Real Estate CRM With Danny Johnson

Episode 491: Real Estate CRM With Danny Johnson

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REIS 491 Danny Johnson | Real Estate CRM


CRMs are great tools that help out real estate investors trying to find the perfect deals. You need a CRM with the right mix of features and usability for your business needs. In this episode, Mitch Stephen interviews Danny Johnson, real estate investor and the creator of the lead management software, ForeFront CRM. Danny talks about how he got into real estate investing and shares insights on the creation of ForeFront CRM. He also talks about the ideal customer and how to build the right CRM for them. Listen in to find out more about CRMs and what kind is best for your purposes.

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If you haven’t had a chance to learn how I managed to have an average of four days on the market with the last 200 houses that I’ve sold, check out 1000Houses.com/Livecomm. I’ve managed to sell my houses in four days or less with no signs. I don’t use any signs anymore. I don’t put any signs in my yard or in the neighborhood. I don’t do anything anymore. I use LiveComm and sell my houses. It’s good for so much more. Thank you for sponsoring this episode, LiveComm. We are here with Danny Johnson. How are you doing?

Great. Thanks for having me on, Mitch.

Danny has his own podcast called Flipping Junkie. He also is the creator of a nice CRM that we’re going to be talking about because the subject is all about the follow-up. If you have the right follow-up system for the leads that you have, you probably don’t have to concentrate on getting more leads. You need to concentrate on converting the leads that you’ve already driven into your system. How are you doing, Danny?

I’m doing great.

We had the same mentor from way back. He’s not a guy who posed or put himself out as a guru but he was quiet and still is quite an amazing investor. We grew up under this guy’s tutelage and watching what he was doing. He prefers to remain anonymous, I’m sure. We’ll keep him around. He’s a San Antonian. Danny and I have a lot of history. We certainly grew up making the same notes on the same piece of paper from the same guy. Tell us a little bit about your background so the readers can learn who you are and then we’ll move forward.

I’m always tempted to mention his name. I’m sure people are like, “Who is this guy?”

No one knows him anyway. It doesn’t matter.

I went to college to be a computer software engineer, a software developer. While I was doing that, my father started fixing up houses. As a house flipper, he was having a bunch of fun doing that. Growing up, he was a contractor for our mentor. I grew up as a kid cleaning out demos in these junky houses and all that kind of stuff. After I graduated college, I was working a job as a software developer. That was okay. I’m making good money. My dad was having the time of his life. I was saying, “Software is great but he’s having a lot more fun than I am. I want to do that. I want to be out there on the road while everybody else is at the office at work. I want to be doing that stuff. Checking out my properties and live in that life.”

I got into it and was part-time for about three years. I went through the market correction back in ‘07 and ‘08. I made it through all that stuff with the help of our mentor and people like Mitch. This owner financing and stuff like that helped us get through that whole situation. Coming back out of that as the market started improving was when I transitioned to focusing on building my business more as a business instead of treating it like a hobby. It was run like a hobby for so long because I didn’t go to business school. I didn’t have all that education. The transition happened after the market got better back around 2012, 2013. I started to build that out as a true business and eventually had more freedom to work back in software and do both. I created software for real estate investors. I got the best of both worlds in there together while it’s doing that up to now where I’m mostly picking up rental properties.

You struck a chord with me. You said your dad was having fun. In my book, My Life & 1,000 Houses: Failing Forward to Financial Freedom, I have a quote from Michener and I want to read it. It says, “The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and play, his labor and leisure, his mind and body, his information and recreation, his love and religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does. Leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him, he is always doing both.” That’s what you wanted.

After reading that quote, when this book came out, my wife read that quote in the front of the book that I captured from James Michener. She said, “For the first time in my life, I understand you.” She’s always thought like, “Where are you at? It’s 10:30 PM.” “I’m working.” “Where are you at?” “I’m at Reggiano’s.” She says, “That’s a bar. You’re not working.” I said, “You don’t understand what I do.” The guy I’m sitting next to is worth millions of dollars. I need some private money. Believe me, I’m having fun but I’m working.” She always thought I was screwing off. Like you, there’s not a second that your brain isn’t calculating.

There is no point of even having a CRM if you don't have a clear idea of what you're even using it for. Share on X

As I started transitioning to build my business more like a business, I couldn’t understand how my dad wouldn’t do the same. He had it as a business but he was operating a little bit differently, having a lot of my family work with him and things like that. We were getting more into the systematized thing. That wasn’t for him and he didn’t want to have anything to do with it. I didn’t understand that but as I’ve gotten older, I do realize like I understand he’s doing what he loves. He’s doing it how he loves doing it and it’s not work for him.

He’s not trying to find a way out of it. Whereas that is what some people are doing with building that thing. They’re trying to find a way out of that. He loves what he’s doing. I wanted to mention too about your book. I can’t imagine anybody reading this hasn’t read your book. If anybody has not, I absolutely loved that book because it’s real. You talk about many real things and show who you are. You get to know who you are. It’s a fantastic story. I was trying to think of the real estate book that I enjoyed the most. After coming on here, I’m not trying to blow a bunch of smoke or anything. It’s an excellent book. It’s one of the top real estate books out there.

I appreciate that. The only reason it worked out the way it did is that I was writing out of grief because of a tragedy that happened to me. I didn’t know I was writing a book. I was simply journaling to myself into an audience. I don’t know why I picked the audience. I was trying to explain myself. It turns out later that there’s a phenomenon that happens. I learned this from a guy who was 40 years in geriatrics who’d watched a lot of people die. When there’s a tragedy in your life, you find the need to catalog your life. What I was doing was cataloging my life. I was being very honest with myself because I was so raw and grieving. I didn’t care about what anyone thought about anything. I was telling you how it happened. “This ain’t the way it’s supposed to go but this is how it happened. This is how I fixed it. This is how I didn’t fix it.”

The honesty and the rawness are what came through in that book. That’s what connects with people. I pull my pants down a lot to show my hiney and all my time in the woods. That’s the other thing that people connect about because everybody spends their time in the woods before they find themselves. If you’re not forced to spend some time in the woods, which is the problem with being born with a silver spoon in your mouth then you never do get it done because you didn’t get your back against the wall hard enough to come out and find out what kind of man or woman you are.

Ken D’Angelo, the Founder of HomeVestors said, “Entrepreneurs rarely end up with the business they start out with. They’re always mutating or morphing to the path with the most money for the least resistance.” I see that in my life. I have a lot of residual businesses that some of them are starting to do better than my house business. You’re doing that too. Let’s talk about the residual side and the CRM that you’ve learned to develop.

A lot of this comes back to, “What’s the point of even having a CRM?” if you don’t have a clear idea of what you’ve been using it for. A lot of investors out there, when they hear about CRM, they’re thinking, “I’ve got my system. It’s working fine.” This is probably the eighth iteration of a CRM system that I’ve built. It’s evolved to this. I’ve run the whole gamut of what it could be. I feel like a lot of software tends to be competing with other similar software and trying to one-up them like have the longer feature list. We did that. What I found with that situation was that the usability sucked. If you don’t have a system you’re using that you like to use, you tend to not use it or at least to its ability. It doesn’t end up helping you.

How many times have I wanted to take my TV control and throw it out the window saying, “I want to on and off switch, a channel changer and a volume I don’t want all this other stuff?”

That’s why I like the Apple TV remote. It does everything. It’s a pain in the ass when you got to put a password in. We built out the thing that had all the crazy stuff in it and then I scrapped it. It was hard. It was a lot of hours and money. We had customers that were using it, okay and good with it but it’s still the usability. I wanted to start by thinking, “Let’s get rid of all of our assumptions.” I had a brilliant guy that was working with me that was telling me the minimum viable product things, “Stop making so many assumptions about what it’s supposed to be and what it’s supposed to do. Make as few as you can. It’ll be embarrassing at first what you release but what it’s going to evolve to will be something different. Evolved to something that’s even better.”

It goes into the whole thing like you were talking about that quote from Ken D’Angelo. With the different respect to it, this side of creativity. If you follow a play-by-play from somebody else and if that play doesn’t work and you say, “Whatever,” and you go to the next play and keep doing this play, you don’t find a creative aspect of it to make it your own or find your own path. There’s something lost there. There’s an element that doesn’t work out very well.

We created the system to focus on lead management and follow-up. At the core, that’s what it is. It’s to help you. If you put a lead in there, you’re going to have a much better chance of turning that into a deal. That’s the whole entire focus. That has to do with communication and things like that. We can talk about all those feature stuff. Nobody cares. What matters is doing that. There was a time that I got a little bit of a slap in the face when I had released the book Flipping Houses Exposed because I did 34 weeks in my life at that point years ago of generating 495 leads within that 34 weeks. Motivated sellers lead, qualified leads not some list. I did eleven deals during that book, during those 34 weeks out of the 495 leads. That was 1 out of every 45 leads to get a deal.

Over time I didn’t even see that at the time people were telling me, “This is great,” because it shows me it’s a numbers game. Before, some people would go out and find maybe 5 or 10 potential deals and not get those, not turn those into deals and then feel like they’re doing something wrong, their market is too competitive or they’re not cut out for this. Seeing that, “I was having to take more leads, pass on them and eventually, I would get a deal, show them that they could do the same thing.” At the end of the day, it was poor management of the company and what was happening once those leads were coming in, which was where the problem was.

REIS 491 Danny Johnson | Real Estate CRM

Real Estate CRM: If you don’t have a system that you’re using that you like to use, you tend to not use it. So it doesn’t end up helping you.


Are you going to your customers to find out what you need? You said, “Get rid of all your assumptions.” You only know what you know. You only know what you think you know. How are you figuring out that they were your assumptions and not fact?

Communication is paramount with customers. From the beginning of the revamp and the redo, that’s where we’ve been. Constant communication. I’ve got some of the most ideal customers on my cell phone. I call them directly. We have Zoom calls every two weeks with whoever wants to join. We set the vision but then they guide how that’s implemented, the usability of it and how that all works out. They hold us to one of the core values that we have and to keep the thing simple. The whole point is having something where you’re not getting calls from your team about how to use this thing. Your team should be calling you about situations regarding business like doing deals, not, “How do you do this or that with the software? Things are not working.” You’re not spending all your time messing with something supposed to save you time.

This could be an uncomfortable question but it needs to be addressed. Part of the problem with some of the CRM that I bought or whatever was that it didn’t do what I wanted it to do. I needed pretty much what they had. I have an extra seat in my office or something else. That was always an issue. How are you dealing with the one-size-fits-all? How does it do that?

We’re not being one-size-fits-all. That is a distinction.

That’s a real-life problem. His office is not set up like my office. My office is not set up like your office. Every office is different.

The last version is where we built out everything for everybody. That’s why that didn’t work. Multiple markets that are running 3 or 4 teams are doing this and the other thing, needing to transfer calls, mid-call and all this stuff going on. That’s not the majority of people. Typically, those people need custom solutions. They’re set up because that might be great to build that out and somebody else might say, “I can grow into that.” No because you’re paying for a lot more and you’re not going to use that stuff.

It’s going to bog you down because you are not operating at that level. We focused on who’s the ideal customer because we want to do that for them. The ideal customer is somebody that’s generating leads. You don’t need a CRM for generating leads. We’re not going to sell you on it if you don’t have something to put into the system. You’ve got to be generating leads and doing some deals. Whether you’re doing it yourself, mom and pop or got a small team, that’s who we’re for. We’re for that person that’s doing that. You got some team communication in there and all that good stuff. We’re not multiple markets and we’re not doing all those big crazy things that aren’t necessary.

I did the Math and what I’m about to tell you is at $7, I can get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Somewhere there’s a guy that can wipe his backside with my financials down the street and not very far. There are a lot of people who like to be where I’m at. This is where I’m at. I bought a house every 4 to 5 days in or about San Antonio for more than 2.5 decades. About 100 houses a year. You don’t have to do that volume to be a successful person. The only reason I’m not doing 200 is because this is where I want to be. If it becomes too much, I’ll cut it down to 50. It doesn’t matter. For the average user of your CRM, how many deals are they averaging per year?

Overall, if I average, it was probably about twenty.

That is the point I wanted to make. You built something for that group of people that was not overly complicated and was easy enough to navigate. I had to build my own for the reasons and I wish I didn’t. $50,000 later, it’s almost working right. You have a degree or an education in software. I don’t even know how to talk to these people. One of the most important things I learned is if you don’t have the complete vision of what you want to do before you start, it turns out to be like one of those rehab houses where they have an add-on to an add-on. The crap doesn’t flow. The house doesn’t flow. It looks like, “There are seventeen additions at this house and it looks like crap.”

If you’re using software that you’ve noticed has not changed one bit in years, there’s a term called code debt. The house gets to a point where you can’t do anything to it because it’s such a mess already. Many things have been put on without planning beforehand that it’s almost impossible to change without blowing the whole thing up.

Constant communication with customers is paramount from beginning to end. Share on X

Are you offering a free trial? Are you giving away something? I forgot that part in the notes or you didn’t put it in the note?

That’s a fourteen-day free trial

Everyone to go to 1000Houses.com/4front. There’s some demo over there or whatever Danny wants to show you it’ll be over there and ways to hook up with a CRM. You need a CRM whether you hit Danny’s, you get someone else or you make your own. You got to have one because you’re spending too much money on leads. I want to talk to everybody. It might be one of the nuggets out of this show. A lot of times, we get on these shows and we do get some nuggets that are planned but you might get a nugget that’s not planned. They can be equally as valuable. You said a couple of things I wanted to touch base with you about. Get over to 1000Houses.com/4front. Check out and get your fourteen-day free trial. See how simple it is in Imagine if it works for you.

I’m going to say that most of the people probably reading this would be happy to do twenty houses a year. The nature of this show and information business is new people coming in. Certainly, there are some people doing 100 houses a year and who may be reading that do more than 100 houses a year but it’s a thin slice of the pie. No matter how good your CRM is, still you running into buyers. Who wants to sell for retail and they’re not going to pay a discounted price to us?

There’s this guy named Chris. He teaches you how to make relationships with one certain realtor who understands what you’re doing. You flip all those other leads that you can’t buy so that they can be listed and sold on MLS for market price. I’ve thought about this before. For whatever reason, that always fell apart because I didn’t make it my sole endeavor to figure out how to make it work. There’s this guy that I’m going to introduce you to that has figured out how to make it work. He told me how it works, what I was doing wrong and why it wouldn’t work the way I had tried it a few times before, I said, “No wonder yours work and mine doesn’t.”

It’s a no-brainer but it’s one of those tiny little minutia things that an expert figured out. I’m saying maybe when you collect your CRM here from Danny, go ahead and take this idea to and find a way to push off all these leads that need to be listed on MLS. You already have their name and already talking to them. You make this appointment. He teaches you how to find a realtor and a couple of key things. We started with honestly not the most seasoned closer in the world. We’ve already listed and sold six properties that we made 40% of the commission on. It’s happening to pay for our advertising, mailouts and whatever it is we’re doing. We believe now it can completely 100% offset our mailings costs.

One of my favorite customers in the system is Don. He does a hybrid model. I hear a lot more about people doing this hybrid model of agent and investor. His wife is an agent. Within forefront, he’s got a pipeline view that is for his flipping and then if a lead comes in that’s not for that’s going to go more to the listing side. He’s got a separate pipeline view with that. He’s got running down two different pipelines

There’s a technique in a way to do it that works in the way I was trying to do it never seems to work. It was obvious once I saw it. You guys will see it when you go over to that link. These are the kinds of things that the CRM can also give you a heads up say, “They want retail. You’ve got to get it to this person and go get it listed.” We figure we’re going to make about $100,000 extra this year from that 40% of the commission. We’re a high-volume house. We brought in a person, license, they only work for us, follow our leads and don’t work for anybody else.

What do you do when they want retail but you think that there might be a little bit more motivation there and there might be a deal with some follow-up? How do you make that journey?

The key thing was they put it on MLS and trying to get the retail. Maybe we all know that it’s not worth retail that it has too many problems but the seller has to discover this on his own. We’re still with them. When they finally decide to throw up their hands or their clock is running out of time and they haven’t found a buyer, even if they find a buyer, it’s going to take 90 days to close. They have to settle for our cash offer.

We’re staying in touch with them in the event that they come to our conclusion before it’s over. That’s why I want it all in-house because the guy that I got not only trained to sell the house on MLS but he’s also trained to keep track of the guy and say, “Are you sure you don’t want our cash offer to resubmit our cash offer when things get sticky? You don’t have to deal with all this. We can write you a check.” They’re working for us and understand both sides. Where do people make the biggest mistake on their follow-up?

REIS 491 Danny Johnson | Real Estate CRM

Real Estate CRM: The ideal customer is somebody who is generating leads. You don’t need a CRM if you’re not generating leads.


It has to do with perception. Everybody hears the term fortune in the follow-up. Everybody, “I know that follow-up is something I must be doing,” but how many people are doing it? I mean there are people that will say that they’re doing it. Turns out, in reality, they’re not. They’re trying to call them once or twice after the fact and then it ends. There’s no true follow-up for the long-term. In one of these calls, I was talking about where we’re determining, “Where’s the next step in the direction of evolution software?”

We asked everybody that was on the call, “We’ve got this great automated follow-up in the system. Who’s using it?” It was about half and half. The half that was getting on to the case of all the people that were like, “What do you doing? You’re leaving money on the table.” This is producing deals that we would not have gotten had we not had follow-up happening. We got a chance to ask the people that weren’t doing, “Why the hell are you not doing this?” It boiled down to this message of, “We felt like it was maybe going to seem too salesy or too pushy.”

There’s this perception. The perception is, you can look at reality in all kinds of different ways. If somebody is coming at the angle of automated follow-up or even follow up in general as pestering somebody to sell their house, you’re already coming at it from the wrong angle. You’re making an assumption that you’re pestering somebody that you’re not offering a service that truly is of value to the seller. It’s the wrong mindset. If you’re looking at it like, “I’m simply reminding them that I exist and that I would like to help them get rid of their house,” you’re coming from a different perspective. It’s all about staying top of mind for when like you said their clock is running down. The time is running out for them, motivations increasing because situation circumstances change. You want to be the person they think of when that happens.

What’s your experience? You hear all the time people are buying on the 7th, 8th and 9th touch. First of all, do you agree with that? Where are you finding it?

Maybe even in the majority of the time, it’s more a matter of situations in people’s lives. It’s not even the amount of touches that you had. That probably plays into as there’s a proven sales percentage. It happens to be the thing that something in their life changes enough to the point where they’re ready to move at a certain point. You happen to be there because I’ve bought houses eight years follow-up.

Our oldest was four years. Nothing happens a lot because we’re dealing in small numbers. We have noticed that this one thing keeps showing up. People come back in 1 or 1.5 years and say, “We’re ready to consider your offer now. Does it still stand?” The CRM allows us to know what our offer was so we don’t look like a fool. You ask them, “After all this time, why me?” They say, “You’re the only guy that ever sent a hard contract.” It’s still sitting on his own wall. We’re the only ones who ever sent out a self-addressed envelope. It’s not stamped because I didn’t want to spend the money for that. I figured if a guy is serious about selling his house, he can at least lick a stamp. “Go buy a stamp, lick and put it on there.” Do they still lick stamps anymore?

As a follow-up, one of the things that we always tried to do is at least send a hard copy of a contract whether they asked for it, not or even when they told us. Sometimes in the note, we’d see this guy ran us off the property with a shotgun saying, “Get off my property.” Here he is calling us back. We don’t mention that part, “Don’t you remember me? I’m the guy that you spit on when I was out there and told me to get off your property.” We don’t mention that part. We asked him, “Why us?” He said, “You’re the only guy that ever sent a real contract.”

I’ve heard the same stories of people saying, “Don’t ever contact me again.” They end up contacting you back. It’s almost like you’re hitting something. There’s a deeper pain in them that causes that reaction which is maybe even a sign of more motivation. When people suddenly say stop mailing them and they start mailing them more. You could end up in some trouble with special texting and stuff.

You’ve got to pick your battles. In that case you say, “I know you weren’t happy with my offer. Maybe you can use my offer to get someone else to offer you more.” I’m not trying to be a pain in the ass. “Maybe you can use my offer and get someone to pay you more. You won’t be able to do that unless I give it to you in writing so here it is.”

Even set up a follow-up to 6 months or 1 year. It’s enough time for them to cool off.

Tell us about a success story in your CRM.

Circumstances change. You want to be the person people think of when that happens. Share on X

There’s a customer, Mike looking to double his number of deals and bring on a team. He’s gotten to the place where he’s utilizing the system to prepare for that team and having his processes and systems in place. I’m going to be careful about how many terms I use because it’s going to glaze over people’s eyes sometimes but just automation to make sure at each stage along the way in the progression of taking the lead into a deal. Meaning, making contact, appointment setting, negotiating, under contract closed, etc.

You have different things that need to be done in the system. Regarding that lead, you’ve got an appointment. You’re going to want to make sure that you’ve done your research, due diligence and all that good stuff so that you’re ready to make an offer when you’re at the appointment. All that stuff happens within the system. It’s built into it. As he hires people, they come in and already know what they need to do because the system, as soon as that drags over into the appointment set, he’s got those tasks created for them assigned to them. It’s all done. They know what they need to do. It’s all done. He’s been able to do that to get to the point where he’s looking to double the number of deals that he’s done. Our mission is to help 1,000 real estate investors double their average monthly deals.

In case anybody’s green out there, you get a house on a contract. It goes in the CRM. Under contract like my administrator gets a thing, “Send this over to the title company. Whatever it is that we need to do, make sure we know who sends us the leads so we know who we might owe if we buy it. They schedule the closing.” When the closing happens, messages go out to all kinds of people. One of the people is like, “Turn on the utilities. Turn on the water. Turn on the electric for this address here.” This stuff is all happening automatically. Someone else is like, “Meet the contractor at this house. Get the contract for the rehab,” and a multitude of things. This is happening all the time. People are always engaged. In a CRM, when people complete the tasks, they mark it as completed, you can start to see how this deal is moving down a train track going through one process and procedure after another until it’s getting to the point where there’s finally a little sign that says, “Sold. Closed out. This file is closed.”

When I started the conversation earlier and talking about taking the business from hobby to business, it doesn’t have to mean no fun or be this entrepreneurial hobby of type thing. What it does is getting to this place where things are organized that takes all this crap that you’ve got holding on in your head that you know all this stuff has to have happened and you have to go check on it. Even if it’s you, you and your wife or you and a partner, there’s a lot going on that you’re juggling that you feel like, “There’s no way to know that this is all done.” It’s all there. It keeps you from being at a place where that’s not there. You have the mind space available to work on your business and to look at, “What is the thing that’s going to move the needle for this company?

After fifteen years of burning the candle at both things, doing everything and wearing all the hats, the game became, “How do you make this where it doesn’t need me?” That became the fun, jigsaw puzzle or the Parcheesi of what I was trying to do that day, “I’m trying to win this game.” Your dad would like to be a craftsman. He liked doing that stuff. What you do is you use the CRM so you’re not bogged down with everything except for what you want to do. It’s hard to be a happy craftsman when you’re having a call with title companies and lenders because a craftsman is probably not any good at that. They don’t like that part. A craftsman likes to do cabinets, floor work, tile work and all that stuff. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to work in your house if that’s the part you love.

Some people like going on the appointments but they don’t want to deal with the calls, follow-up and with all that stuff. They just want to go on appointments. They have that set up to bring on the people to do that thing for them or the marketing piece. Who’s going to manage all that marketing for you? It took me 8 or 9 years to get to the point where I couldn’t deal with wearing all the hats. I was done with it.

Maybe that’s more the way we all get there. I was certainly smart enough to get there a lot earlier. I didn’t have the will or my back wasn’t pushed in the corner enough. What’s scary is don’t wait until you’re burned out to try to fix your business because you might not have enough energy left. It takes energy and time to fix this business. I almost made the mistake of waiting too late. By the time I came to a conclusion like, “I had got to make this business run without me.” I didn’t have any energy left for it. I was jaded. I was fried, quite frankly. Luckily, with every chair that I filled and every CMR piece that I got fixed, my load got lightened and got lightened again. It got easier to fix the next piece because I had more time to fix the next piece because I already fixed two pieces.

The hardest piece to fix is the first piece and that might be finding the CRM. I always say, “Delegate the easiest things. If you can pick up a CRM that’s already built that works for you. Great, don’t invent it. You can substitute books, bookkeeping, and CPAs. Get that out.” One of the easiest things is sales is pretty easy as a substitute no matter what product you’re selling, flipping. Get someone else to sell your houses. Salespeople are a dime a dozen. You should be able to pay them decently if they do a good job for you. Start lightening the load everywhere if you’re one chair at a time if you’re trying to get free.

It doesn’t even have to be because I was thinking in terms of, “If I bring on help, I’ve got to bring on full-time help and pay them a salary.” That is not even remotely the case. Even if the whole term VA scares you, it doesn’t even have to be somebody across the world. It could be your mother-in-law, your aunt who’s at home and has time to answer the phone or do this or the other thing. It’s a part-time people, bring them on. See how it works out and take that load off you.

I have four acquisition people. They’re not on salary. They’re all paid upon success. You’ve got to make that success plans lucrative because they don’t hit a deal every other day. When they stick with a deal and find a deal after four months, they need to get paid pretty well. You need to have a fine balance between giving away the farm and paying them well. Commission only salesman gets paid good because if they don’t sell, they don’t eat. That’s a little bit harder personality trait to find.

A hunter guy is going to go on hunting for himself and for you. He’s going to share the kill. Also, I have two salespeople. They only get paid upon success. I have this whole team and I only pay with the money that hits the table, which is a great comfort because I’ve been in businesses where I created a hamster wheel that was rolling in a circle that I could not get off of without going bankrupt. I had to keep feeding it. I couldn’t get off. I didn’t want to stay on it but I had to stay on it. It was a different business. Be careful as an entrepreneur. You’re not creating yourself this job that you’re a slave to. It’s a real problem.

REIS 491 Danny Johnson | Real Estate CRM

Real Estate CRM: If somebody is doing automated follow-ups or even follow-ups in general to pester somebody to sell their house, they’re coming at it from the wrong angle.


It goes back to what you were saying about getting to the point where you’re bogged down in keeping on the hamster wheel that you don’t see that you’re stuck on a hamster wheel. You don’t have the energy to even consider that you got to do something different.

You can’t do one more task, “I’ve got to train who now to do what or I’ll do it myself because I don’t have time?” I hear that all the time. My friends, I want you to go to 1000Houses.com/4front check it out. You’ll get a fourteen-day free subscription to Danny’s CRM. See how it works out for you. If you don’t have a CRM, you got nothing to lose. Believe me, you’re losing a lot by not having a CRM. Get somebody’s CRM, for heaven’s sake. Why don’t you try this one out? Danny’s taking his time to come on the show and to talk to you about it. Danny, anything you want to add to the new investors out there reading before we wrap it up?

Especially for new investors, take a look at your fear of the things that are keeping you from taking the next step in the business. Acknowledging that it’s okay to have that fear because we’ve all got it. At different levels, as you grow, you’re always going to have fear. Accept the fact that you’re afraid and determine what the next step is and take that action. Don’t spend a whole lot of time trying to figure out whether you’re taking the optimal action or maybe you should do this or that and get bogged down in all those details. You’re going to make mistakes, learn and find a new direction. That’s the way to success. I know it sounds very simple but that’s the key to it.

When you know that what you’re doing is what you want to do, that’s about the time you find a coach so you can alleviate some of this stress. You’re going to pay one way or the other. You’re going to pay the street or someone who’s already done what you’ve done and is willing to teach you but they can’t give their time and expertise away for free. They’ve got lives too. They only have 24 hours in a day for everybody.

You’re either going to pay the street or pay a coach. If you’re looking for a coach, try to find someone who’s actively doing what it is you want to do who’s been successful in what is in a place where you would like to be. Last but not the least, make sure that person is who you want to be on and off the field because their private stuff bleeds over into the business all the time you can’t separate it. That’s Mitch Stephen interviewing Danny Johnson. I appreciate you very much. 1000Houses.com/4front. I like to thank LiveComm. Please check out 1000Houses.com/Livecomm. If you want to learn how to set up some smartphone numbers, I can show you how mass texting has drastically affected my life and how I’ve used LiveComm to get that done. Check out the homepage. There’s a lot of information there. I would like to thank each and every one of you for stopping by to get you some Danny Johnson and we’re out of here. See you at the next episode. Bye now.

Thanks, Mitch.


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About Danny Johnson

REIS 491 Danny Johnson | Real Estate CRMDanny Johnson is the host of the popular Flipping Junkie Podcast and blog.

Danny has been real estate investing since 2003. He’s also the creator of Forefront CRM lead/deal management software.





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