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Episode 32: Building your Power Team with Kathy Helbig and Steve Strick

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Show Notes

In this episode of the Discount Property Investor Podcast, we talk about building our power team and the importance of creating lasting partnerships with your vendors.   Kathy Helbig shares how she built her “Power Team” over the past 18 years and talks about creating win-win relationships with her clients, team members, and partners.  Steve Strick also joins us in this episode and shares similar information about how he built his team, how he met Kathy, how they work together, and how providing more value than the competitors is always the best way to WIN the business!  Check out Kathy Helbig at https://www.kathyhelbiggroup.com/ or call her today at: 314-276-SOLD.  Checkout Steve Strick at https://thestrickgroup.com/ or call him today at:  314-889-0652.

Our quotable quote from this show was:  “Respect isn’t given until it’s earned”

To learn more about Wholesaling visit: https://www.FreeWholesaleCourse.com

Check out our Tool Kit to see David & Mike’s Secret Weapons:
https://discountpropertyinvestor.com/toolkit/

David: Alright guys, welcome back to the Discount Property Investor Podcast. I’m your host, David Dodge. I’m brought here today with two local guests in the St. Louis market: Kathy Helbig and Steve Strick. Say hello.

Steve: Hey guys, how are you?

Kathy: Hello.

David: Hey guys. So, we always want to remind you guys if you’re new to listening and viewing, check out the first 10-15 episodes of the podcast to learn about wholesaling houses and also discountpropertyinvestor.com as well as the freewholesalecourse.com. We highly encourage you to go check out the free course. It has everything that you need to get started in wholesaling houses in your backyard today. So guys, thanks from coming in. We appreciate it.

Steve: Thanks for having us.

Kathy: Of course.

David: Absolutely. So Kathy and Steve — Kathy is a beast. A local real estate beast. She does retail listings —

Kathy: Yes.

David:  — for the most part. She a huge team. How big is your team?

Kathy: Yes. Well, I have a brokerage. At the brokerage we have about 16 people. On my immediate team I have about 12.

David: You said 16?

Kathy: 16.

David: And then 12 on —

Kathy: On the immediate sales team.

David: So what’s the difference between the 12 and the 16? Who’s the other four?

Kathy: So, I’ve been in the business for 20 years. And over time obviously I’ve built up a business and built up repeat business and referrals. So my Kathy Helbig team services those clients as well as works under me to use my brand to help attract more business for themselves. I always own Experience Realty Partners which —

David: That’s new.

Kathy: Yes, so I previously owned a Keller Williams franchise. I got out of franchise life.

David: Sold it?

Kathy: Lord, yes.

David: I remember we had a conversation about it.

Steve: We did.

Kathy: Sold my shares to that, opened up a boutique independent farm in the Chesterfield area and so now I have a full service either way. So you can either be an agent that, if you’re that right fit, can work on my team underneath my guidance, underneath my branding, underneath our lead-generation programs, that type of thing. Or, if you want to do your own teams or you are just an individual person that doesn’t want to quite have the accountability —

David: So you offer them the ability to come work with your team or you’re just the brokerage.

Kathy: Just the broker.

David: So they can just be an agent…

Kathy: Correct.

David: That’s awesome.

Steve: Just like any other brokerage, you know, where you have your teams within the company and you also have your individual agents.

David: Absolutely. I love that. That’s great. So how long have you had the Kathy Helbig – things — the experience or is the name —

Kathy: The Experience by the Kathy Helbig group is my sales team. And that’s developed over the last 18 out of the 20 years. I really started a team before anybody was really doing it, and before I knew what I was doing 18 years ago. Experience Realty Partners just was born on December 29th.

David: Holy cow. So that’s super new.

Steve: Yeah.

David: Very cool, very cool. Congrats. I’ve seen Kathy’s advertisements and signs all over town and I knew of you before I knew you, obviously. You’re reputation proceeded you which was great and you’re one of the best and biggest agents in the St. Louis area, so I’m honoured to have you on the show today.

Kathy: Thank you.

David: And then of course, Steve is a lending partner. He works at Gershman Mortgage and he runs, is it the Steve Strick Group?

Steve: The Strick Group, yeah. Absolutely.

David: So tell us a little bit about what you do, Steve.

Steve: I’m basically in the residential financing side for 1-4 units, so we’re considered to be in the mortgage business if you will. I work for a company called Gershman Mortgage. We’ve been around for a little bit over 60 years. We’re the oldest privately held mortgage company in St. Louis. So with that tenure we like to feel that we’re one of the most trusted within the area. That being said we haven’t partnered with anybody, we have not been bought out, we’ve never been in trouble, we have some of the cleanest audits in the entire area so that goes a long way with our clients.

Within Gershman Mortgage we do have that strong corporate background but I also have my own group, my own lending group within Gershman Mortgage and right now there’s 11 of us. We’ve got seven loan officers and then we’ve got four staff. We’re actually bringing a couple more on this summer so we’re growing quickly and we’re just servercing all the residential financing needs for 1-4 units with basically every program that you could imagine. FHA, VA, USDA, conventional, jumbo programs, we even have first-time home buyer programs which can get you in with 0% down.

David: I love it. So I think whenever we have each podcast episode we kind of like to have a topic and honestly I did have much of a topic for this episode but I know the topic I want to run with now.

Steve: Perfect.

David: Partnerships. And it’s building in groups. We had a previous podcast and we called it “Teamwork makes the dream work”. We talked about our team here at the office but in this episode I want to talk about branching out and using other third-party people to help build your own team. So you two have done that with your business and also by putting together a group which you’ve done years and years ago, and you recently done that as well where you now have the Strick Group and you’re still with the Gershman company but you have your own team, which is awesome. And me, as a wholesaler with the Discount Property Investors, we do a lot of work with other retail agents as well so, we get a ton of leads from retail agents that — they may get a call from a seller that’s looking to sell their home and that seller may have a home that doesn’t make a good listing. You know, the agent will come in and they’ll say, “Yeah, you know you need to do some fixes or some cleaning.” Or whatever the case may be —

Steve: Change the carpet.

David: Yeah, and the seller may not be interested in doing any of that stuff. And the agents will call us because they know that we’re cash buyers and we close quick and we buy as is, so those are the three advantages of working with a wholesaler. And then I’m very transparent when I go out and meet people. I tell them the disadvantage, usually first. I say, “Listen, I’m not a retail buyer. If that’s who you’re looking for you need to call someone like Kathy and she can get you that price.” And the other disadvantages of working with me is that I’m not going to pay you the full price for it. However, the advantages of working with me is that I’m going to pay cash, I’m going to buy as-is where you can literally pack a suitcase and leave and everything left behind is my problem, you don’t need to fix anything, and we even pay people to move sometimes if money is real tight. And there’s not much equity in the home and so on and so forth. So there are those advantages. But I guess what I’m getting at is we get a lot of business from agents who say ‘I don’t really want to list this home and if I did it may sit, and so on and so forth. And then we pay them the commissions for just bringing us the lead. We’ll either pay them a finder’s fee or commissions.

Steve: Sure.

David: You know, so and additionally we use hard money lenders as well, transactional funders, to help with our business. So I just wanted to kind of ask you guys a couple questions about some of the third party team members that you’re using. Obviously let’s start with your two’s connection.

Steve: I think that’s the best place to start and Kath can really break it down a little bit better than I can because she’s been in business for 18-20 years and she’s had, let’s call it relationships, with vendors. We’ve always had relationships with vendors and recently we’ve changed that terminology and we’ve gone to partnerships because there is a big difference.

David: We changed the terminology though because it’s no longer just an agreement with a vendor —

Steve: What can you give me? Right.

David: And there’s more —

Steve: More vested? Absolutely. Yeah, and Kath can explain a little bit more about how our partnership started and why it’s become so powerful, and that we’ve taken that model and kind of translated it into some other partnerships that we’ve got.

Kathy: So basically, historically, real estate agents and real estate brokerages have, you know they refer to everybody that’s on the outskirts of the business as vendors. And so we’re all taught in real estate school that you give out free cards and have you vendors, but you’re not really vested in that other person so much when you’re diluting the options and you know there might be one person that’s better for the job but you say I’ll got to give 3 or 4 or whatever. And what I found that I never liked is that I never got into relationships with people for almost close to 15 years out of my 30 years.

David: It took that long to get into the relationship?

Kathy: The reason why is because — no not even just vendors, I was cautious to refer anybody for anything because, number one it’s mine brand —

David: There’s good reasons for it —

Kathy:  — but number two, I really couldn’t promise equal business back And I had an inherent ethical issue with ‘gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme’ and I can’t give anything back. So that’s not the typical real estate agent-lender relationship out there. It’s ‘what can you do for me, what can you do for me, what can you do for me?’ And then as soon as there’s any kind of bump, boom, and they move on to the next guy ‘what can you do for me, what can you — ‘. So I just never liked that so I never really developed strong relationships.

David: Which makes sense.

Steve: Yeah.

Kathy: Well finally I got to the point where I’m watching all these relationships out there, and there’s benefits from it, I wasn’t received any benefits either; and I knew I had a lot to give and there had to be the right people. So at that point I decided, we were shopping for a new lender because we had some issues with the last one, we really weren’t super commuted to anybody for the long haul, so we were shopping for a new lender. So I decided, being a team, too, I’m the CEO and I’m the face but I’m not necessarily the one who’s got the buyer in the seat next to me taking them into cars all the time. So the relationships are happening there, they’re not so much happening for me with that buyer, because there’s somebody in between us. So I realized that I have to have buy-in from my team, which is super important to have a partnership type thing work. So I interviewed, I decided I was going to be the first stop in the interview for lenders and make sure all my criteria was met. As a business owner, to not hook my people up with the wrong people, to make sure there were certain boxes checked that were important to me. So I went through that round of auditions —

David: So I imagine you interviewed quite a few people.

Kathy: I did. I put the word out that I was looking for a new In-house lending partner. And I was inundated with people, so I started —

David: Because there’s tons of options out there.

Kathy: Oh yeah.

Steve: Thousands.

David: You know there’s tons of options. You can’t drive two miles without turning on the radio or seeing a billboard or an advertisement about somebody wanting to offer you a loan or something.

Steve: Well think about how many loan offices are out there. And think about how many groups/teams are in the top 20 here in St. Louis, every single year. Top 15. So there’s options. This is a great story.

Kathy: So I decided, this is back when kind of American Idol was big and I thought ‘I’m going to do American Idol with my partners.’ And so I started with lenders and narrowed it down to 30 to begin with, 30 at the top.

Steve: Narrowed it to 30.

David: Wow. That’s a lot! How many did you have on your spreadsheet to start with? Holy cow!

Kathy: Yeah, just messages and inboxes — and then I probably chopped that down to about 12 and then down to 8, eventually. And then I brought them back to present to my team instead of just me.

David: Sure, which is smart.

Kathy: First they had to get past me.

David: Because then you’re bringing in the culture of the company, almost. Not just ‘what can you offer me,’ it’s ‘hey, here’s who we are.’

Kathy: Yeah.

Steve: Then you have everybody else’s perspective on the candidate.

Kathy: And they all helped you so they can’t like ‘you did’. We did. We made this decision. So we did that route and had about 8 at that point. I gave everybody a 45min window and gave them time to show up —

David: True American Idol style.

Kathy: It really was.

Steve: We have the chairs in the front — I wasn’t in this deal.

Kathy: He wasn’t in this deal. We run it out City Hall and just set up there.

David: This is an awesome story, by the way.

Kathy: And so it was just kind of evolving as it’s happening. And so then I sat my group up, I had my chairs in a half circle and everybody was out, and the person would come in and do their presentation. But I didn’t realize that it was such a —

David: Holy shit!

Kathy: They were! They honestly were.

Steve: People were sweaty —

Kathy: And I was like ‘I’m sorry for –“

Kathy: I did it. I was watching and they literally were, their hands were shaky and they were pacing back and forth. And then we got backed up a little bit because some people take a little too long.

Steve: Oh, you have no idea!

Kathy: The poor guys that were coming in for the next appointment, they’re behind a plate glass window and they’re seeing the guy before them.

Steve: That guy just did this — this one guy.

Kathy: So we went through all that and we narrowed it down to 2. We decided at the time we were going to have 2.

David: So you’re not in this group?

Steve: No.

Kathy: So we decide we’re going to have two people for that lending spot. So we did that. And that worked really well because everybody had buy in and then it was kind of a learning process about who we chose, the reasons we chose them, and then did they work out or did they not work out. And over time neither one of them ended up working out. After a while, like, we tried and —

David: But you did. You tried and that’s the most important thing to take away, for the listeners and the viewers here, is that you didn’t just continue on that 15 year process prior —

Kathy: No —

David:  — you said ‘hey let’s build this partnership because you want to create that win-win, I’m kind of assuming, right?

Steve: Yeah.

Kathy: Yeah, and that was it. The reason I had to let one go was, well I connected with their management team, they were awesome, but the loan officers they kept giving us were just falling down on the game.

David: It just wasn’t working.

Kathy: Yeah, so that they just didn’t measure up.

David: So they were getting wins because you’re passing them a ton of business but when the customer service wasn’t there, you’re not winning.

Kathy: Right. So then the second guy, everybody liked him, we were doing fine and everything, but then he kind of was solo for about nine or ten months because we were waiting to fill that chair again. So that’s when Steve comes into the scene.

David: Now did he pitch you or did you pitch him? How did that work?

Steve: That’s another good story.

David: Let’s hear it.

Steve: How much time do we have? Alright, we’ll be back next week!

Kathy: So, after all lender hoofla that had been going on for two years now, I have a friend that Steve used — I did a little radio with her, Steve used to radio with her, but we never did it together. I didn’t know who he was or, you know?

Steve: I knew who she was.

Kathy: So she is calling me, texting me, ‘hey, I have a friend I want to introduce you to, he’s a lender at Gershman’ and I’m like [gagging sound, laughs]. So I’m not really in the market, this one guy is doing okay right now, kinda ugh. And every lender in town wants to take you to lunch —

David: Well of course when you’re doing a lot of transactions like you are, because they know that —

Kathy: It’s a source of business. And I was kind of over that so I kept kind of putting it off and putting it off, and she’s like ‘Come on, come on, come on, he wants to take us to a baseball game’ and I’m like, ‘hmm — season tickets’, I’m like, ‘well I’m going to the baseball game!’ So she bugged me for like —

Steve: You know why? Because I was persistent. I’m kept telling Kelly —

David: My favourite quote: “Persistent consistent action.”

Steve: There you go. We actually just watched that movie “The Founder”. And he said, ‘This happens for one word — persistence.’

Kathy: So I guess he was persistent and she was persistent —

Steve:  — through her, through our mutual friend —

David: She was on the radio station then?

Kathy: Yeah.

Steve: She was the conduit. From me to her to her. And she kept putting it off and off and I said we got to make this happen. So finally she said yes.

Kathy: Begrudgingly I went to the ball game, yes. So we met and I actually liked his personality and we got to talk a bit about the way he does business and the way he attracts business versus the way I attract business, which were two polar opposite things — which to me was a good thing because we could blend and then I could tap into his way of getting business and he could tap into my way of getting business and maybe we could take it up a couple of levels.

David: I love it. You played that win-win.

Steve: Well yeah, we were taking two ends of the spectrum —

David:  —in the course of all of our podcasts we always want to find that win-win, regardless of what the relationship is. When I’m going out to meet a seller of property and I say, “Hey I’m not going to give you full price; I’m going to pay you thirty grand less.” But they’re still winning because you don’t want to deal with this property; you’re moving across the country, so on a so forth. So the win-win was established.

Kathy:  — was established but then he had to check my boxes again —

Steve: I had to go through the process!

David: The City Hall thing?

Kathy: It was probably almost worse —

Steve: It was probably more intense than that —

David: So tell me this: how did it go down?

Kathy: For first we started with a big lunch, right? That was the big one.

Steve: Yeah.

Kathy: And his president at Gershman wanted him to do it at the St Louis Club, which is prestigious and kind of stuffy and high-end —

Steve: I’m bringing Cottleville over to Clayton. I’m thinking this is a good idea and it wasn’t.

Kathy: He’s dressed to the nines with his sparkly cufflinks and —

Steve: You know, Dave.

David: Of course. Yeah, you’re talking business.

Kathy: Right. And my girls are a little more down-to-earth, I guess. So they weren’t impressed to say the least.

Steve: They were put-off.

David: Put-off, that’s the word. You weren’t intentionally doing anything wrong, I think you just came off hard, came off strong.

Steve: Well I think what happened was that they didn’t feel that, with all of these cufflinks and the St Louis Club environment, they basically thought that I wasn’t going to cater to the $100,000 client like I would cater to the $1,000,000 client. And I tried to convey that, but I didn’t really realize the magnitude of what they were feeling until after our meeting. And then I talked to Kath and she was like ‘Do you want the good and the bad?’ and I was like ‘bring it.’

Kathy: It’s all the same thing because I can like you and want to choose you but if they don’t like you it’s not going to work. I can’t deliver.

Steve: And we’re trying to accommodate the personalities of eight different women —

David: Now let me ask this; let’s back up for one second. Whenever you came out and pitched, you already had your group at that point and you’ve had it for a long, long time. But did you have a group or was it just yourself —

Kathy: One person.

David: So this also allowed you to build out a group and grow more business. That’s amazing.

Steve: I’ve learned a lot working with her team on how to grow a team and what it takes to service a team and really those two go hand-in-hand. If you have a big team you have to have a team service it. You’ll kill yourself, you won’t be able to deliver the service that’s necessary to maintain those good partnerships, and you don’t realize that.

David: But looking back would you ever want to go back to not having a team?

Steve: No way. No way.

David: No way? That’s something that I did with my business, too. So there’s four owners at this company and I was wholesaling on my own prior to joining them. It’s great having 100% of that pie, it is, it’s really great. But that pie’s only a couple of crumbs, you know?

Steve: You’re limited.

Kathy: And you’re limited on your time. There’s only so much one person can do.

Steve: And ideas and solutions and opportunities. I mean, if you’ve got four people sitting in a room, you’re just going to have more ideas and opportunities then if you’re just sitting there by yourself.

David: Right.

Steve: So yeah, it’s taught me a lot —

Kathy: So that’s where we met. And he had to go through the process with my girls and he almost had to do it one-on-one because every single one of them was different and we were already kind of burned at this point by trying these other lenders and everything didn’t work out.

David: It must have been stressful for the first couple of months.

Kathy: Oh yeah, it was a several month process.

Steve: Well I had to hear on the phone after lunch, I thought I did great, you know?  And I was like ‘How did it go?’ and she tells me ‘They didn’t like your cufflinks.’ And that’s when she told me that —

David: That was the problem?

Steve: That was one of them, yeah. Too flashy. So I had to then set meetings up individually with them and convey to them that we’re going to give everybody the same service. Everybody is going to get the red carpet treatment. And once you were able to sit in front of them and look them in the eye and them that, it went a long ways. As opposed to saying I’m not going to do that.

Kathy: But then he has to maintain those relationships, too. Because it’s very easy —

Steve: It’s even harder.

Kathy: Yeah, not just like “I got the deal and I’m out. — I’m only going to talk to Kathy’ he had to get in the trenches with them and —

David: And that’s where the team comes in because now the team, her team, are working on their own in the background.

Steve: In the background, yeah. I mean, I’m still the interactive force. And then my close team that does my personal deals, they interact with her team quite a bit. It’s been a great partnership.

Kathy: When we brought him on, so he was chair too at this point, we still had that one that was working okay —

David: He still around now?

Steve: No, he wasn’t around very long.

Kathy: So again it goes back to, it has to be a win-win. So once we added him to the equation, the guy other guy was good at getting things to the closing table and he was fine. But Steve was doing much better on converting. We would give people both names and they would choose Steve almost every single time.

David: Oh wow. That’s good.

Kathy: Good for him. And the other guy is starting to choke. Like, he’s dying on the vine with business because, it wasn’t that we weren’t giving him an opportunity but he wasn’t even capitalizing on the opportunity. So at some point in time it got to the point where it’s only fair to you — because he was investing in paying for some things monthly, co-marketing things and stuff like that, it’s coming out of his pocket, and he wasn’t really getting a bunch of deals from it. So we just sat down and talked to him like, this isn’t fair for you. I see the numbers and it’s not a good deal for you.

David: Yeah, I’m not the one playing favourites. It’s the customer.

Kathy: Yeah, right. My exact words were ‘It’s not a good deal for you.’

Steve: And he clearly said he couldn’t compete at that time with some of the things I was offering and then, you know, a lot of it was time. Everybody’s in a different place in their life and I was able to give the time, the service, and be able to take them out and cater to them and that was about three years ago.

Kathy: So that’s how that started. So the whole partnership thing kind of, from there, is where the whole experience and our Experience Network Realty kind of, our network partners, kind of came into play because I realized when he got more invested in my group and they treated him more like one of our group members — so then they were more invested in being to get those deals for him because, you’re going across the buyer and they’re like ‘Oh, yeah, I’ve already been preapproved with Quicken and I bank at Bank of America so I’m just going to get my loan there, where most agents would go ‘Okay.’

Steve: Let me tell you a story about Quicken and Bank of America.

Kathy: Most agents were like ‘OK, you got a preapproved loan? That’s cool.’ Whereas my girls were so invested in ‘we all work together’ that we were like ‘let me tell you something, it’s always good to get a second opinion, would you mind if we let him call you and get you a second opinion?’ because we’ve had had issues with our closings at Bank of America. We had some issues with blah, blah, blah.

David: Big banks are really good at doing the simple banking. Checking, ATMs —

Steve: Safe deposits, credit cards —

David: — they are not the best when it comes to doing the —

Steve:  — lending, the real estate —

David: — and the lending, absolutely. So having a local small bank, I mean that’s what we teach in our courses to our students as well as in the podcasts. Find the local bank, someone who has fifteen or less branches. Those are the ones to start with because they’re going to be more willing to help you, work with you —

Kathy: Well they’re more invested in that relationship.

David: — and they’re more invested in the relationship.

Kathy: Somebody, when you’re a number on a state there is more —

Steve:  Yeah, it’s transactional.

David: If I need to talk to somebody, I have three or four phone numbers of people that are at a desk. At Bank of America? Good luck. An eight-hundred number to a random new person every time —

Steve: It’s transactional. I mean a bank is institutional and we’re more relationship based. Our reputation means a lot so we’re going to answer the phone at seven o’clock at night, we’re going to answer the phone on the weekends, because we understand we’re here local and that’s how you get referrals.

Kathy: And they’re pulled some rabbits out of a hat because it’s not just that one client they might lose, they’re vested in the Kathy Helbig. So sometimes they just, they ate something or they went to bat because it’s for the whole sake of the —

Steve: The big picture.

David: So when you mentioned, a couple of minutes ago, the experience… so I would assume you have other, not lending vendors, but other… I want to get rid of the word vendor — partners.

Steve: Exactly.

David: I would imagine — let’s talk about a couple of these other — like a staging partner who comes in and does the staging. And then you probably have a —

Kathy: Title.

David: Title partners —

Kathy: Insurance.

David: Insurance —

Steve: HVAC.

Kathy: We have HVAC, we have building inspectors, we pretty much want to be that nucleus for our home buyers and sellers to connect them with the people we know is going to give them our level of service and that we’re not nervous about pairing our brand next to. So when I say I recommend this guy and they do a bad job, they’re mad at me.

David:  — when you call a guy for pluming and then he doesn’t show up —

Steve: Right.

David: You want to make sure you’re also creating that win-win but you’re providing value. That’s what we teach in our program is, you know, if I’m going into a house and there’s another guy coming in to buy that house, my cash isn’t any greener than his cash. But if I can provide more value than him then I’ll win every time.

Kathy: Right.

David: And vice versa. And I love that.

Steve: Well, partnerships basically magnify that value because when you’re in a partnership, both sides see the value. A vendor, that’s a completely different relationship.

Kathy: The experience is kind of unveiled at that point in time and —

David: I love the sign.

Kathy: Yeah, thanks. We really wanted to create the ultimate buying and selling experience for our customers because we that is a really stressful thing to do, both buying and selling. Typically when I go into an interview with people and they tell me they sold or bought before, and I ask them what their experience was, it’s almost always bad.

David: Really?

Kathy: Almost always they have a complaint, and lots of times it’s the same stop over and over again.

David: So it’s probably easy for you to get testimonials because you’re provided that awesome local service —

Kathy: Yeah, and not that we haven’t had bumps along the way —

David: …with that whole power team of…

Kathy: Exactly. But the challenge has been, over the years, of getting people off that mindset of the individual like, ‘I’m hiring you and I want you to do everything.’

David: There’s a team there. Kathy’s not going to be at the Sunday open house.

Steve: She’s not going to help you buy your house.

Kathy: It’s not to their advantage to have me do everything.

David: So let’s talk about that. That’s a great point. So how do you overcome that? Because oftentimes when people with my business call me — and I have a team, we have four or five junior buyers, I call them that, when a lead comes in I say ‘here,  — pay for this — but you have my permission.’ And then they may talk to me on the phone and they get upset when I don’t show. So it’s very similar whenever they’re like ‘how come Kathy didn’t come up?’ — But how do you overcome that with those people? There’s got to be a —

Kathy: I have to set expectations —

David: From the beginning.

Steve: It’s all about expectations.

Kathy: Yeah. Because I’m the face and I’m the brand, so oftentimes people expect me to do every part of the transaction. And once I explain to them how the team works, it’s basically been a well-oiled machine for years now, and they’re really going to be at a disadvantage if they have me doing some of these things because they’re not my forte.

David: I love how you position yourself.

Kathy: Yeah, I mean —

David: But that’s so true though because there’s only 24 hours in a day —

Kathy: Only 24 hours and if I don’t use it wisely, guess what? Close your ears some of you — but I’m not good at everything.

David: Absolutely.

Kathy: I’m not! It might look like I am but I’m really not. I fake it.

David: But you know what, though? I love that because if you came here today and you said ‘I am good at everything’, people wouldn’t believe you.

Steve: Right.

David: You know, you have to put people in place that can do things that you’re not good at or, better at than you —

Kathy: What they’re more talented at or that is more their forte. So that’s kind of, over the years I did start out doing it all by myself. And I can do it all by myself. But as real estate evolved, you started doing more transactions; you started having to do more marketing, like things have changed over the years. So that’s when it gets to a point where one person can handle it all for a minute, but once your business gets any bigger —

Steve: When it gets to a certain size —

Kathy: Not even big. Just a little bigger, you have to come up with something or you start dropping balls. That was always my fear, was dropping balls for people. I never wanted to upset anyone or be the cause of an issue. That’s why 18 years ago I started kind of going down that road like, let’s bring somebody on and they can help me here because this bogs down my time. So I have to pay somebody to do this and they’ll do it well because they’re focused on that versus me like half —

David: Do you mind if I ask some questions about the team?

Kathy: No, go ahead.

David: I’m just curious as to how you have it positioned. So you said there are 12 to 16 people, how many people are working on the listings and how many are working on the buying side. Do you have closing coordinators or do you hire third parties –?

Steve: That’s a great question.

Kathy: So what we do is, I still love the end business —

David: Me, too.

Kathy:  — even though my job should be on the business. But I still have my foot in it. So I go on almost every listing appointment if I can.

Steve: Cheers.

Kathy: It works for my schedule or if it’s not one of my agents on referrals, then I go on the listing appointment, I view the house, I talk to them about pricing and stuff, the expectations of what is going to happen. Talk about the team. Talk about marketing. And then give them tips on what they need to do to prepare their house. So that’s the starting point for us. Usually if they call in or something, then my listing manager does a great interview because I want to know a bunch of things before I get to the house so I can prepare the right information. I lot of agents don’t do that stop. And I started doing that probably six or seven years ago and it’s so helpful to find that, soon when you get there and you’re like ‘Oh, it didn’t say in the tax — based on the — you get there’s things —

David: So you just do your due diligence —

Kathy: Your due diligence, talking about motivations and everything.

David: — you know what going to support numbers in that area, numbers about the house —

Kathy: Right. So I come in with all that information that’s been pulling by my listing manager, so she pulls the date up, I review it, I go on the appointment, and once the appointment is over the file goes back to my listing manager, she does the listing paperwork, she orders all the timelines, we have all that documented. And then the listing coordinator comes into the picture. This is a lady who has a background in design, she has a background — she had a painting company where she redoes kitchen cabinets and staircases and all that stuff. So she’s got a great eye for helping people stage.

David: What’s her role called again?

Kathy: She’s the listing coordinator.

David: Listing coordinator. Okay.

Kathy: So she’s meeting with the photographer, making sure he’s showing up when he’s supposed to. She’s putting things in our Zillows and all that stuff. And she’s meeting with the client as well to walk through their house, even though I’ve walked through it again and kind told them ‘are you planning to do this, this, and this’  she comes back —

David: She’s doing more coaching?

Kathy: Yeah.

David: Like she’s coaching the seller?

Kathy: She’ll drag the furniture herself when she needs to. So she’ll walk in and go “I really think this should not be in this corner, you should put this is this bedroom –‘

David: De-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter.

Steve: There you go!

Kathy: And oftentimes we have to tell people to paint, to put in new flooring, to change their kitchen cabinets and things like that. And if I were to leave it to the home-owner to do that all on their own? First of all, they get overwhelmed.

David: And it is overwhelming.

Kathy: And so they get paralyzed when they’re overwhelmed. Secondly, they start thinking about ‘I don’t know who to call, I got to get all this [biz], and again, that paralyzes them. And then thirdly, they pick the wrong stuff. They pick the wrong things. So if I’m telling someone that your decorating style is not working right now —

David: It’s not going to get the top dollar —

Steve: For the masses.

Kathy:  — so I’m going to have you go change it. Right. I’m going to have you go change it. They’re probably going to pick the same type of things because that’s your taste. SO I have to make sure they understand that they’re divorcing themselves from their home, it’s now a house, it’s a commodity —

Steve: Don’t be emotional, and yeah —

David: It’s hard to —

Kathy: That’s right. I know.

David: —‘My kids grew up here’ —

Steve: Don’t worry about it.

Kathy: Right. And that’s why emerald green carpets —

David: It’s a really challenging part of the business for you to —

Kathy: It is.

David: — to go in there and make them —

Steve: That’s got to be the hardest part. Because you’re telling, you know because if I come into your house, Dave, and I’m like ‘Hey, this isn’t going to work, this isn’t going to work, this isn’t going to work, those might have been things that you really liked.

David: That’s where our businesses are different, because when I come in, like, there is none of that because we use a one page agreement and I say, ‘Here’s what we can pay.’ You know? And then the terms are literally, we close next week or do we need to wait three? Am I going to pay all the closing costs or are we going to split them?

Steve: That’s it.

David: That’s it. I’m not in there doing the curtain thing and so that’s a big challenge on the retail side.

Kathy: A huge challenge. I explain to agents a lot we we’re trying to evaluate whether they’re going to be a better listing agent or better buyer agent. Being a listing agent is very challenging because you’re walking into someone’s prized possession, the most expensive thing that they own, it’s loaded with emotions, it’s got family and memories and stuff, and I have to come in — and think about this, I’m interviewing for a job.

David: You are. Absolutely.

Kathy: So, if you go on interviews —

David: It’s difficult because you don’t want to be too aggressive or too, like, ‘Those like ugly-ass curtains’, for example —

Steve: You can’t skirt some things.

David: Yeah, but at the same point you want to get the business and list the home, and you want to get them the most for the home and get that win-win, like we talked about —

Kathy: So I’m sitting across somebody’s kitchen table saying, number one, ‘Okay, now you’ve met me and we walked your house, here’s all the things that I feel like you need to change about your lovely home that you’re in love with’ that a buyer is not going to like. In addition, it’s going to cost you money, which I tell you almost every single time someone calls me to list their house, they think their pocket book is closed. They’re selling the house, they’re done, and they’re not putting another penny into it —

Steve: That’s where you come into play.

Kathy: [we’re ready to] Move on to the next house. We’re going to spend money on that house. And I have to come in and go ‘no, no, no, no, no’…

David: Well they can but they’re not going to get — and/or it’s not going to sell.

Kathy: Exactly. So I have to make them understand that investing a little bit of money is going to return more on the sell and shorten the selling time, or both.

David: Exactly.

Kathy: So I have to have that conversation with them. But then I have to go in and tell them you have to [pay the ask] on top of it, a percent, so they’re paying me to down their house, to dis their taste, and to tell them they have to spend money on top of it. So it’s a really tricky appointment to do and not everybody can do it. So what ends up usually happening is the agents just don’t have those conversations. They want to get the deal.

David: — because after 65 days on the market they’re getting a call from that seller saying ‘Why hasn’t the home sold yet?’

Steve: And that’s —

David: Because they should have de-clutter it 64 days ago.

Steve: And that’s why you have to have people who are great at negotiating listings.

David: So it’s one of these things where you got to kind of come in and be a little bit abrasive. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing —

Kathy: You have to be truthful, but not abrasive.

David: Right. Because you’re really helping people.

Kathy: Yes.

David: You know that they may not like that conversation —

Kathy: They may not want to hear it.

Steve: It’s in the delivery.

Kathy: It’s all in the delivery.

David: It’s in the delivery.

David: But really you’re just trying to help. My goal, I’m not an agent but I would imagine that your goal as agent is to get them the most for the home and sell it in the fastest time.

Steve: Here’s how we’re going to do it. Trust me and let’s go.

David: So having a team means a lot to — you go on all those appointments.

Kathy: I go on those appointments. That listing coordinator comes back over because many, many, many times we have to at least repaint something. So she’ll —

David: So what would you say are the percentage of times?

Kathy: Oh, there’s probably paint involved at least 50-60% of the time.

David: And this is a random question. What would you say is the average dollar amount that you’re able to get the seller to spend? Is it like two or three grand, or like five to eight to more, even?

Kathy: No — it’s usually not much —

David: Just a couple thousand, right? Not a lot.

Kathy:  — unless we’re talking luxury home and it depend if we have them fully staged or if we’re just doing some touch-ups. So typically painting budgets are going to be anywhere from $400 to $2000 depending on if we’re painting a whole entire interior… something or not. And then a lot of times recently, a lot of times we’re really jumping on that kitchen cabinet paint right now because so many people —

David: It’s so easy to paint kitchen cabinets —

Kathy: It is.

Steve: Changes the — completely different room.

Kathy: And it’s trendy, so ten or fifteen years ago it was considered — ‘You painted over the wood?’ Oh my gosh, it’s cheap you know? That technique now, that’s what everybody wants. So everybody who’s in that window right now, take advantage and paint your kitchen cabinets because that’s the trend for right now.

David: That’s the trend.

Kathy: So when we walk in and see, you know, old oak cabinets or white-washed kind of peakish type thing, I thinking ‘Ugh, I got to get these people to spend anywhere from $1500 to $2400’ depending on how big their kitchen is, to paint these cabinets.

David: DO you know we do a lot in our [cough], what we do is we go into the bathrooms that are pink or orange or blue or green with the old —

Kathy: Old-style tile?

David: — instead of ripping all that out, you can just have the whole thing glazed.

Kathy: Glazed, exactly.

David: You know you’re going to spend $800, $1200, $1500, $2000 at the most, I mean it’s really not that much.

Kathy: It’s well worth it.

David: You’ve already spent five, eight, ten grand on it. You know so?

Kathy: So we’re there actually psychically picking samples for them in which I want to take, we’re kind of like the concierge service. We take that monkey off their back that’s paralyzing them because they’re thinking ‘I don’t need to call for one, I don’t know what to pick for two, and when they don’t know what to pick they’re going to paint everything white. Which is the exact opposite of what we want because that looks like rental properties.

Steve: Sterile.

Kathy: It’s very sterile. So Theresa, our girl, will come over and get the paint [samples] out and be like ‘Here’s what I think you should do’ —

David: I think a lot of value you’re providing, not only with having her on the team to come do that with the seller or the customer, but also you’re saying ‘here’s the painter that we use or a list of painters.’ And with tile, ‘here’s a list… you know, if you don’t want to use them, fine. But however, we’ve had a lot of great reviews from everyone from the lender to the tile glazer, and —

Kathy: No one has to use our people. You’re not forcing them to. You’re saying “Here’s who we have the best experiences with, so here’s a list, if I were you I’d call them –“

David: I’d call them.

Steve: Here’s the reason why.

Kathy: And for me, it’s not really about ‘Oh, he’s my buddy or he’s paying for something or whatever — that stuff so minimal, it’s not really worth it. You don’t get into a relationship with somebody because they’re going to sponsor your lunch money —

David: Yeah, or even kick-backs. That’s relevant, too. But to you the win is that you’ve created value for your customer to where you can do what I said earlier. You can make the most for their home and sell it fast —

Steve: It’s going to a great referral —

Kathy: And it helps me keep control of the whole situation because, as an agent, we’re kind of the puppet masters of the entire transaction. But in reality, we don’t have control of the entire transaction. But we’re expected to.

David: You are expected to.

Kathy: You’re expected to.

David: So I have a love/hate relationship with agents, because oftentimes they get in my way —

Kathy: Yep.

David: — as a cash buyer investor. But oftentimes they’re my best friend, you know, so it’s just kind of —

Steve: Catch-22.

David: And I’ll never be rude to them, but oftentimes I’ll just tell them like, “Listen, you know, here’s what I’ll willing to offer or I need to go straight to the home-owner, and then I will — I’ll still pay you; just get out of my way.” It happens. But other times I’ll say, “Listen, you know, I’ll pay you [6% commission]”. I have agents and bookers in my office. However, screw that, I want you to make all that commission. Put the offer in; here’s where I’m at. And oftentimes they’ll take my offer over somebody else’s offer that may be higher, just because they want the 6% commission.

Kathy: With us it’s more that we know that stuff is going to get done, so when I’m the puppet master and I’m going to be the whipping boy at the end of the deal if something goes wrong, even though it wasn’t anything we did, it was our transaction that something happened. So when they have a bad taste, you’re included in the bad taste. And they don’t typically come back to you again or refer you to people. So what we’re doing with… I just lost my train of thought. What were we just talking about?

David: Talking about, —

Kathy: Partnerships.

David: Partnerships with the people coming in to help out —

Kathy: Oh, oh. Controlling the deals we were just talking about. So I find that if they at least use a few people off of our list, then I know that those people are committed to doing a good job for me because they know they get a lot of business from me.

David: So they’re not going to screw it up because they going to get removed from the list.

Kathy: Right. I’m not going to be lowest on the totem pole. Right. And so not for any other reason, other than each piece of that transaction’s being handled appropriately so that the whole piece that I’m controlling doesn’t go down the drain.

David: Love that.

Kathy: And that’s what people really need to understand about why we refer people, is for that reason mainly. Because we’re protecting the whole entire deal.

David: You’re helping them out and —

Kathy: When someone goes and uses a lender that I’ve never heard of before, or closing at some weird title company —

David: Then oftentimes you can’t control it, but that screws up the deal sometimes.

Kathy: It completely does because they don’t know our expectations; they don’t care sometimes about our timelines and deadlines. He’s gripe I don’t know how many times about that I had a love/hate relationship with lenders. Because they know they’re little part of it, but there’ll really clueless on the real estate part of it, for the most part. And the problem in they’re weaved in to the real estate part of it.

David: Isn’t that crazy?

Steve: No, but the ironic thing is that we thought we knew, I’ve learnt.

David: Learnt? Right.

Steve: Before I really partnered up with Kathy, I thought I knew what the real estate agent wanted to hear. Here’s what we got and then I’d give my elevator speech and think everything was awesome. But do you know what; I was saying things that they didn’t want to hear. You know, there were a couple of other things that I could say would be much more powerful, I just need to think like them. And once I was able to work with her team and figure out how they think and they operate, you could talk to almost any real estate agent and they’re like “Wow, you’re reading my mind.”

David: You get it.

Kathy: And you know what the expectations are and I am very, very –I’m kind of a contract Nazi, I want to make sure everything is being done in the time it’s supposed to be because, when it’s not, our people are in jeopardy and I can’t allow that. So when we’re dealing with somebody who’s out of state, and those fine lines — first of all, they barely know them, for the most part. They’re very lacksidaiscal about them. They’re like “Oh, we’re probably going to need to push that off a week. We’re probably going to need the afternoon when we’re supposed to get it” type thing.

David: You need it now. Yeah.

Kathy: Right. Or we’re probably going to need to push closing four or five days. Like it’s no big deal. And it’s a huge deal! And they don’t really think about that. So that’s where, umm —

David: So back to the [team-ups] you love wanting to list the appointments, like being in a business, I love that. That’s great. Then you have the girl that comes in kind of [hiding] you would say, that coaches them and brings the colour palate.

Kathy: Getting the property ready.

David: Essentially brings the lists of the power to you and says you need to do that and that and offers to stage it so and so before. And then do you have other people who are out in the field do that?

Kathy: Yes. So my listing manager is kind of still back behind the scenes. So she’s the girl who oversees all the data, we’re calling the analytics, or watching if [the shows are going up or the shows are going down] and she’s receiving the offers and the things that are coming on the property as well. So she’s kind of our bulldog negotiator.

David: You have one person who does that? Wow.

Steve: But see that’s the thing. She’s got a team and experts in different departments.

Kathy: So I wouldn’t have my girl who comes in and does the colour negotiate contracts. She’s so soft and sweet — that she would fold when you’re going to negotiate. Whereas my listing manager, I don’t really like to send her in to pick things up because she’s like “Those hurting’ like that”.  But she’s great at that role in negotiating. And she’s quick on her feet and she’s quick with comebacks, so somebody’s hitting you with something on why you think your house is worth less than it is, and she right away can come back with it. It just all works really well because I’m kind of the celebrity for them to come in and open the door. Then we got this person that will lay down backwards and be at their house until midnight sometimes, and they have to be like, “Stop being so nice.” You know, we got that person and we got Kelly, that’s the bulldog, so all together we make a really good team on that listing site. Then once it goes under contract I pull the files from the listing manager, because her job is over, and it goes to our closing manager. So she’s a —

David: You’re coordinating the closing from that point on.

Kathy: Right, from that point on. So she’s got her real estate license —

Steve: That’s on the [buy sign].

Kathy: So then she finishes out the deal with the timelines and when inspections are happening, when the appraisal is coming in, so she’s does that all the way to closing. Dealing with title —

David: Whenever that file is past and you got the inspections coming and the negotiations —

Kathy: Kelly’ still negotiating the contract and the building inspections. And so then she takes it over to closing, and that’s pretty much our listing side of it, and then the whole buyer side of it —

Steve: A completely different animal. Personalities are different.

Kathy: Yeah. Personalities are different.

Steve: What you’re doing is completely different. People like to see homes.

David:  — more people on the buying side, so they’re taking people out, showing them the properties, that’s important.

Kathy: We have multiple buyer agents.

David: You’re really catering —

Steve: Yeah, that is part of that, too.

David: I tell people, “Look, I’m not an agent; I’ve taken the test twice and never passed.” Because those advantages, I’m just not getting any of it — and I always people, you’re on the buyer’s agents, you’re earning that money. You work really hard for it because, you may take someone to one house and they might buy it, great. But that’s not going to happen a lot of times. Or very often at all.

Kathy: Well especially in this market right now, for a buyer agent to get a deal sometimes they write three, four, five contracts for somebody before they actually get one that goes though because somebody else is —

David:  — ten or fifteen houses per contract —

Steve: Right, per contract. But you also… think about the timing, I mean when people can go see homes. It’s at night because people work during the day, and it’s on weekends. So buyer’s agents have to have that schedule —

David: We’re not really working in nine-to-four, nine-to-five — Mondays to Fridays.

Kathy: No.

Steve: That’s kind of when they’re —

David: — some weekends and —

Kathy: But on the flip side, they’re also the heroes. So it’s a very different relationship — between, as a listing agent, me and my clients, there’s hoping, usually a respect level there. But there’s not that ‘Let’s go have drinks after, you know, we do this type thing.’ It’s a business transaction. Because I am telling them things aren’t making them feel cushy-cushy about me. I’m having hard conversations with them. And I’m a businessperson to tell. Whereas the buyer agent, they’re buddies. Number one, they’re not paying. See, there’s that little — there’s something about the fact that they got paid by percentage that people begrudge. Even if you do a fabulous job, you’re still begrudged.

Steve: Well if you’re a listing agent, people look and they say, “This is what you’re getting paid, 6%”. Well, no, not really. It’s getting split 17 ways. But with the buy sign, they don’t see that.

Kathy: So they’re not paying them, because it comes out of this –commissions or whatever house they buy. So already there’s a different type of atmosphere to it. And then they’re excited, lots of times people are selling under duress. They’re selling because someone died or someone got a divorce or it’s not all exciting, happy moves. And even if it is it’s stressful to pack up your house and do all those things, it’s more fun to go buy than it is to sell. So those buyer agents, although they have to show all those houses, they are creating friendships a lot of times. And they connect with the people and it’s just a totally different feeling. So they end up, after the deal, being more sending in these great reviews and they ‘I love [?]’ and they refer business a lot because that was more of a friendship type.

David: Let me ask you this, do you get feedback more about ‘hey you guys to work so hard to help me sell this home,’ or ‘you guys worked so hard to help me find this home. ‘I know it comes in from both sides but where do you feel that you are getting more positive feedback from?

Kathy: Yeah, I think we probably — I think it depends on the people, you know? If somebody was working and jut showing them house after house after house and they fight with this contract, which in this market they are, and I have to pat my girls on the back. About 90% of the time that we’re in multiple offer situations, we win. Because I list so many houses I know what I want to see when I get a contract come in. So I teach them how to write the offers to get that listing agent to want to take that offer. So usually —

Steve: They add a personal letter that really pulls at the heart strings. You know, that stuff wins.

David: Inspections, you know —

Kathy: Right. Unless it’s just a money factor, our buyer couldn’t go any higher and somebody else just blew them away, you know we can’t control that. But if we’re neck and neck with somebody, we win. We win.

David: I love it. That’s awesome.

Kathy: So that’s good. So in that type of situation you might get somebody rave about the buyer side of the experience. The listing side, it tends to be short-lived. So you get that ‘Oh my God you guys are amazing, you came in and helped me do all this. You [helped me paint] the house, that’s great. It makes me want to buy my own house.’ I get that all the time. The marketing materials are like, ‘Oh my gosh, it makes me not want to sell.’

Steve: Well in today’s market I’ve been seeing them get reviews like; oh my God they put the house on the market and sold within two hours. See, that’s a good review.

Kathy: It’s a good review.

David: it’s a great review.

Steve: That’s a market win, too.

Kathy: — I had to pay you x% —

Steve: Did we get enough? You know, it’s like —

David: They still are higher value homes, you know, that are 6%. Even if you reduced down a little, a million-dollar house is still $60,000. But people don’t understand, as you were saying, it splits a lot of different ways.

Steve: And it costs money.

David: It’s not always four ways. Sometimes you can do five, six, multiple ways.

Steve: Well, think about photographer. People don’t know that’s an expense. Think about all these little things. It’s staging, you know? It’s expensive.

Kathy: So yeah, as far as we do get good reviews and I think people are ultimately happy but not every single seller does a black flip to get us the money. They appreciate the job that we do —

David: What can we — invoice it and just pay the closing side and [track] them backwards. I love it. Thank you so much for giving us a quick breakdown on what your business is. And we’re getting to about 55 minutes —

Steve: Wow.

David: — let’s see if we could take five or ten just to talk about your group. Because I’m just —

Steve: Sure.

David: — curious. So I was telling the listeners that you’re just here to learn about having these partnerships.

Steve: Yeah, I mean we can run through it a little bit. You know —

David: How many people are on the team? Let’s start there.

Steve: We’ve got 11 people on the team. Like I said, we should be around 15 this summer. That’s a big team, a big team within our group and we kind of followed the real state model. So real estate agents started building these teams, like Kathy’s —

David: — because you got a coach.

Steve:  — I tell you what, she has been a coach on man levels and it’s helped out. So, you know, as my business grew I added somebody. This was about four or five years ago. So then as the business grew even more we found out that we need to find some more people. And just like Kathy’s team, we’ve got people who specialize in each part of the transaction. So when a buyer comes in, they need to get preapproved. That’s me.

David: You have a role that just does the preapprovals?

Steve: Yeah, so what I do is I talk to the client, I figure out what their ultimate needs and goals are, we figure out how to structure a deal, we get them preapproved, I analyze the credit report, and basically after I take that application and have the initial discussion with the client, I again set the expectations and say “Look, from this point on, my partner Shannon and my head processor, Kelly, they’re going to be in touch with you about the paper work.”

David: Don’t call me anymore, because it’s not my role.

Steve: Right.

David: I’m the face, but somebody else does it better.

Steve: I present it in a way, exactly, that says ‘They can get you an answer faster than I can, and they know the paperwork better than I do’. But my phone is always on for you, my door is always open. So you don’t just have me working at this point, you don’t just have Shannon at this point and Kelly at this point, you have any of us the entire time. Because there are questions for each part of it.

David: So if [all gets moved at once] you do the preapprovals.

Steve: Basically I take the application and talk to the client. After that I give the story to my story. And I say, “Here’s the deal with this client. This is what they’re trying to do, this is what they’re purchasing, this is their down payment, here they have a hiccup in their credit.” You know, we kind of need to look at this situation. And then it goes to them. They basically analyze everything, they collect the documentation, they get it processed, and they get it through processing, to the underwriting. Underwriting comes back with conditions, every single time.

David: Now are you guys –because I don’t know the business you’re talking about, so do you – or —

Steve: No, we’re a mortgage banker.

David: That helps because the underwritings’ in-house —

Steve: Everything is in-house.

David: It’s all in-house.

Kathy: Which is one of my criteria.

David: It streamlines the process, too, because it’s not like calling and getting the AR number and…

Kathy: Right.

Steve: Dave, I mean the mortgage business has changed so much in, let’s call it ten years, that clients can get perturbed because there is a lot of paperwork. But with a lot of paperwork comes a lot of issues that come up. And questions that come up. So it’s super-important for us to be able to go walk to our processing department, to walk to our underwriting department, to walk to our closing department –we even have our in-house attorneys. I mean everything is under one roof so we can basically take care of these issues right away. As opposed to the big banks we were talking about earlier, you might have processing in North Dakota and your closing in Florida.

David: It’s a state! The file doesn’t go across the hall; it’s getting emailed or shipped —

Steve: And it’s not going to affect them if you don’t close on time. Me? It affects me. It affects me mentally; personally, it affects our reputation here in town. As we grew we specialized in each part of the transaction that my — our process that much smoother. And that’s why we’re able to do so many deals and we do get good reviews and it’s a completely different —

David: How many different types of products do you offer? I know it varies based on person, their credit, the amount of money that they’re making, if they’re W2 versus [?] there are so many variables that come into play.

Steve: We go with 15 different investors on the conforming side, so loan amount that’s under $424,100, we have 15 different investors. And when I say 15 investors, I mean big banks like Chase, Wells Fargo, BB&T, and Freedom —

David: They would all have different products I’d imagine, too.

Steve: Products and underwriting criteria.

David: Holy cow.

Steve: So no pun intended but we can pretty much find a home for anyone.

David: You can make it rain, right?

Steve: Yeah, you know what’s I’m saying? So when you go to a Bank of America or you go to one of those big banks, they have this box. And if you don’t fit in that box, you’re going to get denied. OK, so you come to us and you don’t fit in this box, we’re going to go over here. We’re going to see if it fits in this box. We also sell directly to Fannie and Freddie; we’ve got 12 investors on the jumbo-side. Like I said, we’ve got three programs with 0% down. So we pretty much have everything you could imagine as far as programs are concerned. But everybody’s got rates; everybody’s got fees, alright great. But it really comes into the service and it comes in to trusting the person that you’re working with. And we really try and build that trust. Not only through the conversations that we have, but also by keeping our word. If I say I’m going to answer my phone after 5 and on the weekends? I’ll going to answer my phone after 5 and on the weekends. And that’s goes a long ways. And later on we become friends with a lot of our clients because we helped them out in situations that that needed.

David: I love it. Kathy and Steve, thanks so much for coming in.

Steve: Yeah man, I appreciate it.

David: Absolutely. If you are listening or viewing us and you’re in the St. Louis area and you’re looking to list your home, you’re looking to buy a home, Kathy how would they reach you? Is there like an email or…

Kathy: Kathyhelbiggroup.com, that’s our website. Or 314 276 SOLD is our number, too.

David: Awesome. And that’s the listing and the buying side. Love that. And you’re also a broker.

Kathy: Listing and buying. Correct.

David: And if you’re an agent and you’re listening and you’re looking for a new home —

Kathy: If you’re looking for a new home —

David: Kathy Helbig is the place to go. And Steve how would someone reach you in the event that they’re looking to, you know it wouldn’t just be a person who’s looking to buy and move into a new residence. It could be an investor that’s looking to buy —

Steve: Investor or second home, yeah we do all that. And you know what? Even if you’re not ready to buy today, call us and I’d be happy to answer any question or maybe get you in position to buy that dream home that you want. You can catch me at TheStrickGroup.com or you can call Gershman at 314 889 0659.

David: Awesome, so we’ll have that in show notes as well. The emails and phone numbers. Again, thank you so much for coming in today, guys.

Kathy: Sure, thanks for having us.

David: Always want to provide value to the listeners and the viewers. Guys again, don’t forget, check out the first ten or fifteen podcasts, learn how to wholesale on FreeWholesaleCourse.com, also check us out at DiscountPropertyInvestor.com. If you’re looking to buy wholesale deals in St. Louis, you can subscribe to our emails at the top right corner of that website, and Steve had said a quote earlier I was an asshole about. The quote I really like this one by the way. So let’s hear it, what’s the quote?

Steve: “Respect isn’t given until it’s earned.” I learned that a long time ago and I feel that applies to everything you do every day.

David: I think it applies a lot to the partnerships, too.

Steve: Absolutely.

David: You have to bring that win-win and you have to get that respect.

Kathy: And you have to keep it.

Steve: Then you got to keep it!

David: That’s right. Well guys, thanks for tuning in today and we’ll see you next time.

Thanks for Listening

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