There have been a number of people who have helped me get into real estate investing to whom I owe a debt of gratitude. The first of them is Dave. When I first gained an interest, I began scouring Bigger Pockets for information about real estate investing. I posted something about the city of Roswell, NM and Dave reached out to offer his assistance. As somebody who knew nothing and had nothing to offer, I thought it showed great character that he was simply writing to let me know that he was there if I ever needed anything. When the first house came around, I immediately called him to ask for his advice. We looked quickly through the listing, discussed the numbers and he helped me put in an offer.
Months later, when I went to purchase my next property in Roswell, I took to zillow to find a reputable realtor with a high rating as I had no other way of knowing where to begin (as Dave was located 3 hours away from my target market). Immediately, I found an excellent realtor with impeccable ratings and reviews. I phoned her, we hit it off and she invited me out to lunch. I had located a foreclosure that I was going to buy through hubzu and had spoken with her about representing me. I was hoping to acquire the property for 32,000 dollars and I believed I could flip it for 85,000 thus netting me around 20k after renovations. After viewing the property the realtor was clear that she didn’t see much hope for this place. She was super nice but discouraged me from making the investment
I left a bit dejected wondering if perhaps I didn’t have the right eye for the deal. After giving it some thought, I decided to call the realtor who had sold the home two doors down with very similar specs to mine for over 100k. He came and looked at my property and after discussing some details, he told me he thought he could sell it for 95-99k. This was the guy I wanted to work with!
It was at that point that I learned an important lesson. While I have absolute faith that both realtors are excellent people and great at their jobs. The key difference was their clientele and goals. The first person I contacted was accustomed to selling and acquiring A and B class properties while my now go-to realtor, Jesse McDaniel worked with every class and every buyer and seller. I knew that for my goals and financial situation, I needed a realtor who was comfortable with buying in the D/C range and fixing them to a A, B or C class. He was the perfect guy for the job.
What’s more is that he uses the same strategy for acquiring investment properties himself which meant two important things. First, he understands and in fact encourages me to make aggressive offers. Second, it means that when I run into a problem I can call him for help. Truth be told, I probably pushed the limits of what a reasonable person can ask of a realtor as he visited my house every week or two during that first flip in order to help me understand the process and evaluate the work performed.
After our first project ran its course, I tried to keep in regular contact with Jesse to let him know I was serious about finding more investments and that I wanted to make myself and him more money! Regular communication has been fundamental in helping with deal flow and when he understood my goals we were able to make a lot of deals happen.
I came to discover that it was no accident that he’s become so successful. The guy puts in work! I know that if I call him on a Sunday to head to my house to check on something (which I try not to do) he will do it. In fact, on a recent Sunday, he went to the hardware store to pick up a couple of parts to fix something as I had an appraisal the next day which couldn’t be moved. He didn’t charge me a dime for the work and at the end of our conversation, I suggested I buy him dinner to say thanks…his response? I should go to his place for a cook out. How’s that for service!
What does this all mean?
While living overseas, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to make offers or move as quickly as I have without a realtor who I felt I could trust completely. This trust has been developed (on both accounts, I presume) from months and years of demonstrated integrity, persistence, ability to close deals and a whole host of other qualities. It wasn’t easy to find the right person and I have no doubt that I got lucky in finding my go-to-guy. Still, if it weren’t for hustling hard and refusing to settle, we might not have ever connected. That leads me to my last point. As an overseas or out of state investor, when you do find the right person, treat them right! I recently asked Jesse to add .5% to the closing costs of a sale as a thank you, I have written him excellent reviews and I’m always looking to recommend him to others. Being a long-distance investor is challenging so when I found the right person I prioritized making the partnership mutually beneficial!
Below are 5 essentials for hiring a realtor while living overseas.
- Availability. Whether it be 5 am or 11 pm, I know I can reach my realtor.
- Integrity. I have the utmost confidence in what he says. If he sends me a bill for 2k for repairs, I’ll pay it no questions asked due to the body of work we have amassed.
- Experience. The fact that he has swung the hammer and overseen dozens of flips and rental renovations is priceless.
- Candor. There have been a number of places that look like steals to me from the internet and he is clear when I should avoid a place.
- Understanding the community. Jesse is the every man’s realtor! The guy is just a wholesome local guy who knows the community and builds trust through exceptional service. This can’t be replaced when transacting with individuals on the biggest purchase of their lives.
We all have unique needs but I’m certain that finding a realtor with the right mindset is imperative in succeeding as an out-of-state investor. What have you discovered sets your realtor apart? Please comment below.