Real Estate Agents who Serve Investors
When I first began investing I became agitated at the Real Estate profession. The agents themselves were, for the most part, decent people. Just like in any walk of life there are good ones and there are bad ones and a lot in between. The problem was that they are all trained by their brokerage companies with material that is at least 95% focused on the owner occupant, not the investor.
Real Estate Agents are inherently driven to succeed and are sincere in their desire to help us. The challenge was that although they wanted to help me they didn’t know how. My neighbor was one of my first agents. I would explain to her what I needed and invariably she would call with properties that would not work as investments. For example, when Flipping for Profit (Read Flipping For Profit Without The Risk, visit MyInvestmentServices.com for your copy), one of the key metrics in investing is that the investor has to purchase a property for at least 30% below market value for the neighborhood in order to make money. That is bare minimum without any remodeling. The last straw for me when deciding to get my Real Estate license was the call I got with an urgent message about a house that was for sale for $95K and it worth $100K.
Realtors who don’t invest themselves don’t understand the rules of engagement for investors. For the most part they do understand the rules of engagement for owner occupants. I was in the business of investing not educating Real Estate Agents how to work with investors. As my business evolved I decided to share what I know with investors who want to become agents and vice versa. Want to learn more? Great. Let’s get started.
I believe that investing in Real Estate is the best path to realizing the American Dream and I was fortunate enough to have a great teacher when I first got started at the ripe old age of 23. I eventually went on to get my real estate license but I only used it for myself. In fact I didn’t want other people to even know I had it!
When people would ask if could help them buy or sell a home I said “No”! Ha. I can laugh now.
As I progressed in my investing I was often invited to be a guest speaker at various Real Estate Education seminars. I was even on the radio a few times. That led me to teach others how to invest. The students I taught always asked if I could be their real estate agent. Once again, I would politely say “No”. I am notoriously stubborn.
After about the third class I decided I would be a nice guy and help two students from each class by representing them in the field. I wasn’t too excited about the money – yet! When I told twenty-five students I could only help two, I learned one of the fundamental laws of marketing – the law of scarcity. After I realized how much demand I created by making myself scarce, I decided to command a minimum commission from the investors I taught.
Something very important was happening while all of this was going on. I was creating a system for using my license as an income producing asset. My Bachelors Degree in Computer Science and eighteen years in Banking Systems and Operations was paying off big time. This system enabled me to keep on investing and at the same time break all kinds of records in Real Estate sales. One year, 2008, at the height of the great recession when ½ of all Real Estate agents got out of the business, I single handedly serviced one hundred and ten clients with no team or any assistant of any kind. In the middle of the worst economy in eighty years my Real Estate Agency business was growing while most others were dying. I promise that if you follow the suggestions in this blog that you too could be an “Investor/Agent – Making More Money, Not More Work!”
A little history about the author Gary Wilson:
Gary has been a Scout Master in troop 194 of the Greater Pittsburgh Region and involved in scouting for more than a dozen years as an adult and was a scout as a boy. He started investing in Real Estate at the age of 23, less than one year after graduating from Old Dominion University, accumulating a 250-unit portfolio while teaching others to do the same.
He ranked in the top 5% of all Realtors in the Western Pennsylvania market, according to annual Five-Star surveys. He is a licensed broker in Pennsylvania and Virginia. He achieved the Platinum level of service while launching and growing Win Realty Advisors, LLC which he merged with Keller Williams to create the KW Win Realty Team.
Gary merged specifically with Keller Williams because of its Core Values and priorities- God, Family then Business. In fact, no other Real Estate Company has as much in common with the Boy Scouts of America as KW. Gary currently teaches thousands and coaches hundreds of other investors who want to realize the pleasure of Rental Profits Without The Pain.
For more information on this please call me at 1-800-931-2605 or email Gary@WinReatyAdvisors.com. You can also learn more by visiting MyInvestmentServices.com.
Financial Independence, Financial Freedom
Every one of us, including you, wants to be financially independent. You think you know what you want but deep down what you really need is to be financially free. This blog will give you yet another tool in your arsenal to achieve financial freedom and independence in less time. Let’s get started.
A Tale of Two Roles
Over the years I often thought I was the only investor who went on to get a real estate license. Every now and then I would come across someone who like me was an investor who, usually out of frustration, obtained their real estate license too. And just like me they really didn’t want other people knowing that they had it either. In fact, in almost all the investor courses I had taken and investor books I had read, the authors usually created the impression that it really wasn’t necessary for an investor to get a real estate license. Some of these real estate gurus were actually a little anti-real estate agent! In their eyes, real estate agents were very expendable and were simply another tool, and not even really necessary, so real estate agents could be used and not thought of once the investor got out of them what they wanted. No wonder so many investors struggle!
Ironically, I discovered that many of these gurus actually had their real estate license! The bottom is that investors rarely figure out how to find a great real estate agent who really knows what they’re doing when it comes to investing, and investors rarely make an effort to understand real estate agents and the role they can play as a valuable team player on the investor’s team. The primary role of the investor is to invest profitably. In order to do that he needs to run his investing empire as a business. And in order to do that successfully he needs highly valuable players on his investing team.
Real estate agents almost never invest. I have only found a few who started out as real estate agents and then got into real estate investing – I mean in a meaningful way. I have observed in almost every instance that agents who went on to invest invariably apply the rules of the owner occupied world of real estate to the investor world of real estate. It doesn’t work that way. Never has and never will. The two worlds have completely different sets of rules. I call these the rules of engagement.
I have also observed that most real estate agents really don’t want to work with investors. Real estate agents are taught to work primarily with owner occupants who want to buy or sell their own homes. They are rarely, if ever, taught how to work with investors. In fact, a lot of real estate brokers and experienced agents tell other agents not to work with investors because they waste your time. That’s because they simply don’t understand investors and the world of investing. They are trying to treat investors the same as they would treat an owner occupant. That doesn’t work. Everybody gets frustrated and everybody gives up because they think the other person stinks, or doesn’t listen, or doesn’t know what they’re doing.
I can tell you from first-hand experience that it can work. I have been doing it for a long time. I actually prefer working with investors because unlike most owner occupants they usually know what they’re doing. They are efficient and I get tons of repeat business from them. I don’t have to keep looking for more and more new customers. I have all the customers I can handle. There were times when I was actively practicing with my real estate license that I would have more than twenty contracts going at the same time. And remember, I had no help. And I was still investing myself and even managing several dozen of my own properties! I did it by understanding both roles of investing and real estate agency and I developed a system to make the most money with least amount of work!
What Comes First, The Chicken or the Egg?
I am often asked “Should I get my real estate license first before I start investing?” or “Should I state investing first before I get my real estate license?” I’m not a lawyer but I have learned to appreciate the stock lawyer answer to almost every question – it depends!
If you are young and just starting out or you are more experienced in life (i.e. – older) and starting over, you may need to generate cash flow like yesterday! If that is the case you likely don’t have cash saved away anywhere either. In this situation I suggest getting your license first. It’s quick and easy. You can then service the people you already know (your circle of friends, family, neighbors, etc.) other investors, and you can also participate in wholesaling. With wholesaling you control and profit from property without actually owning it. To learn more about wholesaling please read Wholesaling for Profit so Everybody Wins. You can find this on the MyInvestmentServices.com website. You can also call 800-931-2605 or email Beverly@winrealtyadvisors.com. Wholesaling is also a great way to grow your database of investors and future partners in larger real estate investment deals like apartment complexes, shopping centers and office buildings.
So, if you need cash flow and you don’t have cash saved you need to generate commissions asap and save some of those commissions!
If you have some savings and need cash flow then perhaps you should invest in a few rental properties first to generate some passive income. This will give you a more solid base from which to operate. You could also get your license at this time to generate some commission income as well. At the very least you get to earn commissions on your own deals.
If you are already investing I suggest getting your license asap. You are not claiming additional income that you should be claiming. As mentioned above, you can earn commissions on your own deals and if you locate more investment opportunities that you can’t take on at the moment you can present them to your clients and at least earn commissions. Of course you could wholesale them too by either doing a net listing (in some states) or a straight wholesale through an LLC where another agent does the work and you can earn a referral fee. These are a few opportunities that we will explore more lately.
If you are already a real estate agent I suggest you get in the investing game asap. I’m not suggesting that every real estate agent should invest but if you are a real estate agent the rest of the world looks at you and asks, “If you are an agent then why don’t you own a lot of investment property since you know so much?” How’s that for applying pressure?
A much better reason is that you will be able to leverage your real estate license and use it more as an income producing asset. Moreover, there is no other investment in the history of the human race that has had more impact on more people’s lives. If you are a fully engaged real estate professional then you are by nature an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur you should naturally gravitate towards real estate investing. If this does not describe you then I assume you view your use of your real estate license as a job instead of using your license fully as an income producing asset that is being run like a business.
The difference is that with the former, if you go away on an extended vacation and don’t work then your production will suffer. I know it will suffer because in addition to not being able to effectively service your clients you will probably not be lead-generating either.
In the latter case, when operating like a business, you will likely have someone executing your lead-generating activities for you and you will likely have team members who can continue to take listings and work with buyers. The bottom line is that if you are a true real estate professional then you really ought to be thinking like an entrepreneur and operating like a business.
OK. Back to the subject of this blog. Consider this. If you follow my model, you will create your own market serving both the supply and demand side. You will not be competing with 95% of other agents who only serve owner occupants who are competing for one-and-done owner occupant transactions. You will be building your own community of repeat business. It is a business that is easy to systematize. You will be more inclined to invest yourself correctly and thereby diversifying your income. You could go on to create your own brokerage business. You could go on to create your own property management business. Need I say more?
For more information visit MyInvestmentServices.com website. You can also call 800-931-2605 or email Beverly@winrealtyadvisors.com.
Written by Gary Wilson, June 6, 2014.
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