03 Jun Interview with Jamil Damji
Video Replay of Interview with Jamil
Podcast Replay of Interview
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Steve: All right. Hey, everybody. Thank you for joining us on today’s show. Today we’ve got Jamil Damji, who I personally consider to be the king of wholesaling.
Steve: I know you don’t consider yourself to be king. I would actually say godfather, but I was kind of afraid that he’d get up and kick my butt. So we’re going to go with king for now.
Jamil: Oh boy. You’re kind, thank you. Thank you, Steve.
Steve: If this is your first time tuning in, I’m Steve Trang, broker, owner of Stunning Homes Realty, and co-founder of the offer fast app, the one app you need for wholesaling. I personally-
Jamil: A great app, by the way.
Steve: Oh, thank you. I help people become real estate entrepreneurs. That’s my passion. If you’re excited for today’s show, please give me some wow faces. Before we get started, I started this show because I wanted to give back to our community. We struggled before, and we’ve had lots of struggle.
Steve: The goal here for this show is to shortcut that struggle for as many young leaders as possible. So here’s all I ask. If you get value out of the show, please tell a friend. Either share this show, tag a friend, or tell them your best takeaway from this show, outside the show. Don’t forget, this is a live show, so please post your questions so Jamil can answer them. Are you ready?
Jamil: I’m ready.
Jamil: Thank you.
Steve: Thank you for being here. What got you into wholesaling?
Jamil: It was by accident. I had gotten into a wholesale transaction without really knowing it. I was in Canada at the time, this is probably 2000, 2001. I identified a need for a specific type of property that builders were buying. I had decided I was going to try and fulfill that need, by getting a property under contract and selling it to them. At the time, I didn’t know what wholesaling was, I didn’t understand. In Canada, they call it a skip transfer. So that’s where you …
Steve: That’s what they call wholesaling?
Jamil: Yeah. It’s where you’re using, potentially, buyer’s funds, or someone else’s funds to close your transaction. It’s all done through attorneys over there, so it’s a little bit more of an arduous process. I did that deal, I did a deal out there, I did pretty well on it. It kind of whet my appetite for the real estate industry in general. Then I didn’t do anymore wholesaling, traditional wholesaling, until 2010. Yeah, 2010 I actually again accidentally stumbled into wholesaling. I had put a couple of short sales under contract. At the time, the market had just crashed, properties were super cheap, but I wanted to sell them. I had no intentions of keeping those specific properties. I had written a Craigslist ad. An individual who is a wholesaler here in town, a really nice guy, Tim Nguyen. I don’t know if you’re familiar with him?
Steve: Yeah, TFA.
Jamil: TFA, True Freedom Achievers. Nice guys, him and Mike, both great people. Tim contacted me from my Craigslist ad. Called me, ended up buying those two properties, and then invited me to come hang out with him for a week.
Steve: Oh, that’s cool.
Jamil: I was in Los Angeles at the time. Not doing much, as most people in LA tend to do. I thought, “Heck, I have nothing to lose. I might as well go out there and be this guy’s guest.” It seemed like something to do, so I actually took him up on the offer. I came up to Phoenix for a week, got a hotel. He carted me around and just shared. He really opened my eyes to what was going on here in that business.
Steve: That’s awesome.
Steve: So you were in LA, and you were wholesaling in Phoenix.
Steve: So you were virtual wholesaling before that term became popular.
Jamil: I guess, yeah. I mean, now that I look at it, there’s a lot of terms that people have given things, that I think organically happen in the business. It’s just, it becomes a thing when somebody realizes that, “Oh, this is how you do that. We need to call it something.” So yeah, I guess virtual wholesaling.
Steve: Why wholesaling? Why not flipping or traditional real estate?
Jamil: Good question. Well traditional real estate, I mean I love it. I think we do sell some retail deals after we fix them up. For the most part, traditional real estate, it’s hard. It’s harder, I think, than wholesaling. With traditional real estate you have … I mean, look at you, or even one of your agents. For example, Templeton Walker. Fantastic guy, right?
Steve: Yeah. Right, [crosstalk 00:04:32].
Jamil: I don’t think there’s an agent that I’ve seen who’s branded himself, and done more in such a short amount of time to become a powerhouse agent.
Steve: He’s a whirlwind.
Jamil: Yeah, than he has. You look at a guy like that, who has all that energy and just general understanding of how to brand yourself, and it’s exhausting. It’s exhausting. I personally know him as well, and so I know how many hours he puts into his day. I think being a traditional agent, it’s tough, man. You really, really are climbing uphill all day. Then also, on the flip side of that, there’s two sides of traditional real estate. There’s listing and there’s being a buyer’s agent, right?
Steve: Right. Right.
Jamil: Being a listing agent’s tough, but if you can get the hang of it, you can do really well. When you’re a buyer’s agent, and strictly a buyer’s agent, that is terrible. You’re-
Steve: Yeah, you’re not making this a sexy business right now.
Jamil: No. I mean, well, it’s hard. You’re working very, very hard for your money.
Steve: That’s right. Yeah.
Jamil: People don’t tend to appreciate or even assign the value that you’re owed. They begrudge your commission, more than just expect that you have kids and families to feed, right?
Jamil: Traditional real estate kind of turned me off because of that. Fixing and flipping, I mean we’ve done it, but it’s brain damage. It’s hard. I have seen where we have put our heart and soul into a project. We think it came out fantastic, and we’re just getting beat up by buyers, or beat up by appraisers, or people breaking in and destroying the house right before it’s done. There’s a lot of-
Steve: Yeah. I think one of your stories you’re talking about was in Maryvale.
Steve: How many times have you had to secure and …
Jamil: Well, the homeless people were coming in through the dog door.
Jamil: We kept securing the windows and the doors, but not realizing that they were so small that they could fit through that little hole. They just kept coming in and pooing on the ground. You can only do that so many times before it gets frustrating. Yeah, I’m not a big fan of fixing and flipping per se. I mean, there’s a lot of people getting rich off it.
Steve: Oh yeah, for sure. I mean, some of our friends really are doing it.
Jamil: Yeah, absolutely.
Steve: Tell me, what were some of the struggles you faced when you first started?
Jamil: I think the hardest thing for me was bridging the gap of when you’re really buying a house, versus when you’re not really buying a house. I think any wholesaler that’s getting started right now, they probably face this conundrum just ethically.
Steve: I had this conversation during lunch today.
Jamil: Yeah. It’s a true thing, right?
Steve: No, it’s a real thing.
Jamil: Because you want to get a deal, and you’re trying your hardest to put something under contract, but you have no idea how you’re going to complete. Right?
Jamil: I think earlier, my biggest struggles were just trying to operate with integrity, and at the same time understand that it’s a game of trial and error. Right?
Jamil: I’m not personally angry at somebody if I have to cancel on their deal. This is back at that time. I think at that time too, I wasn’t as concerned with completing transactions as I was just trying. Today, I mean your name is everything, right?
Jamil: If I contract in a deal, I’m buying a deal. I know that now. At the time I think it was just tough, because you’re swimming, you’re in deep water. There’s a lot of sharks out there.
Steve: A lot of sharks. They smell blood, too.
Jamil: They smell blood. They see that you’re maybe inexperienced, or there’s some advantage that can be gained. Which, again, I have no problem with. I think that if you are a guppy and you land on a whale, and they help you get to a destination, but they take advantage of you throughout that process, that’s fine.
Jamil: That’s absolutely fine. I think-
Steve: It’s tuition.
Jamil: It’s tuition, absolutely. There was a lot of great dudes, man. I struggled, but I had some great people early on help me out. Show me the way, show me what they were doing. Like I said, I had mentioned Tim and Mike, great people. John May was an early buyer of mine, fantastic guy, another bigwig in town. Chris [Ayman 00:09:25], also worked with him for a long time. Great person, another juggernaut in the field. So there were these really fantastic, I’d call them mentors. People that sort of paved the way, and were doing the business before I got in it. They helped a lot. They were very generous with their knowledge and their prowess, so that was helpful.
Steve: Well, I know one of the conversations we had before was that you got into the business, and you got beat up a little bit. Had to take some time away from the business, and came back. Can you talk about that?
Jamil: Sure. Sure. As I had mentioned, I was in Canada at the time. I grew up there. Before the crash, my sister and I were doing condo conversions. We were buying apartment buildings, strata titling the apartments, getting them individual titles. Then renovating and selling them off floor by floor.
Steve: In Canada?
Steve: Oh, I didn’t know that happened in Canada.
Jamil: Yes, they have condos in Canada. Yeah.
Steve: Well, I didn’t know they did condo conversions, because we were huge in condo conversions here in 2007, 2006.
Jamil: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I actually ended up buying some of them, some of those projects afterwards. When you’re in that business, again it’s fixing and flipping at a large scale, right?
Jamil: I had the misfortune of having my parents cosign some construction loans. When the market tanked, not only did I lose every dime of mine, but I lost every dime of my parents’. They lost their home, their cars, my home, my car. We were all done. Like, done. We went from living in nice homes, doing really well, to all of us packed in a thousand square foot, two bedroom condo. My dad, me, my mom, my sister, my niece, our 150 pound dog, and our cat.
Steve: Of course the cat.
Jamil: We were all packed like sardines into this apartment. That was hard. It was hell, and I had to make it back.
Steve: Of course.
Jamil: I had to figure out how to make it right with my parents.
Steve: So how did you do that? You had this massive struggle, then you took some time off, then you came back with a vengeance. So let’s talk about that. How did you do that?
Jamil: You know, I’m a firm believer in synchronicity. Everything kind of happens for you when you’re ready for it. The first time I was successful, I don’t believe I was emotionally ready to have access to money, nice things. I don’t think I deserved it. For that reason, it was gone, it was taken away. I think the second time around, for me at least, I have … And again, the struggles have always been there. In that time from losing everything, to starting to gain some traction in life again, I had gained so many amazing bonds with family. In that time, I met my current wife. Say current like it won’t last, my only wife. I mean, yeah, in that time I think I formed the closest bonds with everybody. Because my parents didn’t hate me for losing everything, and that ate me up. It would’ve been …
Steve: Easier if they’d hated you?
Jamil: Easier if they’d just said, “You’re a failure. You suck, and I don’t ever want to see you again.” They did the opposite. They encouraged me, they told me it was okay. They didn’t blame me. Although, I did.
Steve: Well right, I mean personal accountability.
Jamil: For sure. For sure.
Jamil: I think seeing all that, having been knocked off and laying on the ground there for a while, there’s a lot to learn on the ground floor. I think, in all honestly, it’s probably the most fun floor to be on, because you’ve got nowhere to go but up. There’s a thousand cliches that can describe the party on the ground floor, but it’s a party, right?
Jamil: You can really, really gain lifelong friends, education, vision. It all happens there.
Steve: Well, it’s the pursuit that’s exciting.
Steve: Actually, I was listening to an interview with GaryVee a couple of days ago. He was saying he’s so excited, because in China he’s unheard of. He’s like, “There’s this whole other market I get to go conquer.” That’s a very fascinating mindset.
Jamil: Right. Awesome.
Steve: So it’s not just the result, it’s this whole chase is what it’s all about. Okay, so what lesson would you teach today’s young real estate entrepreneurs?
Jamil: Man. What lesson would I teach them?
Steve: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jamil: I think the hardest hurdle to get over is your own impatience, because you want results. If you’re toiling at something and you can’t create, it’s frustrating, right?
Jamil: You look at young kids with a Rubik’s Cube. They’re really getting frustrated at trying to put this thing, this puzzle together, make all the sides match. You see all kinds of emotions. They’ll throw it, they’ll peel the stickers off and put them on, so that they’ll cheat.
Steve: I’m laughing from experience.
Jamil: Then you just got those ones that’ll just not stop until they’re done, right?
Jamil: I think the best advice I could tell anyone that’s beginning the journey, just stay focused. Stay focused, and really be okay with being broke for a long time, because there’s a funny thing about money. When you start making it, you stop caring so much. It doesn’t have that appeal anymore, right?
Steve: Right. Yeah, money is just the motivating factor when you first get started. Once you have it, you’ve got to have a bigger passion.
Jamil: You get over it. Yeah, you get over it. Then you’re about life experiences.
Jamil: I think patience. Just be patient and trust in yourself. If you’ve got any kind of willpower or tenacity, you’ll do it. You’ll get to where you want to go. I mean, I’ve seen some pretty dull individuals make a lot of money. Just because they’re very patient and they’re tenacious, right?
Steve: Right. You don’t have to be smart, you don’t have to be sexy. I tell people you’ve got to have two things, a willingness to learn and grit.
Jamil: Yeah, 100%.
Steve: You have those two things, everything else will take care of itself.
Jamil: Yeah. For sure.
Steve: So Max [Jimenez 00:16:35] has a question. What’s up, Max?
Jamil: What up, buddy?
Steve: He has a question, is that, “What is the one challenge you’re facing right now in today’s market?”
Jamil: In today’s market? I think, and I don’t want to sound overly optimistic, but things are better for us today than they were six months ago, or even a year ago. I think that in today’s market, there’s a lot of competition. It’s super tight. I feel if you’re innovative, and you can find ways to be innovative, then you can really separate yourself from everybody that’s banging their head against the wall, complaining that it’s hard. I think, Max, that right now I think the one thing that’s bothering me the most, is just all of the people complaining. I think I’m just going to let them complain about how tough it is. Meanwhile, while they’re complaining, I’ll just pick up the pieces.
Steve: Right. Well, you’re solving problems.
Steve: That’s what we get paid to do.
Jamil: For sure. For sure.
Steve: Right, that’s how we’re able to generate the income that we’re able to generate.
Steve: So I want to share, can we talk about how we met?
Steve: I met you, you were a Zillow lead. I’m known amongst the other real estate agents for hating Zillow, right? Can’t stand Zillow. I believe they’re here to eat our lunch, but you’re a Zillow lead.
Steve: It was funny to me, because you called me up on my listing. It was one of the deals that I had personally flipped. It was a lady and her husband and their kids. Like, “We need this money right now. We’re going to this apartment, and we need this amount in order for us to be able to make a move.” I’m looking at her like, “This number doesn’t make any financial sense.” But she’s crying, and I know that I want to help her. So I was like, “Okay, fine. I’ll pay this, whatever. We’ll close.” Huge mistake, because I didn’t even realize there was no AC unit when I bought the property. So I go back, and we close, throw an MLS. Everyone’s like, “Hey, Steve, this is a great property, but we can’t buy a house with no AC.” I was like, “There’s no AC.” Then you come along, and you call me on Zillow, and you take it down. Not only did you take it down, but you were able to move it for more than I was able to list it on MLS.
Steve: That taught me a huge, powerful lesson. That lesson was the power of the buyer list. So can you talk to me about the power of the buyer list?
Jamil: Absolutely. I mean, I’d love to. It’s the foundation of KeyGlee, our entire company is built off dispositions. What I can say is that if you’ve got access to distribution, and this is in any industry, right? Why are the music labels so powerful? Because they can distribute. Why is Netflix so powerful? They distribute. Any of these big companies, whenever they’re powerful and huge, the reason they’re powerful and huge and can do well is because they’ve got distribution figured out. If you can’t distribute what you have, then you have nothing. Because in any deal, there’s two sides. There’s acquisitions and dispositions. For us, again I was really big on acquisitions, and trying, beating down the doors. Trying to get to the contract before everybody else.
Jamil: I started to realize, man, when you’re showing up at the same house 20 deep, that’s hard. That’s what gets prices driven up to where they’re going. That’s what gets people frustrated. That’s what makes people lose money on advertising, because there’s just too much, there’s a lot of competition. The power over buyer though, Steve, is that I have wholesalers and people from all over the Valley who are doing the marketing themselves. Who are spending their money to bring the deal in, who are knocking on the doors themselves. Their own toil, their own work bring it to us, because they know that we can distribute. So the power of it, I get to cut half of my expenses. I don’t have to go and acquire. I don’t have to spend the money to do that. I think, in all honesty, if everybody focused strictly on disposition, they’d probably do better, but then I’d be out of business. So keep doing what you’re doing, everyone. You guys are doing great.
Steve: I had lunch today with a young guy, he’s been in the business for six months. He’s doing a little bit of retail, doing a little bit of wholesale. He was saying, that quandary or the conundrum that you talked about earlier. Like how do you go in there and say, “I’m the buyer,” when you’re not the buyer?
Steve: Right. I said to him, “Well, the problem is easy. Go find the guy that will buy it.”
Jamil: Right. Be the buyer.
Steve: Be the buyer, or get the funds to be the buyer. What advice would you give to someone that wants to build a buyer’s list?
Jamil: Don’t. Just call KeyGlee. Call us.
Steve: Use the KeyGlee app.
Jamil: Yes. Yes, use that. I mean, do it, right? If you’re not in Phoenix, do it. It’s great, it’ll work. Building a buyer’s list is tough, it takes a lot of man power. Here’s the thing about the buyer’s list conundrum that is a little funny to me. I get a new email from a wholesaler once a week. I don’t mind at all that I wasn’t opted in, that I was never asked to be on this person’s list. That somehow some title company pulled a list of cash buyers out of Monsoon, handed them my information, and the person went and put me on their buyer’s list.
Steve: I’ve done this before.
Jamil: I’m absolutely okay with it, me personally. So everybody out there, you have my approval to add me to your buyer’s list. I’ve opted in vocally, right now. When I look at that from, say, a buyer perspective, you don’t know that person. So just adding someone to a list, it’s lazy. It’s super lazy. You haven’t asked, you haven’t connected, you’ve created no rapport. I’ll tell you this, people will do business with who they like. Not just anybody, right? There are buyers who will only buy houses from us. There might be good deals here, there, but they just don’t trust it. They understand that the level of service, who we are, there’s going to be integrity attached.
Steve: There’s credibility.
Jamil: The credibility, the ARV is going to be very close to what we think. It’s an honest ARV, right? It’s an honest opinion.
Steve: It’s not two miles down the road from two years ago.
Jamil: Right. Right. Same subdivision, same year build kind of deal. Not a two story and a single story, as a comp. The thing about building a buyer’s list, is it’s not just getting an email, it’s about making a friend. Getting a client, gaining a client, and showing them that you’re interested in their business. Not just selling them a house, and then six months later sending them an email with another house. That person has spent money with you. That person paid you a fee, right?
Jamil: You could check in on them in their project, see how things are going. I think the reason people don’t, is when you sell a bag of shit to somebody. You’re afraid that when you call them in six weeks, they’re going to say, “My house smells,” right?
Steve: Right. No, that’s true. Why would they follow up with someone if they sold them a bad deal?
Jamil: Right. Right.
Steve: That makes a lot of sense.
Jamil: So for us, it’s not just buyers. We have a bucket of friends.
Steve: Well, it goes back to relationship building.
Steve: I think that’s powerful, right? You’re not one of 30,000 people. It’s people that you know you’ve talked to, you’ve connected with.
Steve: So there’s actually, when they get an email from Jamil, it’s an email from Jamil. It’s not an email from this guy I’ve never heard of.
Steve: I want to talk about some of your guys, because you’ve got some awesome players, partners.
Jamil: So, so happy. So blessed for them.
Steve: Hunter, the Millennial … What was it? Millennial …
Jamil: Oh, he was Millennial Investor, I think.
Steve: The Millennial Investor.
Steve: I met him way before you and I connected.
Steve: I mean, he was harassing me on LinkedIn for the longest time. We connected, and then he followed up with me after we connected on LinkedIn, followed up with a Facebook friend request. So he’s actually doing the things that we talked about in building a relationship. Then the other guy, Josiah, who is a monster. It was funny to me how we met, Josiah and I, because you and I were doing a deal in AJ.
Jamil: Yeah. Right.
Steve: Mobile home lot.
Jamil: Oh yeah.
Steve: With two other properties on it. Kind of suspect.
Jamil: That was fun.
Steve: Yeah. So potentially three different properties, with meth involved in all three properties. I’m like, “Jamil, I like this deal. The landlord wants to move this deal. I am not going inside this house. I don’t care how much we can make on this deal, I’m not walking in this house.” You said, “I’ve got a guy.” Josiah shows up. I was blown away, that this kid, I mean I don’t know how old he is. Younger than us.
Jamil: He’s younger than us, yes.
Steve: Yeah. I could not believe the, it’s a family program, courage to …
Jamil: Yeah. I’ll tell you, so I think what Josiah truly has, I mean God’s got his hand on that guy for sure. He is not only brilliant, spiritually advanced, but he’s a disarming guy, right? If you have any level of ill will, negativity, if you call him angry, within 15 to 30 seconds of that call he’s got everybody in a good mood. It’s a special kind of person to be able to do that. Yeah. I mean, he approaches life and business and everything in such a positive way, that I don’t worry about him in situations. I don’t think he worries about himself in situations, because he knows that everywhere he goes, it just sort of …
Steve: It’s going to work out.
Jamil: Yeah. Yeah. Like little flowers sprout up on the side of the road where he walks, right?
Steve: I want to go back real quick-
Jamil: I’m a fan, if you can’t tell.
Steve: Oh yeah, he’s a good dude. Good dude.
Jamil: I love the guy, yeah.
Steve: I want to go back real quick to Max’s question about the challenge. We don’t really talk about this here, but first you were talking about you guys go bang your head, and get frustrated and complain. You’ll be the one finding solutions. I want to give a shout out to Andrew LeBaron, because he’s right now branding himself like crazy.
Jamil: Oh dude, he’s awesome. He’s a powerhouse.
Steve: He’s a machine with his branding. One thing that we didn’t talk about, and I see this question asked over and over again in the Wholesaling Houses Full Time group, our real estate agent group. So what’re your thoughts on Zillow Instant Offers?
Jamil: What’s that?
Steve: A non-issue, I see.
Jamil: Yeah. I don’t care. I truly don’t. I’ve been asked, “How do you feel about Opendoor? How do you feel about Offerpad?” They’re great. They’re great. They overpay, so that’s fine. I mean, I think that there’s, for what we do in truth, there’s two sides to selling a house for cash. There’s two types of properties. There’s a house that’s super nice, that has been renovated and barely lived in. For a seller of a property like that, I think Opendoor, Offerpad, Zillow Instant Offers, it’s perfect. Because they’re just literally trading for commissions, you know what I mean?
Jamil: They’re not going in there and getting their elbows dirty. They’re not working on a house, right?
Jamil: They’re not buying homes with additions. They’re not buying the stuff that really, really needs the work. So I think that, just don’t focus. I don’t give Zillow Instant Offers any attention at all. In fact, I’m going to forget that they exist as soon as their question’s over.
Steve: Well, you did before I even started.
Jamil: Yeah, because I don’t think it’s an issue.
Steve: I just want to add to that, because you and I had talked about this a little bit ago. Was, before even we were talking about Zillow, we were talking about Offerpad and Opendoor. For you, I don’t care, because there’s so much opportunity out there.
Steve: Not only that, but what they’re looking to buy, that’s not what I’m looking to buy.
Steve: It’s two completely different things. So they’re not even eating what I would be at the table for.
Jamil: Right. Right. We could sit here and say, “Oh, they’re eating my lunch.” You know what I mean? I don’t like ham sandwiches. They eat ham sandwiches, right?
Jamil: So that’s cool. I’m going to sit over here, and I’m going to eat my hamburger, and they’re going to eat their ham sandwich.
Steve: Yeah. I think it’s great when I get a call, and they’re saying, “Hey, I have solar. Can you buy this?” Yeah, I’m excited, because I already know like half the competition’s gone.
Jamil: They’re not going to touch it, right.
Steve: So what would you consider to be your superpower?
Jamil: I can materialize a cup of coffee into my hand at any time I want.
Steve: That would be great, though.
Jamil: I know, right? I wish. Superpower? I don’t know. I don’t know that there’s any, I mean, I think as human beings we all have a gift. I think for me, and I wasn’t always able to do this. I was bullied a lot as a kid, so it gave me tools to have a higher emotional intelligence. I mean, I can smell bullshit from a mile away. I can pick up dissension, happiness. I feel like I can sort of understand someone’s mood from body language, their face. It allows me to be able to be a more empathetic listener, right?
Jamil: Then if I can do that, I can connect. If I can connect, then I can make a friend. Then you make a relationship. I think I’m just good at being able to connect.
Steve: Yeah. I think the other thing too is, I think about our relationship. You mentored me too, right, in the beginning.
Jamil: Thank you. That’s funny, because I think so highly of you. For somebody I consider a mentor to say I mentored them, that’s cool.
Steve: Well, I think you’ve got a lot to offer. I definitely appreciated that when I was getting started in wholesaling.
Steve: One of the things that I think is great about you, is that you’ve got integrity.
Jamil: Thank you.
Steve: You actually care. I think that shows in this interview. One of the things that you’re always concerned about as a new wholesaler is, “I’ve got this property tied up. Will somebody buy it?” When you say, “I’m a buyer,” that’s it. I already know it’s sold. I don’t even have to worry about this anymore. I’m not saying you should spend your checks before you get it, but in my mind it’s a done deal.
Jamil: It’s cool. It’s done.
Steve: I think that’s something that’s really powerful, and something that helps a lot, and the fact that you’re always happy to give back and mentor.
Steve: Do you know approximately how many people you’ve mentored, in our market or other markets?
Jamil: It’s tough to say. I mean for a long time, I think to my detriment, when I was getting started I had this idea that I didn’t want to take meetings. I was like, “I don’t want to meet anybody. I don’t want to meet you for coffee. If you have time for coffee, you’re a loser.”
Steve: Yeah, you’ve got to hustle non-stop.
Jamil: Yeah. I was totally wrong about that. The thing I think that, for me at least in terms of mentoring, I can’t say I’ve mentored anyone. I feel that through just having conversations, I’ve helped people become like a partner. The mentor, mentee relationship structure, to me, I think is a little off. I’m not good with power, positions of power, and having unequal power. You’re automatically assuming a mentor and a mentee, they’re not sharing power. I think anybody who comes to the table wanting to do business, regardless of how many deals they’ve done. I’m not going to talk to them as though I’m a mentor, or I have any stature over them. I’m communicating with my peer, right?
Jamil: My equal. They’ll notch off deals and do business, but they’re human beings. I think I’ve worked with, if you’re going to call that mentoring, thousands. I don’t think that’s the right word.
Steve: It’s not how you would frame that relationship.
Jamil: Yeah. I’d say it’s just partnerships and friends.
Steve: Okay. That’s a great way of putting it.
Steve: What does your operation look like today?
Jamil: I mean, it’s a beast. It’s the one time I will gloat. I have some really fantastic partners, who have been able to help build a really, really smooth machine. We’re, I think, 30 or more deep now.
Jamil: Yeah, so it’s a buzzing operation. I mean, I’m kind of the old fart in the office. When I get in, they turn the music down, because I think I spazzed one day I was in there. I have a problem with loud music and being able to concentrate. So they had electronic dance music bumping.
Steve: It’s what happens when you get older, man.
Jamil: Yeah. It’s tough, right? I remember screaming, “We’re not in a rave.” They were all shocked. They were like, “That guy never gets mad.” The operation’s healthy, it’s good. We’ve got really young blood. I mean, everyone in there is super ambitious, very hungry, and like a sponge. They’re all learning like sponges. I mean, it’s great. There’s not a single person whose face I see every day at that office, that I could say, “Oh, I wish you weren’t here.” Everyone is so cool. They’re all great dudes, great girls. Just fantastic, positive attitude. I mean, here’s a total aside. One of our clients, and I’m not going to get into any specifics because it’s a medical thing, but we learned a client today was having a medical thing. My office prayed for them.
Jamil: They all prayed for this person to feel better. Not so that we could tell that person that we did, but because they care to do that, right?
Jamil: I mean, just imagine being surrounded by that all day.
Steve: Yeah, that’s cool.
Jamil: It’s awesome.
Steve: That’s awesome. It’s an environment I’d want to go to every day.
Steve: That’s cool that you guys were able to build that up between all you guys.
Steve: Okay. So as far as, do you have any set, designated acquisition guys, disposition guys? Do you have …
Jamil: Yeah. I mean, there’s a couple of us in acquisitions. Not a lot, it’s me and another dude. It’s mainly dispo. They’re all out there driving houses, being with buyers, opening doors, explaining deal points. I’d say it’s a 95% to 5%.
Jamil: Yeah, it’s 95% dispo.
Steve: Okay. Then do you guys have any cold callers?
Jamil: No. No cold callers.
Jamil: I used to have them, but it’s a really tough industry to keep employed or retained. It’s …
Steve: Well, we say even in traditional real estate, that’s the hardest people to keep.
Steve: Because for someone that’s great on sales that wants to be kept in a room, it’s an interesting dynamic. Not just in your industry, but in traditional real estate. Trying to hire, keep and maintain, it’s the hardest role to keep.
Jamil: It’s tough.
Steve: Yeah. Okay.
Jamil: A friend of mine, and I don’t know if he’s watching or not, Brent Daniels. He’s another fantastic guy.
Steve: He’s going to be on next week.
Jamil: Is he?
Jamil: Oh, dude. He’s so great.
Jamil: Really great wholesaler, really great dude. Super positive, and he says, “Talk to people.” He’s really, really the guy you want to talk to about callers, cold calling, and telemarketing. How that has benefited him and influenced his life. That’s the guy. I’m happy you’re going to have him on your show next week, because if anyone is listening is interested in how to handle that situation, tune in next week.
Steve: Yeah. He’s awesome. I mean, when I heard him speak in last year’s [inaudible 00:38:29], this guy’s the next guy for sure.
Jamil: He’s the guy. He’s awesome. He’s awesome, plus he’s just the funnest guy to be around.
Steve: Oh, he’s a great dude. Okay, so we’re talking about you do more in dispositions and acquisitions. So what is your best lead source?
Jamil: I mean, other wholesalers, right?
Steve: Other wholesalers?
Jamil: Other wholesalers, for sure. I mean that’s where we get all of our deals, and they’re free.
Steve: Right, there’s no marketing. It’s just building relationships.
Steve: Picking up the phone and calling people. Talking to people.
Jamil: Yeah. Yeah.
Steve: Okay, so what is your buy criteria?
Jamil: What will I buy?
Steve: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jamil: Like in terms of what does the deal have to be, for me to want to buy it?
Jamil: I mean we’re at 70% ARV, not over 350.
Steve: Okay, simple.
Steve: Single family? Mobile? Condos?
Jamil: I’ve been playing in the mobile manufactured home world a little bit. Hunter hates them, but I’ve gotten him to come around a little as well. I mean, we’ve done some manufactured home deals and they’ve panned out. Yeah, I think single family, condo, town home. Condos are super hot right now, especially in the west side. I mean, we can’t keep those around.
Jamil: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, they do really well. They sell really well too. Because I’ve seen some of the town homes that we’ve contracted, and then sold to fix and flippers. They get turned so quickly, that I’ll see them pop up on new listings and it’ll be no time. I almost feel like, “How did that happen so fast?” That they were able to turn it. Then 48 hours later, the thing is under contract. I think it’s just affordability-wise right now, the town home market is where it’s at. We’re starting to price out families from single family homes. So because of that, I think there’s going to be a really, really strong surge in condo and town home.
Steve: Well, I mean I personally flipped a condo, I want to say eight, nine months ago. It was studio, didn’t even have a bedroom.
Steve: I was thinking, “Okay, well I’ll pay this.” She bid me up against another buyer. It was like, “Okay. Fine, I’ll pay this. Worst case I break even, and it’ll be an interesting experiment to see what a studio sells for.” We got multiple offers over asking price.
Steve: Cash, quick closing. I was like, “Who wants to buy a studio?”
Jamil: Yeah. Somebody, man. I mean, I guess you want to live and eat everything in your bedroom.
Steve: Well, and keep your cost down, right? You’re talking about affordability. I mean, we ended up selling that thing for like 42,000. That’s-
Jamil: Awesome. Dude, come on, 42 grand. Like how great is that?
Steve: I know, but it’s a studio. It was like 400 square feet.
Jamil: That mortgage is like $210 a month.
Steve: The HOA is the only cost in that thing.
Jamil: It’s probably $210 a month too.
Steve: Yeah, that’s exactly what it was. Okay. So let’s see, what else? Oh, I wanted to also talk about, you were saying manufactured. I mean, I’ve heard other people, I’ve never done this yet, but I’ve heard manufactured is great for lease options.
Jamil: I mean, yeah. Lease options are awesome everywhere, right?
Steve: Yeah. Well awesome everywhere, but there’s just much more potential.
Steve: For manufactured homes. I want to touch on that.
Jamil: It’s interesting why. I’d like to know why. I don’t know why. Why is it better that you could … Why would it be easier to sell a lease option in a manufactured home park than a single family house? Is it just pricing?
Steve: I think it’s just price point, right? Like everyone has 3,500 to put down. Not everybody has, but more people have 3,500 to put down for a house, or 10,000 down. I think that’s the biggest thing.
Jamil: Sure. It’s cool for an investor, because they can get in. My first, actually not my first two, but one of my earliest acquisitions in the Phoenix market. Again, we were working with limited cash. I had bought two lease options. Two aplex, apartments complexes, one over at 16th Street and Palm Lane, and another one in the Oakland Historic District. They were great deals, $10,000 down and then 3,000 a month in lease payment.
Steve: For an aplex?
Jamil: For an aplex.
Steve: Which is pretty good.
Jamil: Well, I mean now.
Jamil: At that time, I was being told I was crazy to be doing that deal.
Jamil: My sister is an innovative girl. She found a way to get in touch with the VA. There’s some incredible veteran housing programs out there. That not only are you doing a fantastic thing, because you’re providing housing for vets, but they pay a premium. It’s coming from the government, the government is paying the rent. So now you’ve got a guaranteed rent.
Steve: Check’s clearing every month.
Jamil: You’ve got a premium, you’re helping a vet. What we used to do is, every holiday we’d have Christmas dinner, Thanksgiving, and just sort of turn it into a family structure. Everybody in there were all vets, so they’d all know each other. They’d be friends, and it was super awesome.
Steve: That’s cool.
Jamil: Yeah. We ended up holding those two for, I think, three years. I mean we crushed it on selling them, right?
Jamil: We did well on both of them. I think a lease option, this was a long story, a lease option’s a great way for an investor to get into the market, without having to come out of pocket with a substantial amount of money.
Steve: Right. I think the other thing too is, I don’t brag about this, but I was a commissioner for Housing and Human Services for the City of Chandler for a little bit of time.
Jamil: Yeah. Awesome.
Steve: If you’re interested in trying to find opportunities to increase your rents, or work with these certain types of situations, it’s really easy, actually. You just call the city. It’s like, “I have this property. I think it would be good for this. Do you guys think this would work for you guys, the city?” The city will find a way to make it work.
Jamil: Awesome. The thing is, it’s usually they require that you have a certain level of finish. When I say finish, I mean amenity, right?
Jamil: We had to outfit our entrances with ramps. There needed to be handles in the bathrooms. It needed to be accessible. The doorways needed to be wide enough, in case there was needing wheelchair access. So there’s definite work.
Jamil: But it’s all value-added work, right?
Jamil: It’s all stuff that when you do, it makes your property worth more. So I think it feeds itself.
Steve: I think the other thing, too, is people don’t really thing about Section 8, and Section 8’s awesome.
Jamil: Section 8’s great, dude. Whatever stigma is attached to it, is so wrong.
Steve: I don’t know why it’s …
Jamil: I don’t …
Steve: It must be outside of Arizona, because every Section 8 in Arizona has been …
Jamil: Not only are they fantastic, but they can lose their Section 8 status.
Steve: Right, for not paying rent.
Jamil: For not paying rent, or abusing the property.
Steve: You’re not the bad guy.
Jamil: You’re not the bad guy. I think that it’s gotten a bad rep unjustifiably. I think that it’s a fantastic rental program. More people should do it.
Steve: Yeah, definitely. Max has another great question.
Jamil: What up, bud?
Steve: “How do you structure your JV partnership deals?”
Jamil: Good question. I’ll call you about that. No, every JV is different, right?
Jamil: So I can’t really give you a structure. What I can say is we look at every deal individually, because every deal’s going to have certain nuances. Like potentially there might be a tenant, there could be a huge marketing cost, or some amount of money that needs to get paid outside of escrow, whatever. God knows, people …
Steve: That’s never happened.
Jamil: Yeah, but other wholesalers, they structure stuff in a weird way, right?
Jamil: It’s not my business, but for whatever it’s worth, a JV should be, 50/50s the goal to share. We know that it’s not always possible. There’s going to be circumstances, and so it just need to be able to make sense.
Steve: I think that’s something that matters too, is the buy price.
Jamil: Sure. Sure.
Steve: I mean, that makes a difference. Okay, so I got to witness you during lunch this past week. I’ve always wondered, how the heck does Jamil give me an answer in five minutes? Every time I’ll send you an address and I get a response back. It’s like, what tools are you using? What automation system is he using? What’s he plugging into? What tool, proprietary tool does he have? I think I even asked you, “What are you doing to give me an answer so quick?” You’re like, “Oh, I just run comps.” It’s like, no, you can’t run comps that fast. So I sat there next to you during lunch, and someone texted you an address.
Jamil: You peeped. You peeped.
Steve: I saw the king at work.
Jamil: That’s funny.
Steve: I saw the king at work. Tell me, what do you do?
Jamil: I use your best friend, Zillow.
Steve: I know.
Jamil: It’s simple, man. It essentially gives you the exact same map formation that you get on Monsoon, but it’s in your pocket, and that’s awesome. So I can comp a house anywhere I am. The thing about comping is, don’t get over-complicated. Don’t cross major roads, don’t get out of your subdivision. Any time someone is trying to leave a subdivision, cross major roads in order to justify a value, it’s BS. The value’s not there.
Steve: You’re no longer buying it right.
Jamil: No. So stay close, right?
Jamil: I think the reason I could give an answer is because I’m not going to do gymnastics to make a deal work. It has to work.
Steve: It works or it doesn’t.
Steve: So just to be clear, Jamil preaches the Zestimate.
Steve: I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding.
Jamil: I say it’s a good start. It’s a good place to start. Obviously, it’s wrong all the time, but I don’t think it’s as terrible as people think it is.
Steve: Well, I’m just kidding of course. What Jamil does is he actually pulls up the map, and then clicks on all the solds in the area. That’s really all you need. You don’t need to make it that much more complicated.
Steve: Because with 70% of an approximate value, you can’t really lose.
Steve: Right? I got to witness, and I thought that was a really neat opportunity.
Jamil: What’s fun is I’m so unaware of what’s going on around me, that you were watching what I was doing on my phone, and I had no idea until now. That’s embarrassing.
Steve: It was fun though. Okay, so what is the greatest lesson that you have learned?
Steve: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jamil: I think there’s a lot. There’s a lot of great lessons, and I don’t want to give the wrong impression or the wrong idea, or sound lofty here, but learning how to meditate.
Jamil: Yeah. Yeah, it changed my life.
Jamil: For sure.
Steve: Talk about that.
Jamil: I mean, I have come to be more still, level-headed, make better decisions. I’m happier, I can be more introspective. I know how to see my own BS.
Jamil: Yeah, for sure.
Steve: What’s an example of seeing your own BS?
Jamil: You know when you just are, when you’re bullshitting yourself. When you create a reason why you’re right and someone else is wrong. You’re doing that to justify an action or a situation. The hardest thing I think, in terms of just being a human being, is getting past yourself. Not taking yourself super seriously. I mean, we’re literally a speck of dust, on a speck of dust, on a speck of dust. We’re so insignificant. So if you look at it from that point of view, then why get so angry? Why get so serious about, and why bullshit yourself? Why waste time telling yourself you’re righteous, or you’re right in a situation? When, if you flipped it and looked at your shortcoming, or looked at what you’ve done wrong, you can learn.
Steve: Right. Yeah.
Jamil: I think the greatest lesson I learned was how to do that. I’m learning more and more about it every day. I do it longer and longer every day. I don’t feel good when I don’t. So if I’ve had a bender of a weekend, I have a hard time on Monday morning trying to sit and focus. Even then, it makes me not maybe want to have that bender on a weekend, right?
Jamil: Because I do want to wake up and make sure I have a good Monday. So I think, yeah, I’d say that’s probably one of the best lessons, if not the best lesson I’ve ever learned.
Steve: Okay. Are there any lessons you’re learning right now?
Jamil: I mean, yeah, all the time. I think the one that’s big for me right now, that I’ve been noticing, is saying yes. Saying yes more. What I mean by that is, you ask me, “Do you want to do a podcast?” Yes. Someone says, “Do you want to meet for lunch?” Yes. “Can I pick your brain?” Yes. I’m just saying yes, and I’m seeing what happens.
Steve: Right. It’s opening more doors, leading to more opportunities.
Jamil: Yeah. I think I spent a lot of time being more like, “Go, go, go, go, go.” They go. People go away. There’s no way to live like that, right?
Steve: Then we kind of talked about this a little bit earlier, but how has failure shaped your life?
Jamil: I mean, I think it’s the only thing that has. You don’t know that you’ve had success unless you’ve failed, because you have no frame of reference. I mean, look at the British royals. They’re born royalty. They don’t know-
Steve: Super rich.
Jamil: Yeah, super rich, completely every want taken care of. They don’t have an understanding of what it’s like to toil or suffer, right? I can tell you, they don’t even know what it feels like to be royal, because they don’t know what it’s like to be normal.
Steve: Oh, yeah, that’s powerful.
Jamil: Right? So if you don’t have that frame of reference, you wake up and you’re a price, that’s all you ever were. You weren’t the frog that became a prince, you’re just a prince. Then you can end up being ungrateful, or you could end up saying, “My life sucks,” or, “I don’t like this. This is too much shit. I can’t leave my house. This is hard, I can’t get married to who I want. I’ve got to do everything this way.” If you don’t have a frame of reference, if you don’t have failure, you have no idea what success is.
Steve: Right, you need that adversity.
Jamil: You need that. It’s higher planet is a contrast, right? So without it, without failure, there’s no such thing as it.
Steve: That’s something that I struggle with, and I don’t know we’ve talked about this, but how do we make sure that our kids aren’t screwed up by spoiling them and so on?
Steve: That’s a great point, is that adversity makes a big deal.
Jamil: Absolutely. I think just making them understand, right? You’ve got to be a dick to your kids every once in a while. You have to. I mean that in the nicest way possible, but you’ve got to let them be out there and swim.
Steve: Yeah. Now, one thing that I have-
Jamil: Oh, my kids are going to kill me.
Steve: One thing that I have some people in my ear talking about is I should, with what I’m doing right now, start a syndication.
Steve: Where I bring in a good bunch of people, guarantee a rate of return on that money. What would you tell them?
Jamil: That’s the fastest way to go to prison.
Steve: What does that mean?
Jamil: I mean, don’t you watch American Greed?
Steve: I have. I have watched American Greed.
Jamil: It’s just a bunch of people who started off with good intentions going to jail. That’s what I think. I think the day you take someone else’s money, you really have to be careful with it. Because even if you don’t know you’re doing something wrong, you could be doing something wrong. The second you do something wrong and you fail, they’re going to put your ass in jail.
Steve: Right. What’s the word I’m looking for? Ponzi. Immediate Ponzi scheme.
Jamil: Yeah, but I think they don’t start like …
Jamil: I don’t think any Ponzi starts off a Ponzi, right?
Jamil: It starts off with a guy wanting to do well, and then wanting to help people. Then they screw up, and then they can’t face the screw up. So they have to …
Steve: Screw up more.
Jamil: So they have to screw up more. Then screw up more, and it just turns into a massive problem.
Jamil: In my opinion, I think there’s a lot of guys who do syndications well. I’m not going to sit here and say that there’s some form of fraud involved in any of them. I think if you peel back the veil, there’s some questionable shit going on.
Jamil: The advice I have is just don’t take people’s money. I think if you’re going to do it, sign your name on it. The only guaranteed rate of return I want to pay is to the bank. I don’t want to have people knocking on my door, saying, “You promised me 10%.” It’s like, well, what happens in a downturn, right?
Steve: Well, you can’t give them 10%.
Jamil: You can’t give them 10%, then you have to have that conversation. Guess what they say you are?
Steve: You’re a crook and a fraud. Then-
Jamil: Then where do you end up?
Steve: You end up on American Greed.
Steve: What have you read that everybody should read?
Jamil: The Autobiography of a Yogi.
Steve: What’s that about?
Jamil: Yeah. It’s a great book.
Steve: I’ll write that down. Autobiography.
Jamil: By Paramahansa Yogananda.
Steve: I’ll get the spelling later. I’ll just do a search for Autobiography of a Yogi.
Jamil: Yeah, great book.
Steve: Okay. What did you learn from that?
Jamil: Dude, so much. So much. It’s a journey. It’s a man’s journey from just regular life to enlightenment. I think there’s a lot of humanity in it, but there’s also a lot of spiritual keys, you know? Especially if you’re a Christian who goes to church often, and you’re spiritual as well. I think you can mix those things together very easily. It’s a non-denominational kind of thing, it’s more of a, “Let’s get outside of ourselves by going inside.”
Steve: Interesting. Fascinating. What have you done that everybody should do?
Jamil: What have I done that everyone should do?
Steve: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jamil: Wake up in the morning. I mean …
Steve: Yeah? You want to elaborate on that?
Jamil: I think get up, and just get at it. Just don’t sit in there. Don’t sit there and sleep.
Steve: Go in there and hustle.
Jamil: Just get out there.
Steve: Again, going back to when I was talking about GaryVee earlier, he says, “I don’t care if you have crazy ambitions, but your actions have to match your ambitions.”
Jamil: Sure. Yeah, get up. Just get up.
Steve: Yeah, very cool. Let’s see, what else is there? Why do you think most people fail?
Jamil: I think everyone fails, so I think that question should be reworded.
Jamil: Because everybody fails. There’s just people who sit in failure, and then there’s people who walk away from it.
Steve: Okay, so let me rephrase that. Why do you think people fail in wholesaling and flipping?
Jamil: Okay. That’s good and specific. I think people fail in wholesaling and flipping because they do one of two things. They bite off more than they can chew, they don’t seek the correct help. Get help.
Jamil: Right, and be realistic about your abilities. That why I think you get failure.
Steve: Okay, that makes a lot of sense. There’s a lot of people here that actually do give back.
Steve: There’s a lot of great mentors around that are happy, and I think that’s part of getting successful. You can’t be successful if you’re not a giver.
Jamil: Yeah. Yeah.
Steve: So I think yeah, definitely. If they’ve got questions, there’s a lot of people that are happy to answer those questions.
Jamil: For sure.
Steve: Then, is there anything that keeps you up at night?
Jamil: The Fed.
Steve: What’s the Fed doing that’s keeping you up at night?
Jamil: I mean, I’m just worried about interest rates. I don’t know. No, I don’t even think that keeps me up at night. The honest answer to that question is my parents dying. I’m one of those guys. I worry about them, right? You never know, so …
Steve: You don’t, it’s true. Max wants to know, do you drive the KeyGlee [G ride 01:00:44] around?
Jamil: I have not. You know what? My partners don’t let me drive it, because they haven’t added me to the insurance.
Steve: So who drives it?
Jamil: It’s a staff car, yeah.
Steve: Okay, so we’re wrapping this up now. If someone’s brand new and they want to send you a deal, what’s the best way to do that?
Jamil: You email me. Jamil, J-A-M-I-L, @keyglee.com.
Steve: Okay, easy enough. This was awesome. Thank you very much for your time.
Jamil: Thank you.
Steve: There’s a lot of wisdom.
Jamil: Awesome. Appreciate you.
Steve: Lots of great stuff here. Again, if you guys liked this show, please just share this episode right now. Don’t forget to join me next week, same day, same time. Got Brent Daniels-
Jamil: Brent Daniels. Juggernaut.
Steve: Talk to people.
Steve: A monster.
Steve: Then also visit our website, realestatedisruptors.com, to find out about our upcoming events. All right. Thank you, guys.
Jamil: Thank you, Steve. Appreciate you, brother.
Steve: Appreciate you too.
Jamil: All right.