Is it Time to Become an Investor Friendly Agent?

It’s a crazy time to be in business, banks are collapsing, interest rates are still increasing and inflation is still on the rise. Maybe its time to diversify your career. Investors are ramping up to take advantage of this economic climate because this is where the money is made.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • How can your site convert clients?
  • How to generate more referrals.
  • What being authentic looks like in the marketing world.


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Real Estate Marketing Dude

The Listing Advocate (Earn more listings!)

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What’s up, ladies and gentlemen, welcome another episode of the real estate marketing dude podcast. Oh, holy crap, is there some news out in the world today, bank failures SVB, the markets shifting high interest rates, what’s going on? Welcome to the show, folks, if you have not been in one of these before, the reality is these are the opportunities that people in the real estate business in the industry wait for, because there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity anytime there’s a paradigm shift within the marketplace. And if you’re a real estate agent, if you’re a lender, what we’re going to be chatting about today is why and how you should be putting on your damn investor hat on because the best deals in the real estate market are not had when everyone else is buying a bunch of houses, and they’re paying peak values, the best deals are had when no one’s buying, because that’s when you buy at bottom. And we’ve seen this happen before about 10 years ago, give or take a little bit longer than that. And I’m not saying it’s gonna be that big and bad. But I am saying that if you’re an agent, you need to diversify. I see people going to sell solar right now I see people going to do so many different things. And one of the things that should always be something an agent, and most people in this business graduate towards is becoming an investor themselves. I mean, you come across these opportunities on a daily basis, why the hell are you passing those opportunities to other people versus just taking them on yourself and building wealth for your family. And be honest, you didn’t get into this business to sell houses your entire lifetime you got in this business to build wealth, and be in the know, and leverage your knowledge to create whatever wealth it is you want. So what we have today is that so we’re gonna be chatting about how do you become an agent investor? How do you become an How do you go from agent to investor? And how do you become an investor friendly, you want to be investor friendly, because who’s gonna be buying in this next coming market, I’m gonna be primarily a lot of investors. That’s why you wanna become investor friendly. And whether you’re working with them, or you’re taking them down yourself. It’s a, there’s a shortage of the amount of agents that really are investor friendly, and therefore there’s a high demand for him. So we bring on a return guest. Coming back onto the show. And this is his niche. He’s an investor. He’s an agent, and I want to see exactly what he’s doing and how he’s doing it. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and welcome Tom to the show. Tom. What’s up, dude?

Not too much. Thanks for having me on. Definitely interesting times right now for sure.

Why don’t you tell everyone who you are, where you’re at what you’re doing. And then I got all kinds of questions for you.

Yeah. So again, my name is Tom caffarel. I got started, like a lot of people as a real estate agent. And it really wasn’t until I started investing in real estate that I got traction when I was an agent, like a lot of agents, I was on what they call the real estate rollercoaster, which is like, I’d have a really, really good month, make 10 or 15, or $20,000, think I’m going to make a million bucks that year, then not sell a house for two or three years. And I went through that for a while where it was just like, I feel really good didn’t have anxiety that I was never going to have another deal again. And it wasn’t until I did my first investing deal a wholesale deal, where I made $115,000 That really, my perception about what can be done in real estate has changed. Since then, I’ve fixed and flipped over 1200 homes, I’ve got a 300 unit rental property portfolio, I’ve got a real estate brokerage that focuses on helping agents achieve financial freedom through investing in real estate. And really my main motto for kind of what you alluded to is like sales will make you a living, you can make good money as an agent, but investing will make you wealthy. And as a broker owner, every agent that walks through the door tells me they got into it, they got into being an agent because they want freedom. Yet, most of the time, they’re running around like a chicken with their head cut off. If one of their buyers wants to see a house 200 miles away from where they’re sitting, they’re gonna jump the next day to go there, whether they’re going to make money on it or not. So it becomes one of these things where you think you’re getting into real estate for freedom. But a lot of agents never achieve it because they never invest. And you alluded to, you know, selling solar, and all of these other things that people do. You don’t need to do that if you have one or two or three cash flowing property. So there’s a lot of unique strategies that we use in order to do that. And he talked about going from agent to investor, I like to blend the two I like to be both and maybe sometimes when somebody does so well investing, they stopped selling homes, but I like to be able to take the approach of doing both because I think they kind of like adds fuel to the fire.

So I love that but I’m sure I’m not sure how your business model is set up. But I’m guessing that you lead generate using your investor offer and then when 90% of them don’t work and then you turn on your real estate agent hat.

Exactly. So and we do it for for two ways, right so we do it for quick turn hits of income fix and flip and wholesales but then we also do it to buy houses And one thing that people kind of get confused when they think about buying and holding properties is they think, Well, why would you ever need to generate a lead in order to buy and hold the property? The reality is you don’t, unless you want to accelerate quickly, let me just explain that, you know, real real quick so your audience can understand this. If you go right now and you buy a multifamily or you buy a rental property on the multiple listing service today, with the market potentially falling, or let’s even just say it’s flat, the next time that you’re going to be able to get money out of that house, this can be 3456 years later. So one of the reasons why he say they don’t invest in real estate is because they don’t have money. But you don’t need a lot of money to invest in real estate when you’re buying these properties at a discount. So let me just give you like a simple example, let’s say that a property would be listed on the MLS for $500,000. Let’s say you generate an off market opportunity to buy that property for 400. rather than you having to wait two or three or four years to refinance and pull an equity line, you might be able to do it in a year. So it’s it accelerates the amount of properties that you’re able to buy cars, once you have two or three or four assets. Now every year or two, you’re able to pull equity out of each one of those for down payments on more properties. But if you’re always paying retail full market value, that’s going to be a really, really slow process. Not that you can’t get there. But it’s a difference between becoming financially free in three to five years, versus like getting there in 20 years. And of course, I’m sure all of your listeners and myself, we want this thing as fast as we can.

Yep, I think the biggest struggle, I think a lot of people have those making the mental shift of going from, because you’re you get your license, and then you just get brainwashed into this highest and best, highest and best, highest and best, highest and best. And then real estate agents just believe that they have to sell the property to highest and best but you guys have to realize that guys like Tom don’t exist. If not everybody wants highest and best. Some people just want to get the hell out of the house. And we don’t we fail to realize that sometimes the highest and best offer for somebody is accepting a cash offer and get them out of whatever situation they’re in. And that’s where a lot of this stuff starts. I think agents feel that they might be taken advantage of somebody or something when they blow by a house. And then they believe that they have this fiduciary duty. But folks, you don’t ever do business at scale or anything unless you’re truly I believe in unless your heart surely in the right place. And you’re actually helping people because an investor with a very bad name doesn’t last long.

So let me tell you the story about how I did my first deal. I’m just going to relate to that I was just going to ask you about Yeah, so that deal where I made $115,000 on it. I showed up as with my agent hat on not my investor hat on. I knocked on the door. The seller opened the door, she barely would let me in. I had to, like really convince her to let me in. I’m walking around. I’m seeing that a bunch of junk everywhere. I’m not thinking anything of it. I’m thinking this is going to be a great listing for me, I sit down at her kitchen table, walk through all the listing stuff she has no you don’t understand. I want $300,000 For this house. And I do not want to show anybody You’re lucky I let you in because you seem nice. But looking back, I mean, it’s very simple situation. She was a hoarder. She said I lived here my whole life. I don’t want anybody to know what the inside of my house looks like, if you can produce me an offer for $300,000 I will sell. If not, then I’m going to find somebody else who will. And that was like, you know, a big, you know, red light. A lot of times they don’t happen to that extent where somebody’s so explicit, but it took being that explicit because it was my first deal. I probably ran across other opportunities like this that I missed. So I had an option, okay, yeah, you could try to list the house. But she told me she’s not listing the house. So it was either me gonna figure out how to do an investment deal that way, or somebody else was going to do it. And it’s not most most sellers, like most sellers, are looking for highest and best. But I can tell you 101 reasons why some sellers choose knowing that they can get more money to take a cash offer. Sometimes it’s literally as simple as that I had one the other day, seller was older. She’s lived in the house for 40 years. The markets really tight still, there’s still not a lot of inventory out there. She said, I’m willing to sell for x, but I want you to be able to buy my house when I tell you. And the reason is because she was moving close to her daughter 60 miles south. She wants to take her time. She wanted to say I see a property I like tomorrow buy my house tomorrow. If I see it in nine months, nine months and you know this type of stuff is it’s common for us because we go on so many appointments, but it’s something that like, I don’t know, like you said brainwash like I I think it’s just a lack of awareness that like, there is a market out there. And again, this market winning exists like all of these companies, these home buying companies, they wouldn’t exist. If the seller didn’t want this as an option, and five to 10% of all sellers do.

Yep. And I with what you guys are gonna see right now, like, the vast majority of real estate agents right now don’t know what a shift is. They haven’t been around in the market that they have. I think someone gave me a stat on one of the shows, I forget which one but I think he or she said it was over 90% or something like that. They don’t know what a shift is. And they just you don’t know what you don’t know. But like, what I believe is going to come down the pipe is I think there’s going to be distressed I mean, this is distress is where the buying opportunities go. Because these investors, whether it’s Tom or somebody else, they’re buying properties that are either in probate, well, your death there, or they’re upside down or their financial issues, or there’s usually something else there they need to move. There’s a there’s a why. And there’s a an issue and underlying issue that the person selling needs to have resolved. And it’s not always top dollar. Go ahead, Tom.

Well, no. Another thing just on that point that we’re seeing now that we haven’t seen in a long time is people who have their houses listed calling us and three, so agents, you’re talking about agents not seeing a shift, right? Agents have been able to go into the living rooms of sellers for the past three, four or five years and say, Hey, you don’t need a cash offer, because I can get you top dollar in 45 days. And that’s basically been true for a while now. As the market starts to change, they go to list the house you go wait, I think getting off for the first weekend, you told me that this to close in 45 days, or 30 days or whatever the amount of days. Oh, wait, there was an inspection, the buyer backed out, like a year ago at this time, or maybe even like 18 months ago, at this point, spec, things weren’t even happening. Right. So like people were sellers were almost getting similar to cash offers on the retail market. But now that’s changing. So there’s a there’s a whole pocket of sellers right now that they’re aging sometimes are believing that they can get them out of that house in 45 days. And they’re calling us mad at their agent saying, my agent told me my house would be sold by now it’s price, right? Why isn’t it selling? Can you time was important to me? Can you make the timeline still happen? And it’s not like that’s happening in droves right now, because the market hasn’t shifted to like a crazy extent. But it is starting to happen now that the market is shifting.

That’s a really, really good point. How are you? Are these opportunities just coming across your desk? Or what do you How are you finding them and say, Okay, great. I’m an agent, what am I doing off the market? How am I finding these properties? Like, am I just waiting on the MLS? Or on the pop up? What are you doing?

So there’s a lot of different strategies that people can take, I’m going to tell you kind of my strategies. But one thing to kind of keep in mind if you’re an agent, and you don’t want to like try to generate a lot of these opportunities. The first step I think is to have awareness that they exist, and to be able to take advantage of them when they’re put in front of you. Like you may go on a seller appointment or somebody in your office might have a listing or somebody might call you at least a couple times a year agents will have this stuff just put right in their lap. Yeah, so keep in mind I’m going to talk about the strategies but keep in mind that you don’t need to necessarily be a seller lead generation machine to take advantage of some of these opportunities but the way that I do it there’s there’s a few different ways most of them are paid you know, I went from door knocking myself and cold calling myself and doing kind of like the heavy lifting myself when I had no marketing budget to start and doing things that that need money that require money, but when I first started, I would just go out and knock on doors and this is stuff again that agent should do anyways in order to get listing opportunities. But I would always go in with a cash offer first, because I felt that even if they know an agent, they want to know my cash offer. So I always got in the door a little bit better having the cash offer. So I used to door knock and I used to cold call. But then once I started getting some money I started to invest that money into mailers are always huge pay per click Facebook ads, TV. And one thing that I’ve done like with my own brokerage and that any agent can do is network with other agents and tell them that you’re an investor. Most agents know a ton of agents. I mean, it goes without saying you’re co brokering with people. You’re in office meetings and one of the best ways to get these type of opportunities brought to you is just to let other agents know Hey, you bring this deal to me if I flip it you’re gonna get the listing back or if you bring it to me I’m not going to co broke it and giving them and you know a Reason to kind of bring it to you. But it’s not much different really than generating a regular traditional opportunity. Like you can spend time you can door knock cold call text, all of that stuff network, social media, or you can pay you can do mailers, or pay per click, or Facebook ads, or TV or radio and all that good stuff. And it just boils down to do you have the money to make your life a little bit easier? Or are you in the face still, like I was in the beginning? What you needed to do the sweat equity component?

Yep. So you’re saying I have to work, man. That’s, that’s tough. That’s tough. Yeah, I mean, if you guys have money, then you like it, when people with video all the time. They’re like, I just did a presentation this morning. And then someone’s like, how much videos should we do a month? And I’m like, Well, that depends on what your budget is, you know, and what you’re willing to take on. If you wanted to hire us to go out and outsource all that crap, great. We can do it. But the cost would be this. If you don’t have the amount of money to invest in editing and distribution, all that other stuff, then you have to learn how to do it yourself. Either way, not doing it at all, is not an option anymore. No, no differently than than this. So this is all really, really good. Now, I want to go through and have a couple more questions is when you show up with a cash offer, I want you to walk everyone through conversion because most people and agents I believe, like they’re scared to insult somebody. Right? And that’s it’s I was too before I was ever I’ve ever bought a house or anything if like, I wouldn’t even be I was such a I was such a sissy that I hated. And just I hate sales guys. Like I hate sales, like when it comes to negotiation. I just don’t like arguing with people. It’s just not my personality. And I think a lot of people are sort of wired that way. But how do you get the Coronas to go out and present a low cash offer? Walk me through like your process? Pretend I’m a seller, for example.

Yeah, for sure. So the first thing that I’m going to do is I’m going to walk you through what the difference in the process is between a traditional listing and a cash offer. And I’m going to make you tell me through a series of questions, what you want, are you looking to get top dollar to deal with a little bit of a hassle, have people in your house and all that stuff and get top dollar? Or do you want a more easier convenient route? Cash, no contingencies, no inspections, choose your closing date, I’m gonna explain to them like, before I even run my numbers, there’s a price to pay for that service, right? If you want a service, you have to pay in order to get it. And I get them to tell me that they understand this, right? You understand that? If I’m not going to do an inspection, I’m gonna buy it cash, I’m going to closing your timeframe, all of that good stuff that you want, you have to get less money for it. Right? There’s there’s no such thing as getting top dollar and getting all those those benefits. Do you understand that? And like, if they don’t understand it, I will not give a number until they understand it. And maybe I’ll talk to them for 15 minutes about the difference. Until they understand that I’m not giving a number because if they don’t understand the benefits, then it doesn’t make sense. If they don’t value the benefits, I’m not giving them a cash offer either. So if they say well, I don’t care about no inspection, I can wait as long as I want. I’m willing to do repairs and go cash offers not for you. Let’s talk about getting you top dollar, right because a cash offer all that’s going to do is make you think that I’m trying to rip you off. I’m not I’m trying to get you what you need. What do you need? So, um, let’s just say that they get to the point then that they’re like, Yes, I need a cash offer. I want a cash offer, I’m willing to pay for the benefit, etc, then I’m going to start to talk to them about pricing. And what I like to do as much as I can is get a price from them first. Now, that’s not always possible. It’s very easy to say that. But I’ll do it in a different way. Like I’ll use like a price anchor and the price anchor. I love to use as the assessed value. The assessed value in my market tanked smart.

Pay attention, guys. It’s really smart. So I like what happened to Zillow value. I actually go out and get that one because I have one on Zillow too, but it’s never really that accurate.

Well, you know what, like, no matter what, no matter what price anchor you use, it’s going to be it’s not going to be you saying that that’s the number, right? So yeah, that’s

what I love about it. And that’s great. So they can’t like if you’re not the bad guy.

If you say, Hey, your assessed value is 300,000. They can’t get mad at you because you just read it off the tax card, right? So I’m not going to tell them the value of their house is 300,000. But I’m going to say your assessed value is 300,000. Like how do you think your property compares to that? And almost immediately, you’ll kind of get a read because they’re either going to be like, oh, like I think my property somewhere in that range, maybe a little higher, or they’re going to do the retail response, which is like my house is worth so much more than that MSA. You’re right it is like listening Yeah, we have to go this other way. Yeah. So, you know, to me, like, what I tried to do more than anything else is like you go to the doctor’s office, and the doctor is gonna say, hey, you know, are you ready for a pinch, pinch coming, whatever getting somebody prepared. It’s called an upfront contract and sales, I will not give them an offer until they say, Yes, I’m ready. And I think that they’re ready. And again, if they are just giving every single sign that they want top dollar, I’m not going to try to convince them that they should get a cash offer. And I may leave not even giving them a number. Or I may leave, the other thing that I do, if I think it’s more retail is I might give a range. Rather than saying, like, you know, My offer is going to be 300,000, I might say, like, My offer is going to be in the low threes or, you know, low to mid threes, just to kind of like, answer the question about what the offer would be. But then go back to retail, again, I’m trying to buy the house. And so as I’m saying all of this, I’m only focusing a little bit more on retail, because that’s typically where things go. Because the misconception that a lot of sellers have when you present a cash offer is cash offers going to be basically the same amount as what the retail price is going to be. Maybe you deduct a commission. That’s kind of what they’re thinking. And, and that’s not their fault. It’s just that they have never gotten a cash offer before so they don’t understand. So yeah, I mean, once somebody tells me that they really want a cash offer, and it makes sense for them to get a cash offer, then I feel more comfortable because somebody may push back and say, your offers way too low. But if I really understanding, I know how important a cash offer is to them. Let’s say they tell me a simple, simplistic thing. I need to be out of my house in 30 days, there’s an auction, like, I don’t care what you think your house is worth, the only way you’re getting that is through a cash offer process. So depending on the situation, I feel good, like I don’t feel like I need to have guts to tell somebody that because it’s actually in their best interest.

explaining all their options. Yeah, and its pros and cons. Pros pro this, that’s it.

And really like more than anything else seeking to understand what’s important to them, so that you can help advise them on what actually makes the most sense. And I think when you go into that, it with that it’s a lot harder for somebody to get mad at you. Because you’ve been transparent and you know, let them know. I mean, of course, there are situations where you walk in and you just know it’s a cash deal. You know, maybe it can’t even find the ex traditionally. And they say well, my property’s worth 450. And you’re like, well, it doesn’t matter what it’s worth. It has to be a cash buyer because the septic failed or this happened or that happened and it just needs to go cash.

Yep. So if I’m, what’s the first thing I think knowledge, you sort of said it like, you need to know how this stuff works. Because you’re right, every agent comes across one or two home runs a year, when you’re not looking for it. A lot of the investors out here in San Diego wasn’t quite this way in Chicago, but in San Diego. Most of the investors I know out here get all of their deals from realtors. Yep. And they just position Hey, use my cash offer and they get introduced to them. And many of them are realtors, too. Yep. And yeah, it’s very simple. Like, hey, double ended deal, I don’t want to commission on it. Or let me be your hero with a cat my cash offer. That’s really what it comes down to you guys. So it’s not like you have to overthink the the marketing of this you can talk to a lot of people just like you would if you’re just a regular real estate agent just start talking to the right ones. But don’t overthink this at the same time. What what a strategy wise, what do you see coming on right now and just conditions? Or do you like the flip market right now? Do you like the whole market? Like what do you anticipate in with this bank failure? And then what does this bank failure, in your opinion have to do with the investing market going forward?

Well, the first thing with the bank failure that has changed pretty much on a dime is interest rates. So you know not to get too technical about this. But it seems like we might have peaked with interest rates, which in the end of 2022 was a real concern for both the residential market and of the flipping market. You know, there were definitely deals that I had out there sitting a lot longer when rates went from 3% to 7%. And people were just in shock. And so now the rates of dip back down and they seem like they’ve plateaued, the interest rates are a little bit more normalized. I don’t love the flipping conditions that exist right this very second, unless you get a really good deal, which you always can. So what I kind of look at is if I’m going to do a flip deal right now, and I do over 100 a year so I still flip very actively. I want something that can be very short. in duration, because there’s so much uncertainty about what’s coming, that I don’t want to be flipping in a different market, I don’t want to be selling in a different market than I started again. So most of the stuff that we’re focused on and that we advise people to focus on is, can you get anything out in like 45 days, if you can’t, this might be the time to pass on it. Because the wind probably on the pricing wind isn’t at your back right now, where it was a year to two years ago, with buy and hold. There is, it is always a good time to buy and hold. And I believe a lot less than the timing of buying and holding, than flipping. So flipping the asset valuations are so important, because if you get that wrong, you’re losing money. Now, some people will argue, well, you know, rental properties are overvalued right now, as we’re talking. And I don’t necessarily disagree with that. But I think if you get them off market, and you get them at a discount, the key for buying and holding, which is the real strategy, like it’s cool to flip houses, but you really want passive long term wealth. And the way that everybody gets it is bit by bit. So unfortunately, unless you’re worth, you know, 20 plus million dollars, you can’t really time the market on rentals, it’s not really possible, because unless you have this pot of gold on the side, and you go, Oh, it’s time to go in. It’s bit by bit by bit. So you want to just accumulate, you always want to be in the accumulation phase for rental properties, but making sure in my opinion that you are able to get them at a discount up front. So that you’re always able to tap that equity in the not too distant future. So I think you always need to be accumulating.

So really good way to put out it. So never scared to buy hold. Just make sure the numbers make sense. Because you’re always gonna win in the long run. But if you’re flipping Be very careful. 45 days and that means no big projects. No huge projects. Focus on cosmetics, quick turns, stay away from structural. A lot of that additions stuff of that nature, guys. Very well done, man. Any closing thoughts? I don’t have any more questions for you. I think you laid it up pretty, pretty damn nice. You have a Facebook group, I believe that you carry this conversation on. Do you want to start or where that’s a?

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think the biggest thing, you know, for me, like for a parting word is just to say, most agents know that they should invest in real estate, but 90% of them don’t. And the key really is to get educated and to start by learning. Okay, and there are so many objections I get every day, why agents can invest and don’t have money, now’s not the right time, all this stuff. Put all of that aside, right now, if you understand that you need to invest, start by getting educated, you don’t need to, if you come to a two day event, if you listen to a podcast, you don’t need to actually take a whole bunch of action, but you need to take the action of getting educated. Because even if you think you’re going to be get ready to do something in six months, start the educational process to do it better now. And like you mentioned, I’ve got that Facebook group that people can visit at WWW dot agent I do a live stream every Tuesday at 11 o’clock, all the contents free. I do have you know, additional resources like if people want more one on one mentorship, but I try to give away all the content that people would need without ever having to kind of meet me in person or shake my hand or get on the phone with me. But of course we have next level steps for people that do want to get more involved in active with me. But yeah, www dot agent

Love it, dude, keep doing what you’re doing. And folks, hopefully this episode opens your eyes a little bit into it might be time to shift shift with the market. And sometimes when shifts happen you have to shift with them. That’s all I can tell you in 20 years of doing this and experience I can just tell you ride the waves ride the waves ride the waves, and the real estate mark is always changing. So you just have to change with it. Whoever does always succeeds. So ones who don’t, that I see go out of business or churches and other career or just so on and so on. So I appreciate you guys if you guys want it to once you leave us a review right here or visit us on our social profiles, follow us on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, just look up real estate and ask us some questions. And if you’re looking to create any types of content, and you need to literally get your face out there, start converting more of these leads or just build a brand visit real estate marketing We’ll script and distribute all of your video content so that you stop looking so damn creepy and start being a whole lot more approachable online. So I appreciate you guys listening. We’ll see you guys next week. Bye bye. Thank you

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