The Good Stewards Real Estate Podcast

How To Utilize The MLS As An Agent Or Not

Episode Summary

There’s always an ongoing discussion of whether investors should be licensed agents or not. There are pros and cons to either side, but it’s always beneficial. Access to the MLS gives you the highest quality of detailed property information and other features that can help you maximize your time spent on your business.

Episode Notes

Agent VS Non-Agent:

2:01: Ryan is the only one of the Good Stewards who’s licensed, but Amanda has considered it.

4:00: Be careful of the trap of becoming an agent and getting commissions as kind of your source of income--commissions are quick short-term money.

6:45: If you are going “direct to seller” as a real estate agent, you have to tell any person you talk to that you are a realtor.

9:10: Being an agent is one of the very best ways to get into real estate investment. Property management is another good way.

11:01: In Oregon and Kansas City, they’ve built up a lot of great relationships with agents that bring us short sales, distressed property situations or other deals  that aren't going to work well on a market. They interim give us comps.

Zillow Is Usually Off:

13:05: The MLS has the best data because they fine agents who don’t upload correct information. Zillow on the other hand may utilize some of the MLS data, but they’re largely using information from 3rd parties.

14:20: Zillow claims to be within 2% of the actual sales prices. But in our experience it’s usually been 10% in either direction. One went as high as being 32% off.

MLS Tools:

17:00: Ryan’s favorite tool is utilizing the saved search function. Set a search for specific property types, listing expirations, etc and let the MLS basically prospect for you.

19:00: There’s really just two ways to get deals on the MLS. Be the first to make an offer or look at data points, going back in time and making “offensive” offers.

22:09: The best strategy for newbie’s on the MLS is setting a particular farm area, property type and then look for what listings have expired over the last 2 years. The best thing is that these properties have since appreciated and you can use that as leverage to get the deal.

24:20: The best feature of PropStream is the equity filter--Ryan uses it all the time.

Larger Complexes and Commercial:

25:50: These types of properties are usually acquired through relationships. You can utilize the MLS to identify who the players of those deals are. See if there’s one agent that usually gets those contracts.

27:10: You want to be the guy who’s everyone’s go-to in your market and get in on their pocket listings. If they know you’ll close, you’ll reap the benefits.

Not Having Direct MLS Access:

29:17: In Eugene, OR, it’s pretty easy to determine comps since the market is so small.

31:43: The Eugene team has even leveraged one of their broker relationships to mail letters in their name. He doesn’t do much work, but he’s someone we can bounce ideas off of on what it would take to get the property to top shape for a retail buyer.

35:00: Bottom line, if you want to treat this as a business, you have to have access to where all of the business has done.

Tools Mentioned:

23:15: Skip Genie -- unlimited manual searches for skip tracing.

23:58: PropStream -- “The poor man’s MLS.”

Connect with the Good Stewards:

Episode Transcription

Andrew: (00:00) Sales price tend to be, especially in a tight market like we've been in the last couple of years, they tend to be pretty tight with the list price. And so, Zillow has a way of kind of making their Zestimate look better than it actually is. I would say it's usually within 10% unless the property is in very bad condition or a weird one, like kind of rural or very odd for this neighborhood.

INTRO: (00:26) Welcome to The Good Stewards podcast, the only podcast dedicated to seasoned real estate investors who want to maximize the cashflow potential in their business. We are “buy and hold” investors with a thousand plus properties and markets across the U.S. who bring an insider's view into the nitty gritty details of real estate investing. If you're looking to develop the mindset teams and systems that can dramatically build your real estate business and net worth, you're in the right place.

Ryan: (00:58) Welcome to this episode of The Good Stewards podcast. I'm Ryan Dossey.

Amanda: (01:02) I’m Amanda Perkins.

Bill: (01:03) I'm Bill Syrios.

Andrew: (01:04) And I'm Andrew Syrios.

Ryan: (01:06) Good day, pals. I was told not to use good morning. Welcome to today's episode of The Good Stewards podcast. In today's episode, we're going to talk about why some of us are licensed real estate agents and the perks that come with that. The big, bad one being the MLS. But before we dive into that, we always want to connect with you. Be sure to visit us over at thegoodstewards.com. Subscribe to the podcast. And if you haven't already, make sure you snag your free copy of our eBook. Don't make a profit, create a fortune as always. If you enjoy what you hear, tell your friends. That's what we're here for. Trying to help as many investors just like you as we possibly can. So, kind of diving right in here. I think before we talk about the MLS, we need to address the elephant in the room, which is, “Should you get licensed?”

(02:01) I'm personally a huge, huge fan of being licensed for several reasons. The first being, it just brings a certain level of credibility to you and to your organization. Now you don't necessarily have to be licensed like Bill, Amanda, Andrew. None of them are licensed. I’m the only one of the four of us that is, but they have people that work for them that are. There was a pretty well-known private money lender in Indianapolis that I approached about doing a deal with me. And if you guys have ever had like a conversation that just doesn't feel like it's going well, this was one of those. I just kind of felt like I was being dismissed the entire time.

(02:46) And towards the tail end, it just came up in conversation that I was licensed and it was like somebody flicked on a light in the room and the tune went from kind of, “Yeah, you know, I'll think about it. If you need, feel free to keep my number” to like, “Well, what opportunities do you have that I could look at?” And it really was that he went from feeling like he may potentially be lending money to somebody that could be like a fly by night type to somebody that's licensed and held accountable to the state. And he could file a complaint if I ran off with his money or something, right?

(03:18) So, I've personally noticed that it really kind of unlocks some doors even with like local real estate brokers or other agents that we run into on deals. They may start out kind of like skeptical like, “What? Can you really buy my client's house cash?” And then, well, yeah, I'm a licensed broker. And all of a sudden, they're, “Oh, okay. Cool. Let's get you in here. I don't even need a commission. Let's just kind of see how this goes”. So I would like to kind of just go around the circle a little bit on, I know you guys have staff that are licensed, but any reason in particular why you guys haven't got licensed?

Bill: (03:59) I would say just from the onset to be careful of the trap of becoming an agent and getting commissions as kind of your source of income, because I've seen a number of agents who, want to be investors, but they've always kind of been ruled by the quick money kind of thing from commissions. And that has allowed them unfortunately, to settle for being agents, some for their entire life. And so, if you're going to do it, the question is “How do you primarily see yourself?” Do you see yourself as a licensed agent or do you see yourself as an investor who uses a license to help them in the investment process? So, I'd say from the onset, you should get that one figured out.

Ryan: (04:46) Yeah. When I first got licensed, I fell into that trap for about a month of like I’m licensed, this is just another income stream. I should try this out and see how it goes. And I ended up representing a family that was looking to buy a house for cash and for their son who was coming to school and their budget was $20,000. Now my brain didn't do the math of what 3% of $20,000 is. So, after a month of playing the whole like, “Well, let me give you the tour of this property I've never walked through before now”. That’s just every hoodie property on the market in Indianapolis. They found one, they went under contract, the inspection came back great. And then they decided not to move to the United States. And on the bright side though, they did mail me a hundred dollars. So that made up for the month of my life they swallowed.

(05:41)That's one thing inside my mastermind group that we're super upfront with our guys, Bill. I think that's a great point of so many agents that try to go direct to seller, to find off market deals, fall into the temptation of pivoting back to realtor mode instead of holding out for the deal of like, “Well, I'm at $200,000”. – Well, I really need $220,000. - What? Well, let's list it and get that for you”. And it's like, had you waited another day probably would have taken your offer. So, like, I know in Indianapolis’s market how we handle this. I don't take any listings. I refer out for them. The people we refer the listings out to, we get a 50% commission or 50% of their commission if they're able to do the deal. And in a lot of markets legally, you can't get a kickback from another broker if you're not licensed. So that's potentially kind of another good argument for it.

Andrew: (06:39) You also… Just a quick notice, you do need to… There are some disclosures you need to make as a real estate agent. So, if you are going “direct to seller” as a real estate agent, you have to tell any person you talk to that you are a realtor. You cannot just be like, oh, yeah. If you don't disclose that, you can get in serious trouble for that. And I think there's various state regulations about what you can and can't do and what you have to disclose if you're investing as a real estate agent. So, you do need to be cognizant of those things as well.

Bill: (07:10)Yeah. You need to disclose it in writing as a matter of fact on your contract that you're a licensed broker in that state.

Ryan: (07:16) Yeah. So, in most states it's required to be on your contract. It's also required to be on your marketing pieces technically. You should have a disclaimer at the bottom that states so and so is a licensed broker, number at this particular brokerage at this address. If your property is already listed, this is not a solicitation to list your home, please disregard. I've always operated under the “it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission”. So, we always did ours where we didn't disclose on our mailing pieces, but we did disclose on our website. And then, eventually mail pieces no longer went out even in my name. So, it's still on our website, but we don't do it on our pieces. I've had buddies do that and get called on it and have to then go back and add it.

(08:11) I think the most important thing as an investor, if you are licensed is you really need to have a CYOA - Cover Your Own Animal cracker or whatever because I'm not going to swear on our podcast. Disclaimer that no fiduciary capacity was acted in. So, our state's boiler plate from our attorney that this is an off-market transaction, no representation was provided. Therefore, no commissions are due and they are acknowledging that we advised them to consult their own advisors. That way they can never come back and say, as the big, bad licensed real estate agent, you represented them falsely or anything like that. So just kind of a good provision to have in there.

Bill: (08:59) Well, particularly if you're buying the property yourself or one of your companies is because then you have kind of leverage over a seller potentially in a real estate agency is going to be wanting to have a lot of disclosures with that kind of leverage. And I would say that being an agent is one of the very best ways to get into real estate investment. There are other ways you could be a property manager and get involved. You could be a contractor doing rehabs and start doing them yourself on your own properties. You could be a real estate lawyer and get involved. So, I've seen multiple ways that people have gotten their foot in the door into real estate investment.

(09:38) But I do think being an agent because that is kind of what they do all day is they run comps. They look at values, they talk to sellers, they talk to buyers. And if they can just flip the switch, if they're a normal agent and flip the switch of becoming an investor, then they've really got a great background because even going through the real estate classes, the education classes, and by the way, I was a property manager for a fairly, probably five years at one point. And in Oregon you can be just a property manager and not an agent is kind of two thirds of the test. That's not true in every state. So, I took that two thirds of the test. I actually found the information fairly educational. I learn the difference between different kinds of deeds things that I would have never probably looked up on my own. But just for the education part, I think it might be worth your while to spend the money. I'm not sure what it is now to get through the courses.

Ryan: (10:35) It's normally, I think like $1,000 - $1500. I think that course is if I remember it was about $1,000 and then to be licensed for a year and the dues and fees and all that, it's like another $1500 something like that.

Bill: (10:49) Yeah. I remember them being on cassette tape. Maybe that has changed since then. I don't know.

Ryan: (10:53) It's like an eight track or…?

Bill: (10:55) No.

Ryan: (10:56) To be totally blunt, I have no clue what an eight track looks like. I just know that that was what was before cassettes.

Amanda: (11:01) Bigger than a cassette. I've definitely kicked around the idea of being a real estate, like getting my license, but I just haven't. It's sort of like, it's not the right seat on the bus for me. And then also as a little redundant in market, just because we have a lot of broker partners, including an actual partner. But we just also have a lot of contacts with real estate agents that bring us short sale deals or other types of distressed property situations that aren't going to work well on a market. And so, then we have access through them to pull comps and that sort of thing. And it is sort of the same thing that we've done in Kansas City. Andrew was very focused on acquisitions, but we had a really great relationship with a broker. And so that, I mean, that's just kind of worked well for us.

Ryan: (11:52) Yeah. I think that's a good thing to highlight is if you decide not to get licensed, get buddy-buddy with an agent because you can get what's called unlicensed assistant access. It typically costs them about $50 a year. It gets you your own login, it gets you kind of the keys to the kingdom without having to go through the licensing process. So, Amanda mentioned kind of a good thing, transition into topic #2, which is why you would even want access to the MLS or how you would use it. And I think first and foremost, kind of the biggest thing is going to be running comps. Comps or comparable sales is figuring out what the property is worth based off of what similar properties are selling for. And this is kind of one of those, like I almost view not being an investor and not being able to run comps as being like a race car driver with no car.

(12:50) It's kind of like you're not going to go very far or very fast and you're probably going to do it wrong, right? There are like, you can use Zillow, similar solds and look at their Zestimate, but understand that it's not a comp and yet like you can kind of get close, but the reason why the MLS is always going to be kind of the biggest and baddest is the MLS actually fines real estate agents. If they don't upload accurate information in a timely manner. Zillow is getting some data from the MLS. It depends on the market. But a lot of these kinds of third parties, they're not direct to the source and they can't find the person if the person puts in the wrong closing date or the wrong sales price.

Amanda: (13:42) Right. And I mean, I would just go in there like we have one market in particular in Kansas. Zillow's wrong. Zillow doesn't have any of the right information. So, it's just… It's not even there. It isn't a place that you can go online. It's a very small market. You can't go online and find sale dates, sell prices. Oftentimes you can't even find property tax information. It doesn't exist without having legitimate access to the MLS.

Bill: (14:07) Andrew, you wrote an article, didn’t you? On evaluating Zillow against the MLS or against the actual… No, actual sales prices. And what did you come up with?

Andrew: (14:19) I think the thing about Zillow is, I mean they claim that they're like within 2% of actual sales prices, but one of the problems and one of the ways they do this is they find this proxy that doesn't actually help you. And that is, I've noticed multiple times, they're just going to like very, very stark jumps whenever property is listed. And so, at least they used to do this. I'm not sure if they continue to do this. I think they got some issues with this, but they would really change. There's just like whatever their algorithm is, the list price is probably the most important thing. And so, when we went through some of them…

Ryan: (15:00) But a lot of the times it comes in like $5,000 below. It's almost like it's trying to make you look a little over overpriced.

Andrew: (15:09) Yeah. And in addition to that, it's like, I checked it against some appraisals. We had a group of 12 appraisals or something like that. And almost half of them are off by over 10%. I'm just pulling it up right here. So yeah. We had 12 appraisals. Half of them were off by 10% and two of them were off by over 20%, one was off for 32%. That was the biggest one that was off. That was appraisals. Now of course, appraisals aren't perfect either. The average was off about 9%, I think. But then again, you can't trust appraisals 100% either. The only thing you can trust is the sales price. Sales prices tend to be, especially in a tight market like we've been in the last couple of years, they tend to be pretty tight with the list price.

(15:56) And so Zillow has a way of kind of making their Zestimate look better than it actually is. I would say it's usually within 10%, unless the property is in very bad condition or a weird one, like kind of rural or very odd for his neighborhood. But still 10% is not…

Bill: (16:13) Over? Are they over or 10% under?

Andrew: (16:16) Works in both directions.

Bill: (16:18) Is that right?

Andrew: (16:19) Yeah.

Ryan: (16:20) Well, I mean, I think it just goes to show as an investor, you really can't afford a 10% swing in your ARV. If you're trying to use the BRRRR method and get a 25% discount, what if you only get a 15% discount, right? Or what if you're making all of your offers with a 35% discount and wondering why nobody's saying “yes”, right? You are asking them to sell for 40 cents on the dollar. So, running comps is a really big piece to kind of why you would want to be licensed.

(16:53) For me though, I really enjoy the marketing that you can pull out of it. Like having data's cool, but being able to monetize that data is what gets me excited. So, one of my kind of favorite things to do, if you are, let's say you're not doing any direct to seller marketing. You're just looking for opportunities on the MLS and you can set up saved searches for opportunities. So, you can set things up like if something expires. I don't know about you guys, but what I've seen a lot of the times something expires and then two months later sells for pennies on the dollar. There is a small town that we bought quite a few rentals in and we had it set up that if any new, small multifamily got listed on the MLS, we got an email about it.

(17:47) That way we were on those almost immediately from when they got listed. If you try to just do the like, “Oh, I'm going to check the MLS five times a day” well, I mean, A) Sounds like a terrible use of your time, but B) you're also likely to miss something if you don't have kind of these saved searches set up. So, other examples are like with if something dramatically decreases in price, if something's been on the market for a certain number of days, you can kind of use the MLS to almost do some prospecting for you.

Bill: (18:21) And can you prospect with terms to like motivated, fixer-upper?

Ryan: (18:27) You can. You can run searches of things like TLC. One of my favorite ones I did early on you can run a search for what's listed, but what it's like, it's basically like a probate or in an estate sale. I think it's an estate sale. So, you could look for kind of properties that weren't being sold by an owner, but more of like an inherited kind of a deceased situation where they may be much more likely to take kind of a lower price offer.

(19:00) What I've found on the MLS, there's really two ways to get deals. And that's to pretty much be the first person there and make an offer quick. Or you are kind of looking at data points, going back in time and making some offensive offers. It's really kind of like, those are the two ways to do it if you're kind of prospecting directly from the MLS. One thing I would throw out on that note, I'm not a huge fan of the strategy of like just send out blind offers to 500 people a day. Real estate in particular, in your local market is going to be a pretty tight knit community. And if you get known as the guy that immediately when a property list sends the cash offer for 50% of the list price, nobody's going to take you seriously or want to work with you.

Andrew: (19:44) I've never heard of a real estate investor actually has success with that model. So, there's nobody I know…

Ryan: (19:51) I've heard of it working well with like auction.com and hubzu type properties of just constantly submitting low bids. You throw out enough lures eventually you're going to catch something. Now it may be a bluegill, right? Like, “Oh crap, I got to throw that.”

Amanda: (20:07) Yeah. And for instance, but this is different than that, because this isn't a matter of like submitting the offers. We would… And I don't know, Andrew, do we still use a VA to submit HUD offers? And it's really just formulaic. It's just like, here's our minimum and you just kind of…

Andrew: (20:23) We still have her do work for us, but not that much anymore because there's just aren't any HUD deals anymore. That was an old strategy just in brief, like it was… You just offered like a low percent, 20% on each HUD deal because you could do it online. And then you just went up 1% a day until you either got tight enough where you're like, “Okay, we don't want any more” or you get it. And every once in a while, you get a deal. And so, that was… That strategy has kind of gone by the wayside just because the market is no longer there.

Ryan: (20:55) But it could be potentially becoming back though.

Andrew: Yeah it could be, if the market collapses.

Ryan: I mean, depending on what happens with these foreclosures. I will throw this out for anybody listening and you didn't get this from me. If you do some Googling, there is a set of keys you can purchase for about $10 that will get you into 90% of HUD properties. So, do that what you will. You're trespassing, but the keys exist, right?

(21:24) I have a friend who used kind of Andrew's strategy very, very successfully for a number of years, and that was kind of their competitive edge. They would go tour the properties to be able to make their offers on them. So, you didn't hear that from us. I think kind of the other thing to look at here, I kind of briefly touched on this, but one of my favorite ways to get deals and one of the biggest ways I recommend newbie real estate investors get started is by picking a farm area that you want to be in. A particular zip code, particular town, and then narrowing it down to an asset class. Are you looking for a single family? Are you looking for a duplex? I particularly love this with duplexes, triplexes and quads.

(22:09) You can then run a search on the MLS, for what expired from like the past two years. I'll then simply go through those manually one by one and look at, do they still own it? Have they tried to relist it? And particularly if we've been in kind of an upward market, like we have been, these properties have also appreciated. So, I can call a single family and an A-class area that was listed for $40,000 less than what it's worth today, call them and do the whole, “Oh my gosh. I was looking back through expired listings, saw your house. I really wish I would have seen this when you had it listed. I’m very interested in making you a cash offer. Can I come out?” And you can kind of use that price they threw out almost as that anchor of kind of, this is where I'm at.

(22:54) I think Bill and I’s second property was a duplex that we purchased this way. Our original tenants are still in there from back in 2017. We got this thing for like $45,000. We did have to put like $10,000 into some foundation stuff in the basement. Comically it's one of those buildings that we make a fortune on late fees because they're always late every single month. But it's been a really good property for us and our marketing costs was effectively nothing. So, what you do is basically go through the list if they still own it. A lot of the times you even see pictures, which is really nice, you kind of understand the condition. And then, you can use a tool called Skip Genie. They've got a plan. I believe it's like $50 a month. That's unlimited manual searches for skip tracing. So, simply take the owner's name, throw it in their column and you can also always play the, “Hey let's save us both” kind of the commission's angle on that is kind of a really good way to get started.

(23:58) Now before I go to the next point, I do want to just share an alternative. So, I use a tool called Propstream. It’s one of the tools I pay for every single month that allows you to effectively do the same thing. They're kind of a…. We joke that it's like the poor man's MLS. They have similar data, but it's not going to be as accurate because people aren't getting fined if they enter it wrong. But they've got like similar to list source and quality, but you can run that expired. And the neat thing with Propstream is you can also add an equity filter.

(24:32) So you can only look at the properties that were expired listings that also had equity to make sure you're concentrating on people that can potentially afford to sell to you. Kind of in closing on this, I just want to talk about using the MLS to network. So, I think a lot of our listeners, I mean, I think most investors in general look kind of at multifamily is like the Holy grail. Now those of us that are on this, there's pros and cons with both. It's nice that you can sell an SFR and pull in cash real quick. You can't really sell one unit of an apartment. But one thing I want to kind of highlight and mention, certain asset classes, mobile home parks, self-storage, multifamily are bought and sold on relationships. It's not very often that somebody who owns a 75-unit building is going to Google, “Sell my apartments fast for cash at a discount” to find your website or find your company.

(25:37) Normally, what they're going to do is they've owned it for a few years. The market's gone up, maybe the property hasn't gone as well as they like. They're going to reach back out to the guy they got it from and say, “Hey, who do you have that would be interested in this?” And then that broker is going to turn around and sell it to somebody else. And a couple of years later probably sell it to somebody else. So, one thing you can do, that's pretty neat, you can also look at who's involved, who's been involved in the listing as well as the selling side of commercial transactions like this through the MLS. And a great thing to do is just reach out to these guys. If you notice a particular agent gets all the listings on 20 unit and smaller apartments, and that's what you're looking for, that's a guy you want to reach out to congratulate on his success, let him know you're interested and you'd love to take him to lunch.

(26:28) What we do with the guys that represent a lot of the buyers on this because again, a lot of this stuff is sold on relationships, not even necessarily on the market or it may be done on LoopNet or something. We'll reach out to them and say, “Hey, I understand you have some go-to guys that you've worked with for a long time. I know I'm kind of a new player, I’m kind of an unknown. Will you just send me your scraps? I'll look at anything you send me. I'll try to make an offer on everything you send me. So, if your regulars don't want it, let me look at it. After I've proven myself, I'll be kind of… You'll want me to be one of your regular buyers.

(27:02) But that's a good way to look at who you should be talking to. There's nothing worse than talking to somebody that supposedly is like a commercial multifamily apartment investor that's never done a deal who's like a new agent trying to get his feet wet. You want to look for the guy that is kind of everybody's go-to in your market and get in with them on their pocket listings and things of that nature.

Bill: (27:28) And that's the kind of investment minded real estate agent that if you're not an agent yourself, and even if you are, it's critical to have those relationships, I think over the long-term. Because you're going to get your best deals from these guys particularly if they see that you're a player that you do what you say, that you'll close. Because of course, the critical thing for them is that you close the property. And if they know that you're going to do that, you're just not a tire kicker then they're going to start bringing you deals. And their contacts are really what you can thrive with I would say.

Ryan: (28:02) Their book of business is really what you're after. I mean, their referrals are going to be golden.

Bill: (28:08) Yeah. We've had some critical people. I can just think of them in my mind. The one that in Kansas City, his name is Dan. And, I mean, he's been such a great help to us over nearly 10 years we've been there now. And just knowing exactly what we want, never pressuring us to come up in price, realizing there's always going to be another deal that we're a volume buyer. We're just not a retail buyer. So, he has all our criteria in mind and he goes and looks in that direction for us. So, find that investment minded broker and treat them right.

Ryan: (28:49) So I guess let's kind of open this up for kind of just questions in closing. Amanda, Andrew on your guys end, what does kind of that relationship look like with the folks who've given you guys MLS access? Like, is it your unlicensed assistant and somebody on staff just has access or is it more like, “Hey, I'll just give you my username and password?” Kind of what do they get in return? How does that look?

Amanda: (29:17) Well, normally, we don't necessarily have direct access, but we have their ear and their help anytime we want it. So, we give them criteria, we tell them something we're looking at. We oftentimes use it. Most often, especially in Eugene, we're in a pretty small market. Comps are easy to figure out unless things are outside of the ordinary, which we don't have a lot of properties that fit that mold. We kind of known within $10,000 where our property is going to hit and what it's worth, just because the market's so small and you just kind of can go by zip code. That's really the fluctuating factor there. A lot of the houses are similar, that three-bedroom, two-bath type of a model where usually in like a starter home type of a situation.

(30:07) So, we kind of know the numbers, but we'll oftentimes use it when we are getting ready for an appraisal. We'll ask them to pull comps just so that we can maybe push that a little bit or if we're going to sell a house, we might think we know the market and maybe… Most recently, like last year we sold something and it had jumped up quite a bit over what we thought when we were buying it. So, it's more just to kind of, test ourselves. But again, with Eugene, it's really, it's a small market Eugene, Springfield area. So, we kind of know. So, we don't necessarily need to be in looking at the comps all the time because we have a pretty good understanding of where we're at, I would say.


 

Bill: (30:50) And we're in it every day for one thing.

Ryan: (30:55) What about you Andrew?

Andrew: (30:57) It’s pretty much the same thing. I mean, yeah, pretty much the same thing as Amanda.

Amanda: (31:03) And then, so we don't necessarily have… I mean, I don't think they're allowed to give us their login so we don't have that.

Ryan: (31:09) They are not supposed to.

Amanda: (31:11) But we're kind of… In some of these cases, we're one of their bigger clients. And so if we ask for something they're going to get right back to us more reasonably. And for us, it's like, I don't feel like, I mean, I don't know how to say this the best way, but I don't need to do every single aspect of everything. And some people are… Like real estate agents are better at pulling comps than I am. So, it's way easier for me to give them some parameters and let them get it back to me while I'm doing… So that, because that's what they're good at.

Bill: (31:43) Yeah. And we've also… The agent we have in Eugene, we've sent out letters in his name. I mean, he verifies them. He has all his disclosure information on them and we've gotten deals that way. Deals coming to us as a buyer. The seller might not be so inclined to deal with us directly. Some are, some aren't. But that's just another thing of increasing your funnel size of deals. And so, we've gotten just recently, we got a deal that was in his name. He basically gets… I think he gets either half the commission or $3,000 depending on the property for his side of things. He doesn't really do much work generally, although he does meet with the… he does often meet with the sellers. The other thing that he does for us, which is great, he'll come out if we say, “Hey, we just need some other eyes on this property”. One is maybe what kind of value we have here? Because it's unusual or maybe even what should we do that's going to sell this property at the highest point possible for a homeowner? What are the things that need to happen in here? And he knows he has our business in a number of different directions. So, he's very on the ready to come at our call.

Ryan: (32:49) I think that's crucial. I give realtors a lot of grief, even though I am one, because sometimes they're like, I'm going to take some poorly lit pictures with my iPhone, with the lights off in the dark and hope to make $40,000 when this thing sells. There are good and bad apples in any industry. But a lot of the times, particularly in more niche markets, they have those like, “Oh no, these are the cabinets that you need to use for this price point”. Like nobody wants the Lowes particle boards. You've got to go with the soft closes in this neighborhood. Like they're going to know those small things.

(33:38) My wife and I were looking at a house in Pensacola and the agent we call to as the listing agent lived in the same neighborhood. And some of the info she was giving us to try to sell us, made us realize this is not the community for us. Oh, it's great. The HOA goes around with like a ruler to make sure nobody's grass gets over like three quarter of an inch. Like yeah, no. I’m all right. You can't park on the street. They don't allow tenants in here. It's all owners. It was like, okay, this is probably not for us.

(34:10) But quick example, I've got on recap of that, there was a property I did probably two years ago. That was my most lucrative deal at the time. And we were going to take a wholesale fee that we would have made about $36,000. And we showed it to a friend of ours who was a broker because it was on some acreage, which wasn't normal for this part of town. I think we thought it was worth $200,000. And she was like, “Oh no. You could sell this as it sits for $250,000”. So, we listed it and ended up selling for our net to us was $79,000 instead of the $35,000 we would have taken. We didn't even remodel it. We spent less than $400 to kind of clean up and fix.

(34:48) So, kind of in closing on this episode, you really either need to be licensed and have your own MLS access or have a connect who does. Who's going to get you things in a timely manner, be willing to step outside of the norm a little bit, getting you list of some things like expired, things of that nature. But it's really one of those, if you want to treat this as a business, you have to have access to where all of the business has done. If not, you are kind of shooting in the dark.

(35:21) Thank you for tuning into this episode of The Good Stewards podcast. If you like what you heard, be sure to subscribe, leave us the old five-star review and share the podcast with your friends. Thank you for checking it out. We’ll talk to you guys next week.