Last week I interviewed a friend of mine who is currently flipping 3-4 REO properties each month in Miami, FL.  What is most intriguing about what he’s doing is that he has systematized his complete process, and he has 2 interns helping him flip the houses.

He makes an average profit of $6,000 per flip, so you can quickly do the math and see how much he makes each month.

Last week (before the interview I did with my friend Alex) I spent 2 full days in Phoenix, Arizona.  I went out there with my real estate investing partner to evaluate the market for opportunities, and see if we wanted to expand there.

After 2 very busy days, we have decided that there’s plenty of opportunity in that market, and that we’re going to expand.  One of the obstacles, however, is that we don’t have a local set of eyes to do a lot of the work that we would normally do ourselves here in San Diego.

I’ve always been one to practice what I preach, so we decided that one of the best ways that we could immediately get some help would be to hire some interns to help us expand into a new market.

Since I’ve been a huge advocate of hiring interns for your real estate investing business for a long time, today I sat down as if I were a new investor and mapped out exactly what the interns would do for me, and how I would go about hiring them.

I’m going to map this out for your right now in this blog post, so you can duplicate our success.

1.  Decide What The Intern Is Going To Do: We’ve decided that we’re going to create 2 different internships for our expansion into Phoenix: a Real Estate Investing Internship , and an Internet Marketing Internship For A Real Estate Investing Company (note: those are the actual titles we used in the job description).  However this doesn’t mean that we’re only going to hire 2 interns.  We might actually hire 2 or even 3 interns for EACH position (we want to be prepared for attrition, and also to let the cream rise to the top and see who the best performing interns will be.

The Real Estate Investing Intern will be focused on “traditional” real estate investing work, such as evaluating properties, meeting with contractors and getting repair estimates, coordinating closings, and focusing on the transactional side of real estate investing.

The Internet Marketing Intern will be focused on using the internet for marketing our business.  Since Phoenix has an abundance of deals, this particular intern will be focused on finding buyers for our properties.  They’ll be doing this by building a blog, and then having an accompanying Twitter feed, YouTube Channel, and lead capture pages.  They’ll create content and set out “link bait” (in the form of articles, free reports and videos) to help us build a buyers list.

As you can see, the first internship will require someone who is interested in real estate, but the 2nd internship could be for anyone interested in marketing, internet marketing, or general business.

2.  Create a List of Responsibilities For Each Internship:  We created a list of probable tasks and responsibilities for each of the internships.  This might obviously change over time, but we wanted to get something down as quickly as possible.  These list of responsibilities also became part of our job description (more on this later).  Here’s the initial  list of tasks for each intern:

Real Estate Investing Internship
- Evaluating properties for acquisition
- “Walking” properties, meeting with contractors, and creating videos of properties
- Analyzing comparable sales data and estimating potential profit of individual deals
- Analyzing data for multi-family properties to evaluate cash flow, cap rates and profitability
- Tracking renovation progress and timelines to ensure deal profitability
- Coordinate closings and work with escrow company manage the process from contract signing to close of escrow

Internet Marketing Internship For A Real Estate Investing Company
- Using video and well written video descriptions to drive traffic to our sites and market our properties
- Become well versed in local search and SEO through our training, and implement these strategies to help us dominate the search engines.
- Use social networking, social media and social bookmarking to drive a flood of traffic to our sites
- Install analytics and goal tracking on all of our websites, launch experiments, and help us make our sites get more traffic and increased conversion percentages
- Build a new blog using WordPress (open source blogging platform)
- Build lead capture forms and landing pages to maximize conversions & build a list of buyers for investment properties

3.  Write The Job Descriptions:  Fortunately I’ve written plenty of job descriptions for plenty of internships, so I have a great idea of what needs to be done.  However, if you’re unsure, I actually have a webinar where I break down the 10 steps to writing a winning job description to get a flood of people applying for your internship.  (It’s actually an action packed webinar full of content about the top 3 internships you need to create for your company, but if you just want the information about how to write a winning job description, just fast forward to the 44 minute mark).

4.  Decide Where To Post The Internship:  If you watch the the same content webinar I reference above, you’ll see that we reveal our list of Top 25 Internship Job Posting Websites at minute 54.  However, for real estate investors, we recommend that you post your internship to a local college or university where you plan on investing.  The reason is simple: you’re going to want your intern to go out and look at properties and find deals for you.  That’s why for these 2 positions we’re posting our job to Arizona State’s intern job posting board.  It’s free to post there, and we’ll find an intern who is local and knows the area well.  If you don’t know whom to contact at a particular school, or where you can find interns looking to gain experience in a particular field (like real estate or marketing), then watch this short video.

5.  Call The Recruiting Coordinator At The School Where You’re Going Post The Internship: As soon as I had my job description ready I called the recruiting coordinator at the school I was going to post my message to.  If you’re wondering what’s the fastest way to find: A) what schools you should even be contacting or B) what the name, phone number and email address are of the recruiting coordinator, then watch this short video.  Once you know who you’re calling, pick up the phone and call them.  I’ve actually prepared scripts for calling into these schools (more on this later), but because I’ve done it so many times now, it’s easy for me (and it will be easy for you as well).  Today I found out that at ASU it’s free to post, and that my account would be “approved” to post a job within 24 hours.  But making a phone call first, BEFORE posting the job, makes it much more likely that your account will be approved quickly.  In fact, today, by making the phone call, I even found out that ASU has a real estate investing club, and that I could post my internship there.  Talk about an easy way for me to find my new interns!

6.  Start Reviewing Resumes:  At this point all I need to do is review the resumes of potential interns.  I ask them to include a cover letter explaining whey they’re a good candidate for the position.  If they can’t include a cover letter (and fail that test) they won’t get a call from me.  It’s a simple test to see if they can follow instructions.

7.  Conduct A 1st Round Of Interviews Over The Phone:  For candidates who sounded good on paper, I’ll email them and set up a phone interview.  On the phone interview I want to find out about them.  At a minimum, I want to know the following information:

- What made you apply to my job post?
- Why do you want an internship?
- What do you know about the position? (in other words, what do you know about real estate investing or internet marketing)
- When do you plan on graduating? (we’ve made it a policy to not accept freshman/1st year students since they are adapting to school life and adding an internship is too much)
- How heavy is your course load?
- How many hours per week, at a minimum, can you dedicate to the internship?
- Are you looking to earn credit for your internship?
- Do you have the tools necessary to complete this internship (PC, cell phone, skype, video camera, car for the real estate investing internship, for example)

I have a list of dozens of other questions, but you get the point here.  I’m trying to do some initial screening and fact finding, and see if we “click” and a I get a good feeling about the person.

8.  Invite The Top Candidates Back For A 2nd Interview:  After the first round of interviews I email back the people I liked and schedule a 2nd interview.  I ask more questions, and at the conclusion, if I think that they could make a good intern (and addition to our team) I give them a specific deadline (usually 48-72 hours) to send me an email with the following information:

- Are you still interested in the internship
- Why would you be a good candidate for the internship
- The specific start date that you can begin
- The minimum number of hours per week you can commit to
- The end date of your internship

9.  Extend The Invitation:  At this point I’m ready to extend the offer to the prospective intern.  As I mentioned earlier, many times I’ll hire 2 or 3 interns for the same position.  They can work together as a team, and the best interns will quickly show their stuff.  Interns also like working in a team environment, and let’s face it: they do have exams and a social life, so if an urgent task pops up, I’d like to have 2-3 people who can complete it, not just one.

10.  Put Them To Work:  As soon as the intern accepts the offer, I put them to work.  I usually start out with a “kick start” call to make sure that they understand the big picture: what our company does, how we make money, who our target audience is, and what we’re looking to accomplish.  I can’t tell you how important this is: your intern is probably going to work on some very focused tasks and projects for you, so it’s important that they understand the big picture.  Then, every single day that they work on their internship, they have to send me an email detailing:

1.  What they did that day, and the results that they got
2.  Any problems or challenges they encountered
3.  Any questions they have for me

Sending these 3 items to me in a daily email is a MUST, and it’s a non-negotiable.  They simply have to do it.

Next Steps:

Hopefully between the interview with Alex, and the steps that I’ve laid out for you here, I’ve inspired you to take action and hire an intern for your real estate investing business.  You’ll be amazed at how much more productive you become, and how having an intern forces you to create documented systems that only help your business.

Speaking of documented system, we do have a system that we’ll be releasing to the public in the very near future.  It’s going to be extremely affordable, and inside of it we’ll include the 2 job descriptions for the 2 internships I talk about in this blog post.  Plus it includes scripts, templates, internship agreements, instructional videos and a whole lot more information.  It’s extremely affordable, and as soon as it’s ready I’ll update this blog post with a link.

In the meantime, I want to leave you with comment from someone who has our system, and also a video.  The first is a comment from Jesse C’de Baca in Denver, CO who writes to us and says:

I’m always looking for ways to scale my business – whether through automation or outsourcing, both which have their inherent drawbacks. The concept of getting unpaid interns as a solution to bridge those flaws has been such a mindset-shift for me.

I already have 2 interns working for me within 2 months, and they work about 20 hours a week each for me! I haven’t even yet called any of the schools directly, which I plan on doing soon to get more interns.

Not only have they gotten good work done for me for free, but they have FORCED me to develop duplicatable systems for my business processes, which has really helped me to hustle and get more done in less time.

Not only that, having interns make me look a hell of a lot “bigger” in my clients eyes, which feels pretty good too.

Thanks so much again for showing me a way too scale my business at near-zero cost.

The final thing I want to leave you with is proof that interns can help grow your real estate investing business, and find you deals.  Here’s video of “Ben The Intern” who found a killer deal for us during his internship.  Imagine not having to go to a closing, but have your intern attend on your behalf instead:

As a reminder, we’re releasing an updated, more cost effective version of our intern system in the next few days.  Be on the lookout for it!

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