On this episode of Secrets to Real Estate Investing host Holly is joined by Erin Pullins. Erin joins Holly to discuss how she finds her deals in the market where deals aren’t as plentiful as they once were. Erin started her career out of college in financial services, while she did love this field she wanted to have the background because she knew that she didn’t want to do it forever but she did want to learn all that she could. Erin worked in financial services for 8 years before her and her husband had their first child, after their first child was born she went back to work part-time until the couple had their second child. After the birth of their second child Erin found it to be much more difficult to work and take care of the family so she quit her job to take care of the babies. While both her and her husband were working they started buying and renting properties and once her youngest was in preschool they started flipping properties. Both Holly and Erin boast the love that they have for the flexibility that their real estate journey has afforded them.
Holly asks Erin to share the story of her first flip. Erin and her husband partnered with someone who had experience for their first flip which Erin says did not go so well. The person that they flipped with was a member that they were in a mastermind group with; in retrospect Erin says that this member was someone that they didn’t know very well and other members also didn’t know this person very well. The deal was structured so that Erin and her husband were to bring in the money for gap funding, the amount of money that the hard money loan does not cover - Erin and her husband brought the money for gap funding. Long story short Erin says that her and her husband lost $50,000 on the deal because the person that they partnered with was getting paid all along the way and was not passing the money down through the partnership. While Erin and her husband did lose a lot of money from this deal they both felt that it was a learning experience and they have not let this happen to them again they also knew that this bad experience would not make them quit because they knew the lifestyle that real estate investing offered was one that they really wanted. Holly reminds listeners of one of her favorite quotes “it’s not you win or lose, it’s you win or learn” because at the end of the day each experience is one to learn from.
The next deal that Erin and her husband did was one that came from an agent that they work with a lot and one that they trusted. This deal came to them because the deal was brought to them and it was already ready to go. Holly asks Erin how she finds her deals - Erin says that 50% of them come from realtors and the others still come from the MLS. While neither Erin or her husband are licensed agents they do a lot of the searching on their own and Erin says that she favors Redfin to look for deals because of the way that they lay out the information which Erin feels is much friendlier and easier to read than the MLS.
Holly asks Erin what her strategy is when she gets her deals from realtors. Holly says that a lot of time realtors will set investors up on an auto email for deals similar to the ones that are sent to those for people who are looking to own and occupy the home. Holly reminds listeners that this can be frustrating for investors because the realtor often times does not even check out the information that is being sent out on these auto emails. Erin shares that her strategy when working with real estate agents is that she talks to the listing agent. On one property Erin called the listing agent and was told that he couldn’t represent her and connected Erin with a colleague that specialized in working with investors. This agent has now become an agent that Erin and her husband work with often because this agent knows the specifics that they are looking for and sends them exactly what they want which is helpful because there is no value in sending just any and all listing to them. This agent also will go with Erin and her husband to the homes that they are viewing and give them insight on what they might consider doing when they want to sell the home from a buyer’s perspective since this agent also works with traditional buyers. Erin appreciates that this real estate agent offers value to her business which is why they continue to work with her. Holly shares a similar story of when an agent told her not to take out cabinets in a certain neighborhood because that is what people in that area like so it would add value to the home and the agent was right and Holly says that the listing sold quickly even with the cabinets that Holly thought were ugly and would stop the house from selling. A local agent who sees things from the buyer’s perspective is extremely valuable because they know what people are looking for when often time investors aren’t showing homes to buyers.
Holly asks Erin to share other tips or advice that she has encountered with working with realtors and how to train them. Erin says that when she was learning the business she remembers people saying that investors are open to sharing while realtors are the opposite. So she says that when she finds agents that are about quantity seem to be the best fit for her and her husband. She wants agents that are willing to build a longterm relationship because they end up brining the best deals.
Holly asks Erin to show how she networks with agents in her area. Erin often times finds her agents by talking to people but also says that finding those agents that work well with investors isn’t always the same every time. Erin advises that if you are looking for an agent that works well with investors to start putting that information out there and call local real estate options and ask if there is an agent in the office that specializes with working with investors. She also says that even agents that are newbies are helpful because you can often train them how to work for you. Erin also advises checking out Redfin because you can see properties that have been flipped and see who represented those investors and reach out to those agents. Another tip that Erin mentions is to network with other investors in your area and introduce yourself because you never know what they might have that might be better suited for you and not for them - find people who are doing what you are doing. Another avenue that Erin and her husband have started using is leads from handymen who deal with fixing homes and know the neighbourhood. Erin and her husband compensate the people who bring them deals as well.
If you are interested in getting in touch with Erin you can reach her by email at [email protected]