Hi, I’m Bill Ham, and this is my story.
True skills are taught only by those who survive!
I have been in real estate for eight years now. I have created a portfolio of hundreds units from single family deals up to large commercial apartment complexes and everything in between. To this day, I have never walked into a bank and qualified for a loan, put money down, and purchased a real estate investment. I have lots of bank loans, but all of them came from refinancing after taking control of the property with some form of creative financing.
I began my career in life as a corporate pilot. I flew light, single-engine planes and small jets for a local physician in my home town of Macon, Georgia. I had recently graduated from college, and left my position as a flight instructor at the local flight academy and started my dream job as a corporate pilot.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that the important people were actually in the back of the plane. Sure, I was important from takeoff to landing, but then I was not much more than a glorified limo driver! This was early 2004 at the height of the real estate markets. Little did we know what was to come in the next few years!
At the time, I was regularly flying one of the doctor’s friends to Florida. He was a wealthy developer who was working on a very large condominium development on the coast. Once we got to know each other a little better, he began to ask me questions about the airplane and how to fly it.
This was the advent of the first creative deal I ever did. I was always fascinated with the business he was in, and now I saw my chance to learn. I asked the investor, “If I can get you to be able to taxi and take off this airplane without touching the controls, would you be impressed?”
Laughing at me, he said, “Sure, but that’s impossible. I have never flown an airplane even for a minute, let alone taxi or take one off.”
Teaching someone to taxi and takeoff is not really a big deal for someone who had taught flight instruction for a living, so I jumped on the opportunity that I had created for myself.
“Okay,” I said, “the catch is that if I can talk you through a taxi and takeoff, you have to teach me business once we are in the air and I put the plane on autopilot.”
Surprised, he said okay, and my first creative deal was done. I now had a mentor. This investor taught me many things about business and real estate. One thing in particular was that, in business, control can be as important as ownership.
Shortly afterward, I took control of my first real estate deal. It was a duplex. I got the seller to carry back financing. Within a few months, I refinanced the deal at a local bank. I now had my first deal. I had saved $10,000 in the bank and I was getting a whopping $300-per-month cash flow. So I did the first thing that came to mind.
I quit my job!
I don’t recommend that anyone reading this do likewise, but it seemed like a good idea at the time, and it was. The next few years would really test me as an investor and as a business person. I took action, but it was in a not-so-good neighborhood. Okay, that’s too polite. Let me be clearer.
There are good neighborhoods with white-collar people. There are mid-level neighborhoods with a blue-collar population and then there the war-zone areas. These are the areas that you don’t go to at night. Fifty feet below that junk, you have the neighborhood in which I started my business. This place was so bad that the gangsters and drug dealers didn’t even go in there.
As the markets began to fall in 2009, my hometown of Macon, Georgia was listed in online articles as the seventh-most impoverished city in America. Our per capita income was $21,913 according to the 2008 Census Bureau. That’s in the good areas.
So here I am, a new investor, still wet behind the ears. I had recently quit my job, had one duplex and $300-a-month cash flow, starting out in the real estate business as a slumlord. Great!
My point in telling you this is that I began my business in a 100-year recession, in the seventh poorest city in America, in the worst neighborhood I could find, and I survived.
True skills are taught only by those who survive!
I made it out of those neighborhoods. I clawed my business on to better deals and betters areas. I am no longer a slumlord, but I have the scars to show it. The way I survived is by mastering the information that I am giving you in this course. I survived by perfecting the art of creative financing, by mastering the art of Creative Financing. Now I have seven employees, my own management company, and hundreds of units.
I didn’t start with a ton of cash. I was twenty-eight years old when I quit my career-building job as a corporate pilot. I didn’t have a life savings. I didn’t have lots of connections from the business world. I wasn’t able to go to all of my wealthy investors and have them fund my deals. I survived because the art of helping people solve their problems is a very lucrative business. This is the core of what I teach. In all my material, that is the one concept I will repeat over and over!
Helping people solve problems pays well
Creative financing is a great method of getting you into the real estate business, but you have to keep in mind that your goal must be to create value through helping someone with a problem solving offer. If you can, you will get what you want in return. Helping others solve their problems is the key to doing repeat business in real estate.
To your success,