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  • Writer's pictureJohn Casmon

Making $1 Million on Your First Deal with Holly McKhann, Episode 19

Her first real estate transaction netted her and her husband over $1 million so it’s easy to understand why she traded in her calculator for a hard hat. But making the hard hat pink was just marketing genius. Holly McKhann, also known as Hard Hat Holly, has thrived as a rehabber with over 200 flips under her belt, and not a single one came from a direct mail or marketing campaign. On this episode, Holly shares her insights on the Southern California flipping market, managing contractors and how real estate agents are her secret to real estate investing. Listen Now!

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Key Market Insights

  • Saw the pink hard hat at a realty tea party and thought it would be great for branding and a conversation starter

  • Worked for Ernst and Young and did taxes for small businesses before fixing and flipping homes

  • First deal was a land development option in Orange Groves for 73 houses, which ultimately netted a profit of more than $1 million

  • Her husband, Scott focuses on larger development deals and Holly focuses on the flips

  • Has never sent out a direct mail, instead focuses on relationships and word-of-mouth

  • Markets: South Orange County for buyers, north side of LA for flips (current projects are in Hesperia near Victorville, Indio near Palm Springs)

  • CPA rehab deals – rehabs that only need Carpet, Paint, Appliances

  • Works with partners to JV where partner puts up the money, Holly handles the rehab and they split the profit

  • Now, Holly pays 8-10% return monthly to investors

  • Do background checks on rehabber or any partners

  • Only visit sites 3 times during the project; uses Google Sheets and has the contractor allocate to each line item

  • Get bids for labor only, she manages the materials

  • Tries to avoid the million dollar homes, wants something that will sell 30 days or less

Bull’s Eye Tips:

Winning Your Market: Build relationships with local realtors

Tracking Market Changes: Talk to realtors

Daily Habit: Listening to podcast and audio books


Best Business Books:

The E-Myth for Real Estate Investors by Michael Gerber, Than Merrill and Paul Esajian

Digital Resources

Trello -

Google Sheets -

Tweet This: “Do background checks on rehabber or any partners”

“Get bids for labor only, you manage the materials”

Places to Grab a Bite:

South of Nick’s –

Connect with Holly:



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