Cody Hofhine is the founder of Investor Grit and Utah Sell Now. A few years ago, he was selling insurance. He liked what he did and made a decent living doing it. One day back in 2015, he was introduced to Wholesaling Real Estate. People in his area were making a fortune doing it so he got curious and decided to jump in. He made a TON of mistakes but he was committed to making it work…and he did!
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [01:09] – Cody lived his entire life in Utah
- [01:44] – Success for Cody is when his family sees him more than his employees
- [02:03] – Define your own success
- [02:26] – Cody’s area of expertise is wholesaling real estate
- [02:27] – There’s a fortune in real estate
- [04:14] – Wholesaling real estate defined
- [04:56] – It’s when you locate discounted properties and put them under contract
- [05:58] – One BIG and Unique Value Bomb: Real estate is governed differently in every state so get a competent real estate attorney to do it right. One specific tip to get into wholesaling real estate is that you can send a letter in the mail telling the homeowner you want to buy their home for cash. Sometimes they call back for their own reasons, wanting to make a deal with you.
- [08:15] – You’ve got to find your niche
- [08:30] – JLD talks about short sales
- [09:13] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: In 2010, I went out there again for insurance and did the grind. After working 60-80 hours per week, at the end of the year, I had made just $19,000
- [10:44] – That $19,000 year was Chris’ biggest building block
- [12:01] – Find your “why”
- [13:42] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: I got a mentor and bought a program to learn about wholesaling. Forty-five days into the course, I put my first home under contract, and 60 days later, I received my first paycheck which was $24,000.
- [14:34] – Leverage scalability
- [15:35] – Work smarter, not harder
- [16:54] – There’s no better road than the road of an entrepreneur
- [17:03] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? Sharing this knowledge. I was invited to speak at an event a few weeks ago and there were so many people with questions, we ended up having dinner.
- [18:34] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “The MLM theory”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Complexity is the enemy of execution”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “Tithing”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Podio
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – The Compound Effect – “it’s about the small things in life”
- [22:18] – Connect with Cody on Investor Grit
- [22:37] – Take massive, imperfect action—don’t wait for it to be perfect, just do it
Interviewee: I’m ready to burn this down. Let’s do it.
Interviewer: Yes. Cody is the founder of Investor Grit and Utah Sell Now. A few years ago he was selling insurance and he liked what he did. He made a decent living doing it, but one day back in 2015 he was introduced to Wholesaling Real Estate. People in his area were making a fortune doing it which is usually the first red flag. So, he got curious and decided to jump on and he made a ton of mistakes but he was committed to making it work and he did. Cody, take a minute. Fill in some gaps from that intro and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Interviewee: I live here in Salt Lake City, Utah and I’ve lived here my whole entire life. Married – been married, well, 12 years will be this December and I have three beautiful children and one on the way that will be born in March. And I have always had like an entrepreneur at heart. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss, be the one that manages my own time. So, I’ve always done something and it could be a lot of mistakes, a lot of businesses that have failed, but I’ve always just wanted to achieve what I thought was success and my definition of success is my kids and my wife see me more than my employees do. And I’m getting there. A step closer each day is where my family gets to see me a little bit more.
Interviewer: So, within that Cody and I love you sharing your definition of success. And Fire Nation if you haven’t defined your definition of success, what are you waiting for? Because what do you know what you’re working towards until you have that definite guide, that North Star. So, press pause if you have to. Just kinda say a couple things in your head. Get that mindset going to find success for you. Cody, what is your area of expertise. What would you say it is in just a couple sentences?
Interviewee: My area of expertise – it’s a niche called wholesaling and you can look at it maybe like a pawn shop, but really all it is is just locating deeply discounted properties and then purchasing, putting them under contract and then turning them for a profit.
Interviewer: So, let’s kinda get a little more deep into that because wholesaling real estate within your intro you said people in your area were making a fortune doing it. So, you got curious and decided to jump in. So, how do you make a fortune wholesaling real estate?
Interviewee: Love it. Now, mind you, my fortune might be different than a lot of people’s fortune. I was – and I’ll get into it a little bit later on, but I was like you mentioned I did insurance and I was insuring quite a few investors and I had a pretty good portfolio, a good book of investors that were here locally in Utah. And I would go to all the events that all the realtors would go to, the investors would go to and really was there for such selfish purposes. It’s all about “Hey, let’s see if I can insure your cars and homes and investors have multiple homes. And I’d love to just have that niche for insurance and I started just insuring these people.
And they’d tell me how they were doing on these deals and they’d share information with their insurance agent that maybe they don’t’ share with other people.
Interviewee: But they’re like “Yeah, on this deal I made $35,000.” Or “On this deal I made “$25,000.” And to me that’s when I was like “Man, they’re making a fortune now.” You’ve had like Brian Tracy, Seth Goad and you’ve had all these successful people on your show so it’s like “Eh, that’s like pittance to some of these people.” But that was my fortune. I was like “35 grand in one deal? Like, holy smokes. Good for you.” And they were doing like 20 deals, 30 deals, 50 deals, 100 deals a year. And so if you start adding that up and you’re like “Yeah, baby.”
Interviewer: That’s real money.
Interviewee: Like, I want a part of this.
Interviewer: So, what exactly is wholesale real estate? I still don’t exactly get exactly what that is.
Interviewee: I love it. I love it. So, wholesaling’s simply just the art of finding a deeply discounted property. Think of it like pawn shop J.L.D. Here’s how I look at it is, let’s say you have a guitar. We all have that item in our home that we no longer like. We take that guitar because we’re just sick of it. Get it out of our life. Let’s say it’s a guitar. You take it over to the pawn shop. They give you $10. The next day they put it on the showroom floor and sell it for $50. They just made a $40 profit. Now, what I do is the same thing. It’s a pawn shop. They’re just wholesaling, right? They pick it up for a discount and turn it for a profit. Same exact thing.
I just choose real estate because with that being said you can make 5 grand, 10 grand, 15 grand, 20 grand instead of 50 bucks on a guitar. And so really it’s just – it’s locating these deeply discounted properties, putting them under contract and then turning around and selling them. You can either fix them up or you can even do what’s called an assignment where you assign that contract. It’s an assignable agreement and then they purchase that contract so that they can go purchase that home if that makes sense.
Interviewer: So, do you just work regionally or do you deals like throughout all the United States?
Interviewee: Yeah. I am just in the five major counties in the state of Utah.
Interviewer: Okay, so you like to kinda keep it close, keep it regional? Because I think I have heard of some people –
Interviewee: For now.
Interviewer: Yeah. For now. I’ve heard people being like “Yeah, I’m gunna fly down to Florida to check out this wholesale deal and so there is opportunities if you know the law, know the different states and requirements within that to do that as well. Now, Cody, what I would like for you to break down is what’s something that we don’t know about wholesale real estate, your area of expertise that you think we probably should know as entrepreneurs especially if we’re gunna learn a little bit more about this and maybe even take a plunge?
Interviewee: Yes. It’s just like any business out there. It’s like a tile center for example. There’s a correct way of setting tile. There’s a wrong way of setting tile. Is there a wrong way of doing wholesaling or a correct way of doing wholesaling? Absolutely. Now, the thing that varies with every state is real estate is governed so different in every state. Why? I don’t know. But essentially with wholesaling, with investing, with real estate in general whether you’re a realtor or not every state’s gunna be different. So, yeah, you wanna make sure you’re up and doing wholesaling the way that that state requires you to wholesale.
So, you wanna get with a competent real estate attorney and make sure that you’re doing it exactly the way you need to. No different than a contractor goes to school to find out how to perfectly set tile. What’s the underlayment? What’s the ratio for the mud versus water and all that fun stuff? So, yeah, there is an absolute correct way.
Interviewer: Well, let me break in here for a second. What is like something that surprised you that you learned about wholesale real estate that you think that we’d find interesting or fascinating? Like, let’s kinda really get into a specific tactic here.
Interviewee: One thing is how simple it can be to start off in the sense of, yes, does it take grind? Yes, do you need to know your why? Absolutely. But when you have those things in place the beautiful thing is it’s as simple as putting a mail piece together, a post card with a certain message on it saying you’re interested in buying a home at 123 Main Street.
Interviewer: Okay, so give us like a specific tactic that you used that worked really well.
Interviewee: Okay, so specific is I started out with direct mail and so you have multiple lists that you can buy from companies online and it could be people that are behind on taxes. It could be people that have a lot of equity in their home. And what you’re doing is you’re just sending a mailer out saying “Hey, my name’s Cody Hofhine. I’d like to buy your home at 123 Main Street. If you’re interested in a cash offer, a fair offer reach me at “– and give a phone number. And you’ll have individuals that will reach out to you for whatever means saying “Hey, yeah, what can you do for me? What does this look like?” And then that starts the introduction of coming together to see if there’s a way to make a deal happen.
Interviewer: So, Fire Nation you’ve gotta find your niche. Like, you gotta say like “Listen this is something I’m gunna become an expert in” and that kinda brings me back to when I moved out to San Diego in 2009 to be in real estate. I was looking around and I was like “I don’t know anybody here. I just can’t be your standard boring real estate person because I don’t have any contacts, friends or family.” So, I became an expert in short selling. Like, I actually wrote a book on it. I knew how to do short sales and really get in there and explain why it was a benefit instead of going bankrupt, etc. and foreclosing. So, that was kinda my niche just like Cody’s talking about how he found his niche just to start off.
And by the way then you can broaden out as you get those initial momentum deals and lessons learned as you’re doing those actual things going forward. So, Cody I’m sure it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns. You were just sending out direct mail and getting these amazing $25 – 35,000 commissions being handed to you in your pockets. So, take us to what you consider your worst entrepreneurial moment to date. Take us to that day Cody.
Interviewee: Not even tied to real estate, but if I can tie this story to it my worst moment was going back to insurance. This was 2010 so it wasn’t many years back. I went out there and I thought it was just go out there and you put your 60 – 80 hours and just grind. Just go out there and do, do, do and I thought “Man, I can’t fail if I just go out there and do this, this, this, my insurance is gunna succeed. It’s gunna be awesome. And then the ultimate truth of after working that many hours so you can think of how many times – we had two kids at the time. If you can think of how much time you’re away when you’re spending 68 hours away from your family a week which is kinda my sacred time.
I wanted this thing to succeed to make it worth the time going out. Now, at the end of the year I had to look at my wife and come to the realization to tell her “I made $19,000 for that whole entire year.” And I had to look at like the tears in her eyes. I had to look at “Man, what do we do?” Like, she’s so loving and so kind so it wasn’t like “Oh, you dirt bag of a dad or you dirt bag” –
Interviewer: Because she saw you working hard I’m sure.
Interviewee: So, she was very kinda and understanding, but at the end of the day kind and understanding also had that side of “What do we do? Do we buy food or do we pay for the mortgage? Do we pay for diapers or do we do this?” And it was an eye opener for me of like holy smokes. Now, fast forward a little bit and I will tell you though that $19,000 year was probably my biggest building block I’ve ever had in my life. We found creative ways to go on dates. We’d go to the park and hold hands and talk and do things that truly matter versus all the money things that you can do that money can get you to do.
So, finding things to do with your kids. Play simple. It was so fun and I can tell you that hardest time in my life ends up being probably my biggest stepping stone as well if that’s fair to say.
Interviewer: Wow. What a silver lining. I mean, Fire Nation this is what we need to do as entrepreneurs. We are going to get to that point when we have our backs against the wall and guess what? You become a survivalist at that point. Like, you will not fail. You’ll do anything. Like, I’m sure Cody if he was making $150,000 a year like he would have been like “Hmm, I don’t know if I wanna make that outbound phone call. I’m probably gunna get a rejection and I don’t want to get rejected today because getting rejected doesn’t feel good. But then guess what?
When it was make that phone call or not make that phone call and not put food on the table for his family, making that phone call all of the sudden becomes the only option and a pretty easy “yes” to do. So, you will knock on those doors. You will do what it takes. So, just realize when your back’s against a wall you’re a survivor. You’re a human being. You’re an entrepreneur. You’re gunna make things happen. So, that’s my big takeaway Cody. Just one or two sentences – What do you wanna make sure we get from your story?
Interviewee: I would say the value bomb is gunna be "Find your why." I know that’s so cliché. I know this is. Everyone says “Find your why”, but if you wouldn’t mind I wouldn’t even say like a little two second thing that I could for your listeners.
Interviewee: If you want me to jump on this is let’s say listeners, now if you’re driving don’t do this, but close your eyes and think of the three most important people in your life. Maybe it’s four because you have a family of four or maybe it’s five, but think of the most important people in your life. And I’m gunna kidnap those people and I’m gunna give you 24 hours to sell a widget or wholesale a home or whatever it is out there, whatever business model it is you like. You’ve got 24 hours to do that or those three most loved individuals are mine for good. What are you going to do at that point? Are you gunna sit on the couch? Are you gunna get up? What is it that you’re gunna do?
And I’m telling you I hope that created a why. Like, oh man, if this really happened. Like, when I saw my wife with tears in her eyes and tell my kid “Sorry, I can’t buy a 75 cent ice cream cone because that money has to go elsewhere like my why got hit to me pretty dang quick on what’s important in my life and why I wanna succeed. And it is. It’s those people that I love. And so I hope that is just like an easy, easy exercise that people can understand. Find that why and get up and go do it.
Interviewer: Fire Nation, House of Cards is a great show, but if you’re to making ends meet what are you doing watching that show? So, Cody let’s get a move into your aha moment. One of your greatest ideas to date – tell us that story.
Interviewee: The aha moment was I got a mentor and that was different from insurance. I thought “Cody, you can do this all by yourself. You can wear all the hats.” You saw what that amounted to. $19,000 in the first year. Fast forward May of 2015 I found out that all the investors that I was insuring, all the successful ones had mentors and so I got a mentor. I bought a program to learn about wholesaling and 45 days into the course I put my first home under contract. About 60 days later I received my first paycheck and that paycheck was $24,000 and it was like “You’ve gotta be kidding me.
I busted my butt off like 60 – 80 hours a week to make 19 grand for a whole year and in one deal I made more in that one deal than I did my whole entire first year in insurance and almost my second year in insurance.”
Interviewer: Fire Nation leverage, scalability – you need to be looking at these things and how you can amplify what’s working for you in your business. Like, what are you good at? Like, how can you take that skill, leverage and scale that? Because your time can be put towards a task that gives X results and your same time can be put towards a task that gets X to the tenth power results. It’s just a matter of are you working on the right thing?
Like, I can sit here and for the next year I can just try to physically craft one chair that I can sell one time to one person and it’ll be bad because I’m not a carpenter or I can figure out how to create a pdf that is how to create a chair and I can do research and lessons and do this and do that and create this really quality pdf and maybe sell that 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 times. So, think about what you’re doing and how you’re spending your time. And so Cody that’s my big takeaway. What do you wanna make sure our listeners get from your aha moment?
Interviewee: It is working smarter not harder and I know that’s said over time, but it’s following your passion because you can make a lot of money. I’ve listened to X amount of podcasts of your podcasts and I’m telling you there’s times where I’ve listened to it and I’m like “I don’t even know what that guy is talking about.” Like; “I don’t get IT.” Like “This is so over my head, but this guy is so super successful.” So, it’s not to say it’s only one thing. It’s not saying “Just jump into real estate.” It’s not saying “Just jump into IT.” It’s not saying – but what drives you? What keeps you passionate? Because it’s not discipline and 60 – 80 hours a week that makes you successful.
It’s following your passion and following your drive and doing that and you will be successful. You will find ways. Maybe it’s the cold, hard truth that you get slapped in the face with a $19,000 paycheck for the whole year, but you learn. You learn from it and then you’re like “Okay, I still wanna do this, but I’ve gotta find a new way and maybe that’s where you find a mentor or whatever it may be, but follow your passion. Don’t fit the mold that a majority of the nation fits thinking you just gotta go work for someone. You just gotta do this and you gotta invest in a 401K and stock and life’s gunna be grand and rainbows. It’s simply not that way all the time.
It can be, but I’m telling you there’s no better road. It’s a difficult road. It was a hard road, but there is no better road than the road of an entrepreneur. I just absolutely love it.
Interviewer: Cody, today what are you most fired up about?
Interviewee: I am absolutely fired up about sharing this knowledge. I was invited to speak at an event in San Antonio just a couple weeks ago and I go down there and speak at this event. It’s called the Real Estate Investors Association. People, for short, call it REIA meetings. So, I went down there. I was invited, spoke at this event and then afterwards there were so many people with questions that we ended up going to dinner and I don’t share this because I know, John, you would do this exact same thing, but I ended up paying for their dinner, paying for like a dessert and it’s not grand.
It’s not like this huge thing, but I didn’t even think twice and I had these – I had two individuals that were pregnant that were gunna be due here within the next couple months and I just sat there and thought with all this going on them taking massive imperfect action like being intrigued and finding out what it is to do and then being able to share exactly step by step. I didn’t charge them for anything. It was just sitting down with them sharing exactly what they can do. Lay out a plan for them and then knowing that these kids that are unborn that are soon gunna be born, like their lives can be changed.
Their lives will be changed when these people execute this blueprint that was put together and I love it. I love sharing it. I love getting people to know that there is something out there. There is something you can do. If you’re passionate about it I will help you achieve the success in that passion. Like, I love it. I absolutely love it.
Interviewer: Well, Fire Nation we will be executing the lightning round after we thank our sponsors. Cody, are you prepared for the lightning rounds?
Interviewee: Absolutely. Let’s do it.
Interviewer: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Interviewee: This is something I call the MLM theory. Multi-Level Marketing Theory. So, Utah gets pounded with MLM’s. We are like the nation’s – we should have a state flag of like MLM.
Interviewer: Is there a reason for that?
Interviewee: They target Utah all the time. I don’t know. Maybe we’re gullible. But MLM – I had that theory of like if Cody Hofhine’s hearing about this it’s too late. And I’ve always had that thought. So, in real estate when I started learning about wholesaling I’m like “Yeah, it’s good now, but if Cody Hofhine and nobody’s hearing about it, it’s too late.” Like, the goods already gone. I don’t wanna jump in this because if I do I’m gunna mess it up for everyone else. And I had to get over it and thank goodness I did have a mentor on this round instead of what I didn’t have in insurance. And I got over it and I had to just jump over it. Was it uncomfortable? Absolutely.
But I will tell you I have found my success on the other side of comfort. Whenever I’m uncomfortable I find success. Whenever I’m comfortable I almost feel like I’m actually going backwards when I’m comfortable. And so I always try to stay uncomfortable so I can find that next level of success.
Interviewer: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Interviewee: Best advice – this is simple. Tony Robbins has an awesome quote that sums it up and that is “Complexity is the enemy of execution.” And I love just “Keep it simple.” It doesn’t have to be any grand, big thing. Just keep it simple because if it’s complex it’ll be the enemy that kills execution.
Interviewer: Can you chare a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Interviewee: I would 100 percent talk about tithing. All the successful people I know tithe. I look at it as 10 percent of money that never was mine. I was blessed with it and it’s giving back. Whatever your power, your upper source is whether it’s a god or whether it’s karma, whatever it may be that you give back to the people that spiritually feed you. So, ten percent tithing and I’m telling you it’s like the law of the harvest happens in its place and it comes back tenfold. I absolutely love the principle of tithing. It helps others out and ultimately it comes back tenfold.
Interviewer: Can you share an internet resource with Fire Nation?
Interviewee: John, you probably agree with me. Follow up, follow up, follow up. Everyone needs to have a CRM, a customer relationship management and the No. 1 that I use for wholesaling or for realtors is a company called Podio.
Interviewer: Podio. They’re actually a past sponsor of EO Fire so I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Podio and Cody recommend one book and share why.
Interviewee: I’m gunna go with The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy and the reason I love that is it’s the small things in life and keeping yourself like a perfect wheel. If you had mental, physical, spiritual, relationships – keep that balance. When you’re balanced and you’re just doing the small things. Everyone asks Darren Hardy like “How do you do this? How are you so successful?” And he says it so simple. “It’s the simple things, but I consistently do them. I’m willing to do the simple things that other people just simply aren’t willing to do.”
Interviewer: Have you read The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson?
Interviewee: Love The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.
Interviewer: Love it.
Interviewee: Love it.
Interviewer: He was actually Darren Hardy’s mentor which is pretty cool. So, a lot of Jeff Olson’s mentorship is in The Compound Effect. And Cody, let’s end today on fire brother with you giving us a parting piece of guidance. The best way that we can connect with you and then we’ll say goodbye.
Interviewee: Absolutely. You can reach out to me on InvestorGrit.com. That’s Investor G – R – I –T.com and definitely reach out to me that way. And I’ll be glad to connect with you and that’s about it other than –
Interviewer: A parting piece of guidance.
Interviewee: A parting piece of guidance. I can’t break away from that. I would say take massive, not just massive action, but massive imperfect action. Don’t wait for a perfect plan because it doesn’t exist. Don’t get caught up in the education. Education can sometimes be cancer and get you into that analysis paralysis. So, go out there and be okay to make mistakes and just go out there and take massive imperfect action.
Interviewer: Fire Nation you’re the average of the five people that you spend the most time with and you’ve been hanging out with Cody and J.L.D. today so keep up the heat and head over to EOFire.com. Just type Cody. That’s C – O – D – Y in the search bar. His show notes page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about. Best show notes in the biz. Timestamps, lengths galore and Cody, thank you brother for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. And Fire Nation InvestorGrit.com is where you can learn more about what Cody has going on. So, Cody, brother, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
Interviewee: Thank you so much.
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