Why A Top Producing REALTOR Becomes An Investor


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Hope: Hope Crystal from Melbourne, Florida. My background is mortgage banking. I started doing mortgages back in 2003 and became the top producer in our county during the peak. Basically, the day the phones quit ringing and the banks stopped funding loans, I knew we had an issue. I struggled during 2007 which was when the market crashed (towards the end of it). During 2008, I maintained the same level of production. I closed 30 to 35 million per year. And what I realized was that I was having to swim upstream 3 times as hard and for about a third of the pay. So after maintaining the same level of production, but doubling the amount of units I was closing per month from 12 to 25 just to maintain the same income level, I decided that I needed to find a different avenue. 60% of my past clients started calling me and telling me they were in default and I would go to my bank executives and they were not willing to help my clients at all. And truth be told, one of my clients committed suicide, with his mortgage statement and his credit card statements laid out on his bed. And I thought to myself, ‘There has to be a way to help these people. They are not responsible for the market crashing. They took just as much risk as the bank did and it’s just very unfair for them to be stuck holding the bag when the banks already made their money by selling the loan on the secondary market.’

Hope: So I started negotiating short sales. I’ve been doing that now for a year and a half and have become very successful. I have a partner who’s the number one negotiator in the state of Florida, top ten in the country, and she travels and we coach agents and teach them as well as help push their files along in the short sale negotiation. My reason for coming to Joe’s events mainly is because now that I’ve negotiated a short sale for a client, and gotten them out of a toxic asset, now it’s time to figure out, ‘What do I do with them?’ Well, the rental market has become so inflated that it’s very difficult for my clients that have just gotten out of a home to find a rental property that they can afford. It’s similar to the mortgage situation. And truth be told, every single one of them will be in a position to buy. These are people with good credit, other than what recently happened with the short sale foreclosure and bankruptcy, and they have good jobs and income and they want to move forward to maintain the dream of home ownership. I have another business partner and he knew Joe for about the last 10 years, and said, ‘I’m just the guy. Let’s not reinvent the wheel.’ I went to him saying, ‘Hey, do you want to be the bank? Do you want to lend money to these people and help them own a home? And then in two years they would refinance the property?’ He said, ‘No. Call my guy. I’ve got his name. We’re going to go meet him.’ So that’s what we did. We came to Joe’s event to learn about how to match buyers and sellers and how to find the best option for people that are going to be in a position to own their home again and want to maintain that dream and that vision.

Hope: I’m currently using Joe’s technique, mainly the for rent lease option for my short sale clients who need 2 years to rebuild their credit. I have buyers and sellers who contact me on a daily basis, asking if I have inventory, and I didn’t know what to do with these calls. Now that I’ve found Joe Crump and his method is very straightforward and easy to use, I’ve been able to match those buyers and those sellers and put them together in a form that works for all parties.

Hope: Recently (today) we made phone calls to buyers or actually sellers, for sale by owners, and for rent, people listed on Craig’s List. And Joe said they expect, the average, I think, 1 out of 3 that you’ll get. Well, my turnaround is more like 4 out of 5 and I don’t know if my approach is a little bit different or if it happens to me because I can relate to these people in a certain way, having come from a mortgage banking background and real estate and having been an investor myself, that really using his method as far as finding out what the goal and the object of the seller was, made me able to put the deal together and find what best worked for that seller, whether it be selling the house outright to an investor for cash or doing a lease purchase because in the end, they’re going to still be able to maintain the control of that property and they want to keep it as a long term investment, but don’t want the headaches of being a landlord. So everything that Joe told me today I implemented in our phone call time and I was very successful.

Hope: The deals that I tried to put together on my own, before Joe – they never seemed to happen. I had the buyers and the sellers but I couldn’t quite make the match because I really didn’t know what I was doing. I understand banking, and I understand that I want to be the bank. I have investors that want to lend money but I don’t really know how to connect the two together. Joe’s method is simple, straightforward and easy and if you just follow it, it works. That’s all I can tell you.

Hope: Oh, I would say that the first deal that I put together, using Joe’s techniques, or before I even finished Joe’s training, was about 5 minutes. I got on the phone, asked the person if they would be willing and they not only said sure and gave me one property, but they gave me their other four as well. I don’t know if that was a fluke but yes, about five minutes.

Hope: I actually really only had – I just decided, you know what – I watched one conference and said, ‘I’m just going to get on the phones and try to do this myself.’ And in about 5 minutes, I thought, ‘Oh, what do I do?’ So then I had to go back to the training and say, ‘Okay, now I’m supposed to fax him this.’ So we faxed him that and he signs it and he sends it back, and we market the property. So probably total? I would say 2 hours. The amount of money that I made on that deal is $2,500.

Hope: I first found out about Joe’s program through one of my business partners who is an investor and wanted to lend money to distressed homeowners that wanted to purchase. His name’s Tim Earl Ray. He’s known Joe for about 10 years and said, ‘I know just the guy who has the system already in place. Let’s go take a look at it and see if we can make this happen.’ And we did.

Hope: I’d say the best deal that I’ve done so far is the call that I made to the seller who has actual equity in the property, which in this market is surprising, and wants a certain amount of cash out of the deal. And we were able to structure the deal, and by using Joe’s hierarchy of programs available, we were able to find the best match for that seller and structure it to where they could get their cash out, move on and not have to worry about the property, and then we could fill it with the new buyer.

Hope: Automating my business really lies in the hands of my business partner, Tim Earl Ray. I know nothing about the internet or technology other than I can use my scanner/fax. So both my partner and I wanted to utilize each other’s strengths. My strengths are being on the phone, being in front of people and selling and closing deals. His are closing deals as well, but he really prefers the internet marketing portion of the business. So together we really make a good team.

Hope: The amount of money that we’ve set for our business, I would say, just even coming to Joe’s event this weekend, will generate about $60,000 of revenue for me and for my partner over the next 3 months.

Hope: My goal as a real estate investor is really not purely monetary; I leave that to my business partner. Mine is more the satisfaction of putting the right people together and maintaining the dream of home ownership and solving a national tragedy at the same time. Banks are not willing to lend. Traditional financing is out the window. We have to come up with creative ways so that people can still buy, so that credit can still exist, just on a different level and that comes in with Joe’s program through underwriting the asset instead of the person, through no credit checks. People don’t know what to do. They bury their head in the sand because they’re so embarrassed because of their situation. We get the two ton monster out from under their bed by helping them liquidate a toxic asset. And then we give them the dream back again by saying, ‘We have sellers. We have investors. We have houses for you to buy.’ And that pleasure is, for me, enough to make me want to get out of bed in the morning and continue on.

Hope: My next plan is that I’ve now hired an agent to help me coalesce my properties, and as I’m still negotiating short sales, I hired a processor. My main thing is that I needed to free up some time. The best use of my time at this point in time is on the phones, building my list, and getting those things in place. So over the next, I would say, three months, I plan to build our list through the automation system and through the sign placement and then once that starts coming in, it’ll take over and take on a life of its own.

Hope: The advice I would give someone who was interested in becoming a real estate investor but may have concerns over credit, over their own financial situation, over anything really, or any holdups, is that you never know until you try and I can tell you from experience that this man’s been in the business for 20 years and when I watched his first interview, I who have only been in the business since 2003, was like, ‘Wow. This has happened before? This actually happened 20 years ago?’ Joe’s system, I mean, it’s been around; its time tested. And as long as you follow what he’s telling you to a T, and it’s very simple, it’s not complicated – someone without any real estate experience, without any banking experience, without any short sale experience, without ANY experience, can come in and pick up and take off with it.

Hope: My personal advice would be to delegate as much as possible. Keep your costs down per lead. Mainly in the beginning, I would say make the phone calls, understand the programs, the way to match the right seller with the right buyer and what works for them based on their credit situation, based on their goals, based on the cause of their pain (as Joe calls it, ‘their pain’) – what are they looking to achieve or accomplish out of this deal? You’re basically a problem solver. You’re just putting people together and helping solve their problems as well as helping solve the seller’s problems. So my advice would be just jump in and get started and let it go.

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