Building an Out-of-State Empire by Using the Right Type of Real Estate Agent

Knowing how to find a real estate agent is one thing. Knowing how to find a truly investor-friendly agent is another. While most real estate agents and realtors can show you homes on the market, send you MLS listings, and do the needed paperwork, investor-friendly agents do much, much more. These types of agents are so important to a real estate investor, that they can be thought of as a more permanent part of your team. They’ll find deals, leads, help you run numbers, and give you what you need to grow your real estate portfolio. But how do you find them?

This was a question that real estate investor, agent, and coach, Sarah Weaver asked when first getting into out-of-state investing. In fact, Sarah was doing more out-of-country investing than most other investors. As a digital nomad, Sarah was traveling throughout the US, Canada, and New Zealand buying rental properties without ever laying an eye on them. She was able to do this thanks to her rockstar real estate agents.

Now, after almost perfecting the long-distance real estate investing strategy, Sarah is back to share with rookie investors how they too can find an investor-friendly agent to help them scale. If you haven’t already, check out the BiggerPockets Real Estate Agent Finder Tool, you’ll instantly have access to dozens of investor-friendly agents in your area that can help you close on your next deal!

Ashley:

This is Real Estate Rookie, episode 159-er.

Sarah:

Sometimes I get pushed back on, why do you use an agent? And I think it goes back to, what do I want my life to look like? And I don’t want to spend time, money and energy on mailers and cold callers, or even hiring a cold caller.

Ashley:

My name is Ashley Kehr, and I’m here with my co-host, Tony Robinson.

Tony:

And welcome to The Real Estate Podcast where we celebrate every episode that ends in a nine with the famous quote from Tommy Boy. We’re also here to bring you good information about real estate investing and hopefully give you the inspiration, education and everything you need to get started. Ashley Kehr, what’s going on? What’s new?

Ashley:

Well, I’m working on a cabin remodel right now. I bought this tiny little A-frame cabin that I’m just in love with and it’s gutted. And today the bathroom was being put back together. So I’m really excited for this project. It’s actually going to be a short-term rental, Tony.

Tony:

Boom. I can’t wait to come check it out, stay for free. Obviously, that’s a perk of being a co-host of yours, right?

Ashley:

Yeah. You’re going to be the first guest that gets to come and stay in the cabin.

Tony:

Yeah. I’ll leave you a very brutal and honest review, so just make sure that everything’s up to par. I’m a very tough critic.

Ashley:

Yeah. The experienced short to rental investor, to me, that’s had one Airbnb arbitrage going on here that you would be very upset if you saw how this whole Airbnb was ran, I’m pretty sure.

Tony:

Well, I’m happy for you. I’m excited.

Ashley:

Thank you. So Tony, what’s new with you?

Tony:

Yeah. We’re keeping busy as always. We’re closing on a property, actually today. I just got an email while we’re recording that we just recorded on that one. So it’s going to be another rehab for us. We’ve got, I don’t know, gosh, four different rehabs we’re working on right now. We’re actively looking for more short-term rentals to pick up, so more of the same, but I’m super excited right now.

Ashley:

What market are you looking in for properties? Maybe some of our listeners have deals they want to send to you.

Tony:

That is actually top secret. We’re keeping that a secret until we actually close on some deals first, because what I’ve noticed is that-

Ashley:

So it’s a different market?

Tony:

It’s a new market.

Ashley:

It’s a new market for you? Okay.

Tony:

Yeah, It’s a new market. It is a new market. So we’re keeping it super top secret until we can close and maybe like two or three properties because I’ve come to realize that as I talk about some of these cities, more and more people start coming in and it’s not always working to my advantage, but we got a few places we looking at.

Ashley:

So Freeport, Louisiana’s just got to be booming with investors coming there? Wait, is it Shreveport or Freeport?

Tony:

Shreveport. Shreveport.

Ashley:

Tre?

Tony:

No, Shreveport. There we go.

Ashley:

Oh, Shreve.

Tony:

Shreveport.

Ashley:

I’ve been way off this. How long have we been talking about this property? For two years?

Tony:

Maybe that’s why I no ones bought it because they keep looking for a Freeport, Louisiana and they’re like, “There is no Freeport, Louisiana that I can find.”

Ashley:

I’ve actually offered people money to go buy this property just so we could stop talking about it and no wonder why no one’s taking me up with the offer because they can even find the town.

Tony:

Because it doesn’t exist. It doesn’t even exist.

Ashley:

That’s Ashley Kehr, she’s trying scam us all.

Tony:

Yeah. Next you’re going to start talking about your Bitcoin trading seminar, your forex trading class.

Ashley:

Yeah. Watch out for me sliding in your DMS, guys, just to tell you how Tony Robinson has helped me make this such money in forex trading.

Tony:

Changed my life. Yeah.

Ashley:

Yeah. Well, that’s awesome, Tony, working on multiple rehabs. And I see on Instagram too, is that you’ve been building your team.

Tony:

We have, yeah. We added a few acquisitions folks, we added someone for social media. And then we’re actually meeting up a little bit later today with someone who might help us with our events and coaching business too. So just a lot things coming down the pipeline. We’re continuing to try and ride the momentum.

Ashley:

Awesome. Well, keep us all up to date on what you got going on and you guys can follow Tony at TonyJRobinson on Instagram. So if he does have any more job openings or internships, you guys can be the first to apply.

Tony:

Let’s know where to go. Yep, yep.

Ashley:

Okay. So today’s episode is going to be a little different. We don’t have a rookie investor on, we have an experienced out-of-state investor who is actually in Guatemala right now doing this interview with us. And she travels around the world and buys her investment properties. She does short-term rentals, mid-term rentals long-term, and she uses real estate agents to help her do this. So she’s going to talk about the advantages of having investor friendly agent on your team, how to find one. And actually, BiggerPockets has a great resource. If you guys want to check it out right now or after you listen to this episode, it’s biggerpockets.com/agentconnect.

Ashley:

All you have to do is put in what market you’re investing in, what strategy you’re using, and it will actually connect you with other real estate agents that are in that market, whether you’re local to it or out of state. And then you can go through and vet them. But these are all investor friendly agents that you are going to be connected with. So it’s like a dating site for you and an agent, matchmaking. You set your location, your radius, whatever it is.

Tony:

Yeah. You swipe left or swipe right on whichever agent meets your criteria. But now, I love this feature of the BiggerPockets website because finding an investor friendly agent is something that so many people talk about when they’re trying to get started. And BP’s really simplified this whole process for new investors. So you don’t have to go out there and shake a bunch their hands at the rear or try and find other investors and get them to share their people. There’s a platform, go on there, start connecting. It makes it super, super easy. And as we go through today’s interview, you’ll I think hopefully get a better understanding of why having an investor friendly agent like the ones you find on the BP Agent Finder is so important, because Sarah’s literally been able to build a business, a real estate business through exclusively using agents to find her deals. So I really, really loved her story.

Tony:

And she was on the OG Podcast. What was the episode, Ash?

Ashley:

It was episode 563. So after you guys listen to this episode, if you want to find out more information about Sarah, go check that out on the OG Real Estate Podcast, episode 563. And she gives her backstory, everything like that, how she got started in real estate investing, what she’s doing now with her investing. But also talks a lot more about finding an agent, working with agents, and then also how out-of-state investing and how out of the country investing even how she is able to do that. So if that’s something you’re interested, make sure you go back and listen to her episode.

Ashley:

Sarah, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for joining us. Do you want to start off with just telling us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in real estate?

Sarah:

Absolutely. So I started in real estate back in 2015 as a real estate agent. I sometimes joke that I was an agent for about five minutes, because I fell in love with traveling and I knew I needed to find a way to work remotely. And so now, I’m really excited to say that seven years later, I have a thriving real estate coaching business, I coach real estate agents from wherever I want. Right now, I’m calling in from Guatemala.

Tony:

What a super interesting background and story that you’ve got. When we have [inaudible 00:07:44], you have this beautiful terrace that you’re sitting in front of, and I’m in my office in Southern California, it’s not nearly as much fun. But yeah, I love the story. And hopefully, the folks that are watching and that are listening can get inspired that real estate in so many ways can build this lifestyle that certain people dream of. So just from the jump here, you’re giving a lot of inspiration to folks.

Sarah:

Oh, thanks, Tony. And as an investor, it really has paid off to invest long distance and invest out of state, because then investing from New Zealand or Nebraska or Kansas or Canada, it doesn’t really matter, it all feels the same. So I actually just went under contract last week from Guatemala in Des Moines, Iowa.

Ashley:

Congratulations.

Sarah:

Thank you.

Tony:

Yeah. Congrats. Now, Sarah, we brought you on moreso to talk about your expertise on the Asian side of things. And before we jump into that, I want to take like two minutes. You mentioned buying real estate while you’re in other countries where there are a lot of people who are watching the show that couldn’t imagine buying anything outside of like a two or three-hour drive from their house. So if you had to give, I don’t know, maybe two or three tips to someone that wants to effectively invest from a long distance, what would those be?

Sarah:

Yeah, I think first you have to have crystal clear deal criteria. You have to know what you’re looking for so that you know when you see it, and then you have to take action. You can look at deals for hours, weeks, months, years, and not pull the trigger. But at some point when a deal matches your criteria, you have to write an offer.

Ashley:

So Sarah, having investments out of state, you must have some kind of team that is helping you purchase these, whether it’s walking the property or helping you get financing. What does your team look like to make this happen?

Sarah:

The team is crucial. None of this would be possible without my real estate agents. I call them investor friendly agents because they are investors themselves, they know what I’m looking for as an investor, and they do exactly what you said, Ashley, they walk the property, they send me videos, they’re putting me in touch with contractors, general contractors, plumbers, the inspector, property managers. I’m really diving deep into their Rolodex.

Ashley:

Let’s talk about that more or as to how you even found these agents to work with that you’re relying on so heavily, because I think several other people we have talked to and had on this podcast, it’s maybe their key person is the contractor or their key person is the property manager. So I’m very interested in hearing more about the agent being the key person and what their role is. So first, how do you find these agents and how can someone else find an agent?

Sarah:

Yeah. There there’s a lot of different ways, but the best way to do it is obviously online. I don’t live in these markets, a lot of times I’m not even from that market. I had never even been to a market that I purchased in. So you have to go online. And so obviously the best place is BiggerPockets. I think you guys even have somewhere that people can look for agents, where is that at? Or what is that? And then I can talk about other ways that have done it.

Ashley:

Yeah. The BiggerPockets Agent Finder, so it’s biggerpockets.com/agentconnect, where investors can go. Basically it’s like a matchmaking service for agents and investors. So once you go on a site like this and look for an agent, what are some of the things you look for in an agent or maybe questions that you ask?

Sarah:

Absolutely. I want to hear about their investing experience as well as their investing criteria. It often serves me if their criteria is a little bit different than my own, because as a real estate agent, if there’s agents listening, your job should be to find off-market deals. And the first question should be, “Should I buy this?” And if the answer is yes, then buy it. And then the second is, if it doesn’t meet your criteria, then you should be selling it to us investors. And so I want to find out more about the agent, how are they finding deals? That’s where I find out really quickly that if they’re just going to put me on a drip campaign with like an MLS search, that’s not the right agent for me.

Sarah:

And I can find that out right away by asking them, how are they looking for off-market deals? How are they lead generating? How are they finding properties?

Tony:

Sarah, I think that’s great advice about getting more insight into what that agent’s criteria is. But I guess here’s a question that a new investor might be thinking, and something that I thought as an investor myself, if this is a seasoned agent, someone that has maybe a big Rolodex of investors that they’re already working with, they’re a well-known commodity, how can you as a rookie break into their inner circle and actually be one of the people that they share some of these pocket listings or off-market deals with?

Sarah:

Oh, I love this question, Tony. I call it, how can you jump to the top of the list? Because that’s what we all want, right? I want to be the one that gets the deal that they find. And so I think as an investor, especially as what you call a rookie, I think you have to be prepared. So you need to be pre-approved and able to finance the deal, you need to be 100% committed to buying in that market, and then you need to have that crystal clear deal criteria. I don’t know if it makes sense. Do you guys want to hear what I include in that criteria?

Ashley:

Yeah, that would be great. As specific as you can get, we love.

Sarah:

Absolutely. So I will typically text the real estate agent, my purchase price for each thing. So like for example, if I’m open to a single family, which lately I’ve been telling myself to stop buying single families, but if I’m open to a single family, I have a for that. And then the price is different for a duplex, a triplex and a fourplex. So for rookies out there, the reason being is that you are going to be able to take into consideration the income from the property toward your DTI or toward you getting pre-approved for more money. And so I have a price point for each of those types of property.

Sarah:

In this case, like in this scenario, I’m looking for four units or under, because I want to use conventional financing if I can. So the purchase price. Then of course the deal type. So that includes single family, duplex, fourplex, and then also what class of neighborhood. Typically, I’ve been buying in B class neighborhoods or maybe B- neighborhoods, but everyone’s criteria is to be different. Next, I have a renovation budget. So my agent knows that I could spend up to maybe 50,000 on a single family, or when I’m talking about a duplex or a fourplex, I typically say $10,000 per unit, or maybe it’s $15,000 per unit.

Sarah:

But if you guys are listening and you don’t have $50,000 accessible, then don’t put that as your deal criteria. You really need to figure out how you’re going to finance the rehab because on a lot of conventional loans, you can’t tie that rehab back into the loan. But rehab basically how dilapidated of a house or how value add, which is the euphemism for, it needs a lot of work am I willing to go? And then I have a cash-on-cash requirement, a realistic cash-on-cash requirement, I should say. And then I also have a cash flow per unit. And so I think that’s everything. Tony or Ashley, do you think I forgot anything?

Ashley:

Well, Sarah, I have a question. So when you present this criteria to an agent, how are you making sure that they even know what this means, that they even understand what cash-on-cash return is or that they even know how to estimate what a rehab budget is? They’re being your eyes on this property, so how are you trust them when they say, “Oh yeah, this was less than $50,000 rehab”?

Sarah:

Yes. I love that question. So typically, I’m having them send me a deal. In today’s market, I say, “Send me a deal even if it’s not available.” So send me a deal maybe that you found last week or send me the last deal that you purchased or the last deal that a client purchased, and then I want to see the numbers. So are you using a deal calculator? Do you have your own spreadsheet? Are you using BiggerPockets’ spreadsheet? Send me a screenshot of that spreadsheet. And then I’m checking their numbers. And that’s a great point, is that I have had agents send me photos of a property and they’re like, “It’s 40,000 in rehab.”

Sarah:

And I look at the photos, I’m like, “No way. That’s 75,000 minimum.” And then of course I go under contract on that property because it was still a good deal. And I was right, I had a GC walk the property and give me an estimate, and it was 79,000. And so I was able to say, “I told you so.” And it was a great learning opportunity for the agent. And so I’m also like, I am willing to teach agents a little bit. Obviously, it’s part of my business, I coach real estate agents. But as an investor, I am hoping that they know that information.

Tony:

I love the point that you made as well, Sarah, about you and the agent, maybe not having the same exact criteria because there probably is a little bit of, what’s the phrase? I don’t know, some overlap there that can maybe not be in each person’s best interest. But I also love the advice of coming prepared and showing that agent that you’re serious. Because someone who comes and says, “Hey, I just want a good deal,” versus someone that comes and says, “Hey, I’m looking for three bedrooms, two baths, but at least 1000 square feet in this square three mile radius, this condition, this year build.” Just by nature, the agent’s going to take that second person a little bit more seriously.

Tony:

And I just want to share one story because it always jumps out of me when I ask that question. I have a friend who was a new investor, he lived in California where I’m at. He was looking to invest in Huntsville, Alabama. And he was having a hard time finding deal flow. He ends up on BiggerPockets, finds a wholesaler out there. And he’s asking questions, trying to get more information about this wholesaler’s operation. And the wholesaler’s busy guy, has plenty of clients already. And he tells my friend, he’s like, “Hey, if you’re really serious, come out here to Alabama, come meet me in person.”

Tony:

My friend says, “Okay.” He hops on a flight, flies out there, spends an entire day with that wholesaler. He just shuttling him for the day, and they get this real relationship. He ends up on like four or five houses from the guy. So who are you going to take more seriously? The guy that just randomly hits you up on Facebook or on BiggerPockets or the guy or girl that wants to hop in a flight and spend an entire day with you just to build that relationship? I’m not saying you guys need to all go hop in a flight somewhere, but just figure out what you can do to put yourself above and beyond those other investors.

Sarah:

Tony, I love that story because that is one really great way to be taken seriously. I typically don’t fly to places like Alabama, I want to fly to places like Guatemala or Brazil, no offense to anyone in Alabama. But I mentioned that because there’s other ways to what I call like hop to the top of the list. I think one of them is being pre-approved and ready. And so if you have a ton of questions about a market, your agent is not Wikipedia and that’s not their job to convince you to invest in that market. There’s so many other resources out there for you to gather information. And I would use other investors who invest in that market as a sounding board and really… I see my agents time as really, really sacred, and so I try my best not to be a time waster.

Ashley:

I think too, as rookie investors, you need to think about what you need an agent for. So for me, I need an agent to unlock doors for me, get me showings. And then I need agents to drop the paperwork because I don’t like paperwork, I don’t like contracts, I want someone else to do all of that. That’s what I need an agent for. So I don’t need an agent to know the market, I don’t need an agent to tell me the value on properties, I can analyze a deal. But if you are a new investor and you need help with some of those things, then those are going to be part of the agents that you’re going to interview them and ask them what they do know.

Ashley:

So Sarah, can we talk about that a little bit more? What are some of the things that a good agent should know and what they shouldn’t know? So you just said you shouldn’t rely on them to know the market, things like that. Can you go into that a little bit more?

Sarah:

I want them to know the market, but I’m not going to be the one asking them a bunch of questions. So I do want them to know because the other thing I didn’t mention in my deal criteria strategy is what is your strategy? Is this a long term buy and hold? Is this a short-term rental? Is it a medium term rental, which is kind become my sweet spot, that like 30 day plus typically traveling nurse. And so now my agents know that, “Okay, Sarah wants more medium term rentals.” And so they’re looking around the hospitals, close vicinity to a university.

Sarah:

And so I do want them to know the market, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t want investors to get on the phone with an agent and drill them with 30 questions about, why should I invest in Omaha? That’s a really quick way to have that agent never call you back.

Tony:

And I think it’s an important distinction, because like you said, there are so many other ways to get that information. And that’s part of your job as the real estate investor to do that market research, to network with other investors. The agent can be there to maybe point you in the right direction. Like for example, when we first went into Louisiana where I started my investing career, I knew I liked that city, but the agent was the one that helped me understand which blocks to avoid and which blocks I wanted to be in. So that more nuanced information is what you should look for. But I totally agree, you shouldn’t go to an agent and say, “Hey, sell me on why I should invest in X, Y, Z city.”

Sarah:

Yeah, because Ashley, you mentioned it, that agent already has a long list of investors to send deals to, and you’re trying to get to the top of that list. And so I think investors need to be careful about what they spend their time asking agents to do.

Tony:

So Sarah, can we talk a little bit about just how to make the relationship between investor and agents successful? I think a lot of times new investors can have maybe unrealistic expectations about what their agents should be doing for them. So as a new investor, how can I make sure that that relationship is successful?

Sarah:

Yeah. I think the investor needs to be willing to do a lot of due diligence. So once you go under contract, there’s a lot of things that need to happen. Your agent likely will schedule the inspection and hopefully they attend the inspection or someone on their team does, but then it’s not really the agent’s job to tell you what should get fixed, what you should negotiate for. The agent needs to keep themselves safe from liability. And so as an investor, you need to have somewhere else to turn to ask those types of questions.

Tony:

So I’m like Ashley where I don’t rely on… I’m probably one of my agent’s favorite clients because I don’t rely on any of them for a whole heck of a lot.

Sarah:

Are we sure Tony? Let’s ask them?

Tony:

I’m usually sending them the deals that I want them to submit offers on. I’m the one that’s analyzing all my own properties. For me really, like Ashley said, they’re helping me get into the properties. They’re helping with the transactional side of things that I don’t really want to deal with, but I don’t really need them to tell me what’s a good deal or what isn’t. Sorry, Ashley, I know you were going to add something to that as well.

Ashley:

Yeah. I was just going to say that, I think building a relationship with your agent is so important and it’s easy to think of an agent as they’re just there to do the paperwork or they’re just there to do the showing, but it really is so much more than that. They are such a crucial part of your team. So I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea that those are the only two things an agent needs, because you’ll hear people like, “Oh, in this market today, paying 6% commission, why would we do that? It’s so easy to have someone buy a house, to sell a house. It’s not fair that they’re making it.”

Ashley:

But can you maybe go into that a little bit, Sarah, what are some of the things that are really the value that an agent brings and why a rookie investor should have one agent on their team or multiple agents on their team?

Sarah:

Yes. I don’t even know where I would begin to do things without my agent. So for me, the agent adds so much value. So they’re giving me the best handyman in town who’s trustworthy and a good price, and they’re going to get things done because I’m not there to check the work. And so I don’t want to just get some handyman from angel list, I want a handyman that agent has used because they’re also going into my property, which sometimes are furnished, meaning I have belongings in there. And so the agent’s hooking me up with all of their contractors.

Sarah:

So the handyman, and then also, you know that phone call that you get from a tenant that’s like two months after close, I’ve built such a strong relationship with my agent that when the tenant says that something’s broken, I’m able to pick up the phone and call my agent, or in this case, text my agent. And they have someone that they can get there within 24 hours to solve that problem for me. And yes, people can find deals investors can find deals without agents. They can find probably great deals without agents, but I like long distance investing, and so the agent is so key to my success, even after close.

Ashley:

And they are free to use if you are buying properties too. It’s not like it’s an added expense by paying them a salary or paying them an hourly wage that it is free to you as a buyer, which is, even if you are doing direct mail or you are driving for dollars or sourcing deals other ways, why not have an agent on your team too?

Tony:

But Ashley, that brings up a good point about the pay, so Sarah, you’re using your agent in ways that in some ways go above and beyond what an agent typically does. For a lot of clients, they can’t call their agent and say, “Hey, help me with this maintenance requests.” So when those situations pop up, are you additionally compensating your agent for doing those things? Or is that just because you’ve brought so much business to them, through your purchases and sales that they do that for you for free? How can I set that up if I’m a new real estate investor?

Sarah:

That’s a great question. I am very careful with those text message requests. I’m not texting them every week asking for another plumber or another this, because we can get a lot of that information from BiggerPockets. The other tool I wanted to give people or trick I should say is I’ll go on Facebook and I’ll type in Kansas City investor in the search bar on Facebook, and all of these different groups will pop up. I’ll join that group and then search within that group, the word plumber, and then you’ll see someone two months ago requested the best plumber in Kansas City. And I take all of that information from the comments and put it into a Google Sheet.

Sarah:

That way, next time I have a plumbing issue, I’m going to my Google Sheet that I call my vendor list before I bother my agent. And then one way I have compensated agents in the past is I had an agent who also wore a property management hat and I self-managed that unit, but I did want help with what I call tenant placement. And so I think he charged 50% of first month’s rent. He ended up getting $175 more than what we had originally thought I could get for rent. And so I overpaid him, I gave him 75% of first month’s rent as a thank you. And you better believe that he still to this day sends me deals.

Ashley:

That’s a great point to bring out too, is we’re talking about how an agent is for you too as a buyer, but you can offer to compensate them for these extra things. My current agent when I first started working property management for an apartment complex, I was buying my first two properties from her. And then I also had her do all of the leasing at this apartment complex so I could go on maternity leave. And she made a ton of money, she made connections with the guy that owned that property. She met other investors and that grew her investor pool by becoming the leasing agent of that property. So that’s a great thing to bring up and I’m sure there’s other things too that you could offer an agent to pay them to do for you too.

Sarah:

Absolutely. And a good agent is going to have a Rolodex where no, I don’t offer that service, but you can call so and so, and that’s what I think is really important. And one thing that I get, sometimes I get pushed back on why do you use an agent? And I think it goes back to what do I want my life to look like? And I don’t want to spend time, money and energy on mailers and cold callers or even hiring a cold caller. That’s just not the life that I want for myself right now. And so I do rely on real estate agents to do that for me and then they get paid accordingly.

Tony:

Sarah, one follow up question into that is, do you feel that there’s benefit in a new investor and a rookie having more than one agent in the same market? Say I’m all in on Kansas City and I want to just dominate Kansas City, should I go out and have four agents that I’m working with in that one city to try and cover as many deals? Do I focus on going maybe with a deeper relationship with one agent, what’s the best way to handle that?

Sarah:

Yeah. This is a very dangerous question. So I want everyone to make sure that we’re not twisting my answer. So yes, I do work with multiple agents in a multiple market, meaning multiple agents know my ideal criteria. However, if I am like flying to Kansas City and I joke putting my butt in their seat of their car, then I really want to use that agent for any transactions that I find. And so real estate industry is very small and one really quick way to be blacklisted is to do someone wrong. And I do think it’s wrong to, for example, we talked about calling that agent and treating them like Wikipedia. Why should I invest in Kansas City? Teach me the Kansas City map. Should I invest east of 70 or west of 70? What about 71 in the Paseo?

Sarah:

And you’re asking all these questions, but then you go and write an offer with another agent, I don’t think that’s right. And so you have to be really careful. So what I do is I set expectations. I call it the expectation conversation and I have that with the agent upfront, I say, “I’m sending you my deal criteria, I’m also sending it to these three other agents in town.” And they all know each other, like everybody knows everybody. And so that doesn’t mean I’m not getting sent deals, but it does likely mean that I’m not on the top of that agent’s list.

Ashley:

But also you’re going with them if they sent you that deal, whoever sends it to you first-

Sarah:

100%. Yes. And don’t think that I do get sent the same deal from multiple agents and I will text them back, “Sorry, dude. Mindy sent it at 8:00 AM this morning. I kid you not, here’s the screenshot.” And then they’re like, “Damn it, Mindy.”

Ashley:

Well, I think too with having agents in a market with a multiple agents in there that you’re using and instead of leaning and relying solely on the agents to help you find where the best location is, like you said, west of the 70 or east of it to get into, I think going into the BiggerPockets forums and asking other investors in there too about the market. Also going to the BiggerPockets rent estimator, if you’re a pro member, you can get so that to see what rental comps are in different areas around town. And you can see, okay, when you get to this street, rent significantly drops. Why is that? Is this one a better neighborhood than the other one?

Ashley:

So using the BiggerPockets tools to analyze these different markets can get you at least a starting point. Then maybe you take it to the agent and say, “This is my criteria.” And then, “What do you think?” So you’re not asking them to do all of the leg work and to tell you exactly where to go, you’re doing your own research because you always want to verify anyways, you don’t want to go off of what somebody is saying. Even if Tony was to say, “I’m here to invest in Treeport or Shreveport or whatever it’s Louisiana,” that doesn’t mean you should just go and do it, you need to verify your own information anyways.

Tony:

Unless you’re buying the house that I have for sale out there, then everyone should go invest in Shreveport. And actually I kids you not, I think we’re maybe like three days away from finally closing on selling that property. So fingers crossed, the next time I get in front of this mic, I no longer own that place, but we’ll see. Sarah, you brought up a few really good points, I love that you’re really going deep on those relationships because I think the more, not necessarily saying that it’s like a favoritism thing, but I think the more that people know you, like you and trust you, the more willing they are to do business with you.

Tony:

And I think if you’re transparent, you’re open with them and you really invest in that relationship it does pay dividends, but things right now, I think it’s getting more and more competitive, and I think finding good deals is getting increasingly harder on market, off market, whichever way. So do you feel that this strategy, like going through agents is still a valid approach for 2022 with where the market is headed or do you maybe anticipate adding some other ways to find deal flow moving forward as well?

Sarah:

I think it depends on your needs as an investor. And so right now I’m really focused on my wellbeing and my health and my travel life and my coaching business, and I’m actively investing. And so I do think it’s dangerous for us as faces of real estate investing to only talk about how competitive it is and how hard it is to find deals, because there are still really great deals out there. I just went under contract, what is today? Three days ago on a duplex that my agent found me and it’s 18% cash-on-cash if I do it as long term tenants, but I plan on turning both units into medium term and it’s a 39% cash-on-cash return.

Ashley:

That’s awesome. Nice find.

Sarah:

Thanks. Well, it’s all about the agent. And it’s listed for, or I got it under contract for 207,000 and four doors down the exact same duplex just sold for 245. And then I just happened to own duplexes two blocks over and they appraised where it was a BRRRR that I just finished and they appraised for 265.

Ashley:

Wow. Awesome find.

Sarah:

And so it’s still possible. You can still do this guys.

Ashley:

Well, the properties that I have under contract, three of them were off of the MLS that I have right now. Actually, we just closed on one of them, but there’s definitely still deals out there. And it’s also getting creative with what you’re doing with them too. So just the different resources you have, the different strategies you’re using. If you are going to be doing your own rehab compared to outsourcing it, maybe you actually have more wiggle room than somebody who’s outsourcing all of it. So just because a deal isn’t a good deal for someone doesn’t mean that it’s not a good deal for you.

Ashley:

And Sarah, you touched on this earlier, how you work with agents and coach them to keep the good deals for yourself, but then whatever doesn’t meet your criteria, you pass onto the investors that you’re working with. So don’t think that if you’re working with an investor friendly agent that you’re competing with them, they’re still going to send you deals. They’re not going to keep all of the good deals that would be good deals for you. Do you want to expand on that a little bit more as to how you shouldn’t look at it as your competition?

Sarah:

Yeah. I think abundance mindset is so key in investing. Not only is it good for your mental health, but it’s also an attractive trait in someone. And so I actually coached an investor client last week and we were talking about a deal and I wanted to look it up online so that I could get answers like how much is rent, how much is taxes, and help her. And you know what she said, she goes, “Oh, I don’t want to tell you the address.” And immediately I was like, “Woo, woo, red flag. Wow, that scarcity mindset is going to push people away and people are going to be less likely to want to help you.”

Sarah:

And so I really believe in abundance mindset. I think there’s enough deals out there for all of us. And then Tony, you asked something earlier about why agents are sending me deals and am I compensating them? One thing that’s been really nice about my network is sometimes I’ll get sent a deal, it’s not for me, but it’s for one of my investor clients. And so I’ll immediately screenshot it and text it over to the investor and then connect the agent and the investor. And I just became both of those people’s favorite person. I think growing your network is so key, and in order to do that, you have to have an abundance mindset.

Sarah:

I’ve met investors in Kansas City that are like, “I’m not going to tell you how I find deals.” And so Ashley, I was like, “Okay, I’m going to find out how they find deals.” And by the end of the networking event, I found out that their secret was door knocking, I’m like, “Okay, bro, that’s not a secret. I’m not going to move back to Kansas City and become your competition for door knocking. You could have just told me you door knock.” And so immediately that guy was someone that I wouldn’t want to build a relationship with because that’s scarcity mindset and that’s just not attractive.

Tony:

Sarah, you make me think of a really good point, and this just applies to everything, not just finding deals, but I think just life in general, but that person that have that scarcity mindset, they’re letting their fear dictate how they interact with other people. And I think that the better you can get at solving other people’s problems, the more success you’re going to find. And you could solve someone’s problem because of your own unique skill or ability, you can solve someone’s problem by giving them information, you can solve someone’s problem by introducing them or making a connection between them and someone else.

Tony:

And I think especially as a new investor, because sometimes you get into this zone where you feel like you don’t have a lot of value to add to someone like Sarah or Ashley or Tony, some of the people that are doing this stuff in real estate that you want to do, but if you can better understood what each of those person’s problems are, what their pain points are and find a unique way to position yourself to be the person that solves it, you’ve immediately built up your ability to find success. So if someone came to me and said, “Tony, I’m going to buy your house all cash over asking in Louisiana,” we’d be best friends.

Tony:

If someone came to Ashley and said, “Ashley, I know the secret loophole that allows you to close properties in New York within 30 days,” they’d be your best friend. And if someone came to you Sarah and said, “Hey, I’ve got the best source for off market deal flow in whatever XYZ market,” they’d be your best friend. So just find ways to solve other people’s problems. And whether you’re a rookie, whether you’re experienced, you’re going to find more success, most definitely.

Ashley:

Tony, I think if someone did that to you, they overpaid for your house in Louisiana there, I think you would be overjoyed and happy, but you would also want to take their hand be like, “Let me help you invest correctly. Here’s short-term rentals.” Time is hard. Okay, Sarah, a couple more things I want touch on before we close out here is, are there any misconceptions that either maybe investors have about agents that you just want to debunk for us today?

Sarah:

Ooh, that’s a great question. Real estate agents are not your enemy, they should be a part of your team and they have access to a lot of deals and they are not going to remember you. And so you could talk to an agent yesterday and tell them, “Hey, I’m looking for a duplex.” And then Thursday, when they find a duplex, they will send it to someone else because they forgot about you. And that is not a dig on real estate agents, that’s just how it works. And so as an investor, you have to continue to stay top of mind. It’s okay to keep checking in with them.

Sarah:

I typically ask, how do you want me to stay in contact with you? Is it Instagram DM? Is it email? Can I email your assistant? Do you want me to text you? Do you want me to call you? Every real estate agent wants to be communicated with differently, and so I just ask them, how do they want to be communicated with, and then I stay in constant contact with them while I’m actively looking for a deal.

Ashley:

That’s great advice there. And I think that actually goes in general with anybody you’re working with is how to communicate because there’s so many different ways to communicate with people, like Tony, I know not to text him because he always has 100 text unopened in his inbox. So now I needed to know what lock to get from my Airbnb, so I just text his wife Sarah now, so I get an immediate response.

Sarah:

I love that. Tony, I have to say, Sarah is my new best friend because she sent me a referral last week. I have a business where I help real estate investors launch their Airbnb. So my team will analyze your deal, furnish your deal, do your house manual, everything. And Sarah actually sent me a lead last week. And so, thank you, Sarah.

Ashley:

She’s awesome.

Tony:

She’s ultimate connector.

Ashley:

Yeah. Sarah, do you have any last words of wisdoms or piece of advice for our rookie listeners today?

Sarah:

I think one thing that I’ve been noticing is that a lot of investors are getting really frustrated, and similar to scarcity mindset, frustration is also not an attractive trait. And so you can’t really tell a frustrated person not to be frustrated because that doesn’t tend to work very well, but I think what you need to do is if you’re feeling frustrated, which I do, I feel frustrated in real estate investing. Ashley and Tony, don’t you guys sometimes feel frustrated?

Ashley:

All the time. Yes.

Tony:

Yeah, absolutely.

Sarah:

So I think you have to check in with yourself and go like, “Why am I investing in real estate?” And for me, it’s so that I can travel the world, I’ve traveled 44 countries. I have a job where I only need my computer, and then investing is a part of my retirement plan. And so part of real estate investing is frustrating, but it’s so worth it. And so if you are a rookie out there feeling like, “Oh, how can I get anything under contract? It’s such a competitive market,” you need to take a moment to self-reflect and figure out, why am I investing in real estate? Why is this important to me? And how can I work through the frustration? Because you’re not going to be at your best when you’re frustrated or negative.

Ashley:

Thank you. That’s awesome advice, Sarah. Can you let everyone know where they can find out some more awesome advice and reach out to you or connect with you?

Sarah:

Absolutely. Probably the best way is via Instagram, it’s @sarahdweaver on Instagram, and honestly, all platforms I’ve monopolized Sarah D. Weaver. And then I also have a freebie for your audience. If they want to go to sarahdweaver.com/freebie, I have a downloadable for all real estate investors and agents.

Ashley:

Well, thank you Sarah so much for joining us. And rookie listeners, if you guys are trying to find your own agent or agents in a market that’s either local to you or an out-of-state market, you can visit biggerpockets.com/agentconnect, and you can find agents there and use the awesome information that you learned in today’s episode to connect with an agent. So Sarah, thank you so much for joining us. I’m Ashley @wealthfromrentals and he’s Tony @tonyjrobinson on Instagram. And you guys don’t forget to join our Real Estate Rookie Facebook group, if you are not already a member, we are growing and growing, and it’s a great place to ask questions.

Ashley:

If you want to get market specific and ask for help on analyzing a market, reach out to other investors on the forums or in the Real Estate Rookie Facebook group to help get advice on that. And before we go, let’s find out something that can help you rookie investors at biggerpockets.com.

2022-02-23 07:02:47

Source link

Recommended Posts