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Pistols and pit bulls

Pistols and pit bulls


Ashley and I were presenting at a Real Estate Investor Association (REIA) recently, where the topic was talking to sellers. During the presentation, we made mention that Ashley goes door knocking without me. This led to the normal safety questions from the crowd, which almost always includes, “Aren’t you afraid someone is going to pull a gun on you?” That night, that question came from another female who was very interested in this particular topic.



What I always tell people is that we live in the South. Southerners have guns. And when you’re door knocking, you’re more than likely going to see firearms. We see them propped up by doors, on bedside tables and sometimes we even see them in places where we think, “How in the world are you going to get to that if you need it in a hurry?”


But at the end of the day, a gun sitting around is not something we should fear. Of course, that statement is coming from a 6-foot-tall, 240-pound-man. Given this fact, I realize my approach might not automatically inspire the same confidence in the female real estate investors population.


In light of that fact, I’m going to turn this column over to Ashley and let her tell you about an experience she had right after that REIA.




Hello everyone. So, recently, I was out on a regular door-knocking expedition in Bartow County with Lucas, one of our employees. We felt like we were pretty far out in the country. You know, sometimes you get a little turned around when you’re out door knocking. We found a long drive with two mobile homes on it. You couldn’t really see the houses from the road, and neither of them were marked. That scenario can make me feel a little nervous, but it’s usually no big deal.


Both places were unkept, and so was the land. Plus, we didn’t know which house we were there to see. So, I just picked one and knocked on the door. Nobody answered. I told Lucas, “Let’s check the other house to see if anyone’s home.”


We knocked on the second door and then backed away to the end of the ramp to give the homeowner some space. At that moment, an older lady came to the door with a pistol in her hand, which is something I have never experienced since we started knocking doors in 2008.




Now, she wasn’t pointing it at us. As a matter of fact, she kept it pointed at the ground. She was just warning us that she had a gun and she wasn’t just a little old lady out in the woods who could be taking advantage of.


She asked us, “What do you want?”



I let her know that we were there because her house was being advertised for sale in the paper, but that the real reason we were there was to see if we could help her.


She said, a little miffed, “I guess you want to buy it, don’t you?”


I told her we were there to help in any way we could. If that meant buying the house, we’d try to do that. If it meant just sitting down with her to talk through her options, we’d do that, too. But our main goal was to help her find a solution.


My words defused her, and she invited us in. We spent the next hour and half listening to her, praying with her and allowing her to tearfully discuss just how she had gotten into this situation.


We didn’t buy the house, but we did get to help her.



Later that day, we came to another house. It was one we would normally knock on. But as we got out, Lucas and I noticed the owner had tied their pit bull to the front door. There was no way I was going there.


As we got back into the car Lucas said, “Well this has been an interesting day. If I had to title it, I would call it ‘Pistols and Pit Bulls.’” (Now you understand this columns title.)


To any ladies reading this, things like this rarely happen. While you’re out, just make sure you trust your intuition. I trusted mine, which told me the pit bull was more of a threat than the little old lady with a gun. Because of that decision, we really got to make a difference in someone’s life. And you can, too.


Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to or call Joe at 678-986-6813.

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