The people you have in the real estate journey with you are just as important as the properties themselves. In this episode, we shine the spotlight on the buyer’s agents in this industry, and to help us with that is Real Estate Agent and Market Center Team Leader, Randy Olive, from The Loken Group and HAR. Together with our resident guest host taking over the reins, Robert Orfino, Randy takes us deeper into the relationship between a buyer’s agent and a client as well as the process of buying and holding real estate properties. They also talk about the model of what it looks like for an agent and, for those who are planning, how you can become one. Finally, Randy and Robert discuss the importance of your network and tell you how to find good representation.
Listen to the podcast here:
Buyers And Agents with Guest Randy Olive and Robert Orfino
Jason is still at the beach. He did an epic beach rent. It was funny because he’s walking along and he’s making some serious points but it’s hard to walk in the sand. He’s getting out of breath because he keeps walking in the sand and it weighs down on him. It’s getting more and more and tougher and tougher. Finally, he’s like, “I’m back at the house.” A lot of words of wisdom there and we want to get started with your buy and hold career. That was the gist of it. I do have a guest. He is a fellow Keller Williams member. We went to Randy. Randy is the guy who has been guiding our team.
For those of you who may or may not know, Mr. Texas Real Estate Team is powered by Keller Williams Platinum. We have our own real estate team up at the Platinum Market Center, which I believe is owned by Lance and Karina. We decided we’re going to be buying $25 million, $50 million maybe $100 million worth of real estate over the next few years. We’re not interested in keeping and constantly training agents on how to work with us. We decided to put our own team together so that those agents become in-house. Along the way, we’ll happily share our resources, our agents, and we will find and bring you deals. If you’re a flipper, we will sell your deals for you. Predominantly, the core team works with investors.
If you’re an investor and you’re looking to get in a buy and hold property, then you’re going to give us a call or text us at (281) 401-9008 and you can get on our buyer’s list. If you’re a flipper, we have a special listing program designed for flippers because we’ve flipped houses before and we know what you want from your agents. You don’t want to have to keep getting phone calls about the lawn not being mowed. You don’t want to keep having to go back in and clean the house every week because they had an open house. There are certain things that you need your agent to take care of because you’re already onto your next deal.
We have this program for people that do fix and flips that we’d love to list your property. We also have a little guarantee involved and a rate reduction and we make it incentivize for you. If you are a real estate investor who’s flipping houses, we would love to have an opportunity to list your house. Enough about us. Our guest is Randy Olive and we worked together over at Keller Williams Platinum. Randy, let’s talk a little bit about how you met us and where you lie in the whole structure of the real estate empire that is The Loken mega-media empire there.
That’s the thing I was thinking about. I don’t remember exactly how we got connected. We had a mutual friend within the industry that connected us. You had this great dream to be able to start providing opportunities for agents who are around you, who knew you, loved you, trusted you. You pitched this idea of what it would look like to be able to have an investor understand what their potential is for opportunities. We opened up the door to see what it was that we could do for you to see if your business could grow. Even when you walked in and my first thing to you was why you would want to come in and partner with somebody like us to be able to do something that you’re already so skilled at?
As we opened up that door, we saw how awesome it would be to be able to help people not get educated in what they’re doing with their investment properties, but also find the resources that they could expand their worlds in a huge way. You keep saying investor and in my head, I look at an investor as multiple streams of income, not just the one thing they’re doing, whether it’s buying and flipping or buying and holding, which is a fast way to get there. It’s opened up so many different worlds. For us, it made a great marriage. My role in this world is that I run the KW Platinum brokerage that is over in the Northwest side of Houston. Lance and Karina Loken of The Loken Group, they had the opportunity to purchase this Market Center and asked me if I would be willing to step out of production and into a role of leadership. I took that and ran with it. I love it. This is my world.
You are an expert at your job. You’re helpful and you’re open on this stuff and you are certainly able to set us up so that we understood it now. We’ve been in real estate for a very long time, but we’ve never put a signpost anywhere or filled out a contract for someone else. There are all those ins and outs that we are still learning. We have some good people on our team that we brought in and then you are working with it as well. We’re very happy being a part of that. People always get confused. There’s The Loken Group and then there’s the Market Center. Somehow in my mind, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, it seems to me that Lance got powerful pretty quick.
Powerful is a big strong word. I think he got influential. He was very specific about how he was going to build his business. If you’ve ever sat and listened to me ever, he and I were very much aligned on that, which is why I joined him in the first place. He was very specific on what his mission, vision and values were for his business, then he had the tenacity to start moving towards it. That tenacity grew like crazy and grew fast because he knew what he wanted to do before he got started. In that process, he was wildly successful in talent acquisition. He was good at finding people who were very talented and got them in a position to be able to expand their minds. They were able to be highly productive agents and then they contributed to his world. He gave them all the credit and grew.
He is a very humble guy when you meet him. If you don’t understand, he is probably one of the top five real estate guys in the city. His wife is insanely gracious and it rolls out. It’s throughout the organization. One of the big things for us is Lance gives you his entire business model. It’s like, “Here it is. It’s in these Dropboxes, just get it.” Whatever you’re looking for, Lance has probably already done it. If you want a script, there it is. If you want to figure out how to get listings, there it is. If you want to figure out how to build a team and your contracts, there it is. Everything is available. There’s nothing hidden. There’s no, “I’m going to hide these thirteen secret ingredients over here,” and not share. Everything is out there. If you want to have as many deals as Lance and I think they’re over 2,000 a year is what the team closes over there.
They will close over $600 million in volume.
That’s not bad. If you want to start a $600 million real estate team, you simply join Platinum and you see Randy and once you’re in, you get the file and there it is. It’s right there. You’re going to have the discipline. He seems to be very disciplined and very precise.
His yeses are yeses and noes are noes. He understands the value of what a yes is and the value of what a no meant. There is a separation though of what we do in the Market Center. We are the Keller Williams brand. He is the Lance Loken through Keller Williams and then mixed out to the business models that he wanted to.
I always get the feeling like someone said, “You need to do this,” more than, “I want to do this.” It’s like, “You’re doing well. You need to do this.”
He saw the opportunity that was there, which is why I like what you are looking to do in your world. He looked at the industry where it was so discombobulated and said, “If we create this space to where somebody can be an expert in their particular section of it, instead of running around like a chicken with their head cut off. What if that is the key that unlocks this wildly successful ability to grow?” We’re all sharing in our expertise to grow one singular company forward versus our own individual pieces that we’re trying to grasp at.Open up all the doors and give clients as much information as you can so they can make the best decision for themselves. Click To Tweet
You were in the energy world. You don’t have an engineer who designs the pipe and then also fixes the copier and then is also going to interface with investors. That’s the thing, “Here’s your task.” I love that breakdown. Let’s get into that a little more. Let’s talk about the different roles that the agent has. The thing we’re focusing here in the last few days is your buyer’s rep. You find a buyer and you go shopping for them.
When you look at the buyer’s rep side of things and that’s where I cut my teeth in the industry. For two–and–a–half years, I was in production. I closed 138 transactions as solely a buyer’s agent. It is all about finding those spaces to where you can create advocacy between you and the client to help them understand exactly what their needs are. You open up all the doors and give them as much information as you can so they can make the best decision for them and their family. I think where buyer’s agents get a lot in each other’s way is that we want to be able to be the expert in that space and we’re not the hero. The client is a hero of that story. How can I be in a position to be able to make sure that you have everything? I’m the sage and you’re going to discover exactly what you need to be able to grow in your space. That’s the relationship of a buyer agent to a client. That’s what it should be. It is about how can I be with you in the space, not tell you what to do in this space. Because then you could get into a lot of challenges there. That’s what you are and we want to be this hero so bad. We have this internal complex of like, “I’m going to be this masterful real estate agent.” It’s like at the end of the day, you’re a sage, you’re Yoda.
We’re developing two new buying agents. They are already on the show. We got very lucky with those. One is a broker and the other one has been in the business a few years. More importantly, they’re both intelligent. They can be doing real estate. They can do anything they wanted to. They have the skillset where they can analyze the environment, figure out where they fit in and move forward. We’re lucky to have those two. If you are looking for a buyer’s rep and mostly buy and hold, if you’re going to come to me, if you want to fix and flip and you’re telling me to find out in the MLS, I’m going to tell you it’s probably not worth anyone’s time. If you’re looking for buy and hold, we’d love to talk to you and represent you through our team. That’s the Mr. Texas Real Estate Team powered by Keller Williams Platinum. You can reach out to us at (281) 401-9008. On the other side of that becomes the listing agent. You’ve got a few rock stars in this table. Talk to us a little bit about the role of the listing agent.If you can master how to market your property uniquely and provide top-notch customer service, you’re going to grow incrementally. Click To Tweet
The listing agent as I understand is they’re stepping into a role as a marketer. That’s what they’re doing. You’ve got this opportunity to help somebody get something that they need. A lot of times, the most difficult part of that is that you’re cutting through the emotions. “I’ve done this to my home and I think about this and I look down the road and I should be worth X, Y and Z.” It’s getting into a space to be able to speak to what is value. Where does value match up? With the listing agent, you’ve got to have the tenacity to get the appointment first, but then understand where’s your role as a marketer and how do you create your value proposition from that in a way that’s excellent? That’s where they’re missing the mark is it’s an excellent thing. You’re not going to do anything extraordinarily unique about the way you market a property anymore. Can you do it in excellence so that the customer service is top-notch? If you can master those two things, you’re going to incrementally grow from there, but you’ve got to be able to master those two things. If you can’t get excellence, then don’t be a listing agent because that’s 100% necessary.
For us, we want to list the flippers houses. That’s what we’re looking to do because we understand the role of the real estate flipper and what you don’t want to do after you’ve done your final walk and handed it over. We take care of a lot of that stuff for you. We will take care of the staging for you. We will take care of lawn maintenance. We take care of the cleaning of the house. Even the house needs to be pristine. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve flipped a lot of houses and you do these random drive-bys and you walk in on let’s say Tuesday morning and there’s mud in the house. I’m like, “What is going on here?” If someone drives by and says, “I’ll look at the house.” They get in the house and its filth. It’s horrible. I get it, some agents would come back to me, “I’m not the cleaner.”
If you’re flipping a house and you let us list the house, we are the cleaners. We know that you need that house pristine at all times. You need the lawn mowed always. You need to be able to make it look like it’s primo. We help you with the staging and all of that. Those are the ad values that we do when we list a flippers house. If you want to come back and negotiate my rate down, we’re not going to play that game. We’re going to give you so much extra value in it that it would be foolish if you went somewhere else. If you want to list your house, if you’re a flipper, it’s (281) 401-9008. Most people think that’s it, but we’ve got other things in real estate like rentals and leases. Talk to me about people that work in that. It seems like nobody wants that work. Before, there’s a lot of it.
There’s a ton of it. I know that there are all these studies and everything about the Millennials coming out to buy homes, but there are still a lot of them that are leasing because a lot of them want to be in the cities. Cities are very unaffordable for a lot of their initial starting income. There is still a ton of space for that. Look at how many apartment complexes that are still popping up in Houston. It’s nuts to be able to see that market. The deal with the lease side of things is that it moves fast. You can move fast and if you’re purposeful about it and I think this is the caveat, be purposeful about it. When you go into a listing consultation, you want to be able to talk about the listing. When you go into a buyer, you want to talk about the buying process. When you go into the leasing, set the standard for how you’re going to handle this leasing process. It makes it more simplified. As a leaser, I know exactly what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it because you as the guide is going to take me into the process. If you are purposeful about that, you can take in the ability to close deals faster. Granted it’s going to be a smaller slice of the pie, but you get more pies.
There are some people who are brilliant at this and I’ve seen those agents do phenomenal. I have a gal who joined us. All she did was apartment locating. I would not do that business. I don’t care what you pay me. She was one of the most successful people with it. It brewed in her and you watched her systems and processes for it and I was like, “I could do this. This is a brilliant business plan.” It’s all about getting things lined up. Get the systems and process and let the systems run it so that what you’re naturally good at, the natural strengths and tendencies that you have can rise to the top. That’s where these people become wildly successful is that they followed a system and their personality, their natural strengths make them magical. That’s the cream that rises to the top and the relationship is going to be built after that.
In a couple of years, they may call you again to want the next one.
When I started in this business, I looked at it and I went back the day that I started. I was like, “Who are the people whose leases are going to be closing?” A few months from now, they leased home and their lease is going to be ending. They don’t understand their capability of purchasing. What if I was able to show them what was possible through purchasing a home versus leasing a home? They became homeowners instead of home leasers and started building wealth for themselves. What if I was a catalyst to help build a legacy in their homes? I thought it was a no-brainer and I was like, “This would be awesome.” There’s like, “That doesn’t work.” I’m like, “Why doesn’t it work?” The data is all there. I can grab it.” There is so much potential there, but it’s the work. You’ve got to put in the work in and get the systems in there and get it going.
We’re with Keller Williams for a number of reasons. Jason and I watched Gary Keller’s speech. He was on some show where he was talking about technology.
It was probably the Inman Conference.
That’s where it was. We watched that and Jason and I were both like, “If we do this, we’re going to Keller.”
Here’s the thing that we’re looking at and there’s a book called Platform Revolution. It’s brilliant, read it, understand it, and you will see what’s going on in the world. We’ve disconnected with the fact that we’re a transactional business. We’ve lost because of that disconnect that other people can come in and perform a transaction. The way that I look at it is we’re creating a platform so that the consumer and the producer, which is the real estate agent, can be in the same space doing the same thing, moving towards the same goal. If you look at all those elements, they equal relationships. Now we’re building technology for efficiency sake so that relationships can be built and relationships can come back to the forefront. That’s what I love about everything that we’re doing. We’re creating a space for a relationship. We’re not creating a space for efficiency just to be efficient. We’re creating a space for relationship and we’re getting all the other disruptors for the most part out of the equation because we have this massive amount of data that can help.
What is your official title over there?
I’m the team leader. We have our own language as you figured out at Keller Williams. Here’s the brilliant thing is that I’m the keeper of the pathways. I don’t know all the answers, I just know who knows them.
Here’s the deal. In our world at this time, if you’re reading this somewhere, we are buy and hold people. There’s wholesaling and we flip and I will talk a little bit about project management, but predominantly, our world is buying and holding whether it’s singles, doubles, fours, small multifamily, Airbnbs, that type of thing. We definitely are buying and holding. It only makes sense in this world and we tagged this one, if you want a discount on jeans, go work at the GAP. If you want a discount on real estate, then I would become a real estate agent. When we talked to people we want to work with, we tell them who our avatar is.
Either you’re an individual and you make $100,000 or more a year, you have $40,000 in the bank and you have 700 FICO score. That 700 glamorous score like two, four, five, those are the mortgage scores. You have to have 700 or you’re a couple that makes $150,000 a year, has about $40,000 in the bank and the same thing on the FICO. If you’re that couple, I would highly recommend that someone, your partner, wife, husband, whatever it is, becomes an agent for two reasons right off the top. MLS access and you can go around and you can buy lots of different programs and all of this stuff, but MLS access and two, you’re going to get a discount as you’re building your portfolio.
When you came to me and you were speaking towards that model of what it looks like for an agent, I was mostly on board. I know you use the word discount. We dance around that word a little bit. You could open up a full list of the benefits there. I have a great personality within the Keller Williams system and these investors would come to him and say, “When you find a great deal, let me know.” He’s like, “No. If I find a great deal and I walk in, it’s mine. I’m going to write a contract right then and there.” He purchased his father’s home for doing that exact thing. They sat down and they said, “This is what we want.” He goes, “Done.” The opportunities that are there are tremendous and your opportunities expand your world so that you have multiple streams of income. We get into the space of the buy and hold, which I’m a huge fan of the buy and hold world. I loved all my buy and hold clients.
Buy and hold is a massive opportunity and now you’re in control of all those aspects of it. You’re in control of all of it. I don’t know if people have put a dollar sign on what it means to be able to have control of your life, to be able to have control and be in control. That’s a huge thing. Being able to if you found something to where you are able to walk in and let’s say, it wasn’t the deal and you say, “What we’ve discovered is that your property is brilliant. If we market it properly, we could put it on the market and get exactly what you want to.” I would love to be able to help you do that. I could put a sign in here tomorrow. What kind of power do you have then when you ever walk in and have those kinds of conversations? You have the opportunity. It’s bigger than the discount. It’s about where has my world expanded to now I have multiple options for streams of revenue that I would have never have had before if I was at the default to somebody else doing the work for me.
I told you this before. In Southern California, which was the market I left, all the successful real estate agents are brokers. They never let a good deal leave their office. They will go and sit down with the seller and they will disclose fully, “I want to buy this for my portfolio and I can close in several days.” The key there is to disclose, but go in and say, “Are you going to list this? No, you don’t need to list this. I will buy this right now. Do you want $250,000? That’s great, I will get you whatever you need.” You know exactly what you need to do. There are ways you’re going to be safe on the listing cost and all those other little things there that we will add up at the end of the day. The opportunity to be in front of someone right there with the deal is amazing. Even more so, being in-house saying to everyone at the Thursday afternoon meeting, “If you’ve got a house with avocado appliances in the kitchen and shag rug in the living room, send that to me please.”
We have 239 agents in our office and then $160,000 agents across the country.
One of them has a house that you want right now.
They all know somebody who knows somebody that knows somebody. The power of the network is phenomenal.
It’s massive. We recommend that even if you are flipping or being a wholesaler that someone in your organization gets a real estate license. Here’s the last thing we will talk about and then we will get into how you become an agent. There are a ton of wholesalers out there. Here’s my big thing and why we set up our team the way we do. We have a core team that handles our internal transactions and our mastermind members. Our membership people, our big-game hunters, they work with those guys, but we have an at-large team. We put the at-large team together for one reason only. We have wholesalers in this city who work hard for $3,000. They’re closing one out of maybe every twenty appointments. Here’s the thing and we got it from Rich Nickel that completely blew our minds.
A new agent will close one out of two listing appointments. A great agent, 85 or 86. Lance close to 100%. Here’s a wholesaler working hard spending all this money on marketing, yellow letters, bandit signs and dialing for dollars. They understand the marketing bit of it, but when they go down, they’re trying to close these deals super cheap for $3,000, $4,000, $5,000 versus using those same marketing strategies going in and saying, “I want to list your house.” They’re getting one out of maybe every fifteen or one out of twenty. When you’re brand new in California, 1 out of 40 is what you get. As a wholesaler, I can remember over and over being told, “No, I think I’m going to list it,” and not having an avenue there. What can an agent do with $4,000 or $5,000 worth of marketing money?
Goodnight and especially if they were in your at-large group and had the capability of what the Keller Williams system is putting together through our CRM, $4,000, goodnight. You could have gold-plated flyers.
These people were spending this money like $3,000, $4,000, $5,000 and spending lots and lots of time chasing these $3,000, $4,000, $5,000 deals when they could be closing one out of every two. Instead of working on getting one wholesale deal for every fifteen, they should be getting six, eight, nine, ten listings out of every fifteen appointments they go on.
Here’s the thing. When you look at this, if I were the worst listing agent in the world, yet I had the most direct access to the client, the person who was willing and ready to raise my hand, “I want to sell my house.” Even if I was the worst, I could toss it off to the person who was the best, do zero work on it, earn a referral income, which is phenomenal. I have a friend, her name is Sam Neylan. She’s brilliant and she decided, “I’m in this relationship. I’m going to uproot. I’m going to move to Austin. I’m going to be with my man.” She ran a successful real estate company in California. It’s in the top five of her office and she did zero transactions. It was all referrals from the relationships that she had built. It’s endless possibilities when you have the power of the license. It’s crazy.Align yourself with somebody who's going to help catapult your business. Click To Tweet
All the tools that Keller Williams provides are phenomenal. We will struggle as wholesalers to finding, is your Podio working, “Can we get Podio up? What CRM are you using?” You have a top-notch CRM. Probably tens of millions of dollars invested over the last decade or so to the evolution of it. That comes with you becoming a Keller agent.
There’s nobody who could say, “We do this and we do it well.” We’ve democratized that for all of our agents so that now we’ve got all excellent agents.
I’m a wholesaler. Someone reading goes, “Rob, Randy, convince me. What do I get to do to become an agent? Are there tons of classes cost? I heard about all these fees I’ve got to pay. Is it worth it to become an agent?” Of course, we will say yes. Walk them through that.
In all honesty, the process is to find a school that fits your learning style. If you need to sit in a classroom, sit in a classroom. It’s going to cost you a little bit more, $1,500 or so. If you want to do it online, do it online. It’s going to cost you a little bit less, but you’re going to have the give and take. Get in there and take your classes. You’re taking the classes to be able to get into a space where you can pass an exam. Take your test and pass your exam. It’s the state and national portion. Do it, done, perfect. Align yourself with a broker who understands what your vision for your company is. When you came in and talked to us, I was as transparent as I could be about the pros and cons, the good, the bad, and the ugly, so that you can make the best decision for you and your company. That was it.
I’m grateful that you aligned with us. You’ve got to be able to join the MLS. You’ve got to be part of that because all the brokers are going to be part of that, and get to work. For $2,000, $3,000 of an investment, at the end of the day, you close one transaction and my hope is that you’re going to close more than one transaction. You close one transaction, you broke even. The entry cost is so low. Sometimes I wish a little bit higher when I deal with some of the levels of the agents that I deal with. At the end of the day, the entry-level is so costly. Align yourself with somebody who’s going to help catapult your business. There are a lot of people out there who will collect your license. That’s ridiculous. That doesn’t help me move forward. Find somebody who’s going to help you move forward. Who’s going to open up and unlock those opportunity pathways so that you can get what you want out of the business that you’re creating.
Here comes an industry and not necessarily in our office or our team, but there are a lot of people with an active license that aren’t doing real estate. Starting with Gary Keller and going all the way down to Lance and then to Randy, there is a system available for you to succeed. If you’re already hustling, doing door knocking and putting bandit signs at 1:00 in the morning, this system is going to be less work than you’re doing now and provide a lot smarter investment of your time to succeed. There are people out at 2:00 in the morning stapling signs to telephone poles.
Here’s the thing. There are some new agents that come in thirsty, hungry, and ready to hit it that are unwilling to knock on a door. They have already had that built into their system. It’s like, “I’m going to do this. I have to do this.” If I take that one skillset, which is a brilliant skillset in the idea of farming and align it with the systems I already know, you can be wildly successful. The way that I look at it, people ask me all the time, “Randy, how do you want to be able to bring talent into your office? What do you know about them that makes you say, ‘Yes, I want you?’” The equation is very small. Do you have the ability to bet on yourself? If you can bet on yourself, I already had the systems to be able to get you aligned with where you want to grow. Can you bet on yourself? If you can answer that question or we can answer that question with the yes, I’m willing to take the chance on you all day long.
We have someone that’s motivated. We have someone that is doing this stuff, but they have been taught that there are too many obstacles as an agent to be an investor. That’s what they’re told. They’re told it’s too complicated. There are all these laws and everything like that and we know that’s complete nonsense.
You disclose it. That’s the biggest thing. Anywhere you’re at in real estate, disclose everything so the agency part of it is as transparent as it can be.
Jason always mentions you can be a wholesaler or do it on your own. You can be a real estate agent and have the backing of what are known as errors and omission.
That’s a huge thing. There are a very few things where the value proposition aligns where you’re like, “This person is that much different.” The broker in our office has been doing this business for many years. She was on the broker lawyer committees that wrote promulgated forms. Talk about her ability to understand everything that’s going on in your world. She’s probably seen it in her many years, dealt with it and got into the other side. Talk about value. She is a breath of life in our office and I put her in one singular lane to help us with contracts compliance.
The other thing going from that wholesale space to the real estate agent space is there’s no more gray. We have a broker record and it is black and white. That is a much better way of doing business than crossing your fingers and no one’s going to catch you.
We’ve gotten to a space where now it’s a world of excellence instead of salesy pitch. It’s a space of excellence and that’s what’s necessary.
There are some good gurus, bad gurus or some that are full of it. This whole think outside the box stuff is good except when people are trying to circumvent the law. We have a cut and dry scenario in our world. My guest has been Randy Olive with Keller Williams Platinum. If you’re interested in becoming an agent, we will have some emails going out. You can start working with us at Mr. Texas Real Estate, our at-large team or go ahead and get to Randy, join Keller Williams Platinum, whatever you think is best. If you’re hustling as a wholesaler, it is going to be a much better world for you. Thanks for coming.
I appreciate it.
About Randy Olive
Randy comes from a sales and marketing background, working with C-level clients from nonprofit branding to business development in oil and gas, and has successfully negotiated contracts to get the best deals for his clients. Experience has taught him that no obstacle is too great and no need is too small. Matched with passion for people and love for the community, he is a champion of your goal to have a place to call home. As your dedicated Realtor®, his goals are simple–to listen to your needs and exceed your expectations.