Episode 116: What is FreedomDriven? with Melissa Johnson
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Listen as Danny and Melissa talk about their parent company, FreedomDriven LLC, what it entails, why they started it, and how they even got to this point in their business.
Danny and Melissa have an open and honest conversation as they talk through the journey of their house flipping business. From starting out part time and doing everything themselves, to now having a team, and providing quality tools for other real estate investors to be successful.
Danny and Melissa talk through their business journey. From first starting out part time to now having a company with multiple facets to help other real estate investors.
They talk about what the company means to them individually and how they came together to achieve the goal of helping others.
It all started driving around on evenings and weekends with the kids to find properties, Danny and Melissa remember how it all started with bandit signs and discuss their fears when starting early on and laugh through some of the early bandit sign bloopers.
Of course, after hanging the signs, the first call has to come in. They reminisce about not knowing what to do when that first call came in, Danny’s phone is ringing from the bandit signs they put out, he freaked out and threw the phone at Melissa to answer. They talk about how after some time, they got pretty good…3 or 4 phone calls and knew essentially what to ask. Even they didn’t know what to do when they were first starting.
Then once they got their marketing going, there is the story of signing the first contract. They remember how it took 6 or 9 months to get the first property under contract. Melissa and Danny talk about how their hands were literally shaking and how they called their mentor to get advice on what to say to even say to the Title Company.
After getting through the early learning curve of flipping came their next chapter. Moving from flipping part-time to full-time. They continued working on nights and weekends and flipped part-time for about 3 years. Danny got laid off from his job (what he attributes is the kick in the butt to start flipping full time) and Melissa stayed on full-time at her job for about 6 months before she joined Danny full time.
The next milestone was figuring out how to flip full time being that the business was still just Melissa + Danny at this point. They talk about how they started to systematize the business a little bit with the additional time they had to focus on their business instead of their day jobs. In 2008, during the housing crisis they stayed determined together that they were going to be successful and not go back to full-time day jobs.
Ultimately, they trusted each other and their vision and go through the storm that was the housing crisis of 2008. Fast forward to 2010, their business made it through the housing crisis. In 2010, their family took a three week vacation on the west coast. Part of the trip, Mcminnville, Oregon to see an old wooden plane, it was here on this trip that Danny decided when they got back to San Antonio that he was going to get his pilot’s license and chase his passion.
Slowed down on the house flipping business to focus on Danny’s passion which offered them a hard lesson to learn. Most of the deals you are doing now, come from your marketing from 3-4 months prior. They were at the end of their lead pool and hadn’t spent the time over the last few months marketing the business.
Back to square one, with no leads built up in the pipeline. They started the FlippingJunkie blog to support the process and creative energy Danny needed to jumpstart hitting the pavement again for leads. Little did they know this would serve as a platform for their creative outlet as well as creating a community for people looking to learn more and grow their own businesses.
Danny blogged for 34-weeks, showing everything they did, marketing, analysis, everything behind the scenes of rebuilding their pipeline. Showed people how to get the deals and how to profit from them. Danny later turned these blog posts into his best-selling book “Flipping Houses Exposed.”
Just recently published the book in print, should be available for purchase soon. It’s always been available digitally but now it’s a physical copy. www.flippingjunkie.com/book
Danny and Melissa wanted to help people have something that can help fill more of the gaps when starting your house flipping business, wanted to help people get into flipping. Most people mentioned a lack of capital starting so they started developing Freedom by Flipping, a Wholesaling course for people starting out without the capital.
Danny talks about his software background before he started house flipping and how he had naturally made systems for their own business to be successful. It was at this point in 2013, when Danny and Melissa got serious about creating REImobile (a CRM system for real estate investors) to help other investors outside of their own business.
A conversation with Brandon Turner from BiggerPockets helped Danny realize how most of their deals come from online and how many investors don’t have a tool to help them build their own online presence. This conversation lead to LeadPropeller being born and launching in 2014. LeadPropeller is a way for investors to have a website built for them that is mobile-friend, SEO-optimized, without needing any coding skills or developers. Piggybacking off of Danny and Melissa’s experience.
Danny and Melissa learned by experience that first contact usually gets the deal so they added text capabilities for every lead that comes in, plus other features like automated follow ups, etc.
At this point, Danny and Melissa were still doing everything themselves. Right before launching LeadPropeller, they realized they needed help and hired their first employee.
Danny and Melissa met Justin Williams around 2014, he was a master delegator and team builder. Danny visited him in California to see how he had his team structured and how he was able to not be involved in every bit of the day to day.
After this meeting, they started hiring people to help with the day to day operations, starting with an Acquisitions Manager to take some of that weight off Danny so he could keep developing the software side of the company. Melissa also stepped in to be more involved to offer Danny more time on the software side.
May 2015, REImobile finally launched.
In October 2015 Danny and Melissa started the FlippingJunkie Podcast. Loved the idea of interviewing other real estate investors rather than just having the singular perspective on the blog.
In November 2015, they started doing more with LeadPropeller. Started managed online lead generation with LeadPropeller Services (Fuel). Started with Josh managing the internal SEO, lead generation, AdWords, Facebook, PPC for Danny and Melissa’s business. Now taking the knowledge gained from internal promotion to offer to other investors. Because of demand the company only takes on a certain number of investors in any given area, that’s why there’s a need to check availability.
In October 2016 they got serious about building the house flipping team. They both joined Justin William’s master mind group to continue to grow their business with motivation and like-minded investors…Melissa had an idea after their first experience, to split the company into two focuses. Danny would focus on the software side and Melissa would focus on the house flipping side of the company so they could both grow.
They learned that building a team is more than just hiring a team, it’s what are you doing it for and really building the right company culture as well. Melissa has kept the flipping business up and running if not more successfully now that that’s her sole focus.
Fast forward to 2017, most leads for the company are coming from online, they had LeadPropeller sites but were missing comprehensive blueprint to build the lead generation machine for online lead generation. Danny spent his time creating this blueprint, Danny put together outlines and scripts and eventually recorded over 16 hours of video training called Seller Lead Hacks.
After the road map was done, Danny started working on the updated software to replace REImobile. It’s called FlipPilot and it’s so much more than a CRM, it includes automation, call management, task management and KPI dashboards to name a few.
Danny and Melissa created FreedomDriven to help busy real estate investors achieve true freedom by building businesses that run without them. FreedomDriven is the parent company that includes subsidiaries: FlippingJunkie (Podcast), LeadPropeller (Sites + Lead Generation Services), SellerLeadHacks (Digital Marketing Training) and FlipPilot (REI Business Management Software).
Here’s how it works:
Still new to flipping houses?:
- Check out Flipping Houses Exposed Book
- Subscribe to FlippingJunkie podcast
Ready to start generating leads for your business?:
- LeadPropeller Websites
- SellerLeadHacks training, blueprint for online success
- Promotion right now, includes 12 months of LeadPropeller pro
Is your time more valuable? Not interested in learning or running your own online lead generation?
- LeadPropeller Fuel, our in-house managed SEO, PPC (AdWords, Bing) & Facebook Ad management
Need a system to manage your business?
- FlipPilot gives a 30,000 ft. view of your flipping business
- Ready for any size business, whether you are doing it all yourselves or if you have a team. Designed to help manage the process easily and support REI businesses from the ground up.
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