Rebranding a podcast takes a lot of work, but it’s worth it so you can reach your desired audience more. In this episode, we witness Good Deeds Note Investing rebrands to Creating Wealth Simplified. Along with it, our beloved co-host Jamie Bateman passes the baton to Lauren Wells as the new co-host of the show. Lauren started her career working at several tech start-ups in sales, partnerships, and business development. Still, she was always interested in real estate and eventually came across notes and Chris Seveney himself. She shares how she feels to have worked with Chris and to be his partner in this podcast. Plus, they take us through the changes happening for the show and where it is heading. Join in on this conversation as we open a new page and explore the world of wealth building deeper.
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From Jamie Bateman To Lauren Wells: Rebranding The Show With A New Co-Host And More
Chris, how are you?
I’m wonderful, Jamie. How are you?
I’m doing fine. We have a special guest/new co-host with us, Lauren Wells. How are you doing, Lauren?
I’m doing pretty well.
We’re going to talk about many different things, but more or less, we’re going to talk about some of the new things you’ve got going on. As you mentioned, Lauren will be co-hosting going forward. We’re also going to be rebranding to Creating Wealth Simplified, where we’re going to open up more topics, not note investing, but other aspects of real estate and trying to grow that audience.
We’re still going to be talking about notes because that is our main business. We also talk about over the last few years what you’ve got going and doing, Lauren. You can roast me all you want because both of you have been working with me for the last few years. I’ll take a back seat and let the two of you haze me if you want.
Lauren, for those who are unfamiliar with you, why don’t you introduce yourself?
My name is Lauren, and I am a former tech junkie working in Silicon Valley. I worked for a few tech startups turned real estate investor turned working with Chris, which is a mix of all the things I’ve done. As Jamie alluded to, I will be co-hosting the show with Chris or its rebrand, which will focus on a larger aspect of real estate investing in general and how to get started if you are new to real estate investing.
Dive into your background a little bit more for us.
I worked at several tech startups in sales, partnerships and business development. I’ve always had an interest in real estate. When I decided to take a step away from tech, I was burnt out. I wasn’t 22 anymore and I didn’t want to work 4:00 AM to 12:00 PM every day. I started consulting and doing sales consulting for some tech startups and looking into real estate as well on the side. I came across notes and I’m taking in all the information from all the experts in the space. I came across Chris, who had spoken at one of the conferences during COVID when I started ramping up my education.
It was Fred and Tracy’s company.
It’s Cashflow Expo.
Chris was talking about all the things that could go wrong in note investing, all the money you’re going to lose, and trying to dissuade people from investing in notes, or maybe that wasn’t your intention, but I was like, “I don’t know about this,” after that. I loved that you were pretty straightforward about it. I had reached out to him on LinkedIn. I was like, “I want to talk to this guy.” I was ignored for quite a few months, but I kept at it. Eventually, you reached back out and you’re like, “I’ll talk to you.”
A couple of things popped into my mind. One is you were suffering from burnout and now you’re working with Chris. Good luck with that. I’m kidding. Secondly, Chris, your LinkedIn was, for a while, largely devoted to your other profession. You didn’t do a lot on LinkedIn with notes for a while.
It was February 22nd, 2021. It took me a month to get back to her, but I did say, “I’m finally getting around to your message.”
Chris is a busy guy.
LinkedIn was probably not the best avenue, but it was with my tech background. It’s what I used when I was reaching out.
For those readers who are more interested in Lauren’s background, I know you did an episode with Chris a while back on your own note investing journey.
We talked about how I got involved in it, how I scaled the business, and what my day-to-day looked like because I am a mom of two boys, and talking about that balance and how I made it all work.Nobody's perfect. Everyone is frustrating to work with. Let's be honest. Click To Tweet
A few things about Lauren besides she’s a mother with two young boys, but one of the things she did that was pretty impressive was she joked as she stalked me. She would ask good questions. She would send me an email on stuff and I’d be like, “Send me a Zoom.” We would hop on a Zoom call once a week. She was well-prepared. She knew what questions asking to ask. She would research things and say, “I saw this or saw that,” she wasn’t just asking, “How do I invest in notes? How do I do this?”
I was extremely impressed with it. During that time, I was assisting her in her note journey. Finally, when I got to a point where I couldn’t handle it anymore and I was looking to bring somebody on board, we were texting about something and I joked, “You should come work for me and stuff,” and then Lauren with her double negatives, she talks about in double negative. She’ll be like, “It’s not a no.”
She was working for us part-time, twenty hours a week, which she’s probably working 50, but only telling me 20. At the beginning of 2022, she was looking to get back into the workforce again and so forth. I was like, “You’re not going anywhere.” That’s when I reached out to her and said, “Come work for us full-time.” She’s like, “It’s not a no,” and thought about it. That’s how Lauren came along onboard.
As I mentioned in the past episode, she’s a well-trusted advisor. I mentioned in my episodes I don’t trust many people and she has all my trust in the world after spending the last few years with her, so thank you. On the same token, Jamie, you and I, over the years since 337 Elm, it’s sold as you mentioned.
We sold it and then it was sold. That was April 2018 when we started that joint venture.
Jamie and I with the servicing company, it was out of the blue. I was like, “Jamie, let’s go start a servicing company,” and Lauren, it’s like, “Come start working for me.” It’s no advanced warning. I throw it right in your face and put you on the spot.
The show too, for me, you asked me to be on and I was like, “What?”
It’s like a left hook and right hook type of thing.
My knee-jerked and I was like, “No way,” but I knew that I should say yes. Honestly, it’s been awesome. It’s been hugely beneficial for my business and also for me personally to prepare and then have to speak. It’s not my natural inclination to do this, but it’s been good for me. Thank you, Chris. If you’re working with Chris, you need to be ready at all times. You never know what’s coming, but it’s not the first time Chris has thought about it, whatever it is. Let’s talk about working with Chris.
It’s funny that you say that Jamie about it’s not your natural inclination to do the show because I felt how this came along. It’s like, “You’re going to co-host a new show with me.” I know I need to say yes, but this is a little outside my comfort zone, which people probably wouldn’t think because I’m pretty social, but it’s different and I’m excited. It’ll be super fun.
I like to get people outside their comfort zone.
Yes, you do, but it’s good.
I can be a little more free because Chris and I broke up. He’s your boss now.
It’s fun. There’s never a dull moment. As you said, Jamie, everything you do is very methodical. It’s not like you come in and have this crazy idea for most people, but you’ve probably thought of this crazy idea for a year before you’ve proposed it. There’s a lot of trust when you work with Chris that has to be there in his experience and his expertise. I’ve enjoyed it so far. It’s fun. It doesn’t feel like work.
If you put together one of those diagrams, if yes or no, those flow charts you see are usually humorous. Mine would be like the first thing Brian Gallagher accepts, if yes, goes to other people. If no, how to convince Brian that it is legal, and then it might come to four different areas to see before it gets killed. Most of the ideas do get killed by Brian. He’s the idea killer, but mainly because they’re probably illegal, so glad to run those by him.
Chris is a unique blend of an engineering mind but someone who also takes action and is super creative as well. Nobody’s perfect. Everyone is frustrating to work with. Let’s be honest. I’m super frustrating to work with. No one walks on water. Chris is an Engineer, Math, Science, crunch numbers, loves spreadsheets, loves analysis, and all that stuff, but he’s also doing stuff. That goes back to the episode of my show that Chris was on, where he talks about his adversity. You have a unique way, Chris, of approaching life where you do cherish every day and take action. You recognize that life is valuable. I’ve never met anyone like you, honestly.
It’s been awesome working with you. We have a lot of work to do together still, Chris. It’s not like it’s over. Usually, in this space, I find it’s mostly engineer types who suffer from analysis paralysis. It’s like, “Go buy a note. Go do something. Take some action.” There’s the other side where they’re taking way too much risk, not running the numbers, and not analyzing anything. You’re a unique blend of both of those.
I’ve had this conversation. Sometimes, I’ll give the impression like I haven’t run things because I throw stuff off the cuff and people are like, “We haven’t looked into that. I’m thinking, “No, I have.” We brought on two additional people, Delaney and Chi. With Delaney, she learned quickly that pretty much any question that I’ve thrown at her, I know the answer already or what looking for. She caught on quickly.
What’s awesome about her is she’s so analytical. She reminds me a lot of Jeff. She’s a spreadsheet and system junkie. My systems look remote and archaic. We’re on a call with a developer the other day and I’m like, “If you do like a VLOOKUP and stuff,” and she’s laughing. VLOOKUP is like dial-up internet compared to the stuff there now.
It’s not 1995, Chris.
I don’t think she was born in 1995. She was ’93. From that, Jamie, you’ve also got your show. For me hosting a show has brought on a lot more opportunities. Would you agree with that?
Definitely. It’s hard to put a number on it or measure it, but I’ve talked to so many people who say, “We’ve talked a bunch of times.” It’s like, “No, I’ve never talked to you before, but you think you’ve talked to me because you read the show.” Trust me, I don’t think I’m famous or something, but people get to know us if they read every week. They get to know our personality and a lot of our ethics, morals, and what we’re made of. It’s helped me in numerous ways preparing for it. For a lot of weeks, I’d prepare for it and I would tell Chris what the topic is right before.
Is that going to be my job to tell Chris what the topic is or he’s probably going to come to me and say, “This is the topic?”
What happened is I used to have this nice show planner book and Lauren’s like, “I need that. Can you send it to me?” Now, I don’t have a planner.
I haven’t opened it yet.
It’s never been opened. It’s the amazing thing about it.
The show has been a lot of fun. You learn a ton and also expand your network. I learn a lot through interviewing guests. At the end of the day, though, this is why both of us are branching out as far as our own show go. Notes are limited in the space. As far as your reach, there are only so many people who start out as note investors and stay note investors.
For the most part, the show is the best one in the note space. I am biased, but I genuinely believe that. However, we didn’t win Fred and Tracy’s award. I’m not bitter about that. We didn’t win the Best Facebook group. It’s limited in its reach, let’s be honest. You end up appealing mostly to the active note investors, so I’m excited for both of our shows because yours is going to have a broad reach. There’s so much to personal finance, investing in real estate, infinite banking, and economics.
Jamie, you said something that Chris is the type of person who is that analytical engineer, spreadsheets-driven person, and puts pen to paper and takes action. Part of this show, moving forward, is going to be focused on that. There are a lot of people not in the note space who want to get started in real estate investment.
They have that engineer analytical mindset that they get so caught up and like, “What entity do I need to set up? What do I want to invest in?” Instead of focusing on one thing, trying to figure out what is the best investment for them. With Creating Wealth Simplified, it will be expanding outside notes for that reason, to be able to show people how to take action and how you can get started essentially in different types of investments.
Lauren can take what I said because I will be all over the place, put it into a nice neat ball, and then explain it in layman’s terms to people. That’s something she’s excellent at because we’ll be on these calls and I’m going to put Lauren on the spot. I’ll start and I will go off on my tangent stuff. She’s like, “What Chris is trying to say is.”
“Can you explain what that means to the person who doesn’t understand engineering?”
You are bringing in the simplified part of it. Not saying you’re simple. That is an important thing, though, communication. I’m curious how you decided, Chris. I’m sure it’s always in flux. How did you decide the roles for your business? This whole hiring thing is fairly new to you. I’m curious how you decided what role Lauren would take on.
I want to know Chris’s answer.
Lauren was the easiest hire ever because of two things. I’ve mentioned this on the show. I say tongue-in-cheek, but I don’t like people. What I mean by that is if people reach out, for me, I’m driven by my tasks, and then it’s one of those things where “That email came in. This person reached out about something. It goes in a pile.” I eventually get to it.
For some reason, I’m still quirky. Sometimes I don’t like talking to people, even though I can sit here and you’ll laugh because like, “Chris, you can talk for twelve hours and never shut up.” Lauren, with her background in investor relations and sales, brought her on. I gave her the simplest task. She’s got to go raise a few dollars. $75 million, that’s nothing. That’s Lauren’s task to go run up our investor relations and strategy.
We’ve got our marketing team and other players involved, she’s going through things and how she manages and handles them, that’s her expertise. We were talking about something about the logo and stuff. I’m like, “I’m not dying on that sword. I’m a dumb engineer. It doesn’t matter what it looks like as long as it’s good for everyone else.
Be ready, Lauren. This is where the roast comes in. Chris will say, “Run with whatever logo you want and then he’s going to rip it to shreds.”There's so much to personal finance, investing in real estate, infinite banking, and economics. Click To Tweet
I literally said that right after he said, “I don’t care. It’s not a sword I’m going to die on.” I was like, “Kind of because if I send this one and you don’t like it, you’re going to say something.”
We did a logo for an Integrity Mortgage Note Fund. Honestly, it’s not the best logo. At the time, he’s like, “I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. No one is investing based on a logo or not.” Both of the logos I’ve gotten done for us. A few days ago, you texted me a screenshot. You’re like, “Nice logo.” I’m like, “You said you didn’t care.”
No, I liked that one.
We’re clear on that now. The BIFI one got thrown out real fast.
That was awful, though. I’m sorry.
You do care.
It’s like when I tell my husband, “I don’t care what you put the boys in for school. I don’t care what they’re eating for lunch,” and then I’m over there remaking the lunches because they can’t eat those things for lunch. You care.
He cares. That’s because he takes pride in his work.
One of the things I’m famous for doing, too, is being like, “We’ll have a call. Jamie, you’ll run with this. I’ll run with this.” That’ll be a Sunday morning and I’m sitting there going through everything and I’ll be like, “I’m going to do that,” and then I get it done and be like, “I told Jamie to do it, but I’ll get it done.” Jamie’s like, “I thought I was doing that.” I’ve done that with Lauren.
You have, but I do it to you as well. I sent you stuff. I’m like, “He’s not going to do this for ten minutes and I can get it done in two. I’m going to do it myself.”
You already know this, Lauren, but Chris moves fast. There was one where we were bidding on assets. He has me running pre-bid due diligence all day. He’s like, “Why are you even bidding on those?” We had agreed that we’d taken this tape and narrowed it down to five assets. I spent a bunch of time analyzing it, and putting our business together, which was the plan. He’s like, “Why are you even working on that? We’re not even going to get those.” It’s like, “When were you going to tell me?” “I didn’t have anything else to do. It’s great.”
We did buy one.
Here’s my version. I sometimes tend to move at a little aggressive rate.
You don’t tell people that you’ve moved on.
Jamie, if you say, “That’s a good idea,” to me, how would you define that?
For you, that means you’re going to go do it.
Thank you. I rest my case.
This comes back to your question, Jamie, about hiring and how did we expand the team and decide. I don’t know if I was necessarily the easiest hire. I think it just worked out with my background. Chris and I are thinking as we grow this opportunity, we need to have more people on board. Chris likes to have ten people on deck ready for whatever position. One day, we’re on the phone. He’s going through names. He’s like, “What do you think about this person?” I’m like, “They’re great. I don’t know them well, but they’re great.” That’s the extent of my insight into this person.
How many minutes until they were hired?
We dropped it. I was like, “We have a good list. These are the people that can be slotted for asset management and whatnot.” A few months later, this person will read this and hopefully laugh, but Chris was at IMN and DME and this person happened to be there. He was like, “I have this whole game plan. I’m going to talk to them about this. I want to see how they’re feeling about this opportunity.” I’m like, “Great,” I did give sign-off there.
The next thing, Chris is like, “I offer this person a job.” I’m like, “Okay. Do I need to draw up a contract? What what’s going on here? We really met today.” We hadn’t even taken the big first step with the current opportunity. In my head, this was a future Lauren a few months from now idea or project to work on. When he said that, I was like, “We haven’t even submitted to the SEC for our offering.” That was my first lesson learned when Chris said, “What are your thoughts?” Make sure that if you say, “Okay,” you’re ready for that to become a reality tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM.
It gets a little better, though, because along with that, we were talking with other people. Lauren had somebody she knew as well. I was like, “Let’s get her on the phone.” It’s like a Friday and basically be like, “Good,” and then we got off the call. I go to Lauren, “Okay, let’s hire her.”
I was like, “You need to sleep on this because that’s how we need to do things, not like knee-jerk reactions.”
You basically closed the deal on both of them in the one weekend essentially because it was one right after the other.
I don’t know if I was the reason, but for sure, the opportunity and you were the reason. Eventually, those two people are now our first two other hires and are working with us. It’s a fun team.
Is it more about identifying the need of the business and then going out and finding someone, Chris or is it more, “Here’s this person that I think is a rockstar. Where do they fit into my team?”
It was more what’s our need more.
I could see it going either way. We’ve got another person that we talked with a few weeks ago. We knew this person was out there for the last few years that would be a perfect fit for a specific role that we all talked with. We’re going to bring somebody else on board where we had the need and that person fit that need. It can go in both. Lauren can make a good point with both because both Chi and Delaney bring two different skillsets.
They’re both very good at what they do. For me, the way I manage my business, I don’t think anyone’s going to come in as an expert because I’m going to blow everything up and want things done a certain way anyways. Part of it is, “Are they talented?” Lauren can attest to this. The first comment I made when we had our first call is, “Nobody has anything to prove because you’re in the door already.” They’re all extremely strong.
Once you let people in, they’re in, as you said in the previous episode. I don’t know if people appreciate the shift that you’re making with your business right now, but this is big.
We haven’t talked much about it yet. I want to say something first about the need versus the skillset. It’s so funny because I would disagree with you. We knew what we needed and so we found people who would be able to learn, eager, and driven. The funny part is with Delaney, there’s an aspect of what she brings when it comes to processes and systems that we didn’t realize we needed. Now, she’s here and we’re like, “How did we do anything without this?”
You have Chi, who, on the other hand, has all this wealth of knowledge when it comes to a vertical, but I’m a little bit more well-versed in, for example, investing in seconds. While we weren’t hiring specifically for those things, they had the background and the drive. It’s more about the people for most positions.
I enjoy being on the calls with them and you can look at them and you can see their brains churning. The differences in the way they think from those aspects. They both had a very good perspective on things. One of the things that I like when I manage people is I want to make sure people voice their opinion and make sure they’re vocal. I don’t want to be the type of person who you feel like you can’t talk to me. I’ve worked for people who seem like they’re very bullish and bossy where you don’t even want to go to them because they’re always in a bad mood and stuff. If I talk to them, it’s going to be like an awkward conversation.
You do like to take control and take action, but you are very open to input, though.
You hired three women, so you better be open to input.
It’s going to be four.
It’s easy on the outside for people who read to this show sporadically or something, or maybe they’re in the Facebook group and know what’s going on or whatever. I don’t know everything that’s going on inside the business, but I work pretty closely with you, Chris. This has been a massive shift in the last few months. You’ve hired people before, but it might be a virtual assistant or part-time. I’m excited about the future because you are going to crush it. I don’t think people understand what’s coming.Go on and do some good deeds. Click To Tweet
Let’s talk about it. We have a new entity that we set up that we submitted a Regulation A offering to the SEC. Regulation A offering allows you to solicit openly to accredited and non-accredited investors. For example, people may have seen AHP Servicing as an example of a Regulation A offering, where you could invest a minimum of $100. MWMfund is a Regulation A offering.
Those are primarily the main ones that I’ve seen in the note space. I have been planning this for a while now. The summer of 2021 is when I started looking at it. It was when the Build Back Better Bill was starting to discuss the whole IRA investors and what you could invest in syndications. That’s when I was like, “I’m going to come up with a way that IRA investors could invest in something and how could they get around it if this were to ever pass.”
Lauren laughs at me because I don’t know how SEC filings on the weekend and how many CPAs I’ve spoken to structure this entire entity, to basically be structured differently than everything else to give us an advantage. It’s been a work in progress. It was kind of the turtle progress of, “Brian puts this together and stuff, but no rush.”
If he says, “No rush,” don’t believe that.
It was similar to the first fund that I did. I was like, “Let’s put it together. Let’s have it sit and collect some dust.” John Keith says, “I’ve got a $1 million pool. I need somebody to take down and stuff.” I raised my hand, “Here we go, and let’s dust it off the table.” Lauren had been working for me part-time and she’s looking at getting back into tech and she had another offer from another company. I told Brian, “Brian, let’s step on the gas and I need this done by this date.” We originally wanted it on March 1 or April 1?
You said March 1 and this was the end of January. “There’s no way that’s happening. Let’s try for April 1.” We then waited until April 7th. It was done by the 3rd, but we waited to file to April 7th because of the number seven.
You described the investor profile somewhat, but what is the asset profile look like? Can you talk about that?
Our primary focus will be non-performing notes, but we leave the opportunity open to other asset classes of real estate with the amount we’re looking to raise. We need to leave it open if we want to take down small multifamily or buy rentals. I’d say we probably not do an Airbnb or anything along those lines. We left it open to invest in notes or other aspects of real estate.
That’s smart for multiple reasons. One is Chris has a ton of experience in other non-note asset classes, especially commercial real estate and I know you guys do as well, Lauren. Secondly, nobody knows what’s going to happen with the economy with inflation and interest rates. Why not be Dave Van Horn? You can pivot based on what’s happening in the economy and what investors are looking for, and then you can do multiple things in one fund. That’s awesome.
Again, you mentioned that this whole thing had been a big undertaking. When we talk about, “We wouldn’t be able to file by March 1st. We had to wait until April 1st.” It’s because the process you have to go through to get qualified by the SEC isn’t like any other offering where a lot of the offerings are Reg D offerings. In this one, you have a team, a broker-dealer, a transfer agent, a specific attorney, an escrow agent, and a CPA. A team of experts are all helping you submit one document and then, throughout the REIAs are helping you manage it. It’s much more regulated submitting this 140-page document. It’s been fun and exciting.
Chris, this new venture is mostly everything. What else are you going to have outside of that? Are you still buying notes in your own portfolio? We have a fund together, but beyond that, will you sell partials, do anything else, or is it pretty much all of this new venture?
It’s going to be mostly this new venture. We’ve got existing funds that do have a sunset period. The sunset and a lot of the partials that we have, we’ll continue to do those, but we’re not going to do any more new partials for the most part because the minimum investment in this new entity that we’re structuring because you can be accredited or non-accredited is a very low barrier to entry as well. My whole plan was always to try and offer something for everyone, whether it was a partial. We used to do JVs or different funds for accredited. Now this offering takes everything I had that was spread out into multiple different asset classes, compacts it all into one, and puts it together.
That’s music to your bookkeeper’s ears.
That’s music to everyone’s and my wife’s ears.
Everyone except for the people who work for you. We’re like, “Chris has all this energy to throw out one thing instead of ten. We’re in trouble.”
That’s where we brought Delaney and Chi early on because they were helping me manage this portfolio. They’ll understand things. Lauren was thinking six months down the road for people. I’m like, “No, I need them now because we need to get them on board. We need to train them. It is an added cost that I’ve been able to fund, but I wanted to make sure because the gas pedal is going to be on when I go.”
Lauren, do you have any final words for us?
I don’t. It’s been fun, Jamie.
Any recommendation for anyone who works with me?
Always have a note and bolt.
Chris, do you have any final thoughts?
Thank you, Jamie, for the last few years that you’ve been on the show. COVID blends everything through. Thank you for everything. I’ve learned a lot from you. You’ve been able to take me and put that parachute on my back when I run, so it does tend to slow me down a little bit, but it’s been a blast.
It’s been awesome. Thank you very much for having me. To the readers out there, it’s not goodbye. It’s just goodbye for now. I’ll be back.
I will have you back when you launch your new fund to talk about that.
I appreciate it. Any final thoughts, Chris and Lauren?
Go on and do some good deeds.
Thanks, everyone. Take care.
About Lauren Wells
I’m a mover and shaker with a passion for professional development and a track record for compassionate client development. As an experienced real estate investor with technology-based experience, I am committed to the human connection behind revenue targets and ensure that partnerships are created to build client networks.
I’m grateful to call Santa Barbara my home, and I enjoy giving back through service work in the community that focuses on creating opportunities for all. When I’m not shaking things up professionally, you can find me spending time with my family at the beach or planning our next backpacking adventure!