The Landscape from Lending to Wholesaling with David Lawver
David Lawver has been in the real estate industry for over 20 years. He started in mortgage lending, then got into flipping and developing, and eventually turned to real estate wholesaling as a proven business model to make six figures quickly without using any of his own money.
In this post, David shares insights from his journey that can help new investors unlock the potential of wholesaling for themselves - leaving their ordinary job behind and turning their annual salary into their monthly salary.
Getting Started in Real Estate Investing
David got his start in real estate with mortgage lending. He spent a lot of time financing actual end users, so he saw a lot of deals come across his desk. Most of the deals came from real estate agents referring buyers who needed loans.
Along the way, a realtor had a really good off-market deal and asked if David had a pre-approved buyer for it. After looking at the deal, David realized he should buy the property himself.
This was actually not David's first real estate transaction - he had already done one deal but should have wholesaled it. Here's what happened...
There was a lady who had spent 10 years caretaking for her dad, expecting to inherit a million-dollar home. But after he passed, his will put the home proceeds into a trust. She would have to donate $20k/year to charity but got none of the proceeds herself.
She was angry and agreed to sell the home for $1 million to David. David and his partner got a no-money-down loan by using their personal home equities as collateral.
They bought the property for $1M, spent $20k on rehab, and ended up selling to a builder for $1.3M. After fees and interest carry, their profit was reduced from $300k to $250k.
They realized they should have just wholesaled this deal and avoided those extra costs.
First Wholesale Deal for $100k
So when was David's first actual wholesale deal?
David and his partner had built up $250k from previous flips. Rather than distribute it, they kept the capital to do more flips.
They got a new construction deal that would take 2 years and $3M to complete. Rather than tie up time and money, they decided to wholesale this deal to a local builder - and made $100k profit upfront!
David didn't even double-close this deal. The builder was very business-oriented and didn't get offended by David's $100k assignment fee. It was a win-win because the builder acquired a great development opportunity.
"We just didn't have the resources or capacity to do it. And for him, it was a juicy deal."
Sourcing Deals from Realtors
So where did David find most of his early deals?
As a lender, David networked with hundreds of realtors to get buyer referrals. He flipped the script and started asking agents for off-market deals that he could buy and relist.
At his peak, David was taking 20 meetings a week with realtors and getting 70 off-market referrals per month. He would only buy 1 out of those 70 deals, but the referral volume helped him cherry-pick the best deals.
David focused on high-end flips - buying around $500k, putting in $300k rehab, and selling for $1.9M. He only did deals with big margins.
Getting into Lending and Making $50k One Summer
David only did 1 year of college before getting into lending and making good money. He made $50k one summer and decided to take a year off from college to keep lending.
The commission-based lending income was way better than his previous college lifestyle of ramen noodles and Coors Light!
These days, 70% of David's time is spent on real estate investing, while 30% is still in lending.
He currently uses driving for dollars and direct mail to find deals, along with getting wholesaler referrals. David says the key is finding the right wholesaling partners - people who accurately assess ARV and rehab costs so the numbers work for an end buyer.
David is focused on acquiring vacant lots in Austin and doing modular construction homes. This model gets new construction margins in a flip timeframe. He's proving the concept with 10 current projects totaling $25M in value.
His future plans are to buy a factory and vertically integrate the building process. David believes factory construction is higher quality and the future of home building. He wants to scale to 30-50 modular projects per year and be an early adopter in that space.
- Wholesaling real estate is a proven business model to make 6 figures quickly without using your own money
- Focus on high equity deals - same effort for 10k or 300k profit margins
- Build a network of realtors to get off-market referrals
- Hire college students as callers - they'll provide quality leads and become assets
- Partner with real estate wholesalers who accurately assess ARV and rehab costs
- Constantly push your financial goals - "the goalpost keeps moving"
- Learn from people who have the success you want and model what they do
David shows that you can start in one area of real estate, maximize those opportunities, then move into new strategies and continue evolving. Wholesaling provides a great entry point without requiring upfront capital.
Hopefully, David's insights will help new investors shortcut the learning curve and achieve financial freedom more quickly through real estate investing.
To learn more from David, check out his Instagram profile at @mrlawver.
What are your biggest takeaways from David's journey? Let me know in the comments!
About Benjy Nichols
Benjy has been a media specialist at DealMachine for the last 2.5 years. He produces, writes, shoots, and edits our media content for our member's DealMachine and Real Estate education.