Did you know that investors are one of the most valuable resources you can have in real estate to help you grow your business?  Watch this episode of In The Know: The Oliver Graf Real Estate Show. 

Owner of Apollo Realty Investments, Neil Dutta, and Acquisitions Director Connor Riley share insights and tips that include:

1:20 The benefits of working with an investor

3:05 The quadruple commission – 4 commission checks on one deal

6:30 Knowing the investors model (what exactly are they looking for)

7:42 What to do when you come across a distressed property

9:19 Another benefit: beautiful turn key properties to market

10:20 How investors can help you get more deals

13:06 How having an investor on your team will help you close more listing appointments

13:45 Aren’t all real estate investors just low ballers?

17:20 How investors can save distressed homeowners

18:47 How to screen investors (remove tire kickers)

20:45 #1 way to know you are working with a legit investor

22:24 What investors look for in a real estate agent

What the full breakdown of the video?

Here is the full transcript:

Oliver:                     Hey, it’s Oliver, comin’ at you with another episode of In The Know. Today, we’re gonna be talkin’ to Conor Riley and Neil Dutta of Apollo Realty Investments, San Diego’s  number one home buyer. And we’re gonna be talking about how you can work with investors to grow your business.

Very exciting to be sitting here today with Neil Dutta and Conor Riley of Apollo Realty Investments. These guys are doing over ten deals a month right now. They’ve done a thousand homes over the last 10 years or so, in terms of fix and flips, value-add opportunities. And today we’re gonna be jumping in and talking to them about how you can grow your business by working with real estate investors.

I’m enjoying a Ballast Point Big Eye IPA and Neil is having a Fat Tire.

Neil:                          It’s almost done, but it was a Fat Tire.

Conor:                     I just got some water.

Oliver:                     Yeah, was a Fat Tire. We’re actually shooting this interview multiple times because our technical person behind the camera was having lots of technical difficulties. So we’re gonna dive right back in again.

Yeah, can you grab that and bring that over here?

Neil:                          Well, thank you very much.

Michelle:             We’ll see how that goes.

Oliver:                     Here’s to getting it right this time. Cheers! Cheers! Cheers!

A key part of any real estate professional’s team is having a good investor. Right? Someone that they can call when they come across a property that either needs work or has a problem situation or something that is not gonna be good for retail buyer, right? So, why don’t we start by talking about the benefits of working with an investor.

Neil:                          Well, I think the first thing we should define is what does distress really mean, right? And for us, we look at two types of distress. There’s situational distress where you know, a family member, God forbid maybe there’s a divorce or a death in the family; something where they need to sell quickly, right? The other side is property-specific distress. So, maybe it’s mold, maybe it’s a foundation problem; potential code enforcement. And you know those are the two types of distress we focus on. So when agents come across properties like that, it’s always great to know that you’ve got an investor who you trust, is reputable, and will close on those types of deal.

Conor:                     Another benefit is the commission potential. We’ve had deals where agent, the listing agent, will come to us and say, “Hey, I have this distressed property, what can you pay for it?” It works out for us. It works out for the seller; the offer that we give them so they get two commissions. Then, one thing that we do, that not everybody else does is we will give that agent the relist after all the renovations are done. Usually about a month or so, after we acquire the property. We do all the renovations. It goes back on the market, and that agent has the opportunity to market the heck out of it, do open houses, procure another buyer and get four commissions within a few months.

Oliver:                     So, basically what you’re saying is any deal that an agent brings to you guys, you will relist with them after the property is done, all the work is done, and give them the listing back.

Conor:                     Exactly.

Neil:                          Well, absolutely. They get to double end it on the way in and they get the relist on the way out. And as we mentioned sometimes, if they’re doing a great job of marketing it, they may even grab the buyer and get four commissions.

Oliver:                     So, okay. So, I wanna talk about that for a second. ‘Cause I think, to me, that’s music to my ears. If I’m an agent and I hear that I can make four commission checks on one property, I’m probably doing cartwheels on the street at that point. So tell me a little a bit more about how that happened. ‘Cause you guys just paid out a quadruple commission, right?

Neil:                          Yeah.

Oliver:                     Tell me about how that went down.

Neil:                          Yeah. I mean, it’s an amazing story, right?

So, an agent called us with an off-market property. And they said, “Hey, you know, what price can you pay?” We went, looked at it. Ran our numbers, and gave him a real price, right? Had a couple other investors that came in, and they were all higher than us. They went into escrow; fell out of escrow once, fell out of escrow twice. About a couple weeks later, we get a phone call and says, “Hey listen. The seller’s getting beaten up by all these investors that are coming in with fake numbers. Are you guys for real?” Absolutely. Went into escrow, closed it in a week, renovated it, gave ’em a relist and the agent, after doing a series of open houses, was able to find a client who paid list price for the property. They got four sides of the deal, and they were just blown away. I mean, it was smooth as can be.

Oliver:                     It’s amazing. So just to run that back. So, they found a listing, brought it to you guys. You purchased it, renovated it, did all the work. Then gave them back a listing that’s now a turnkey beautiful perfect property. They marketed that. And got the end-buyer who purchased that and therefore, they made all four commission checks.

Neil:                          Yeah.

Conor:                     Yeah. Easy.

Oliver:                     It’s amazing. It’s amazing.

Conor:                     Easy money.

Oliver:                     So, shit, I’ll drink to that. Cheers!

Neil:                          Cheers to that!

Oliver:                     So benefits wise, I mean, it’s pretty extraordinary to have an investing team like this on your dial, for when you come across those situations. ‘Cause number one, they’re gonna close. Number two, they’re always paying cash, and they close fast. Number three, they’ll take on any problems. They’re not scared of anything out there. Cracks, slabs, mold, all the crazy stuff…

Neil:                          Crazy tenants.

Oliver:                     That most people won’t touch.

Conor:                     Hoarders.

Oliver:                     Hoarders. All that stuff. Then you get the property back. So now you’ve got an opportunity to do open houses on one of the best properties in the neighborhood most likely. And then, also the opportunity to make multiple commission checks on one deal.

Neil:                          Yeah. I think that’s just a part of it. And I think a lot of agents out there know, we are in a supply constraint market. We do not have enough inventory and so, when you have buyers, and you’ve got an investor like us, you’re getting first dibs on all of our off-market properties before they hit the market. And I can’t tell you how many agents… We have a private Facebook group where, you know, agents can come in and join. And we post all of our stuff every week and you’ve got a buyer looking for something in an area, and we have something coming up, you don’t have to go on the MLS and compete. You can just deal directly with us. We’re happy to work with agents.

Oliver:                     Before it even goes on the market.

Neil:                          Absolutely. We’re more than happy to work with our agents that work with us. To get their buyers in before something hits the market. So it’s a win-win relationship.

So, I think that’s another piece that’s overlooked. ‘Cause we’ve got a lot of inventory in you know, what is right now a supply-constrained market. Another piece is open houses. Agents that have teams, and they wanna bring in more buyer leads, open houses are one of the best ways to bring in more leads. And we have new, beautiful listings that hit the market every week. I mean, they’re staged, fully remodeled. We bring in tons of traffic. And so agents that are working our open houses, they’re getting leads. They’re getting listings. They’re really leveraging everything we have. So, we’re not just a buyer, we’re really a full-blown resource for these agents to really help grow their business.

The cool thing about Apollo… We’ve been around for three years, but I’ve been in this business for eight years. And we have a full team. We’ve got eight employees. We’re doing, you know, hundreds of deals. We’ve got a real business and we help a lot of our agents with business development, with marketing, with strategy. And so we do so much more for our agents than a lot of other investors out there do. And we really not just try to be a partner, but to help them grow their biz at the same time.

Oliver:                     I like that. Lots of value-add opportunities.

Neil:                          Absolutely.

Oliver:                     Pulls on both sides, which is great.

So tell me a little bit about your guys’ investing model and what you guys do and how someone will plug into that when they come across a deal.

Conor:                     Specifically, we want to look at everything here in San Diego county. We don’t really venture out the Riverside, Orange County. Our operations are here, because we know the market here. Single family and multi-family stuff, especially multi-family stuff. If you have anything, send it our way. But we will look at any type of property. Like you guys were saying, distressed properties; whether it’s something physical or there’s a situational issue going on with a family member. We will take a look at everything. It might not work out as an investor, but I’ll at least give you a number what an investor’s gonna pay.

So, typically an agent will email me or call me, give me the address, and within a couple hours, I have a number that is very, very accurate from a despot standpoint. And we have two project managers that within a couple of hours, I can have them add a property. I can give you my rehab numbers and give you a non-contingent offer within hours. Something that most investors can’t do.

Oliver:                     Very cool. And so how does that work exactly? So, I’m out there and knocking doors, and I come across a property that I think could be a potential fit. I send it to you, and then what happens?

Conor:                     So I’ll get on the computer, I’ll look at all the comps. I’ll run my analysis. I mean, with the hundreds of properties we’ve done. Thousands, actually. And I used to work construction, so I know the rehab numbers pretty accurately whether it’s a 1500 square foot house or 2200 square foot house. I know the numbers really well. Depending on if there’s a cracked slab, or the roof needs to be replaced. I have those numbers off of my head and I can get a very accurate number to an agent that is within, I mean a few thousand dollars of what a real investor’s gonna pay. So if they need me to get out, and do a non-contingent offer, I can call my project manager. I’ve one in… that kind of roams around South County more, and one that’s up in North county. But in, I mean, an hour.

Neil:                          Within an hour. Yeah.

Oliver:                     Very cool.

Conor:                     I can have somebody at the property, running numbers, and he’ll tell me the number. I can adjust my analysis if I need to, and you’ll have a non-contingent offer that we can close on in seven days.

Neil:                          I mean, I think that’s a big advantage. You know, we’re not sitting on our boxers in a bedroom, right? We have an office. We have a team. We are a real business. And we can execute a lot faster than a lot of other people out there.

Conor:                     Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Oliver:                     So, they find a property, send it to you guys. Within all 24 hours, usually most cases, much quicker-

Neil:                          Absolutely.

Oliver:                     You will have an all-cash offer ready for them.

Neil:                          Non-contingent.

Oliver:                     Non-contingent, all-cash offer ready. So then, let’s assume that that gets accepted. They go through the process, close escrow. Then what happens? How long do you guys normally take to do the process of the construction? And then, what are you looking for when you give it back ?

Conor:                     Typical rehab is about four to five weeks. If there’s foundation stuff, if there’s code enforcement, it just gets tacked on from there depending on how much extra time is needed for the contractor to complete those. But roughly four to five weeks for, I mean, a full cosmetic remodel of an entire house. And then a week before we’re ready to go on MLS, I’ll meet the agent out there. We take care of all the photos. We take care of the staging. We basically give them the listing to put on the MLS with the photos. They’ve been to the property, I’ll give them room measurements. I give them as much as possible so they don’t have to worry about…

Oliver:                     Anything.

Conor:                     Anything. Really.

Neil:                          Yeah.

Conor:                     So we’ll give them the listing. They market it. Most of our stuff sell within a week, if not less.

Oliver:                     Wow.

Conor:                     And, I mean, we have a great crew that will handle the repair request. I mean, we do have a really good team that takes as much off the agents as possible so they can focus on bringing in more deals.

Oliver:                     Right. And I think that’s another critical component of working with, you know, a real investors. You guys are looking at it from a more long-term perspective. Like, you’re not trying to churn and burn and just make a quick buck. And you guys are really taking the time to put out a high quality product. Like we’ve done quite a few deals with these guys and they don’t cut corners. They don’t chintz on materials. You guys really do a good job of doing it right. And so to your point, when you get that property back, now you’ve got a real perfect property to go out there and market. And hopefully be able to double end and make another commission check.

Neil:                          Absolutely. We’re thinking long-term. Right? We’re thinking five, ten years out. We would rather lose money on a deal, if we’re obligated to buy it, than burn an agent and potentially burn our reputation. So we’re in it for the long haul.

Oliver:                     Which is huge. There’s not a whole lot of investors that will put their money where there mouth is, like that.

Neil:                          Not at all.

Oliver:                     Definitely commend you on that. So, let me kind of shift gears to how can an agent work with you guys to market for more business? How can they leverage investors to get more listings for themselves?

Conor:                     I think one of the main things is, like we talked about, finding opportunities within those distress markets. Whether its working on probates or hitting with an attacks planner that does probates, or an attorney that does bankruptcies. Finding the niche within one of those and then, I hate to say it but, cold-calling is a money maker for distressed listings.

Oliver:                     By calling and saying what?

Conor:                     “Hey, I’m a real estate agent,” Do your spiel for who you are and say, “If you have a property you need to sell within seven days and want a cash offer, I can offer you that as well.” Having us as a tool in your pocket is huge, and note, not many other agents are doing that.

Neil:                          I think another one too is just basic, what I talked about, is open houses, right? We’ve got, you know, 20, 30 beautiful listings that are coming on and off the market any given time. If you’re just there workin’ ’em, and you’re working those leads, you’re gonna get deals right? And that’s just to help grow your business. And on the distress side, you know it’s like what Connor said. It’s find a niche, focus on that niche, and then work with us as a strategic partner to help you close those leads.

Oliver:                     Yeah, I love what you just said right there about open houses, because that’s kind of an avenue I didn’t even think about ’til just now is, you know … It’s not just about the one deal that you bring in work with them, right? You guys are working on 20, 30 other properties at a time normally. So, anything that’s coming on soon, you give them marketing rights too, to where they can go out and sit open houses and do stuff like that.

Conor:                     Yeah…

Neil:                          You know, a lot of times, let’s just say we buy a distressed home in Claremont for example, and you know, the agent that brought it to us is obviously getting the relist. A few weeks before we go to market, they might do circle prospecting. Where they might call that whole neighborhood, maybe a hundred homes around and say, “Hey listen. My name’s so and so, I’m a real estate agent and we just helped a client, who’s in some distress, sell a property on this street. I’d love to offer my services to you. We have an investor that will buy your home in seven days, all cash if it has any sort of distress.” You know, typically, if you’ve got one home in an area that’s got some distress. There’s probably some other ones nearby. And so, circle prospecting around deals we already have, agents that are taking advantage of those listings they already brought us. We’ve seen a lot of success there.

Oliver:                     A lot of growth. Yeah.

Neil:                          Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Oliver:                     Yeah. Like that idea, I like calling around. Because why not? Because the other cool part of that is that all the neighbors are nosy, right? They’re seeing this house. They’re seeing it being transformed, and so if you can call them and say, “Hey, you know that house that you’ve been watching get completely made over, over the last four weeks. Well, that was us, and our team, that did that. And if you’d like us to do something similar for you, we could talk about that.”

The other thing that I think is super powerful for working with investors, is leveraging the fact that they can close quick. And that they’re all cash. So, to give you a scenario, let’s say you’re going to a listing appointment where you may or may not be competing against other agents, but if you can go to the seller and say, “Look, Mr. Seller, I’m gonna give you to options. Number one, we can list it ex-price, and we can try to get a retail offer. Or, I can have an all-cash offer within 24 hours on this property.” And think about it, are any other agents, saying that to their clients?

Neil:                          Probably not.

Oliver:                     Probably not. So, if you go in there, A. Looking confident, knowing your stuff, knowing the market, knowing the stats; and you can say, “Look, I can guarantee you an all-cash offer within 24 hours.” That’s gonna give you a leg up on all your competition.

Conor:                     And it’s just building trust between the seller and the agent, which most of the time, you’re going in blind. You don’t… You’ve never met this person, and if you can establish some sort of trust, like “You had a distress listing and this neighbor trusted me to get this done, I can do the same for you.” That immediately builds some rapport.

Oliver:                     Borrow the credibility.

Conor:                     Exactly.

Neil:                          Yeah.

Oliver:                     So, I’m gonna throw out the number one complaint that I hear about working with investors. And I wanna see what you guys’ thoughts are on it.

So, the number one thing that I hear is, “They’re all low-ballers. They’re all low-ball offers.” So how do you speak to that, one. And two, how would you recommend agents approaching their sellers with an investor offer.

Conor:                     Most of the low-ball offers haven’t been to the property. We will get a non-contingent offer in, we’ll send our project manager out, or myself. We’ll run the numbers on what it’s gonna take to rehab a property. And we’ll run the numbers, and I mean, it’ll be non-contingent. You don’t have to worry about us backing out. The number that we offer is what it is.

Like what Neil was saying, if I have to lose five grand because I found out something later. Like, I’ll lose five grand over burning a bridge, or having a seller have to hear from their listing agent that they’re backing out. Or they want a price reduction. That’s the thing that I hate the most. We’re good on our word.

And weeding out investors that are low-ballers, it’s easy. And the ones that come in really high, it’s easy to say, “Oh yeah, I’ll pay 500,000 for a house”, when investors have to pay 450 to get it. They’ll do anything just to lock it up because there’s so little inventory right now. There are a lot of investors out there, but there’s only a few within San Diego county that’s closing in on all these deals.

So, I think understanding the offers, like actual paper contracts that are coming through, what all the details within the offers are, and having a good proof of funds to leverage that offer to send to the seller. I mean, it’s gonna put agents at ease when working with investors.

Oliver:                     And how would you recommend they present those offers to the seller?

Conor:                     They’re working with an investor that has a reputation like us. I mean, it’s pretty easy to see our track record of the hundreds of homes that we’ve closed on.

Oliver:                     Right.

Conor:                     That should provide some sort of value to the seller.

Oliver:                     So leverage your credibility.

Conor:                     Yeah. Our own credibility, yeah.

Neil:                          Yeah. Absolutely. I think that leveraging our credibility. But also, you know, when we go in there, and we submit an offer, the agent feels confident knowing that, “Hey, I know this offerer actually saw the home. This offerer is gonna give their deposit within the day, and they’re even willing to release you their deposit. They’ll sign an addendum with no price reductions, they’re non-contingent.” And so, when they present an offer, everything we have is catered towards the seller. And our confidence is on our ability to close on that deal.

A lot of times, when we’re going up against you know property on the MLS, there’s 20 offers. We tell the agent, “Listen. It’s going to sell to an investor, and this is around the price range it’s going to sell for. Now, even if you have offers up here, they’re not gonna close. They’re gonna re-trade the price and it’s gonna go down, down, down to about the range where we’re usually at which is the realistic number for that type of property.”

Answering your question, how do you address the complaint of low-ball offers? Well, I agree with Connor. They didn’t see the house. They’re probably a wholesaler. They’re running their margins way too high, I think we’re one of the most competitive companies in San Diego with as far as our margin and what we’re willing to make on a deal. Obviously, we’re in the business to make a profit. And I think agents understand that.

Oliver:                     Right.

Neil:                          But we also want to be a win-win. So, we tighten up when we can. And when we can’t, that’s just where our numbers need to be, if it’s a big project. But I think we price our numbers aggressively. More so than a lot of other investors out there. And we actually have seen the property and we come forth with our best foot forward.

Oliver:                     I think to just piggyback on top of that, is I think, most low-ballers or you know, perceived low-ballers, are usually involved in situations where investors aren’t really needed. Right? It’s just an investor that wants to come in and do a lipstick job, some paint and carpet, and make a quick buck. Right?

Neil:                          Yeah, absolutely. You know…

Oliver:                     But when a seller has a legitimate problem like “Hey, I have mold in my house.” Or “I need to move tomorrow for a job transfer that I got” or you know, “I had a death in the family”, and things like that. Then all of a sudden, it makes a lot more sense, and it’s a lot easier to present that offer because it’s built, it’s baked, into the equation.

Neil:                          Or if we get a call from an agent that says, “Hey, I’ve got a client who just called me. Their home’s going to auction on Monday.” And it’s Wednesday, right? And they’ve got one shot to close that deal. And they know they can only pick one person’s gonna close it, and we go through there and get it closed on a Friday. Right? I mean, that’s the kind of trust the agents have with us.

Oliver:                     Right. And that’s the credibility you built over the last several years.

Conor:                     Yeah. That just happened at a property just south of STC that we picked up. We got a call, and two other agents or two other investors had been at the property. Within 45 minutes, me and my project manager were at the property with the agent and the seller. And the following week, they had a foreclosure date. And we closed it prior to. We were able to match or better all the terms from the two other offers and come in higher. And-

Neil:                          We let the owners stay for a month while they pack up and find a new place to live. So we helped with the relocation as well.

Oliver:                     That’s great.

Neil:                          So I’m not sure what more you could ask for.

Oliver:                     Yeah. I mean, ultimately that’s another big part of it. One of the reasons we choose to partner with Apollo is because, you know, they are in it to create win-wins for everybody. You guys aren’t out there to, you know, charge the beach and get as much as you can and get out. You guys are really in it for the bigger picture, and I think, you know, it shows when you guys do stuff like that by letting people stay in properties longer than they legally probably should or could be. And giving credit where you need to, and kind of really taking care of people on the human side of the transaction.

Neil:                          Absolutely.

Conor:                     With these distressed properties, there’s always a problem. And we are good at solving problems. That’s what we do. And we just happen to deal with houses and know how to work with sellers, find out what their needs are. It’s usually not that they just need the money. They need the money because of a health issue or credit card debt, or they gotta send their daughter to college. Or whatever it ends up being, we can help them with that. Maybe it’s finding storage after we close. We’re very flexible, because we have such a great team and we’ve done this so many times, we know that different situations these sellers are in and we’re willing to be flexible. It’s not the same property or the same type of listing every single time. And we’ve experienced just about all of it.

Oliver:                     Yeah. It’s all about working with problem solvers and that’s what these guys are. And any investor that you would wanna work with, you wanna work with someone that A. Does what they say they’re gonna do; B. Can close and can close fast. Some that will re-list the property with you, and someone that you know is just gonna take care of everybody involved in the transaction.

So, that being said, how do you recommend agents go about screening out the tire kickers? Right? Because we all take a new listing and all of a sudden, the next 48 hours, the phone’s ringing off the hook with investors who are trying to get in on the deal. And further that point, there’s also the wholesaler component of people that are just trying to come in, put in under contract and flip the contract with someone else. So how do agents, kind of, find the people who are the real deal versus the tire kickers.

Conor:                     If you wanna find the real deal, just send it to us every time. I think that’s the easiest for everybody.

Oliver:                     I think in San Diego, that’s a 100%, no-brainer. I highly recommend working with these guys.  Let’s say they work somewhere where you don’t cover.

Conor:                     Okay. I mean, just look at the contract that’s being submitted. Somebody that’s just kicking the tires and wants to sign it with somebody else, or isn’t really gonna follow through on the deal, they’re hardly putting any earnest money down. They will have their entity name and the word sign, so they can sell that contract to somebody else if they want. And they have a very large inspection period, seven days, ten days. I mean any real investor, they should get out there before submitting their offer. But, some circumstances won’t allow it, if there’s tenants in there. They should only need one, maybe two days; to get in with the project manager, their contractor, and know exactly what’s wrong with the property. And make adjustments then. It doesn’t need to be dragged out. Any investor should be able to close within seven to ten days. And dealing with a cash investor, you don’t have to worry about appraisal contingencies. We use hard money because it’s convenient but we don’t have to. Other investors they have to use hard money ’cause they don’t have 500,000$ to put down on a house.

Neil:                          I’d say the biggest one for screening out is the earnest money deposit. Right? I see a lot of agents, they say, “Hey, I’ve got 50 offers, and they’re all non-contingent.” Well, a non-contingent offer doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have a deposit, an escrow right? So, the number one thing I encourage agents to counter is earnest money deposit, to be an escrow within 24 hours of acceptance. Contract unilaterally cancels if the deposit is not received by escrow. So that way, in a day or so, you know if you have a deal. It’s high deposit, make it a 20, 30,000$ deposit and it’s a unilateral cancellation if it’s not an escrow within a day. You will weed out everybody.

Oliver:                     So-

Neil:                          If someone agrees to those terms, they’ve seen the property and is serious.

Oliver:                     Right.

Neil:                          You don’t have to go through the rigmarole of sending them a notice to perform, and then doing the cancellation. And then you have your Seller, wondering, “What’s going on? Why did you put me on escrow with this joker who’s not even going through on their obligations?” So, right from the get-go, it’s an addendum with no price reductions, and it’s that 24-hour policy of a non-refundable deposit.

Oliver:                     I love that and I think that would be definitely a write-this-down situation because what you just said is probably the key to gate-keeping.

Neil:                          It will save an agent a month of their life. One full month of going in and out of escrow; if they just follow those instructions.

Oliver:                     Exactly. So very simply put: Number one, deposit in 24 hours in escrow.

Neil:                          High deposit. Not five grand. If you’re paying cash, you should be able to put 10, 20, 30,000 down, no problem.

Oliver:                     So large deposit in escrow within 24 hours.

Number two-

Neil:                          With a unilateral cancellation.

Oliver:                     Yeah, I forgot about that. I like that a lot. With a unilateral cancellation, meaning if the deposit’s not in escrow within 24 hours, it’s basically a void contract.

Conor:                     And I would even go as far as saying that the seller has the option of not putting it, as pending on MLS. If it is on MLS. So they can continue marketing it, until that deposit hits escrow.

Oliver:                     That’s good.

Neil:                          Yeah. I like that.

Oliver:                     Yeah. I like that. Those are some good tips. So, I really like that one. Hold on. Let me see …

Neil:                          I think the other one you wanted to touch on was proof of funds right?

Oliver:                     Yes.

Neil:                          It is differentiating between investors that are strictly using hard money versus actually paying with cash. Conor kind of mentioned, one of the cool things about working with a well-capitalized company like ourselves is, we can close cash if need be. But we use hard money because convenient.

So many investors out there they can make a fake proof of funds in five seconds with a PDF editor, and so you know the agent, they might look at it and take it at face value. You really need to call and verify it. Because most of these investors, they’re at the mercy of their lender. And if they’re lender decides they don’t wanna close on that deal in the eleventh hour. Guess whose client is gonna suffer? It’s gonna be yours. Right? And so, I’m a big proponent of calling the bank and actually verifying your proof of funds.

Oliver:                     I love that. That’s ultimately how you’re gonna make sure you’re not wasting your time or your client’s time, is you’re getting people in there that can perform; which is ultimately the name of the game.

So we’ve talked on kind of all the benefits of working with an investor partner. What are you guys looking for in a realtor? How can a realtor, you know, provide value for you guys? What would you say is an all-star partner for you guys?

Conor:                     Somebody that just lets us do our thing, and let them do their thing. Realtors are good at marketing, and finding these properties. Do everything you can to find them. And we will take care of closing on time. We’ll take care of escrow, title. We will take care of renovating the property, staging it, photos, the room dimensions when we go to re-list it. Like, we try to take care of everything possible for an agent. So they can do what they’re good at, and we can do what we’re good at.

I mean, it kind of boggles my mind how agents don’t understand numbers sometimes. But just understanding what’s going on in the market, what’s going on in that neighborhood. Just doing a little research before going on the market is gonna help everybody, when they’re advertising at the open house. Like, hey, this house is priced competitively. We’re not out there to sit on the house for two months, three months. We wanna sell it within the first week. Get the agent paid within a month. If not, sooner. I think it’s just having an agent that trusts us, to get the job done. That’s what we’re good at. We’re good at solving problems, getting the job done, and we wanna help them as much as possible develop their business, so they can find more of these properties and it become a win-win situation for everyone.

Neil:                          Yeah. I’ll piggyback on that. And ideal agents for us, you know, obviously there are agents that work in the distressed realm, right? Maybe they specialize in working with divorced couples, or they specialize in probate. They have a niche in an area where there’s likely to be some sort of distress. Those are great agents for us.

On the other side, agents who are marketing, right? I mean, you run big block. I mean you know agents that are growing and spending money in their marketing. They’re sending mail, they’re running ads online. They’re sponsoring shopping carts in grocery stores. They’re doing all kinds of unique marketing. They’re getting leads, and oftentimes some of those leads might be a candidate for us. So, I think some agents will pigeon-hole themselves and say, “Well, I only do traditional business.” But they’re marketing and getting leads and maybe some of those leads are potential candidates for us. And so, if you’re marketing, and you’re bringing in leads, chances are in a given year, there’s gonna be a couple of them that will work for you, and you get that opportunity to double end and relist it. And that one deal turns into three or potentially four.

So, I think it’s agents that are in those niches and that are marketing. If you’re bringing in leads … Every agent that we come across, you know, high volume. They’re doing 50, 100 deals a year. They’re getting those types of leads. I mean, they are. They’re coming in.

Oliver:                     Right.

And I think ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s really just about having an investor like these guys on your team, so that when you do come across the deals, you’ve got someone on the dial.

Neil:                          Absolutely.

Oliver:                     When you walk into the house that like is, the kitchen’s all ripped up, or you know, there’s crazy stuff going on with the landscaping; and everything’s overgrown, and it’s pushing up the foundation and all that kind of stuff. These guys are the guys that can get in there and perform and I know that they’re always looking to partner with new agents.

So let’s say someone out there wants to get a hold of you guys. You wanna give your contact info so that they know how to get a hold of you?

Conor:                     Yeah.

So, I’m Conor Riley. My number’s 858-900-1460. And my email is [email protected] And just send me a text, a phone number and email. And I will get to work on any type of property that you send my way. It might not be something that will work for us. But you’ll have that in your back pocket as a tool when you’re going to listing appointments or if something does happen with a seller, and they do need to sell in a week, we’re there.

Oliver:                     Yep.

Conor:                     Imagine, the big teams have the list agents. They have an assistant. They have a marketing team. They’ve got the buyers agents. Each team should have an investor that they have in their pocket, when they need it.

Neil:                          Neil Dutta. Phone number’s 858-336-2769 and my email’s [email protected] And we look forward to earning your business.

Oliver:                     Great.

Well, I appreciate you guys coming out and I really just wanna suggest and recommend that everyone get an investor on your team. Allow them to help you grow your business. Leverage what they’re doing to get more business for yourself and more opportunities in terms of open houses, more commissions, faster sales. And go out there and do more business.

So, we wish you all the best and now, you’re in the know. Cheers!

Neil:                          Cheers!

Want more In The Know?  Watch these recent episodes:

Sell 100+ Homes a Year with These Prospecting Tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0ZKfxcvLIQ

Leverage Your Title Rep to Grow Your Real Estate Business:  https://youtu.be/paPmuQp6sAw

To your success,

Oliver Graf

Oliver Graf
Co-Founder/President Big Block Realty & Real Estate Agent Trainers
Two Time Inc. 500 Entrepreneur