Why Getting a Ticket Was a Good Thing

9 years ago

No one likes getting a parking ticket, especially when you really shouldn’t. As fate would have it, I received a ticket yesterday. In the end though, it turned out to be a good thing.

First, let me say that a $68 ticket for parking in a “Permit Only” zone is ridiculous. Let’s just get that out of the way. Where I’m doing my most recent flip, you have to have a permit to park on the street. I’m almost never there after 6:00 PM, so I didn’t bother going and getting a permit to park in front of my own house. I usually use the driveway, but the crews were there and it wasn’t an option. I was talking with a friend, who is also an investor, about the property and we didn’t notice the Parking Enforcement Officer pulling up to hand out tickets.

As soon as we saw him, we walked over to him to chat. I told him that I had just bought the house and that the crews were there, etc. etc. Unfortunately, once it is in their system, it is completely digital and cannot just be “torn up.” So, here I was with a ticket for parking in front of my own house.

I had just been having a conversation with my friend Tom about how to generate leads and strategies for finding more “bird dogs.” It goes without saying, but you really can’t have enough people bringing you deals. There are about 50,000 people in LA that can use the MLS. I don’t need any help finding deals there. Where I do need help is what a lot of people call “Driving for Dollars.”

“Driving for Dollars” is when you get in your car, drive around and look for houses that are either “For Sale By Owner” or are run down and look potentially profitable. So, what does this have to do with a parking ticket?

What type of people drive around all day looking at neighborhoods that I would personally want to work in? Parking Enforcement, mail carriers, UPS drivers, and taxi drivers are high on the list. The list goes on and you should be as creative as possible, but you get the picture. So, after my chat with Mr. Parking Enforcement I let him know that I wasn’t going to be living in the house, I was just rehabbing and reselling it. Of course, he’s seen the TV shows, so the conversation went from a parking ticket to fixing and flipping houses.

In the end, I hand him three of my cards and say, “I do pay for referrals, so if you see anything that you think I might be able to get and rehab, let me know.” After I tell him my rates (which he liked), I tell him that I am specifically looking for FSBOs and run down houses. He told me he would be in touch.

I’ve done this with several people who drive around for a living. Depending on the season, I get 4-5 leads a week that I otherwise wouldn’t be getting, just for talking to the guys that everyone else ignores (or dislikes – in the case of Parking Enforcement). There are many untapped lead generation avenues that are there for the taking. All you have to do is keep your eyes open for the opportunities to connect with them.

We will talk about what you do when you are “Driving for Dollars” in the next blog. It is important that we all realize that we can only be in one place at a time. If we can train someone to replicate what we do, for a nominal fee, we can increase our opportunities. When someone comes to me and says, “I’d love to be in this business, but I don’t have anything to bring to the table” the first thing I do is tell them that they offer me something that I simply cannot do: they can be where I am not to find deals that I physically can’t. If you have 4 people who are only half as good as you, you triple your effectiveness.

Expanding your Team is essential in this business. Look for the opportunities to do that everywhere. A successful business owner is someone who is always thinking about the business and taking every opportunity to generate leads. So, even something negative happens to you (like a parking ticket), take the opportunity to turn it in your favor and swing it into a positive. You’ll rarely want the few minutes it takes back and it could be worth thousands to you.

If anyone has more questions or wants more one-on-one coaching, don’t hesitate to contact me. This is a passion for me and I truly enjoy sharing what I know with others. Thanks for coming by and getting a bit of the education. Until then, remember that you, too, have that inner warrior that it takes to achieve greatness and success. Feel free to drop me a line at Coaching[at]


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