Welcome to AskPat 2.0 episode twelve-twelve! Today we're speaking with Ashton and DC, a wife-and-husband combo who are in the real estate space with a business called REI Remodel.
They're jumping in on the opportunity to create educational materials for would-be real estate investors, and they also want to build a “club” or community for these folks. As you know, at SPI we're all about the power of community, and I talk with DC and Ashton about the iterative process they can use to know exactly how to build that community.
We discuss how they can find and speak to their target audience, learn about their desires and pain points and how those people talk about them, and go from there. Ashton and DC are dreaming big. They've got exciting plans, and I can't wait for you to hear how I start to guide them through the steps to make those dreams and plans happen.
AP 1212: How Do I Launch My Community and Know It’s Going to Work?
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to episode 1,212. That's 1,212 of AskPat 2.0. You're about to listen to a coaching call between myself and actually two entrepreneurs who are just like you. We're speaking with Ashton and DC, a wife and husband combo who are in the real estate space. And it's really interesting because they have a lot of things going on that are really amazing, right? So real estate investing, remodeling specialist, and there's interior design in here, as well as just realtor in general. You can find them at reiremodel.com. So not REI like the recreation place, but REI like real estate investing. So just keep that in mind.
Pat Flynn: But what's really cool about this is they're jumping in on the opportunity to create education, but also a community. And their little club that they talk about, we talk about how one might launch that and the iterative process that one can take that will, essentially, ensure that you know exactly what should be in there. And this covers a strategy that I am so, so bullish on right now, especially if you're just starting out. But even if you're not, if you're creating something new, this is the way to go about it. So here is Ashton and DC from reiremodel.com. Hope you enjoy.
Pat Flynn: DC and Ashton, thank you so much for coming on to AskPat. How are you both doing today?
DC: Oh, doing great.
Ashton: Doing well, thank you.
Pat Flynn: I think this is the first time I've had, on AskPat, at least, two people on at once. So this is the first, so this will be a lot of fun. Tell us about what you both do.
DC: Yeah. So I'm a REI remodel specialist, which is REI stands for real estate investing. So real estate investing remodel specialist. My wife here, Ashton, is my partner, also an interior designer and a realtor.
Ashton: Yeah. And we always add that we've been married for almost 15 years, so we kind of do everything together, happily.
Pat Flynn: Wow. That's great. Give us the secret to working with a spouse. What would you both say is the number one tip you have for doing that and making it work?
Ashton: I think the biggest thing is communication. That's what I'd say.
Ashton: And I love to talk, I love to gab, but that doesn't mean I'm listening. So early in our marriage, we did have butting because I don't want to listen to you and you don't want to hear me. But when you really are listening and really communicating, I think that's the key to move forward and to grow together.
DC: Absolutely. I never used to listen, and I've learned how to listen. So that makes all the difference.
Pat Flynn: Yeah. I don't work with my wife, but we work together as parents, and in a similar way, it's very important to communicate. And you're so right, listening and hearing are two completely different things, for sure. So, okay, real estate and interior design. I come from the architecture world, and we have a connection already. I love it. But tell us a little bit about what's on your mind today. What can I best serve you both with?
DC: Yeah. So we're actually looking to build an online platform. So over the years, I've been a contractor working specifically for real estate investors. I've also invested myself. I've also worked for companies as an employee, as asset manager, managing projects. And through the years, we've even trying to put our foot into getting online. The last five years I've been diving into it, but I haven't really just focused and got into it. So I know a lot about a little. That's where I'm at. And we're actually at this point where we know exactly what we want to do. And we want to build an online club, pretty much, a REI Remodel club.
DC: And really over the last couple months, I'd say, is when I really started getting out there and really talking to, going to real estate investment associating meetings and just talking face-to-face with other investors. I've tried online lead magnets, like Facebook ads, things like that to no avail. My list... I have a tiny list, but it's all from going to events, talking to investors face-to-face. I'd say also in combination with this online platform that we want to build the club, we also really have a passion for a mission. We want this to also fund our mission, which is we want to help get women and children off the streets.
Ashton: And the main thing is how do we market to the people to show them what we have without wasting time, wasting money, or not hitting the nail on the head.
Ashton: That's just really...
DC: And I'm a operations guy.
DC: In my last technical job I was director of operations for a construction firm. And I'm horrible at sales, horrible at marketing. That's just not where I come from. But I can create a plan... I have a roadmap... I have a complete roadmap where this company's going to go, but how do I even start?
Ashton: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Pat Flynn: Yeah, that's a great question. I mean that... the marketing part of this... So many people have great products, so many people have of great communities, but without the marketing side of it, nobody's going to be in there, and that's tough sometimes. So I'm excited for this conversation today. And you're already doing a lot of what I was initially going to talk about, which is have conversations with your target audience. This is the number one best thing you can do because you are now not just understanding where these people exist, which is really important... That's sort of step one to know, well, where are they? And you already know that, which is great. Number two, what are their problems? What are their pains? And how do they talk about them?
Pat Flynn: So I'm curious, DC, in your conversations that you've had so far, what have you discovered? What have you realized about this space that you feel like you can bring something for?
DC: So I've always had an inkling, just from mounting experience in working for large firms. No matter if it's a small company or a billion dollar company, the remodel is the biggest headache. I like to say you... Well, in real estate investing, they say, you make your money when you buy. But I like to add, you can lose it when you remodel. It doesn't matter if it's a huge corporation or small, or even me, when I stepped out and remodeled my own property after completing hundreds for other investors, it is the biggest monkey wrench. And what I found out talking to other investors is just, they agree.
Ashton: Yeah. And we find out that there... The real estate investing world is humongous. There's gurus out there, training, everything, and it's really hot right now, too. But what happens is there's just a gray fog when you talk about how to flip that property, how to remodel that property. We find, when we are at these meetings, that people are like, "Oh my gosh, yes, I need that because—"
Ashton: ... they don't know. They'll pay thousands for someone to find them a good deal, but they don't know what to do when they have the keys and they've got to flip it some kind of way to bring value to it to sell it or even to rent it.
DC: And I've gained confidence as well the last couple months, where I went to an event also, and the keynote speaker came out of the blue, he handed me his card and said, "man, I think my audience will like this. Give me a call." And we're in talks kind of right now. And sometimes when you naturally do something and have done it for a while, yeah, I think I undervalued it. But when I really look at it, I get calls from people all the time. I have an investor that's in another state, and he wants to pay me for my stuff. He's like, "oh man, I just want to buy something from you, and I really want to create something from the buying."
Pat Flynn: Yeah. I mean, there's a clear ROI, right, with things like this. In many cases, when we have business ideas, there isn't a clear, if people pay for this, they get this amount of money back. But literally, they are making money as a result of investing in what it is that you have to offer. And they're also saving time. And in this world, time is money. So to me, it's very clear that what you are able to provide, whatever it might be, and we're going to talk about what does this solution look like in a minute, but it's the next step after a person gets a property, right?
Pat Flynn: And potentially, they should even know that you exist and know that that is the next step even before buying the property so you can help them with the math and you can help them with the... is this even the right thing? And how much would it cost to remodel? And is it going to be a win or loss in the end? Versus just, oh, it's a nice property, and it seems to be a good deal without thinking about what's coming next. So in that regard, both of you have the amazing ability to fill in a lot of gaps that people have in this space. And I'm sure you're finding these gaps everywhere, and like you said, there's even gurus and authorities out there who can talk a lot about step one, but have no idea what step two is or how to manage that. And that's where you can come in.
DC: Yeah, absolutely.
Pat Flynn: This is a great opportunity. Massive, in fact. And it's just about, okay, well, where do we start? And where do we begin? And when we do that, I like to make it as easy and as simple as possible. So if providing a solution to this particular group of people were easy, what would that feel like? Let's not create the club yet. The club... We'll talk about the club in a minute and what your visions of that might be. And maybe it is exactly what you're about to say. But if serving this particular group of people were easy, what would that look like, do you think?
Ashton: We're going to say different things because I'm small and he's like big vision. But the simplest thing that I think of, based on the feedback, he wrote a book about it, and every single person that reads it, their mind is blown because it just simplifies something that seems like it's so hard to do, impossible, you don't know anything. And it literally is a wonderful book, but... So that to me is the first thing, is take the book and read it. And it's an easy read, and it opens your mind up to remodeling.
Pat Flynn: Okay. Let's keep going with that. So anybody you find, anybody you talk to, maybe anybody who finds the book on Amazon or wherever the book might exist, maybe you bring it, it's like a big, beautiful, valuable business card you take with you, right, to these events, you give it to somebody, then what? They read the book, then what happens? Is that it? Is that the end? Or what goes... what happens next?
Ashton: No, that's stage one, hopefully.
DC: Yeah, that's the question right there. Usually, it is. I take it to these events. I hand them out. And I've had times where I've been to another event, and some people that I've handed the book out to, they come to me and say, hey, man, that was great. I just learned a lot. And we end up talking for a little while. And all this is still fresh. I don't have... I didn't have anywhere to send them. I think the last month or so is... I just created a landing page for people to go sign up of for updates and stuff.
Pat Flynn: Okay. I mean, that's a start.
DC: So I have a lead magnet, a checklist.
Pat Flynn: Is that mentioned in the book?
Pat Flynn: Okay. So you should, in some way, shape, or form, be collecting an email from people, right? Or when you hand this to a person, say, hey, call me in two weeks after you read this. Let's chat. Right? That kind of clear call to action so you can get back on and continue that conversation. Because sometimes the conversations get cut off when it then comes back into an inbox and then you're competing with all the other mail that people have. I mean, at this point you can even collect a phone number, if you wanted to. Like, hey, let me hit you up in a couple weeks and see if you want to keep talking about this, just so you have that direct connection. Because let's say a person wants to work with you further, after the book. Right? They got this great information, and they're like, DC, Ashton, I want to work with both of you. How can we work together? Well, how can they? What is next after the book, in terms of how you might be able to get paid for a service of some kind? What are you imagining?
DC: Yeah. Well, we were discussing creating a course, first of all, the club. We were going to kind of pattern how the real estate investment clubs pattern themselves.
Pat Flynn: Yeah. Tell me about that. What is that like?
DC: So the club... Just like the real estate associations, they kind of have a club, and then they, they kind of funnel people to other things through it. So they funnel people to like bootcamps, things like that. And my idea of the club was we have a free version of the club and then we have a pro level, then an all-access and different things in those areas. But then also we have the academy. So we have the academy to where I can funnel them through the club, to the academy where I can sell a course or we could do a bootcamp.
DC: And then I also see consulting, more one-on-one consulting that can go through the club as well for me to help them through a process. Let's say they have a project and, hey, they can call me, I can walk them through the project, give them support for maybe a couple more. Or if it's a company, I can come and help them set up the process. Because we have the REI remodel process of we can help them set up the system in their company and train. That's the long vision of it all.
Pat Flynn: I like it. I mean, to start with the book is real nice, because it's something of value. I also think that in addition to the book... I feel like the book should just push people into this club, the free part of it. It's like, hey, you're doing this. We have dozens, if not hundreds, of other people who are also going through it, and we're sharing information, we're learning from each other, we're trying to all save as much money as possible. Why don't you come in the club, join the club? Right? I really like the feel of that. It feels less... And I don't mean this in a bad way, it feels less professional and more like-
Ashton: Right, community.
Pat Flynn: ... let's just hang out and be together. Exactly. Exactly.
Ashton: And we like that, yeah.
Pat Flynn: That's great. I absolutely love that. So mission number one is let's get as many people to join this club as possible. Maybe it's as simple if... Again, if this were simple, what would it look like? Maybe it's a Facebook group to start out with, and that's the free version of the club. Or perhaps it's maybe a little bit more pro in the sense that it's maybe off of Facebook. A lot of people aren't really into or wanting to be on Facebook anymore these days. So maybe it's on a platform like Circle, where you can manage that community yourself, and then you can create the free space for that, you can create the pro space for that for people who maybe want to pay a little bit more per month to get access to special calls with you, because you don't want to give all of you away to the free, and you want to save some of that for the others.
Pat Flynn: I love the idea of courses and whatnot to go along with that too. I'm sure there's more than just one course. There's maybe specific, little sectors of what it is that you teach that each could be their own course, right? So I love that, and you can start with maybe the simplest one. What intrigues me the most is the consultation stuff because to market this thing, you're going to need to show people what's inside. You're going to need to show people what they can get out of it, right? Because people don't wake up and necessarily think, oh, I want to join a real estate club or an investment club. They want what the club will give them, right? They want that outcome, the promise, the transformation, right? So we have to nail that, not just in language, but we need to show people the transformation that you could offer.
Pat Flynn: And the best way to do this... And hear me out, because maybe this is part of your plan, maybe this isn't, but this is a way that I've been teaching business now, is you could build the platform, you could build the courses and all that stuff, but what if... Again, if this were simple... Let's find one person, consider them your client. Find one person, help them through that process. You document that process. You're capturing that. You're learning about the things that are holding them back, the demons in their head that are pushing them back when you tell them to do something. You're building the spreadsheets as you go along with this person, and they just be... kind of come under your wing. And I would still charge them, but maybe they get a special deal or something as a result of being your first and one and only. But not only are they getting value from you, obviously, and getting all this attention, but you're learning about, well, how do we serve people like this?
Pat Flynn: And the beauty of this is you get that person that result, and in this case, I'm sure it comes with a big number or a big outcome, now you have a real life story, a real life testimonial of somebody who you actually helped who can promote the club or the consultation or the course for you with their story behind it. Instead of, hey, we just made this thing up and come on in. I promise it's going to be good. It's... Now it's, hey, look what we created. We created this club. Check out Jimmy over here. We've helped him make millions of dollars from his flip or hundreds of thousands of dollars from his flip. And we took him hand-in-hand through that process. And in this club, you're going to learn about that process. And then maybe one day you'll want to work with us directly, or maybe you can learn from a course, or maybe you can just learn from each other in here. But we've proven that we can do this, so come on in everybody.
Pat Flynn: This is the community to do that. So how does that feel? What's the response gut reaction when I say what if you just had one person? And do you think you could find that one person?
DC: Well, I think we already found them. Because we've been kind of active, and we've been finding out what to kind of... to offer. I know investors need this, but right away I thought of a client, he's already tried to get me to fly out to a property, and he's actually an active Marine. And he likes the book because it's step-by-step simple. So him. Also here in Orange County, I'm also on a board of a real estate investment firm. And the head of it, Dan, he's been an investor for years, and he's actually a person that I could use to help build the club as well. And he's willing and able.
Ashton: See, what I like about it is because that's what we want to do. We used to do residential too. I mean, we've done that too. But that's what we want to do. We want people to be able to take the process, take the book, and then apply it. Because it is an easy read, it is palatable, but how do you put that in action? And even with small interviews, small interactions with people, giving them a couple little tips, they'll come back and say, oh my gosh. They're having experiences where they save money just because we're telling you how to vet a contractor, what not to do with payment. So to say that we would literally work hand-in-hand with a few to get testimonials and get experience is encouraging because it'll help us. But literally it is what we want to do, help people save money where they just don't know. So I like it.
Pat Flynn: I love it. And what's cool about this too, is you could put a value to that, right? You can say, hey, to work with us for the next six weeks or through your deal, or whatever, costs this much. But because you're one of the first and you're helping us out, we'll do it for this much. And we'll cut it in half or whatever it might be. Right? You still... You should get paid for that effort because you are going to make this person some money. But what's really cool is I'm imagining once this club is built, it's like, hey, if you want to hire DC and Ashton, that's going to cost you $25,000 for six weeks. That's a lot of money, but we know that you can get that back.
Pat Flynn: But hey, maybe that's too expensive for you or you don't think that that's the right time. Well, guess what. We have courses that you can get into that are only $999. Now, that $999 course doesn't seem so expensive, in fact, because you've anchored your price. And so you could actually get from your one or two sort of founder clients, if you will, like how much value did you provide to them? $100,000, you helped me make that I wouldn't have made otherwise. It's like, wow, you have this free club? I'm joining tomorrow because... I'm joining yesterday because I want that. Right? And then of course you have the community part of it and everybody just feeding off of each other. Now, I see the step-by-step process, and it's actually not creating the club first. It's actually creating these success stories first, if that makes sense.
DC: Yes. Yeah.
Pat Flynn: Does that sound like a plan?
DC: Yeah. Sounds like a plan.
Ashton: It does.
Ashton: You're awesome.
Pat Flynn: Cool. So one last question for you. I love to do this exercise, and this will be a great point of conversation for both of you because maybe there's misalignment there, maybe there is perfect alignment. We don't know. And you don't have to provide me the right answer. But the exercise is three years down the road, things are going exactly the way you want them to, business is booming. Well, what does that look like? What is in the business? How much of the consulting are you doing versus how much of the club are you doing? Or are you involved in it at all? Or are there moderators doing it? What does it look like three years from now when you've paved the way to success?
Pat Flynn: And if you have misalignment there, well, that's great, because we can communicate and get on the same page and both work toward the same thing. And anybody else you hire, you can bring into that same vision. And if there is alignment, great, let's go, because we're ready and we know what we want. So maybe one of you or both would want to share a little bit about three years from now, what does your day look like and what are you working on?
DC: I would really like to... I think I'm big on impact, and I would really like to even consult maybe even more in the future.
Pat Flynn: Sounds like the B2B stuff kinda is really interesting to you.
DC: Yeah. B2B, or even the small-time investor, which I like to see them benefit as well because I know they're the ones that can really get eaten up. Invest and they might lose their money, and I feel like that might be my biggest target audience, right there, is maybe even the smaller investor that I can help build and grow their wealth.
Pat Flynn: So when you say consulting, is this ongoing, like they're paying you monthly to continually have you as a coach, as a consultant? How many of them do you have? How many of those consultations are you doing? How many clients?
DC: Oh, good question. I'd say maybe 10 to 12, maybe?
Pat Flynn: Okay.
DC: Just kind of throwing that out there, but sounds like a good number to me.
Pat Flynn: What do you want your day to be like? Right? Because it would be different if you said 10 to 12 versus we're going to be Keller Williams and we're going to have 50 locations around the United States and 5,000 employees. Right? That's a totally different path, and you need to be both in alignment with that, right? So, Ashton, what does your vision look like for things down the red?
Ashton: It's so funny. I feel like we actually flip-flopped because normally he's so grandiose. But we talked about a few years ago that we want to revolutionize the remodeling industry. And our niche is investing, and there isn't other people doing what we do. When we try to find competition, it's just weird stuff. So I think I would love to be on a national level where we're offering valuable things to a greater audience, whether that means we do... I love the concept of conferences and things like that. But just literally helping an investor mom-and-pop. I love millennials. I love married millennials and families. But having them invest in their future, meaning, okay, I have a 401(k). I might pull some off, but we're going to do two flips a year. And in five years we... because of us, you're helping us build a financial legacy. So I feel like more on a national platform sharing this because it's just not there.
DC: Okay, I take that back. I just got excited hearing her speak. Yeah, I take... See, I listen. I learned to listen. Yeah. Yeah. I take that back. I like that.
Pat Flynn: I mean, this is great. Being on big stages, that sounds amazing. And connecting with other moguls in this space who... you have the specialty, so you're not even in competition with them, but you're complementary. You could dream as big or as small as you want. But I... Again, the big exercise here is you have to know that that's truly what you want, versus what you see other people doing and then therefore want. Because some people grow too fast and then they're not doing the things that they love anymore. They're just trying to grow and scale this business. So just make sure you're both in alignment with that, is my advice.
DC: Yeah. Yeah.
Ashton: Thank you.
DC: I thought she was going to try to...
Ashton: You said crosstalk inaudible. But our lifestyle affords it. That's the funny thing. We've worked so hard to have a certain lifestyle. I mean, we homeschool our kids and all that kind of stuff. So even that is possible. I'm not pulling them out of something. I'm not dragging them somewhere. We'd still be together. But being able to help more than one or two-
DC: We can afford it.
Ashton: ... and then with our purpose and desire to help women and children, really for homelessness and give them housing, those funds can do a major impact in community. You know? So...
DC: Yeah, we're going to go big, Pat. We're going big.
Pat Flynn: I love it.
DC: We're going big.
Pat Flynn: I love it. But you had mentioned the key F word, which is family, right? You're still in alignment with your own personal values and together, working with your kids and giving them the future that is best for them, whilst also dreaming big and wanting to help and serve others outside of your... even your own community. So just applaud to both of you, and well done. I'm excited to see where this goes and I hope that this at least gives you a nice little trampoline to launch off of as far as ideas and what the next steps might be.
Pat Flynn: So, DC and Ashton, thank you so much. Where, if there's anywhere right now, can people go to follow your journey?
DC: Yeah, you can go to REIremodel.com.
Ashton: And we love Instagram. I love Instagram, so we're there too.
DC: Instagram too at REIRemodel.
Pat Flynn: Awesome. Well, I hope to send some people your way from this episode. And again, thank you so much for your time today.
DC: Thank you.
Ashton: Thank you so much.
Pat Flynn: All right. I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Ashton and DC. You're both amazing. I'm so excited to hear where this goes from here. And remember, when you start with that one person, all the learnings that come from that could then be amplified to the second and third and fifth and 10th and 100th person. So I'm excited about the education that you're going to offer and the sort of clients that you're going to have, but also the club that you're going to bring together that will then be used as this beautiful lead magnet and pool to pull new clients from and to even serve some of your other people that you know in your network and whatnot. It just becomes such a huge asset. I can't even describe how huge an asset a community is. And you combine that with words like from Superfans, my book, it's going to be a match that'll help take your business to the next level, for sure.
Pat Flynn: So definitely check out Superfans if you haven't already, and again, to check out Ashton and DC, you can go to reiremodel.com. And thank you so much for listening to AskPat 2.0. I appreciate you so much for that because I know your time is valuable. The fact that you're spending it here means so much to me, and I look forward to serving you in the next episode too. I have to sneeze. That's what's happening. Hold on. Let's keep that in because this is real life. I love y'all. Thank you. Thank you for the bless yous, I know some of you said it, even out loud. I... Whew, that felt good. All right. Hopefully this episode felt good too. Peace out, and I'll see you at the next one. Cheers.
Pat Flynn: Thanks for listening to AskPat at askpat.com. I'm your host, Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sara Jane Hess, our series producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. AskPat is a production of SPI Media. We'll catch you in the next session.