I spend a lot of time talking to Realtors who are also active investors.  Some of them got their license to assist in their investment business.  Some of them were Realtors first who saw the opportunity in creative real estate.  A common thread emerges when I talk to them about their brokerage… they feel like the black sheep.

You see, many brokerages are still resting on the laurels of the old traditional ways of practicing real estate. That means sales meetings, desk duty, elaborate listing presentations, open houses and property tours. And, of course, a broker who is preoccupied with how many listings and buyer rep agreements you have.  A broker who wants you to produce for them! Continue reading “Be a Black Sheep!”

Most investors, when that lead call comes in, have a script they follow, and a bunch of questions they ask.

I cannot imagine being on the other end of that call.  Being a distressed seller, reaching out for help, not knowing who I am calling…. only to be asked intrusive questions about my life.  What do I owe on my house?  Am I behind on payments?  How much will I sell it for?

Who IS this person asking me all of these things?  Its just a voice on the other end of the line.

Investors ask these questions and too often illicit a response they do not want… a lie.

And can you blame the seller for lying?  I don’t think I would truthfully tell a voice on a phone call if I were behind on my payments. Continue reading “Turn Your Sellers into Liars”

When my husband, Dan, came to me about nine years ago and suggested I get my real estate license I felt a little horrified! Immediately, I had the image of myself wearing a gold coat and pearls, on the side of the road putting in an Open House sign while trying to keep my skirt from flying up in the wind. Now, eight years later I am the Broker of a growing Real Estate firm and I wouldn’t change a thing.

I talk to a lot of investors about getting a real estate license and I hear a lot of myths and misconceptions about why they think it is a bad idea.  I also talk to a lot of investors with their real estate license and most of them think their license is one of their most valuable investment tools. The trick is to get past all those fears and misconceptions to truly see the advantage of a real estate license. So, let’s talk about some of those myths. Continue reading “MythBusters: Getting Your Real Estate License”

Happy New Year!

The new year is always a good time to reflect on our lives, including our business life.  When I look back on 2014, I realize that sometimes I don’t practice what I preach.

The investor/agents I coach all start with the same desire… to buy houses.  I have to tell them to stop!

But isn’t that the business we are in?

Investors without their license are stuck in that mode.  Their only hope of making money is to buy the house (even if they end up assigning the contract).  So when a lead comes in, the investor focuses on gathering as much information as possible so they can make an appropriate offer.

But when the seller doesn’t take the offer, they leave the appointment or phone call disappointed.  NO DEAL. Continue reading “My New Year’s Resolution: Stop Buying Houses!”

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Christmas can be a stressful time for many.  And for us, at StepStone Realty, it is no different.  It can be a struggle balancing our desire to work on our deals and our desire to spend time with family, especially our son who is home from college!

But as real estate investors and agents, we are truly blessed regardless of the stress involved in running a business and running around trying to get all those last-minute presents.

We are blessed because we have the freedom to decide when to work and when to spend time with our families.  We decide to worship, volunteer, shop, give, or work on that final closing of the year.  We love being our own boss. Continue reading “Real Estate Has Been the Best Present of All”

My brokerage specializes in sponsoring Real Estate Agents who are also active Investors. This makes us unique.  Many people in the real estate field, whether agent or investor, think that you can’t do both.

Many agents tell me they are nervous about becoming an investor and investors tell me they worry that getting their license will hinder their business. I’m here to tell them both otherwise.

Here at StepStone we all know the advantage of wearing two hats when it comes to real estate.

Why an Investor should put on an Agent Hat

I have many investor colleagues who are sure that getting their license is a bad idea and will inhibit their business. I say not only will it not inhibit your business but it will enhance what you are already doing and make you more money! Continue reading “Wearing Two Hats”

Not everyone is a fan of turkey on Thanksgiving.  Some prefer the richness of duck, or the familiar of a chicken.  Thus, the “Turducken” was born.  A chicken, stuffed into a duck which is stuffed into a Turkey.

To be honest, I’ve never had one.  Turkey is just fine by me.  But this Thanksgiving, we have a variety of new friends and relatives joining us… including a vegetarian!  That has made us think of all the dishes we need.  Everyone wants to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.  Variety is more important this Thanksgiving than ever before.

But serving variety is easy for us.  We do it every day.  I don’t mean for dinner, I mean in Real Estate.  Real Estate Without Limits, our philosophy, is about recognizing that not everyone is ready, willing or able to “eat” the same solution. Continue reading “Be the Real Estate Turducken”

Before the internet, cell phones, or the MLS, real estate was largely practiced in a central office full of agents sharing paper copies of listings.  Prospective buyers, with no place to find homes for sale other than by sitting with an agent and viewing the “Listing Book”, happily drove to their local real estate office when they were ready to buy.

Times have changed, of course, but a large part of the real estate industry has not changed with it.  Married to this office culture, brokers still use large elaborate office space to conduct very traditional real estate business.

A new breed of real estate professionals has pushed back against this tired old way of doing real estate.  The unlicensed real estate investor has been at the forefront of adopting rapid fire responses driven by technology, and has met seller needs faster and better than traditional real estate offices.

Armed with creative tools for buying and selling houses, they have been able to capture income and market share.  Today 3% of Americans consider themselves real estate investors. 

Today real estate investors and their creative strategies for buying houses seem almost at war with the licensed agent practicing more traditional real estate.

The investor, though, is limited to helping property owners with equity, or willing to do a more creative sale, such as keeping their financing in place (also known as purchasing “sub to”).

The traditional licensed agent is limited by only being able to represent the homeowner in a traditional sale,   but they far too often miss more lucrative opportunities to buy or wholesale and pass up on listings they consider too “ugly”.

Real Estate without limits is the marriage of these two worlds into one powerful super professional.

Our philosophy is aimed at breaking down the old tired way of doing traditional real estate.  We want to release the professional from the big office and gold jackets.  Technology-driven and adaptive to the new creative techniques in real estate, we are encouraging the investor to get licensed and the licensed agent to become an investor.

By melding the two worlds, you have so much more to offer the homeowner, you always have a solution and can turn more leads into more money!

That truly is real estate without limits.