The 4 Keys To Real Estate Success

The question that Zack Childress poses in every podcast is how do real estate investors build real wealth and freedom without access to millions of dollars in capital? His mission is to help you find the answer.

Today’s show gives you 4 tips that successful real estate investors use to grow their businesses.

Step 1: Find motivated sellers. Yes, there are different kinds of sellers, different ways of reaching them, etc. You can break step 1 down into categories if you want, but it all ends up under the heading of motivated sellers.

The other steps are just as basic. You need money and buyers. You need to use the telephone and automation.

This is critical to your business. It’s not hard to envision and not hard to implement. Remember that. Don’t make it harder than it is.

“When you’re comfortable, you’re complacent.”

Entrepreneurs cannot afford comfort or complacency. You are working for your freedom… the freedom to do (or not do) anything.

Watch and learn:

Listen and enjoy:

What’s inside:

  • Do not overcomplicate real estate investment
  • You won’t get a loan if you don’t ask for one
  • Build a buyers list
  • Focus on one thing – real estate

Mentioned in this episode:


Download episode transcript in PDF format here…

Zack Childress:  I want to help you guys understand couple of things. Number one, I want you to understand like real estate doesn’t have to be that complicated. I mean, let’s just be real here. Okay? Real estate does not have to be that complicated. We have a tendency as human beings, as human nature. We have a tendency to make things complicated. And I don’t know why we do, but we do.

Zack Childress:  It’s just the nature of our existence, right? We want it to be harder than it is. We want it to be more difficult than it is and it doesn’t have to be because we are fixers. Do you understand that? Like we’re designed, we’re breed, we were created to fix things. And the problem is we’re always trying to find something to fix. Like if you go all the way back to the prehistoric days, we were fixing our living, we were trying to figure out how to get heat from fire and how to build shelters now to fix our hunger and go find food. We were gatherers and we were hunters and you know, this is what we were. We were innately designed that way. And so, I share that with you because I want you to understand that when we get into business were designed the same way.

Zack Childress:  We go into business. We want to build a business, we want to make income, want to live a life that we can be happy about. We want to not just do that, but we want to make sure that we have the ability to not overstress and not overwork ourselves. And because of that, we’re trying to fix that problem, right? We’re trying to fix what it is that we think is our issue, which is financial stability. And we’re trying to fix that. We’re trying to fix retirement. We’re trying to fix freedom. We’re trying to fix our relationships with our loved ones, we’re trying to fix relationships with our kids and fix relationships with our wives and fix relationships with our parents and fix relationships in our work environment. We’re always trying to fix something, right. And because of that, when we get into business, we’re always trying to fix it.

Zack Childress:  Even though there’s things in the business that we need to dial in and get right or make better does not mean that we’re always having to fix something. And that’s where the complication aspect comes in. Because we look at something and it can’t be that easy. Right? Oh, we can’t be that easy. You mean to tell me that all I got to do is get a mentor and follow four steps and I can make this business work. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Like I’ve taken some of the dumbest people in the world and showed them how to do real estate. I’ve taken some of the most difficult people and show them how to do real estate engineers. Like I’ve had an engineer with a doctorate degree that I showed how to get retired with real estate where he was never going to do with his doctorate of engineering. And you’re talking about a difficult client, oh my word. That was probably one of the most challenging clients that I’ve ever worked with in my life.

Zack Childress:  He was just too smart. He was way too smart. The problem with that was, is when you’re trying to explain the simplicity of what real estate really is, he could not even imagine it being that easy. Couldn’t be, he would have to build a spreadsheet on it. Let me, I got to build a spreadsheet. I need to build the spreadsheet. Like we got built spreadsheet. Like, let’s put this in a graph. Let’s make a graph, let’s make a chart. Let’s put a spreadsheet together. I’m like, what? Like what? Like why don’t we got to make a chart? What are we going to make a graph, why do we got to make a spreadsheet? Like, are you kidding me? Pick up the phone, dial that phone. Make an offer, get some money together. Put your team together, let’s close deals, right? But we have a tendency to make it harder than it needs to be and it’s just because it’s the way we’re designed.

Zack Childress:  We’re designed to think it’s broke, we got to fix it, and so here’s the point with this. That’s the way that you are allowing yourself to be. Then the problem is, is you’re never going to appreciate the simplicity of real estate investing. Yeah, does real estate investing, have some complications. Of course, it does, and it usually is pertained to the seller or the actual closing of the deal because you could have title issues that pop up. You can have funding issues that could pop up, you know, those are the things that tend to get us a little complicated and those are things that need to be fixed. Okay? But the process in which we do real estate is not complex. Okay? It really breaks down to four key elements. So, write them down. Number one, you have to find motivated sellers. That’s it.

Zack Childress:  Number one, key number one, you’ve got to find motivated sellers. Now, can we take key number one and break it into a whole bunch of other aspects? Of course, we could. We could break it into, we could have public seller leads, private seller leads under public selling leads. How do we associate that, that’s auction sites, MLS, things like that? How do we handle an auction site? How do we handle the MLS? What’s a realtor roundup look like? How do we move that into a process where we can make it work? Right? But ultimately it falls under key one. Find motivated sellers. Then we can take the private seller leads, and we can round that into doing direct mail, doing door knocking, running bandit signs, running ad placement, you know, posting ads online. Working networking events like with our bird dogs and our wholesalers. There’s a whole plethora of lead sources.

Zack Childress:  Getting on the phone, making phone calls, talking with property management companies. All of that is a lead source. So, if I said to you, I want you to do a deal a month, then you need how many leads sources. That’s right. You need 12 lead sources. I teach it all the time, if you want 12 deals a year, then you need to have one lead source per deal you want and that way you expect one deal out of every lead source per year. So, if I want to do 12 deals a year, then I need 12 lead sources. So where can my 12 leads sources be in this little bowl I’ve got over here, right? Finding motivated sellers. I know I’ve got public and private seller leads in the public seller leads. I’ve got auctions, right? Like

Zack Childress:  That’s a lead source. I was just on it last night and was finding all kinds of deals. I’ve got MLS, that’s a lead source. I had a friend of mine run me a search on that and Jeez Louise, I ended up looking at three deals from it. And then we go over to the private seller leads. Like, right, I can direct mail vacant, I can direct mail foreclosures, I could run bandit signs. I’m up to five now. I could get bird dogs going. I’m up to six now. I could call property management companies. And get them on my team. I’m up to seven now. You with me? I can do door knocking them at eight. Now you know, you guys follow me, you follow me? You follow me? Right? So, I just keep building out those list sources. Okay. Are endless sources. Those lead sources to say, look, if I want 12 needs 12 deals a year, I need 12 lead sources operating for me.

Zack Childress:  That’s key number one. Okay? Keep it simple. Keep it simple. Key number one, find seller leads. And I how many deals do you want to do a year, that’s how many lead sources, you need to work. Okay? Key source number two. Key strategy number two is you’ve got to get your funding together. Look guys, I get it. A lot of you want to be wholesaling and I think right now as a market, the wholesale and rehab, I really do. I don’t think that you should be spending time doing anything else. Honestly. You should be rehabbing and you should be wholesaling. So, we need leads to wholesale and we need leads to buy for rehabbing, right? So key component number two is getting your funding together. So, what do you got to do you got to get up and start getting your funding together? You can’t sit around and think somebody’s just going to drop 500 grands in your lap that you’re going to go do real estate deals with.

Zack Childress:  You got to get out there and talk to people. You got to go down to the banks. You’ve got to start talking to the banks. They’re going to be the cheapest money you can find and you’d be surprised right now how they’re giving money away. You have to talk to them. You got to get them. You have to say, hey look, I need money. Where do you. What do I need to do to do this with you? Now some of you might be saying Zack, but my credit is like a 525. They’re not going to loan me money. Okay, well I get it, but let’s go talk to them and see what you got to do to get them to loan you money, right? Number one. Number two, you got to start talking to asset-based lenders. There’s a plethora of these guys out there. I mean, there is an endless supply of asset-based lenders right now and asset-based lenders are lenders that loan you money based on the asset, they don’t care about you. And you’d be surprised at where these loans are coming in at.

Zack Childress:  I got students that are going to asset-based lenders to buy, fix and flip properties, they’re getting 100 percent of the purchase price funded and the remodel costs funded as long as they’re 70 percent of the ARV and below. Yeah, and here’s the best part. There are only being charged one point nine and a half percent interest for the funds. Guys I’m telling you, the money is not your problem. Key number two, you’ve got to find the money and that’s just one of them, right? I mean there’s. I mean I have a whole training where I teach nine different funding sources, not nine different asset-based lenders, but nine different funding source types that you can start getting money from, but that’s key number two, you got to get your money right.

Zack Childress:  You got to get out there and start getting your money together. That means calling 50 hard money in the asset-based lenders. You do that, get you money together because here’s why you don’t want a wholesale forever. You know, I look at it the other day, you know, buying a deal off of a wholesale, he’s going to make five grand on it and don’t get me wrong, I like wholesaling, but when all you’re doing is wholesaling and let’s say you’re making five or 10,000 per deal, well let’s put it together. Like you’ve got to do four times more than a rehabber does to make the same type of money in most cases. Four times more. Right? So, I asked wholesalers when they come in. I’m like, why’d you do wholesaling? And they were like, well I was new and this is where I wanted to start and I didn’t have the money.

Zack Childress:  Okay, well, if you would’ve had the money, where would you have started? Well, I’d probably done rehabs. Okay. Well why didn’t you start looking for the money? Well, I didn’t think there was anybody out there that would loan me money. Well, did you ask? No, it’s a huge mistake. People just don’t ask, they assume and they don’t ask you. Listen, if you’re a wholesaler right now, you need to be rehabbing too because all those deals, you’re wholesaling selling offer a $10,000 assignment fee. You could take it down and fix it up and sell it and make 40,000. There’s no way in the world you’d see me get rid of a house for 10 grand. Because you’ve got to remember there’s three steps to rehabbing you, got to you got to get my rehabbing course.

Zack Childress:  I got to rehab course. This thing is like a to z. there’s two aspects of it. You can get the study at home course, and it comes with the manual. It also comes with the DVDs from the live training, or you can take the full kit, which is, you get the three days here with me plus the manual plus the recordings. But I literally run my flipping business in three fields. Step one is everything that I do, actually, I don’t even do it. I have a partner that does it, and that’s finding deals, vetting deals, building relationships, getting the money together, right? Step two is everything the contractor does demo in the property, repairing the property, getting it together, getting it where it needs to go, getting it ready for sale, right? And then step three is everything my agent does staging the property, listing the property, showing the property, selling the property.

Zack Childress:  Do you understand? Three steps. We keep it simple, guys. Keep it simple. There’s three steps to rehabbing. How many of those do I do? Well, I don’t really do any of them, but if you don’t have a partner yet, you just do one. Now you go check on your contractor and you get reports from your agent, but you don’t overcomplicate this mess, man. So that’s the point. That’s why I call it Rehabbing Made Easy. People over complicate it. They make it harder than it needs to be. It’s absolutely ridiculous. How people try to make this thing more complicated than it needs to be. But that’s what I’m saying you got to be rehabbing, so you’ve got to have the funds together. You’ve got to get your funds together, okay? Now, key step number three is you got to build a million-dollar buyers list. You’ve got, if you’re going to wholesale, you need to be building a million-dollar buyers list.

Zack Childress:  You need to be having buyers, enough buyers in your database that if you add them all together, they, they collectively buy over a million dollars a year in real estate, right? So, think about that. That can be 10 investors buying $100,000, house, million dollars’ worth of purchase power. Because if I go out and I say, well look, if I sell a million dollars’ worth of real estate, I make $100,000. So, I need a million-dollar buyers list, right? That’s what I need. And so, I can get to earning a million a year. So, this is what you got to pay attention to. So how many ways are there to build your buyer’s list? Guys, there are a plethora. What you’ve got to remember, I started, we didn’t have technology and software. I’m old school, okay? I can build a buyer’s list and any market without software.

Zack Childress:  I don’t need software. I love software. Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s powerful for our business, but I don’t need click button. Find my buyers. I know every site that these buyers are at. I know how to find them. I know how to get them. I know how to get my properties exposed. I know how to put buyers on a deal using the web. That’s what I know. Okay? And that’s the beauty of it is you need to learn this too, right? You need to know how to do a meetup roundup for buyers. You need to know how to do a Facebook group buyers list. You need to know how to go and use all the sites like Kwanzoo and Hot Pads and Oodle, and C Ad and Craigslist in an aspect. I mean there are a plethora of them.

Zack Childress:  You need to know how to build relationships with management companies that when you have a rental property, you can shoot it over to them and they sell it to their landlords. Like you need to be building a million-dollar buyers lists and it’s not that hard. I see it all the time. Students go out and find deals and they don’t ever sell them and ask them, I’m like, well, what’d you do? Well, I, uh, I put her on craigslist. Okay, what else did you do? Oh, well, I used the syndicated side. It’s split it on a whole bunch of other websites. Okay. What else did you do? Well, that’s all I did. Well, why? Well, I just thought that that was getting some exposure. Okay, well how many people did you call when you mean call? You understand like it’s the lack of information that stops people from being wealthy.

Zack Childress:  It’s not that they can’t be wealthy, it’s the lack of the information. So, step three is all about building your million-dollar buyers list. That’s three steps so far. Step one, you’ve got to get the leads. We talked about those. Step two, you get the funding. We talked about that in step three. You got to get your buyers together. You got to get them together. And that those three steps right there alone allow you to really start to move into the market pretty quickly. Got my leads sellers got my buyers, got my funding lined up. Now I’m going to wholesale, wholesale, wholesale. Oh, wait a minute, this one’s got a $40,000 profit. I’m going to use my funding and I’m going to go in and close it. Not my funding, but I’m going to use my funding partnership. I’m going to close that deal. I’m going to close that deal. I’m going to turn that over to my contractor.

Zack Childress:  Let them do the work. When my contractors done, we’re going turn it over to the agent and let the agent do the work, right? Those three things alone will get you in the business. Here’s something, I was having a great conversation with a, a really, really good friend of mine, dear friend, Christian Brother sharp a nail. I’m just a good guy. I mean, absolutely a good guy. And he associates with some very, very strong investors in this market. I’m talking about guys that do two, three, 400 deals a year, right? And, you know, one of the things he was sharing with me on the call yesterday I was, we were just going back and forth about the real estate market and what I was seeing and you know, I get those calls all the time because I do a lot of market research and you know, people will say Zack what do you see, what’s going on, like where are we, where are we headed to, where are we headed to, and, and we were talking about that and, and one of the things I was asking him was I said, well, where do you see all the people that, I mean he, he, he networks in a group of about 120 powerhouse investors.

Zack Childress:  And I said, what are you seeing in your group? And he said, man, these guys are all over the place. He’s like, they’re all over the place. You know, they’ve got successful real estate businesses. But the next thing you know, they want to start going and doing everything else. They want to write a book now they want to build this now they want to go do this now. And he’s like, and what I noticed is, is their real estate business suffers because they’re pulling away from it doing other ventures. And I asked him, I said, Jason, what do you think the number one flaw is for a real estate investor? And he says, it’s easy. I see it. It’s focus.

Zack Childress:  That’s the number one flaw. He said it’s their focus. When they’re focused on something, it’s like nothing will get in their way. They’re the rhino right. They’re, the rhino, they’re the, they’re going, nothing’s getting in its way. Nothing’s going to stop it. Nothing, right? He’s like, but keeping that focus is challenging for anyone. But the key to this is, is when you’re extremely focused on the path that you’re going down, there’s absolutely nothing that’s going stop you from getting there. I mean, here’s the thing guys, look, I own nine companies, okay? Nine different companies and one of them requires the majority of my time. Just one of them and I, and I love it. I love sharing. I love teaching. I love all the success stories that we create. I love that we’re a global education company. I love that I have students in Australia and Canada and Singapore and Malaysia and everywhere in between. I love that aspect of this, okay.

Zack Childress:  But at the same time, you look at all the other things. Focus is what got me to that point. Focus is what got me out of a trailer. Part focus is what got me out of a very messed up life back in the day, focus on where I wanted to go and what I wanted, but that’s the focus, right? Focus is the only thing that separates you from those who win in business and those who fail in business. Focus is the only thing that will separate you from being a successful real estate investor and not, its focus and focus is hard because why? We’re naturally lazy. We would rather have a live any. Here’s this. Let me explain. This is America. We would rather have the life that we work nine to five with no responsibilities once we get off at five with no risk and no stress, no accountability, no. I got to worry about other people and come home and lay on the couch and watch TV.

Zack Childress:  There’s no stress to that, right, but there’s no growth. There’s no abundance, there’s no taking exotic trips, there’s no paying off your house in two years. There’s no living the debt free lifestyle from that model. Because the focus in that moment is being comfortable. I want to be comfortable. I don’t want to be stressed, and this is why entrepreneurs have such a hard journey because we embrace the stress, we embrace the challenge. We embrace the focus that’s on the other side. We say, look, I want the reward and I’m willing to do what others aren’t to get to that. That’s what I’m willing to do. I’m willing to sacrifice the whole, come home, lay on the couch and be stress free so that I can live a better life much faster. Meaning most people retire at the age of 55-60, somewhere around there.

Zack Childress:  So, got to go get jobs at home depot just to get an insurance plan. Right? No, you understand? That’s because they live that comfortable life. And let me. Let me say this to you too. This was something a mentor shared to me a long, long time ago, and it hit me like a brick of nails. I mean, it smacked me upside the head. He said, Zack, when you’re comfortable, be scared. He said, be scared. He said, because when you’re comfortable, you’re complacent and you’re not growing. You’re not succeeding in what you were meant to be. You’re not digging deeper into who you are and what you’re supposed to be in this world. You understand we’re supposed to change people’s lives. It goes all the way back from being a Christian. I say it all the time. What’s a Christian’s job? To share the message.

Zack Childress:  That’s how we know it today, right? All the disciples and all the Christians shared the message all the way to who I am today. It’s the same in life. We’re meant to share the message, whether it be our faith, our Christianity, or whether it’s to be. How to change your life and how to become a better, you know, investor, how to become a better business owner. It’s about sharing, caring, and putting it out there. Man. I’m getting hot here today and sorry guys. I don’t know. It was on my mind. It’s been on my mind for a couple of days. Right? It’s like I’m constantly thinking about like there’s more to business than the money you understand, and look, I’ve made a lot of money. I’m not going to act like I have. And I’ve done a lot of good in my community. I mean, I volunteer all the time, I’ve done a lot of things. But at the same time, it’s not the money, right? It’s not the money. It’s the ability to say I don’t have to do anything if I don’t want to. That’s what it boils down to. It’s the ability to say, look, if I want to get up tomorrow and say I’m done with everything, I’m done with everything that’s control, right? I don’t want to feel like that I have to work for somebody for another 20 years in hopes that I’m going to get a retirement plan out of them.

Zack Childress:  Build your own, build your own my friends and it’s not too late. I got students that are in their seventies that have hired me as a coach to help them build their retirement plan. I’ve got students that are in their twenties that have hired me to get them out of the rat race. Right. It’s not too late. You just got to be willing to do what others aren’t and you got to be willing to sacrifice. Look people, my friends laugh at me all the time. A lot of my friends say, I work too much and I say, it’s not work. When you love it and you got a goal. It’s not work. I’m focused. I’m focused on what I want. I’m focused on where I’m going and I’m focused on what I’m doing for my kids. Listen, the worst thing in my mind that I can do is not leave my kids with the legacy that I’m building.

Zack Childress:  That’s like the thing wrenches at my soul. Do you understand? Like for me to just work, pay my bills and say to my kids, good luck, good luck out there, hope you make it. That hurts my heart to even think that that’s how I could be. I bust my rear end to build what I’ve built so that my children’s children will say, man, we sure are glad grandpa Childress got into real estate. You know, he was sure it was a smart fella from Alabama who knows where they’ll be living at that time. So, you know but that’s. I look at my kids every day and I think man, I’m that much closer to making their lives that much better. I’m that much closer to able to put them in the best schools that they ever want to go to. I’m that much closer to leaving a living trust to their kids so that their kids can go to the best college ever.

Zack Childress:  I’m that much closer, I’m that much closer. You know what I mean? I’m that much closer. My drive is not me anymore. My drive is legacy. My drive is my children’s children. That’s my drive. I’m designed to change my bloodline, not by name. I love my bloodline, but I’m saying changing the forward progression. And so, it’s hard for a lot of people to conceive that because they don’t think that they can do it or they might’ve tried a business in the past that failed miserably and they predict that every business coming forward in front of them is going to be the same and it’s just not the truth. Do you know many businesses I failed at? If you had any clue, listen, I have started operated, ran, bought, merged with over 30, almost 40 different companies in the last 15 years, and let me tell you, not all of them were a hit, so not all of them were hit.

Zack Childress:  Number four is you have to automate the deal flow. Okay? You can set up the first three keys. You can get your seller leads coming in, you can get you funding together and you can get you buyers together and all that’s great, but you got to automate the deal flow. You got to automate that deal flow so that you’re able to do more faster than anyone. You got to be able to put more offers in the market than anyone else is doing. You got to be able to put more follow-up game in the market than anyone is doing. Okay. You got to think about that guys. You got to think about that. You really have to think about that. Okay?

You’ve been listening to the Real Estate Investing Talk Show. I’m Zack Childress and I’m on a mission to create 10,000 real estate bosses over the next year. Will you be one of them?
Head over to my website,, and register for my free web class, where you’ll discover how to escape from the nine to five grind and become your own boss in real estate. See you there.