sell it to.

Dominique:
So I actually spent my first couple of months… I didn’t do any deals. I was just building a solid buyer’s list, and that was really, really key to my success down the line. These are a couple of reasons why. One thing I always did is I met all of my buyers in person. It took some time, it took extra networking and driving to them, if they didn’t want to drive to me, but it was huge for my success and building that relationship. I wasn’t just somebody that they got emails spam from, I was a face that they knew, and I know what they were looking for. So that was huge, building a strong buyer’s list, with deep relationships with these people.

Dominique:
The second thing that that helped me do is actually get deals. Because I knew these people and they knew me, and we had a more personal relationship, I got several deals sent to me to kind of JV with investors who would buy properties off-market or at an auction or however they got it. Once I built that relationship and they knew that I was successful at wholesaling, they knew, hey, you just sold that home in this neighborhood a couple weeks ago for 50 grand more than I just bought this home for. Yeah, I was going to put in all the work and flip it, or whatever, but if you can help me make 50 grand just by wholesaling it, let’s do it. Let’s do it together. And so I got a ton of deals passed onto me that way from my buyers’ list, which was also huge to my wholesaling success.

Rob:
I did want to kind of just ask here, because obviously you got started very, very young at 17, and now you’re 24. Just genuinely curious, as someone getting started, what role did age have in all of this? Did people take you more seriously because they saw someone young and hungry. Did people write you off? Tell me a little bit about that journey.

Dominique:
The age thing was definitely a factor for me. The other thing was being a young female. There was a lot of younger guys that are out there hustling, doing wholesaling, getting started. I did not meet one or anyone else that was as young as me and was a female doing this. So it was pretty unique. Shen I would meet certain sellers or go on appointments, even with the buyers that I was potentially bringing deals to, there was always that kind of gut reaction of like, oh, this is who I’m meeting? Do I have the right person here?

Dominique:
So that was definitely a thing I had to overcome. Especially like if I was going to check a property and walking around at a job site or a construction site, I just don’t look like the person that is showing up there. So I think it had its setbacks. I had to overcome that initial like, oh, you’re the person I’m meeting? Is this actually going to go well? But on the other hand, and I still use this to my advantage today, it’s super memorable. It sets you apart. People remember the young, 19-year-old girl that walked into their job site, and maybe not the mid 45 age guy that five others of them walked in.

Dominique:
So it definitely helps set me apart. The main way that I got over the obstacle of just getting in the conversation with these people and having them take me seriously was my knowledge. I had to learn and know anything and everything about what I was going to say, the numbers on the deal before I would go into those given situations. That definitely helped people take me seriously, and it still today. I know everything there is to know about the market I’m investing, the deal I’m looking at, my rehab numbers. I know all the stuff. You can fire questions at me about it, and I know what I’m talking about. And so once you start building that kind of relationship with people, they quickly realize that you are professional and you know what you’re talking about.

David:
Now, Dominique, you met, I’m sure, a lot of other younger hustlers in your travels that were trying to do the same thing as you, and I’m assuming most of them did not have your success. Would you say that’s because they didn’t put as much emphasis on the knowledge of what they were doing, they put more emphasis on the hustle itself?

Dominique:
I think that’s a great point to, yeah, keep in, is the hustle is one thing. You have to have the drive and the motivation to do it, but you’ve got to do it wisely. Yes, I think that’s a huge point to really dive in, take the time to learn. Read good books, listen to podcasts like this, figure out… talk to other people that are in your market, or see other people are doing, look at deals that are getting listed on the MLS, know what’s going on, not just the hustle to chase after and have no idea what you’re doing.

David:
Yeah. I think there’s an allure to making money in real estate, where people see opportunity, or maybe there’s a little bit of greed that’s involved, and they think I want to wholesale, because I make a bunch of money, and they don’t think about the fact that the person who you’re going to be assigning that contract to, or if you’re a real estate agent, the person you’re going to be representing, they want to know, do you know more about this asset class than I do? I have questions. Can you answer those questions? Am I making a good decision by buying a house from Dominique? If Dominique can say, well, here’s where they’re building on this side of town, and this is the plan is for the city with how they’re going to develop, and this is why this deal’s better than the one down the street, it gives people a sense of confidence that they should move forward, versus just looking at a deal and then asking a bunch of questions, which is what you get when somebody doesn’t trust the person that they’re getting the deal from.

David:
So that leads me to my next question I wanted to ask you what. What most people in your world do is they Google a list of homes, they call every person on that list, they try to wrap one up, and then they go wholesale it to a list of buyers they probably met at a local meetup. The problem is you end up calling the same people on the same list that everybody else is calling, and you’re fishing in the same waters that everybody else has already fished in. So what advice do you have or come up with a technique to create a list that is unique, that isn’t already being hammered by everybody else?

Dominique:
Absolutely. That’s a great point, and that’s a huge way that we actually get a lot of deals today. I buy most of what I buy off-market. Now, I’m flipping more than wholesaling, but it’s the same concept for getting deals. So here’s a couple of strategies that I’ve used. A lot of people probably use these strategies, but here’s a couple things that maybe you can add to the tool belt. So one would be networking with realtors, wholesalers, local people in your market who have deals. That’s the easiest. You don’t have to go out, do pay for your marketing, talk to sellers. So go to networking events. I have actually done a lot of work, just cold calling real estate agents, looked at like, say, in the last six months, all the fixer uppers that have sold, and I’ve just called all those realtors and been like, “Hey, I’m Dominique. I saw you just sold this fixer upper. I’m looking for one in the neighborhood. Do you have another one coming? Could you keep me in mind?” So, talking to those types of people.

Dominique:
The second thing I would say is email blasts to those types of people, to real estate agents, wholesalers, people that you’re trying to target. I’ve gotten deals like this, and it’s super cool when it happens, because all you did was send out an email, and you probably sent it to like 500 people at the same time, and then people start sending you deals. So, same kind of idea. I’ll build lists of… I usually do it for real estate agents, because those are the types of people you want to keep in contact with like once a month, or once every other month. You can’t call 2,000 real estate agents that are in your market every month. It takes up a lot of time.

Dominique:
So if you can come up with something simple and something of value. Something that I have done before is say, hey, I know that it’s a tough market out right now for your buyers. So I’m a local investor, and we have this property, this property, and this property that are currently under renovation, and they’re almost done, and we’re going to be looking for buyers in the next 60 days or 30 days. Just let me know if you’ve got any buyers that have been losing out on bids and want an option for an off-market deal. Send something that’s of value, not always just, hey, call me with your deals, send me what you’ve got. Those are good, too, just as touching base points, but try to add value to the people you’re email blasting or marketing to.

Dominique:
Direct mail and cold calling are definitely things that I’ve done a lot of direct to seller marketing. A lot of those leads that come on the lists we send to or call to have been more targeted. So I personally have never pulled like the list, David, that you’re talking about, just pull all the foreclosures, or pull all the out-of-state owners. Those are the ones that everybody’s targeting. So I’ve never done that. When we make direct mail or cold calling lists, it’s much more targeted. We go in a specific neighborhood that we are buying or we have three or four renos going on, and we target like… either driving for dollars, specific houses that are in need of repair, or just the entire street, just market to everybody that’s in that little zip code or neighborhood that you have a lot of renovations going.

Dominique:
I can talk in more depth in a minute, too, on if you pull a list like that, how to get the data, and how to actually get in touch with those people that are maybe just not readily available for-sale lists that you can buy with the phone numbers. But we’ve done a lot of that. Facebook has actually been a big one for me, as well, just networking with people on Facebook that have deals. This is probably more or less largely available in specific markets, but it’s really big in new Orleans, which is where I currently invest. There’s a ton of just networking real estate investor, real estate agent, all these types of things, Facebook groups. And so I’ve joined all of them, every single one that’s in the area and just constantly monitor them. People put deals up there, people just post stuff like, hey, I’m just new. I’m starting in real estate, I’m a new wholesaler. I get in touch with all those people, join their lists, talk to them on the phone, try to be really active if people are asking for advice in those groups, and stuff like that.

Dominique:
And then the final strategy that I actually just started working on and using, but it’s been great for off-market deals, as well, is going to the local auctions that happen at the courthouse or the sheriff sale auctions. They usually have them once a week. At least in the market I’m, in new Orleans, they have them once a week per county. So if you go to all the counties, you have a ton of off-market properties available to you each week, and there’s not that much competition or much lesser, because it’s a more risky strategy. So those are a handful of ways that I have gotten deals off-market, that have really performed well as far as fix and flips go.

Rob:
Yeah. So I guess diving into that a little bit, because I think you mentioned you do out-of-state fix and flip. Is that right?

Dominique:
Correct.

Rob:
So tell us a little bit about that. Because, obviously, the concept of doing a fix and flip, anything farther than an hour of where you live is pretty seemingly scary, understandably. The logistics seem like they can be a nightmare. But, when you have a system in place, I imagine it’s probably no different than running a flip that is an hour away from you. So can you tell me a little bit about what it’s like to manage an out-of-state property and the rehab behind it, and flipping, and that whole process?

Dominique:
Absolutely. Yeah. I currently live in Los Angeles, California, and all my investments are in new Orleans, Louisiana, so completely across the country, and we do renovations on almost all of them. So it’s not like we just buy something and throw it on the market or wholesale it. There’s a whole process in between me in the buy and the sale, and managing that from a distance, I think the key to my success has been my team on the ground. David, I know you talk about this a lot, having your core four team members that you can trust with anything and everything. I would totally piggyback and agree that has been the key to my success.

Dominique:
I’d say two people, in particular, that have been really important for me… other than my realtor, because you got to have a good realtor when you’re constantly selling properties. But the two people that have been really key, one, is finding a really it in reliable contractor that matches your personality. So for me, I am very hands-on, I want to see what’s going on. I always want updates, I want to be able to pick up the phone and not have to wonder why they didn’t answer or when are they going to call me back.

Dominique:
So finding someone that matches that, knowing that I’m going to need you to FaceTime me, I’m going to need you to call me, because I can’t see what’s going on has been huge. It took a few tries, it’s trial and error, finding people that… to find the ones that work best with you. But that’s been huge, having someone who is great at communication and really willing to take on that extra little step of like, hey, I’m not going to be there every day, so I’m going to have to call you and ask you some questions about what’s going on in this job site versus that one, and why are supplies not transferred from one to the other yet, and stuff like that.

Rob:
So you mentioned just now, there’s a trial and error with finding your contractor. What do you mean by that? Are you saying that the first contractor you find is it going to work out?

Dominique:
Not always, but that’s how it went for me. I think the contractor I use now, I almost always use and exclusively use, but he’s probably number three or four that I’ve worked with to find the right one.

Rob:
Would you say one through three, just based on what you were talking about, didn’t necessarily match your personality? They weren’t willing to jump on a phone call or report back every detail or be quite as hands-on?

Dominique:
Correct. Yes. I think it’s that. Personally, the ones that went wrong for me, as well, just had other issues. One of them was going through family personal stuff, and just became super unreliable. And then yeah, there was a handful of other that were and still are great contractors, good to work with, but I could tell when I picked up the phone and called them every morning, it’s like, oh gosh, you again, and I need someone that’s really willing to have that extra communication, because I’m not there.

Rob:
That’s funny. I feel like with my contractors, at the beginning of the relationship in rehab or build, I’m always the one that’s trying to call my contractor, and they’re always like, oh gosh, you again. And then at the very end, they’re trying to get me on the phone, because I have to make like a thousand tiny decisions, and I answer the phone, and I’m like, oh gosh, you again. So I can definitely relate with that.

David:
Or When they want to get paid. That’s the other time that you’re going to get-

Dominique:
Yes.

David:
… your phone is going to ring a lot.

Rob:
Yep. Are there any tips or tricks? Because I think the idea of finding that magical contractor that does fit our personality type, and is prompted, will FaceTime, and will order supplies for you off Amazon and do a lot of that stuff, that’s always a little daunting. So can you speak to like, how do I find this unicorn contractor out there, if they so exist?

Dominique:
I would say you can learn a lot from people just by the first one or two phone calls, the intro call, and then maybe you send them out to one job site to do a bid, or something. How quickly they get back to you and respond, how quickly they’re ready to go out there and take on new clients… Because a lot of people are just really busy. Those are good indicators, just how they are on the phone. Are they short and brief and want to get you off the phone, or are they really interested in hearing what your job is and how much future business this might correlate to? I think those are really good signs to look for upfront.

Dominique:
Ultimately, I’ve found you have to do like one job or a section of a job, one kitchen or one bathroom or something with the person to really fully know how their work quality turns out, what their communication style is like, if they’re responsible, if they keep a tabs on everything and they’re well organized. So I always have started just giving them one job or one section of a job just to see how it goes, and if it goes well, then give them more responsibility from there.

David:
How often do you rely on your real estate agent to go look at the work and tell you if you think that it came out well?

Dominique:
I personally don’t on my real estate agent for that. The second person that is really crucial to my team, that I didn’t get to mention yet, is I have someone who works for me as kind of like a… call them project manager, like boots on the ground type of person, kind of a Jack of all trades, not really specifically doing any of the construction work or doing any of the work, reselling or listing the property, but just there, on call to do any and every little thing that might come up from meeting sellers, if we need an appointment, to do like a walkthrough or a video of the property, to taking deliveries, or if something’s… an appliance is showing up to the house, to be there to open the door, all the little things that I just can’t personally be there for. Honestly, even if I was on the ground, I wouldn’t want to waste my time or spend my time doing those things. So that person, David, is the one who I rely on more heavily to be on the job sites, running around every day and keeping tabs on things.

David:
Yeah, that’s better, because most agents aren’t going to be experts in construction. So they aren’t going to know if it looks nice or not, they have no idea if they put hardiebacker down before they lay the tile, or if they just glued it right onto the existing floor or something. So I like that. It sounds like, Dominique, you have an understanding of find what people are good at and use them for what they’re good at. Don’t try to use people in areas that they’re not that good. I have two questions I want to ask you. The first is, being as young as you were, when you got started as young as you still are, and you’re currently married, what would you say drives you to take this much action and push through this many obstacles?

Dominique:
I would say for me, it’s in my nature. Even before I got into real estate, my brother and I ran our own little business growing up, and I’ve always just been an entrepreneur, had that kind of spirit about me. It’s just who I am. I love the hunt, the chase for new deals, new opportunities, and also just the joy that comes from… well, now it’s real estate that I’m doing, but there’s so many things that you can take gratification in what you’re doing, changing neighborhoods and giving people affordable places to live that look amazing, and giving people jobs, and all these things. There’s joy in that, as well. Honestly, the hunt and the chase of like having your own business, being your own boss, that has always been something that’s just in me, and I love it.

David:
My second question is, what obstacles have you found that popped up, that you were not expecting, or that you had to grow personally in some way to overcome them?

Dominique:
In relation to my age, or just in general?

David:
No, into the business. When people are listening to this, like, I want to do what Dominique’s doing. I want to go out there and wholesale 40 to 45 deals in my first year and a half. They get on the phone and they just start calling people. They’ve got that energy, they’ve got the hustle. But what things popped up that stopped you from being successful? One of the things I’ve learned in the business we’re in is let’s say you have to have a hundred things go well in order to close a deal. If you do 99 of them right and one of them wrong, it’s the same as if you only did one thing right or nothing right. You get the same results.

David:
So it’s very frustrating that you are constantly having to be perfect in most cases to actually get a deal to close, and you’re always trying to solve new problems. It’s usually not the problems you thought you were going to have when you start. So for those listening that want to be you, what are some things that you encountered or that you faced that you were not expecting, that forced you to grow as a person to overcome where you see some of your competition was like, oh, that’s too hard. I’m just stopping right here.

Dominique:
Definitely. I would say it’s the mindset behind it. Like you said, there’s going to be a hundred things you have to do right, and you may not even know 90 of them. You might just know the 10 steps that you have to do to start, and then the arrest come later, and you have no idea. You don’t even know what those words mean or those contracts mean. Just go in knowing that and be okay with it. Be okay with the fact that there’s going to be struggle, and that you’re not going to know everything that you have to learn and put up with the hardship, and find joy in that, too, or find excitement in the fact that every day, you go into work on this deal, you’re going to learn something new, and it’s going to help you on the next 20 deals that you’re going to do.

Dominique:
I totally remember doing that when I started wholesaling. I remember very specifically, the first deal I ever wholesaled, I actually met the buyer on BiggerPockets. We networked that way, which was awesome. But I met him out at the property, and he came ready to buy it, had the cashiers check ready and was ready to move forward, and I was so stoked. I finally got supposedly this sale. t’s ready to go into escrow. I just remember standing there thinking like, man, I am the one running this deal. I’m keeping the seller in line, the buyer, the escrow, everything happening, and people are going to be looking to me to know what to do, what’s the next step? What do I have to fill out? And I had no idea. I didn’t know a single thing that was coming next. I just knew that it was coming.

Dominique:
And so just being aware that’s going to happen up front. You’re going to have to ask people questions, you’re going to have to rely on someone who’s done this a thousand times before, and just work through, work through every little struggle that’s going to come up. Just know you have to do that a few times. And then 40 down the line, you’re going to be the one that knows everything and helping someone else.

David:
That’s really good.

Rob:
I agree. I personally think that you can coast on success, but you don’t really… what you learn from is failure. You learn from failure, you coast on success, and it really requires being uncomfortable and just going into the unknown. For me, when I was building one of my first constructions, I had no idea, but I was like, okay. So how bad could it be? And yeah, it was pretty bad. There was a lot of things that went wrong. But for me, I was just like, okay, well… For example, permitting was a big one for me.

Rob:
There are a lot of things I didn’t know about permitting, and I was like, well, worst that could happen is, I submit for my permits, and they rip me to shreds. Guess what, that’s exactly what they did, and I learned that entire process because they were like, “Hey, by the way, you did literally everything wrong with your plans.” And I was like, “No.” I had to get them redrawn, and re-engineered, and it was several thousands of dollars of mistakes, but now permits aren’t really something that shake me.

Rob:
So even in that vein, as someone who is managing out-of-state rehabs, obviously, I got to imagine that permitting is something that’s pretty heavy. If you’re not there, are you able to get permits without actually showing up to the county office and physically signing?

Dominique:
Yes, you can do that remotely, but that is definitely a great point. Permits is same story. It sounds like that you had one of those things where you just… you never really know exactly how it’s going to work until you do it, and you figure out all the ins and outs of what the city that you’re working in is going to require, because everyone is different. We can get permits remotely. Most of the permits we have to get are.. I’m able to file for them online. And then if it’s a specific, like plumbing, electrical, or mechanical permit, we have to get it filed by a licensed plumber, licensed electrician, licensed mechanical contractor. So I am not any of those things, so I do not file for those. But if it’s just a general permit to lay floors and do paint and stuff like that, I can get those, just being the home owner, online.

Rob:
Yeah. Nowadays, I think it’s actually pretty convenient, because more and more, I’m seeing cities that have online permitting centers, where you don’t necessarily have to go in. But believe it or not, in LA, when I was building my ADU, I couldn’t do that online. And so that was very frustrating. I had to actually go out, spend $50 on plans, actually go in, talk to the person, have them redline my plans and go back. It can be a pretty exhaustive process. I got to imagine, even in that whole process, is that something that your project manager can fill in and help… could you delegate those tasks to your project manager?

Dominique:
Yes. We have done that before, where there’s been certain things, you just have to get a signed letter or something saying that he can be here on your behalf, and I’ve done that for the city, or turning on utilities. If there’s ever anything that has to be done in person, it’s usually something that can be delegated, as long as you have a copy of your ID and a assigned letter, or something like that.

Rob:
Yeah. I was actually really curious about this. I didn’t ask this earlier on your project manager, because this is really interesting to me. A lot of the stuff that I’ve done, my contractors really managing a lot of that for me. But with your project managers, are they affiliated with your contractor at all, or is it someone that you hire completely independent, that is biased to maybe your contractor’s philosophies or point of views or their workflows and all that stuff?

Dominique:
For me, the guy that I hired is totally independent of the contractor or anything else. He mainly just works for me in any capacity. So it doesn’t necessarily have to just be project management, it’s just anything that I can’t be there for. So a lot of times, it’s like going on seller appointments, and I’ll say, hey, one of my guys that manages our projects is going to come meet you instead of me, or going, if the house is vacant, and just like taking a video or walkthrough of the properties. So there’s a lot of other responsibilities that he handles, that aren’t necessarily in conjunction with the renovation, but that definitely falls under his belt, as well.

David:
I love that you’re sharing this, because I think so many people hear about long distance investing and… Everything we talk about, we typically describe the concept, but it’s hard to get a feel for what it actually looks like in practical terms. Dominique, I think you have a really good skill and talent, even as a communicator, in addition to the business that you’re doing, of just explaining, this is how the pieces fit together. As I hear you talk, I’m like, yeah, it really is that simple. It’s not easy, it’s hard to find a boots on the ground person that can get what you need done. It’s hard to find a contractor that’s reliable. It’s hard to find an agent that’s good at their job.

David:
In general in, our industry, the top 10% of the people tend to dominate, and it’s very difficult to get into their worlds, unless you’re doing a lot of volume, and new people aren’t doing volume, so they’re in this sort of catch 22 scenario. But it isn’t complicated, even though it’s not easy. It is simple. You’re doing a very good job of just explaining how I have this person that does this part, and they work with this person to make this happen. I wanted to ask, from your perspective, of all the moving pieces that you’re managing, what would you say is the most important or the most crucial element to running the successful business that you are?

Dominique:
I would say comes in with the buy, the purchase of the property. So there’s a couple things that come along with that. But the biggest one, I would say, is successfully estimating your rehab costs without me ever actually seeing it. So yes, I rely on the people on the ground to take the videos and send me the picture and do a good job of what type of damage is actually happening. But, at the end of the day, I’m the one that makes the decision on the final purchase price and what our rehab budget’s going to be. So I think that is the most key thing in everything that happens.

Dominique:
You can do an awesome rehab, but if you overpaid for the property, you’re not going to make money. So estimating it up front is huge, and that is difficult, because there’s things you just can’t see when it’s just over video or pictures, or you can’t see what’s across the street, necessarily. So that’s one thing that I have had to learn from trial and error, of something I missed on this first deal, I’m definitely going to make sure to tell everyone to send videos or pictures of this very specific thing on deal number two, so it doesn’t happen again.

David:
So follow-up question to that. Obviously, we’re in a market now that’s… Well, you’re 24, so you haven’t seen a whole lot of different markets, but I’m sure you’ve heard. This is very unique. Prices are going up faster than… The only time we saw it happen was in 2005, which was a terrible crash. And so there’s a lot of people that are afraid that we have the same thing happening. If you really study the fundamentals, it’s not the same thing. The rising prices are not based on bad loans being given out and homes people can’t afford, they’re just being based on how much money the government is printing. But, a lot of what we do ads real estate investors is look at numbers and make them work.

David:
So you start with the end number, what’s the ARV, then you say, what’s my… how much money is it going to cost for me to sell it? What are the commissions? What’s the holding cost? What are the taxes? What’s the rehab? You work backwards from there, and then you say, okay, if I want this profit margin, I got to pay this price. It’s relatively simple, like what we described. But when the number you’re going to be selling it for is changing so quickly, it gets really hard to actually… The target’s moving a lot of the time. So in your business, how have you accounted for that, especially in different markets, where you might be seeing prices increasing at faster rates than in others?

Dominique:
I always go based on the current resale value of when I purchase the property. So perfect example for you is a property I bought in November of 2021. At that particular time, it was going to be used as a simple fix and flip. It was a cosmetic rehab. At that particular time, for a property of that size in that neighborhood, there was no way that… no doubt in my mind the property was going to sell for 160 to 165 when it was done, and I bought it for 75. Needed a little bit of rehab. We ended spending like 40 to 45,000 on the rehab. So I had no doubt in my mind, it was going to sell for 160, 165. So that’s what I ran my numbers based off of.

Dominique:
I knew, however, in the back of my mind, that we’re in an increasing market, there’s maybe potential for, okay, let’s say 170. But I did not run my numbers based on the deal working with a 170 exit, I made sure it work with where the market currently is. Come to find out, we listed it in February of 2022, so just recently listed. It got bid up to 185, like an absolute… way over what I was ever thinking. Nothing for that size in that neighborhood has ever sold that high, and that’s just happening right now. Across the country, I think, prices are going to record highs that people couldn’t budget for, per se, when you purchased it even like six months ago or four months ago.

Dominique:
But for me, I always analyze the deals based on where the market currently is, not projections of where it could go, because that’s where… if it doesn’t go there, you’re out of luck. If the deal still works with where it cur the market currently is and what you’re confident, even if the market doesn’t raise as much or doesn’t raise at all, the deal still works. That’s how I buy.

Rob:
Well, I got to imagine that it’s… Your rehabs, they’re not just your typical rehab. I’m sure you really do put some really nice things in there, and really make it feel at home. So can you actually just walk us a little bit through what level of materials, what kind of design aesthetic are you going for to command some of those prices?

Dominique:
Absolutely. I think this is one thing that anyone who wants to do a renovation, get into flipping houses, or even the bar strategy, anything that requires a reno, you should pay a lot of attention to your competition in your particular market. Look at a couple of other fix and flips or rental-grade renovations that have recently been done and sold. Just look at the pictures, see what your competition is. This is just me and my strategy that’s worked really well. I have always targeted to be at least one or two steps above what my competition looks like as far as the renovation goes on fix and flips. If it’s going to be kept as a rental or something, it might not be as important. But if I’m fixing and flipping, and trying to sell for top dollar, I always want to be at least one or two steps above my competition.

Dominique:
In the new Orleans market, it just so happens a lot of the people that are fixing and flipping a lot of the renovations are very rental-grade looking. They’ll do like shower inserts, instead of tile, things like that, like cheaper flooring products, maybe not pick the right paint color, just little things, but it tends to overall make the feel of the property very rental-grade. So a couple tips or things you can do that I do to try to get my designs up to that next level. One thing I like to do is go on to just like Lowe’s or homedepot.com, where you can search for materials, and pick a category of something you’re looking at.

Dominique:
A good example of something I just did was kitchen cabinets. Go into the kitchen cabinet section and look up… look at all of the different options they have and the price of each one, and just… If you look right now, just based on the color and the style of the cabinets, the white cabinet are the cheapest, and then you go into different shades of gray, and that’s a little bit more expensive, and then there’s like this new trend where people are doing like dark blue cabinets with gold accents, and that’s the most expensive. So just by looking at something like that, huge indicator for me.

Dominique:
If I’m going to just, let’s say, paint cabinets in a property, why not paint them blue? It’s the most expensive trend out there. It’s what people are paying the most for, if you’re getting materials. So something simple like that. Just look at what is the top trend that’s going on? Or what’s one to two steps above your current level for renovation competition? That’s easy. If you’re going to paint the cabinets white or blue, might as well go with something that tends to look and feel more expensive. Just paint and blue. So there’s little things like, that I’ve done to just make my rehabs look a little bit better than the competition, and still price them at a very similar price point of the competition, which usually adds for multiple bids and quick sales.

Rob:
Very smart. Yeah. I like that. There’s this very iconic book, it’s called The Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat, and the author of it, David Green, talks about how if you’re rehabbing a bathroom, for example, all the labor in the actual shower, that’s the expensive part. So to upgrade from the a $3 per square foot tile to the $3.50 cent per square foot tile, it’s not really going to cost you all that much from a labor perspective. Hopefully, I didn’t butcher that too much, David. What do you think?

David:
I am so flattered that you actually read and remembered that. I never get the details from anyone that they actually read the book. I get told that they like it, but who’s going to go up to you and be like, “I read your book. Eh, mediocre, man. I’ve had better.” But it wasn’t terrible. Of course, people always say like, “I love your book.” But that’s really impressive, Rob, that you remembered that.

Rob:
Well, Hey man, I told you I do my… I read it last night. No, I’m just kidding. I read it in Maui like two years ago, whenever it came out. Yeah. But yeah, same concept applies.

David:
It’s so funny that you brought that up, because as… Dominique, as you were speaking, I was thinking, this is exactly how I used to think when I was young, it’s literally the same way of looking at it. Like, well, how do I figure out what everybody else is doing, and how do I do it cheaper? And the easiest way is to just ask the contractor, well, what do you see the rich people putting in their houses? That was one of the questions I would ask all the time. What you said is brilliant. Like, what’s more expensive at Home Depot? That means that people like it more. And how can I do that cheaper?

Dominique:
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, exactly what you were just saying, Rob and David, in your book, totally. The labor cost, if you’re going to do tile, comes from installing the tile. If a tile, it’s just going to cost you a total of a hundred or 200 extra dollars when you’re all said and done looks like way higher end, it is going to get $2,000 more on your sale price. Of course, go with spending just a little bit more to get that extra margin.

David:
Yeah. But you wouldn’t want to do that if it a 3,000 square foot house, and you’re talking about tile for the entire floor. But when it’s in the master bathroom, and it’s a small amount of tile, you can pay three times as much for the tile, and it costs you an extra 200 bucks. It’s not that big of a deal. So, thank you.

Dominique:
Absolutely.

David:
By any chance, have you read Long Distance Real Estate Investing?

Dominique:
I haven’t actually, no.

David:
I knew you were going to say that, and here is why I asked. It’s not to shame you because, that’s totally fine. It’s that-

Rob:
Shame.

David:
… whenever I find someone that’s doing well, long distance investing, it’s not a surprise to me when they haven’t read the book, but they’re doing the same things that are in the book. You’ve mentioned several things right. Like, I have this person that oversees this person’s work, this person oversees this person, I have boots on the ground people, I rely on pictures and videos, I have to know the market inside and out, I need a strong team. You didn’t need to read the book, you’re doing the same thing. So I just wanted to highlight that. I don’t know anyone who’s doing well, that isn’t doing exactly what you’re describing, and the book just sort of puts it into a system that can be followed. But the book isn’t what makes people successful, it’s taking action, like what you’re doing, Dominique, that makes people successful. So kudos to you on crushing.

David:
It’s embarrassing when you’re someone like me, that looks back, and I think, what was I doing at 24 years old? I was like, oh God, I was… What was I doing? I was still working at a restaurant. I just got out of college, or maybe I was in like my last year of college. No, I had probably just graduated. I was trying to get hired as a deputy, and you already own ton of properties, and it’s just very cool to see you get off to that start. All right. That’s going to be a great transition into the next segment of our show, which is our deal deep dive. Dominique, do you have a deal that we can discuss on the deal deep dive?

Dominique:
Absolutely.

David:
All right. We are going to fire questions at you, and if you could just answer those questions, we will rotate. I’ll go first. Of the property we’re going to describe, what kind of property is it?

Dominique:
It’s a single family residential property.

David:
How’d you find it?

Dominique:
This one came from one of those agent email blast that I was talking about earlier. Email went out to a bunch of people, and one of the ladies responded to me. Was actually a property that was… she was going to be listening it, but it was her family’s property. She sent it to me directly before it hit the market.

David:
What city was it in?

Dominique:
It Was in Avondale, Louisiana, which is just outside of New Orleans.

David:
How much did you pay for this property?

Dominique:
$70,000.

Rob:
Pretty good. How did you negotiate it?

Dominique:
There was actually not too much negotiation needed on this deal. They were hoping to get 70,000 for it. But I will say the key to this one was getting it off-market [inaudible 00:50:52]. It was a realtor that was in the family that was going to be able to list it, and I know, for a fact, that if they did put it on the MLS, they would’ve got more than 70,000. So getting in contact with her right away, as soon as she sent me that, showing major interest. We had just done another renovation around the corner, too. So having familiarity with that neighborhood definitely helped me secure it and make her feel comfortable that she did not need to list the home on the market.

David:
We call that speed to lead. When you work in the industry that the three of us are in, I’m sure you guys all get the same thing. When you see that deal will come across you and it stands out, because you know the market really well, you get the shot of adrenaline, and I get like a tiger, like, oh, there is the gazelle I have to get it before it gets away. Everything else just fades out of your mind, and you just get tunnel vision on that one thing.

Rob:
Yeah. I’m just like, who do I text first? Is that my wife? Is it my business partner?

David:
there’s definitely this heightened sense of like… everything else disappears. And so if you don’t get that feeling, you’re not doing something right. Keep working at it, but you should have that like, oh, someone’s going to buy this thing. This is a great area. I know it’s a good price. And then you’re sort of gut leads you in that direction. So even just hearing you talk about it, I’m like, oh you, I remember those feelings. Okay. How did you fund this? I guess, was this a wholesale deal?

Dominique:
No, it was a fix and flip.

David:
Okay. So how’d you fund it?

Dominique:
The funding came both from my money, I put up probably about 20 to 25% of the total costs, reno and purchase, and then private money funded the rest of it.

Rob:
Okay. I think you mentioned this, but what did you do with it? It was a flip that you just… you rehabbed?

Dominique:
Yes. Yeah. Renovated it and resold it about six months later.

David:
How much was your rehab budget on that thing?

Dominique:
The rehab budget was between 55 and 60,000, and we ended up at 62,500. So a little bit over budget. I can talk around this a little bit, too, on one of the further questions, but there was… This particular property happened to be owned right during Hurricane Ida, when it hit, and that was September of last year. We had just bought it in July. So we were just getting going and then the hurricane hit, and that was a big lesson on this one, that added to our budget.

Rob:
You teed it up as a softball, really. What lessons did you learn from this deal?

Dominique:
Yeah. So the biggest one, I would say, to phrase it simply is, always be open and ready for any obstacles that may come, that are completely out of your control. Having a major hurricane hit is completely out of my control, and knowing which area, which city would get more hit than others, totally out of my control. Unfortunately, this particular city of Avondale hit really, really hard by the hurricane. It was devastating driving down those streets afterwards. Everybody had lost their roof, there were just huge, huge piles of trash, dumpsters full, just lining the streets, because everybody had to throw their couches away, and all the insulation drywall came through the ceilings, and all these things. So we were right in the middle of that neighborhood after the hurricane hit.

Dominique:
And so huge, I’d say lesson, was just to prepare for the unexpected. We ended up still making it work, the deal went great, we made a profit. We didn’t go too high over budget, but it was just one of those moments where like, we had not crazy hurricane damage, but we had just got everything to the point where we were ready to put the cabinets in and put the floors, where it was just like a blank slate, and walk into the home after the hurricane, and just all the drywall had poured through the ceiling, water everywhere, starting over basically from high in the drywall stage. So it was a rude awakening, I should say, just walking into that.

David:
Well, that’s an amazing deal. Thank you for sharing that, especially when you see things go wrong and you still made it go right. So many people ask that question, what if? What if this happens? What if that happens? I don’t know if there’s anything that could happen in real estate that hasn’t already happened. I suppose we haven’t had like an alien abducted house just suck the whole thing right off the ground and take it away. I don’t know how I’d answer that question, but everything else, it’s happened before, and people have figured out how to deal with it. Rob, you have a wry grin. Are you going to say something there?

Rob:
No, no. No, I thought that was funny.

David:
You just thought aliens were funny, didn’t you?

Rob:
You tickled me.

David:
I tickled the eighth grade version of Rob there. Okay. Thank you for that deal deep dive. We’re going to move on the next segment of our show, which is the…

Speaker 5:
It’s time for the fire round.

David:
This segment of the show, we take questions directly from the BiggerPockets forum. So sort of like Willy Wonka with his golden ticket… Dominique, I don’t expect you to understand that reference. Don’t worry. You may write a question in the forums and have it answered on the podcast unknowingly. So go to the forums and ask your questions. There’s people that interact there that you can get your question answered. You also might be featured on the podcast, and it gives us good ammunition to use with Dominique to let her showcase her brilliance. I’m going to take question number one and fire it at you. I’m looking to invest in a flood zone. That’s just a funny way to start any conversation. I’ve never heard those words said before. I am looking to invest in a flood zone.

Rob:
I’m actively looking to invest in a very risky area.

David:
That’s the first criteria that it needs to be, is in a flood zone. That’s very funny. I already like this one. What are some major things I need to consider with insurance or operating it? If I am flipping it, is it the same as a buy and hold?

Dominique:
That’s a great question. Flood zones are not common everywhere, but I deal with them in new Orleans, or anywhere that’s subject to hurricanes and flooding. So a couple things to keep in mind. It’s mainly to look at it for the perspective of your end buyer. For you as an investor, it’s not really that big of a deal. Maybe one in a thousand percent chance, or whatever, that the house is going to completely flood while you’re in mid renovation. Because you’re in a flood zone, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a high risk of flooding, just that you’re nearby water, or there’s a potential of it happening in the next a hundred years or something.

Dominique:
So the main thing that it’s going to affect is your end buyer, if you’re looking to flip the home. Anybody who takes out a mortgage on a property that is in a flood zone, the lender will most likely require flood insurance. So it’s going to cause the end buyer, who may already be in like a tight position, or they’re just qualifying for the entry level home, that might push them over of the edge of no longer being able to qualify for that purchase price that you’re asking for. So I’d say that’s the main thing to keep in mind. Just know that for anyone who’s going to buy it with a mortgage, it’s going to add costs onto their monthly payment.

Dominique:
You can take out flood insurance as the investor, if you want to lower your risk during the time you own the home. I’ve personally never done that, because I just don’t think it’s that big of a risk. But I also like to buy in non-flood zones for being able to target the top resale value, because your buyers won’t have to worry about insurance.

Rob:
Great. Awesome. Okay. Question number two, I am looking to actively invest along the San and Andreas fault. Who is submitting these questions? No, I’m just kidding. Okay.

David:
[inaudible 00:58:33]. I’m looking to buy a haunted house. What type of insurance do I need if someone dies in it?

Rob:
Oh man. Okay. I had to. I am new to wholesaling, but want to build a solid list. Any tips here?

Dominique:
Yeah. I think one of the best ways you can do that is going into your local market that you’re looking to invest. If you’re not there, then obviously you can’t do this in person. But I would start, personally, in a market that you are in, just so you can be hands-on. When I did my wholesaling, I started in Los Angeles, and did it here in Los Angeles, got my experience hands-on with the deals. So I would recommend that to start. When you’re there, you can drive for dollars, you can go see the neighborhoods that have more rundown homes, or there’s more opportunity.

Dominique:
One thing I would do is just make a list, write them down. The data is actually… you can find it publicly for pretty much any county. If you just search whatever your county is, plus property records, or property search, you can go in there, and you can type in pretty much any address and come up with the owner’s name or how long ago they purchased it or all these details that are public knowledge. There’s a ton of sites out there that you can also use to reverse search and skip trace data once you have an address and a name.

Dominique:
So all that stuff is really easy to come up with, it’s just finding those houses that not everybody else has on their lead sheet, because they’re foreclosure, or because owned by someone out of state, or they’re non-owner occupied, or whatever it is. Go and find the ones that not everybody else is… they’re just a regular home that maybe somebody lives there, it’s the owner’s home, but it’s run down and needs work. Go find those ones, and try to target those with cold calling or put a letter on their door, whatever it is.

David:
Awesome. Okay. Last question of the fire round, are there benefits to private money versus hard money? Which should I target first?

Dominique:
There are definitely benefits to both. I would say the main benefit to hard money is the accessibility of it. There’s a lot of lenders out there that will offer it to you at a somewhat reasonable rate, even if you’ve never deal before, as long as the deal is good. So, if you’re just starting out, it’s a really good option. For me, I fund almost everything privately. Now that I have the experience under my belt and the track record, there’s just more people that are willing to trust me, and it doesn’t have to be as institutionalized, it doesn’t have to fall in to all these check boxes that a hard money lender is going to look for. You can set the terms, whatever you want. As long as you and the private money lender agree to it, you can do whatever you want with the loan. So the main advantage to private money is the flexibility of it, but it’s probably going to take you a couple of deals, a track record, to be able to raise that money from people that are going to trust you.

David:
All right, that wraps up the fire round. The next segment of our show is going to be the world famous…

Speaker 6:
Famous four.

David:
In this segment of the show, we ask every guest the same four questions every episode. I’m going to start off. Dominique, what is your favorite real estate-related book?

Dominique:
I will say it’s Raising Private Capital by Matt Faircloth. I know that’s a BiggerPockets-produced book. That one, for me, really changed how I did things when I was at that place. We just talked about going from like, your own funds or hard money into private. It gave me… opened my eyes completely on how to even start doing that. I can say, single handedly, raising funds like that, of anything else, that was the one thing that led me to change my business and scale drastically.

Rob:
Question two, favorite business book.

Dominique:
I will say this is maybe not all time favorite, but one I recently read that I really liked, it’s called Storyworthy by Matthew Dix. Maybe not a typical business book, but it helps me, business wise, a lot. The book is all about how to talk people and share stories for them to be best received by your listener. And so it was really helpful for me, just like… I talk to people all day long on the phone negotiating, whatever. To be able to put things into a good story and say things right has been actually really helpful in the business realm.

Rob:
Do you have any hobbies?

Dominique:
Yeah. My hobbies, I love the beach. Grew up here in Southern California, I love to surf. That’s probably my favorite hobby. Love to travel around with my husband. We go to like a lot of fun, just new surf spots or different little towns across the country. I love doing that. So yeah, probably surfing and traveling.

David:
Which branch of the military is your husband in?

Dominique:
He actually just got out, but he was in the Navy for like 10 and a half years.

Rob:
Awesome.

David:
Tell him thank you for his service, and if he’s not a real estate fan, have him listen to the episode we did with Jocko Willink. He will definitely know who Jocko is. That can be the gateway drug into BiggerPockets.

Dominique:
Yes.

David:
All right. Dominique, in your opinion, what sets apart successful investors from those who give up, fail, or never get started?

Dominique:
I think it has to do with, you’ve got to want it. You’ve got to want it more than anything else. Maybe not in your life, but it’s got to be up there at the top. When I say that, I don’t necessarily just mean you’ve got to want the money or the financial freedom or being your own boss or having your own schedule. I think you’ve got to want real estate, specifically. There’s plenty of other things you can do to be an entrepreneur and achieve great success, but I think there has to be some element of you that specifically loves something about real estate, and is going to drive you and push you to continue when things get really hard, because you somewhat actually really enjoy what you’re doing.

Rob:
Love it. Okay. Well, finally, Dominique, tell us where people can find out more about you.

Dominique:
Probably the best way, you can either check me out on BiggerPockets. My profile there, Dominique Gunderson, or Instagram, I’m at Dom Flips NOLA, for New Orleans. Those are the best places, I’d say, to reach out, message, or ask any questions any way I can help.

David:
Well, thank you very much, Dominique. This has been fantastic. I think this is one of the better interviews. Not only are you a skilled businesswoman, but you’re also a very good communicator. Has anyone told you that before, out of curiosity?

Dominique:
Maybe once or twice.

David:
Okay. So you’re just like, yes, yes. I know I’m good at everything, please. My ego doesn’t need more padding.

Rob:
You should start a YouTube channel, show people your journey. I think a lot of people would get value from it.

Dominique:
Thank you. No, I really appreciate that, though. All joking aside, David, thank you. I really appreciate the compliment.

David:
Yeah. Thank you for sharing your time with us. If you guys would like to hear more about Dominique’s story, you can catch her out on episode 178 of the InvestHer Podcast, where they go into a little bit more depth and detail. I just want to thank you for your time here today. Any last words you want to leave the audience with before we get out of here, Dominique?

Dominique:
Thank you guys for having me. I really appreciate it. I would encourage anyone who’s listening, if you’re trying to get started in real estate, go take action one way or another, do something that you don’t know how to do currently, and find someone to mentor you, find someone who you can work with. But if you’re just constantly consuming and never actually taking action to do it, you’re never going to get a deal done. So go take action on something, even a little thing that you don’t know how to do, and figure out how to get better at it.

David:
That is awesome. Rob, any last words from you?

Rob:
Oh no. It would not be nearly as cool as what Dominique said.

David:
It’s tough to follow. Right?

Rob:
Yeah. That’s a tough act, for sure.

David:
That’d be like trying to follow a children’s choir singing, You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings. Nobody wants to take that on.

Rob:
That is oddly specific, but I’ll take it.

David:
All right. Thanks a lot, Dominique. This is David Green for Rob Sing Song Abasolo, signing off.

 

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2022-03-24 06:02:53

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