I've got another announcement about Blue Chariot! But I'm not going to let this episode be completely self-serving - just a little...
Welcome to Special Episode #28 - The Investor's Realtor - Announcing Blue Chariot Realty & Working With Realtors
That's right, I'm announcing another service offering from Blue Chariot - that being Blue Chariot Realty! But before I go there, let's talk about working with Realtors to get your first (or more) Rental Properties.
And while its on my mind, let me go ahead and just speak on one of my pet-peeves - it's REAL-TOR not REAL-IT-TOR. Its REAL (R-E-A-L) TOR (TOR) - where people get the additional sylibles in that I don't know. It is not Relitor - already? Already, that out of the way, now...
Contrary to current appearances, there are still deals to be had on the MLS. But you've got to know how to work with Realtors to get them.
Here's a shocker... Realtors want to get paid for their work (you know of any profession that doesn't?) - and the quicker the better. So they don't want houses sitting on market for even days if they can avoid it, let only weeks or months. And not every house that Realtors list on the MLS is in that ideal condition that will allow it to be posted on Thursday, open house held on Saturday and multiple offers on the table by Sunday night for it to be contingent / under contract by Monday morning.
And so as an investor, the secret to your success is finding properties that have a problem (or two) that you can solve. You're not going to make any money on a pristine house that sells at full market / retail price. If it's nice, pretty and essentially move-in ready for that owner-occupant buyer - you're not going to get it at a discount, or any price near what will result in a cash-flow positive rental for you. That house has no problems - and as an Investor, you get paid for solving problems. And the more complex problems you can solve, the more money you stand to make.
Can you solve foundation issues? Can you fix fire damage? Can you get a house that's falling apart, gut it, and then put it back together? Are you scared away by mold, terminates or potential environmental issues, like an underground fuel tank? How are you at handing title issues? Un-permitted additions? Easements? Variances? Encroachments? Sub-dividing? I could go on and on listing potential house problems, and it would still be an incomplete list of all the many different things that can come up from one house to the next.
So are you equipped to be a resource for that Realtor who just listed a house with a problem? Again, Realtors (like everyone) want to be paid for their work - and the quicker the better. So you've got a Realtor with a problem house - and you specialize in fixing house problems... Seems like a match made in heaven - but does the Realtor know about you? Are you even on their radar?
Ok, not likely when you're just starting out or if you've not done anything yet targeted to that end, but you certainly want to start laying the ground work to change that.
So there are many things you can do to start working with Realtors to obtain your first (or more) Rental Properties. But at risk of sounding ill-modest; wherever you live in the country, I suggest you start out by finding a Realtor LIKE ME!
No, I'm not referring to finding an extremely smart and good looking Realtor. I mean find a Realtor who is also an Investor / Landlord or even a Flipper. Why?
Yes, I know - you think that a Realtor who is also an Investor is never going to sell you a good deal, because if it was a good deal - they'd buy it themselves. Maybe... But that would assume this greedy Realtor is ready, willing and able to buy every good deal that comes their way. And my experience has been that you can't buy everything - so why not at least make some money on it by selling it to someone else who is ready to move on that property at that time.
If every so-called Investor was ready, willing and able to buy every good deal, then there would be no such thing as Wholesaling. You mean to tell me that there are no active Wholesalers in your market who also flip houses? There are no Wholesalers who also own a Rental Property of few? Of course there are active Wholesalers in every market who can't buy everything they come across. They might keep a deal for themselves here and there as able, but they offload far more for the cash. Well the same is true of Realtors who are also Investors / Landlords or Flippers. They may buy what they can here and there, but they represent the seller to get a commission on many, if not most.
But the reason you as an Investor want to work with a Realtor who is also an Investor - is that they get you. I don't know why, but despite having the keys to the candy store, most Realtors don't buy Real Estate and are certainly not investors. You'd be surprised just how many Realtors are renters - not even home owners. And for those who are, it is almost always just the home they live in - not an investment property. Sure, you have lots of investors who also happen to have their license, but Realtors who actively perform as Real Estate Agents and who also invests in Real Estate themselves... That is far too rare. I'm like a unicorn out here!
So most of the time we as Investors end up working with a Realtor who couldn't recognize a good investment property if their life depended on it. I see listings in the MLS all the time that say "Investor Alert" or "Attention Investors" - and then I see that its a duplex with 1 bedroom / 1 bath units rented for $500/mo each, with a tax value of $100,000 and they have it listed for $195,000. For those wondering... THAT'S NOT LIKELY TO BE A GOOD INVESTMENT! At least not as a straight minor rehab to rental.
Sure, there are plays where you can "pop the top" and go up or out to add square footage and more bedrooms - maybe an additional bath; or you knock it down and build new (essentially buying it for the land) - if it were ideally located in the path of progress with top dollar comps all around. But if you're not interested in anything that advanced or speculative, and you just want a property that you can rehab basically as-is to add another cash-flow positive rental to your portfolio - will the average Realtor know how to estimate rehab expenses? Will they know what rehab is needed to maximize the property value and rent? Will they know what a rehabbed version of the property is likely to rent for? Will they know anything about Rehab / Hard Money Lending; or the post rehab refinance into a conventional or commercial loan? And will they be able to equate any of this to a maximum allowable offer on the property to make it a good investment?
Maybe... But highly unlikely - unless the Realtor in question is also an investor (an experienced investor). One who owns rental property and has done rehabs to rentals of their own. A Realtor like me! But unless you live or seek to invest in the Raleigh / Durham (Triangle) area of North Carolina - regrettably, my excellence is not available to you - so you'll need to find a Realtor just like me - but in your market.
Did I mention how I'm the worlds most modest person? My skills and greatness as a Realtor is only exceeded by my modesty. But jokes aside... You need to find people that have those skills - as an Investor who's also a Realtor.
In fact, find several... Because each relationship you have with a Realtor who really gets investors (who IS an investor) - will be another pipe-line for deals. Sure, they might keep some for themselves; or every opportunity might not be just the right fit for your needs. But there will always be properties with problems (sometimes complex problems) for which the Realtor seeks a quick closing, even if not at the top price it might get weeks or months later. And there you are at the top of that Realtor's mind, known as a person who can solve complex Real Estate problems and who is able to close quickly. And you're known to be someone who always closes - not someone who throws out a ton of low-ball offers until something sticks and who then tries to renegotiate at the last minute on the few you do get under contract.
Your reputation will be critical when dealing with such Realtors. And none of this is to say that Realtors are not out there who are not Investors but who get you well enough that they can still work well with you. It's just more likely to be the case if they are Investors themselves - but make connections with as many Realtors as possible - and train them on what you're seeking. Make your criteria known and that you'll likely close quickly on anything meeting this criteria.
And despite being a Realtor myself, I let other Realtors know that if they bring me a deal, I'm happy to let them represent me as the buyer's agent, and so if they are also the listing agent - they can get paid TWICE. What's better to a Realtor than getting BOTH sides of the commission? And how much more are they going to like working with you knowing this? Having you in their back pocket is money - or as Randy Moss once said "Strait Cash Homey".
So how do you start building relationships with Realtors - such that they'll think first of you (and give you the opportunity) when they get that next problem property on their hands? Well, there are several methods - and I'll touch briefly on some.
First, I make use of a CRM for Real Estate Investors at: RealeFlow.com (strangely spelled with an E, R-E-A-L-E-Flow.com). It's not cheap, and I wonder if I'll continue using it going forward, as I've also got two other CRM systems - but it has some great features specific to being an Investor and Rehabber that the other's don't have. One feature in particular is an automated follow-up campaign (an auto-responder) with pre-written content that can be easily customized - allowing you to quickly put 6 months or more of engaging emails in a Realtor's inbox on some regular schedule that may both keep them thinking of you and educate them as to why they should want to work with you.
I use this in conjunction with trying to schedule a meeting or call (not always successfully) with 2 or 3 Realtors per week - and then add them into this system to stay top of mind. I'm also working to get into some local agency offices to conduct training of Realtors on how to work with investors - just so happening to let them know (hey) I am one in the process. Think, you can teach Realtors how to estimate rehab expenses accurately - and to then send you those deals before posting to the MLS - that are now hopefully priced correctly accounting for the rehab needed.
Get your name out there... Lookup who the Realtor was on all the properties sold in your area over the last year - that you would have like to buy, and contact that Realtor. Schedule a call or have lunch (YOU buy) - and thereby let them know who you are and what you are seeking that's not unlike that house they sold at 123 Main Street last month. Let them know that the next time they come across anything like that, meeting this basic criteria (that you fully explain) - Hey, contact me, as I'm buying and can close quickly. You can represent me and get both sides of the commission. And then add them to your email auto-responder campaign - and set a reminder to touch base again by phone every few months or maybe even every few weeks! You absolutely CANNOT do this consistently for several months and NOT get a deal eventually. And it will be that snowball, that once it starts rolling, picks up size and speed and continues on to amazing things.
OK, enough of that - now back to what's most important - ME! I'm officially announcing my Real Estate Agency - Blue Chariot Realty! Now hopefully you found that information on working with Realtors helpful, as like I said, I didn't want this episode to be completely self-serving and only be about my announcement. But in addition to speaking on working with Realtors, I also wanted to make sure that everyone (especially those here in the Triangle area of North Carolina) are aware that I'm also a Realtor.
My announcement is that I've now gotten Blue Chariot Realty established as a Licensed North Carolina Realty Agency - of which I'm the Licensed Broker-In-Charge (also referred to here as being the BIC). To be the BIC of an agency, you must be a full-time Real Estate Agent (full Broker) for at least 2 years (or something like 4,000 hours). There's a 12-hour course and application to become a BIC along with applying for a firm license.
Blue Chariot Realty now has its own firm license and I'm the Broker-in-Charge. Now there is also a ton that goes into setting up a Real Estate Agency, so further to that, I've joined eXp Realty - so it's Blue Chariot Realty, Brokered By eXp Realty. This allows me to hit the ground running with Blue Chariot Realty without having to re-invent the wheel of all the many thousands of things that go into creating a Realty Agency. I just adopt the eXp systems, policies, and procedures, benefit from their training and infrastructure - and then have direct access to all the other eXp agents - whether they be direct with eXp or quasi independent as I am with Blue Chariot Realty.
So if you're a Realtor anywhere in the country and want to learn more about eXp and joining yourself or your firm with eXP - let me know, as I'm happy to discuss. But for me, the best part of this is that I can now perform here as a Realtor in the Triangle area of North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill - and all the nearby cities within the Triangle MLS) - helping individuals buy and sell houses, while further growing the Blue Chariot Brand.
So for anyone lost as to what all Blue Chariot now does, let me recap. There's Blue Chariot, LLC (for short-term holds, flips, wholesaling - sometimes in partnership with others, so let me know if you want to partner with me on a deal).
There's Blue Chariot Properties (for long-term holds / rentals - some of which are held under various other entities or partnerships, themselves owned by Blue Chariot Properties, LLC).
Launched earlier this year, there's Blue Chariot Management (for Property Management of both my own and the Rental Properties of others - so let me know if you have a Rental here in the Triangle for which you need expert Property Management. The website for that is BlueChariot.Management).
There's Blue Chariot Media for this Podcast, Blogs, some book ideas I'm working on, and anything else I decide to get into in the Digital Media or Real Estate and Business Education space. I even seek to become a pubic speaker!
And now there's Blue Chariot Realty - my Triangle North Carolina Real Estate Agency to work with buyers and sellers of houses. So, if you know of anyone seeking to buy or sell a house here who could use the services of a good Realtor, please refer them to me.
Right now the website is BlueChariotRealty.com or jtsmith.exprealty.com - but we're working on a new version of BlueChariot.com to encompass everything that is Blue Chariot, and a heavy part of that focus will be Blue Chariot Realty, so when done, separate sites will no longer be required. Everything will be at BlueChariot.com - although the separate sites will still exist.
I want to THANK YOU for listening to the [... and Landlord] Podcast. My content to date has been focused mostly on the Landlord aspect of the title, but please note that I named the show: Husband, Father, Entrepreneur, Realtor... and Landlord! Not just because I am all those other things, but also because I plan to be speaking about each of those aspects on some level from time to time on this show. And so today I wanted to touch a bit on my being a Realtor. Hopefully it wasn't completely self-serving, as I also want to provide value.
A Zig Zigler quote is that... "You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want." - so in part, I'm doing this Podcast for that reason. To help other people get what they want, and I assume for you that is to get into and/or grow in Rental Real Estate Investing. But it goes beyond the Podcast.
Blue Chariot Realty has been established to help other people get what they want as it relates to those who have a house they seek to sell for best price; or those who want a deal on buying a house. So I'm training myself on negotiating and working with people to become as expert as possible to help others in this way. Checkout some of the books I've read in this regard at: andlandlord.com/books.
Blue Chariot Properties was created to buy distressed houses and rehab them into rentals. This helps the seller get what they want - out from under that property. It helps the neighborhood or community get what they want - which is rid of a blighted house and increased property values. It helps the eventual Tenant in that house get what they want - which is a great place to live. And when its a Section 8 Tenant, it also helps the Federal and Local Government get what they want - which is a family in a nice / stable home, avoiding or on the track out of poverty.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture - "You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want." - and that's what I'm trying to do with Blue Chariot. The last several years of my life, since I got into Real Estate back in 2015 have been the most fulfilling of my life. I've helped a lot of people, both directly and indirectly - and the rewards have been tremendous.
Another quote, this one anonymous... “Someone once told me the definition of Hell: The last day you have on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.” - what if I had been too scared to leap into Real Estate and never became this version of myself? I have a fear of public speaking, yet I started a Podcast and I'm planning on becoming a professional paid speaker. So don't let the person you are now stop you from becoming the person you could be - because that person is great. We all have greatness within us - go for it! Reach beyond what you think you can accomplish... I just purchased the house I've wanted for the last 20 years. I'll tell you more about it soon - but it would never have happened if I had not dared to reach far beyond my comfort level on multiple occasions. And I'll also tell you more about those soon.
So this is another special announcement episode - this time announcing Blue Chariot Realty! You may remember previously (in Episode #12) I announced Professional Property Management Services from Blue Chariot Management. Well, now I'm announcing my North Carolina Licensed Realty Firm (Blue Chariot Realty) - of which I (Jonathan Taylor Smith) am the Licensed Broker-In-Charge.
Further, Blue Chariot Realty has joined with eXp Realty - so its "Blue Chariot Realty, Brokered By eXp Realty". More on that later, but I did not want this episode to be completely self-serving, so I've also packed in lots of information about "The Investor's Realtor" and working with Realtors as an Investor to obtain more Rental Properties.
What makes a good Investor's Realtor? Well, of course, like I very humbly mention in this episode - you want a Realtor just like me! But if you're not seeking properties here or your not local to the Raleigh / Durham (Triangle) area of North Carolina - then you can't work with me as your Realtor. Instead, you need to find someone just like me, and so I go into a bit of detail to that end as to what you should be looking for in a Realtor.
You see, a lot of Investors do not want to work with a Realtor who is also an Investor themselves - for fear that such a Realtor will keep all the great deals for themselves. Hey - maybe so, but they can't buy everything! And getting in good with them, making yourself known as a real Investor who is able to close quickly on any decent opportunities - will make you far more likely to be top of mind when such an opportunity comes along that they can't buy for themselves.
So in this episode, I go into some of those details as to why you should WANT to work with an experienced Realtor who is also an Investor. Then I spend the rest of the time talking about myself and Blue Chariot Realty 🙂 - as what kind of a special announcement episode would it be if I didn't!?