Greg Clark is a Bay Area professional football player turned trustee sale investor. He and his brother have successfully flipped over 400 properties over the past 17 years. California's SB 1079 went into effect on January 21, drastically ch

The Data Driven Real Estate Podcast #28 – Greg Clark, Green Leaf Properties #DDRE28

Written by:
Aaron Norris
Written on:
January 7, 2021

Greg Clark is a Bay Area professional football player turned trustee sale investor. He and his brother have successfully flipped over 400 properties over the past 17 years. California's SB 1079 went into effect on January 21, drastically changing the risks associated with trustee sale foreclosure investing. In this show, Sean and Aaron explore alternatives for trustee sale investors looking for other opportunities and ways they can bring their very unique skills (chocolate) to other strategies, right here in California.

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Show Topics

00:00 The Data Driven Real Estate Podcast Welcomes Greg Clark, of Green Leaf Properties.

01:24 Greg's journey from a professional football player to trustee sale buyer

06:25 The importance of data in the trustee sale game

09:56 How SB1079 and the redemption period is impacting real estate investors?

17:26 California rents are the lowest in the nation?

23:01 What will strategies will trustee sale buyers use if they exit foreclosure investing?

24:48 Importance of title research, risks, and how that translates to other opportunities

26:34 Unique skills that trustee sale buyers bring to other strategies

30:40  How many houses a trustee sale buyer researches to buy just one investment

33:26 Leveraging existing systems into new strategies

46:33 Working with wholesalers and where to find them

42:38 Have they tried to jump to other states?

53:04 Driving for dollars and finding real estate deals

Show Transcript

Aaron Norris  0:06  

Welcome back to the Data Driven Real Estate Podcast, the podcast for real estate professionals dedicated to driving business using data. I'm Aaron Norris, along with Sean O'Toole with PropertyRadar. And today we have Greg Clark, he's a trustee sale buyer out of the Bay Area who has done over 400 transactions over the last decade at the courthouse steps, and of course, California Senate Bill 1079 has really changed strings as of January 1 of this year of the new redemption period, we've covered in an entire show an hour long a couple months ago, I'll make sure to put that in the show notes. But what happens when your cheeses moved? And you are forced to look at new ways of doing business when things out of your control make that happen? Today, that's what we talked about, trustee sale buyers has a completely different skill set than a lot of other investors, one of the hardest strategies for you to deploy in the real estate investing realm. What do you do when you can't do that anymore? We talked about chocolate and peanut butter. Chocolate is what you bring to the table and trustee sale buyers, you have a lot of very unique skills that not all real estate investors have. And when you realize what those skill sets are and what you're passionate about what you're good at how it transfers, we can back it up with data to find you other things to do right here in the Golden State of California. You won't want to miss the show. Hey, Greg, welcome to the program. It's so nice to have you here. Who is Greg Clark?

Greg Clark  1:24  

Hey, well, thank you. What's up, fellas, it's great to be here. Greg Clark is just a guy out there trying to make a living, you know, ex-football player, dumb Stanford Graduate, trying to figure it out. And, you know, it's, I got in this business after I retired from football kind of fell into financing. And pretty quickly after that, in 2004, I was like, I gotta get into real estate investing. I've experimented a little bit with it in 2001-2002, trying to find some some people that were willing to sell their home. You know, didn't have a ton of success. But anyways, long story short, I had a guy that bought a house next to me, in foreclosure. And that was kind of my introduction to and I was like, wow, this is, this is what I was playing. And next thing I knew.

Sean O'Toole  2:13  

I didn't know you're playing football.

Greg Clark  2:15  

Yeah I'm playing football

Sean O'Toole  2:16  

And who did you play for?

Greg Clark  2:20  

Arena League team, the San Francisco 49ers, you know.

Sean O'Toole  2:23  

Just a little, yeah, just just a minor. Yeah.

Greg Clark  2:26  

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So, I did that and when I got I had a career ending injury. And when I had a back surgery I jumped into doing finance and then it just kind of never looked back and.

Sean O'Toole  2:40  

So you've been in the real estate investing pretty much full time since when?

Greg Clark  2:44  

So, I started the investing part of it in right January 2004 was my first was my first purchase and it was I knocked on a door right it was just not a door got the tenants got the owner and she was great. She sold me the property at a good price she doesn't want to deal with it anymore. And I was off to the races and then next thing was I started going down to the court steps in Oakland and just started like watching the guy started tracking stuff I'm like this is interesting how risk, is so naive completely like oblivious to what I was doing.

Sean O'Toole  3:14  

The foreclosure trustee sales right, so?

Greg Clark  3:19  

Yes, so, Trustee sales, non warranty sales you'll have title insurance you better know your stuff you got, you better know you're buying it first I can tell all kinds of stories around trustee sales and the risk involved in them. But I just kind of kept, I caught the bug and I hooked up with a guy down there he kind of like showed me the way you know how to pay some, some strong fees to learn I did some crazy flips in like Parkchester village and some pretty rough areas that kind of earned my stripes so to speak. And I kept some as kept some properties as rentals and kind of went that route. And so, that's kind of how I got into it. And then the downturn happened and holy, it was just, I can't even, I still have trauma from that downturn, seeing it and realizing I'm nine months away from complete bankruptcy, how to make some really, really hard decisions. One of my proudest moments of being able to make it through that, but it took years off my life. And so, I'd already understood the business. So, I was tracking every city, every county, so, when I saw, I had a certain indicator, and when I saw that flip in April of 2008. No one was buying and.

Sean O'Toole  4:31  

Drop bid.

Greg Clark  4:33  

Yeah, I, no one's buying and they start dropping the bids. And I was like, I'm going and I was down, I was literally down to probably $500,000. But if you counted every, that's liquid, if I counted all the debt, I was negative. So, I was negative. And I just like I'm going to go forward, I'm either going to lose it all or I'm going to be successful. And you know, the rest is history, right? It was a greatest investing error that we'll ever see in our entire lifetime. And, you know, it was super hard, super risky. You know, you're trying, you're doing anyways, I could I could go on.

Sean O'Toole  5:06  

What kind of volume are you doing? And, you know, did you do how many deals.

Greg Clark  5:10  

So, from 2008 to present, you don't really slow down, 2017 you know that type of frame. But during that time we did over 400 deals.

Sean O'Toole  5:21  

Yeah.

Greg Clark  5:21  

And, and that's just me and my brother. So, it wasn't like we were out there raising a fund, we weren't, we were doing our bootstraps, doing it ourselves, building our own system, and then leveraging it with as fortunate to have some commercial lines already established. And so, we're leveraging with commercial lines, it wasn't like we were dealing with hard money or anything like that. So, it was personal guarantees, short term balloon notes, and just trying to go through this revolving line of credit as fast as we could, because we really, this is going to last is this going to be two years, it's gonna be 18 months. And we're going to be back to when mortgages, you know, lending again, what's the opportunity here. And because there was such a slow movement by the feds and by the government to try to cure the system try to help the system, it seemed just got like, prolonged out and out and out. I'm like, I can't believe worse in 2014, still buying, you know, defaulted Fremont loans or new century loans, or some of these Stern, Bear Stearns loans. And so that was kind of the route we went, and it was a great, it's been. And what I have to say is, Sean and I, I've sent you a message before, that your software, I got, I was one of the early adopters, like I think it was late 2007, somewhere around there, someone put me in touch really early. Yeah, we're super early is probably the last time we actually spoke, you're like on the phone trying to explain to me, hey, so this is we're just kind of learning we're beta version, you know, it'll get better it was, here's your free service for the next 12 months, or 18 months, or whatever it was, might even been two years, you gave it to me, I can't remember. But that was life changing. For me, that software literally changed my life, it allowed me to have some independence, some freedom, it led me to build it build a system that I felt was gonna work well for me. And it was incredible. So, it was able to rebound, my rebound my way back, you know, I'm in a super good position now. And, you know, I can't, I can't personally give you enough props, or gratitude or things, and, honestly, that you're still around doing this, I thought you're gonna go, I thought, I thought you're gonna go down when the trustee sells so, so I feel bad for Sean and all these investments. And so, the way you've transformed it, and gone national, the way that you're mining data, it's just, it's, kudos to you the way your brain works. It's just really brilliant. And, you know, congratulations on all your success. So, thank you from a guy that you probably don't get enough props enough for it.

Sean O'Toole  7:51  

Well, thank you for that, because that's exactly why I do it, right? Like, at the end of the day, you know, hearing that story is what gets me up in the morning. And, you know, we've been fortunate we've had, we've done that for thousands and thousands of people, and, you know, not just at the trustee sales, either, but with all kinds of different investing sides. And then, you know, the number of Realtors that, you know, were basically out of business in 2008, but then found us and were able to mine for short sales, and, you know, not only survive, but thrive and have a bigger business than they had before. Yeah, it's definitely what keeps me going. So, thank you very much for that.

Greg Clark  8:36  

Yeah, people don't understand what other people were doing to get that data, right? You had people that literally were sitting in rooms cutting newspaper, notice of default, and notice of, well excuse me notice of sells, well actually notice the default and notice of sells and putting them into their Dos program, and then generating lists. I mean, it was so what you did was so much more harder, I think, than what people can appreciate. And then doing it at the scale that you've done it being able to monetize it the way you've done it. It's really it to be honest with you you should be a case study for like a Harvard Business School case study it's, it's, it's, you seriously you should it's one of those crazy incredible stories of data mining and now I hear stuff that guys are doing I'm like, 'What? virtual assistant in the Philippines mining data for' what is go, what is going on in this this world?

Sean O'Toole  9:32  

It always we have a map right, that shows where our users are logging in from.

Greg Clark  9:36  

Oh my god!

Sean O'Toole  9:37  

It's incredible, the number of folks that are logged in from the Philippines and India working on behalf of some investor here and doing stuff on a very daily basis. So yeah, you're totally right about that.

Greg Clark  9:50  

Yeah, it's wild to see so it's, it's that's a whole new world to me that I haven't you know, I haven't even dived into yet.

Sean O'Toole  9:56  

So, we're here today because your world changed January 1, like you've had this business trustee sales, it's been down the pandemic really put a slow down with the moratoriums, and the eviction moratoriums, that was already hard. And then California came in with this crazy law, SB, Senate Bill 1079. And really kind of just threw the whole foreclosure thing up into the air, it's a really poorly written law, lots of uncertainty around it. Lots of uncertainty for trustees, lots of uncertainty for title companies, and a lot more than uncertainty for guys like you who've been down there. You know, I just want to frame this up, like, I don't think most people, people are like, 'Oh, those investors, those guys that go down and buy foreclosures', you know that the Moms 4 Housing thing in Oakland and the rest and like their, houses just sitting vacant, what was sitting vacant, because the freakin' City of Oakland wouldn't approve, you know, it takes forever to get approvals to fix the thing up, right? That's the only reason it was sitting vacant. It's not like it's some evil corporatio. The number of properties that investors like you have purchased, right, with no title insurance, for all cash, like no homeowner can buy this property, right? It's, It's a mess, it has it still has the owner or an occupant living in it, it has to be dealt with, I mean, the number of issues there and you clean all of that up, and put it back on the market for first time homebuyers, for folks that need financing, etc, right? It's this really valuable service. And for some reason, you know, 10 years what, but more than that, you know, 13 years after this crisis is over, they decide, oh, we need to go change this whole thing and mess it all up, and, and really kind of put you out of business January 1.

Greg Clark  11:55  

Yeah. So, it's really you've hit the nail on the head. And I appreciate the way you frame that, because people don't realize the service that a lot of people like me would do for the process. And people don't understand, like how clouded title would get. And so, people would do all kinds of things, to play the games to circumvent the system to delay the sell to delay the eviction. BK filings going from the state, you know, then filing in the federal system for the BK and that takes a superiority to the state system. So, the state defers and you're they play this game going back and forth, right. So there's, there's a lot, a lot of risk involved. And you have to really know what you're doing have a good attorney that can help you navigate through that, that but it but more importantly, the trustee sale process is a process to clean up a bunch of muck, you know, you talk to a really good title officers or title, people in the plans. So they say, we love the foreclosure process, because it gives us a blank slate, it's a clean slate, to expunge everything and just start over people throw all kinds of liens on it trying to, you know, get as much money as they can in the system, you know, trying to attach to the property, and it just cleans the whole thing. So, you're right, that's the hard part is this new law has complicated a system that was set up to help alleviate a problem that occurs in the background of all the different ways you can try to beat the system and navigate it. And and so it's hard to be in a sense.

Sean O'Toole  13:17  

Not investors trying to beat the system homeowners.

Greg Clark  13:19  

Oh, yes. Yeah.

Sean O'Toole  13:21  

You know, the homeowners that end up in this situation, a lot of times they've done all kinds of crazy stuff to try to extract as much value.

Greg Clark  13:28  

Yes.

Sean O'Toole  13:28  

And you know, I am a firm believer in homeownership and I don't even low downpayment, things I believe should be available. But, but on the other side, we need to be realistic that if somebody put very little down or nothing down, and they stop making their payments, they don't really truly have some right to say that this is my home and that I should get to stay here even if I don't make the payments, right? The contract when they went in was right? I am. I'm going to get the opportunity to be a homeowner in exchange for making these payments. If I don't make these payments, I'm losing my opportunity as a homeowner, right? And not only that, but we have the best system in the world, right period. Like it's the most consumer friendly, not best, most consumer friendly system in the world that says okay, if I get in there, and I don't make my payments, I still get to live there for free for quite a while, right? As I go through this whole process, I still get a ton of notices, I still get opportunities for mediation, I still get a million things before I even lose the house,right? So, all of that existed and SB1079 now comes in and says that's not enough. After the house is sold at the auction. We're going to do this whole other process after the auction that 'Oh, by the way, we didn't document or make clear at all', right? so, I should let you talk. But obviously, I'm clearly fired up about this SB1079. And not in a good way.

Greg Clark  15:07  

Yeah, you've hit it, you've hit the nail on the head so well and your description of it, you had a clean process. And people don't really appreciate what we go in there and do because most of these properties are not like clean properties. Most of these properties are problematic properties, they haven't been maintained. They have code violations, they have maintenance, you know, you're there's already fines from the city because they're not maintaining the yard, they're, they're lived in hard. Sometimes you have like 20 cats. And these, you know, you see it all, and he's, and so, we're going in there, and cleaning up the whole situation beautifying the property, if you look at a flip from most flips from the beginning to the end, it's a pretty big transformation that takes place. And it's a beautiful transformation that helps the community, it elevates home values, it helps the neighborhood, it brings in a good homebuyer generally. And even if you make that property, a rental, which is I know what they're worried about is all these rentals by corporations, is people deserve to rent a single-family house, people who rent just shouldn't have to rent apartment complexes, and you know, two bedroom condos, a family who makes money but doesn't have good credit should have the right to be able to rent a home that has four bedrooms, that has a yard that, their kids can be part of integrated into a community. And that gets alleviated without this process, and so now you throw up in the air and so our 5013 you know, the people who become the the ability the bonafide secondary bidders in this process, you know, primary occupants and 5013c's Are they really, do they really understand the magnitude of what they're going to take on by buying uninsured trust deed, that doesn't have insurance, they're paying all cash, then they got to go evict and deal with the tenant did did, my big thing is I get what they're trying to do. But the legislature's should have brought some people in and said, ground, on the on the ground floor and really understood better, kind of the problems we're creating, because I just don't see 5013c's coming in and doing all this rehab and then running out to it, you know, especially if you're paying, we're all time highs, right values, values to rents right now are way wacky in the Bay Area.

Sean O'Toole  17:26  

I put it this way. And I think it's important we start using this. And I think I'd like to see every investor start to say this, like rents in California are the lowest in the nation.

Greg Clark  17:38  

That's mind boggling.

Sean O'Toole  17:40  

Per function, per function as of the value of the property, right? It's some of the lowest returns in the nation. So, if you own a property that you put up for rent, you are getting some of the worst returns in the nation, right. So, I would say rents are the lowest in California that they are anywhere in the nation as a function of home price.

Greg Clark  18:06  

Yeah, you've hit it real. And that's exactly what happened to me in 2007. I had these rentals. I had had them over leveraged because in my world, everybody was saying, hey, Real Estate's never gone down back to back here. It'll never even in the savings alone scan, you know, this, this and this. And, you know, you always had an I'm talking like smart economists, like people I was going to listen to that were economists for big companies that were saying that real estate companies and so what did I do? I'm like, Okay, I'll go and just leverage this up and do this and do that. And then when the downturn happened, it really, um, what's, what's, what's the word I want to use for it? It's basically stung by high leverage, you know, I was like, stung mentally. And I will never, I will never do that again, right? I will never go there again. And it's probably hurt me. I'll do some short term debt to get through a property but in terms of math, going out and leveraging and do not because I can see how fast something can turn. And then you're in a difficult situation like right now, if the federal government wasn't just writing checks like crazy for people unemployment, it would be a complete nightmare, because in April, May, there's a lot of landlords that were freaking out over what was happening, local landlords, right? And rents weren't coming in and then all of a sudden those checks came in and things got better and people are still able to keep in the high 80 to 90% range on their collections depending on their area and their demographics. But yeah, it's it's so hard.

Sean O'Toole  19:38  

I'm just gonna come back. So, SB1079, we did a whole separate podcast on that. And people that want to learn more about that should go listen to that bottom line, your world change. January 1st, not... doesn't look very good for you for your business have gone down to the trustee sales, cleaning up these properties, putting them back on the market, that business may be over, at least and tell. I mean, this SB1079 has what? It's two years or three years, but for the next two or three years, we'll see how it goes. We're watching it closely.

Greg Clark  20:12  

Isn't it five? The only two or three?

Sean O'Toole  20:14  

We might be five? Yeah.

Greg Clark  20:16  

I thought it was five when I think folks, I listen that podcast before, which was super, super informative. Yes. So, my life, my life has changed. I kind of went up into the mountains, when, when COVID hit and have a house up by Yosemite Half Dome, grew, I've never had a beard like this grew five inch beard, became like a meditation mountain man, and then came back to civilization, and was just like shocked to see this new bill and to read through it. And then and then then to really understand it, and try to understand it. And now seeing how it's playing out. Everyone I've talked to who's been doing this business for a long period of time, is taking a wait and see approach. You know, right now, we still have so many more moratoruims, I think on all the federal related loans, that you're not seeing a lot of stuff coming to sell at the steps. But there's definitely things that need, go ahead.

Sean O'Toole  21:15  

No, I said, but you have cash. Yeah, you're ready and willing buyer, right. And you want to keep investing, you want to keep cleaning up houses, you want to keep making them available to folks, you want to keep going? And so, the big question, and I think the primary reason we're having this conversation today is to do some brainstorming about what does Greg do tomorrow? Like, what were you? How do you shift now that this has happened, right? And how do we help you if we can, right, in that shift and and make it happen and get you back in business when the trustee sales or perhaps shutdown are a little higher risk than you want to go with? Is that? Right? That's what we want to do. Right?

Greg Clark  22:00  

That's a fair assessment. So, to give you the answer, right, this very second is, I'm just gonna, I'm not afraid to say I don't know. And so what I'm doing right now, and what I've done for probably the last four to five days is I have absorbed myself in reading and learning and understanding difference, different segments of the business, the opportunities that might arise from going out and networking with wholesale guys, guys, that I can go build a relationship with that I think are trustworthy, they're ethical, they're just good people. And go out there, my big thing is, if you work hard, you're relentless, you're a good person, you're kind of people, eventually things are gonna work out in your favor, right? It might take a little bit longer, but things are gonna work out and they're gonna, and you're gonna, and you're gonna do well. So, for me right now.

Sean O'Toole  22:54  

We've got hundreds of customers that have been going to trustee sales that are in exactly the same boat as you, it used to be thousands, right?

Greg Clark  23:01  

Right.

Sean O'Toole  23:01  

The trustee sales have slowed down, and it's whittled down to hundreds, right? So, but there's hundreds of guys trying to figure out exactly the same thing as you right now. And so, I want to walk through that. And I want to talk through, like some ideas and the rest and what we can do there. We talk a lot about chocolate and peanut butter, right? Like, so, we've got data, which we call the peanut butter, right? But, you know, everybody wants that, like secret list, like, oh, if I just mailed to this list, I'm going to make $100,000 a house right? And it doesn't exist, right? It's you, you are gonna have to bring something to the table. And one of the things I love about trustee sale investors is you bring some unique stuff to the table right off the bat, right? That almost nobody else does. And and so, I want to start by just kind of walking through those things right? So, one is you buy every house without title insurance. Yeah.

Greg Clark  24:04  

Huge risk you got to be able to know what you're doing with title you got to either have someone that you really trust in a title plant those relationships and you got to do some educated decision making right? and, and the best that you can.

Sean O'Toole  24:19  

And how long does it take you from the time you have an address, the time you make a determination on whether what you're willing to buy that house on a title side.

Greg Clark  24:28  

You know, I've been fortunate that i've i've been pretty good at developing relationships. And so, I've been able to get pretty high up in, in, in title plants and with different people. And also having volume helps and I've been able to get in there and so I can typically get a pretty good answer fairly quick. But sometimes I'll send my list out and try to narrow it down because they don't want to spend a ton of time doing that kind of stuff. And then if I'm still unsure, I'll do a secondary check with someone higher up on a particular property. Just to make sure someone that I really, really trust and I really value and I kind of get the green light

Sean O'Toole  25:04  

Same day, right?

Greg Clark  25:05  

They can, yeah, they can still make mistakes, right? They've not been, you still have issues even with that stuff that pops up. They're like, Oh, I didn't, yeah, that was harder to find document.

Sean O'Toole  25:16  

My point is, is you can look at a property.

Greg Clark  25:19  

Yeah.

Sean O'Toole  25:20  

You know, in the morning and that afternoon, make a decision, whether you're willing to take the risk on title to buy it or not.

Greg Clark  25:26  

Actually quicker than that. Sometimes I'm looking at a property that sells coming up, we're just barely getting there. We're doing that evaluation, why it's being write off. You're trying to make that assessment, you might still have title on the other on a separate phone, where they're just checking something something out. And you're it can come that close to the, to the timeframe. And so, you're making decisions back in the day, you're making decisions within seconds, it seemed like like, go go, go go. And then that would be the difference of you making an extra 50 to 100 grand versus not. So, the, so the benefit is today, if there's someone out there that wants to offload a property, or there's a wholesaler that says, hey, I want to, I want a guy that just can make a quick decision. I don't want to deal with this, this and this, and all these inspections and all these nuances that are going to come from someone that wants to be more careful that you come to a guy like me, who's been doing this for 17 years, make super fast, quick decisions can look at a property say yeah, I'll take it for this amount of dollars, or you want to give me for this and the decision can be made pretty quickly, right? It's not like they're having to hem-and-haw, or worry about it. And I'm used to that.

Sean O'Toole  26:34  

There are some differences, though. So, we need to be like so if you're going to go out directly to a homeowner and say, 'Hey, listen, I can make this decision right now today', right? Like, because what I'm getting at here is trustee sale, investors have this ability to do this quick due diligence, right?

Greg Clark  26:50  

Right.

Sean O'Toole  26:50  

And they're willing to take on some risk. And they do it at pretty low margins really, right, when you look at what they do. And pretty much everybody else that's coming in with an offer is gonna need a 30 day escrow is gonna need inspections, right, even these iBuyers and these folks that are coming in, they all are still planning to come in and do all their inspections and nickel and dime that owner later and all the rest, right?So, I mean, this is a huge advantage for the trustee sale investors. And I realized they like just going down to the auction and the rest, but they have a huge built in advantage. There is one key difference, though, is like, okay, you decide you're going to do a deal, you're going to buy that place from that owner, you're going to do it today, right? It's a little different than getting a trustees deed because a trustees deed cleans up a bunch of stuff, you're now you're going to do like a grant deed, and it's not going to clean up that stuff.

Greg Clark  27:47  

Yes.

Sean O'Toole  27:47  

So, it is there is a little risk there. A new risk. There are different risks, there, you know, for a trustee sale buyer to go buy directly from homeowners. But there's also this huge advantage they have over pretty much every other investor out there and that they can make decisions quickly. You can make decisions quickly.

Greg Clark  28:07  

Right. Yeah. So, you've hit you've nailed it pretty good. I think that's true. There's some quick decisions. Obviously, if someone's selling their property in a different, in that type of forum, you don't have a trustee sell that cleans it up, you know, you want to open up the title and have a quick title search, done. So, it's done, kind of in an efficient way, a professional way.

Sean O'Toole  28:28  

I gotta tell you, though, I did multiple deals. As a trustee sale investor, I started doing direct mail. And I did multiple deals, or I did a grant deed, and a cashier's check the same day the person called me.

Greg Clark  28:44  

Really? That's fascinating.

Sean O'Toole  28:47  

And nobody else can do that other than a trustee sale investor, right? And yes, the title has to look okay, and you got to do all that stuff. But like, and I'm not suggesting to all of our trustee sale investors that they go do that. But if you think about the differentiator, that is, right, and how much of that process you already have as being a trustee sale investor, it's not a stretch, to get to that position.

Greg Clark  29:15  

That's a great avenue, it's a great way to look at it, just making sure the person you're giving the check to is actually the person on title.

Sean O'Toole  29:25  

There's multiple important things to do there. For sure.

Greg Clark  29:28  

Yeah. I could see someone being like, hey, yeah, and then you realize that there's another person on title right? And and then all of a sudden you have you could be in a pickle or a predicament. Bu,t yeah, you know, if you're someone that's super diligent understands that you've vetted the person. There are some definite advantages that you could do that. If in fact,

Sean O'Toole  29:51  

And you do have relationships with title companies. So, you might be able to do set up a quick close program with your title company where they do at least check, you know certain things and give you some sort of insurance policy maybe with some more exceptions than their normal policy. But that's something else I think is worth looking at for you as a, as a past trustee sale investor now looking for other alternatives.

Greg Clark  30:17  

Yeah, it's a great option. It's a it's an option. That's certainly there certainly available. Yeah. So, it's it's trying to explore that whole avenue and trying to absorb all that information. And then try to narrow down, my big thing is like taking as much as you can try to understand it, and then figure out what you're good at because.

Sean O'Toole  30:35  

I'm going to keep throwing ideas that you here. So that's what we're going to spend the next 30 minutes doing.

Aaron Norris  30:41  

Greg, I've got a question for you, I think it says a lot about you that you stuck around at the trustee sale investor space, because it has been more difficult. And what people might not know is, this is a question, how many houses did you have to see to buy one at the trustee sale?

Greg Clark  30:53  

Oh, geez. Whew, that's a, I would say, you know, sometimes people say 50, I'd even say maybe more than that, maybe even like 75 to 100. I don't mean just like see, I'm talking about do all the research on you all the title, do everything that you have to do and inspections. It is laborious. It is a lot of work. It is time consuming. And that's why people can't stick with it. Because they're like, 'Oh, this isn't worth it'. And I'm like, you know what, you have to go out every single day. You can't miss a sell, you can't miss an opportunity. And if you do that consistently all the time. That's why I tell people you can't be a part time worker here. You can't be a part time Realtor and a part time real estate investor I'm in but I've been a real estate broker since 2002. And you can't do both. You can do it maybe when there's a ton of stuff. But when when it's a situation where you're, you have to be out there every single day, every day. And it is like people who don't do trustee sales they think that 'Oh, you just go down to the court steps and sit around and wait for a property and you're buying it sight unseen. It's, it's super easy'. You guys understand what it's like to do the work. I'm like, 'Are you kidding me? This is like, so hard to do'. And to do it relentlessly and consistently every day. So yeah, you're right, probably 100, I say probably 175 to 100 properties to one.

Aaron Norris  32:16  

I wanted to bring that up.

Sean O'Toole  32:16  

You've taken a photo of each of those. You've done comparables on each of those to figure out value. You've done a title research on each of those, right?

Greg Clark  32:27  

Or, or you kind of get out to the property you see you're like it's off the list, you know, so you kind of like weed them out pretty quick. Or you can do a Google Drive. I've made the mistake right before I do a Google Drive. I'm like, Oh, geez, that's a disaster. And this is how, this is one that just happened a few months ago. I was like, Oh, that's a disaster. I want to go on that. Well, unbeknownst to me, I just did a Google search. I didn't even take the time to look it up on the MLS. It's this beautiful remodeled property. And I'm like, Are you kidding me? What was I thinking? Someone? You know, it was still was kind of a little bit of a thin risky deal. But I was just kicking myself. I'm like, how did you not like take the time to just look on the, so, sometimes you get you see something you don't do the complete work, because you see so many of them that you get, get a little lazy. Does that make sense? He's kind of like mark it off. Because you only have so much time to look at look at stuff. Yeah. But yeah, you do a lot of work. So, I agree with you a lot of work that goes into it, but you try to weed them out as fast as you can, because you only have so much time when it's.

Sean O'Toole  33:26  

Just turn that around right? And which is you already have the systems in place to go out and take photos and do due diligence and to go to a next level on a list, right? That your average investor doesn't do most. So, let's just step back. most investors like to do direct mail or cold calling or whatever they're calling on a list. But they haven't taken the time to look through a photo, they haven't taken the time to drive by the property. They haven't done any title research, right? They're waiting to hear first from the owner that they're a willing seller.

Greg Clark  33:58  

Right.

Sean O'Toole  34:00  

You know, and then they'll go do that research. So, they're doing a research only when they have somebody on the hook. It's a, it's a completely different business in a lot of ways. And you could go all the way over here. But what I want to talk about is with you as a trustee sale investor, how do you leverage these things that you are uniquely good at that differentiates you from every other investor? So one is you can do title insurance really quickly too. You can do the inspections really quickly and and you're willing to buy a house just looking at the outside not even going on the inside? Not getting a pest report. Not getting right, all of that right. It's what you've had to do all these years. All 100 deals.

Greg Clark  34:43  

I nipped in the butt sometimes that's for sure it but yeah, you you have to bake it into the deal right. So, you have to kind of bake in a certain element of risk. You got to say hey, you can use it generally look at a property and tell from the exterior components of it the yard, the way the outside maintenance is and you can say, Okay, if outside looks like this inside probably is going to look like this and just make that natural assumption, where you get yourself in trouble is when you, you realize, like, I have all this H back a special situation, it's done, it's not functioning, so I got to bring in a qualified person to remove it, I've got electrical, that's all outdated. So, if I go update the kitchen, now I got to redo all the electrical, and then all the, all the plumbing needs to go from one type of plumbing to, so, there's all these things that go through your head. So, you kind of have to bake that in and say, 'Hey, here's my best case scenario'. But I can do that pretty fast. So, there is some advantages to that to be able to make that determination, that decision, say, 'Hey, here's the value of this property fixed up back all the costs out, assume if it's a certain age home, you're going to have these additional costs', and come up to a number pretty quick, you've just done it so many times, you can just ballpark it. And sometimes it works out, you're a little bit below that sometimes you go kind of skyrocket above it, but that's part of the risk of the business. And so, you kind of bake it in. And if you go too thin of margins in this business, I've just learned, if you're impatient, and you're so ready to throw your money, which a lot of guys right now are doing, a lot of guys are very impatient. And they say they want to rush into a deal and they want to buy it because they want to be that guys, that wholesalers number one guy, and so they might take on a level of risk, or even leverage it in a way that I see a lot of guys leveraging leveraging properties now on flips, that they're leveraging their entire purchase price, and then they're having a secondary person come in and leverage with an IRA the entire remodel cost, I'm like, Wow, that is. That is that is, uh, for the investor side of it. That's pretty, pretty. I don't know what I want to say, but it's you got some, you got some components to, to be making decisions. So, yeah, go ahead, I'm just in that formula sheet.

Sean O'Toole  36:49  

I'm gonna keep giving, I'm gonna keep going, I want to first talk about chocolate, and then we're going to talk about some ideas of things you can do that I think might be, you know, might actually you might actually find you have a better year this year than you did last year in trustee sales, that's my goal for you, I want you to have your, I want you to have one, it's gonna be hard to repeat 2009-2010.

Greg Clark  37:10  

It will never happen again.

Sean O'Toole  37:12  

Those will probably never happen again. But I want you to have I want your 2021 to be better than 2019 or 2020. And I want to help you get there, okay? And every other trustee sale investor, that's listening, right? That that's, that's our goal here. So, like, there's some of these things that are just baked in, right? I think each of our trustee sale investor customers, like you probably also bring something else kind of personal, right? Like, I knew a guy was really good at, you know, doing cash for keys and getting folks to move out without having to go through eviction. That's an important skill right now, right? Another guy really good at like, you know, older homes, and he buy the older ones that nobody else wanted, because he was a contractor and he could do he knew how to do foundation repair and those kinds of things that are can come up and really cost you on older homes that keep people away, right? Some folks are really good relationship guys back on the non trustee sale, folks, like most of our trustee sale, folks are over there because they don't want to deal with people. But on the other side, right, the wholesalers and stuff like they're really good at talking people up in the rest, right? So, any, anything like that for you, I just want to know, before we get into ideation, anything like that, for that, for you that you think like a personal strength, you and your partner or whatever that differentiates you from other investors, or at least is is something unique, anything along those lines you could think of other than all the trustee sale stuffs. Awesome. We're gonna count that all in.

Greg Clark  38:53  

Right? Yeah, no, I so I have a brother who is partner with me. He's been out here since 2000, I think seven summer 2000, maybe 2005 2006. And he's, he's really, really good. I think we're both really good at working with people. So the cash for keys, situation, problem solving. No, really, you become if you want to be a real estate investor, you got to be a real estate problem solver or people problem solver. You got to be able to help people see things when their judgment is clouded by the turmoil of just life circumstances. And we can let people see things clearly. And build a relationship and report them. It's amazing the things that you can do the things that you can figure out with, with a homeowner or with a tenant, or working out an arrangement. So, I think the people skills is an asset of ours. I think it's an, it's an area that I can really improve on to right I'm not coming in here saying I'm really good at this because I haven't been doing it for the last 15 years. But so there's a humility factor there where I realize the biggest thing that I'm realizing in this process, Sea and in Aaron is for me, I have to be willing to be Be humble, to realize there's a lot of stuff I don't know. And there's a lot of people out there that know a lot more than I do in areas that I don't know stuff. And so if I'm just going to be an arrogant, wealthy guy that can go out there, and I've done it this way, and I'm gonna keep doing it this way, I don't think you're gonna have a lot of success, I think you have to be super humble, and be willing that you have to almost go, but I feel like I'm in 2004, again, where I'm out at the court steps of first time trying to figure it out and navigate and learn my way. And so, I think if you have a dose of humility, and a willingness to like embrace new concepts, new ways, new relationships, new ideas, and you're gonna have to work on different techniques and a different style than you have in the past. And you.

Sean O'Toole  40:49  

I also think I totally agree with everything you just said. But combine that humility on the what you don't know, right, the whole bunch of friggin swagger that you're a trustee sale investor, because trustee sale investors are the baddest ass investors out there period, right, they take on more risk, they do more, like I just I have more respect for trustee sale investors, like just the amount of risk the number of issues you take on and the rest like so. So, I think A. have that humility, that you've got to go do something ne, right. And, and there's things to learn. But also bring don't just go do because guess what? There aren't very many trustee sale investors that have made this switch? Yeah, right.

Greg Clark  41:36  

Right.

Sean O'Toole  41:37  

So, there's isn't really anybody for you to go and model and learn from are not very many, right? And so, this is a really interview, just go model and learn from the guys that are wholesaling and doing these other things. You're not gonna bring all this stuff you learned, right from trustee sale investing to this side, you're gonna leave that behind. And I think you can take one plus one and make it five.

Greg Clark  42:04  

Yeah, no, you bring up a great point. And that's kind of the process. Look, I'm not too prideful enough to admit that I'm in a formulation process right now. So, I'm formulating how to merge the two together. And so, I have all these, I have all these like ingredients. But I haven't figured out the measuring cups, so to speak of how to put that whole formula together to bake a really good cake. So, right now, I might be missing sugar, I might be missing flour, I might be missing the eggs, or you know all the dip or bake whatever it is. And I'm in that process of go ahead.

Sean O'Toole  42:38  

Let me keep throwing, so I want to keep throwing stuff at you and getting your feedback or like, 'Oh, that sounds good. Or that doesn't sound good for me' like okay, so some ideas that I have, right? So, now that we you've got this relationship people skills, right? You've got your trusty sales skills, that's that's your chocolate, right? I've got data, I've got peanut butter, like let's mix these things up and make something good and give you a great year. So, big picture possibilities. If you're a trustee sale investor in California, this has happened to you what do you do? Big possibility, right. Number one, keep doing what you're doing. But do it in other states, right? There's Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Texas, right? You go into the judicial states, and that starts to be something a little different, but about half the country is is trustee sales. It's exactly what you've been doing, right? I would say a couple challenges there one, and I would love your thought Have you thought about other states? And what's keeping you from doing that? Or are you attracted to that? Where do you stand on that?

Greg Clark  43:43  

Sure. So, certainly I did a whole evaluation on let me tell you the first thing I did the first thing I did that I had not done is I went started watching all the tutorials on PropertyRadar. I think that was the first step right I just was like I don't need to listen to this I got my system down I know what I'm doing I got I know how I'm using the data. And so that's the first step I did was I went you guys have some really really good stuff and so for all the trustee sellers, I'd say look, the first thing you need to do is don't be too prideful to educate yourself on what radar can offer set up tutorials I got a tutorial right after this with you guys to try to go through and to look at different ways and different avenues to take what you're talking about the the peanut butter, the chocolate, whatever you guys have, and be able to figure out how I can incorporate that into what I want to do as I try to formulate my path going forward. So, that's the first thing I would say the second thing when it comes to like going to other states sure we've looked at that and then you look at the complexity like okay to go move there to set up to set up shop to understand a rule area to develop the relationships it's, it's a pretty big monumental task when you kind of.

Sean O'Toole  44:50  

You like where you live you don't want to move your kids family wife friends.

Greg Clark  44:54  

Yes, you have all that and so you really want to uproot your your whole like, there comes a point in life where you cherish just, just being alive and having friends. And there's a lot more than, than making money. It's about spending time with family. It's about spending time in the mountains, hiking, biking, doing all those different things. And so you got to evaluate that whole thing. And so, do you want so what I did is I did a deep dive analysis on all other states, I went to every single state, I went in and looked at all their trustee sales for the past 12 years, I broke down the data, I looked at the points of purchase, I kind of did a quick ABM on kind of where to see what the spreads and the margins were, it taught me a lot about what those states were, if I were to ever move, where I would want to go, where I would not want to go, there's definitely areas I'm like, geez, I'm not going there. Because those are the compression ratio is like the worst I've ever seen. And then you go somewhere else, you'd be like, hey, there's some opportunities here. And but then it comes down to the you want to go set up a JV venture with someone else, and try to go that route. And again, the foreclosure process is super risky. So, do you trust someone else in another state to do that for you? Kind of like a bigger project, like some of the bigger companies that do this do..

Sean O'Toole  46:05  

You're handing people checks for half million million bucks a day to go down to the sales for you? It's scary. So okay, so so, other states that's out for you? Not doing that.

Greg Clark  46:14  

I want to say it's a, I want to say it's out. I just know how complicated it is doing it locally. And I'm just a big, big believer, if you can't figure out how to do it in your backyard. If you can't figure out how to do it, where you live, and where you're at, your, your problems aren't going to be easier just going somewhere else.

Sean O'Toole  46:33  

I think another great one, right, just I'm gonna keep us moving for time another great one. And you've talked about this, and I think you're interested in this is building a wholesaler network, right? And having guys bring you deals because you can evaluate those deals quickly, you're good at that. You've got the cash to buy those deals. And so if you've got a network of guys bringing new deals, there's plenty of guys out there that want to get started in real estate, but don't have the cash don't have the sophistication you have, you can teach them a lot, right? So, you have a lot to offer them.

Greg Clark  47:09  

Yeah, that's that's probably the avenue that we're kind of honing in, in the short term anyways, trying to figure out and I've done a lot of research recently, I kind of know who the players are, I've kind of done some reverse engineering, I kind of see what they're doing, how they're doing it. There's some really good people out there on a small scale, there's some ones, there's a lot of small scale people that a few bigger, but it's also going out and having to develop a relationship with those people, and being able to have rapport and being able to. So, you got to be able to have that that element. But yeah, if you can go in and add some, if you can bring some Moxie in terms of experience and say, hey, look, I get this business, I understand I get what you're doing, I appreciate what you're you know how you're doing this, it's pretty remarkable. I want to be a part of this. And here's what I have to offer, I can bring in this set of skills, and we can either JV on a deal, or we can actually just pay a fee and move on. And and you guys if you want to go that route, if you want have a bigger piece of the pie and want a JV on it great, you want to learn the process, kind of how I see it from the very beginning to the end, and learn that part of the business because that's a hard part of the business, right people don't, don't really appreciate how much it is to find good vendors that can do the work for you at a price. That makes sense. Because if you just go by a contractor and say I need you to do this whole job for me, you're not going to make very much money. So, you might have a contractor that you have a relationship with that can be the umbrella. But then you got to plug in all these subs that you've used over the years who you like, and you trust, and they're going to be there on time, they're not going to be sniffing paint and gone one day and there the next day. And you know, you have all these, you have all these, you know what I'm talking about you we've all had these experiences. So, you bring a certain skill set to the table, that someone else who's younger might want to learn or someone else who's wholesaling says, You know, I like this guy. I want to be able to do business with someone where I have a deal, he gets it, he sees the numbers, and I want him on my buyers list. And I probably want to go to him first because I you know I can make I'm gonna make a certain margin, I can be in and out. And I can move on to the next deal. Cuz there's guys that just want to do that, right. So, there's a couple, there's a couple different avenues that we're looking at. And we're kind of exploring that right now.

Sean O'Toole  49:22  

So, I think wholesalers, right, you got to build that network, right? It's definitely a relationship building thing. Have you have you tried yet going to the real estate investor clubs, most of them have the haves and wants and you stand up and say, hey, I've done 400 deals, I've got cash, and I'll buy all the wholesale deals you can bring me like, it's I you know, it's one place to go. Have you done that yet?

Greg Clark  49:47  

That's one where we've we've actually been aggregating that that information. In fact, I was just talking to Aaron yesterday is like, Hey, give me some because Aaron speaks at a lot of these different groups. He kind of knows them and so we're kind of at It's funny, it's like I'm in that point right now where I keep I have so many ideas in my head. And I'm like an idea guy, and I gotta like, I'm in the process of trying to like, I gotta narrow it down to a focus, laser, focus on a couple things. Focus on that, and then massage the other areas as I'm going. So, the number one thing is to get absorbed into, we're in COVID-19. So, it's kind of hard to just go like, hey, go hang out at a investor club, or.

Sean O'Toole  50:25  

Most of them have moved online to zoom calls. So, yeah, I can totally do it.

Greg Clark  50:29  

So, that's the thing is we're starting to reach out to some of those starting to understand who those people are the people who are participants in them, trying to find groups on Facebook, you know, social media, people that are trying to push and promote and advertise and network that way. So, we're in the beginning.

Sean O'Toole  50:46  

We'll make sure any wholesalers listening here, get your contact info and reach out to you as well.

Greg Clark  50:51  

Let me let me do a. Let me do a shameless plug. 925-989-7800. There you go. Greg, Greg, greenleafproperties.net. You know, hit me up open for business, ready to ready to go, you know, hit 2021, and a full stride so yeah, hit me up anytime. I'd love to either try to work a deal or just even if you want mentorship, you want to use a lot of different avenues that, I love teaching. I love being a part of that. I love developing relationships. I like good people. You know, that's one of the reasons why Sean and Aaron, you guys are such both of you are great people, great people skills, just you're kind. You have good hearts. And that's kind of what I like to mesh with this people like that.

Sean O'Toole  51:32  

Awesome. All right, let's move on, get the wholesaler thing. network at the at the real estate investor clubs, get out there on Facebook, get a following, you know, they're maybe maybe posting before and after photos, people on all the deals you do as part of the deal. That's how you're gonna get that....

Greg Clark  51:52  

I know, I know, I've mentioned that.

Sean O'Toole  51:53  

Especially in the wholesale world.

Greg Clark  51:56  

It's funny, being a, being a former professional athlete, you kind of like, you get done with it, you're like, I just like to live under the radar, and enjoy my life. And you know, there's a lot when you're in that process, there's a lot of people pulling you from a lot of different ways for all kinds of things speaking events. I could just go on for hours.

Sean O'Toole  52:17  

And so, that's a really good point, though, for all of our trustee sale investors, because this, this podcast is designed for trustee sale investors going through exactly what you're going through. So, it's a really good point, like part of building that wholesale network is really putting yourself out there to find those wholesalers, right. It's not it's not show up at the trustee sale, or have an agent show up at the trustee sale and live completely under the radar, right?

Greg Clark  52:41  

Yes.

Sean O'Toole  52:41  

You've got to build and still put yourself out there in a different way. So, I think that's one of the downsides, you know, of really getting good at the wholesale guy, you know, side, the guys I know, built large wholesale networks and do a lot of deals that way. Like, they run clubs, they do big events, even, and.

Greg Clark  53:03  

Bootcamps, you know.

Sean O'Toole  53:04  

Yeah, they're constantly on BiggerPockets, podcasts and doing all that kind of stuff. And that's, and they do bootcamps and trainings to like, because you keep funneling in new wholesalers to find that, you know, gem in the rough and it is a whole, especially if you want to do 400 deals, you know it, it takes a pretty good process to make that happen. So, that's the downside of wholesale. Let's talk about some other things that I think you already have. You've got folks, somebody has gone around driving and taking pictures of the upcoming trustee sales. And back in the day in 2008. You were you were doing that at scale? You were you were going out and looking at probably 20, 30, 40, 50 properties a day. Is that right?

Greg Clark  53:52  

Yeah, you'd have you get you get up at 6:30, 6 o'clock and go to bed at 2: 30. You know, you'll get up to, get up early, and you would start sending drivers out, right. So, you usually have you know, one point we'd have three sometimes four drivers, you know, out driving, looking at properties, giving their feedback, sending pictures in giving you like what they think the, you know, basic repair, repair list might look like.

Sean O'Toole  54:17  

Hopefully you guys were using the PropertyRadar app, and they're taking the photos and having the app and adding the notes and.

Greg Clark  54:23  

We weren't in the early days, that's for sure. And I can't remember when we started realizing Hey, this is like a pretty good function. It was years ago. But there was a point where we started doing that and that was a great add on to the to the app and so yeah, it was super helpful. And so yeah, we we did that so ramping up.

Sean O'Toole  54:41  

So, I think one of the things as a trustee sale investor, it's something you already do you know how to do right now there's a new piece to this is you put some drivers out there driving for dollars, right and looking for boarding palaces and that kind of stuff and probably also driving some lists that you build, right where you're going and having them target folks with potential distressed situations, right, getting that photo and getting those notes put you were ahead of the folk that's just blind mailing people.

Greg Clark  55:10  

Right.

Sean O'Toole  55:11  

That makes sense.

Greg Clark  55:12  

Yeah. So, that's kind of one of the things we're looking at doing is being able to segment a list. And you know, and look, we're not the only ones doing this, right? There's a lot of people doing it. You know, we were talking earlier that this whole new world of having virtual assistants in the Philippines and refining these lists and doing all these different things in mining and different ways that you can look at the data. But again, if you got to get someone out there, generally, on the streets talking to somebody, and so we're evaluating exactly how we want to do that. Do we want to try that ourselves to try to learn it to go through that process? Do we want to develop that skill? And if so, you know, what are we willing to do? Are we willing to, you know, another, another thing is, if you're willing to go that route, it's like, you have the money, you know, you might as well take some get some coaching. And you might need to do some coaching to really understand cause there's people out there who have refined this in a really real, tangible way, they have really good skill sets, they've learned how to build rapport, they've learned how to ask the right questions, they. The biggest thing I've learned in life is get someone else to talk. And let them share, you know, their story, let them share their thoughts, let them speak and you'll build, you'll be amazed how much rapport you can build with someone by letting someone talk and asking them the right questions. And so I think I think there's, there's a level of where we're looking at that to like, do we want to develop that skill set? So, it's kind of exciting, and to be honest with you, it's, it's exciting and scary, and scary at the same time, right? And, you know, it's hard to, to be vulnerable. And to say that, but it's true. It is, and I'm not to, you know, I'm not, I'm not to, above saying that. And so it's, I'm excited to do it. And so yeah, that's what we're doing, we're meeting with you guys, we're having some tutorials, we're gonna go through stuff we're gonna have like, he's gonna teach us some different things. And we're gonna look at it and figure out, Hey, is this an avenue, a resource that can be valuable to us?

Sean O'Toole  57:07  

Just one thing to keep in mind, right? Even with my support folks, internally, right? Like, we kind of helped. We kind of help trustee sale investors, right with doing trustee sales. And we've helped these guys out here that are going and knocking on doors, driving for dollars, doing list based marketing, I think that there's some one plus one equals five opportunities that maybe even my own team doesn't understand yet, right? In terms of, I really want you even as you're talking to Keith and and talking about doing list based marketing, right? And direct mail, and custom audiences, and all these things that we've brought to this group over here that the trustee sale investors haven't used at all, like, Come learn all that, like, I totally want you to learn all of that. But I want you to think about how you can differentiate it with what's unique about you coming from trustee sales, right? So, you know, rather than just making a list, right, think about, Okay, everybody else is doing direct mail, or it's I want to buy your house.

Greg Clark  58:18  

Yeah.

Sean O'Toole  58:18  

You could do direct mail with you or one of your guys like you send your driver's out, and they take a picture of them in front of the house, right? And that's what's on your postcard. And when that postcard comes in, and it's their house, like they're gonna go What the heck, right? And they're gonna look at it and read it longer than the guy who just wrote the run that we buy houses like, Hey, I was in your neighborhood saw your house, I'm super interested, can you please give me a call? So, we can talk about it? Like that's a big differentiator, right? And you know, how to deploy guys to go take 50, 100 whatever photos a day and quickly do that and systematize things right, because trustee sale investors, as you said so eloquently earlier, you have to systematize it because you're gonna look at 100 deals, right? We get these guys who want to start in direct mail, they send out 100 postcards, and they're like, I sent out 100 postcards, and I didn't buy a house with $100,000 profit, right? And here's like, I'd looked at 100 houses to flip one trustee sale with tons of risk to make $25,000 profit, right? Like, you just have so much more realistic as starting point.

Greg Clark  59:36  

Right.

Sean O'Toole  59:37  

Than most of these other folks and you understand scale. So, I want you thinking about that as you're talking to our team. And as you're working through this, bring that chocolate right that, that special sauce that you have as a trustee sale investor, to this kind of new way of doing things, right? And bringing get over this other side. And there's a lot of folks over here, you know, knocking on doors driving for dollars, certain postcards, not very many doing custom audience and some of the more advanced things that we can help you with. But I want you thinking about, okay, there's a lot of these folks out there, how do I differentiate myself in my message, right? You're a broker, you're, you can do trustee sale investing, you can clearly do the regular thing. So, imagine giving somebody three options, right, I will buy your house today, we can close tomorrow, it's this price, all cash, we're done like and, you can just walk away, it's this price.

Greg Clark  1:00:42  

Right.

Sean O'Toole  1:00:42  

Or, I can buy it from you wholesale, you know, and we're gonna do the repairs and stuff. And this is what we think the after repair value is, and all the rest and I can pay you, you know, this price, right? Or, I'd be happy to help you with getting the property listed and the rest. And maybe you don't want to be a listing agent, which I totally get. But you can make 25 to 40% on a referral fee, referring that out to an agent that only helps you build relationships. And by the way, you can partner with that agent and say, Hey, when you've got somebody who's something happened, and they need cash tomorrow, you can pay them on that deal.

Greg Clark  1:01:26  

Yeah.

Sean O'Toole  1:01:26  

They couldn't have done before. And so now you've got this whole thing you can go do with agents, where you're referring business to them, because you're doing all this marketing. And then they end up every once in a while running into deals that they can't do, because it's a hoarder house or whatever. And so, they bring that deal to you and say, Hey, I can't list this, right? It's got problems. It's got issues. But they can sell it to you.

Greg Clark  1:01:52  

Yeah, those are great ideas. Great suggestion. Some of them we've discussed bounce around thought about, but I really think you're on the right wavelength of different ways of being able to assess this, I think those are fantastic ideas. And that's one thing that's that's helpful is taking the time to brainstorm too, because right, that's what we're doing right now, we're kind of brainstorming more in this whole new world, we don't know how this is going to play out in the state of California. And do you want to take on that added risk of you know what this legislation means. And so, you can either do two things you can, and this is really, I've talked to a lot of guys, and a lot of guys are like, I'm going to take the sit back and wait approach. You know, I've done well, I have money, I can diversified into other things. And you know, I can do whatever I want, you know, typing, or I can go and start lending and do different things like that. So, or you can roll up your sleeves and and while you're waiting, create a whole new skill set. And so that's kind of where I'm at. I'm like, you know what, I'm excited. I'm so excited to roll up my sleeves, put on the work gloves, and create a creative skill set, or maybe hone a skill set that I had, that could be better. And so, is having these conversations, being willing to go out into it, like you said before, join these investment clubs, get on with property radar, figure out ways to do things a little bit differently. And hey, guess what, in six months of all of a sudden a trustee sales come back or a year, and they kind of reformulate how they want to do this legislation. Fantastic. But instead of just look, I just spent six months up in the mountains basically fly fishing, hiking, growing this, this my wife just can't stand this thing. She's so, she's like, I can't believe you're gonna go do this podcast without think it's gonna be like, talking all over while you're talking. And, and so I've kind of done that, right, I kind of have this reset mind, I, I never have taken a break like that for the last like, long for a long time.

Sean O'Toole  1:03:46  

Yeah. And you're ready to get after it.

Greg Clark  1:03:48  

Yeah, when you do this business, you kind of need to have a reset. It's always a good thing. I value family time. So, spending time with my kids. One of the hardest things is my kid left for college this morning. He's going back to play football, and they're doing this and he plays in the Big Sky. And so, they do this, they're going to do this spring schedule. And I'm like, giving them a hug. And I'm like, kind of like trying to hold back the tears. Like, they never gave you a manual, right? That said, when you become a parent, it's gonna like pulling your heart in these crazy ways that you never thought of. And so I value...

Sean O'Toole  1:04:17  

I sent mine off yesterday.

Greg Clark  1:04:19  

Yeah, it's so hard. You know, I can see you're kind of like you kind of started tearing up and welcome because you're like, I never thought this was gonna be as hard as it is. And, you know, they're growing up and, and so you kind of start valuing your family time, your work time as you get older, but I've had that reset for the last six months where I'm like, Okay, look, I took my time I spent this COVID time it was super valuable. I appreciate all the time I've spent with my family having my other son home, both of them home for school, right? Because they came home and when he came home on November and I have a kid that's 12, 13 that's in seventh grade. So, you spend this time and it's good to rebalance and do that. So, I've done that and now it's like hey, let's get after it again. Let's get let's, I don't want to sit around for another six to 12 months with the hope that this might come back.

Sean O'Toole  1:05:06  

And my, my offer to you and to every other trustee sale investor, successful trustee sale investor, right? Like, there's only so many hours in a day and I can only do so much of this, but I would gladly sit down

Greg Clark  1:05:20  

Can you put your cell, your cell phone on there for us.

Sean O'Toole  1:05:22  

Yeah, for sure. I would gladly sit down and, you know, give my cell phone number to any of these folks. You know, like I started out as a trustee sale investor, right, I was in tech. And then I did trustee sale investing and then built ForeclosureRadar. And, you know, those were, that was my core customer base. And then we did expand beyond that. And I've learned all these other things, which is awesome. And all these other ways to go about this business and, you know, go after it. And I'd like to bring that I've learned back to that this group that I think is, you know, really got shafted, here with SB1079. And unfairly so and so you know, if you're a successful trustee sale investor, and you're struggling with what to do next, you know, reach out to our support team support@propertyradar.com, or, you know, click the little support icon in the thing, and let them know that, you know, if you'd like to talk to me, I'm happy to sit down with you and talk to you about how you know, and ideate. And whatever, you know, or as you have ideas, if you want to bounce them off means and I can say, Hey, here's what's great about this and here's the cons of that, right? I'm happy to chat about that, you know, and happy to help everybody figure out what they can kind of personally bring to the table and make it happen. So, to degree, I have hours in the day to do it. I will do that for every trustee sale investor trying to make this transition right now. And, Greg, I appreciate you coming on today. And kind of letting us talk through this with somebody actually going through it, because it's certainly something that we've got a lot of customers facing right now our support team is spending a lot of time with folks trying to make the transition. And I just want to let people know that I'm here and happy to help as well.

Greg Clark  1:07:19  

Well, thank you. And I appreciate, you know, the effort that you're making to, obviously you're creating a lot more competition. But with that, with every situation, there's always opportunity. And that's the way I look at it is I appreciate what ForeclosureRadar, PropertyRadar, what it's provided. For me personally, for my family, for my kids, and it signed a lot of ways for my mental health, you know, to be able to be in a position that you might not have been in 10, 15 years ago, I think Aaron could speak to this as well. You know, having a father that's taught him the business and, you know, and how to do things and build systems, and now he's helping you elevate you know, your company, it's, it's, it's great when you're trying to create an ecosystem where everybody's trying to help each other. And you know, there's some competition in it, but that's the way life is right and, and the people who are willing to work the hardest and, and do their best. And again, like I say, be kind to people, have good hearts, I think in the end, you end up doing well working out for you. And so, from literally from the bottom of my heart, I'm so appreciative for everything that you and your your skill set and your, your software has done for me and for the time that Aaron has taken to talk with me and kind of point me in a direction and and just realize that and also for helping us understand like we do have a really cool skill set that that you can leverage. And don't forget that and don't, you know, let that go by the wayside. that's a that's a great point. It's, it's people don't appreciate how hard it is to do what we did with the level of risk that we did. And so thank you for, you know, everything that you've shared. Really, really appreciate it.

Sean O'Toole  1:09:01  

Awesome.

Aaron Norris  1:09:03  

All right. Thank you, sir. Thank you for listening to the Data Driven Real Estate Podcast, you can find show notes and links to some of the resources mentioned in the show at datadrivenrealestate.com. Click that join the community, and you'll be forwarded to the PropertyRadar community where you can ask questions about the current show and even see upcoming guests and ask questions there. We'd love to engage with you in the community. So check it out. Please don't forget to like, favorite, subscribe and share on your favorite platform where you're listening to the show. It helps us out a great deal. Thanks for listening, and we'll see you next week.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Written by:
Aaron Norris
Written on:
January 7, 2021