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Over the last ten years I’ve bought and fixed and sold over seven hundred properties and invested my own money maybe in five or six of those properties.  Other than that, almost every deal that I’ve ever done using private money and private equity from other people, were based on referrals.
I’ve come up with a list of at least 100 different places, people, referral sources, groups, etc.  that you can raise private money from.  The whole idea of building a business based on referrals is that I want to be the top of mind reference when people think of real estate.   When anybody is looking to buy a house or sell a house, I want them to think of me.

Your “Project 100”

Here is a list 100 sources you could potentially recruit private money from:

  1. Siblings
  2. Aunts and Uncles
  3. Cousins
  4. Spouse’s family
  5. In-laws of family
  6. Extended family, or people that you consider family
  7. Best friends
  8. Spouse’s best friends
  9. Very close friends
  10. Spouse’s very close friends.
  11. Children’s friends (If they are of age.)
  12. Parent’s friends
  13. Children’s friend’s parents
  14. Kid’s teachers
  15. Former teachers
  16. Children’s coaches
  17. Former coaches as you were growing up.
  18. Kid’s school principal
  19. Your former school principal
  20. Your former classmates or military friends
  21. Dentist
  22. Doctor
  23. Kid’s Dentist or Doctor
  24. Kid’s school bus driver
  25. Your Hairdresser/Barber
  26. Drycleaner
  27. Mechanic
  28. Salesmen that sold you your car
  29. Car cleaner/detailers
  30. Your mailman/woman
  31. Your UPS/FedEx delivery person
  32. Your church community
  33. Your local convenient store owners/employees
  34. Pharmacist
  35. Your priest, minister, bishop, or rabbi
  36. Bank tellers
  37. The people who manage your loans at the bank
  38. Stockbroker/Financial Planner
  39. Accountant/CPA
  40. Veterinarian
  41. Pet groomers/sitters
  42. The owner/waiters of your favorite restaurant
  43. The owner/bar tenders of your favorite bar or nightclub
  44. People you meet at your local country club
  45. Golf buddies
  46. Ski buddies
  47. Shooting Range buddies
  48. Basketball/Racquetball/Tennis/Sports buddies
  49. Health club/Rec center people
  50. Chiropractor
  51. Parents at children’s sporting events/concerts
  52. Heating/cooling service technician
  53. Electrician
  54. Roofer
  55. Landscaper
  56. Pest Control person
  57. Landlord
  58. Insurance agent
  59. Your tailor/seamstress/dress maker
  60. Computer repair guy
  61. Grocery/Market clerks
  62. Police Officers
  63. Attorneys
  64. City Officials/Politicians
  65. Former business associates
  66. Local clubs – Lions Club, Kiwanis, VFWs
  67. Social Organizations
  68. Industry Groups
  69. Florist
  70. People you invited to your wedding
  71. Neighbors
  72. Your leisure equipment salespeople (Boat, Motorcycle, Bicycle, Motorhome, etc.)
  73. Jeweler
  74. Photographer
  75. Electronics salespeople
  76. Co-workers from previous jobs
  77. Previous neighbors
  78. People in your Homeowners Association
  79. Suppliers from your workplace
  80. Anyone trying to sell you something (Multi-level Marketing)
  81. Safety/Security Rep
  82. Cleaning people
  83. Water Delivery guy
  84. Bowling buddies
  85. Poker buddies
  86. Bar buddies
  87. Cell phone rep/salesperson
  88. People in your Business networking group
  89. Local real estate meet-ups
  90. Real estate agent
  91. Chamber of commerce members
  92. Gas station attendant
  93. Co-workers
  94. Fitness Instructor
  95. Baby sitter
  96. Massage Therapist
  97. Contractors
  98. Receptionists
  99. Massage Therapist
  100. Architect/Interior decorator


“But, I don’t know anyone who has any money?”

I want to give you a little warning:   Don’t make a judgment call on who these people are or where or how they can do business with you.  Let me tell you a story:
15 years ago I was about 25 years old.  I was making six figures years as a financial adviser, and I had an appointment on the east side on the far east side of Cleveland.  So I drove an hour and got off the freeway, and was in the middle of the sticks. I was in the middle of nowhere.  I pulled up into a gravel driveway and pulled up to a mobile home.  The outside of the mobile home was as dirty as could be.  I was disappointed I wasted my time and drove all the way out of this house.
I thought: “Hey, I’m here…I might as well go inside.”
They invited me in and I said hello.  I looked around and in the kitchen saying there was a mound of dishes that had to be there for over a week.  I was afraid to touch anything, it was so dirty.
So, I started talking to this older couple and I found out more about their finances and where they were at.  I found out they were nearly millionaires.   He had worked for GM and then saved tons of money in his pension and 401k.  She was a schoolteacher and had saved hundreds of thousands of dollars and also had a pension from her job as a teacher. They had saved money and paid off their house and all their land!

I made a judgment call and almost didn’t go into that house…

I’ve learned to never make a judgment call about the way somebody looks or how they act.  Everybody has the same goal: To save money and invest it wisely.
All of these different people want to be in real estate. Everybody wants to own rental properties and get free cash flow from rentals. Everybody wants to flip a house. Everybody wants to do it, but they just don’t have time for it.  Everyone knows that real estate is a good investment.
So don’t make a judgment call of who they are or what they do. Everybody out there wants to be involved in real estate, so put them on your “Project 100” List.
Make a list of everyone: They can refer you deals, they can cheerlead for you, they can lend to you, they can make investments with you, they can buy a house or sell a house to you.  Make sure they know who you are and what you do and become the top of mind reference so that they can be part of your world and eventually help raise money and lend money to you on your deals.
I’ve built a multimillion dollar business doing just this.  Don’t tell me it doesn’t work, because I’ve already done it and I’ve already accomplished it.

So who do you know that you can talk to?


Be Daring,
– Josh