TM I N FORM . I NS P I R E . E DUCAT E . EMPOWE R .
On the Radar: Off-Market Deals MARKETS & TRENDS
Hidden Profits: Polishing a Century-Old Gem DESIGN POINT
Innovations that Impact STRATEGY Learning Curves GREG AND KIM SLAUGHTER ON KEEPING SUCCESS SIMPLE
FEBRUARY 2021 $5.95 U.S. :: $6.95 CAN
2 | think realty magazine :: february 2021
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PUBLISHER & CEO Eddie Wilson
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kelli White
SALES MANAGER Rodney Halford RHalford@ThinkRealty.com
FULFILLMENT COORDINATOR Blair Pierce
DESIGNER David Allen Rodriguez
CONTRIBUTERS Dennis Blitz Nora Bohanon Grant Cardone Ellis Hammond Fred Heigold III
Aaron Norris Gene Powers Steve Streetman Shawn Tiberio Michele Van der Veen
HEY! LET’S BE FRIENDS! GET SOCIAL. STAY CONNECTED.
Don Wenner Ingo Winzer Michael Zuber
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COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Go Media
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4 | think realty magazine :: february 2021
FROM THE EDI TOR- IN-CHI EF
Always Something New
they are introducing something new to the industry by offer-
he theme for this issue is innova -
tion, which means to make changes or to introduce something
ing education like no other. Read their story on page 16 and see how a simplistic approach could be just what you need
new. When put that sim - ply, it’s safe to say that we in the real estate investing industry innovate all the time.
to innovate your business. Also in this issue, contributor Steve Streetman explains an innovation in building that might surprise you—3-D printing! Always on the cutting-edge of information, Streetman never dis - appoints in his topics and ensures readers are always learning some- thing new! The Think Realty team is constantly innovating to bring you different ways to receive reliable REI information and to inspire you keep innovating and keep succeeding. For example, our lat - est innovation exclusively for premium members is called RE-Focus. What is it? Read on to see what’s new. •
Because if we don’t, we could be out of the game completely. The way I see it, innovation is in line with evolution. We must avoid becoming stagnant to sur - vive and we must innovate and evolve to thrive. So, when your REI strategy isn’t working like it used to, or the market isn’t performing as predicted, you must be innovative to carry on. Cover couple Greg and Kim Slaugh - ter are no strangers to slaying real estate deals. But their story is one of perseverance and innovation. They were forced to re-evaluate their strategies several times along their real estate investing journey, and now
KELLI WHITE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
thinkrealty . com | 5
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Greg and Kim Slaughter on simple systems and slaying deals by Kelli White
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STRATEGY (CONT.) 57 Cardone’s Column: A Forecast for 2021 What good is a seller’s market if nobody can buy? by Grant Cardone 58 Changing Lives with Technology Use innovations that impact us to positively impact others by Michael Zuber
8 News & Events
11 Company Spotlight: Pacaso
12 Presidents’ Circle
Featured Member: Damon Riehl
60 Four Reasons to Convert to a Self-Directed Roth IRA
Hint: the benefits go beyond taxes by Dennis Blitz
24 Linking Real Estate and Business with Social Media
DESIGN POINT 62 Hidden Profits
Daily habits to drive more business through LinkedIn by Ellis Hammond
Repurposing materials to polish a century-old gem by Michele Van der Veen
26 The Pros and Cons of Tech in Real Estate Does technology make business easier? by Shawn Tiberio
MARKETS & TRENDS 68 Market Spotlight: Jacksonville, FL Great fundamentals and future prospects by Fred Heigold III 72 On the Radar: Off-Market Deals Data-driven strategies to identify deals in 2021 by Aaron Norris
28 Workflow Automation
Your life and business just got better by Nora Bohanon
30 Real Estate Investing Tech Stack Guide How to stack the deck in your favor by Don Wenner
76 What Recession?
35 Sponsored Content: Investor Review
Markets where home values are up the most by Ingo Winzer
STRATEGY 54 3-D Printing Technology
MINDSET 80 The 7 Steps to Financial Freedom
Building a House? Press Print by Steve Streetman
Step 7: The journey—zero the gap & enjoy! by Gene Powers
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NEWS & EVENTS
Think Realty Honors Nominations Open! E ach year, Think Realty honors leaders in the industry who exemplify the best in real estate investing. Not only have the winners achieved great success in their own right, but they also demonstrate Think Realty’s mission of being trusted resources within the real estate investing industry. Know someone who fits this description? Nominate them today! Winners will be featured in Think Realty Magazine, on social media, and celebrated at a special awards ceremony with Think Realty CEO Eddie Wilson (pictured left.)
Nominations are open for the 2021 Think Realty Honors through June. Go to thinkrealty.com/honors now and enter your picks!
New for Premium Members! Think Realty is excited to announce a new benefit exclusively for our premium members. Each month, CEO Eddie Wilson will host RE-Focus, a video call in which he will share insights and captivating content followed by a Q&A session. It’s your chance to have a one-on-one experience with Think Realty’s CEO where you will be inspired and empowered on your REI journey!
Think Realty’s Commercial Real Estate Magazine is Coming Soon!
Discover investing tips, must-know strategies and data- driven content in our all-new digital quarterly magazine, arriving online March 2021.
• Multifamily • Storage
• Industrial • Retail and More!
Think Realty FREE members can access the magazine at thinkrealty.com/CRE.
Not a member? Subscribe today at thinkrealty.com/join.
8 | think realty magazine :: february 2021
Experience what the Think Realty Conference & Expos have to offer:
Network with top-tier real estate professionals at the Cocktail Reception. Meet 40+ exhibitors specializing in REI tools, products and services. Attend sessions and specialty workshops on a variety of investment strategies. Access deal-making opportunities with the biggest names in the business.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE NEXT REAL ESTATE BOOM MAR 26-27 HOUSTON INVESTING STRATEGIES FOR A NEW DECADE SEP 18-19 BALTIMORE
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FREE WEBSITES FOR THINK REALTY MEMBERS
WH Y C H O O S E U S ?
10 | think realty magazine :: february 2021
Pacaso co-founders Spencer Rascoff (left) and Austin Allison. Spencer is co-founder and former CEO of Zillow; Austin is founder of dotloop and former Zillow executive.
Company Spotlight: Pacaso INNOVATING SECOND-HOME OWNERSHIP
acaso launched last October to offer people a modern way to
and experience true but hassle-free homeownership. The company brings together and organizes the ownership group; man - ages the legal and financing process; provides the tech tools so owners can easily and equitably schedule time; and manages the home itself. Pacaso homes are owned in an LLC. Many people own second homes with friends. However, DIY LLC ownership—which has been around for decades—is a headache to set up and a hassle to manage, especially when personal relation - ships are involved. Pacaso’s ful - ly managed LLC co-ownership is a technology-enabled real estate ownership solution that removes the interpersonal stress and operational hassle of going at it alone. The mission of Pacaso is to, over time, democratize second home
ownership, a luxury to which mil - lions of Americans aspire but which seemed previously inaccessible, and is more important than ever as peo - ple seek safety, security and seren - ity amid Covid. Co-ownership helps buyers increase their buying power and shop for homes that would be otherwise out of their price range. Pacaso and its real estate agent partners help buyers find the perfect home and set up a professionally managed LLC uniquely designed for co-ownership with integrated financ - ing. Owners can sell in a streamlined way through Pacaso’s marketplace and our network of real estate agent partners without having to build con - sensus among all owners. So far, Pacaso has helped families buy shares of homes in markets like Tahoe, Park City, Palm Springs, and Hilton Head. •
buy and own a second home. Dotloop co-founder Austin Allison and Zillow co-founder and former CEO Spencer Rascoff started the company, which announced $17 million in Series A financing late last year. Pacaso modernizes the genera - tions-old practice of co-owning a second home, creating a market - place that makes buying and selling easy, and adding professional man- agement and technology to make scheduling dates and owning the home seamless and simple. There are 30 million second homes in the U.S. and Europe that sit unoccu - pied 10 or 11 months of the year, and millions of people who dream of second homes. Pacaso creates a marketplace around this, allow - ing people to buy shares of a home,
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FeaturedMember: Damon Riehl
n 2020, Damon Riehl, CEO of Investment Property Loan Exchange and LoanBidz, a national market -
success-driven individuals. That is what the Presidents’ Circle is all about—inspiring and educating each other. “My main reason for joining the Presidents’ Circle was to connect with real estate investors and lenders in the investment property industry. After meeting Think Realty CEO Eddie Wilson at conferences, I believe he has great insights into what it takes to be successful, no matter what industry he chooses. I hope to partner with other Presidents’ Circle members and find ways we can support each other, both personally and professionally,” Riehl said.
place for investment property loans that partners with real estate investors to match them with great lender and equity partners to support fix and flip, long-term rental, multifamily and small balance commercial acqui - sitions and refinances, joined the Think Realty Presi - dents’ Circle. Riehl is a good fit for this think group not only because of his decades of experience in the real estate finance industry, but because he wants to surround himself with
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Most lenders require you to have some skin in the game, so take time to raise the needed down payment, closing costs, and about six months of loan payments toward the project. “
—Damon Riehl, CEO of Investment Property Loan Exchange and LoanBidz
Here is more of what Riehl shared with us about his story and his advice for other real estate investors. TR What is your start-up story? How did you begin your career in real estate? DR After graduating from the University of Missouri-Co - lumbia with a finance degree, I landed my first job with TransAmerica. I learned the “real life” basics of credit and lending, giving me an important foundation in the work I do today. I have started seven lending divisions as the first, ground-level employee with an affinity for home improve - ment and construction lending. I’ve served as the Single- Family Products Director at Fannie Mae where I managed their HomeStyle suite of lending products, the Global Mortgage Product Leader for GE Capital, and the Head of Unsecured Lending Products for CitiBank North America. Then three years ago, I decided to take my lending knowledge and form Investment Property Loan Exchange LLC. At IPLE, we connect real estate investors with top private lenders in the U.S. by modeling our company to be like a Lending Tree for real estate investors. Our clients use LoanBidz.com, our Live Auction Style bidding plat - form, to match with the best loan offer for their needs. LoanBidz.com uses proprietary technology allowing real estate investors to quickly submit a loan request. Lenders in our vast network have 72 hours to make a loan offer on a new submission, creating true competi - tion among lenders. Our clients avoid countless calls and voicemails from sales associates that may not even have a product available for their specific needs. TR What advice do you have for beginners in the real estate industry?
DR If you’re a beginner, find an experienced mentor or partner for your first few transactions. Learn both what to do and not to do during the first few deals. From a lending standpoint, you will gain the involvement needed to receive better rates and higher loan amounts. Be sure you are an owner on the business entity investing in the property, which will allow lenders to give you experience credit for the project. Liquid assets are necessary before you try to buy a property. Most lenders require you to have some “skin in the game,” so take time to raise the needed down pay - ment, closing costs, and about six months of loan pay - ments toward the project. IPLE finds our quality lenders do have low down payment options, but all require a basic level of liquidity to ensure that if cost overruns occur or a renter does not pay, you have reserves to make the pay - ment for a few months.
TR What types of technology and/or innovations have helped you in your REI business? How so?
DR Our secret sauce is the “Live Auction” style bidding with LoanBidz.com. It provides offer transparency in key areas like rates, fees, and prepayment penalties. This allows investors to compare up to three loan offers side-by-side on each detail of the offer. Clients love knowing they have an advocate for all their financing questions and concerns through the entire loan process, along with having someone to coor - dinate the paperwork. This gives them time to find their next deal! •
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Effective and Efficient Maintenance EXTERIOR PROPERTY MAINTENANCE TO HELP YOU TAKE IT EASY
askEasy is the nationwide solu - tion to ordering and managing
belt, Ken was in a perfect position to solve this problem. He envisioned a service that would make purchasing lawn care as easy as shopping online. To provide fair and consistent pric - ing for both parties, TaskEasy devised a solution that utilized satellite image technology to measure actual proper - ty size. This method of aerial imagery helps TaskEasy establish fair pricing across all markets and eliminates the need to physically visit the property to provide a bid. Contractors have since experienced fewer driving expenses, while property owners and managers have seen faster days-to-service and improved downtime as a result. As for managing multiple contrac - tors, TaskEasy’s revolutionary soft - ware makes it easy to maintain lawn care and yard maintenance through a single point of contact. TaskEasy’s
robust ecosystem automates and audits exterior property maintenance services, manages exceptions, and provides reporting and accountabili - ty to clients. No more tracking down contractors, no more wasted resourc - es, no more sorting through photos to verify completion – just a simple solu - tion to managing services for rental properties. Today TaskEasy provides relief to property managers and owners in more than 12,000 cities across the U.S. Through their fair market pricing, data-driven software, and network of more than 15,000 insured contractors, TaskEasy is the simple solution to maintaining rental properties. • Think Realty members receive up to 20 percent off exterior home mainte - nance services.
lawn care for rental properties. With TaskEasy, you can order services and manage your entire rental portfolio online, in one convenient place. Founded in 2013 by CEO Ken Davis, TaskEasy was built to solve a long-standing problem: mowing the lawn. Ken, who was then manag- ing a modest property portfolio, was struggling to maintain his properties curb appeal across multiple cities. He found himself spending countless hours vetting and managing contrac - tors, and it was at this time he also realized that pricing was inconsistent and unfair to both him and the con - tractor. The entire landscaping ser - vices industry was plagued with inef - ficiencies. As an entrepreneur with several successful ventures under his
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Our twice-weekly Think Realty Podcast is your source for the latest industry trends, hard-hitting insights and news. Vist thinkrealty.com/podcast to get your listen on now, or find it on your favorite podcast platform.
thinkrealty . com | 15
GREG AND KIM SLAUGHTER
Greg and Kim Slaughter on keeping success simple
BY KELLI WHITE PHOTOS COURTESY OF GO MEDIA
16 | think realty magazine :: february 2021
AS INVESTORS, ONE THINGWE DO DIFFERENT IS FOCUS ON TECHNOLOGY THATAIDS INTIME MANAGEMENT.
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efore he even finished high school, Greg Slaughter knew he would have a career in real estate. What he
didn’t know then, is that he would achieve success as a real estate investor alongside his future wife. Greg and Kim Slaughter have been operating a real estate invest - ing business almost as long as they have been married. They have been working together for 18 years, mar- ried for 23. “We are literally together 24/7,” Kim said. All the togetherness is working well for the Slaughters. The couple renewed their wedding vows two years ago and have built a real estate investing business that has not only helped them live well, but now they are shifting gears and touching thousands of lives by offering real estate investing education to aspir - ing investors. “I was never a teacher, but I am good at taking complicated infor - mation and making it very simple,” Greg said. “I have transitioned toward helping individuals. That’s my passion, my desire, my legacy,” he said. The term “legacy” has different meaning to Slaughter than what it might have for others. In 2000, the Slaughters experienced a devastat - ing loss when their daughter was stillborn. Their passion for helping others is rooted in her honor. “I don’t want to just leave a bunch of rentals behind. I want to honor my daughter Narissa by helping other people,” Greg said. One way he is doing that is through his online education pro - gram for entry-level real estate investors. The ups and downs that the Slaughters have experienced and learned from is what has fueled
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his know-how to design this pro- gram. That—and the gift of knowing how to keep things simple.
Another downfall that the Slaugh- ters overcame happened a few years after they recovered from the bank - ruptcy. It was another devastating event, but they persevered and rose above it. “We had a business partner steal nearly a million dollars from us in 2016. That was my 50th birthday present,” Greg recalled. “He took $800,000 that was supposed to go into a project. We had to overcome that huge obstacle as well and ended up raising money instead to do that project. He was a friend who basical - ly Ponzi schemed the money.” That kick in the gut spurred the Slaughters to keep going. They remained a strong team with a stronger focus for doing well and for sharing their knowledge with others. ONWORKING (AND LIVING) TOGETHER It is not uncommon for success stories to involve two opposing per - sonality types. The Slaughters have proven to be compatible when it comes to business and marriage and they credit that to how different they are from one another. “We complement each other. We are opposites in many ways,” Greg said. “In every way!” Kim laughed. “But that is what makes us a pow- erful team,” Greg said. Greg’s strengths include systemiz - ing things to make processes easier and having endless energy and pas - sion to share his experience. “I am driven that’s for sure. I could easily work 16 hours a day and not even think about it,” he said. “I am the last person to ask about shows on Netflix! I don’t have a clue about that, but I have run businesses since I was 17 and I understand how to hire people. I understand how to appoint
DON’T quit your job too soon.
LEARNING CURVES Before one can teach others a craft, skill, or business, the teach - er himself typically has overcome obstacles to get him in the position to instruct others. That is true for Greg, who has overcome multiple obstacles in his life, from which he hopes others can learn. “We’ve started over a couple times,” he said. “We bought our first property in 1999, and I left corporate America in 2002. I knew I wanted to be a millionaire when I was 17 years old. But I didn’t realize I had the wrong goal.” From 2002-2006 the Slaughters did very well in real estate invest - ing, and they were in fact million - aires. But was their mission accom - plished? Not even close. “We thought we could retire because I had hit my goal. We trav - eled Europe for a month. But the market crashed when we got back, and we lost everything. We had to start over completely. We filed bank - ruptcy and borrowed money from parents. What I learned from that is I had the wrong goal. My entire focus was to be a millionaire. That’s noth- ing. That’s paper money. It means nothing. The name of the game is cashflow,” Greg said. April 12, 2011, is a date that holds a meaning of fresh starts for the Slaughters. That was the day their bankruptcy was discharged. “We could begin again,” Greg said. “The quote from Tony Rob- bins, ‘What you focus on is what you get’—I firmly believe that. Now, I am focused on the right goal. We don’t do anything unless it directly increases our cashflow.”
DO know your WHY.
DON’T chase shiny objects and flip strategies too quickly.
DO write down your vision and focus on what you want, not where you are.
the right people. It’s literally what I’ve done since I was a teenager.” Kim, a Realtor ® for 20 years licensed in Arizona, is the organiza - tion part of the team and a self-pro- claimed extrovert—a people person. “I can connect with business con - tacts on the personal level and I can adapt to personality types. I am a work in progress when it comes to sales skills, but I am getting better,” she said. Greg added, “I can go in there and drive results, she can come in before
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or after me and connect on a person - al level. It creates more of a balance instead of one way or the other. It really helps when dealing with con - tractors and team members.” Kim said the benefit of working together is just being together. “Many couples work opposite shifts and don’t see each other. Although we can drive each other crazy, and it’s not roses every day, for the most part we do well. When we first started [in real estate invest - ing] I was not supportive because he left a corporate job with a steady paycheck. I was freaking out. It took about eight years for me to really get on board. Now, I am grateful for the
freedom we have, and the vacations we go on. But we do take breaks from each other—every human needs their alone time and their breaks!” For Greg, the benefit of working alongside his wife is trust. “I like knowing I have at least one person I can trust to get something done! I’ve told other couples two things: 1) There can only be one person in charge when it comes to the final decision. One person has to ultimately make the decisions. If both think they are going to do it, there will be problems. 2) Separate work from home. I can go into work mode and go into home/vacation
mode and give up control.” In addition to their REI educa - tion programs, the Slaughters are working on other plans that also align with helping others. Kim is in the process of launching her non - profit called Together Saving Paws, an organization that will help no-kill shelters and rescues. “If I see a human with an animal, I see the animal first!” she said. “Together Saving Paws is a grant program to which no-kill shelters can apply. We are donating 10 per - cent of profits from Greg’s online education program to the nonprofit.” It’s not a surprise that Greg offers this advice because it’s straightfor -
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25, 30 grand and never did a deal. Too many newbies get sucked into $30,000 coaching programs. I don’t think that’s the best option for a new investor. They are better off doing an internship with an actual investor doing the work,” Greg said. He said a lot of people follow “gurus” in the flipping niche of real estate investing and get themselves into trouble. “Flipping is the hardest aspect of REI. Not everyone should start there. I want to work with new investors and show them all the options within real estate invest - ing and teach them how to do what is best for them. Ultimately REI is cashflow. It’s not flipping. It’s having rentals that bring in passive income,” Greg said. Kim added, “The thing with a lot of these gurus is they teach at col - lege level. They throw out terms like ARV and cap rate before their audi - ence even knows the basics. Greg’s program is more like elementary school to provide base information before you get to college level.” Another challenge Greg sees in the real estate industry partic - ularly on branding and business, is social media. When he learned social media was a concerning issue in the REI space, he was affected personally. It was a tough lesson for him realizing that because he never built a following, his business was affected. “Unfortunately, in this indus- try, it’s almost more important to have followers than the number of deals you’ve done. If someone has done thousands of deals but has a small number of followers, appar- ently they aren’t as knowledgeable as those who have thousands of followers but haven’t done as many deals. That’s just sad to me. It’s the
state of today. Someone was beta testing my property management program and during feedback, she said I should charge more for it and it is great, but she never would have bought it. I asked why. She said the first thing she did was look me up on social media to see how many followers I had. I had only 30 at the time because I had just opened an account. But I had done 1,000 real estate transactions and had been managing properties since 1999! But that didn’t matter. What was more important is that I only had 30 followers,” Greg said. He decided to adapt and fol - low the social media trend—even though he might disagree with it. So now, he posts every day! (You can follow him on Instagram and/or Facebook @GregSlaughterLegacy.) “For someone getting started investing in real estate, just because someone has followers, doesn’t mean they know what they are talking about. That is very concern - ing for me. Someone can do one deal and have 10,000 followers and suddenly they are a guru,” Slaugh - ter said. Do your research, they both advise. In addition to high-cost coach - ing programs and social media, the “only one way to do things messag- ing” is very concerning to Slaughter. “Every market is different in this country. Every market is constantly changing. What we do in Indiana is different from what we do in Arizo- na. You can’t just learn one strategy, but more importantly you have to learn the market cycle and read the market and take what the market is giving you—that’s the recipe for success. People get too caught up in one method and try to jam that method into the market and they
I HAVE TRANSITIONED TOWARD HELPING INDIVIDUALS. THAT’S MY PASSION,
MY DESIRE, MY LEGACY.
ward and simple, just like how he operates his business and teaches: “Pick what you love to do,” he said.
TROUBLESOME TRENDS INREI For Greg, picking what he loves to do was a no-brainer before he had even reached voting age. But along his journey in real estate investing, he has witnessed some concerning practices. “On the first Tuesday of every month, I taught a topic and Q&A forum. During that process, it was amazing to me when I sat down with people who spent so much money for nothing—they paid 20,
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fail. How many times do you see people do one thing very well for a short amount of time, then boom! The market changes and they are out of business? They didn’t adjust with the market,” he said. Another challenge in the industry is trouble with labor and contractors. Greg said most people run their business in a way that makes them dependent on the contractor. He does it differently. “I’ve worked with hundreds of con - tractors but can count on one finger a guy in 22 years that had the systems and processes in place to run an effective contracting business for the long term and that I would trust without following up. The way I think of hiring labor is like McDonald’s where teenager workers come and go. Have your systems in place and revolve the contractors in and out. Set it up like a role to fill the void so you are not dependent upon the contractor.” A LEGACY OF LEARNING Within Greg’s education system, he is offering an introductory level, an advanced level, and a program devoted to property management. His program on how to self-manage your rental prop- erties is already active and other edu - cational programs are coming soon. All can be found at GregSlaughter.com He is offering online programs for entry-level investors in a step-by-step format for those who are getting into the industry for the first time. Slaughter’s simple, systematic approach has helped him build and rebuild a successful business, slay thousands of real estate deals, and guide others to achieve their own aspirations. Greg and Kim have navigated learning curves with grace and perseverance—and that is legacy in the making. •
THINK REALTYGETS ANEWRESIDENT EXPERT
In 2020, Greg Slaughter signed on to be one of Think Realty’s Resident Experts, real estate pros who have seen the ups and downs. After all, why learn the tough lessons on your own when Resident Experts can guide you to optimize your real estate investment strategy and avoid costly mistakes? Our growing team of experts has proven success across diverse areas of real estate, and all share a passion for helping others succeed. Greg Slaughter is the perfect fit for such role. Slaughter focuses on single-family strategies and helps everyone from novice investors with zero deals to those who are self-managing dozens of properties and everything in between. What can Think Realty members expect from this new Resident Expert? Valuable information— put simply. “My background is on systems and I am ‘known’ to make things simple,” Slaughter said. “So, I will be sharing what I have learned from my 20+ years of experience in more than 1,000 real estate transactions, what my systems are, and how I simplify things.” Slaughter added, “Being a Think Realty Resident Expert allows me the opportunity to help others across the country to achieve their dreams, which is what I am most passionate about.” Oftentimes, the simplest lessons are the ones that lead to the largest successes. Check out Slaughter’s courses on thinkrealty.com.
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Linking Real Estate and Business with Social Media
DAILY HABITS TO DRIVE MORE BUSINESS THROUGH LINKEDIN
by Ellis Hammond
ave you thought about how to use LinkedIn to grow your busi - ness, but you don’t know where to start? You are not alone. For the past two years, I have been creating content on LinkedIn every single day. It is very rare that I get on a call with an investor or sit down at a local coffee shop with a friend without them mentioning a post of mine they saw on LinkedIn. I don’t say this to brag but rather to H
show you how powerful this platform is. The secret about LinkedIn right now is that there are very few content creators out there posting on it. You will have a hard time starting from scratch right now on platforms like Facebook and Instagram because of how oversaturated they are with brands, influencers, and content cre - ators. LinkedIn, however, is hungry for good content to share to keep people on the platform longer.
Do these things every day to drive more leads to your business and become a LinkedIn All Star.
FIRSTTHING—TRAFFIC The goal of any platform is to drive traffic to your profile or website and convert more leads, am I right? That means you must start with the end goal in mind. The first place to start on LinkedIn is your
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your own content. I have also formed great partnerships with LinkedIn members simply from engaging back and forth on posts. STEP 2 CREATE The best advice I can give you is don’t overthink this and create similar content to what is already working. Take notes on the type of content you see other people in your indus- try creating and create your own version of it. If your content stinks, don’t worry! The algorithm of Linke - dIn most likely won’t even show it. I look to create 3-5 pieces of content each day. You can follow my hashtag #thinkwealthy on LinkedIn to see examples. STEP 3 FOLLOW UP Once you begin to have engagement with your posts, don’t forget the whole purpose you are here—to grow your business. Direct message those who are regularly interacting with your posts and set up a call. The goal here is to establish the relationship and find ways to do business. You are now on your way to becom - ing a LinkedIn All Star. The best time to get started is now. I recommend downloading the LinkedIn app on your phone and using downtime to follow these steps to help grow your real estate investing business. •
headshot and bio. Your headshot should be professional and up close. You want your audience to feel like you are a real person and recognize you instantly if they were to see you at a conference, for example. You’d be surprised how many times people thought I was the main speaker at a conference, simply because they recognized my face from LinkedIn and associated me with real estate investing. Your bio is the next thing people are going to read when they come to your profile. The most important element in your bio is a call to action. Make sure people know what the next step is you want them to take if they took the time to visit your profile. Buying your product or service might be too soon, but scheduling a call or downloading a free PDF to learn more about your company or service works really well.
THREE DAILYHABITS Have you ever been to a network - ing event and met the guy who just wanted to pass out his business card? Don’t be that guy. The best way to use LinkedIn is to be someone that is contributing val - ue to the community. You can do this in three simple steps. STEP 1 ENGAGE In the search bar, type in the name of your industry. In my case, I would type in “multifamily.” From there, LinkedIn will show me the recent content about multifamily real estate. My daily goal is to leave a comment on ten other posts about multifamily. Don’t overlook the importance of this activity. It is very likely that the more you engage with others, the more they will engage with you when you start creating
Ellis Hammond manages a private network of investors seeking passive investment opportunities in multifamily syndications across the United States.
Ellis is passionate about the intersection of faith and capital and hosts a weekly podcast show, Kingdom REI, in order to educate and inspire other investors and entrepreneurs to see capital as a means for greater Kingdom influence. To learn how you can invest alongside Ellis and this community, visit EllisHammond.com.
thinkrealty . com | 25
The Pros and Cons of Tech in Real Estate
DOES TECHNOLOGY MAKE BUSINESS EASIER?
by Shawn Tiberio
mobile application that lets us use it in the field? • Updates —is there a constant barrage of updates we must install? • Price —we can’t overlook the soaring cost associated with each piece of technology we add into the process. It is easy to see why many real estate investors simply choose to ignore technology when we look at the negatives. I mean really, we are trying to find properties, make offers, get contracts in place, and enjoy the perfect job. But seriously, who has the time to sit and learn something new, deal with the different updates, and basically be strapped to our computer all day? This is the number-one reason I hear daily from real estate profes- sionals all over the country on why they never use any form of technol - ogy in their business. I get it; you want to make deals happen, not be strapped to that laptop all day. However, with this list of cons, technology brings a massive upside with it. Let’s take a look.
W ith the growing popularity of every guru out there saying, “Automate your business like a McDonalds burger line and you will succeed,” we now see more and more “automation systems” that many call software. Each one claims to do it better, faster, and with fewer headaches. But the burning ques - tion is left in the back of our minds: “Does this truly work and will this really make my business more suc - cessful?” Let’s break it all down. PROVS. CON Technology in a real estate inves - tor’s business comes with some great upside. With that said, there are some downsides to it as well. CONS OF TECHNOLOGY: • Time —how much time will you spend on the learning curve to understand how and where to use it? • Online vs. mobile —is the platform something we must sit at a computer for, or is there a
PROS OF TECHNOLOGY: • Organization —We all could use a little less clutter and confusion and a little more organization. • Streamlined communication — Who has time for the endless back and forth emails just to set up a time to talk? • Consistent marketing output —It’s no secret, marketing is the lifeline of a business and consistent marketing is the key to keeping your opportunities for the next investment coming in. • Inexpensive employee —This one always turns some heads. Technology can replace a number of tasks that many businesses hire someone to do. Simply put, technology is your new hire without all the crazy excuses why something isn’t done yet. • Better experience for your prospects —Your buyers and sellers will feel better about doing business with you simply because the process is clean, organized, and more professional.
26 | think realty magazine :: february 2021
• Time off —Be honest, did you get into business to work 24/7 or did you start your investment business to have time freedom? Technology gives us that ability to be free and still have things working. Technology can do a lot and make business better for us, but that opens up another question. What platform should you use? What is the best one for you? Why should you choose this one over that one? Quick answer: the best platform is the platform you feel comfortable using—and you actually do use it. I see it every day, real estate investors with a marketing and CRM platform in their business and yet they have no idea what their login information is. No platform is good, no matter how cool the features are, if you are not using it. THOUGHTS ONTECH After years of building multiple businesses and consulting for hun - dreds of others, I have seen my share of technology in business. Instead of pointing out everything wrong with specific platforms, I want to give you
some key elements to look for in your platform of choice that has been proven to create the success technol - ogy is meant to bring. First, the number-one element any technology you choose should have the ability to customize and config - ure to the way you want it to work in your business. The platform’s ability to fit into your marketing and sales process and seamlessly function to the way you operate, is crucial. What I have seen consistently is businesses that simply work differently from the way the technology is designed, and they quit using it. To be consistent and leverage technology, it must fit your style. Second, the technology should handle more than just one specific element of your business. Specific platforms like calendly are great for having calendar booking software, or Mailchimp for sending email mar - keting. But, when these platforms only handle one element, you are left trying to figure out how to get all of them to work together without issues. This in itself is a full-time job. The more you can do for your business under one software, the less stress
it brings and therefore the more you will enjoy using it. Third, it must have the ability to have multiple users. Even as a solo entrepreneur or the lone wolf in your business, there will be a time when your business expands, and others will need to access the system. Being able to expand and grow inside a platform as this happens is critical to staying consistent and not changing platforms every time you add someone on. There is more to consider when adding technology into your business, but these three are the start. Weigh these positives and negatives, apply
them to your business model and you’re on your way to a clear, more well-informed decision. •
Shawn Tiberio is a Marine Corps veteran, serving 10 years of honorable service in the United States Marine Corps. With multiple deployments over the years and
extensive training as an Ironman distance triathlete, entrepreneurship and mindset has become a must for Shawn. He is co-owner of Top Results Consulting, where he helps businesses and entrepreneurs grow and succeed. Check out his free master class and learn exactly how to target the correct prospects for your business at topresultsconsulting.com.
thinkrealty . com | 27
YOUR LIFE AND BUSINESS JUST GOT BETTER
by Nora Bohanon
roperty management has a lot of moving parts. You have tenants, owners, deadlines, contracts,
CLIENTCOMMUNICATION Whether you are reminding your tenants of an upcom - ing deadline or working with your property owners to approve and schedule repairs, chances are you are spending a lot of time sitting at your desk typing out emails. But with automation, there’s no longer a need. Workflow automation is truly “set it and forget it.” Need to remind your tenant that their lease is up in 90 days? Not a problem. Workflow automation will automati - cally send an email or an SMS text to your tenant remind - ing them of the upcoming deadline and continue to send
marketing, prospecting…you get the idea. And, that’s just your day job! Wouldn’t it be nice to gain back time and still accomplish all the tasks that are needed to run a successful property management business? In fact, studies have shown that nearly 60 percent of profession - als could save up to 30 percent of their time by auto - mating the day-to-day, mundane tasks that don’t need detailed human input. So how can workflow automation help you as a property manager? Here are just a few examples.
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consuming and mindless work. You could hire assistants to take care of it for you, but then you have to pay for their time. That’s money out of your pocket, when workflow automation could do it for little to no cost! With the proper set up, workflow automation can automatically (have we overused that word yet?) create and update documents upon a preset date or action. E-MAIL CAMPAIGNS Like paperwork, e-mail campaigns are time consum - ing. However, in today’s digital age, consumers expect and prefer virtual communication by email or SMS text. Virtual communication also helps save money, as it is almost free to send emails. No postage. No paper. No printing. Do you have move-in and move-out information you provide to every tenant? By uploading the information into an automation program, it can be automatically sent when a lease is signed, or the tenant/owner indicates they no longer want to rent the property. Not only is it important to manage and serve your current clients, it is also imperative to ensure your client pipeline is full. Otherwise, how will you build your busi- ness? So, on top of everything you do for your clients, you also must market to potential leads. Ask yourself this: how much time, effort and money have you put into lead cultivation only to find the lead grows cold? Not only that, but how often does lead generation get pushed to the back burner when things get busy? We’ve all been there. Without too much effort and time from you, automation can do it for you ensuring your marketing efforts are con - sistent and professional.
reminders however often you need. Once you input the details of a transaction, you can sit back and be confident that the follow up will be done. Has a property owner approved a lease renewal? Great! Again, workflow automation can automatically update the paperwork and send it to the interested parties for signa- ture upon a given action and/or date. We all know how important referrals are to the suc - cess of a property management business. It is key that communication to current clients is steady and on-go - ing. Workflow automation software can send out regular emails to your current client base giving you the ability to stay “top of mind,” with very little effort on your part. And, let’s face it, if a client is highly impressed with your communication and professionalism, they are much more likely to recommend you to family and friends.
ORGANIZATIONAND INTERNAL COMMUNICATION
Nora Bohanon is a residential property manager with more than 12 years of experience, currently working with Chicagoland Leasing & Mgmt Inc in Chicago, IL. A Top 20 Rental Agent with the Chicago Association of Realtors® in 2011, 2012, and 2013, Nora is a proud member of NARPM (National Association of Residential Property Managers) and the Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR). Members of NARPM® receive information like this article every month through its news magazine, Residential Resource. To join NARPM or to learn more, visit NARPM.org/join. Whether you’re a one-person operation or have several people working for you, organization and communication is essential. Confusion and the miscommunication of information leads to the appearance of unprofessional - ism and lost time and money. As a result, you will be able to leave the office or go on vacation without worrying if things are being handled correctly or not. •
PAPERWORK Ugh – paperwork! Does anyone really like doing it? Probably not. Filling out leases and documents is time
thinkrealty . com | 29
Real Estate Investing Tech Stack Guide
HOW TO STACK THE DECK IN YOUR FAVOR
by Don Wenner
is one of the hottest tech industries at the moment. Yet, only 58 percent of real estate companies have an estab - lished digital strategy, according to a KPMG survey. Unfortunately, too many real estate investors have been missing out on the opportunities and advantages new technologies bring. What’s needed for more effec - tive use of proptech is the right approach. In this article, we’ll dis - cuss how to develop a technology
stack that works with your current state, resources, and goals. Going forward, we hope this can serve as a reference guide for how to leverage technology as a real estate investor. ADOPTTECHNOLOGIES TO SUITYOUR NEEDSAND RESOURCES A recent survey published by the National Association of Realtors
rom cloud-based property management software and CRM tools to data analytics provid - ers like CoreLogic and Attom Data Solutions, property technology has reshaped the real estate market. After all, thanks to technology and innovation, we can now tour homes virtually, research faraway markets online, electronically sign docu - ments, and more. Property technology, or proptech, F
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