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From $16/Hour Factory Wages to SIX-FIGURE Real Estate Paychecks


Want a PRACTICAL guide to making six figures in real estate? What about a way to do it in a year or less? That’s precisely what Keith Everett did, trading his sixteen-dollar-an-hour factory job for the potential to make six figures by himself, wholesaling real estate. Keith dropped out of college to work, realizing he made as much at his job as his university professors. After working twelve to sixteen-hour shifts and receiving a ten-cent raise (seriously), Keith knew he needed a way out.

Keith purchased a twenty-dollar book on real estate investing and got his first deal soon after. He was flying high, thinking the rest would be easy until the money stopped flowing in, his car got repossessed, his bank account ran low, and his wife was forced to move away for a job that would support the family. This wasn’t Keith’s plan, but he quickly turned things around.

Now, Keith runs a real estate business that brings in not just six figures a year but six figures a MONTH. He’s done over 400 deals in the past seven years and went from factory worker to scrappy hustler to CEO. Keith walks through every book he read, course he attended, and skill he learned that took his wealth to the next level. If you follow his practical tips, you could end up right where he is.

Rob:
Welcome to the BiggerPockets Real Estate, show number 827.

Keith:
So before I actually was in real estate, I was working at a factory 12 to 16-hour shifts on the weekend, sacrificed that as a young kid, and 2000, what, ’14 I dropped out of college. So what happened was, so when I read the book in February of 2016, I started taking action in March. In March, I ended up getting the house under contract for $28,000. I closed on the property for 33,000. 30 days later, I did a joint venture with another guy. We split it 2,500, 2,500. I ended up quitting my job at the beginning of May.

Rob:
Today’s guest is Keith Everett, aka, the Real Estate Ditty here to condense all the wisdom of his seven years in real estate into 45 minutes of pure real estate gold for you. And I’m joined here by my co-host, my good friend, Henry Washington. How are you doing today, man?

Henry:
I am fantastic. As always, love doing shows with you and love getting to talk to this BP audience, man. So thank you so much.

Rob:
This is going to be a good one because we’re going to talk about what it means to not only take action, but how to optimize whatever machine that you’re building and continue to take action to eventually scale to massive amount of deals every single year. This is going to be a crazy story. What are some valuable strategies or insights that investors can take away from what we’re going to talk about today?

Henry:
Man, there’s all kinds of cool stuff. First thing I love hearing or seeing stories of practical application because we always hear you need to go get information and then you need to take action. But what does that really look like? What steps do you actually take? So I’m loving that we’re going to get some practical application for getting started from nowhere, hearing great information and then taking action. And I think a lot of people are going to get really some great value from this concept of the financial thermostat and what that means and how you use the financial thermostat to grow and scale your business.

Rob:
Could not agree more. Very inspiring for me, and I know it’ll be inspiring for everyone at home. So before we get into it, today’s quick, quick tip is brought to you by my co, co-host, Henry Washington.

Henry:
That’s right. Today’s quick tip is to go read a book.

Rob:
That’s a good one. That’s a good one.

Henry:
No, but in all seriousness, today’s quick tip is to read a book or get some information, but before you move on to the next chapter, at the end of every chapter, write down at least one actionable step that you will do before you move on to the next chapter. Again, information is just part of the puzzle. The real rubber hitting the road comes from you taking the action. So force yourself to do at least one step from every chapter. And by the end of that book, you will be so much further along in your business or in your journey than you were when you started.

Rob:
Basically, read the book, do what the book says, and results will come. Crazy, crazy concept. Well, let’s jump into it. So today we’re talking to Keith Everett. A little background for our listeners. He’s a 32-year-old real estate investor out of Huntsville, Alabama. Originally born in Dayton, Ohio, has been investing for seven years, has done over 400 real estate deals, which is crazy. Got his start by wholesaling, but is branching out to buy and hold. And he’s also a voracious reader. Excited to hear about some of the books that have helped you level up in real estate as we get into your story. Keith, welcome to the show.

Keith:
Hey man, I’m glad to be here. I appreciate it. Henry, what’s going on, my brother? And Rob, man, hey, Rob, man, you must be in Hawaii somewhere with that shirt, man. Where you at?

Rob:
Yeah, there it is. Listen, David Greene may not be here, but the comments on my shirts, they’ll always prevail. Did we miss anything in your intro, by the way? You got quite the story past here. It sounds like you’ve done some deals in the past.

Keith:
Man, absolutely not. Man, I think the biggest thing is I’ve been down here in Huntsville 14 years. I’m born originally in Dayton, Ohio. And man, I was just a kid, 18 years old, fresh out of high school, I came down to Alabama with $50 and a dream and it’s crazy where it went from now.

Rob:
Yeah. So tell us about that. Let’s do an intro chapter to your story, if you will. What did your life look like before real estate? What was your job income, family situation? Give us a few of those details.

Keith:
So before I actually was in real estate, I was a college kid. I went to college in 2009 and to be honest with you, I wasn’t really going for myself. And I tell anybody, if you’re doing anything for everybody else instead of yourself, you’re not going to finish. So I was a product to my own advice. I dropped out of college in 2014. Before that, I was working at a factory 12 to 16 hour shifts on the weekend. Sacrificed that as a young kid and 2000, what, 14 I dropped out of college. I got into a terrible car wreck, never went back.
One thing I remember when I was in college, and one of the other reasons why I dropped out is my teachers was making, what, 60K a year? I was making it at my job already, so I didn’t think it made sense for me to be in class making the same thing as my teacher. So I dropped out in 2016. That’s when I was introduced to real estate.

Rob:
Wow. And what were you studying, by the way?

Keith:
Oh, I was studying business logistics.

Rob:
Okay. Did that have anything to do with the factory job that you were working or completely different sector?

Keith:
Absolutely not. I don’t even know why I was studying that. I honestly don’t even know.

Henry:
It’s interesting. It sounds like it gave you a good enough business mind to realize, “If I’m studying business from people, I’m already making the same amount as, and maybe I’m not going to get the best business education that I’m looking for.”

Keith:
I was always a hustler man. Even when I was coming up. I got my first job my seventh grade year working at seventh grade summer, working at the Boys and Girls Club. I worked at daycares. I done work at corner stores. When I got in college, I’ve been security at the football stadium. I done work at Citi Trends store. I did everything. So it only made sense that I eventually ran into something because I was consistent on my money pursuit. So yeah.

Rob:
How old are you in seventh grade? Are you 14?

Keith:
I was 13.

Rob:
14, right?

Keith:
I just had turned 13 my seventh grade summer going to the eighth grade.

Rob:
Man, that’s crazy. And you got a job seventh, seventh, eighth grade?

Keith:
I worked at the Boys and Girls Club. My dad said I got to start paying my own cell phone bill. But guess what though? By the time I got 18, I was independent and I didn’t lean on anybody else. I put everything in my own hands.

Rob:
And tell me about college. You drop out after realizing that you’re making effectively what your teachers are making. How did life feel at that time? Was that something that once you made that realization, were you like, “Oh man, okay, I can do this.” Or was it scary?

Keith:
Well, I went through an identity crisis at the time. You know what I mean? I was scared to tell my parents that I dropped out because they was the reason why I was going in the first place, so I feel like if I would’ve told them, they would’ve felt like I let them down and I didn’t really want that to happen. Sometimes people say that people don’t believe in your dream, but I feel like that sometimes people give you advice, get a job and stay on your job because they don’t want to see you down and out.
They may not understand the risks that it take for you to get to the other side, but people just looking out for your best interest. But I was depressed. From 2014 to ’16, I was depressed. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. All I knew was college. I didn’t know anything about entrepreneurship until the end of 2015 I got a 10 cent raise on my job. I just had my son, and I feel like I had put in 12 to 16-hour shifts and y’all gave me a 10 cent raise. So what I did was I used to pray to God all the time on my breaks at work and I ran into Rich Dad, Poor Dad. That was the first book that I ever read before I even knew about real estate.
I read that book, I understood the difference between the asset and the liability, the simple principles like that. And then I unfollowed everything, all BS off Instagram. I followed all success and I ended up running into this guy named Nick Ruiz out in Milwaukee, and he had a webinar. At the time, I didn’t know what a webinar was. How would you like to make 10, 20,000 while working a job? And I’m like, “Whoa.” And not really using no money. I’m like, that’s me. I don’t really have that much money, but I’m down to at least try something new.
I got off his webinar and I ended up purchasing his book called Flip, and that was the next book I read, and that $20 book was the reason why I got off my job and it changed my whole life and my family’s life for the last seven years.

Rob:
Man, so let me just ask this because a 10-cent raise does not seem like much. What were you making hourly so that we understand how big of a raise that was.

Keith:
Man, like 16, $17 an hour. I was really making a majority of my funds off overtime. You know what I mean? So I always was a hard worker. But I found out I was working harder physically than mentally and that’s the wrong way to go. There’s a lot of people who work hard physically, but when I start working my brain, that’s when I really got further.

Rob:
Man, that is the best advice you could give.

Henry:
Man, that’s super cool. I want to ask one backtracking question real quick because you said you were a little intimidated to tell your parents that you had dropped out of school, and I know what that feeling is like because it was like my upbringing was the same. It was like I didn’t have a choice. You was going to college or you was going to be put out the house. And so the thought of having to tell my dad… I remember I told my dad I had dropped a class that put me less than full-time and he lost his marbles over that. So having to tell your parents that then to them seeing where you are now, how has that transition been for you and for them?

Keith:
Man, to be honest with you, I take care of them. I literally take care of my mom full time and I help out my dad. You know what I mean? And just seeing me speak on different stages, seeing me close so many deals, I mean, even my intermittent family, like my wife at one point, she had to take a job an hour and a half away just to support me on the journey that I said that I wanted to do. I ended up making everything happen. I moved her back here, her and my son got a house and she been by my side ever since.
So I always was a man of my word. Even when I was on the pursuit at the beginning, I didn’t go out. I wouldn’t go into clubs. I wasn’t partying. I don’t really believe in partying. I believe in celebrating. So I was just staying focused on the mission and I was looking to get what I was looking to get.

Rob:
I wanted to ask, you said that year, your wife where she moved an hour and a half away to work a part-time job? What do you mean by that? Was that a good opportunity for her and that was the main source of income for y’all or what was the reason for that?

Keith:
So what happened was, so when I read the book in February of 2016, I started taking action in March. In March, I ended up getting the house under contract for $28,000. I closed on the property for 33,000. 30 days later I did a joint venture with another guy. We split it 2,500, 2,500. I ended up quitting my job at the beginning of May. So when I quit my job, I did not once think that I wasn’t going to get a deal till four or five months down the line. I thought the first one came so quick, I’m like, “Oh, this is easy. I don’t need to work this job. This gave me a 10-cent raise.”
So I ran into some terrible financial situations where I got behind on everything. The wife, she took a job in Birmingham, Alabama, a full-time job with benefits and everything. Her and my son moved down there while I was on the mission trying to figure this thing out. And once I started figuring it out in 2017, I did like 40 deals, a couple hundred thousand, went back. They moved back up here, got us a house, and ever since then-

Henry:
I feel like you just breezed through that like that wasn’t a big deal. So let’s clarify for people. So what you’re saying is you went all in on this journey, your wife found this opportunity to go get full-time income, had to go ahead and take that because you weren’t making income yet. You found this book Flip by Nick Ruiz, and it’s really what catapulted you. So you bought the book in 2016, you started applying what you were learning and in 2017 you did… What was the result? You did how many deals?

Keith:
Yeah, we did 40 deals the first years. In 2016, I did only two deals. The second year I ended up getting my partner that I still have to this day. He’s more of the integrator, the marketing guy. I’m more of the sales type of guy. I like to talk to people and be in people’s faces. We combined everything together, but we ended up doing 40 deals our first year in partnership. We immediately took off. It wasn’t no lead up, it wasn’t no hard times. We immediately both got to it. He was working at the time. I was full time. So my wife was living in Birmingham in 2017, and it was a time that even my car got repoed, her car got repoed. She ended up getting hers back. I had to ride around the rental cars for a couple months in 2017 and I ended up buying me a 2005 Camry.
2018, we made over a million dollars. I was in a 2005 Camry. I was so focused that I don’t even think about buying nothing. You know what I mean? So I’m just that type of guy. When I’m on a mission, I don’t really look at what other people doing because anytime I ever done that, it throw me off.

Henry:
Well, first of all, I think it’s incredible that amount of progress is commendable and most people read something, they hear something of value, and then they take baby steps or they’re not quite sure what actions to take. Obviously, you had to take massive action to go from, I mean, let’s call it, you did two deals in 2016, 40 in 2017. Let’s call it 42 deals in two years, right? So how did you go from reading this book to it actually producing the results of 42 deals in two years? What steps were you taking?

Keith:
Man, I think the biggest thing was marketing. You know what I mean? At first, I started out putting out bandit signs and every time I got a deal, I always put money back into my marketing for my real estate company. So I went from doing bandit signs to handwriting direct mail letters. Once we was handwriting them, next thing you know we was able to purchase postcards from Yellow Letter HQ and now we was just doing direct mail. Our whole strategy was Bandit Signs, direct mail, and then we ran into a hedge fund company out of South Carolina.
Their name was Conrex, and we basically rolled them all the way to the top every time we get a deal. Back then, 2017, you had a hedge fund company, you was rolling, and that’s how we came up like that. So basically we had throw out the marketing and then we immediately hit them up and we wasn’t really dealing with too many other buyers because they had all the capital.

Henry:
Cool. So I’m going to add a few clarifying points here that I think you made that were super, duper important. You focused on your marketing, and I think that we’ve talked a lot in recent shows about off-market deals and about building a pipeline in lead flow. And really the key to off-market deals is about marketing. But what I liked that you said was every time you close the deal, you put money back into your marketing. And I think that that’s where a lot of investors go wrong is they may spend a little bit of money on marketing on the front side, maybe they get lucky and it gets them a deal, and then they’re not focused on how to go back and build out those marketing channels so that they support themselves, right? They’re going and they’re spending money on something else.
And so you were truly building your business, you were reinvesting in what got you that first deal so that you can repeat it. And then as far as when you say you rode that deal to the top, essentially what I think you’re saying is you got really good at marketing to find deals. You found a buyer and that buyer was this hedge fund. And so that gave you information. That information was, “We know what these hedge funds want to buy, we know where they want to buy, we know what they’re going to pay for these deals.” And so I assume that that helped you focus your marketing on what they wanted so that you were just rent… So you had your buyer on the front side, you just had to go find what they wanted and you were printing money. Am I accurate there?

Keith:
That’s exactly accurate. So instead of most of the times what most people do is they throw out the marketing and then once they get a deal, they go look for a buyer. We reverse engineered it. We found a buyer, got their criteria, and all we did was go find what they wanted. So it made it way more easier. And for us it was way more comfortable.

Henry:
100%. I love this. I did the same thing on a much smaller scale when I first got started, when I did wholesale deals. I didn’t know what people wanted to buy or how. I just wasn’t good at figuring out renovation costs. And so I went and found a partner who wasn’t a partner at the time, but I just knew he was a buyer and I used to take him on my appointments. So I would take my buyer to my appointments. He’d walk it with me, tell me how much a renovation would cost, and then I’d ask him, before I talked to the seller, “How much would you pay for this?” He’d give me a number, and now my job was just to go get into the contract for less than that, and that’s how I made my money. It is a rock solid strategy, man.

Rob:
Is that still a viable strategy for you and your business now, Henry? Or have you changed how you work that process?

Henry:
Yeah, no. Now, I don’t typically take my buyers with me, mostly because I’m the buyer. I buy everything now. When I was first getting started, I was doing some assignments trying to build up some capital. And I’ve gotten much better at now assessing what it’s going to cost to renovate a property. I’m pretty stingy, Rob. I like to keep all the stuff that I buy. So no, I don’t take my buyer with me yet.

Rob:
That’s amazing, Keith. I mean basically going from 16, 17 bucks an hour with the 10-cent raise and then making six figures your next year and then obviously exploding that. You took concrete action, you got concrete results. So you had this solid foundation and you’ve done your first deals. What did you do to level up to the next chapter?

Keith:
Man, that’s a good question. So October 2017, I went to my first ever real estate event in Phoenix, Arizona. Shout-out to Sean Terry. It was Flip the Freedom. At that time I was just trying to get in the room, I was looking to network, and the same time that I went out there and got the knowledge out there with Sean Terry, I met three guys. I already was communicating with them. We was already friends since 2016. A guy, Sal Shakir, Carlos Reyes, Alex Saenz, the All-In team and they took us in. After the event, we went down to a dinner with them and they said this one thing and I never will forget it because at the time me and my partner were stuck at 30 to 50 K month and I’m just like, “Man, how can we get the six figures a month? What would it take?” And they said, there’s one thing that was very simple, “Whatever you doing to get 30 to 50K, just double that.”

Rob:
Yeah.

Keith:
I said, “Wow, I had to come all the way out here for me to just hear, I just need to double my mark.”

Rob:
Ground-breaking advice.

Keith:
So once we doubled the marketing, 2018, that was our breakout year. We did our first six-figure month. In April of 2018, that was 154,000. After that, I’m going to be honest, fellas, I start going crazy. I start going to Miami. I thought I made it. I was having a good time, but what I didn’t realize is I wasn’t investing my money. So anytime that you’re making all that active income, of course, and you’re not really doing anything with it, I found myself having to start over and over and over again. You know what I mean? But unfortunately, in 2018, we did 109 deals. We started going to more real estate conference.
I always was in the room. I started reading more books. One of the biggest books to help me with finances was Secrets to the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker. When I read that book right there, I learned about the financial thermostat and the reason why we was making six figures and always find ourself moving backwards is because my financial thermostat was only on around 10, 20K at the time. So no matter if I make 150,000 or anybody else, you’re going to go right back down to where your thermostat is set at and you’re going to have to try it over again.
So once I start understanding more money principles, that’s when I really start leveling up. That’s when I understood that we couldn’t do everything ourself. By the end of the year around November, that’s when we started the hiring process and everything took off from there.

Rob:
Okay. Explain the thermostat one more time for me. So you’re saying if you make $200,000, your thermostat is at $20,000 or how does that analogy work if you want to make more money? Do you have to raise or do you have to change some aspect of your mindset there?

Keith:
It’s kind of like when people hit the lottery and they go broke. They may give them a billion dollars, but their mind is not on a billion dollars. They can’t handle that. So you’re going to naturally go right back to what your mind can handle. In that case, let’s say I make 200,000 and my financial thermostat is only on handling $20,000, I’m going to do everything in my own power to blow that money and I’m only going to be back down to 10, 20,000 when my mind has said that. You know what I mean? So that’s what kept happening when I read that book Secret to a Millionaire Mind, they started talking about the money principles and how to put your money in different places, that’s when I leveled up. That’s when I was able to keep it and do a better job.

Rob:
Okay. So you leveled up your mind. You are bringing in quite the income. How did that impact you? Did you buy new cars and stuff? Was there any regrets with any of the purchases that you made at that time or were you just plowing forward the whole time?

Keith:
Man, you know what, I really didn’t do too much luxury because I always was the type of guy I liked to stay focused. While all this was happening, it was in 2018, and I was still around in a Toyota Camry. So that was a car I bought. I didn’t make payments on it, I paid four grand for it. And that car really took me to another level because I wasn’t really trying to… I really was staying focused on my goals. I didn’t want to go too luxury too quick. A lot of people, they make some money and they take that active income and go straight towards it.
But I waited until we got our team in place. We got our systems, our processes in place. We had an office in place. After that, that’s when I made my first luxury purchase.

Rob:
So you’re closing a bunch of deals, you’ve ascended, right? You’re figuring things out, your mindset is changing with your financial thermostat. How did that all impact you? I know you said that you had struggled to get the car, then you got the Camry. Did you ever go out and buy a new car? Did you have any regrets with any of the purchases that you made with that money?

Keith:
I’ll say this, man, with the first year of me doing two deals the second year of 42 and the third year, which is 2018, we did 109 deals that year, I only got two regrets, right? It’s two things I wish I would’ve paid a little bit more attention to. The first thing is I wasn’t putting any money away for taxes. 2018, I had a tax bill for 140,000, right? 140 grand because we made so much money. That didn’t feel that good because I didn’t buy no active… I’m sorry, passive income, no rental properties, no anything. I didn’t do anything with the money, but that’s when I learned that the more you take money out of account and put into your own pocket, the more you got to pay on taxes. And I wasn’t really writing anything off. So that was the first lesson.
The second lesson, this lesson actually, it kind of bit me in 2020, right? And this was the first time that since I was doing real estate that I actually did something for myself and I bought me a Dodge Hellcat that year. And with me having so much income, but my credit score was so low, it gave me a hard time to be able to get the vehicle. And I was embarrassed because the lady looking like, “You make all this money but you haven’t did anything with your credit?”
And they was giving me so hard time to get the car. I ended up having to drop like 32 grand down just to get the car. And that was one of the first times I was like, “Man, I got to do better.” You know what I mean? Life ain’t all about just having cash. Only thing I ever heard about credit was cut the credit cards up and don’t use them. But at that time I always remembered that feeling. And after that, that’s when I started working on my credit.
Basically, my first couple years it was kind of like I was having fun and just trying to build. But as time start going along, I start realizing what my why was. Again, I think a lot of times we forget why we started when we started making money, but we got to remember that a lot of the success we get is not really the goal. So I had to get back on track.

Henry:
I totally get that. And I think what might help some people too is because you talked about a couple of things is your credit wasn’t right and you started to build a team. And I think a lot of people talk about both of those things. But what are some actionable things that you did to start getting your credit right? And then when you say build a team, that means you started to hire people. How did you determine who you were going to hire? What was your first hire? What did your team look like when you were first getting started?

Keith:
I got you. So I’m going to start with the team first. I actually started doing that before the credit. So the first two hires that I made was somebody basically to take my spot. I didn’t really know who I really need to hire first. So I just hired two sales guys at the time. And when we hired these two guys in November of 2019, right, me and my partner was in our office one day and we both realized we were good at what we was doing, but we didn’t know how to teach people or train people. We paid for some mentorship.
We dropped 20 grand down, went back out to Phoenix and it was just like the whole weekend they basically was just teaching us exactly how to run a company, go from hustlers to CEOs. So we started learning about SOPs, we started learning how to train people for condition.

Rob:
What’s an SOP for everyone at home?

Keith:
Standard operating procedures. It’s basically like it’s showing you step-by-step, whether it’s just by numbers, one through 10, whether it’s a flow chart, whether it’s a video you record on exactly what a person specifically supposed to do in the position that they in with the company. So we start hiring sales guys. Next thing you know, we got a disposition manager to sell all the deals. Then we got a transaction coordinator in the office. Then we end up getting an admin assistant in the office.
So at this point, we got five, six sales guys. We got one disposition manager, we got a transaction coordinator, and then we got somebody to handle all the finances and everything like that. So we rocking and rolling at that time. I was going to say two books to help me too, because when it come to building a team, the first one was Traction by Gino Wickman. So Traction was teaching us exactly how to have our means in our company, how to have quarterly meetings. It was teaching us how to grade the people that’s in our company.
Can they perform the task? Are they willing to perform the task? Do they got the capacity to perform the task? And when we start evaluating our team members, that’s how we knew who to keep in our company and who we need to either switch positions or who we need to possibly even let go. So that was the thing. And then the second one was profit first. Go back to the tax thing that happened. What we started doing, we read the book Profit First. It teach you how to have multiple bank accounts for your business. So if I make $20,000, 10% of that may go into operating expense account. You may have some going into a tax account, you may have an owner’s compensation because most people don’t understand that it’s a different… It’s between owner’s compensation and a profit for your company.
Most people don’t understand the difference between that and that’s when we started getting smarter. We started becoming CEOs. So that was two big things for sure.

Rob:
Man, yeah. Okay. So it sounds like you’re starting to build everything. You are obviously making a lot more income, you’re figuring things out, but you still have that credit problem. Was there something specifically that you did there to fix that so that you could advance your own real estate investing?

Keith:
Absolutely, man. Definitely, man. Shout-out to my guy. His name is Bobby Richardson. He’s out of Montgomery, Alabama. He was the first guy that actually helped me out with the credit. We trade game with each other. The key thing was I have to help him with real estate and he helped me with credit. And that’s why it’s good to network with people because you never know who you’re going to need and who you can add value to and who can add value to you.
So my guy, Bobby, I wanted to pay him, but he was like, “You know what? I got you on a credit.” This guy know how to a business credit, personal credit, anything when it comes to it. And that was the guy that really helped me out and taught me how to stay 10% below my limits and everything like that. And it was just a lot of things and I just helped him with the real estate part. We basically just traded the game.

Rob:
Yeah, man. It’s kind of crazy how quickly if you have credit card debt and you have the ability to pay off the credit card debt, that’s always what I tell people first because the moment you slice your credit card utilization rate, your credit can go up 20, 30, 40 points. I mean, I have one credit card right now that I’m using for specifically to get the flips. It’s a 0% interest card and I’ll have it paid off in three months, but that one credit card has dropped my credit by 60 points or something like that. As someone who monitors my credit, I’m always like, “Well, dang, now I just want to pay it because I hate seeing such a drop.” So how long was it before you started seeing tangible results there?

Keith:
Oh man, I would say man, probably about… So Bobby started in July of 2021. It was like July. By that November around Thanksgiving, my score had went up probably like 80 points or something like that. You know what I mean? And to this day, man, he’s still the guy that helped me out with the credit. And then you got to think about it like this. We’re talking about a guy that started when I was 24, getting ready to turn 25 to a guy that’s now 32 years old.
My son was only probably about five, six months at the time. Now, I got married in 2021. So now I got a wife. My son is about to turn eight years old. So my mind is not even the same no more. The things that I’m looking forward to when I’m make money is not the same. I’m more thinking about what can I do with it rather than me thinking about, “Okay, let’s go have fun.” It’s two different ages, two different times in my life.

Rob:
Well, for anyone at home, do you think you could just give us a couple of quick tips? Quick tips for how to fix your credit or to improve your credit? Any tangible things that people can do right now?

Keith:
Yeah. The only thing I could tell you was what I was taught. You know what I mean? The first thing is to go back to the utilization. A lot of people say don’t go over 30%, but I say keep it below 10%. And then you got platforms like CreditStrong where you paying like $100 a month to build your credit. You got self.inc. I was only paying like $35 a month. You get your secure credit card and those two things help your credit just go up instantly. So I would definitely say the utilization, CreditStrong, and then I would get self.inc and I guarantee you that you’ll start a building.

Rob:
By the way, for anyone at home that doesn’t know what credit card utilization is, when you have multiple credit cards, the amount of credit that you have on each one is one giant pool of credit that you have. And the larger percentage of that credit that you use, that is your credit card utilization rate. The higher it is, the lower your credit is.

Keith:
Absolutely.

Rob:
Awesome, man. So you’re then fine tuning your machine, you get your credit fixed, and then you get to your next chapter, which as you put it, you’re going basically from hustler to CEO. What were the problems you started noticing and what changes did you make to fix those problems?

Keith:
Man, the biggest thing was just not understanding people all the way. You know what I mean? Not understanding how to set goals, not understanding people’s personality types. And I remember I read this book and it don’t got nothing to do with the people in my office, but it kind of does. I read The Five Love Languages, right? I was reading it because I always like to invest in my marriage just as much I try to invest in real estate or whether it’s time, whether it’s money. So one thing I learned from this book, Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman is that everybody got they own love languages. Right? And the reason I’m bringing it up when it comes to my team is I have to realize as a CEO, how can I get the best out of my folks?
And I had to realize that everybody in the office got his own language that I got to speak to him in. I had one guy, I might have to shoot him a prayer. I got another guy, I might go in his face like, “Come on, man. I know you said you wanted to make some money. You said you wanted to do it for your kids.” I might got somebody else. I might have to bring them in the office and sit them down and have a talk. Once I realized as the CEO how to get the best out of our people, that’s when I got the best results for our company.
So that was definitely a big key. So man, the second book is actually The 12 Week Year. And that book helped you reverse engineer setting your goals. You may have a goal, let’s say $100,000 in a year. This is speaking hypothetically. What is it going to take for you to get that $100,000 over the next 12 months? How much money do you need to make every single quarter? How much money do you need to make every single month down to every single week, down to every single day, down to the minutes that you working? And when I realized how to set my goals like that, we not only was doing it for ourselves, but when we was doing our quarterly meetings, we would actually set company goals by the principles that I learned in the book.
Another thing is in our company, we had a book club. Because imagine if we want to make, as a company, we want to make over a million dollars, what is going to really take for us to get that million? I can’t be the same person that I am January the 1st as I am December the 31st. And that’s as a company. So we started reading books in our company and that helped out as well. Once everybody got on the same page, we was reading Outwitting the Devil, of course, Traction, different type of sales books, whether it was… One of my favorite ones was The Way of the Wolf by Jordan Belfort. It was teaching the Straight Line sales process.
Objections by Jeb Blount. Because you already know in real estate, I mean we all know that if you can’t overcome objections, it’s going to be hard for you to be a master on those phones. And then there was other books like David Sandler, You Can’t Teach a Kid How to Ride a Bike at a Seminar and just match the process, man. That’s what got me this far so far.

Henry:
What I like about what you said about your company is you essentially learned through reading The Five Love Languages that you needed to talk to your employees differently. And I think that’s one of the things that you learned as a CEO. It’s one of the things that I’m learning right now because as we’re building out our team is that everybody is driven by something different. So as an operator, as a hustler, you are trying to figure out how to talk to the people you’re selling a product or service to. And as a CEO, you train other people to do that.
The skillset you’re now learning is how to talk to the people who are now doing the things that you were once doing. And so it’s a completely different mindset. And that’s a cool transition thinking about the five level languages in relation to how you treat your people and talk to your people. The other thing you said was getting the people in your team to read the books because it also helps you with training, right? It takes some of the pressure off of you as being the subject matter expert to do all the training when you can pass off some of that.
So it sounds like you were training your team to become great negotiators, and obviously, that’s your calling card, right? You’re good at talking to people, you’re good on the phone. So what helped you build that skill and how do you reinforce that skill in your people? Because it’s like you said earlier, building a business is finding somebody to replace you or repeat yourself. That’s an art form almost. So how did you do that?

Keith:
Yeah, man. I think that for one, I learned sales just from dealing with people. I never really had a sales job. I just knew that I could say certain things and it can affect people in certain different ways. So when I first started real estate, I just didn’t really have no fear and I just knew I had to do three things. I had to make friends, solve problems and add value. And every time to this day, if I get on the phone and I tell my team this, affirm yourself. I’m looking to make a friend. I’m looking to solve a problem. I’m looking to add value, so I understood that.
But then when I read The Way of the Wolf by Jordan Belfort, I learned the Straight Line sales process. I knew that I had to start creating me a script. So once I started creating the script, once I learned how to train on that script, that’s when the other salespeople in my company, that’s when everybody started going crazy. I’m a big advocate of going to car lots and getting people from car dealerships. I feel like they’re the best people when it comes to selling deals. If you can sell a car, you can sell a house. You know what I mean?
It’s that simple. I believe in getting people who even work, like in call centers and stuff like that. You don’t really got to be the best salesperson to get in the company as long as you willing to be coachable, as long as you willing to follow the process, then the results going to come from there?

Rob:
This is really amazing, man. I mean really such a good story for so many reasons. I think what I heard was so many things that you invested in yourself. It sounded like you read a lot of books. It sounds like you had coaching and mentorship. It sounds like you went to conferences. But the thing is, you can go to 80 conferences, you can spend a million dollars on mentorship, you can read every book in the library, but if you don’t actually do the things that are being taught in those specific avenues, nothing will happen. And at every turn of the point in your story, you are taking action in figuring out how to fix whatever situation you’re in. And so at the beginning of this show, you described life before real estate and you talked about this 10-cent raise, some disappointment and depression. I’m just curious, what does life look like for you right now?

Keith:
Well, I mean, I like what you just said because we was good at me and my partner was good at implementation. Every time we got the game, we make sure we implemented the game before we get more game. And I feel like a lot of people got so much different things they buy into so many different programs, you end up getting stuck because you don’t know which way you need to go. So as far as what life look like now, basically just running a real estate company. We got our education company and I’m traveling around the country, I’ve been speaking at different places and that’s what I’m doing. Just looking to build. Looking to build, getting into a lot of rental properties now, multifamily, new bill. I’m looking to get like Henry, man. I want to be selfish too. I want to hold everything.

Henry:
I love your story. I love that. It’s fun talking to people like you who are living proof that the things that we say over and over again, and I don’t mean we like BiggerPockets, but people who have success say over and over again like find a mentor, find a coach, get in the room, and then apply what you’re learning. This is what that looks like, folks. Real estate is cool because we don’t have to figure out if this works, right? With crypto, people are like, “Is this going to work?” We don’t really know. But with real estate, we know it works. These are proven methods. You just have to actually apply what you’re learning and hearing somebody come from where you were, 10-cent raise to where you are now, this is how you apply what you’re learning. So I’m super, duper proud of you.

Rob:
Amazing, man. Well, thanks for sharing your story. I think it’s going to change a lot of lives today. If people want to find out more about you, where can they go?

Keith:
Yeah, man. So I’m always dropping content on Instagram, Real Estate Ditty, D-I-T-T-Y. I’m on Twitter, the same thing. We got Threads now. So I guess Real Estate Ditty on Threads. Facebook, Keith Everett, Jr. And yeah, man, I’m always dropping content, man. I’m always giving value. And that’s it, man. I’m just giving value.

Rob:
Awesome, man. And what about you, Henry?

Henry:
Yeah. Best place to find me is Instagram, Twitter, all the places. I’m @thehenrywashington on Instagram and I teach people how to do that, buy and hold. So come on, man. I got you.

Rob:
Awesome. And then you can find me over on YouTube @robuilt, R-O-B-U-I-L-T. Instagram as well. I teach you how to do real estate, Airbnb and all the real estate entrepreneurship, life struggles, everything in between. And you can find me over on YouTube @robuilt if you want to learn how to do real estate and short-term rentals and everything in between. And by the way, there are a lot of us that know someone who’s doing the reading, who wants to get into real estate, but just needs a little nudge to take action. So do me a favor, go share this episode with that person because this is such an amazing encapsulation of what it means to take action and you can help change someone else’s life.
While you’re at it, if you want to share the message, leave us a five-star review on the Apple Podcast app or wherever you download your podcasts. Henry, Keith, thank you so much. Henry, thanks for filling in for our good friend, David here. I think we did a mighty, fine job. We will catch everyone on the next episode of BiggerPockets.

 

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