Ep #586 – The Queen of Short Sales

Dwan Bent-Twyford started as a broke, single mom who had been fired from Denny’s. Now having flipped over 2,000 deals herself, Dwan is more than qualified to share her vast knowledge of real estate investing with America. She’s a hoot and we had a blast.

Here’s some of the topics we covered:

    • Branding for attention
    • Creating reach
    • How to stand out in a crowded marketplace
    • Current situation and short sales
    • Don’t be afraid, be aware
    • What is a short sale
    • Haggle with a purpose

To find out more about our guest:

Full Transcript Below:

Rod: Welcome to another edition of “How to Build a Lifetime Cash Flow through real estate investing”. I’m Rod Khleif and I’m thrilled you’re here. And the person I’ve got on today is a freakin hoot. Okay, her name is Dwan Bent-Twyford and Dwan hosts the most wonderful real estate podcast ever. And her trademark is America’s most sought after real estate investor. She trademarks everything, which we’re going to talk about. And she’s flipped a couple of thousand deals and we’re going to have some fun today. Welcome to the show, Dwan.

Dwan: Hey Rod, I’m so excited to be here. Thank you.

Rod: I hope– it’s raining really hard. I hope that doesn’t screw up our audio. Well, let’s go for it here. But just decided to pour out of the heavens just right before we started here. So don’t take– you’ve got a great story, which is a story that means a lot to me because my mom was pretty much a single mom as well. Can you talk about your story before we get started here?

Dwan: So just real quick. So in my 20s, I had a lot of jobs, debt, what I would call dead end jobs. I actually Rod, I got fired from Denny’s. Denny’s. I used to work.

Rod: I worked at Denny’s, too. That’s so funny in Denver, 84th in Pecos. That’s hilarious.

Dwan: I have fired from Denny’s. So I had basically no job skills. When along in my 20s got married, had a baby at 30 with the idea of being a stay at home mom, being the Girl Scout mom, the homer mom, the field trip mom and all the stuff like that. I am on my daughter was eight months old. Her dad unexpectedly left and took the car and kind of the money and basically left me with an eight month old baby and no idea what I was going to do with my life. So it was sort of like you know, come to Jesus moment like, Okay what am I gonna do? So what I did not want to do was raise her in daycare and what I did not want to do was go back and wait tables. So I thought, okay I wait until I was 30, I want to have this kid, I want to raise her and the pain of working in daycare was like more than I could actually bear. So I thought, okay I’m from a big girl pants. I’m gonna figure out a way to work for myself and I’m going to go out and search for things. I find something that sounds good and I’m going to do it. And I actually met a couple guys that were rehabbers and they said to me “we buy houses, we fix them up and we sell them”. In my naive brain heard “we decorate houses” and I was like “I love to decorate, this is going to be great. I found my job”. So I went door knocking. I found my first foreclosure. I moved in. I decorated it and it looked terrible still. So I learned how to become a rehab or Sod One Home Depot. I took every class in the world that Home Depot has, and I rehabbed that entire house completely by myself and made 22,000 bucks.

Rod: Let me just sh–, those you listening to can’t see her right now. She’s a visual feast. Okay, so she’s got pink hair and she’s got a pink dress and she’s got two pink flamingos with hats and pink boas around them behind her. So she’s like this explosion of pink. And we’re talking about branding because there’s no question like ordinary that it’s extraordinary branding. So since then, you’ve done a couple of thousand flips. You’ve done tons of short sales. You trademark short sale. Short sale queen. Again like trademarks, everything.

Dwan: So what I did in the very beginning, I only knew this one thing was I was rehabbing and then, you know, yeah, I remember I started 30 years ago. So we didn’t have regroups. We didn’t have online. We didn’t have seven. We didn’t have any of that stuff. So I knew about rehabbing. And then a real estate broker opened up in my area. I heard people talking about wholesaling and I was like, hang on a minute, because that was moving into a house, fixing it up, selling it, moving with my daughter because she wasn’t in school yet. She was with me every minute. And then I discovered wholesaling. And just like as I started making tons of money. I was living like Crazy woman which led to short sale–

Rod: Wholesaling and flipping. And guys, the reason I have her on the show, I mean she’s primarily single family right now, but she’s actually doing a big mixed use project with you know, commercial space on the bottom a bunch of buildings almost redoing a whole town. We’ll talk about that here in just a second. But that’s why I had her on the show, because she’s you know, she’s an expert at branding and creating reach. And so, you know, I’d like to shift to that for a minute. So you know, this whole pink explosion, was that by design or just fall into it, was because because guys, let me just say this before you answer, Dwan. Is that, you know, in this business, in this multifamily business, anything you can do to stand out is going to make a big difference. You know, like, for example, I’ve got you know, I know– I’ve students not actually this guy is not a student, but I know people that, you know, have in there and they give their investors or I’m sorry, their brokers sign memorabilia. They’re one of the partners owns a memorabilia shop. So sign memorabilia from their sports team. I have a student that wears these colorful jackets and he sells real estate, and that’s his way to stand out. And there’s, you know, anything you can do like that, that brand you and set you apart with brokers and potential investors is worth its weight in gold. So back to my question. Did you just fall into this or was it by design?

Dwan: So just long and short of it, every decade I changed my hair color. I feel like I have all these personalities that need to come out. So I get my 30s, I had red hair. My 40s I was fired then. At 50s, I had black hair and I was turning 60. I thought, you know what? I’m just going to be like, I want to be that crazy woman that does all the weird, crazy stuff. And people go, “she’s so eccentric” because you’re old enough now to be eccentric I guess that would be like a weirdo. And also you when you start at 60, you really don’t give us what people think anymore they like. I don’t do what I want to do. So I thought, Okay I’m going to start this podcast. I’m going to my name is Dwan. I’m going to be Dwanderful, Dwantastic. Am I Dwandenaires? My Millionaires. I create like a whole vocabulary based around my name and my with crazy pink hair and that’s it. And my podcast is like going like crazy and people interview me all the time and they are– they’re always like, I just want to talk to that woman with the pink hair so I don’t even know. So yeah, clearly all the pink and the Dwanderful and Dwantastic has definitely set me apart from all the other conservative low-low 60 year old ladies.

Rod: Well, you know. Yes. You look great for 60 by the way. And so the point the point is guys, you may not have to take to the extreme level that she did. But she’s a great example of branding because it is important you know, when you’re out there and you start your real estate investing journey in the multifamily space. You’re going to have to hang your shingle. You’re going to have to come up with a name. Most of the names ending capital real estate group, you know, investors, you know, ours is CRE Equity Capital. You know what? Whatever, and then you want to come up with a brand around that, and of course, my brand is education, but and so is Dwan’s actually. But the point is, that’s how you do it. Now, talk about– let’s talk about creating reach for a minute. Do you do anything else besides the podcast? I know you put these on YouTube as well, but do you– what was the intent to– what was the intent for the podcast? Let me ask it that way.

Dwan: Okay, so I have been for decades teaching at lots of multilevels, speaking event, you know, a three day event, 15 speakers I’ve been doing. I’ve had an infomercial but on TV, I’ve written three bestsellers. I wrote a book with Steve Forbes. So I’ve been doing all those things for a really long time. And honestly, I mean, the honest truth as I was feeling a little bit bored and now that sounds like how can you be bored and start a podcast that I had already been doing so many things that were kind of the same for 30 years. And I thought, you know, I want to do something that’s more fun and my personality can be out there and let you know when you speak for somebody, they kind of were like, yeah, this is my time. And they don’t like your show with pink hair and blue jeans. And, you know, they have like the rules that you just have my own thing. I could do whatever I want. Say whatever I want. You know, that’s what men do. So I started podcast–

Rod: Love it.

Dwan: Honestly so I could have more fun. I started to–

Rod: Okay.

Dwan: I have two people listening with Lar, and I know they’d get on my webinars and I could get people invested and starting into real estate investing to get them out of their jobs and working for the men–

Rod: Out of the rat race

Dwan: Anymore.

Rod: Sure. Love it. Well you know, I– you know, by default you’ve created incredible reach and by default you’ve created a really iconic brand and you know, and it’s just kind of cool. And and I think you’re again, a great example of that because it’s so– it’s such a leg up in this business that we’re in. If you have a differentiator because of course, like with brokers right now, they’re the bell of the ball. It’s hard to get their attention. Anything you can do that sets you apart so you get those off market deals is worth its weight in gold. And the more reach you have and of course, we live in the greatest time on Earth for reach. I mean your podcast, my podcast you know my YouTube videos got watched for 40,000 freakin’ hours last year. Just mind blowing. What’s possible. And so you know, it’s just an incredible opportunity. And you don’t need thousands or millions of downloads or views. You only need maybe a thousand even if–believe that sounds like a lot, but it’s really not–

Dwan: Yeah.

Rod: And to have a really good business and be raising money and so on and so forth.

Dwan: And you know, just real quick, I’m not a real estate agent or a broker or any of that stuff. I don’t have a real estate license. I started off investing side of things. And what I have found that makes me makes me so happy as I work with people that are in foreclosure because they’re losing their house or they’re losing their building, like the building that we bought were all in distress. All 20 buildings were in distress. And the reason I like that is because when I was that broke single mom, I lost my car, my house, all my stuff, I got my daughter. So I feel like I have a heart towards helping people that are in distress situations. So all the —

Rod: Love it.

Dwan: Bills they got. All everything I wanted in them, they were all under distress to.

Rod: Love it. Yeah you know, when for a decade, I knocked on doors of people who were in foreclosure in Denver–

Dwan: Yeah.

Rod: And but you know, I could still name almost every street across the whole town because I had houses on most of them. And I was driving them every night. I knew it better than a cab driver. And so, you know, and, you know, it is very rewarding. I bought a lot of those houses. I listed a lot of them for sale because I was a broker. And then you know, after I lost everything in 2008, I started a business helping people that were in foreclosure as well. So you and I are definitely aligned and vibrating on the same level in that regard. And so let’s talk about short sales for a second because you are the short sale queen. So you know, that’s your trademark. You’ve done a ton of them. I’ve done a ton of them. And I got to tell you guys you know, you don’t hear it very often, but you’re going to hear it here. And we are I think we’re frothing right now. I think we’re headed for a contraction. I really do. And I think the current administration is helping that along with some of the stuff they’re going to do. To eliminating 1031 or minimizing and expanding, you know, expanding the capital gains tax and so on and so forth. And so I think it’s coming. And so you know, nothing to be afraid of, just something to be aware of. And, you know, I’m getting in a lot of cash right now, but there will be short sales again. There are a lot of people in foreclosure right now that are under the foreclosure moratorium. And that’s going to end here. You know, and when that does, you know, I think it’s going to be opportunity in single family and I think ultimately in commercial as well. I certainly in retail and office right now. But talk about short sales a little bit. So what is it? For cause I don’t know what is it. Could you just describe it first.

Dwan: Just super quick. My actual very first commercial building I ever bought. The people are 350,000 to the bank and the bank shorted of my first building. Six storey building to 75,000 bucks.

Rod: From 350 to 75?

Dwan: To 75,000. My fist six storey–

Rod: When was this? What year was, what year was that? Was that after the crash?

Dwan: That we had been like in eight or nine, ten like right around in there.

Rod: Yeah. Right at the crash. It was right. Right at the crash. Okay, yeah. And guys that’s likely to happen again. The other thing about you know, again, crash is it’s I mean we just put a place under contract literally yesterday 269 units in San Antonio. And so we’re buying. But we have kiss 300 frogs to find that one okay? But so we’re still buying. People say should I wait. No, don’t wait. Be looking right now because you’re going to learn the business as you’re looking but– and don’t fear it because there will be exponential opportunity when it happens. But talk about what a short sale is. Just I mean, you kind of just did. But just for those that don’t know.

Dwan: The truth about a short sale. And so I want to make two points. That just in a short sale is you find a house or a building or vacant land or whatever it is. And the people, oh, two or a thousand is worth 200,000. They’re not making payments. And you just talk to the bank and get and negotiates. A three step negotiation process. And get the bank to come down to possibly 50% of the value. And then you’re able to buy that house or that building or that land and you can have it sell or rehab it, keep it, live in there like whatever you want to do with it. So basically you’re getting the banks to agree to take less and the bank is agreeing to take less as a full payment and the homeowner gets off the property and you flip it wholesale, whatever you want to do with it. But my very first one– not my first big commercial deal, but my first big commercial, six storey building, like I said, they only owe 315, buildings worth like, you know, at that time was like half a million dollars and it was in foreclosure. And it was an older building built 1920s. The banks have 75,000 bucks. And I was like, whoa, look at me.

Rod: Right. And guys, by the way, we’re talking about wholesaling. Most of you know what that is. You put a place under contract, you flip the contract. But I’ve got five students now who have made over 100,000 wholesaling a multifamily. And one that actually made 2,000,000. So wholesaling is really freaking awesome in not just the single family, but also the multifamily world. Just FYI.

Dwan: Yeah. You know what Rod, things that a lot of people don’t know is. They don’t understand that you can short sale, you can short sale anything. You can short sale a car. You can short sale your credit card. You can short sale your debt. You can short sale houses, multifamily commercial buildings. There’s nothing that you can’t short sale.

Rod: So you said three step process. What is it?

Dwan: Well, I learned I started doing short sales. It’s just real quick. I said to him back in the 90s and the very first couple I did, I was wholesaling houses. And one of my deals, the numbers were too tight. And I was like, oh, man, am I going to make any money . I need a man. I’m a single mom. So I called the bank up as a handy to take some money off this deal and without even like checking with the boss. She’s like “okay”. She took like 5,000 bucks off. I was like, holy cow. So then the next so every deal I got after that, I called the bank to try to get and say to take a little money off on fees. Then I got really brave one day and said, hey, let’s take off some of the first of all. And I got really brave one day and started asking to buy houses at 50% of the value. All of a sudden I’m doing short sales everywhere. I’ve got hundreds of them going on. I’m opening a Riyadh group in South Florida on my third. Everybody’s doing that. I was just like crazy doing short sales all over the country. So it just turned into like this–

Rod: Well this had to be and this had to be a nine, 10, 11. Yes?

Dwan: Oh no. This was– no. I started doing this in like 92, 93.

Rod: No kidding.

Dwan: Way back.

Rod: Wow.

Dwan: Way back. Way back. Even the banks weren’t even– so the three step process is in the beginning the banks would just take money off and it was easy. But then when the crash came, you couldn’t just call up and say, hey, I’ll give you 50% for the house because it wasn’t quite that easy. So what I did is I just I recognize that it’s a negotiation. So I’m going to make an offer they’re going to counter I’m going to make an offer and we’re going to like sharpener and pencils and meet right there. So it’s certainly a three step process, which I also trademarked that. And my trademark everything. But the gist of it is the bank really only cares about the money. But if you just jump into the money, sometimes you don’t get such a good deal. So I made it where the first offer I’m talking about the homeowners are distressed. They’re losing the house, you see a picture of the kids. How can you not help me on these poor people like be homeless? And on the second off, I talk about the area, the neighborhood, the guns, the shootings, the rapes, the murderers, the sex offenders. I try to scare the bank. And the third offer is what they really want to talk about, which is the money. So I kind of build some rapport. I know I have to haggle. And so I have a with a purpose.

Rod: Love it. So let me ask you this. You are very motivated. And you know, my brand really centers around mindset and psychology. What inspires you? What is driving all this? What’s your why? Why are you, you know out here changing the world?

Dwan: Well originally it was my daughter. I– you know, I can say I was one of the people that waited. I did not want to raise my kids in daycare. I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to do all those things. And then I was able to. And then when I got married to my husband and we’ve been married. We actually met at a real estate seminar. And I got married and my daughter was 13. So I was a single mom for 13 years. And during that time I bought rentals, commercial buildings, houses, about a car, like all the stuff like you and I were talking adult stuff. And I got married and my husband had two kids and now there’s five of us. So now we’re just travel having fun. And now I have grandkids. So now it’s like I want to create generational wealth. Nobody in my family started generational wealth and somebody has got to be the first one. And so Bill and I are both from Ohio and Iowa, where we– I was raised with the mentality, get out of high school, get a job at a factory, get married and have kids. And he was kind of raised the same way, like, you know what, we’re going to create generational wealth so our kids and grandkids, the grandkids’ kids like down. Everybody’s got something.

Rod: Love it.

Dwan: Don’t just get it all for free–

Rod: No. Got it. No they learn the business. They’ve got to want to do the business. Yeah.

Dwan: Yeah. Because the even the Bible says that you know, it’s a blessing to leave generation wealth. I was like why are all these giant families that have decades of all these. Somebody had to be the first ones. So my real motivation is for that. But secondly, I want to do that for other people. I want to take people that work a job they hate. They’re stuck in a nine to five. They don’t like a job. You don’t like the degree they got. They’re just doesn’t know where to go. It’s like bounced over here to real estate, just like you do. And let’s create generational wealth for you too because honestly, I’m always like if a single proud mom fired from Denny’s can become a millionaire and create generation wealth, there’s no person that can’t do it. There’s nobody. I’m not any smarter than anybody else. I’m just highly motivated.

Rod: And you take action. You know, it’s that is that action. So many people get caught in analysis by paralysis and you take action. So let me ask you this. During your career, were there any like pivotal moments, any aha moments, anything come to mind when I ask that question. I know I didn’t prepare you for any of these. But anything–

Dwan: No.

Rod: Yeah. Any anything come to mind that when I ask that question that like “oh, now it’s time to do this” or just like an Aha kind of a thing.

Dwan: Well in the beginning when I close that first deal, I thought holy cow, you know, maybe I can, maybe I can do that again. So I just had about ten deals and I was like, wow, I can actually work on myself and be single and like I can make money. What the hell. So I was just like “wohoo! That was my first” like I really can actually do this. And then another point and I guess this is pivotal for me personally. I started teaching some people. I opened to regroup. I started teaching some people. And all these people able to quit their jobs and making like four, five, 600,000 thousand like they were really doing. Well, I thought, wow, I can actually teach other people how to do this. Which saves people in foreclosure, but helps these people change a life. Sounds like, wow, who would think I would have the knowledge and the power to do that for other people? So that was another moment I was like “wow, thank you. This is so great”. And then I started thinking well, you know, I can do bigger things like why do I just have to stick to this little thing? I could get some commercial buildings, I can do more. So know every little growth step along the way was the me kind of thinking like, well, why can’t I do the next thing? So there was just always– I’m always pivoting and now I’m like, Okay–

Rod: What might you know, let me ask this. What–and I’m interrupting you a lot because you’re keep going.

Dwan: No.

Rod: I know because I know. And that’s the only hate I ever get is I interrupted. And it’s tough because I want to– there’s quite a few things I want to ask you, and I just don’t want to make sure we have enough time. But knowing what you know now, I love to ask this question, knowing what you know now, if you could go back and tell 18 year old Dwan something, what might you do differently?

Dwan: You know, a lot of people ask me that question. And I used to say, oh, I wouldn’t have party that much. I wouldn’t do drugs, I wouldn’t waste my 20s like in the 1980s in South Florida and South Beach being a crazy woman because that’s what the whole 80s was for me between Florida and South Beach. I was lost my mind.

Rod: We can compare notes on that sometimes. But I’m talking to, let’s stick with business. Let’s stick with business. Let’s stick with real estate. Is there anything you might have done differently on this real estate journey? Let’s let’s keep it there.

Dwan: And, you know, the thing is Rod is so to summarize I used to think that. But honestly, I feel like if I didn’t go through all the bumps and hurdles, I don’t think I’d be where I was that–

Rod: Agreed.

Dwan: Because I don’t feel I just don’t I don’t think I would have even found real estate investing as a path. I became an investor out of like, desperation, like how am I going to fend for myself? And earlier on in my 18 earlier, I never– I didn’t think that way. So weirdly enough, I would not do anything different because I don’t think I’d be where I’m at.

Rod: You know what, I completely agree with everything you just said.

Dwan: And I like where am I.

Rod: And I feel the same way. Even the pain, even the big pain you go through in life shapes you and makes you who you are and contributes to who you are right now. Fair enough. You know, and of course, with the big multifamily operators that have on that. Thousands of doors, it’s always go bigger, faster. And I want my listeners to hear that. So they’re not afraid of going bigger you know because of that. But so what is your definition of success Dwan?

Dwan: I feel like my honest to God at the age I’m at now, it used to be the money, the cars. I was listening to you and I thought, Oh, I had my … And I have a 10 carat diamond, had on my fur codes, I had on the top. But honestly, I think the true success is that you really have peace and you’re happy with yourself and where you’re at. And if you are happy with you and you’ve learned to actually really love yourself and you surround yourself with the right kind of people and get rid of all the negative you know, toxic people out of your life. I feel like that really is. Is at least the foundation–

Rod: Oh, yeah.

Dwan: Of the success.

Rod: Yeah. Love it.

Dwan: And a lot is getting rid of toxic people even up there in your family.

Rod: Yes. We talked about this on your show. We talked about this on your show. You know, guys you know, you guys know how I feel about peer group and the critical nature. Show me your three friends. I’ll show you who you are and you know, and some people out of their fear, their jealousy, their fear of losing you, their fear of being embarrassed by your success, blah, blah, blah. There’s so many things that contribute to this will hold you back. And again like you said Dwan, sometimes it’s family. Love your family, choose your peers proactively. Very important. That’s what saved me in 2008, was the group that I was in kicking my butt, the thriving through all that crash. And so that really helped. So let me ask you this what’s you favorite–

Just real quick. In 2008, a lot of my family is from Tennessee. So a lot of my uncles are sort of you know, old fashioned. Women should be at home barefoot in the kitchen. You know– And so during the whole crash, they were like “You can’t to get a real job now”. You’re going to really settle down. You know, this real estate investment will not going to work out. I was like. I’m fine, I knew the crash was coming, I’m smart. I thought I always do this. Do this and do this and get ready, this big giant thing is coming. But so many people were like, are you going to finally quit that and get a real job? Like–

Rod: Really?

Dwan: This is a real job.

Rod: So you knew it was coming. Wow. I’m impressed because I didn’t know it was coming. It was you know, I totally didn’t. So you knew it was coming. So what was– what triggered it for you? That you knew we were going to have a crash?

Dwan: So I am part of this problem because I was really heavy and single family homes at that time and everybody was getting the three, five and seven year interest only loans. And I just remember thinking watching TV commercials borrow 100 25% of the value of your house, interest only.

Rod: Right.

Dwan: And I saw all these investors that I’m training and teaching and I’m not getting anything, Marshall. And I’m saying five, 600,000 people, you know, borrowing more than their house. Was like this has got a bust somewhere because when all these people have to start making the real payments.

Rod: Yeah.

Dwan: It’s going to crash.

Rod: They had those stepped up interest rates. You know where they would step up and they just they crashed and burned. Of course, back then, if you fogged the mirror, you could borrow money.

Dwan: And that’s the thing.

Rod: Well, yeah. I’m impressed that you were able to step back from whatever you were doing to look at that, because I am embarrassed to say I didn’t. And I see it now, though. Boy, I totally can see it because I went through it and it’s painful. You know, they used to take kids out to the boundary lines and they’d spank them so they don’t remember where it was. And and I got spanked in ’08, so I remember exactly what happened then. So–

Dwan: You know what, Okay, real quick. My husband and I, we teach the guy. His name is Bill Twyford. He’s the real estate rockstar. You’re going imagine what he looks like. We were teaching at a multi-lovers. Speaking to that, unlike 2008 in Miami. And we said, listen, this market’s going to crash and we got booed. “Boo”

Rod: Really? Yeah.

Dwan: I said listen the market’s going to crash people down three, five and seven year lows. The market can’t sustain everyone in three years refinancing their house at the same time. And we got booed in front of 400 people. I was like, you mark my words right down the day you heard this and you booed me. And–

Rod: And that’s funny.

Dwan: Seriously.

Rod: Love it. Wow, that’s funny. Well, listen, yeah. We’re running out of time. I really appreciate you coming on the phone. I mean on the call here. You’re a sweetheart and it’s just been a whirl hoot. You’ve got incredible energy. And guys, check her out. The most “dwanderful” real estate podcast ever. Her website is “dwanderful.com” with this DWAND–erful.com and you’re a hoot. So let’s stay in touch for sure, okay?

Dwan: Oh, thank you Rod. Thank you, everybody. God bless you.

Rod: Yeah thanks.