Not getting deals? It’s 100% your fault and here’s why

Written by:

Dan Schwartz

November 5, 2017

Congrats!! This is the last blog post about real estate investing you’ll ever need to read before you become a multi-millionaire badass.

If you’re an investor that’s frustrated because you’re not closing any deals or growing fast enough, this is going to be a game-changing read for you.

The tone of this post is one of tough love…

I do sympathize with your situation, as I’ve been there myself, starting out wholesaling at 21 not knowing anything and brute force grinding my way through hundreds of deals. Most of it kinda sucked and we’d always hit income and productivity ceilings we couldn’t get past.

Here are the things you need to hear that have been hard won with a big dose of REALITY.

You already know the whole “Don’t blame others” life guidance…It’s important, but let’s put a spin on it and look at it with real estate investor eyes.

You see the truth is, if you really want to succeed in this game and you’re currently not:

It’s your f***ing fault.

If you’re the CEO/Founder of “Quick Cash Generic Homebuyers LLC,” and things aren’t going so well for you…who’s fault is it???

Yep. As the owner, it’s all your fault.

Not your teammates, partners, or spouse.

Not technology or software.

Not your market or the “lack of deals”.

Not your competition.

Not the person who just cut you off in traffic (actually that was his fault…but you can control how you react).

It’s all 100% on you, despite any limitations you might have like being scared to talk on the phone or hiring someone (both equivalent fears I’ve seen in others…totally overcomable).

It’s because you haven’t taken the right actions at the right times to move the needle.

Some stuff might be out of your control, like the economy, or your market, but these are the excuses to justify not being adaptable and creative enough to find workarounds…and there’s always workarounds.

You’re about to understand the mindset and actions you need to establish in order to fully “man up” and take responsibility for the outcome of your situation in your REI business, and in life!

Owning this personal responsibility is power.

The second you blame something outside of you, you’ve lost your power.

The cool thing about this business, is you can actually affect the outcome in a POSITIVE way just as much as you can in a negative way.

Are you ready to make that switch? Ready to get out of that rut? Or do you want to stay in that rut and ignore the truth…

The following sections are the three most common excuses I’ve heard from struggling investors and entrepreneurs, followed by the the steps you need to take to get unstuck from the fabled “Wannabe-investor Land,” a land no one wants to be in.

Instead, you should seek to go to “Profit Land”…a much happier place to call home.

The first excuse to overcome is one of mindset. If you are to be an effective entrepreneur, you need to flip the script on this first excuse. It usually sounds something like…

“I’m working my ass off and not getting anywhere, I can only do so much in a day . This just isn’t working…”

This is actually true. You only have 24 hours a day (8 of which you should be in bed). So how can you get ahead without working like a dog all the time?

First off…it’s your fault because you are working on the wrong things.

Let’s think about the core roots of what it means to be a business owning entrepreneur…let’s recall why we got into this business to begin with.

Entrepreneurship allows you the freedom to be your own boss, live life on your terms, make as much money as you want for yourself and your family, and let’s you experience life to the fullest all over the world. Right???

In reality, that’s all a pipe dream unless you get the following principle drilled into memory:

The point of entrepreneurship is to not do anything other than building machines.

The sooner you think of your business as a machine, like a car or any mechanical system, the faster you’ll get out of your own way and breakthrough to Profit Land.

That way, you can only blame yourself, and get to work on fixing your machine.

What I mean by machines is building processes, flow charts, step by step instructions, videos, systems of record, implementing technology, finding money (the fuel to your machine), and hiring incredible people to act as players inside of your machine.

Anything other than building your machine is considered “work,” and it will dig you farther into the rat race of being an employee…with the worst boss, yourself.

But what if you want to do everything? You CAN do “work” that you inherently enjoy if you want. For instance, if you enjoy doing due diligence and researching comps, build your machine around you being the master of that domain.

If you love haggling with sellers at the property and making deals happen, you can do that…and ONLY that, and be the best in your entire market at that…so that the other players in your machine can be amazing at the specific tasks they are responsible for…thus making the entire system unstoppable.

Look, the sooner you stop “working” and start exclusively building your machine to do the “work” for you, the faster you will succeed in really ANY business. It’s so simple that it’s actually quite hard to wrap your head around fully…but it’s very true and I wish someone really impressed that upon me sooner.


Here’s a really mind-blowing awareness exercise for you:

Every time you realize that you’re on your computer doing “work” then you’ve just found something you need to fire yourself from! Add it to a list and start creating a job description for yourself.

The fun of real estate investing only happens the moment you engage with a motivated seller to discuss acquiring the property. Everything that happens before that is admin work. You didn’t sign up to do admin work!!

Getting amazing at removing yourself from everything is the #1 skill of business.

Get really fucking good at that and invite me onto your yacht in 10 years.

This chart helps break down the VALUE of where you should be spending your time as a real estate investor. Use technology, delegation and outsourcing to replace yourself from the left side of this chart.

Build machines that do all of these things.

If that sounds intimidating…just pick one thing you don’t want to do anymore, like “answer the phones.” And start mind-mapping the steps you need to take to get someone else doing that for you as soon as possible. Hint: the first step is usually documenting. The simpler the better. Just get it out of your brain.

Your business may suffer for a bit in the short term when you stop doing all the “work,” but the LONG TERM health of your company increases infinitely the more you work on building your machine (your systems).

But wait…now that you overcame your entrepreneurial busy-work crisis…what else is there to blame for not closing enough deals?

“There aren’t any deals in my market!”

False belief 100% of the time. There’s alwayssssss deals.

Even though the market is “hot” as of Fall ‘17, there are still millions of motivated sellers coming into motivated situations all over the country every month.

Usually there aren’t any deals for YOU only because YOU are not taking the actions to generate the opportunities to allow transactions to take place in the first place.

So which actions should you take??

The simple logic is you can’t strike a deal with these individuals unless one of the following happens:

  • They get referred to you (best kind of leads)
  • They find you online (not interruptive inbound marketing)
  • They see your offline marketing (direct mail, interruptive marketing)
  • You get in touch with them directly (cold calling, craigslist blasting, door knocking…this is a mixed bag, but can certainly be effective)
  • You need to FOLLOW UP WITH PEOPLE because the majority of your contacts don’t turn into deals until months and months of back and forth.

If you’re not consistently doing at least one of the above, well then we’ve just pinpointed your weakness.

It’s the grinding, the grit, and the consistency at which you can execute what happens before you get a deal.

If there’s no opportunities coming your way, you’ll get zero deals ever.

Marketing your services

The winning formula for killing it in marketing is always going to be one of two strategies:

  1. Do and scale the harder ways to uncover gems in your market
  2. Spend more money than anyone else in your market.

Either options are valid, but the good news is you don’t need a boatload of cash to get those secret juicy deals.

Here’s a useful video about the reality of real estate marketing and why it’s always more profitable to do the harder thing to execute.

Some tools and strategies you could use to execute and systematize harder forms of marketing:

  • Set up local prospecting systems:
  • Use Spotio to recruit an army of door knocking sales ninja’s
  • Use DealMachine to recruit an army of birddogs to quickly and easily send postcard sequences out to vacant property owners while “driving for dollars”
  • Get lunch with all your past sellers and ask them to provide referrals to anyone they may know that’s selling their houses
  • Get lunch with probate attorneys, brokers, mortgage companies, etc. to setup strategic partnerships.
  • Switch your investing strategy so you can go after leals no one else wants (like land, low equity, etc.). Read this to learn which strategy to use when.
  • Hire a cold calling sales team, skip trace a bunch of phone numbers, and just dial for dollars at scale to beat your competitors to deals.
  • Basically, Be creative. Find a unique lead source or data source. Test some stuff out. Be bold. Make a stand in your market. No excuses.

Get good at doing the hard stuff.

Then you can afford to spend more on the easy stuff…which in turn will help you scale the hard stuff…which turns into a virtuous cycle of cash money.

There are plenty of deals. You’re just lazy.

Own that truth… and you WILL get your deals.

There’s one more issue you’re probably facing due to the nature of our information and data-driven world:

“I’m OVERWHELMED and I’m drowning in information so I don’t know what to do!”

There’s so much information that you basically don’t need school anymore. You can go on YouTube “university” and become a master at nearly every subject from rocket propulsion physics to sewing…for FREE!

What an incredible time to be alive.

There’s literally no excuses anymore. We are blessed by an abundance of information and knowledge.

And as such… also CURSED by information and knowledge…It’s overload. Here’s some ways to soften the blow of the predicament we’re all in.

  • Read Deep Work. You’ll thank me later.
  • Stop watching news you’re not interested in that makes you feel like shit. Make your own curated feed.
  • Delete the Facebook app off your phone. Try it for a day, you’ll hardly notice, and you’ll feel like a weight was lifted off your shoulders.
  • Download It magically blocks websites and apps across all devices…at times that you can set. This has changed my life and decreased my addiction to checking my phone every 14 seconds…buying back time for me to focus on important stuff and smell the roses a bit more.
  • Become obsessed with “Revenue Generating Activities” at the expense of everything else.

That last one hard one I’ve realized is hard for people who aren’t ‘shoot from the hip’ ‘take action and ask for forgiveness later’ type of people. You’ll be tempted to do research for 2 months before doing anything that actually physically gets you closer to a cashed check. I don’t blame you though, I just don’t have the patience so want to try stuff and get immediate feedback.

So yeah re-shfiting your day-to-day execution to that of exclusively Revenue-generating-activities is a big block for certain personality types. However…

If you’re sick of being frustrated and seeing other people post their fat checks online (stop checking Facebook so much), then you’ll soon find solace in taking action, THEN learning, instead of only taking action UNTIL you’ve researched and analyzed everything (mostly stuff that doesn’t matter).

Stuff that doesn’t matter:

  • Your logo.
  • Your professional photo.
  • Your website (just use this tool and you’ll done worrying about real estate websites forever).
  • What “contract” to use. Use the ones you can download at Boom problem solved.
  • Having to read every single real estate investing book and watching every single Youtube video.
  • Buying info products of the latest and best strategies (sorry REI Coach friends, I’m sure your shit is great though!).

Listen, I get that there’s a lot going on and it’s hard to focus on doing the exact things you need to be doing, so having a coach and someone to hold you accountable is a fantastic thing.

However, I’m going to give you a nugget of wisdom that’s going to save you literally 10s of thousands of dollars.

Having a coach only matters at the beginning to set you on the right course, and then only at the MOMENTS you need them to help you with something…

When you’re stuck and need coaching, if you can’t find the specific answer on Google or YouTube (you can, trust me), you should use this amazing resource for ONE-OFF business advice:

This website is a game changer for business people. If you’re stuck or unsure about what to do next in virtually ANY INDUSTRY, there’s someone on that you can book a call with and get on track immediately. Including expert real estate investors in many niches.

I just talked with an artificial intelligence expert the other day…

When in doubt, have a conversation with the best. Don’t waste time. Use You can even talk with me on there. I’d be happy to help you separate the noise and give you the next action step towards your dream outcomes.

So what DOES matter???

This is the juiciest part of the whole post. Ready?

Stuff that actually moves the needle:

  • Building your machine
  • Hiring a lead manager
  • Implementing tools like InvestorFuse to give your team structure and automate followup with your opportunities
  • Documenting EVERYTHING you do. Start with an exhaustive list of every task you physically do, then separate it into categories. Boom, you just made job descriptions for people to hire. Pay them on commission. Get creative. No excuses.
  • WRITING OFFERS. You can’t transact dollars unless there’s a contract with your name on it. You should be building machines that write a lot of offers on real estate.
  • Raising private money
  • Thinking about next strategic steps to take to dominate your market
  • Seeking relevant and specific advice instead of drowning in a sea of broad/generic online information. Use tools like
  • Organizing all of these activities into project management tool like Podio or Asana so you actually hold yourself and your team accountable to take action on these initiatives in an organized, collaborative way.

Catch my drift? The law of the 80/20 principle says that 80% of your success comes from 20% of your actions. When you really think about it…that list IS the 20% that actually produces results.

Imagine if you could hone in on the 80/20 of that 20%…

Well that’s pretty much just getting amazing at building your machine.

Getting amazing at removing yourself from everything is the #1 skill of business, and it will give you a life you’ve never thought was possible to accomplish all by yourself.

There’s a world of abundance and freedom right there in front of you if you can just let your excuses step aside and take responsibility for everything that happens in your business.

It’s your fault. It’s also your biggest opportunity.

Own it.


– Dan