It has been 100th episodes already! For the past couple of months, Texas Real Estate has brought you effective and wonderful tips, tricks, strategies, and creative ways in order for you to build your own real estate empire. On today’s show, Robert Orfino talks with Casey Eberhart about some of the best deals that people miss out on and where you can find them. They also stress the importance of building relationships with the deal makers out there so they can give you access to their internal network of people that vouch for each other. Don’t miss out on this episode to learn more about network marketing, as well as Casey’s biggest takeaways from Texas.
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100th Show! With Guest Casey Eberhart and Co-Host Robert Orfino
We’re going to be talking a little about real estate. This is a big day for us. This is our 100th episode. It feels like 1,500. It’s early to get up.
What kind of EMD do you put down for Greenland? Do you think it’s a $100 earnest money deposit? Who does the title work exactly? You’re going to hear the news. Trump wants to buy Greenland, so there’s going to be an article on our Facebook page, the Mr. Texas Real Estate Facebook group. I’ve posted a couple of things. It’s going to be entertaining. I did a little research. It could be a good deal, we’ll see.
I don’t even know where to go with that. It’s a little random on a bunch of different levels. We had a meet up with the American Real Estate Meetup machine down in Dickinson. You put me in the truck and we drove down and started doing some walk-throughs on some of the properties that you are either looking at or you already have purchased in. It was fantastic to say the least, but what I loved most about it was boots on the ground and seeing what it looks like in real-time.
The highlight for me of the entire thing was when you had to check for water or utility in the city and we went down. Instead of doing what most lazy entrepreneurs would do which is put in an envelope and put a stamp on it or lay it in their truck and wait for somebody else to mail it. You took the time to go to the city hall, walk in the door, shake the lady’s hand, introduce yourself, update the files and then the magic happened after you handed her the check. That was when she was, “Do you own this place?” She looks around all cagey. She opens her drawer. I’m thinking she was looking for party drugs or something. She takes out these little posted notes. She’s like, “This guy might want to sell and there’s a business that this guy might want to sell. Maybe you ought to call this.”
It was written on a piece of paper. I’m looking around and there were four or five people in the room. There’s a whole other segment that was the Public Works Department who had seen us do Facebook Live at some of the properties already. That was the power of Facebook. Had they not been in the room, you would’ve got the dirt on everybody on the town. You walked with two or three leads on properties that would probably never ever make the market because you took that extra five minutes to go in there. We can talk about that.
What a lot of people miss is the best deals out there, the best things you will do in this business will not be listed on MLS. They’re not going to be a deal everybody hears about. It’s going to be this word of mouth through a network. What I found over the last few months is the higher we get, we can call that price point or value, whatever you want to define that as. The bigger these projects get, the less likely they ever make it out to the public. The best deals get so privately.
Deals are not sold on the retail market, pretty much in anything.Business is not complicated, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. Click To Tweet
We have a gentleman who has a property in Galleria and I talk to him maybe once a quarter. I know he follows the show and all that other stuff. He told me something. He’s got a property in Galleria. If he decides to sell it to us, we will be the last owners before that property is completely demolished and they put up a high-rise or something, office building, apartment, condos or whatever. One of the things he said was, “Jason, it’s for sale not on sale.” If that guy puts that property out on LoopNet and CoStar, it will be everybody and their cousins, sisters, brothers, best friend that want to get on that deal.
That’s not how those deals are made. Those deals are very much word of mouth. There are two or three other guys that would be interested in selling it too. That’s how the best deals are made. It’s not the best deals that you make the most money, it’s the ease of the transaction. It’s that transitional time from one ownership to the new owner. That whole thing is much easier when it’s one of this off-market insider deals. That’s what’s important in building that network. If I’d known that years ago, I know our business would look completely different. Much of that stuff takes place behind closed doors between trusted confidants and advisors, people that you’ve worked with or even worked with tangentially over the years. It’s like, “I’ve got a perfect person for this deal.”
I’ll use a different analogy but say the same thing. When the deal makers get together, they have their own internal network that happens outside of networking events, on the golf course, in a cigar bar or in the whiskey bar. It’s almost like an organized crime family. There is a network of people that operate underground network of people that vouch for each other and say, “He is good for the deal. You’re not going to get a headache with him. You’re not going to get a hassle with him.” This is why you want to go the Mr. Texas guys.
We haven’t even close on it yet, but we have a hotel. We are getting pocket listings for hotels. I’m like, “I appreciate you keep them coming. I haven’t bought my first one yet. We’ll get it done.” Now, it’s a hotel. You were at the back of the truck and you said, “Did you look at this property over at U of H?” I literally got it two days before. You’ll get it forwarded to you two or three times and I’ll get it for three or four different people. We are building this giant funnel where all these deals are coming through us first, then we’re like, “We’ll pass or may be interested, might be, not sure.” I can’t underscore enough how important that is. I know the term we like to use is influencer in this industry.
When I was in the biomedical research and healthcare side, we use the term thought leader. This person is a thought leader for this thing in our industry. I worked for a guy named Bob for fifteen years who is like the number one guy in the world. He flies all over the place to do consulting for people. When you come to that level, even for him, he got all the best job offers all the time. If he didn’t take the job, they’d put him on the national research committee. People talk about being at the top 1%, it’s not just money. It’s all influence. I totally agree with something that Gary Vaynerchuk has said, “All we do is trading attention at this point.”
We day trade attention span. That’s what it comes down to. The reason that there are thought leaders, influencers or whatever you want to call them is that is a well-orchestrated, architected blueprint to position yourself in the center of influence. It’s where all deals and all information pass through first.
Let me break that down a little bit because it’s not a mystical cabal that there are some great rituals to get in. You just have to walk up to the person and introduce yourself. You have to follow up with the person and make a connection. We talked about how I went to one room in this town and I work the room by constantly introducing, “This is who I am. I’m looking for this. Maybe you can help me out.” I got ignored many times until there’s, “This guy from California is looking for this.” You’ve got to be persistent at it. You’ve got to plan when you come to these networking events. You’ve got to look for the people. You’ve got to figure out who knows the people that can get the introductions you need and follow up with that introduction. We talk about as simple as showing over the check instead of mailing it in or showing up with a cup of coffee and following up. At one point, when I work with you, Casey, you had a twelve-step follow-up program and we did it semi-religiously. We probably did seven of twelve and it was good enough to get us above the rest of it. It’s not as though we’re here trying figure out all the secret ways and make these secret organizations. We’re here to be introduced to the people that we want to know and help them find the people that they want to find.
That does not mean calling the top influencer in the marketplace and saying, “Can I take you to lunch and pick your brain?” It does not work. It’s, “How about I’ve got the cherry deal of the lifetime. I’m going to give it to you first.”
Our show is moving to a new station. We’re going to be on from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM. We’re going to have two hours, five days a week. There are some things that happened here at the radio station. I was scrambling for airtime. For those of you who are out of state, I’m shopping at New Jersey and the Orange County market hard right now. We’ll have a live AM show at some point in those markets. It might be a Saturday or it could be a weekday show. We’re working as hard as we can to find it for the last few months, but we’re getting close.
The 100th episode, we made it. We’re talking about building networks of people, being an influencer to your marketplace. We’re talking about this on Facebook, it started on a different thread. When you think about a marketplace and how to become an influencer or a thought leader, some people falsely assume that means, “I don’t want to be at Mr. Texas Real Estate. I don’t want to be known for Houston. I want to be known for the Fifth Ward.” I’ve got a buddy of mine that does Fifth Ward over here and he’s absolutely crushing it in there. “I want to be known at Galveston Airbnb person.” That’s perfect. Let everybody know that. If you’ve got a deal or if you’re thinking about buying Airbnb in Galveston, give us a call like, “I’m that guy.” Some people falsely assume that they’ve got a self-brand as this gigantic thing. In order for you to be wildly successful, you don’t have to be a Gary Vaynerchuk.
It’s not only that, you don’t have to be “out there.” It’s not about the show, it’s about what’s produced on the show. When I’m driving around with you and we were in the truck for hours, it was amazing to watch you guys. We’re all doing it, but you were touching base with lots of people about lots of different projects. It’s what you do in between contract signings that matter. A lot of people falsely assume like, “I’m going to plant the flag of myself as Mr. Fifth Ward,” for example. Why if you say, “I’m Mr. Sixth Ward,” and that’s the only thing that you’re known for, would I ever go to you and give you, “I need somebody over here and cash me your gardens?” I would rather see people build a big network and market everything and be the person that ultimately gets to see the deal first and then make the referral over to somebody that’s outside the Fifth Ward. Sometimes people falsely assume that their “marketing” is putting their name on a postcard and somehow that’s going to magically build a network of people that call them with cherrypicked deals.
To talk about marketing consistency and how people want and desire things, I always found it fascinating when I would go to a big event like the big SuperInvestor meeting, there will be 1,000 people there. I’ll get people that come up to me and say, “I want to have my house buying company.” They’d come up to me and say, “Jason, I want to get on your buyer’s list. Here’s my card.” I’m like, “I don’t want your card. You’re probably on some email list of mine. You’re already following me on Facebook. Send an email to this email address. It’s going to autoreply a form to you. Fill that form out and you’ll be on my email list.”
Here’s how I figured out most people are not serious. The guys that are serious go, “Don’t walk away, Jason. What’s that email?” They type it out right there in their phone, hit send and we’d wait. The email would come back and they go, “I’m either going to fill this out now or I would get home, but I’m going to be on your list.” 90% of people would do this, “What’s that email?” After that, they walk off. I knew they never sign up. That’s how I knew 90% of these people at these events are not serious. When I see those people at a subsequent event and they say things, “There are no deals out there. There’s no money. I’m getting killed in this market.” You’re not even working. You can’t even type out an email address.
I don’t know another word to use for it other than it’s shocking to me the people that don’t have the capacity to be in business. The thought leaders, the influencers and people that are seeing deals, think of them as chess players. They are playing against a population that barely knows how to play checkers. You guys are thinking three to five moves out, six strategy moves out. We did a meeting at a restaurant type bar and I sat there. I wanted to tear up and cry myself into a third or fourth beer because I look at a group of people that had enough gumption to get in a car. They drive to a restaurant and they’ve checked any logic or any sense of business at the door. There were so many dynamics playing. Our producer, Rick was in that show too. It’s shocking to me how it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to get to put a pedestal. You’ve got to put in a tiny bit of effort. You’ve got do something. Text people, say hi and follow them on Facebook. Figure out how to promote your kid trying to get a hamster or a dog.You’ve got to figure out who knows the people that can get the introductions you need, and follow up with that introduction. Click To Tweet
The other thing inherent to our industry, which we myth bust on a daily basis is this business is not complicated, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s a pretty simple process. It is an A to B to C to D to paycheck. It doesn’t mean that this is an easy business and people confuse the fact that anyone with seventh-grade reading level can understand real estate and do real estate and get checks. That doesn’t mean that it’s easy for that seventh-grade reading level person, it’s not. You’ve got to do your day job and then put in at least 25 hours of networking a week to be successful. You’ve got to hit all those clubs and connect with people. When you’re not at a club or you’re at a REIA event, then you’ve got to be sending out emails, following up, doing one of the 30 things that you listed on the board to stay connected to people. Only then after about six months of that will you start to see the yield of your seed planting.
It’s build the network and the deals will come. It’s that whole thing and most people want to roll and go, “I’m a wholesaler. I read a book on how to do a subject-to.” Build the network and the deals will follow. I want to tell everybody out there that if you are not part of the Mr. Texas Real Estate Facebook group, you can read all about the musings and the going-ons of these guys out in Houston and quite frankly all over or anywhere in the world. Go search that group, not the page, where Jason can pontificate and give his opinions on the acquisition, cost and upside and downsides of real estate.
We’re having a great event. This is one of those events that changed my life. When I came to Houston, the first person we were calling was you. We were both on the phone saying, “How are we going to do this? I’m in California and am I going to get into this marketplace. Everything is going to be strange.” You said, “Just embrace it and be the California guy.” Here I am. You helped me out in getting started here. You brought those basic stuff back to focus for me and we are able to work this market. It’s going well for us. We’re happy with Texas. We love it. We will always have our residence here. We’re never leaving here. This will always be where our home is.
I was talking to a friend on the phone and I said, “If you would like to know what it feels here, I want you to take a cup of water, put it in your dryer, roll it around for about 45 minutes, and then get in the dryer and jump in. That’s basically what it’s like. We’re going to do an event about strategizing, formulating and systematizing a plan to create thought leaders and influencers. At the end of the day, what does that do? It puts more money in your pocket. We’re going to show you the A to Z on how to find people that have money, that want to invest, that may or not be scared and how to get in their pocket books and help them cross the finish line as well as creating thought leaders.
What you will see in this market, for those people that attend either live or on the live stream is you will absolutely have a new crop of thought leaders that have made a splash in the market. People that were introverted, people that were like, “I don’t know what the Facebook even is. I still text via Morse code and smoke signals.” We’re going to take all of those people and bring them into this marketplace. We’ll give them a pathway, system and formula to position them in a place to be able to get in front of those deals that you guys are getting on Post-it notes, back alley, basement water districts, and little town halls up and down the coast.
This is not just for real estate investors. If you’re a real estate agent, if you’re doing any type of sales or marketing, if you have a small business, you have to be at this event. I texted our cleaner, “Are you coming to this event? This is going to change your life.”
We talked about this a little bit and I chuckled about it when we did it. I brought it up again and as I was talking about it, it even became more important for me. If I’m trying to find somebody that has $20,000 to $100,000 to invest and they’re scared. It’s sitting in their checking account or Schwab account. Those people are out there. We just have to be able to find them and attract them into our space. One of the places I would look are network marketers and people that run home-based businesses. If you are in a home-based business, a network marketing business and literally the entire profession is called network marketing, an event called Networking Riches might be an event you should check out. You can find any one of the three of us all over Facebook. If you’re part of the Mr. Texas Real Estate Facebook group, we’ll get the link inside of there. One of those was a third-party validation or a third-party testimony. An outside third party always means more than you pitching yourself. It is basically what you want to do, create an entire network of people that are bird-dogging and looking for people and deals on your behalf. That’s what building network is all about which is what we’re going to do.
This is one of those events that changed my life. It took me from $500,000 debt to substantially much more in the positive.
I’m 100% bias when I say this. The reality is what you came out of with that event in that hotel. I remember it was on the second floor. We were in a horseshoe. You’re on the right side and you sat next to Helen Brown. You were wearing a solar t-shirt. You were working on the green energy sector there. From that day forward, you can’t unlearn the process. We gave you the lock picking skills to unlock the door to any deal or relationships that’s out there. I’m going to bring this back to real estate on a real estate question. You have done a fantastic job of exploring the Airbnb market and taking property that someone might think of as a long-term rental. Someone might even think, “I could do a short-term rental a week or two in a vacation rental spot.” You have broken it down into daily rentals. One of the things that we talk about a lot in business is that the money goes to those who are prepared to handle headaches. Talk to me a little bit about are there headaches around Airbnb that are bigger or smaller than long-term rentals? Let’s break that down a little bit.
I’ll give you a real one. We had people come down to do some fishing. They brought their boats down. They were not from Texas. They came down here and they’re not used to the giant roaches. There were two or three that came into the house because there’s no water, there’s no rain, so they’re looking for water. These people completely freaked out. We got a polite but nasty email that said, “I never leave reviews on Airbnb, but I was tempted to leave this review.” It was all about the giant roach and one door that didn’t work. My partner who runs all this stuff out of state was like, “We’ve got to get a bug guy.” I said, “We do have to get a bug guy out there. We’ll absolutely bomb the heck out of that place, put the ring of death around the house but it’s not going to stop them from coming in until it starts raining again.” He said, “How do we do that?” I said, “We’ve got to teach the maid to hit some things and kick some things and make sure they’re not breeding in the house. That’s not where they breed. They breed in the ground.” It’s not the Norwegian little box roach, which is a dirty house indicator, it’s a giant bug that is dehydrated and looking desperately for water. It’s the palmetto bug, the wood bug.
It’s a giant roach. They fly at you and there are little kids freaking out. There are twelve people in this house, two families. They’ve got two boats. Everything is hunky-dory and happy. Here comes a giant roach as big as a small bird flying at the little kids. That’s the reality. I was up 10:30 at night. I got to get up at 4:30 in the morning. I’m sitting there link after link. This is common. I send it to my partner and he sends it out to the family. This is not an indication that this is a dirty house. They said, “We also found spiders.” I’m like, “Spiders are good.” You can’t even get into that. That was a real thing. I immediately put these three links into the house manual. I want everyone that books between the months of June and September to have a disclaimer that wood roaches in Southeast Texas is a real thing. Don’t take it as indication that the house is dirty, please read these three links.
If you want those links that Robert is sending out to put in house manuals, we’ll put those in the Mr. Texas Real Estate Facebook group. That’s a great way. What pushed you in the Airbnb direction? What was the thought process?
The thought process was I couldn’t sell a house. I bought a house and I thought the ARV was one thing.
What’s the ARV?Build the network and the deals will follow. Click To Tweet
It’s the After Repair Value or the retail value. I thought it was going to be close to $700 and the best offer we got on was $550 which is a recurring theme in our Airbnb life. The reason was, it was a house on what we call the double yellow line street. If streets have double yellow lines, it means it’s busy. If you’re looking a house and you look at the street and there’s no line separating it, great. If there is a dashed yellow line, we’re good. If there’s a double yellow line on your street, that’s a busy street. I had a five-bedroom house and who are the only people that are going to buy a five-bedroom house? Families with kids do not want to live on busy streets. I could not sell that house and I had to carry it and then I said, “We’ve got to do something.” My buddy up there who’s in on a deal with me said, “I keep seeing this Airbnb thing, we should try it.” I said, “Let’s do it.” We made $10,000 at the house.
There’s only one word for that and that’s Texas hot.
We had it to figure out. The same thing happened with a flood house. We did that and knowing that the house down at Dickinson is a money maker, we immediately called up Jet Lending and said, “I want that other big house that no one else is going to buy.”
Is that the one we did the walk-by? To bring you up to speed if you’re following the show, we did a walk-through a house. I followed Robert around as he broke the house down and explained how they were going to do it. It’s hilarious to me for all of the meetings and rooms we’ve been in over the days. That house has been seen by every single investor. All you have to say is the big, yellow house and everybody knows exactly what it is. It was one guy from Jet Lending, Michael Bailey said, “I wanted Robert to have that house and I was going to make this deal work.” I was like, “Stop everybody. I’ve got to interrupt this lovefest.” To point out to the rest of you that this is how a deal gets done when you’ve got a guy like Michael Bailey from Jet Lending saying, “I’m going to take ownership. I’m going to figure out who wants this, who can make it work, why can I make it work. Not only am I going to call you and make the deal happen, I’m going to praise you in front of a room full of 20 to 30 people.” The whole thing worked out perfectly and you’ll end up getting another huge asset-producing asset.
Let me say one more thing on that Airbnb. A lot people are always like, “How do I invest? How do I get started on that joint venture with you?” We’ve got three that we’re willing to work with people on. We’re going to do a little video and we’re going to share that video. If you’re interested in working with us on some Airbnb, joint ventures, loan us money or get involved in this sphere, give me a text at (281) 401-9008 or go to the Mr. Texas Real Estate group. Casey, what are your two big takeaways from Texas?
Number one takeaway is watching you work in between contract signings. It’s watching what you do in building out that network and maintaining that big ball of people in relationships. It’s a ton of little things. We were talking about all these little things that can help people take away the scary. It’s important. We were talking about the big roaches. We were talking about how double yellow line street equals the busy street. Most people wouldn’t think about that. The big takeaway from Texas is, number one Surfside is awesome. Number two, you’ve got to get around the deal makers. That’s super important and it doesn’t matter if we’re in Texas or not. This place is ripe with entrepreneurs, businesspeople and investors. They’re looking to be led and if somebody will step in and lead them, the money will follow, the deals will follow and people will invest with you.
It’s continuously being able to learn, stretch, grow and find new stuff out. The big thing for me as I travel around the country is I love watching people and it’s so easy to pick out who the players are going to be and who the players are. It’s interesting to watch. When I look at what we’re going to do at Networking Riches, all those people that are going to take action and become the next crop of players are going to be at this event. That’s what’s going to happen. The big thing from here is get around people that are awesome, learn, grow and ask a lot of questions. Poor Rob can’t get on a phone call because I’m pounding him with different questions. It’s the same with you. It’s been an awesome time. I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for having me to come in and hang out with you for a few days on the 100th episode. I’m super proud of what you have created and it’s an absolute awesome to watch. I can’t wait to continue that process over at the Mr. Texas Real Estate Facebook group.
Thank you for coming out. It’s been insightful. You think Casey’s got a lot of ideas here, wait until you have him in the truck for about four hours.
We do appreciate for hanging with us for our 100th episode. More and more people out there were like, “I follow you.” I can’t tell you how humbling that is. We certainly do appreciate you. We hope you follow us for the next 100 shows. We’re trying to bring good content and some fun humor.
- Casey Eberhart
- Jet Lending
- Mr. Texas Real Estate – Facebook group
- American Real Estate Meetup
About Casey Eberhart
Casey Dean Eberhart has been an entrepreneur since his first business venture at the age of five. At the age of 22, he was made General Manager of a $22 million amusement park. Casey majored in both Business Management and Human Resource Management at Washington State University. After graduating, Casey made his way to Los Angeles where he found himself working as a Production Manager/Line Producer on feature films including the Oscar winning best picture, “Being John Malcovich.” With his well-earned success in film, Casey started his own production equipment rental company, Atomic Production Supplies. Casey’s business ventures are in no way, shape or form limited to entertainment. His love of business and his love of the “art of the deal” have taken him into uncharted waters time and time again. He has owned businesses ranging from a lingerie store in an adult nightclub, to a Gymboree for the betterment of children, to an online T-shirt company. His need to learn and grow constantly forces him down new paths and at the onset of the real estate boom Casey made his mark with purchases of homes and condos in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas. His willingness to try something new and his desire for knowledge is his catalyst for his continued success. Business is a skill and Casey hones his skills with ongoing study of his trade. He is an avid member of Toastmasters Intl., a voracious reader of business development publications and he attends training conferences and seminars in a wide variety of fields. He is also part of Business Networking International, Long Beach Community Business Network, The Network for You, and many other organizations.