Episode 28: [Team Building] How to Work with Real Estate Agents w/Matt Theriault

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Show Notes

Matt Theriault, a fifth-generation California native, Desert Storm Veteran (US Marine Corps), has worked as a full-time real estate professional since 2003. After building a small real estate empire (100+ income units) with hardly using one dime of his own money or one point of his own credit, he discovered that he had a knack for simplifying the complicated, implementing systems and producing desirable results for both himself and his investor partners. His “knack” has manifested itself via consistently better-than-average market returns for both himself and his investor partners, a thriving online real estate investing academy (EpicProAcademy.com), as well as one of the more popular Real Estate Investing Podcasts (Epic Real Estate Investing) on iTunes.

On this episode we talk about how Matt got started. He had made a fortune with his own record label and then lost everything when Napster and everything in the music industry changed.

He ended up going from being a millionaire to bagging groceries at the grocery store.

But, he didn’t let that stop him from trying. He went on to become a real estate agent and working with investors. He wasn’t making much money, so he decided he was on the wrong side of the action.

He became a real estate investor right away and started doing tons of short sales back around 2008 when the real estate market was tanking.

In this episode, Matt makes it clear that you’ve got to see things from the agent’s perspective when you are trying to work with them. He shares the fact that almost all agents will immediately think you will want to submit hundreds of low-ball offers with almost no chance of getting any accepted or that you will want to have the list your properties with a severely reduced commission.

Prove them wrong on those counts and you’ll have someone happy to work with you.

In this episode, you’ll also learn how to find the agents you should be working with and how to filter out very quickly, the ones you shouldn’t be working with.

Links

Epic Pro Academy
Epic Real Estate Investing

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Episode Transcription

Danny Johnson: This is Flipping Junkie podcast episode 28. [music] Welcome to the Flipping Junkie podcast. My name is Danny Johnson; former software developer turned house flipper, flipping hundreds of houses. Each week, we bring you interviews, strategies, stories, and motivation to help you get started flipping houses and on your way to becoming your own boss and achieving financial freedom. Thanks for spending time with me today. Now, let’s get to it.

Welcome back to the Flipping Junkie podcast. This week, we’re going to talk about how to work with real estate agents. There’s a lot of things that you can do to help improve your real estate investing on the side of buying and then also on the side of selling. And we’re going to talk about all the ins and outs of finding and working with real estate agents with Matt Theriault.

Matt is a fifth-generation California native, Desert Storm Veteran (US Marine Corps), has worked as a full-time real estate professional since 2003. And after building a small real estate empire of 100+ income units with hardly using one dime of his own money or one point of his own credit, he discovered that he had a knack for simplifying the complicated, implementing systems and producing desirable results for both himself and his investor partners. His “knack” has manifested itself via consistently better-than-average market returns for both himself and his investor partners, a thriving online real estate investing academy at EpicProAcademy.com, as well as one of the more popular real estate investing podcasts (Epic Real Estate Investing) which you can find on iTunes. He’s got 197 episodes, so a great podcast. And we’re going to get started here in a minute with Matt.
And I wanted to say thank you again for listening to the Flipping Junkie podcast. I know there’s several other great real estate investing podcasts out there, and I appreciate you taking the time to listen to Flipping Junkie. And thanks for all the great reviews everybody is leaving on iTunes. If you hadn’t had the chance to do that, please go to iTunes and subscribe and leave a rating and review if you would. I really appreciate it. And thanks to all those who have. It has really helped to keep this going and get more guests on the show, so thank you very much. And today’s show notes, you can find at flippingjunkie.com/28. [music] Now, let’s talk to Matt.

Hey, Matt. Are you there?

Matt Theriault: I’m here, Danny.

Danny Johnson: Great. Thanks for being on the show.

Matt Theriault: You bet. Thanks for having me.

Danny Johnson: All right. Before we get into the topic of how to work with real estate agents as a real estate investor, let’s let people know how you got your start in real estate investing, what got you interested in it, and how you got going with it.

Matt Theriault: Sure. When I got out of the Marine Corps, I spent the next, I don’t know, 13 or 14 years of my life in the music business at a small record label with major label distribution. I did very well for myself. I made my millions by the time I was 30.

Danny Johnson: Oh, cool.

Matt Theriault: But then this thing called the “digital download” came along and just basically turned that whole industry upside down. And once Napster really hitting people, our audience really embraced it. This is way before iTunes was even the household word that it is now. Within probably about six months, I would say we were with our normal model that we had. We were bankrupt. I was divorced. And at the age of 34, I was actually bagging groceries for $7 an hour.

Danny Johnson: Wow!

Matt Theriault: Yeah. It was quite the fall. After about six months or so of a giant pity party of just blaming everybody and everything and not looking at myself and what I could’ve done differently, I felt really just kind of ripped off in life. It felt really unfair. I just come from an amazing lifestyle and I was like, “What am I going to do next where I can produce that type of income?” And it took me 15 years to get to that situation. I was just thinking, “Gosh! Fifteen years from now, I’m going to be 50 years old before I ever get to start living the life that I had before.”

So I was just looking for money. That’s what it was. I was in it for the money. And one person of all people, a very unlikely source, the grocery store manager had told me, he said, “Hey, if you want your money back, you got to go into real estate. I mean, that is the final frontier where the average person has a legitimate shot at creating epic wealth.” And I was like, “Whoa! The final frontier?!” Well, I guess if I got to learn something else, I better learn how to master this final frontier. And so, I—

Danny Johnson: And that’s crazy too coming from… You never know who’s going to plant that seed for you. You know what I mean?

Matt Theriault: Right. We’re actually the same age. So he was the manager of the store and I was bagging groceries with the 16-year-olds. And he’d been there since he was 16 years or so, and I was only a few years away from receiving his pension. And along the way, he’d been able to pick up, I don’t know, half a dozen apartment buildings. So that was his point of reference. That’s where he was speaking from. So at 40 years old, he was going to live like a life better than he was when he was working and not many people can say that.

And so, I was like, “Okay. I needed that. I don’t have any other options. I don’t have a plan B in place. Let’s go for it.” So I did what I thought the logical thing was, and I went and became a real estate agent. And after about four years of that, I realized, “Hmm. I don’t think this is the final frontier he was talking about.” If real estate is where all the money is at, I think it’s on the other side of the desk because I had witnessed what some of my clients had been doing. I was like, “You know, I need to be doing what they’re doing, not what I’m doing. I need real estate agents working for me. I don’t need to be the real estate agent working for them.”

So I made a transition from representing other people in the buying and selling of their property and started representing myself and buying and selling on my own behalf and that was right around the time where short sales were a big deal and they were everywhere, very much the low-hanging fruit and it was pretty darn easy to get a short sale or get control of one. And then, you have a 50/50 shot of it being approved. But as long as you have a full pipeline, once you got it approved, there was no problem at all in getting rid of that thing. So that was—

Danny Johnson: Right. Was that about 2008 or so?

Matt Theriault: Yup, 2008. And for that whole year, myself and my partner, we just crushed it. We did. I think we did, I don’t know, 70 of those, and I had a license.

Danny Johnson: Oh, wow!

Matt Theriault: So she was the buyer on the deals. So she was negotiating, but then I was the agent that represented us. So she was getting the profit, I was getting the commission.

Danny Johnson: Oh, nice.

Matt Theriault: And I probably shouldn’t have said that here but hopefully the statute of limitation has worn out because I don’t know if that was the most ethical way to do it. But it was the Wild Wild West. Banks that were controlling real estate, they had no idea what they’re doing. And it was just like everybody was out to get as much as they could and the bank has caught on, and that whole short sale business kind of died down to the point where it was like it wasn’t even worth the time and effort.

Danny Johnson: Right. Yeah, because they were pretty much accepting everything on a short sale for a long time there.

Matt Theriault: Banks weren’t prepared for it. They’re in the business of lending money. They weren’t in the business of controlling real estate. And all of a sudden, they seemingly had more real estate than they had money so they had to do something with it.

Danny Johnson: And so, what did you do after that? After the short sale fun was over, what did you start doing?

Matt Theriault: Well, during that period, while I was an agent, I caught on to that book, Rich Dad Poor Dad. I guess that was like 2002 or 2003 when I really got a hold of that. So I always had the concept of passive income in the back of my mind, always the concept of cash flow. And I fortunately crossed paths with someone that had a bunch of property for sale and as an investor they had a giant portfolio for sale. And so, I got the exclusive right to get the whole thing under contract and then I started just wholesaling them. And then, I kept a bunch for myself and just started. I was like, “Wow! I don’t have to go out and look for a deal every day. I like this rental income.” It wasn’t a ton of money, but it’s enough to support me. And I was like, “Wow! If I just kept on adding to this, then it could be a ton of money.”

And so that was the route that I went, and I really started to embrace all the different types of creative strategies that were out there in real estate, the creative financing strategies especially involving the seller because that was kind of the situation I had with this particular deal. And I just started doing it one at a time and started networking and meeting other distressed investors and just presenting them these offers of this creative financing for them to carry back. It was just creating win-win all over the place. And before I knew it, I looked up and I had about 200 rental properties.

Danny Johnson: Oh, wow!

Matt Theriault: Yeah. And I was like, “Okay.” Now, it comes with a lot of work. I wasn’t managing them, but there’s still a lot of work to manage the property managers. But what’s the tradeoff? Me going back to bagging groceries? Me going to work for somebody else? I’d rather have this work than that work. Once your network starts to notice your progress, when they know you from just a few years ago bagging groceries and now you’re playing golf on a Tuesday, they’re like, “How are you doing that?” And you got brand new clubs and you got a new car. So I got a lot of invitations out for coffee, invitations for lunch and dinner. “Just come out with me, Matt. I want to pick your brain and see what you’re doing.”

So that was kind of like the next logical step in that whole process, was teaching. I saw there was a demand to learn how I did what I did and so I started the Epic Pro Academy online. I started the podcast. So now, I’ve got two really solid streams of income with the education in my portfolio. And then through that education came a whole other venture that we never even planned. My student said, “This is great, Matt. You’re great. I love it. I see how it works. I’ve done some deals, but this is just a lot of work. I really don’t want to do it. Can you just do it for me?” And that was the third head of our business, was a cash flow savvy. That’s our turnkey operation.

Danny Johnson: Oh, cool.

Matt Theriault: And so now, we got that and then we just opened up a hedge fund, the Epic Wealth Fund. It just gets bigger and bigger every time. We just kind of evolve. And what’s the word I’m looking? Yeah, evolve. Evolve into the next progression, I guess the next step. And so, we just keep on getting bigger and bigger. So that’s where we are today.

Danny Johnson: Well, that’s awesome. So starting out as an agent, I think this topic… It would be great to talk to you about that because you’ve been on both sides, an investor working with agents and being the agent working with investors. So just to get started and get into this, as real estate investors, what are the different ways that we can work with agents to accomplish more and get better deals? As a general sense of the different things as far as bank-owned properties and all things like that.

Matt Theriault: Sure. I think the first thing working with agents is understanding how an agent thinks and being able to put yourself in their shoes, and that can be really difficult to do if you’ve never been an agent yourself. I think the average deal an agent does a year is like one and a half deals a year, the average agent. That’s all they do.

Danny Johnson: Oh, really?

Matt Theriault: Yeah. Or licensee. There’s full-time and part-time people that are mixed in ther, but it’s like one and a half deals.

So a lot of them aren’t doing a lot of volume. A lot of them aren’t very knowledgeable. And a lot of them don’t know anything else other than what their broker has told them. And their broker has told them to… “You go sit at open house. You find a buyer. You take them to your lender. You get a prequalification letter. And then on Saturdays, you take them around and show them properties until they pick one.” That’s kind of the essence of what they’re taught. And to think anywhere outside of that is… It’s illegal. It’s against the law. It’s dangerous. You’re going to get scammed. So they’re terrified of doing anything outside of those lines. So you need to understand that about their psyche. Every single Monday morning when they have those broker meetings and all the agents are gathered around the broker, the broker brings out the latest news clipping of the latest agent that went to jail. So it’s a constant fear message inside of that broker.

So when an investor comes up to them and starts talking about anything outside of that… If you talk about anything outside of that box, it tends to scare the real estate agent. So you’re going to have work through a certain number of real estate agents before you find one that is what we call “investor friendly.” So that’s the first thing, just getting the mindset of them and not getting discouraged if you can’t create that love relationship between agent and investor on your first attempt or even maybe five attempts. It can take a while to find a good one. But when you find a good one, it’s like finding a good mechanic or a good dentist. You want to hold on to them and you want to treat them well.

I got in a little bit of a ramble there, Danny. What was the actual question?

Danny Johnson: It was about the different ways that you can work with them. So maybe if you’re new, you’re not sure of all the different possibilities out there, what kinds of agents are out there that you would want to try to contact and why?

Matt Theriault: Sure. There’s two schools of thought on that too because some people want to work with the agents that are doing tons of deals because you’re going to have access to… The idea or the logic there would be that they’ve got the experience, they’ve got access to more deals. But then also if you’re just getting started yourself, they might not want to spend a whole lot of time with you. The other school of thought is finding an agent that’s brand new that’s willing to participate, might be a little bit more entrepreneurial minded.

What we do is we go ahead through the MLS and we’ll have somebody just run us a report of, say, all the cash transactions say in the last six months. And then, we’ll get a printout of that and we’ll send it to a VA, and they’ll extract all of the agents. And then, they’ll extract all of the buyers. And then, we’ll look for repeating names. So if we have four or five transactions that have the same agent cash transactions, that’s an agent that’s probably working with investors. And on the other side of that is if you find a buyer there that’s repeated then you see that name come up again and again, that’s probably a good person to add to your cash buyers list. So we do that in all of our markets.

Danny Johnson: Yeah. That’s an awesome process. And so asking an agent to do something like that is not… It shouldn’t put them off. It’s not a lot of work for them, right?

Matt Theriault: No, it’s a report. It’s a click of a couple buttons and they’re good to go. So there’s that.

And then, it’s good old networking. Scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. For the best results, you should probably scratch first and just kind of give, give, give and then ask is a formula.
So one way of doing that is letting them know that, “Hey, I’m an investor in the area. I’m going to be doing a lot of deals this year. I talk to a lot of sellers.” And a lot of those sellers I do talk to, they’re not motivated enough to sell to me at a price that works for me but they still want to sell and I don’t really have a place to refer them to. So I’m looking to create a relationship to where I can refer those types of people to an agent because they want to sell retail in exchange for that agent just helping me out with comparables and MLS access. That’s the major exchange how each person can benefit in a great way.

Danny Johnson: Great. So you talked about finding different agents that are working with other investors. Now, what if you don’t have any idea? You don’t have any contact with any agent, so you don’t even have the one to pull those for you. Do you have a way to maybe find that first person to start talking to?

Matt Theriault: Yeah. Well, there’s a few different ways. You can go to a REIA meeting. There’s typically agents there. You can go to any chamber of commerce. There’s always a real estate agent there and then… Or just on the weekends, look for the open house. Walk into an open house because that’s a real estate agent that’s holding that house open.

Danny Johnson: Yeah, great idea.

Matt Theriault: And your people skills have to come into play, and you have to talk to people. But I would just don’t go for the kill right away. Don’t ask for things right away. As a previous real estate agent that held a lot of houses open, investors come in all the time and they just start talking. And they’re just like, “Give me. Give me. What deals you got? What deals you got?” Without even telling you what a deal is. Without even knowing you.

So when a real estate agent interacts with an investor, you have to understand they’re thinking two things. They’re thinking, “Oh God. This guy… They’re just going to have me write a bunch of low-ball offers doing all this paperwork that never gets accepted. Or if they’re going to hire me to sell their property, all they’re going to want is get a piece of my commission.” That’s how investors are perceived by real estate agents, so you have to keep that in mind as well.

So when you are having that conversation, always bring up that and you’ll get your full commission because that’s their biggest fear, is that they’re not going to get their full commission or they’re going to do a bunch of work and get nothing, right? So you always want to keep that at the forefront. So that’s just a general way to approach the whole thing.

I guess if you’re going to buy stuff on the MLS and you’re going to work with agents, you want to be—one of the quickest ways to do that—it doesn’t work with every one of the agents, but agents love to double-end stuff. So finding a deal and contacting the listing agent and allowing them to keep both sides of the commission. That’ll typically give you some good favor in their minds.

Be easy to work with. Don’t be a jerk. Be very easy to get along with. Be nice. Be likeable. Keep your word. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you’re going to put a property under contract, you better follow through. Because if you take that property and get under contract with that agent and you canceled that for some reason, it’s going to be really tough for you to get another deal with that agent. And agents, that’s a small office. That’s a small world. They do talk. And if you have a couple repeat offenses even with random agents, your name will get around. So you got to make sure if you’re going to work with agents, you got to follow through and keep your word and make sure that your agent gets paid. As long as your agent is getting paid every time they do business with you, that’s going to make things a lot easier for you.

Earnest money. Putting additional earnest money to let them know that you’re serious. One of the biggest things with agents and sellers alike is just the certainty of close. They just want to be certain it’s actually going to close and everyone is going to get what’s coming to them.

Danny Johnson: Right. Because they don’t want to look bad if you’re not closing because that makes them look bad.

Matt Theriault: Right. It makes them look bad, but the agent only gets paid if that thing closes. The seller only gets their proceeds if the thing closes. People don’t want to go in and out of three or four different escrows waiting for the one that is going to close. They would prefer that to be the first one.

So one of the ways to do that and show that you’re serious that you’re going to close is by giving a higher earnest money into the escrow, removing contingencies or at least drastically limiting the contingency period, coming with the proof of funds, and if you have any sort of history that you present, “Hey, I do deals here. I do close. And here are some of the deals that I’ve done recently.” So all those types of things will help you get your offer accepted.

Danny Johnson: Yeah. And I think a lot of that goes into also being prepared. So if you haven’t done any deals before and you’re approaching agents to buy these houses off of the MLS, you definitely want to be prepared for what’s likely to happen, what they’re likely to request. Because if you can’t provide those things… Just imagine if you were to call up and say, “Hey, I’m interested in the house. I want to pay this much,” and they start asking you questions: What’s the buyer’s name? What kind of funding are you doing? Are you doing hard money? Or are you doing cash? All that kind of stuff. If you don’t have answers for all those things, it’s not going to look good. So it’s figuring out those pieces before you get into that. And I would think that would be common sense, but I think it surprises some people when they find out that there’s addendums and all this other stuff that comes into play. What are the typical things that you need to have lined up before your… You think people should be calling and making these offers to these listing agents especially the REO agents?

Matt Theriault: Right. There’s that traditional way of doing real estate where it’s with a bank. It’s always going to be through an agent, but it doesn’t matter if they’re representing an institution or a private individual. They want proof of funds. They want earnest money. They’re by the book. As investors and dealing privately with sellers, I very rarely ever have to put earnest money down. I very rarely ever have to show proof of funds. But if you’re going to deal above board into the, I don’t know, say the traditional real estate with an agent and a lender involved, you’d have to come in and prove yourself that you’re worthy and you’re capable of closing the deal.

Danny Johnson: Right. And knowing how long you can get those funds together, how fast you can and all of that kind of stuff. So if you tell them you’re going to close in a week and there’s no way in the world that you’d be able to do it, it’s not good.

Matt Theriault: Yeah. You have to back up everything that you say, and you have to paint a picture of yourself as this upstanding individual who has money to close the deal, has done this before, is not going to get scared midway through, and you’re going to follow your way through, and everyone is going to get what they got coming to them.

Danny Johnson: Great. So, we talked about finding the agents and doing some things to making offers more enticing so that they’re more likely to be accepted. What about having agents find you deals? Do you ever use agents to find deals for you?

Matt Theriault: We do. It happens. It definitely happens. It’s going to take a very unique agent though because agents have a fiduciary duty to the seller, to who they have that list in agreement with. And they have to keep their best interest at heart. So the agents will bring you deals if they’re not getting a lot of nibbles anywhere else. Some agents will be a little unscrupulous and bring it you before it goes to market because they want to double end the deal. It’s gray area. I don’t buy a lot of properties through real estate agents. I sell a lot through real estate agents, but I don’t buy a lot through them because there is a conflict of interest there.

Danny Johnson: Yeah, if it’s a listing agent. But what about having agents be trained to find houses that they don’t have listed for you? Do you ever work things that way?

Matt Theriault: I don’t have a lot of interaction that way. I don’t. Most of our deals come from private sources and other wholesalers.

Danny Johnson: Yeah. And I’ve talked to some people, some other investors… And I don’t do that either, but I’ve tried in the past. You said something earlier as far as an agent with a little bit more of an entrepreneurial character or whatever, mindset. And someone that’s kind of want to like go after because they know if they can find you a bunch of deals they’re going to make a lot of money. It’s just how much work are they going to put into it to do it. And coaching them.

And so, what I’ve tried to do in the past is teach them what kind of properties I’m looking for that I’m more likely to accept a lower offer. So maybe been on the market for 90 days, maybe had a price change, maybe had different words in the description as far as like problems with the house, foundation problems or TLC, or fixer upper, that kind of stuff. And then sort of teaching them even at a certain point what kind of offers you would like to make because most of the time it’s going to be something where you can even coach them to the point where they can figure what the after-repair value is and then do like 70% of that and then do a real conservative number for repairs and make an offer. And then if the owner of that house comes back with a counter offer, then the investor will go in and look at it further because there is always almost a counter. And that first offer is going to be so low that if it got accepted they’d be excited about it anyway.

Matt Theriault: Yeah. What people I think sometimes forget about this business is that it is a people business and that it’s rather cliché but it is. And when you really stop to think about that, this is people working with people. You’re buying from other people. You’re selling to other people. And it’s all about relationships. So the better relationship you have, the deeper relationship you have with an agent, probably the better results you’re going to get.
Now having said that, I wouldn’t put all your eggs in the agent basket either. You’re going to want to be working a few different lead generation sources, a few different ways of disposing of your deals. The agent, that relationship, that’s going to bring a deal or two or three or four every year. But if that’s your sole purpose or your sole, I guess, avenue of finding deals, that’s not going to be a profitable career.

Danny Johnson: Right. Yeah. I know. I agree with you completely. It’s just another way, another source, another line in the water.

Okay. So, we covered a lot of that. Let’s talk about the other side that a lot of people are interested in and that’s really just being able to use the MLS to get comps and get values to determine what a house would resale for, especially in non-disclosure states like Texas where that’s not public record to view what a house is sold for. So sites like Zillow and Trulla and stuff like that aren’t very accurate. Can you share any tips on how to approach agents to be able get values for properties that you’re looking at buying even if they’re not on the market?

Matt Theriault: It’s kind of the same approach. If you’re going in and you are offering something, you’re serving or you’re providing some sort of value to the agent, they’re going to reciprocate. That’s basic human nature. Yeah. I don’t think there’s a real trick to that other than what we’ve already discussed. It is all about relationships whether you’re on the buy side the sell side, or you just need comps. Any person whether it’s an agent or not is only going to work for free for so long. And if you’re starting this relationship fresh, then you’re probably going to have to put some wood in the fireplace, so to speak, before you actually get fire.

One of the things that I would do in some of our markets, I would walk in to one of these open houses. And I’d have three or four people that I’d already talked to, leads that I generated from my marketing that didn’t need to sell. They wanted to sell, but they didn’t need to sell. And I would say, “Hey, how are you doing? I’ve got some leads. I have people that want to sell. Would that be something that you actually follow up on and follow through with?” Because I don’t want to give them just to anybody because they’re a real deal and I just want to make sure that people are taken care of. “Would you be able to do that? Or would you want to do that?” And just frame it that way because you don’t want to waste it because some of those agents will not do those phone calls because they’d be scared to death to make those calls. So you want to frame that really carefully to make sure that they’re going to follow it through. But just by going and doing that, “I get these all the time. You can have these four. Those are for you.” And they’re just names and numbers, right? It doesn’t cost you really anything. They weren’t going to sell you anyway.

So I get these all the time and I’m just looking for someone that would want to follow up on these in exchange for helping me out with some access to the Multiple Listings Service and pulling comps every now and then when I need it.

Danny Johnson: Yeah. That’s a great way, right?

Matt Theriault: Yeah. That’s how I do it.

Danny Johnson: Right. That’s awesome. So that goes into the whole thing where you’re not looking at just listed properties for source of deals. You’re doing marketing yourself directly to sellers and those sellers that maybe don’t have enough equity or wouldn’t accept the kind of offer that you need to buy it yourself. You would then pass those on to the agent so the agent could likely list the property for them and have the property sold and they get paid a commission and everybody is happy.

Matt Theriault: Totally. And we get a lot of those calls through marketing. You get sellers that just want more than what you’re willing to pay and they’re not desperate. They might want to sell, but they’re not desperate to sell but they still want to sell. So making that connection and that could be part of your spiel like, “You know what? I don’t think this is going to be a good deal for you and I, Mr. Seller, but I have a great real estate agent in the area. And if anyone can get you top dollar in 30 days or less, this agent can.” You want to make that introduction. And open the door and then create a really warm call for that real estate agent. And if that turns into a listing, you’re going to have a friend for life. They’re never going to forget that.

Danny Johnson: Yeah. It’s a good way to do it. Now, do you use for properties that you’re flipping… So you guys are doing fix and flip right now? Or what—?

Matt Theriault: Just on the turnkey side. So we buy and fix up. We put the tenant in place. We coordinate with the property management and then sell it as a whole as a cash flowing asset.

Danny Johnson: And are you listing those with an agent to sell those?

Matt Theriault: No, we don’t. We typically don’t have to.

Danny Johnson: Okay. But for investors that are like myself, we fix up the houses and sell them and we have an agent that we work with that sells the properties mainly because we get tired of answering calls and questions and going to showings and stuff like that, selling all these things FSBO. You can’t scale when you do that. So it’s much better for us to pay commission and have them handle all the back and forth and all that kind of stuff.

So, for investors that are fixing up houses and they’re going to sell them, do you recommend that they start with FSBO to learn sort of the process of selling a house and what else involved and then maybe hiring an agent to start selling for them after that?

Matt Theriault: If you’re going to go retail, I think you’re doing the right thing by listing with a real estate agent. We have a unique business model, so our buyers come in. We meet them online. So we never really like to have to hit… the property is sold before we could ever get it to the Multiple Listing Service anyway. But if you’re doing the traditional fix and flip and you’re going to sell to a retail buyer, absolutely hire an agent.

There’s a thing about marketing. It says, “Exposure creates demand, and demand drives value.” So to get maximum dollar for your property, you need maximum exposure. And the Multiple Listing Service, that’s maximum exposure. There’s I think—what’s the number—like 97% or 96% of all real estate transactions, there’s a real estate agent involved. So 96% of all your buyers out there are working with a real estate agent. So you want to make sure that you are well-seen, your property is well-seen and heavily exposed to that real estate agent community. And just by the nature of supply and demand, when you bring that much exposure to something, you’re going to bring in a few people that are both looking at it and then the offer-counter offer thing comes into play and you end up typically selling that property for more than what you’re listing it for if you got a good strategy and you’re pricing right. Just by the nature of attracting multiple buyers, you’re going to sell that property for more.

Danny Johnson: Right. Fantastic. Yeah. And I couldn’t agree more with… It’s not even just an ease thing with switching from FSBO to selling with an agent. But like you said, getting that out there so that the biggest group of people will be able to find it, the ones that are looking for that type of property.

Matt Theriault: Exactly.

Danny Johnson: Well, great. Is there anything else on this topic of working with real estate agents that maybe we haven’t covered that you would want to talk about?

Matt Theriault: From my experience and having been a real estate agent… And they don’t do this on purpose, but they get in the way a lot of times more than they actually help things. So you want to find somebody, an agent that really gets it. You just start creating those relationships right now. Start creating those relationships when you don’t need it. What’s the thing that you fill your bucket when you’re not thirsty? Or something like that. That expression. And that just works this way. And just remember, they’re people and this is a people business. And the better the relationships, the better experience that you’re going to have. And understand that most agents don’t have a clue as to what it is that you do as an investor. They have no idea. So there’s a big gap there. So there might be a little bit of an education process or a searching process to find that one agent that does know what you’re doing.

So that would be it. I just keep all of that into perspective. And don’t get discouraged if you don’t find a good agent in your first four or five attempts because you’re going to keep on—

Danny Johnson: Yeah. And like you said, you can be pretty quick in determining whether they’re that type of agent or not. Whenever you ask something about wholesaling a property and they tell you, you can’t do that do that because it’s illegal, you immediately know that you’ve got the wrong type because it’s not illegal.

Matt Theriault: It’s not illegal. It’s illegal! Wow! Okay. So it’s amazing I’m not in jail yet. I’ve been doing this for a decade.

Danny Johnson: We started whispering.

Matt Theriault: It’s just you and me here.

Danny Johnson: Hey, Matt. How can people find you? People listening that want to reach out to you or anything. How can they find you?

Matt Theriault: Sure. Well, everything about us is at epicrealestate.com. But if they’re listening to us right now, obviously they know how to find a podcast and my podcast is Epic Real Estate Investing.

Danny Johnson: Yeah. Definitely check that out. He’s got a great podcast. Any other ways or anything else you want to share with the audience?

Matt Theriault: No. I think we’re good. Agents is just another way to generate leads, but just don’t make it the end all be all because you still starve if you’re depending on agents to bring you your supper.

Danny Johnson: Right. Absolutely. All right. Well, great. Well, thank you very much for being… We’re recording this on Good Friday, so I appreciate you taking the time today to do that with me.

Matt Theriault: Oh, you bet, Danny. It’s my pleasure. Let’s do it again.

Danny Johnson: Right. Have a good one, Matt.

Matt Theriault: Uh-huh. Buh-bye.

Danny Johnson: [music] All right guys. I hope you got a lot of the episode about working with the agents. You can find the show notes and links to Matt’s website and podcast and everything on the show notes page at flippingjunkie.com/28, episode 28.

If you want to have multiple lines in the water to get leads and deals, trying to find an agent to work with is one of them. If you want to go the online route and have people that are looking to sell a house, you might want to look at leadpropeller.com. That’s leadpropeller.com, real estate investing websites. Those are actually websites that I’ve developed with my team here, and we provide those and all of the different things. You can get a text message if somebody submits a lead to your website so that you immediately can contact them and set an appointment which drastically reduces competition. So check that out. Hope you guys have a great week, and talk to you next time.

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