RG 306 – From Collecting Welfare Checks to Making Million Dollar Deals with April Crossley

RG 306 - Making Million Dollar Deals

We love powerful women on this show, and today’s guest is no exception. Tune in to hear the story of April Crossley and how she went from being a mom on welfare to the successful real estate investor that she is today.

April became a mom at 16. For years, she had to work, study, and take care of her child all at the same time. On top of it all, she had to rely on welfare to make ends meet.

That all changed when she discovered real estate investing. Now, April is a real estate specialist, multifamily investor, and the owner of Crossley Property Group, a private real estate investment company that invests in multifamily, mobile home parks, and storage facilities.

Interested in becoming an Investor with Reed? Click here to join his Investor email list.

Of course, none of this happened overnight. Join us today and learn all about April’s story from being a teen mom to a successful real estate investor. Plus, April tells us all about her direct-to-seller marketing system, team management techniques, and unique methods on how to find the right sellers.

Key Takeaways

  • Open lines of communication are vital within a team.

  • When markets are shifting, automation is not always the key to finding the right sellers.

  • Never judge anyone based on their circumstances.

  • When dealing with older sellers, you may have to go with old-school methods.


Be Bold, Be Brave and Go Give Life a Crack!

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Podcast Transcript

Reed goossens (00:00):

Good day. Good day guys. Now, before we dive into today’s show, I want you to let you know that some of you may be aware that over the past eight years, I have built a substantial multifamily real estate portfolio here in the US worth over half a billion dollars. And in that time, my passive investors have received fantastic double-digit returns. And now you too can invest directly into my deals for as little as $50,000. So if you’re an interested investor, head over to reedgoossens.com to find out more that Reedgoossens.com. Now back into the show,

April Crossley (00:40):

I mean, we, we do direct to seller marketing, like a very pretty letter with like a picture of me and my dog or me and my husband and my dog. And we put a line at the bottom of the letter. We basically seen the letter, like we’re not looking to buy at some deep discount, wholesale price. Here’s our criteria. We’d love to talk to you. We’ll gather all the inform. We’re not gonna disrupt your tenants unless we know we’re in the same ballpark as price. And then at the bottom of the letter, I put a little line that says something like tired of being a landlord, but still wanna make cash flow from the property. Ask me how I can take over your tenants, all your repairs and everything, and still make you you’ll still get paid every month from the property. And it’s like a hook like sellers will call and be like, what does this mean? You’re gonna buy the property, but I’m gonna get paid every single month from the tenants. I don’t. What do you mean by that? And that just opens up the doors for the seller financing conversation.

Speaker 3 (01:50):

Welcome to investing in the US a podcast for real estate investors, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into the US market, join reed as he interviews go-geters risk takers and the best in the business about their journey towards financial freedom and the sheer joy of creating something from nothing

Reed goossens (02:10):

Good day. Good day ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another cracking edition of investing in the US podcast from Los Angeles. I’m your Hosty Goins good as always Abby with us on the show. Now I’m glad that you’ve all tuned into learn from my incredible guests and each and every one of them are the cream of the crop here in the United States. When it comes to real estate, investing, business, investing and entrepreneurship, each show, I try and tease out their incredible stories of how they have successfully created their businesses here in the US, how they’ve created financial freedom, massive amounts of cash, and ultimately created extra bring lives for themselves and their families life by design. As I like to say, hopefully these guests will inspire all of my cracking listeners, which are you guys to get off the couch and go and take massive amounts of action.

Reed goossens (02:57):

If these guys can do it. So can you now, as you know, I’m all about sharing the knowledge with my loyal listeners, which is you guys. And there’s absolutely no BS on this show, just straight into the nuts and bolts. Now, if you do like this show, the easiest way to give back is to give us a review on iTunes and you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter by searching at Reed goossens. You can find the show, every you podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google play, but you can also find these episodes up on my YouTube channel. So head over to reedgoossens.com, click on the video link, and it’ll take you to the video recordings of these podcasts, where you can see my ugly mug, but the beautiful faces of my guests each and every week. All right, enough outta me, let’s get cracking and into today’s show

Reed goossens (03:44):

Today. The show I have the pleasure of speaking with April Crosley. April is the founder of lazy girl REI and Crosley property group. Now April was a teenage mom, but now she’s building multiple millions dollars worth of wealth. And she’s known as the wealth grower and she’s on a mission to change many lives as possible by teaching people how to grow wealth with real estate. I’m really excited and pumped to have her on the show today to share her incredible storage and knowledge with us, but enough at me, let’s get her out here. Get a April. Welcome to the show, how you doing today?

April Crossley (04:13):

I’m great. Thank you for having me.

Reed goossens (04:15):

My pleasure. Well, tell her, this is where you’re dialing in from today. Uh,

April Crossley (04:18):


Reed goossens (04:19):

Lovely weather going there is Tommy. You’re starting to get into summer.

April Crossley (04:22):

Yeah, warming up. Thank goodness. Yep.

Reed goossens (04:24):

That’s awesome. Well, look, I, I like to ask everyone on the show to kick it off is rewind the, the clock and tell me how you made your first ever dollar as a kid.

April Crossley (04:34):

Oh, my first ever dollar as a kid. That’s a great question. I don’t know that. I really even remember that from when I was little, little, I just know we always had to do chores for money when we were younger. Always my parents lived very conservatively and they had four kids, so they were kind of like, we had four kids, so you can do chores. So like a birthday present when you turned eight years old was you get to learn how to mow lawn and for, for like whatever, $5. And we thought that was a big, huge deal. Like I can’t wait to learn how to mow lawn when I’m eight and right. Um, so I think from just like doing chores and then I always had jobs from the time I was like 15 years old on typically in like the restaurant business and stuff like that until I went.

Reed goossens (05:22):

Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Well, walk us through the story of, of, of what, who is April Crosley and then how you got into building well through real estate.

April Crossley (05:31):

Sure. I had my son very young when I was 16. I’m very transparent about that with everyone. Cause I like to let people know I had nothing. I come from middle class parents that do not like wealthy people. They say a lot of negative things about wealthy people. my dad owned his own Have AC business. And my mom was like one level below the CEO in a hospital. I had my son when I was 16, had to go back to high school and finish my senior year of high school. And then I went to college. So I was raising my son, driving to college, dropping my son off at daycare. It was a grind. I tell people, I pretty sure. I probably had some form of post traumatic stress disorder. Cause I would sleep like four hours a night. And that was a lot like if I slept four hours, that was cause I had to squeeze everything else in.

April Crossley (06:19):

I was on welfare cuz I couldn’t, I was working part-time in like a restaurant. I was also working part-time at a hospital doing clerk type entries cuz I was in college for a health healthcare degree. So I was just trying to make ends meet. So I feel my, I like to be transparent about being a teenage mom because I tell people there’s I don’t ever want anyone to go through that feeling. I had to go through of like sitting in a welfare office and the way people treat you when you pay for groceries at the grocery store with government assistance and the looks that you get and not having any money and just wanting a or life for my son. Like I remember just thinking to myself, my son will never be in these circumstances. I will never let him pay for groceries with food stamps.

April Crossley (07:06):

I will never let him have to feel what I feel sitting in this welfare office. So I ha I was renting. My own house was on food stamps was driving to college, graduated from college, had a great degree in house. Kara was making good money, still renting a house had met my now husband at the time, picked up a book he had on real estate investing. And that’s kind of how it got started. I was really financially uneducated. So you wanna talk about, I didn’t know how to balance a checkbook. My paychecks would go into my bank account from the hospital. I would go to the ATM machine to see how much money was in my account to see if I could spend money that day. That’s how I lived back then. And when my husband met me, he had two small rental properties and he said to me, why are you renting a house?

April Crossley (07:51):

And I was like, why wouldn’t I rent a house? Like I need somewhere to live. I’ve been living here for years and he’s like, you should buy a house. I, why would anyone do that? Like, I didn’t understand that at all. So I picked up this book and started reading. It was called the one minute millionaire. And I started reading about all these people that bought property and people lived in ’em and paid off the mortgage and then they got to keep all the equity in the home. And I was like, why would someone pay off? So else’s house. And I still couldn’t connect the dots. And my husband’s like, you’re paying off your landlord’s house. Like that’s what you’re doing. You’re paying off his house and then you’re gonna move out and he’s gonna sell it. And he’s gonna get to keep all that equity.

April Crossley (08:32):

And I was shocked. I was like, how do I do that? Like how do I buy a house like that? So really my, my husband was my first mentor kind of, and he just had two small rentals and eventually he became a realtor, but I bought a house, moved into it, fixed it up, moved out, turned it into a rental and did that probably three or four times. So we house hacked, moved out, turned it into a rental and then took like a course and got into flipping houses and buying small multifamily. And at one point I was like, I’m just gonna talk about what I’m doing on YouTube, because I would follow a bunch of people in real estate. And I felt like they would talk about it, but not give you the whole like answer to things. And I knew nothing about YouTube.

April Crossley (09:23):

So I just went on there and started talking. And then my following on YouTube got bigger and people were like, you should really coach. You’re buying a lot of properties and flipping a lot of properties. I’m like, no, no, no, I don’t wanna coach. I don’t wanna coach. I don’t wanna coach. Then I ended up coaching um, and now like flash forward, I still buy small multifamily. I passively invest in syndications. We do a lot of private lending. I co GP on syndications and raise capital and help with putting syndications together. I bought a mobile home park. Now I kind to dabble in a whole bunch of, uh, different things, but still everything I do, I do to have impact basically like, why am I doing this project? And how is it gonna impact the community? I’m buying it in the people I’m buying it with or my life or whatever. I really want to help change people’s lives and help people grow wealth. And that’s people that have nothing to people that have really good jobs, but are stuck in the grind of just getting a paycheck and investing in the stock market. And they’re not really growing any wealth. So they don’t realize when they retire, they’re not really gonna be able to support themselves the way they think they will. If that makes sense.

Reed goossens (10:42):

Yes. Yes. A hundred percent. Well look so much to unpack there. I think the story around the welfare, uh, check and that the feeling that you had of going into the supermarket and being judged, like yeah, just the way you described that I could, I felt for you. Like I, I feel like, yeah, I could feel those looks like I, I didn’t grow up with any money either. I I’m not a teenage mom. not a teenage dad, but I could only imagine the, you know, I empathize with you that yeah, that, that, that would create, um, nearly like a callous, right. A subconscious callous that you’re like, I’d never, ever, ever want my son to go through through this. So yes, you come from a place of, of pain and you, you are forced into doing something and changing your mindset. And I think that’s ultimately how you’re describing, like your husband talking about the rent. Like no that you’re paying the landlord’s mortgage for them, you know, more her and, and, and you are, you’re building their equity for them. Oh. And that, that light bulb moment. I, I, I, and see it in, in the story. That’s that’s fantastic. And how do you, do you use your story today to help empower other women, uh, in your situation that, that maybe think that there’s no other alternative than to just work and grind and go to the ATM and checked how much money you’ve got in the bank account?

April Crossley (11:55):

Yeah. You know what I feel like I do just in everyday life, in the smallest circumstances, like we bought a mobile home park and obviously it’s a lower income community that we’re serving. And when we went in, we had to raise rents. We have to raise rents they’re way below market way below market. So to buy to what the seller wanted, he knew we were gonna have to go in and raise rents, he’s mom and pop seller. So we went in prepared like I’m coming in, I’m raising rent, but I want you to know that I’m here to support you. So we provided our tenants a list of like, if you need extra food, here’s the food banks that give out food for free. You don’t even have to for benefits. Here’s the food banks in the area. If you wanna apply for section eight hu housing here is, um, the number to call for that. Just, it really taught me in life to never judge anyone. I approach everyone. Like I’m gonna believe in you and you can be whatever you wanna be in life don’t care. What circumstances you’re coming from. When I was young and had my son, my best friend at the time, her dad said to me, congratulations. Now your son’s gonna be a teenage dad. And now you started this vicious cycle of just like repetitive generations that are gonna be on welfare. And I was like, wow, am I

Reed goossens (13:14):

Like, you, dude. Yeah,

April Crossley (13:16):

I’m going to prove you wrong. So I, a lot of times I feel like people in those situations, so like, you’re gonna sit down with them and say, you know, we have to reach your rent and like good luck. Like you can either pay it or you can’t like get out. And I don’t believe in approaching anything like that. We approach it with love. Like I’m gonna help you and connect you with resources. And if you need help with your financial decision making, or you want us to look at your bills or trying to help you out in another way, we’re here to do that, to serve you. Yeah.

Reed goossens (13:44):

That look that’s so important. Uh, particularly coming through the COVID impacts we’ve had, right? Like a lot of like, I think that’s really emphasized the need and myself as a property owner. Uh, you know, I, I it’s really people first, right. If I don’t have my tenants, I don’t have cash flow. I don’t can’t pay the mortgage. I can’t pay my investors. I don’t have a syndication. I don’t have a business. Right. So I, you know, for me as an owner, like probably leading up to COVID, I was more thinking of it. Like, you know, you’re in my property, you know, you gotta pay rent, but yeah, having that people first mentality is really, really important. Has it ever come back and bit you in the butt at all recently? um, wait, wait, when people take too much advantage of you.

April Crossley (14:25):

Yeah, definitely. I mean, I had to recently fire a project manager in my business who was, I just have a soft heart for single moms, especially mm-hmm so I will just, I tend to overlook some hiccups in people’s personalities, thinking that I can help them and change them and help them grow and mature into who I think they can be. Cuz they’re so amazing. But sometimes that does come back to bite me in the butt. For sure. Mm-hmm mm-hmm yeah, definitely. Because people then in that case, this person just kind of got this arrogance. Like she worked with me and then started like talking down to my contractors and treating my contractors. Like they were less than because she would manage the pro and I’m like, no one is less than we and I tried to fix it and fix it and fix it. And it was just her personality and it was not fixable. So I had to let her go. So yeah. Then after I let her go, everyone’s like, yeah, we did not like her, but I just kept trying and trying. So I’m like, you have so much talent and you could be so much. Yeah. So I feel like sometimes my soft heart can be blinding as well. Mm.

Reed goossens (15:37):

How that, how has that changed your hiring process now, has that given you any better insights into making sure that you are giving it, getting a team around you, of people. And this goes for anyone starting out and investing, having that sense said that this person’s gonna, you know, sixth sense, oh, oh, this person’s gonna work out. This person’s gonna do great because I’m gonna teach them. But there comes the rubber hits the road at some stage. So did you change any of your processes in that way that you could give to the audience as sort of advice to say this is how a good way to weed out X, Y, Z.

April Crossley (16:08):

Yeah. I feel like just communicating with my team more. And when I see my, my team, like my contractors, my acquisition person, everyone else involved in whether it’s the house buying process or apartment buying process, making sure I’m consciously taking time to touch base with them to say, like, what do you love about your position? And what do you hate about your position and how is it going, working with this person or working with that person. And like, after this happened with my project managers, just going back to people who have kind of been regulars on my team and saying, you know, I value you and your input and whatever you say to me is gonna stay with me. But if you have a bad feeling about someone and things, aren’t going, well, you need to tell, you need to tell me cuz I need to take care of, of it. So yeah, just opening the lines of communication more and making sure you have those conversations. I feel like sometimes we get really comfortable with the people on our team and we’re like, oh, things are humming along. So we’re not checking in with our team members. Like we should mm-hmm

Reed goossens (17:08):

yeah, no, it’s, it’s so important as you build businesses. And, and I know we’re gonna get into house hacking and, and, and, and, you know, breaking that down. But I think this is part of your message early on that you were talking about when you get on YouTube and explaining things to them like this, these are managing people, right? When you grow a business, when you get to a point where you need employees, you need to go be, become more than just a, so a sole entrepreneur, because we’re all start from right. When you, you have a bit of money in the bank, you can finally pay someone. Thank God they can help us. Yeah. But you have your blinders up then because you’re, you’re putting so much trust into those people. And that’s only gonna through these hard times of hard and hard conversations is that only gonna build better processes for you as an entrepreneur to create a team, even though it might be a small team, you know, to, to do their job at the best capacity, that’s gonna help promote the, the investors money and the deal and, and all the rest of it and, and really, you know, row in the right direction to your vision because that’s ultimately what they’re, what they’re being employed for.

Reed goossens (18:05):

So yeah, I think there’s, there’s always lessons in that even during hard times, you mentioned earlier about your YouTube channel and how you’re breaking down, you know, explaining stuff a little bit more easily for, for, for people. Do you wanna walk us through what types of topics you like to educate people on, on the channel?

April Crossley (18:23):

Yeah. So I just really like to break, I just talk about everything I’m doing at the moment. And I feel like I’m very transparent. So even if something’s going sideways or I have a bad deal, I’m like, I’m gonna talk about this because people need to know what’s going on here. So like we posted a video about buying the mobile home park. And I think in the upcoming month, we’ll do like an update video. Like here’s, what’s happening with the mobile home park. Here’s things we didn’t expect that are happening. Um, and here’s the things that are going well. I just try to be really transparent. And when I I’ll break down numbers of deals that I’m doing. So like I bought an eight unit on seller finance. So I broke down the whole thing. Like it took me whatever, six months to negotiate this deal with the seller.

April Crossley (19:06):

Here’s the deal that I negotiate here are all my numbers, everything, tax insurance, like vacancy maintenance. Here’s exactly how I structured the private loan with the seller. And here’s how it was recorded. And like, I think just everything from a to Z, because that’s how I learn. I learned by doing, but I also learned by someone breaking down every single little step in the process of map it out for me. So that’s what I try to do with deals. We’ll do like deal or dud, like if something’s a deal or du, or we did a video this past week on like what to look for in a partner. Like if you’re taking on a partner for a project, which just comes from really hard lessons of having difficult partners so yeah.

Reed goossens (19:48):

What, what being the most passionate thing about a topic that you’ve explained recently that we can maybe break down here on the show today? Like something that is, you mentioned partnerships, I just came outta partnership myself. You know, maybe that’s something we can talk about, uh, you know, breaking down an eight unit selling carryback financing is always something interesting because that seems to be the golden cell seller carryback finance off market, blah, blah, blah. But getting that to the finish line is also extremely difficult. Wow. So what what’s, what’s the most passionate,

April Crossley (20:16):

I’m probably most passionate about that. And I tell people that all the time, I love small mom and pop multifamilies that I can sell finance. I love it. That’s where my best multifamily deals are at. And I just love working with mom and pop sellers. I mean, on the mobile home park, we did, we financed it with a bank and then we did a second with the mom and pop. So we have a seller second, but I just feel like you have these older sellers that wanna sell. And it takes a long time to close the deal because a lot of them are attached to the property. Like they’re emotionally attached to it. They’ve had it for a while. So it takes a while of them trusting you and building rapport. And it’s not even necessarily always about the price. I mean, when I sell our finance, the, that eight unit years ago, the gentleman I bought it from said, I want you to promise me that this guy in apartment for his rent will never change for the, for the life that he lives here. It’s an older gentleman and he can’t afford anymore than that. And he’s not well, and I know he’ll never be able to work, so you have to promise me he’ll stay. And I just promised him on a handshake and, and I’ve never changed that guy’s rent. He’s still there to this day, he pays like $400 a month, which is on heard of for like a one bedroom apartment out in the country. Those are my favorite type of deals. And also the deals I probably get the most questions about are the seller financed? Well,

Reed goossens (21:37):

Let’s break it down then. Cause I’m, I’m my background’s in engineering. I love to break things apart and put it back together again. So let’s talk about the marketing process. Cause I think that’s where it starts, right? Everyone’s like let’s, let’s, let’s go get a sell car back financing deal. Well, I know in today’s market, I’m, I’m buying things over a hundred units. I ain’t getting any off market deals. I’m a seller I’m to I’m selling three deals right now. They’re all over 150 units. I ain’t transacting offline because I’m just a little bit different. Yeah. I’ve got a bit more of not, I’ll just say sophisticated mindset. I’m just, yeah. That’s how the game’s played, but sub 100 units, there’s an opportunity there. So talk to us about how you went and marketed that. And, and are you focusing on sub 100 units? Maybe you are focusing on bigger units.

April Crossley (22:18):

Yeah. Um, we do focus on sub 100 unit. Yep. Yeah. And I don’t, I don’t even mind smaller stuff like I’d buy an eight. We, the mobile homework we bought was pretty small. It was only 22 pads. I’d buy another 22 unit again, I’d buy another 10 unit. As long as I have the team in place where I’m buying the property, that’s most important. But the marketing for the smaller kind of off market deals, I mean, we do direct to seller marketing, like a very pretty letter with like a picture of me and my dog or me and my husband and my dog. And we put line at the bottom of the letter, we basically seen the letter, like we’re not looking to buy at some deep discount, wholesale price. Here’s our criteria. We’d love to talk to you. We’ll gather all the information on the phone.

April Crossley (23:01):

We’re not gonna disrupt your tenants unless we know we’re in the same ballpark as price. And then at the bottom of the letter, I put a little line that says, so like tired of being a landlord, but still wanna make cashflow from the property, ask me how I can take over your tenants, all your repairs and everything, and still make you you’ll still get paid every month from the property. And it’s like a hook like sellers will call and be like, what does this mean? You’re gonna buy the property, but I’m gonna get paid every single month from the tenants. I don’t. What do you mean by that? And that just opens up the doors for the seller financing conversation.

Reed goossens (23:41):

For those of you who are interested in staying up to date with all the latest happenings in my business, or to learn more about passively investing directly into my multifamily value ad deals, then head over to reedgoossens.com and sign up for my monthly newsletter. By signing up, you will automatically be notified about my new up and coming investment opportunities. You’ll be able to stay up to date with all the latest real estate news here in the United States and much, much more. So head over to reedgoossens.com and sign up today. Now back into the show. And, and how many of these letters are you sending out every month? Is, is it a system that, that you can break down for the listeners? Yeah.

April Crossley (24:24):

You, you know what? I’m not, I can honestly say I’m not great at the multifamily, like mom and pop mailers, like consistent. Like I am like, I still have a flip business with a partner in a wholesale business. And that runs like clockwork. The multifamily is just more personal touch kind of mailers. So when we do ’em, we usually do. ’em like, so once a month, once every other month, sometimes I’ll go like, if I’m busy, cause we bought the mobile home park and we’re buying like this, some houses for seniors down in Tennessee, I might go like six months and just forget to do the mail cuz I’m the one doing it. Like I don’t have it automated. Um, but like last month I think I sent out or this month I just did it like a week or two again, I think I ordered like three or 4,000 mailings.

April Crossley (25:12):

And what you said earlier about sophistication in this market is very true and people have to take that into consideration. Like I bought that eight unit, you’re dealing with a tired worn mom and pop seller. That’s aging. Can’t keep up with repairs and vacancy and turnover. Cause he’s do it yourself, doing everything himself. I don’t work like that. So, but if you have someone that calls you and they have a 30 unit and it’s running like clockwork for them and making money and they have no motivation to like hang onto that thing and make some money off of it, they’re not really gonna on a seller or finance it’s you. And if they do sell, they’re gonna wanna put it on the market because that’s the name of the game right now that BI war, like people paying crazy prices for things that’s what’s happening right now. So you’re looking for that small mom and pop that has some kind of motivation. So either a multifamily property that has code violations on it, or just the seller zoned it a long time, it’s paid off, but they still wanna make money from it. But they maybe own one or two properties. They’re not like really heavy into real estate investing. They work another job. It’s just kind of like a side gig. Those are the type of sellers that we’re looking for.

Reed goossens (26:25):

Right. And so you are, you are really playing the long game here. You’re playing the consistent long game. You know, your markets that you’re in, you probably drive them. You probably have other people drive them. You’re just keeping warm touches every couple of months. So I just want people, I wanted to reiterate for the listeners that, you know, I think there’s, there’s this adage of automate, automate, automate, automate, but when markets are shifting as they are, and to your point of even a 30 unit post property, a 30 unit owner who has something that is going like clockwork, got a property manager, it’s all working well, they’re probably gonna get the most bang for their buck. Right. They’re not just gonna be like, oh, what’s this yellow letter that I’ve got. Yes. And gonna transact offline. Yeah. It’s the consistency. And then also looking for those little issues, code violations, tax issues. Yes. Um, long term ownership, right? All that stuff. So question on that. Where do you, what, what, what data source do you use to, to grab all that information? Is there something that you property shark? Is there something more,

April Crossley (27:22):

Uh, right now, right now I’m using public records from like my son’s a real estate agent and we can access public records in our local area. Then outside my local area, I’m using prospect now

Reed goossens (27:34):

Prospect now.

April Crossley (27:34):

Yeah. To pull my data

Reed goossens (27:36):

Awesome stuff. So once you’ve got them on the hook, they want to, they want to know more about what you’re doing. What’s the contract or contractual language you’re putting in there to have the seller carryback finance. And are you putting any down payment down with them?

April Crossley (27:50):

Yeah. So we’ll usually put a down payment in escrow, like with the title company, we do a simple one page contract that just states like this is the price we’re gonna buy it for. Seller’s gonna finance at whatever 5% on a 30 year amortization with a five year balloon. And this is the purchase price. And then the contract and the down money goes to the title company. And then on, in Pennsylvania we use note notes and mortgages and that’s where most of my small mom and pop buildings are in my local market. So we’ll have a note and a mortgage drawn up by the attorney and then seller, we usually give them the option. Like, Hey, your attorney can draw this up. Or our attorney does this all the time and they can draw it up and your attorney can check it. What are you most comfortable with?

April Crossley (28:35):

Because obviously everyone’s worried about like getting ripped off somehow. And I can tell you in seller financing, one of my business partners is working a seller financing deal right now. And she’s exhausted. I’m like, you’ve only been talking to the seller for like six weeks. Like it’s okay. This takes time. He wanted to meet her husband. He wanted to like do his due diligence on her to make sure she would be able to make her payments. He called other private lenders that she had to make sure she was making payments to them. They don’t wanna be bamboozled, you know, so they really wanna like you, they wanna like you. And because of that and just being a good person, you have to have patience. Like when you’re doing these deals, it’s not like, this is what I’m offering. You take it or leave it.

April Crossley (29:22):

It’s really what is important to you? You know, It’s the monthly payment important to you is the net amount of the end important to you is getting X amount of interest important to you. So usually I’ll before I even make them an offer, I’ll drop a spreadsheet with three or four different offers. So different interest rates, different net amounts, different down money. If you can get it with no down money, great. And some sellers have done that and I let them choose like, Hey, which one of these looks best to you? And it doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be a starting point for our conversation to get us rolling into how this works.

Reed goossens (29:59):

Right. Right. And it, I think that’s key going back to the consistency is you have to go in with the mindset. I wrote the word mindset down that if you’re gonna go in there, think it’s gonna happen. Like at a snap of your fingers. Yeah. Like take a breath. Right. Usually these people are going to be older. They’re gonna take their maybe to a little bit old school in terms of, of how they approach business. So seeing the husband, seeing the wife, maybe even meeting the kids, you know? Yeah. That’s just part, that’s just part of the territory. Right. And I think that’s, you’ve gotta, once you get your head around that and know that this may take six to 12 months, it’s okay. I actually just got off a phone call. The good friend of mine got an off market deal. It was a bigger deal, more of a sophisticated seller, but they, it took him six months to get the person to where they were signing a contract.

Reed goossens (30:51):

And he was consistently just touching base with them. And the way he got there was because he knew, he knew through seller records that it was an LLC. He could be able to penetrate the LLC, you to see who owned it and somehow figured out that there was a tennis, something to do with tennis. Right? Yeah. Writes him a letter somehow the 10, like through the university of X, Y, Z, he’d played tennis against yes. His, his, either his son or his brother-in-law’s son, like something weird, like was super weird. And that’s how the, the, the string starts. And this is a deal that the bloke’s only owned it for like 18 months. It wasn’t even a long term ownership. It was just like, I don’t wanna transact with a broker. I’m just gonna transac with this guy. Who’s I couldn’t transact with a broker, but he’s gonna pay me.

Reed goossens (31:34):

He’s still paying me. He’s sort of around the market value for it. But it was like he had to be consistent with it. Um, so I know, I know another person who, uh, the, again, seller car, not Sarah car, but, but a direct to seller. And they would, they would, something was going on, but they wouldn’t give the property financials over to the bank to go out and get debt. And they ultimately had to drop the property. But I said to him, probably two days ago, I was like, look, dude, I reckon just hang around the hoop. It’ll come back. It’ll come back to you. Something’s going on on, I don’t think it’s your fault. It’s they’re saying, oh, why don’t you just buy it all cash? It’s like, this is a, this is a 15 million deal. No, one’s buying this all cash. Right. You get the leverage on this thing. Yeah. And so it was all about these, not necessarily mind games, but clearly something was going on on the seller’s side that, that didn’t wanna be forthcoming with the financials. And thus the bank couldn’t even get board. The bank’s not board. You don’t have a deal. So either you go, so I just give those two examples. Cause I was literally just talking to someone the other day, even in this world of frothiness, institutional buyers, blah, blah, blah. It was in Phoenix market actually, which is I was out there yesterday. Crazy

April Crossley (32:36):


Reed goossens (32:36):

Market, crazy hot market. I was, I toured six deals yesterday. And with SIF six different brokers, it was insane. Wow. But, um, but anyway, back to the point, it was just about consistency and mindset. If you’re gonna go into this business, you have to realize they are needles in the haystack. But if you’ve got time, if you’ve got consistency, you, you will be successful. There is scalability to it, which I, you know, we can talk about, but in general, having that high level of, of, of taking your time. So, so April, what, what’s the plan for, for yourself? Like you are, you’re helping others now. You’re tubing, you’ve got your own businesses. It sounds like you’re starting to invest passively in other deals where, where you want the business to go in right now.

April Crossley (33:18):

Yeah. So this year I’m really, really heavy focused on projects that have impact in helping like lower income families. And when I started thinking about that, the end of last year, I’m like, I don’t really know what that’s gonna look like. And we ended up buying the mobile home park last year. And now this year we’re buying some big houses that were basically gonna use for like co-living for seniors that are coming out of homeless shelters and transitioning into like a regular life. So we’re working on buying those. And then we’re looking at some apartment buildings, like larger apartment buildings that, um, are basically for like low income families like hood buildings. And I’m just am super passionate about affordable housing and like creating some kind of either co-living or affordable housing for families. So really, I just wanna keep doing projects that have impact.

April Crossley (34:16):

Ultimately I’d love to build like a senior affordable housing to community and senior just stems from like, I took care of my grandmother for a long time. I worked in healthcare. So I see this big gap of where seniors can’t afford luxury apartment buildings. And they also can’t afford most care facilities cuz they’re thousands of dollars a month, but they can’t live in their two-story home anymore. So they need something affordable in between. And unfortunately social security and pensions are not keeping up with inflation. Like I know I’m preaching to the choir here with this audience, but I talked to so many seniors that are like, you know, when I, when I knew this was what my social security would be and I retired, I didn’t realize costs were gonna go way up here and now I can barely if, for, to live. And unfortunately we see that story more and more and more. And if you look at senior homelessness stats, they’re like through the roof mm-hmm . So I really, my focus right now is doing projects where I can have a huge impact and help low income families and um, the homeless senior population.

Reed goossens (35:21):

Interesting. Have you, have you thought of a, about any of the tax credits that are exist with, you know, partnering with a nonprofit, either starting a nonprofit yourself, and then you get an abatement. I know a lot of tax, a lot of states with higher real estate taxes. Usually they don’t have income tax like Texas, South Carolina. There are, there are programs out there for people, for investors to essentially nearly in my experience, it’s been, it’s nearly like a form of rent restriction, right? You, you put, you cap it at a certain AMI average meeting income. You can’t go above what the HUD, uh, publishes every year for the county on one twos and three bedrooms. But for the, for in return you get to get a tax break. So are you thinking any that, that along those types of lines.

April Crossley (36:03):

Yep. My partner that I’m working with and all these things has a nonprofit and has had a meeting with someone that specializes in tax credits and we’ve hired a mentor that like works with people like us that wanna do things like the us, like buy buildings that are meant for low income families. So we’re in the very beginning stages and it’s honestly been really overwhelming. It’s so much to learn and like anything with the government, there’s so many like ins and outs mm-hmm . Um, but again, it comes back to patients and like if we have the patience and we can really get a handle on this and learn it, like we know everything else, like we know seller financing and no flu in no small ties, we’re gonna be able to just like crush it and dominate and have a massive impact in multiple states for low income families. So it’s exciting.

Reed goossens (36:49):

Love it. I love really interesting on a side note, one of the deals I toured yesterday was B uh, uh, built in, I think it was built in the seventies, but it was a single story, low density property in Phoenix. And you walk into it and it’s now multifamily, but it is, it feels a little bit like a senior. It was built for senior housing and, you know, huge rec center, abandoned kitchen, like the kitchen doesn’t even get used, like long corridors that feel like, uh, like the hospital. And apart as a buyer, I’m sort of saying to myself, you know, to the, to the, to the property manager, I was like, you know, what’s the, who’s your demographic here again, over 50 fives because it’s got that stigma of the property. Yeah. And so as a, as a full market renter or sort buyer, I’m thinking, well, if I’m gonna come in here and, and, and, and wanna bring the Mar rent up to get 15, 1600 bucks, maybe these people can’t afford it.

Reed goossens (37:42):

Right. And so does that. And, and then I gotta think about, well, if I’m trying to advertise to the younger crew, are they gonna wanna live in a hospital feeling like type of property? So it was really kind of interesting having this conversation with you because I literally just walked a property and I was like, this is multifamily, but it’s really seeing you senior your housing. How can I flip the, you know, do I even want to flip the rent roll? And, and I don’t think I can, because of the way the property’s laid out and the way it’s designed, because again, if I’m a young 22 year old, do I wanna be walking some corridors, you know, of like a, an abandoned rec center. ,

April Crossley (38:18):

You know, you know, who you wanna talk to. That’s really interesting is that property’s fascinating. The first call I made was to just like Googling senior housing services in the state that we’re doing it in. And this, there was like a senior housing program coordinator. And I was like, Hey, where is the senior housing need in this county? What are they paying? And what’s considered affordable rent. And is that a shared bedroom or a single bedroom? And how much do you think I can get? Then she connected me with the local homeless shelter who was like, listen, if you have stuff, we have people living here at like 500 per bed, seniors. They share a room. She’s like, they can pay more than that. Like 6 50, 700. They don’t care about sharing a room because they like the social atmosphere of it. And she’s like, they don’t need to be in the homeless shelter anymore, but they can’t find anything affordable.

April Crossley (39:11):

So whereas you may think like one room, six 50 of months affordable, but then we were like, okay, one room, two beds is that viable? And could you fill that? And she’s like, I could send you 12 people tomorrow. She’s like literally tomorrow and fill your entire house that you’re buying. She’s like from people that are walkie talkie take care of themselves actually would enjoy living in co-living and your bedroom’s gonna be way bigger than, and what they’re living in now. Yeah. Interesting. So we’re kind of getting our rent by doing the like shared the model mm-hmm

Reed goossens (39:43):

Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. That’s awesome. That’s that’s great. Yeah. Well, look, I, I, I could keep talking to you for hours, but I know I wanna get to the end of the show. And at the end of every show, we’d like to dive into the top five investing tips. You ready to get into it? Ready? Let’s do it. Well, tell me number one question is how do you, what’s the daily habit you practice to keep on track towards your goals?

April Crossley (40:02):

Always gratefulness. Yeah. Every morning I wake up, do a gratefulness journal, read my Bible and go to the gym. That’s pretty much my everyday.

Reed goossens (40:12):

Awesome. Awesome. Uh, question number two is who’s the most influential person in your career today?

April Crossley (40:19):

A lot of people, so I would have to say I have a coach, his name’s Michael Mani. He’s based out of Pennsylvania as well. He’s probably like the most influential person in my life right now. like has changed me from just like, uh, has made me a better business owner has made me a person. Just everything. Yeah.

Reed goossens (40:39):

That’s awesome. Well, Michael, if you’re listening, uh, you are April’s most influential person. That’s awesome. Question number three. Is who, what is the most influential tool in your business? Then? When, when I say tool, it could be a physical tool, like a journal or a phone, or it could be a piece of software that you just can’t run the business with a, what is it?

April Crossley (40:58):

We use a ton of tools in software, but I could tell you like outside of tools in software from a like scaling my business perspective, mm-hmm, , I’ve used private money lenders since 2004, and I have great relationships with private money lenders and my business would not grow and would not tick without them.

Reed goossens (41:18):

Interesting. Interesting. So you, you, it actually comes down to relationships is the best tool. Oh

April Crossley (41:22):

Yeah. for sure.

Reed goossens (41:24):

For sure. And, and again, it goes back to the whole theme of this, this, this podcast is people first, right? Yeah. Always coming through through with the people first mentality. Love it. Yeah. Uh, question number four in one sentence, what has been the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career and what did you learn from that mistake?

April Crossley (41:37):

The biggest mistake that I’ve made is putting like the right person in the wrong seat. So I like somebody and I see their strengths, but I put them in the wrong position. And what it’s taught me is to, again, just go back to my team and ask them questions about what they like and dislike about what they’re doing. Personality assessments are huge for me, but I think being able to spend more time with someone before you bring them on board and observe them and what their life is like, and what they like to do is super important.

Reed goossens (42:13):

No, I think that that’s that’s right. Have you ever read the book traction EOS mm-hmm yeah, yeah. Yeah. It sounds like you have, because it’s, it would’ve been, uh, a lot of learning lessons. I just finished the book and it’s it’s personality tests, you know, understanding the right button, the right seat. They talk a lot about that. So for those people who are listening to the show, definitely go out and look at, uh, traction, EOS systems. So awesome. So off, uh, and the last question for you April is where can people reach you to continue the conversation they wanna be in your sphere? Where do they go?

April Crossley (42:40):

Uh, I have a YouTube channel it’s April Crosley, and they can find out more about kind of what we do in coaching and on a daily basis at the rate aprilcrosley.us,

Reed goossens (42:51):

Us awesome stuff. Well, look, April, I wanna thank you for, of jumping on the show. I learned a lot of stuff from you and, and your energy. I wanna reflect some of the things that I took away. I think your story around, uh, being, uh, a teenage mom, having your son at 16 years of age and using that, and, and the feeling that you got walking to the supermarket and paying for stuff through social, social networks and social benefits, and this stigma, you, you, you had around that really shifting your mindset to more abundance and, and, and knowing that there’s more to life than just, oh, now I’m, I’m a teenage mom, and now my son’s gonna be a teenage dad. You know, like trying to break that chain, I think was, was really important, but that comes from a place of pain, but also comes from a place that you, you understand that you need to, right. And, and you’re curious about certain things. So I think that was all, uh, one thing that I took away from today’s show, and, you know, obviously you wanna have a massive impact on people. That’s, that’s probably the other big thing you want to impact as many people as you can. You’re doing it for the right reasons. And I just love talking to people in the show who, who come into the real estate investing world for that reason. Uh, did I leave, did I leave a anything out?

April Crossley (43:56):

I don’t think so.

Reed goossens (43:57):

Awesome stuff. Look again. Thank you. Thank you so much for jumping on the show. Enjoy the rest of your week and we’ll catch up very, very soon. Well, there you have another cracking episode jam back with some incredible advice from April. If you are looking to get into her sphere, go onto Aprilcrosley.us and all the show notes from today’s show will be on my website as well. Definitely follow of her on her YouTube channel. If you’re looking to ask her any tips or tricks about getting seller for car back financing, anything that she’s teaching on that channel, definitely check her out. She’s a wealth of knowledge and I highly, highly recommend you hitting her up. I wanna thank you all again for taking some time out of the day to tune in, to continue to grow your financial IQ, because that’s what we’re all about on this show. And if you do like this show, the easiest way to give back is to give it a five start review on iTunes, and we’re gonna do it all again. Next week’s remember, be bold, be brave, and go give life.