There are monumental moments in life we will never forget: in life, in business and with our family and our children.
For me, there was one such moment during a deal that came together where I made the most money I had ever made in a real estate deal to that point — and having been a poor musician for many years, it was likely close to or even more than what I had made on a yearly basis the first few years out of college.
This post is about musings. About fun. It’s about living a little bit. Enjoying life. Asking for what you want…and being prepared to act on what you get.
It’s not just important, I think, to ask for what you want and to be prepared for what you ask for — to me, it is fundamental to your life and your business.
I had already known the sellers, a doctor and his wife, who lived the wildly awesome lifestyle — with BMW convertibles, a large Southwest Florida home and the best of everything.
Related: How I Overcame Fear, Age, and Lack of Experience to Become a Successful Real Estate Investor
The home had incredible landscaping and a perfectly lit courtyard with a pool, and it was enclosed on three sides with floor to ceiling glass, which offered a view from the living room, dining room and kitchen. And of course it was perfectly decorated. It featured a vaulted roof over the pool, as well as a cabana house next to the residence with kid’s playroom, workout room and a giant office with a desk the CEO of IBM would have coveted.
They paid way too much for the house in the first place — and to make matters worse, it was during the years of complete cataclysmic economic disaster and the eventual crash of the real estate market in the late 2000’s. The situation was of course not compounded at all by their need to spend $2 dollars for every $1 they made. Their house, having been purchased for over a million dollars, was sold to us for less than half that.
The Importance of First Impressions
Let me digress for a moment…
When I first started as a real estate agent in Florida, I would (be required to) attend these big gatherings for new realtors (yawn) for ya-ya-rah-rah…education and all the hours of don’t-do-this-don’t-do-that with all these realtors.
Especially, say, the first meetings when they pile all 100-200 of the new realtors in a room together, give you the big pep talks, hear from these wildly successful agents — and you either leave there fired up or you leave feeling it is entirely impossible to measure up.
One of the interesting things for me was as I would meet a successful investor or real estate agent, I noticed that they were always well dressed, and they almost always…had a sweet watch. Seriously, is that ANOTHER #Rolex!? Yeah. It was.
Maybe I was (overly) obsessed with the watch part.
Maybe I still am.
But it was a clear indication on their part of, “I know what I am doing. I am successful. I can get the deal done.”
You know when you meet someone, when you feel their very presence, the weight of their passion, the fight and drive they have for their business? This made a huge impression on me. And I continued to keep my eyes open as to how the best realtors acted, how they dressed, how they showed up to appointments and how they closed their deals (or at least the ones I could go read about, ask questions about or being on the other side of the deal as the other realtor).
So anyway, wandering words aside…
When we walked up to the doctor’s house, we were prepared. We were dressed well, like guys who could actually close on an almost $500k cash deal. My partner with his Rolex Yachtmaster and myself, pretty sure wearing something from the local mall (yeah, it wasn’t expensive or glamorous, but it was the best I had).
My partner and I role played through how the deal would go down. The questions the sellers would have. And the questions we expected they would need to answer for themselves to feel comfortable and agree to our offer. We came in, made a cash offer and put the house under contract.
It was a killer deal for us, and it got the sellers out of their terrible situation.
Closing the Deal
After doing very little work and listing the house on the market, we sold the house in about 6 weeks from start to finish. I will never forget that day. I remember my partner showing up to my house; I remember the look on his face. I remember it like it happened today.
He took out his checkbook and wrote me the check. It had more zeros oin it than I had ever seen on a check before. After our expenses of money, I had made just shy of $20k on the flip. And another $10k as the realtor on the deal. He had funded it and made more on it that I did. There was well over $60k profit in the deal.
The After Celebration
For fun that following weekend, my wife and I decided to do a little shopping and have a wonderful dinner to celebrate — so we headed into the mall just a mile or so from the beach. I had had my eyes on a pair of sunglasses. I showed them the pair of Ray Bans I wanted and asked what kind of deals they were running. Of course, it’s Sunglass Hut, and they don’t run deals.
I kindly asked again. And maybe a few times. Joking, but serious. I didn’t need to buy them, but I would get them if I could get a little better deal. At that point, the salesperson asked me if I had the special coupon that I guess only …read more