Log In Sign Up
BiggerPockets Podcast 524: 3 Sales Secrets That Will Help You Close Your First or Next Deal

BiggerPockets Podcast 524: 3 Sales Secrets That Will Help You Close Your First or Next Deal

58 min read
The BiggerPockets Podcast

As a Guest you have free article(s) left

Join BiggerPockets (for free!) and get access to real estate investing tips, market updates, and exclusive email content.

Sign in Already a member?

A decade ago, Chandler David Smith was a broke college student. After searching for jobs, he was given the opportunity to try his hand at door-to-door pest control sales. The first week went slow, and he wasn’t able to close on a single sale. But, by the end of the summer, he had crushed the rookie sales record and walked away with $96,000 worth of commission.

But now Chandler had a problem: too much cash and nothing to do with it. His friend’s father convinced him that real estate investing may be the best place to park his extra cash, so he did just that. Chandler bought a condo for $73,000. It wasn’t a great deal and he made some big mistakes, but it sparked a fire under him that allowed him to grow his portfolio to over three hundred units, through small multifamily, large multifamily, and self storage.

It’s no coincidence that Chandler succeeded in real estate with his sales background, since finding off-market deals, negotiating with sellers, and raising rents all require you to sell something to someone. If you can capitalize on some of these sales secrets that Chandler discusses, you may too have a far easier time locking down phenomenal deals.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Brandon:
This is the BiggerPockets Podcast show 524.

Chandler:
It’s interesting because due to a lot of the negative interactions of bad sales reps, sales gets that negative connotation when really a good salesman and someone that’s good at dealing with contractors, good at closing deals, good at doing all of that stuff, they never come across pushy. They’re always able to keep their cool and truly connect with people so that they can find a win-win for both of them.

Speaker 3:
You’re listening to BiggerPockets radio, simplifying real estate for investors, large and small. If you are here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype, you are in the right place. Stay tuned and be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from biggerpockets.com, your home for real estate investing online.

Brandon:
What’s going on everyone? It’s Brandon Turner, host of the BiggerPockets Podcast here with my co-host. Mr. David Greene. What’s your middle name, David?

David:
I’m not saying that on this podcast.

Brandon:
Okay, fine.

David:
I’ve already got enough… It’s funny that you say that, I keep getting people making fraudulent Instagram accounts, like right now there’s a David Greene24 underscore. So while we’re doing this, I’m getting all these messages and emails of people saying, “Hey, I think there’s a fake.” And that happens all the time.

Brandon:
Yeah, maybe that can be our quick tip for today is if you get a Facebook message from anybody online that you think you know that’s an influencer or even a friend that’s asking you for money ever. I know we all know this stuff, but then when you get in it, sometimes it looks so legit real.
They might even spell David Greene with no E at the end of his name. And you’re like, “Oh, it’s his picture and he even has the same number of followers.” I don’t know how they do that. That’s crazy to me. They make these accounts with the same number of followers, but they do it. And anyway, just be careful everyone out there. Don’t give your money to people. Don’t wire money. Don’t do anything weird.

David:
I’m not asking any of you for [crosstalk 00:01:52] money, but yeah. And but if by any chance, anybody listening here has an Instagram, can you please connect me to them so I can get a check mark and people can know this is actually [crosstalk 00:02:01].

Brandon:
That you’re the legit. You’re the one. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t don’t get it very often. I think it’s because I have the blue check mark and you don’t.

David:
That’s exactly what I think. I think that’s probably what it was meant for was for those situations.

Brandon:
Yep, exactly it. All right. Well, today’s show is phenomenal. I know we say that a lot, but today’s show is really, really, really good with a solid investor named Chandler David Smith. And Chandler is actually, he still has a job. He works as a sales trainer and a sales kind of a… I don’t know what you call him. Salesmen, I guess salesmen?

David:
Manager.

Brandon:
Sales manager. Yeah, for a pest control company. But when I say sales, he’s one of the best sales people in the world. I mean, he’s the top of his company and his first year, he broke all the records for rookie salespeople. And he also invests in real estate and he uses the skills as a salesperson he’s learned and become a master at, to be good at real estate and to be able to get deals and to be able to talk to sellers and to be able to get wholesalers and real estate agents and everybody on your side.
Sales is just such a key to just success and anything in life. So we actually spend a fair amount of time today talking about that, about the sales skills that he has and how you can sell yourself, how you can sell your product, how you can sell your ability to buy houses or whatever it’s that you’re going to do. This will benefit you in so many areas of life. And you’re talking to one of the guys who’s the best to the best at this. So I’m excited to bring you that.
But we also have other things like he buys larger apartment complexes now kind of the midsize apartment buildings, he’s got into self-storage. You’re going to learn how he’s done that and some of the benefits of self-storage. He talks about how he made a million dollars in equity in a little over a year on one of his apartment complexes. You’ll hear a little bit about building equity and more all that to come. And to this episode with Chandler David Smith. All right. And I think that’s all we got before we jump in today’s show. David, anything you want to say before we jump in and talk with Chandler?

David:
I really like the discussion we had about the nature of sales. And sometimes when we hear the word sales, that comes with the negative connotation and we go pretty deep into what sales are, what they should be, how they benefit both parties when done the right way. And I think if you understand what a salesperson should be trying to accomplish, you won’t be afraid of them. You won’t immediately just reject, “Oh, they’re sales. I just need to run away because this could hurt me.” It’ll give people a lot of confidence and kind of more of a natural desire to move forward with something when there’s a salesperson involved.

Brandon:
I agree.

David:
You even said on the thing, “I want people to sell me in this way.”

Brandon:
Yeah. I remember when I was shopping for my car, this was three years ago before I bought the Tesla, I bought a RAV4. And I knew I wanted a RAV4 and I went to numerous car dealerships and I’m like, “Yeah, I’m looking to buy a RAV4.” And no one would sell me a freaking RAV4. Everyone was like, “Okay. Yeah, this is a pretty good car. You know what we got some over there? You got to check them out.”

David:
You want a RAV5?

Brandon:
Yeah. Yeah. I just wanted somebody to come over and be like, “Yeah, you do want one. And here’s all the reasons why, let me walk you through right now. Do you want to test drive right now? Let me take you on a drive.” I wanted to be sold and you know what? There are motivated sellers out there that own a house right now that they’re having trouble paying their bills. They’re behind on their taxes. They got a tenant they can’t handle and they want to be sold the idea of selling their house to you. And so once you overcome that fear of rejection and the fear of, “I don’t want to be as a salesperson” and you realize that that’s what your job is, then you’re going to watch your business blow up. So that’s what today shows all about.

David:
Can you imagine if Heather had told you, “Brandon, I don’t want you to sell me on why I should be with you.”?

Brandon:
Yeah. Yeah.

David:
Just let me figure it out on my own.

Brandon:
I went at Heather so hard. I was a master salesman there and I was not afraid of rejection and neither should you be. So listen to the show. Here we go. Let’s get into it with Chandler David Smith. All right, Chandler, welcome to the BiggerPockets Podcast, man. It’s awesome to have you here.

Chandler:
Thanks. I’m excited be here.

Brandon:
Yes. I was on your show a little while ago over on YouTube and wherever else you put it. I saw it on Instagram and all over the place. So today we’re going to turn the tables and learn more about you because last time, you picked my brain. Today, I get to pick yours. So it should be fun.

Chandler:
Well, thank you. I’m excited. This is an honor.

Brandon:
Well, thanks man. Well, let’s get into it. I know you have a lot of units today and you have a lot of stuff, but we’ll get to the full picture in a moment. But how did you even get into this idea of real estate? What were you doing beforehand? And kind of walk me through the beginning of your journey there.

Chandler:
Yeah, so I had just started my first year in college and I couldn’t find a job. I was applying all over the place to try and make some money on the side. And I was having no luck at the college town I was living in and I found a guy that said that I could leave for the summer and go and knock doors and sell pest control. And he told me that if I was lucky and did well, I could make as much as $20,000 in this summer. So I picked up everything I had and I went across the country. I went over to LA, California to sell pest control door to door. And when I was out there, the goal was to make $20,000. That way I could pay for school and everything else. And I actually fell in love with selling pest control and I did really good. I ended up breaking the rookie record at the company and in about three and a half months, I ended up making $96,000.

Brandon:
Whoa.

Chandler:
So yeah, I came back to college and I was still living like a poor college kid, but I had all this money in the bank and I said, “Holy cow, I’ve got to figure out what to do with this.” And I had a friend that his dad kind of pushed me towards real estate. And then I read your book and the rest is history.

Brandon:
Oh, no way. That’s awesome. Right. I mean, you’re not an old fellow right now. How old are you right now?

Chandler:
So I’m 30.

Brandon:
Yeah. Yeah. Crazy. Okay. And you have again, how many total units do you have right now and what’s that kind of makeup? And then we’ll go back and fill in the blanks.

Chandler:
Yeah. So I’ve got 136 units of rental real estate. It’s a combination of duplex, fourplex, and then bigger multifamily stuff. My biggest property is a 32-unit apartment complex. And then I also have some storage units. So two separate facilities, one of them has 86 units. The other has 82 units. And the other one I actually haven’t closed on yet, that deal I actually close on next week. So I’m cheating sharing that one because I don’t actually own it yet, but all right.

Brandon:
That’s all right. By the time the episode comes out, you will. Super excited. Okay. So I want to get into how you did all that, but let’s go to the very beginning. So your first deal, what’d you buy?

Chandler:
First deal, I went and bought a condo for $73,000 and I made every mistake possible. I bought it in cash. It wasn’t a great cash flow deal. It was still cash flowing, but it was a property where I did everything wrong and it still got me hyped enough to go and by a ton more so that property I’ve long since sold. I sold it for, I think, 130 something and then 1031 exchanged it into one of my other properties. But that was the first deal.

Brandon:
Very cool. Yeah. Well, I actually want to go back even before that maybe.

Chandler:
Okay.

Brandon:
And I know it’s a real estate show but I just realized, I never asked you, how the heck did you go from, if you’re lucky and if you’re really good, you can make $20,000 selling pest control to making 96? Did you have a background in door-to-door sales? How does a guy do that?

Chandler:
It’s interesting. It’s probably, I don’t know. I think we all have those moments in life where certain decisions kind of put us on a trajectory and that summer was one of those where I look back and I’m so grateful because I got there and I was just very committed to putting everything into it. And the first week I actually sucked, I was terrible. We had, I think 40, 45 sales reps out there. And after the first week I was the only one to not have a sale. So I’d gone a week, not making any money, not selling anything. It was a hundred percent commission job. And all my buddies were kind of whispering behind my back saying, “Dude, when’s he going to go home? When is he going to call it quits?” And I just kind of doubled down in the training and I said, “Look, I don’t care if I leave here with 10 bucks, I’m going to figure this out. I’ve got to figure this out.”
And the next week, things kind of clicked and got better. And then every week after that, they got better and better. And halfway through the summer, I had long passed all the other sales reps out there. And I recognized that I was almost on track to break the rookie record. And when you broke the rookie record, you got a $5,000 bonus. And so I was like, “Holy cow, I got to make that happen.” The problem is that they recruit all of their sales reps as college kids. And I was really close to when school was starting back up again. And when you get to the end of the summer, people start to kind of die out. And so as we’re getting to the end of summer, I didn’t go out there with a car. I was just mooching rides and they said that would be okay, but everybody stopped working.
And I was really close to this record. And so I called up the owner of the company and I said, “Look, you got to help me out. I’m not old enough to rent a car on my own.” And so the owner of the company actually rented me a car probably illegally. I don’t know what could have happened with that. But I used his rented car for another two weeks and I ended up breaking the rookie record and got the bonus. And that’s how I kind of got through that first summer. But I was so tempted to quit. And it’s interesting because I don’t think any of the stuff after that would’ve happened had I. So it’s kind of one of those moments that I looked back on and it’s like, “All right, I can do whatever because I did that.

David:
Yeah.

Brandon:
Yeah. Was there a secret to your success in sales? I asked this, not just because I care about sales, but so much of real estate when you’re getting into it might involve door knocking and selling, not a service like that, but you’re selling yourself saying, “Hey, I can buy your property.” So what is your secret to selling and what do you… I mean, I know today you train people, you’ve elevated in that business to the effect that you’re training what? 500 other people now?

Chandler:
Yeah.

Brandon:
Yeah. It’s crazy. What are you doing? How does that work? How do you sell yourself or anything when you’re going door to door?

Chandler:
It’s so interesting because there’s definitely a secret. There are lots of them and I could talk to you to death about all of the different things that have an impact. But I think the first thing is just being able to handle rejection. Any sales job is freaking hard. It’s hard to get lots of rejection. It’s hard to take lots of failure. And so being able to mentally stay in a good place through rejection is probably the biggest secret.
Once you get past that to where you can stay in a good head space through rejection and through that failure, then there are lots of other tricks that you can learn from your verbal, nonverbal, per verbal communication, to be able to connect with people, to win them over, to not scare them away and then to actually close. And so there’s so many things there, but I think if you are someone that can handle rejection and stay positive through that rejection, usually you can figure out the other stuff. If you work with us, you’re going to figure it out a lot quicker because of our sales training. But I think that’s the big thing.

David:
Let’s take a minute to make sure we hammer that point home. So I have an analogy for you here, which we’re going to use today will be like a UFC fighter. There’s a lot of people that try to learn mixed martial arts. Let’s say you’re a guy who wrestled in high school or in college, and you’re super good at wrestling. You tend to pick up jujitsu and combat way faster, because you have a baseline and a skill that you can build on top of. You already have a foundation, okay? Versus the person who shows up with zero understanding of self defense. They’re on the same journey. They’re going to walk the same path, but they’re starting way further behind and their skills at learning new skills are going to be further behind. What you’re describing with sales training, I think a lot of people avoid sales just because they don’t like that it’s risky.
They don’t like that it’s not guaranteed. They don’t like that people can tell them no. They don’t like they have to have creative problem solving abilities to get to a yes. And the problem is those are all things that you use when you’re investing in real estate. So the people that avoid sales and instead try to find freedom through real estate, end up running into the same hurdles, no matter which path they go. And so I was hoping that you could take a minute to sort of give me some specifics on what the people that work underneath you in sales, what skills they learn that translates very good into real estate investing similar to a wrestler they can translate into mixed martial arts.

Chandler:
I love that. First off, just to build on your analogy a little bit, my brother worked for me for four years doing door-to-door sales and he left because he said, “You know what? I’m so over sales, I’m done with sales.” He started a website building company where they do websites and SEO. And it’s hilarious because his company now, five years later, has taken off and we joke because he is like, “Chandler, now all I do, all I focus on is sales and so I’m so grateful that I learned that.” But at the end of the day, that’s everything. And I think it’s everything in everything. Whether it’s your relationship, your marriage, your friendships, your business, whatever you do, you’ve got to have it. And I think a couple of the bigger things is one handling rejection. But two, there are lots of basic principles that are very important, being able to actually close.
So often we have a conversation and we’re like a customer service type person where being a good sales rep is someone where you can actually close. You can get to the finish line. I think also there are lots of little things that lots of people just break. One of the big things I’ll tell all of my new sales reps is smile, head nod, and slow down. And so if you’re going to ask me the most basic things that people need to focus on, it’s those because a lot of times we get up there and we’re talking really fast and we’re breaking eye contact. We’re not smiling. We look nervous. And all of those things make you not likable where you can take someone who doesn’t even know what their talking about and is not good at anything else. But if you can get them to smile, to head nod and to slow down, they’re immediately going to make a much better connection with people.
And it’s going to put them in a place where people say, “Hey, I don’t know why, but I like this guy. I’m willing to listen to him a little further.” Where if you don’t have those three things, you really struggle to make an instant connection with someone. So those would be my three big ones. I can dive into a lot more, but I don’t want to bore you or talk you to death, but I love the sales process. And there are so many other things, but if you do those, I mean, those are going to drastically increase your connection very quickly.

David:
Well, I think about that, that happens or it’s applicable in more of the in just buyer-seller conversations. When you’re trying to get a contractor to work with you and they’ve got four other jobs they can take. When you’re trying to get the home inspector to explain what they actually just found in this house and you’re not understanding it. When you’re trying to figure out loan options from a loan officer and you don’t know if they’re shooting straight with you. What you’re saying opens doors in every one of those conversations, which are the frequent complaints that investors give is I couldn’t find a person that could help me in this way.

Chandler:
Yeah. Well, and I think the other big misconception with sales is that salesmen are pushy. And in all of those situations, I think it’s tempting to be pushy, to be rude, to try and be very forceful in your approach. When the reality is sales is being able to really get rid of the conflict, to not ever feel pushy, to make a true connection so that people would want to help you, so that people want to listen to you further, so that people want your service. And it’s interesting because due to a lot of the negative interactions of bad sales reps, sales gets that negative connotation when really a good salesman and someone that’s good at dealing with contractors, good at closing deals, good at doing all of that stuff, they never come across pushy. They’re always able to keep their cool and truly connect with people so that they can find a win-win for both of them.

Brandon:
Yeah. This is funny thing about sales on I’ve always noticed is I want to be sold sometimes. I want a good salesman who can sell like if I need a pair of shoes, I want somebody who is confident and friendly and understands what I want because I’m… They’re not trying to talk me into anything, right? I want somebody to sell me on something good. So I think a lot of salesmen are too embarrassed to sell anything whatsoever or in real estate terms, they’re embarrassed to talk to a homeowner because they don’t want to come across as push you.
They don’t want to come across as taking advantage of somebody, but there are people out there going, “I hate this house. I do not want it anymore. Why won’t somebody just come confidently come up and take it from me? I will sell it in a discount. I don’t care.” And when you approach it like that, that people are looking for good sales people in life. They’re an asset. I think it kind of changes the opinion on sales from the TV show kind of sitcom sales, sleazy guy to one of actually providing a real, tangible service to humans.

Chandler:
Yeah. And that’s the thing is just being… You can be assumptive without being pushy. And so often making decisions is hard. It uses a lot of mental energy and I know for me, there are lots of times I’ll pass on buying something I know I need because I don’t want to put the mental energy into closing myself. And the that’s why it’s so funny because on the doors, we’ve got five minutes to interact with people. I mean, we go from meeting them to getting their credit card and charging it for a thousand dollars in the course of five minutes.
And one of my favorite closes that I teach my sales reps is just asking them their name and starting to fill out the contract. And I know that sounds funny but so often, people, if they don’t have to think about it at all, if you’re like, “All right, so do you want the service? Do you feel good about it? Do you think we can move forward with this?” They’re going to drag their feet because they’re going through that struggle of making a decision where if you just say, “Perfect, what’s your name?” And they say, “Oh, my name’s Brandon.” “Perfect. What’s your address?” And you just start filling them out and then you ask for their credit card, they’re going to hand it to you and say, “All right, let’s do this thing.”

Brandon:
It’s so true. It’s so true. Right now, if you came to my house with pest control, I would immediately sign up because I know I want it. I know I need it. I just haven’t gone through the pain of trying to figure out who the right person is. And I just got all these… I’m like if somebody just came over and just assumed the sale, I mean, they call that right [crosstalk 00:19:51]. I would be like, “All right. Yeah, here’s my credit card. Just take care of it.” And I think there’s a lot of people out there like that.

Chandler:
It’s so true. And for me, so I still go out for a month of the year and I shadow all of my sales reps and I don’t get through all of them. I try to go out with my leaders but in almost every single office I go to, I’ll have this happen multiple times where I’m with the sales rep, they do everything right. They form this great relationship. They get through the whole pitch. They’ve got the person smiling, head nodding, agreeing with them, and they just don’t close properly. And so the person’s like, “Ah, I’m just not sure that I’m there.” And literally I’ll let them talk to them for five minutes, do all of the heavy lifting and I’ll step in.
And in under 30 seconds, I’ll talk about one more piece of our service and then I’ll close properly, just a super hard close, either asking their name or something else. And this is after the sales reps turned around, they’re walking off the door. I step in for 20 seconds and all I need to do is close them in the right way, and these people sign up. And the sales reps get super frustrated because it’s like, “That was so stupid. You didn’t do anything.” And I think that’s the point is closing properly. That’s what people want. They want you to close them. And if you do it the right way, it’s easy.

David:
This comes up a lot in my real estate team where we will talk to people who a year ago, two years ago, they were looking at buying a property and they were just like every investor is, they’re on the fence, they’re scared. They want to do it, but they’re afraid to do it wrong and they won’t buy it. And I tell the agents on our team, “Look, never ever, ever try to convince someone to do something that they don’t want to do.” And a lot of the times the new agents will assume that means don’t be pushy or don’t be assertive. And I rarely ever get complaints that we were too pushy, but I frequently get complaints where they say, “Why didn’t you tell me that I should buy that house? It’s gone up so much. I would have to pay 150,000 more.
Why didn’t you tell me that I should buy it?” And I’ll go talk to the agent. And they’re like, “Yeah, they weren’t sure and I didn’t want to be pushy.” It’s every single time. But like Brandon’s saying, the client is telling us, “I wanted you to sell me, show me the reasons I should buy the house. Help me feel good about the decision I already made, which was to invest in real estate.” And I just want everybody to hear that it’s not evil if somebody wants to sell you on something. Usually, the best salespeople can make you feel better about something that you know is good for you. Right? You want to work out, the best personal trainers make you want to work out. Their personality, their character, the way that they are makes going to the gym more fun. They sell you every single time on why you should go work out.
The guy that trains Brandon and I in jujitsu, Jerry, is a very likable guy. He just makes jujitsu more fun when it’s actually hell what we’re putting ourselves through all the time. So when we say be a good salesperson, I think I just want to highlight. We’re not saying trick people into something that’s bad for them, right? I don’t know anyone that bought real estate that 30 years later said, “Oh, that was a terrible choice. Why did I do that?” We need to be making decisions that are wise like this. To me, the ability to sell is applicable in everything. It’s why Brandon is such a good husband is he can get his wife to buy in on things that she normally wouldn’t want to do, but he makes it fun, right? Every parent that’s ever played the airplane game to get their kid to eat the [crosstalk 00:23:04] apple sauce or whatever, right? That is sales. That is you’re making somebody want to do something mean that isn’t their own best interest they normally wouldn’t want to do.

Brandon:
That’s a great analogy.

Chandler:
So true.

Brandon:
So how does this translate to people maybe who are listening to this that maybe want to start door knocking for real estate leads? Does this translate as the same nod, smile, slow down, does that stuff translate? Anything else you can offer to help people that are in those shoes that want to start more aggressively finding off market real estate deals?

Chandler:
100%. And it’s going to help with everything. Whether you are doing mailers, whether you’re knocking doors, any interaction that you are having with a seller and even interactions with a realtor. I’ve come to find that being able to connect with your realtor and sell your realtor on you so they then sell you to the selling agent. That’s something that carries so much value as well is I’ll go to my realtor and I’ll say, “Okay, this is what you need to say. This is how you need to present it.” And I’m sure he’ll get frustrated, but it’s like, “No, this works.” And so in every facet training, it’s big. I think one big mistake I’ll find people make is a lot of times they’re a natural salesman and they want to be able to say, “I can just wing it.” And I’ve come to find that with any door approach, anytime you’re dealing with people with mailers, with any of that, being able to have a layout, at least like the bones of the layout and preferably more than that, helps a ton.
And what I train my sales reps to do is make sure that they’ll have planned smiles, head nods, and eye contact breaks within that pitch. Because if you get your pitch perfect where you’re not stuttering, you’re not speeding up, you’re not having comfortable eye contact breaks where you’re looking away where those nerves are getting in, all of those things are going to help you to connect with them more. And so even if you don’t know what you’re doing, I mean, I’ve got YouTube videos that give very brief overviews of when you should get them to smile, when you should head nod, how to make that connection, when you should have eye contact, when you should make eye contact breaks, all of those things are going to help the person say, “Wow, I don’t know why, but I’m connecting with this person.”
They seem like little things, but eye contact breaks, for instance, everyone will tell you keep good eye contact, right? The better the eye contact you have, the better off you are. But if you just stare at someone for a five minute pitch the whole time and you don’t have an eye contact break, it’s so uncomfortable. And so a lot of times people get uncomfortable because they’re trying to keep eye contact and then they don’t know what to do so they make uncomfortable breaks and they lose momentum. But the other thing that people don’t recognize is when you have planned eye contact breaks with indicators. So I’ll teach my reps, “Have something that you’re either pointing to or looking it at your hand or something else.” Every time after you have that eye contact break and you make that eye contact again, you immediately smile and head nod because the other thing is, if you’re smiling and head nodding the whole time, it’s going to make people feel uncomfortable.
But when you have an eye contact break followed by a smile and head nod, it’s like, “Oh, I’m meeting you again. I’m making this contact again. It gives us a good reason to both connect, to smile, to head nod.” And those things make a big difference. And then the next thing I would say, if you’re staying pretty broad, is know your closes, know the things you’re going to say extremely assumptive before you get in that situation so you know how to close them. And when they say no, plan on getting that no and knowing exactly what you’re going to do to help them understand that you heard their no, but that it’s not slowing you down at all. As a matter of fact, I’ll tell my sales reps, “You want to handle nos as if every time they give you a no, it gets you more excited. You’re like, ‘Yes, it makes sense that you’re feeling this way. This is what you needed to hear. And now I’m going to close you again.'”

Brandon:
That’s really good. Hey, can you walk me through the logic? I know I’m going to ask you specifically about the pests… Is it pest control, right? That’s what you’re-

Chandler:
Yeah.

Brandon:
Okay. Specifically about the pest control but then I want to translate this into a broader look at just sales logic but how are you selling this product? I mean, what I mean by that is what’s the logical trail you’re taking people down? Is it like, “Hey, you have bugs in your house or rats in your house and therefore we can solve it?” Or are you saying, “Hey, do you care about your family and they’re safety, there’s disease out there with animal?” What are you taking people through to get to them point to say, “Yes, I want to.”? Is there a 2, 3, 4 step kind of logical progression you go down?

Chandler:
Yes. So we break it down into what we’d call the preface, the feature, and the benefit. So for your preface, you’re pointing out a problem, for the feature you’re telling what you’re going to do about it, and then the benefit how you’re going to fix it, like the benefit of what you’re doing and then you’re going into a close. Now with any of our sales pitches, we’re going to start by introducing ourself, making a quick connection and immediately going into a preface, a feature and a benefit. So for example, with pest control, and you can copy this model with anything you do, but a preface would be, “You know how you get the spider webs, wasp nests up underneath your eaves?” Now you’ll notice I have an eye contact break in my preface. I make eye contact again. I’m getting you to smile and head nod and say, “Yeah, that’s a problem.”
Now, once I’ve got the preface, I’ve pointed out the problem. I’ve gotten them to agree with me. Now I’m going to go into the feature. So I need to sweep those down and treat them all the way around the home. Right? I’m getting another smile, another head nod after an eye contact break. And then finally I’m going into the benefit, which is, “That way, nothing’s getting into your attic, dropping down inside the home.” So that’s your preface, feature, benefit breakdown. And you can do this with anything and I’ll tell a lot of people, regardless of what you’re knocking doors, what you’re pitching, if you know multiple preface, feature, benefits, then anytime you get a concern, you fall back on a preface, feature, benefit.
A preface, feature, benefit as a whole can then be used as an ace. So you’re going to throw in this additional, “Hey, here’s what we’ve got to offer. Here’s your problem. Here’s how we’re going to solve it.” And then after you’ve done that, you go into a close. And so you’re going to use that to pitch your service on the front end, but then you want to hold back some because concerns are going to come. And then every concern that they have, you’re going to turn their concern into a positive, whatever it is, you’re going to be excited about it. You’re going to go into a preface, feature, benefit, and then you’re going to go into a close.

Brandon:
That’s so good. David, anything you want to add on that? Because I know you’re a killer salesman as well in terms of real estate agents, but also… And again, the reason I want drill this and people are wondering because this does apply to real estate investing directly in whether you’re selling yourself to somebody or you’re trying to get an agent to come bring you deals or a wholesaler or trying to raise money, this stuff applies. So David, anything you want to add on that?

David:
The first thing is you have to believe that what you’re offering them is actually in their best interest. If you’re selling snake oil, you’re never going to do very well. [crosstalk 00:29:50] So in this case, there’s a spider’s nest. If a spider bites their kid, they could die. Or even if they didn’t die, they feel like the worst parent ever. That is not worth a 400 bucks that they’re saving not paying for this service or the 1,200 bucks or whatever it is. So you got to believe right off the bat, “What I’m offering is good, your wife will be happier without rats running around and scaring her so she’s not comfortable in her own house, right? So what you’re actually buying is peace of mind. You’re buying the responsibility of your role of keeping your family safe, you’re buying your kids health.” That’s different than, “I’m paying for something that this guy is trying to get me to believe I want.”
So the salesperson needs to take that approach. Every time we’re representing somebody, helping them buy a house, I’m looking 20 years down the road and I’m saying, “I’m buying you millions of dollars or I’m representing you in this case, I’m selling you millions of dollars. And if you don’t buy this property, it’s going to have a significant impact on your financial health in the future in a negative way. And you’re not getting the momentum going of buying the next one and the next one and the next one, which is really what happens when you buy real estate.” It’s that I’m trying to get you to take that first workout in the gym because I know if you could get one under your belt and you see it wasn’t that bad, you’re going to want to go again the next time. And then we’re going to get you momentum. And that might be the case for a lifetime of fitness. Okay?
What I try to get the person to understand is I know they’re afraid. They’re supposed to be afraid. They’re looking at what could go wrong or I don’t want to overpay or sometimes their ego’s involved or they want to out negotiate you. I’m just trying to let them feel good about whatever they need to feel good about in order to say yes. And it’s different for different people. Some people think that they didn’t do their job if they didn’t negotiate to get a better commission or a better price on the house or something that really, when you look at the big picture, it’s ridiculous, right? To lose that deal, how much you’re losing versus the little bit you’re trying to gain is dumb. So I have to help your ego feel good about this thing.
And I have to know what’s your ego and if we can’t get you the price you want, I got to get you something else that you want for your own ego. Okay? And it’s just like a little kid should eat their vegetables, but they don’t know it. So you got to find some way to make that fun. That’s really the way that I think salespeople should approach what their job is, is you’re helping the person get over whatever their inner obstacle is. You have to respect their obstacle. You have to get to know that person at a fairly significant level to understand why they’re saying no. No means something different to them than it does to you. They’re not rejecting me, they are rejecting some belief they have that saying yes to this would be unwise. And so when you put yourself in the role of the servant salesperson, the answers sort of start to flow into your mind.
That’s probably how Chandler got to the point where he could train people is he was trying to figure out how do I serve them, not just how do I make money? And then what you find in a capitalistic environment is the best servants tend to make the most money. The better you get, the more things start flowing your way. So I really approach the… Because you asked Brandon the concept of sales, as different than how do I get you to do this thing versus how do I remove the thing from you that is stopping you because you already want to do it?

Chandler:
And one thing that I would add to that is after doing this for years and years and years, I mean, we have a lot of kids that are coming out and their goal is them, right? How do I make money to survive as a college student? And it’s fascinating because the best sales reps are the ones that can say, “All right here is this model of how to resolve concerns.” But at the end of the day, my goal is to figure out how this is going to help them. And it’s fascinating because the reps that it comes naturally to them of just helping people solve their problems, helping them work through whatever their hangups are. They always sell better than the sales reps where I say, “All right, if this is our concern or their concern, this is how you resolve it.” When they transition into it, doesn’t matter what their concern is. I’m going to help them to resolve it because that’s going to help them. Those are always the reps that do better. So I think that’s so spot on.

Brandon:
That’s cool. That’s cool, man. Yeah. I’m just thinking through… I’ve never done sales training or anything like that, but I’ve been doing webinars now for BiggerPockets now for what? Eight years, something like that in a row, millions and millions of dollars have been, I guess, “sold” through our pro membership. But when I think about what I do with the pro membership, the reason I’m so effective at it in talking about pro is because one, like you mentioned, David, I like actually do believe like if you are a pro member, you are way more likely to be successful in real estate. Can you do it without it? Of course. But it would be irresponsible and immoral of me not to try to tell you to become a pro member, whether or not I make any money ever off doing it, it doesn’t matter.
It would be immoral for me not to try to sell you on a pro membership because I believe it is in your best interest to do it. And because I come from that heart of this legitimately will help you and it’s not that much money. And then I think that what makes me so effective at it and people are like, “Oh, Brandon actually believes it.” Yeah, I believe it because I built it for myself and other people use it. And then I think of the objection thing. People are like, “Well I don’t have enough time. I don’t have money.” Yeah, I understand. I’ve been there. Yeah. I get excited because I’m like, “Yeah, I know exactly what that’s like. That’s why you need this product.” So it’s just kind of cool hearing you, from somebody who actually knows how to do this stuff and I’ve never known how to do it.
So it’s cool hearing Chandler like [crosstalk 00:35:00] I’m doing this same stuff and it totally worked. And anyway, it’s cool. And again, this applies to real estate in so many ways. And so I hope people aren’t just listening it’s going, “Oh, I’m not in a sales position. This doesn’t apply to me.” It does apply to you. I think being a good salesperson is that in communication and it kind of fall together in a lot of ways are the two most important skill sets that human could have to achieve success in anything. If you’re good at sales and communication, the world is your oyster. You can do anything. So yeah. Thank you for going through that.

Chandler:
I love it. The last point I would add is every year I have sales reps that are trying to hit benchmarks, right? Because when they hit a benchmark, they get this increase in pay or they get whatever else. And without fail, anytime someone gets close to a benchmark, they’re burnt out. They’re exhausted, they’re tired. They don’t want to do the work anymore. It’s interesting because sales reps are usually guys on the doors that they’re connecting with people, they’re putting a smile on their face. They’re truly caring about the individual and when it transitions to “I just got to get my benchmark and get out,” cells always tank. And you see it over and over and over again when it turns from, “I want to help me because I’m just burnt. I want to be done with this,” it’s so much more painful. It’s not as enjoyable as a sales rep because you’re focused on the wrong things. And then because of it, your production suffers.

Brandon:
That’s a really, really good point. Man, this is awesome. We could do hours and hours talking about sales stuff. And I want to get back to real estate a little bit. This is a real estate show, so let’s go. Okay. So you bought the condo. What came after the condo? What came next?

Chandler:
So after the condo, I was hooked. There’s something about that first check in your account, where you’re like, “Holy cow, this just showed up.” And so after that I was on the hunt and it’s funny because things moved pretty quickly. I actually didn’t buy real estate the first two years. I had been shopping, I’d been looking, but I was just struggling to find something, even though I’d made up the mind to buy real estate. And once I bought that first condo within the course of the next year, I had bought two more duplexes and a fourplex. The next deal was a duplex. I was just out driving neighborhoods and I saw an older gentleman out, pounding a sign and I didn’t know it was a duplex. It looked like just a house, but I bailed out of the car and I’m like, “Hey, you’re selling this. What’s the story?”
Just started talking to him and I found out it was a duplex. He’d been investing for years. He was ready to get rid of it, kept it in great shape, and I saw what he was listing it for and I knew the market well enough to know what I could rent both units for. And they had it drastically underrented for what it could be and one of the units was vacant and I think he was just old and ready to be out of it. And so he said, “If I got this price, then I’d be happy with it.” And I knew that was more than enough to be good numbers. And so I said, “All right, I’ll take it.” I didn’t really negotiate at all. I knew the numbers would work. And so I got that one and then a similar situation happened with the next duplex.
It was on Craigslist. I called the guy up, the numbers worked for me and so I bought those. And so those were interesting because I think so often were focused on, like you said, David, getting the negotiation or getting money back or getting whatever. And I had a criteria that I was set on and I knew if I hit that criteria, that it was worth buying. So I just bought the properties and they ended up being incredible duplexes. And then from there it was really addicting because I’ve got these properties that are cash flowing well. And every year after that, I just continued buying more and more.

Brandon:
Where are these located at? Or where’s your portfolio at?

Chandler:
Yeah. All of my real estate is within an hour of me in Idaho Falls. So I’ve got stuff in Idaho Falls, Rexburg, all in the Southeastern Idaho area. So this is where I live too.

Brandon:
Okay. Yeah. That’s what I was curious if… Yeah, I know you said you went to LA for a while, right? For this sales thing originally, right?

Chandler:
Yeah.

Brandon:
Yeah. And then you’re [crosstalk 00:38:43] Idaho Falls.

Chandler:
Yeah. So every summer for five summers, I lived in a different city during the summer, but then I’d always come back. I was going to school in Rexburg, Idaho.

Brandon:
Yeah. Okay. That makes sense. All right. So you bought these fourplexes or the duplexes and the fourplex and stuff. When did you shift into the larger deals? You said you bought a 24-unit, I think, and a 30 something?

Chandler:
Mh-hmm (affirmative).

Brandon:
Yeah. Walk us through that journey.

Chandler:
The first switch was actually an MLS listing in Rexburg, Idaho, and I’d been shopping properties like crazy. And it’s so funny because this is a strategy I’d read about it in your books. I knew that it was there, but I just hadn’t focused on it. So I hadn’t really done it of finding a property that was underrented and then buying it and then just managing it a little better, making little fixes and renovations but really just increasing rents to where the market was once leases were up. And so I found this eightplex and it was on the MLS and I looked at the price per unit and I was like, “That seems super low.” So I went and walked through it and the two bedroom apartments were huge. They were just shy of a thousand square feet. And it was only being rented at 500 bucks for this two bedroom apartment.
And I knew that it could be rented at a lot more than that. And then when I talked to the listing agent, he was kind of bragging. He was like, “Yeah, it’s got a 40 person wait list and so you’re never going to not have it filled.” And I think that was when I learned anytime someone brags about a wait list.

Brandon:
Yeah. Yeah.

Chandler:
There’s a lot of value add opportunity there. And so it was terrifying, but back then, I think I bought it. It was $420,000 for an eightplex. And so it seemed like a ton of money to me at the time, but I jumped into it. Within the course of the year, the leases had run up and it was a college town so people were coming and going anyways, so it was very easy to just raise them to what the market was, which at the time was 775 for a two bedroom apartment that size.
And then we’ve increased them as time’s gone on. I think we’re renting them at 950 now for each unit. And that property, I would guess it’s probably worth $1.1, $1.2 million now with where we’ve got it rented at and what the market’s doing. So that was where it transitioned. And once I had seen that happen after the course of the year, I was like, “Holy cow, I need to look for more big properties like this. This is freaking awesome because you can increase rent so drastically.” And it was easier for my property management company to deal with and the tenants were awesome and I just kind of fell in love with the bigger deals. And so I would still keep an eye out for little deals and I’ve bought some since. But ever since then, I’ve been pretty hooked on finding the bigger deals. And so that was kind of where it shifted.

David:
Do you mind giving us some specifics on that deal you’re talking about? What you put down, what it cash flows a month and what your ROI is on that deal?

Chandler:
Yes. So when I bought the property, it was $420,000. And because it was a commercial loan and I didn’t have a ton of, well, any commercial history, I had to put 30% down and it was on a 20-year and 10-year balloon payment and the rates change every five years, which now I look back and I’m like, “Those are freaking horrible terms.” But that was what I got it done at. I think the interest rate was four and a half or closer to five somewhere in there. I actually haven’t refinanced the property, I probably should. So we’ve got the rents up to 950 per unit, which I think our cash flow now, after all of our expenses, maintenance management, all that stuff, we’re somewhere between 35 and $40,000 a year on that property. So I think that’s putting me heck on my down payment, probably 30, 35% cash on cash return, somewhere in that realm.

David:
That’s exactly right.

Chandler:
But when I bought it, cash flow was slim because rents were really low.

Brandon:
That’s such a point I want to drive home is a lot of landlords who own properties have not raised rent in many, many years because they just don’t want to. They know their… Especially in that size. Once you get into the hundred unit, 200 unit corporations own that they don’t care. They’re not friendly a lot of times. But the mom and pop landlords, they like their tenant. And so they’ve been keeping it at $450, $500, $600 in rent for a long time.
And I’m not saying overnight, you need to go [inject 00:43:01] to their rent from 500 to 900 overnight. But there’s a process that you go through to get these tenants to ask people move out or you give them notice and you raise their rent to what a normal rent would be. And all of a sudden what was not a good deal or was it maybe a marginally good deal before, or even a mediocre or even a breakeven deal before could become something good. And this goes what David and I talk about all the time is in today’s market, we don’t really find good deals anymore. They don’t just sit there on the market like, “Oh yeah, that’s a great deal. Just buy it and you’re going get cash flow.” In today’s market, you make good deals and that’s one way you do it by finding properties that are underrent and then bring them up to whatever market is. So yeah, nice job.

Chandler:
Definitely. Well, I also think that people, they hear negotiation and negotiation means burn them, right? Get them to sell it for nothing and you get this killer deal. And the majority of my negotiations have been with people in that situation where they’ve got it rented, they’ve taken great shape of the property. It really is a clean property and they’ve maybe heard, “Hey, you could sell it for a lot because the market’s gone up.” And then I go to them and I say, “Look, here’s the deal. You know when you bought this property, especially…” And I don’t bring this up, but with where their interest rates were, they bought it cash or whatever, you probably wanted like an eight to nine cap in your [crosstalk 00:44:12].
That’s what you would’ve bought this property at. And I’m buying it with your current rents at a five cap. It is a very bad deal and that’s not to take away like, “I’m giving you a premium for this property and we both recognize there’s probably some room to move rents, but that takes a lot of work. And if you want to move them, then we can reevaluate, but you’re not going to get a better deal than selling it to me at a five cap. Five cap is what stuff’s going for and that’s absurd and I’m willing to pay it. So this is a win-win, let’s put it together.”

Brandon:
All right. So yeah. So what changed between… What kind of differences do you notice between the three property types you have? You have the small multifamily, this kind of mid-range multifamily, and then the self-storage. What’s kind of the difference between the three? And I want to get into self-storage here in a minute, but what have you found to be kind of the differences between owning those three kind of asset types?

Chandler:
It’s interesting because… So being completely transparent with you, self-storage, I bought my first self-storage unit a year ago. So I’m still newer in the game as far as seeing the results compared to my residential real estate. I would say starting off with residential, the smaller units, I was always hooked on smaller is better because I was a small fish and I didn’t have a ton of money to put to work. I wasn’t in a place where I wanted to go and borrow money. Not that I think it’s bad. It just I wanted to build my own portfolio with my own money, because I felt like that could kind of hedge my risk a little bit with what I knew and how much experience I had and financing for those smaller properties is way better when you’re a new investor. You could see the blatant difference between the eight unit property I bought where it’s on a 20-year am.
The rate changes every five years at a higher interest rate. I need 30% down instead of if you live in a multi-family property, you can get into it for as low as three and a half percent down on a 30-year fix with incredible rates and the rates locked. So, that’s the first big difference. So as a new investor, if you don’t have a ton of money to throw around, I’m always going to say, “Get started in the small properties because financing is incredible.” And that’s why I push a lot of my sales reps after they do well, because it’s very easy to get incredible financing and get into a really good rental property. Now for scaling, it’s a little different. Once I started making really good money, I couldn’t keep it busy. And I had used up all 10 of my loans. And so now you’re going to have to get the commercial financing any ways.
And so it seems like a natural switch. The other thing though is with commercial financing, once you’ve built a relationship, you can get really good rates in terms. I’ve been shocked lately how good my rates in terms have been on my commercial properties because I built a relationship with the local credit union and they’re willing to work with me. And now they’re a lot better than they were on that first property, but it’s so much easier to scale. And when you buy a property, I bought a 32 unit property a couple years back. And when I bought it, I paid 2.1. And in the course of a year, it was worth a million dollars more because of how much I’d added in rents because of making those tweaks. And so now if you’ve got the money to play with, you can acquire a lot more wealth and grow a lot faster than if I had tried to pick up 30 single family homes.
So that’s why now I’m so much more drawn to the bigger deals. When it comes to storage units, they’re very different in that there isn’t a whole lot of maintenance. There’s not a whole lot that goes into it. And if you’re managing them on your own, I would say go the storage unit route because it’s been very easy. My management companies loved it. They came back and like, “Dude, buy more of these because we love them.” They’ve been very, very easy to take care of.
The one thing I’m still figuring out is when I went to look into cost segregation on those, I haven’t been able to get as much bang for my buck when it comes to using cost segregation on those. But I’ve also been informed that maybe I’m going to the wrong person on that. So that has been my only drawback from those, but everything else, I’ve loved them. And I would put both of in the same boat because I don’t know, they both are awesome. I think all three of them though have their pros and cons and any of them, if the numbers work, go and buy it because it’s going to be an awesome property for you.

Brandon:
Yeah. That’s awesome, man. What are you doing for management? You mentioned your management company. Is it like a local property manager or is that in-house with your own company?

Chandler:
So it’s kind of a weird situation. After I’d gotten a couple units, I wanted to put most of my focus into my business and I didn’t want to manage them on my own. I honestly didn’t last very long. I think I made it six months with my condo and I was like, “All right, I don’t want to do this.” So I found a guy that was managing a 40 unit apartment complex. He was in college, he was doing the management and the maintenance. And it was definitely like a side gig. He was working a full-time job. We hit it off and I said, “Hey, do you want to manage mine?” We became buddies and so he started managing them.
We made a lot of mistakes together. I wouldn’t necessarily… Well, maybe I would suggest it because now our relationship is awesome. He manages probably another 50 units or a hundred units outside of mine, but the majority of his business is my units. And because of that, we’ve been able to structure things kind of the way I want them structured and we’ve kind of learned through the process. So I definitely had to pay for some mistakes early on, but that’s been awesome because we are very much on the same page. And I think I got really lucky because he’s an extreme hard worker. He’s been very fair with me and I love the way that we do things now. So yes and yes to your question, it’s kind of a mix and match of both.

Brandon:
All right. Very cool. Now, last question on the self-storage thing, where did they even come from? How’d you buy it and why did you choose to buy a self-storage?

Chandler:
Yeah, so I was in a place where I had money to put the work and my deal slowed up a little bit. And my buddy Garrett came to me and said, “Chandler, I have this off-market deal that I found on storage units. Are you interested?” And right away, I said, “No.” I have my focus. I know what I’m looking for. I know what I want to buy, and that was just it. I’ve always been a big believer in focusing on what you’re good at and just scaling that way. But I don’t know, he kept kind of pushing me. And so I was like, “All right, I’ll put in the time, I’ll learn how this works.” And he is awesome, but he’s kind of trusted me to be the numbers guy and all of the deals I’ve had up to this point, I just owned on my own.
But the first storage unit he wanted me to partner on and we worked together with my Salesforce. He’s one of my go-to guys. I would compare him and me to kind of you and David, we’re really good friends. We do everything together. I’ve helped him buy his own real estate, but we just decided, “Hey, we’ve been in this with everything else we’re doing so let’s partner on it.” And as I dug into the numbers, I’m like, “Yeah, this is a really good deal. So let’s try it out.” I can kind of hedge my bet because you’re taking 50% of it and I am, and we feel like the numbers are really good. But what we did is we, first off, hopped on the BiggerPockets Podcast, got as much information as we could. And then I had my secretary call all of the other storage units in our city.
So anything within 30 minutes we called, we put together a spreadsheet and we looked at it and we’re like, “Yeah, these rents are super low for what we think we could get them to. So we’ve got a big value add opportunity here.” And even with where they’re at, it would be a pretty good deal, but it’ll be a home run if this works. And so we jumped all in with it and the increases went great. We even got more than we were planning on. And now, it’s been an incredible investment after that experience. That’s what kind of pushed me to… Now, I’m looking for those two and I found this other one that we’re about to close on. So, that was kind of the progression from one into storage units.

Brandon:
That’s cool man. Yeah. Storage units have definitely peaked my interest and I’m trying to stay focused not on them right now, unless I find a partner that we bring in a big national player. But I will get into them more and more because I love the idea of owning this asset where… I mean, one of the reasons I like mobile home parks is a similar logic. Maybe even a stronger logic to sell storage is that rent increases are a proportionately larger… Like small increases are a proportionally larger chunk. For example, if you have a thousand dollar a month rent on a residential property and you increase rent $50, you’ve now increased at 5%. If you have a hundred dollar a month self-storage thing and you raise the rent $25 for 25 bucks for half as much of an increase, you’ve actually increased the value of that property, basically 25% with just one $25 raise.
And so I love that leverage that you get off of those. And plus the fact that you’re not dealing with people who live there. So if they don’t pay, they’re not losing their house. No landlord loves to kick people out or have to evict people. We hate that part. So with the self-storage, you get to avoid that. I mean, yeah, they might lose their stuff, but if they don’t pay, they might lose it or they might come and get it or you might auction it off. But yeah. Anyway, it’s super intriguing.

Chandler:
It’s so true. One thing that my management company said when we did our increases is we gave our notices. We went through all of it and he’s just like, “Chandler, this was nuts because no one cares.” Literally, no one cared. We bumped on them and he’s like, “I don’t even know if people noticed.” We sent out the notices, we did the thing, but it was so easy. And when you’re dealing with tenants, a lot of times it’s a slightly different story, but it’s very true. It’s very easy to add a ton of value with not a lot of work or stress.

Brandon:
I also think there’s a nice gap in between, and this applies to mobile home parks and self-storage, but there’s this nice gap where that size… Anything under, I would say, 200 spaces is kind of largely ignored by the big players, like the AJ Osborne of the year. Right? AJ’s one of my best friends and AJ buys these massive 500,000 unit self-storage. But you go buy a hundred unit, you’re not really competing with him. But at the same time, who’s a brand newbie in real estate thinking I’m going to go buy a hundred unit? Nobody. Right?
So there’s a sweet spot where it’s too big for the little guys and too small for the big guys. And it’s all mom and pop generally at that level own. So it’s people who owned it for 20 years and they haven’t raised rents to the level they can. So I just think there’s a tremendous opportunity right now for that space and the just demographics in America, just show people are just… Or just not demographics is the word, but just trends. People are just buying so much crap all the time. So yeah, there’s huge opportunity there.

Chandler:
And to that point, I’ve got a friend, he’s a lawyer, Harvard educated, just so much smarter than I am, leaps and bounds ahead. And he works for this huge organization and helps them acquire real estate. And so they’re dealing with these big, big, multi, multimillion dollar deals and I’ll go and sit down with him and I try to pretend not but a lot of the stuff he’s talking about is next level. You know what I’m talking about? Very, very smart guy. But when you compare the deals, he is pushing for this massive organization and how smart they are and everything they’re looking at three years, five years, 10 years, 20 years, every potential number you can look into. And then you compare it to the way that I’m looking at these deals, but you put the deals side by side and my returns are killing what they need their criteria to be because it is, it’s a mom and pop shop.
You’re making a connection with them. You know that your deal pencils on a napkin because it’s just an incredible deal as long as you know you can and get rents where you need to get them to. And you’re in this realm where you’re not competing against those guys. And I think if you were, it would be hard. But you’re avoiding the small investors that are doing four units or less and then you’re avoiding the big guys. And it’s awesome. I love that range because it’s very easy to find good deals that work out really well.

Brandon:
The key to that I think is what you’ve built and that you’ve built a system that can manage that size. This is why mid-size apartments are really difficult. Mid-size mobile home parks are really difficult. Mid-size self-storage, really difficult because they’re not big enough to handle these massive national companies that can manage really easily. But they’re too small. They’re not big enough for that, but they’re too small to really have a full time staff that works there. So if you can crack that piece of the code or if you can crack that piece of the puzzle of how I’m going to manage this thing without it taking all of my time, that is the secret sauce. And once you be able to do that, which you have done, there’s so much opportunity out there. It’s different some-

Chandler:
It really is. The only negative or the only drawback I’ve found is you can be really good in your market. And I’m trying to expand out of my market. I’m trying to put new systems in place. I’m reading all your books to try and figure out that next level. But there’s a lot that goes into getting outside of that system in your market. And not saying I’m not going to do it at some point, but it’s very comfortable, it’s very easy, and that next level is where it definitely gets a little more tricky.

Brandon:
You’re a hundred percent right.

David:
What I wanted to comment on is that principle that you guys were describing of, you’re not so big that you’re competing with the big players, but you’re not so small that everybody can compete, finding that sweet spot, the chink in the armor. That applies all throughout real estate. And probably even in business, maybe if you’re going to start a business, you’re trying to find a niche that other people aren’t doing well. Where I see that happen in residential real estate is the price point in town that you’ve gotten away from the majority of the buyers. So let’s say that you say, “Hey, I want to buy in Miami right now.” Miami’s a very popular city. A lot of businesses from New York are moving there. There is a price point where the majority of investors that are trying to get into Miami are playing at and you see that the days on market is very low, stuff’s flying off the shelves and that’s where most investors try to make their entry.
And that’s why they complain, “Oh, it’s just too hot. You can’t invest there.” But if you keep just tracking prices going higher, you do get to a point where there’s way less people that are able to play in that price point or they’re not thinking to play there. So you might be thinking, “I want to go buy a condo in Miami. They’re $800,000. Those are all flying fast.” Maybe the condos at 1.8 are sitting there for a long time or let’s not say condo, let’s say house. If you can find the property that will work for what you’re trying to do and make it a deal at the price point where nobody else is looking at, you can have some really big wins. And that’s just what I wanted to highlight is we tend to follow the herd and do what everybody else is doing because it feels safer, but it actually makes it much harder.
So I do just did this on a property for myself in the east bay. It’s a city called Pleasant Hill, right next to another city called Walnut Creek, that has really good schools, really high price points. These houses fly off the shelves, but I just kept going up in price point until I got to right around the 2 million range where most people that were going to spend 2 million, they can go to a better city and get the same house for 2 million or a better lot or something. This particular house had 5,000 square feet. It was huge and it had a ton of parking.
It will make a very, very good house hack. Nobody else is looking to house hack at a 2 million price point. If you can buy $2 million house, you just want a place that you can live in. So that was just one way that I’m just describing that the average listener listening to this that wants to get into a market by taking the principles that you guys are talking about and applying it into this situation can absolutely find properties that will work for them. It’s like Brandon just said, you just have to make the deal. You don’t just want to go in there looking for it. And that’s really where you earn it.

Brandon:
Yeah.

David:
Right. You’re earning that deal by looking where other people aren’t.

Chandler:
Well, and I think too, there’s so much be said for niching down on something. I have so many of my sales reps that are trying to get into investing or even friends and family that want to do it. And one day they’re sending me storage units, another day they’re sending me single family homes, another day they’re sending me an eightplex or fourplex and they’re all over. And it’s like, “Look, you will know it’s the right property if you figure out, all right, this is exactly what I’m looking at and I know it so well that when the right deal does come, I don’t need to send the deal to Chandler or to Brandon or whoever to see if it’s right, because I’m so focused, I’ve ran the numbers a thousand times on this specific niche.” And then once you go good at that one, once you’ve acquired some deals there, then it’s easier to kind of expand. But niching down is so huge because even if it is extremely competitive, if that’s your niche and you’re the best at it, then you’re going to find the deals.

Brandon:
That’s a really good point. All right, dude. Well, we got to start wrapping this thing soon. So I’m going to ask you a question I’d like to ask guys coming on the show, where are you headed next? And what can our audience do to help you get there?

Chandler:
That’s a great question. I think that I would love to get to a thousand units of rental real estate. And so anytime you find deals or any connections to be able to get past this pain point and I’m working on it as well, but any of those people that have gotten past the place I’m at to the bigger scale would be big. And then the other thing is I love helping people to be sales reps. And so if you’re one of those people that’s like, “Hey, how do I get to the next level?” I’d love to work with you and you can come check me out. And we’d love to work with more people that want to come and learn to sell and learn to invest.

Brandon:
Awesome, man. Awesome. Well with that said, let’s head over to the next segment of the show. It’s time for our…

Speaker 5:
(singing).

Brandon:
The famous four is the part of the show where we ask the same four questions to every guest every week. Let’s throw them at you right now, Chandler. Number one, do you have a current or all time favorite real estate related book?

Chandler:
You know what? I have got to give it to your book that I can never tell people right because there’s so many words in it, but how to buy [crosstalk 01:01:24].

Brandon:
Invest in real estate with no loan.

Chandler:
[crosstalk 01:01:26] Yeah. It’s such a long title, but I always refer that to everyone because that was my tipping point. That’s what got me where I need to be and that’s the one I always pushed my people too, because it was a big deal for me.

Brandon:
That’s funny. And thank you, man. It’s called The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down: Creative Strategies for Investing in Real Estate Using Other People’s Money by Brandon Turner. So that’s the book.

David:
Brandon I’ve always wanted to ask you. How did you come up with the name for that book?

Brandon:
I don’t know, man. I was thinking about there needed to be a book on investing in real estate with no and low money down and it just came to me.

David:
And you’re too lazy to come up with the name so you just took that thought and threw it on the cover.

Brandon:
What book could be about investing real estate with no and low money down? Yeah. Funny. True story, did you own book on rental property investing? I don’t know if I’ve ever told this in the podcast, maybe I have. But I know David, you know it because I said it at GoBundance last month, but to test that thing, I did the Tim Ferriss. What Tim Ferris did for the 4-hour work week I did for that book is I came up with a dozen different title options for that one.
And then I put it on Facebook ads long before the book was ever even finished. And I ran a bunch of ads and I just looked at all the ads for the book and each one had a different title and whatever book got the highest percentage of people to click on the ad is the title I went with, which was the book on rental property investing, which is a little cool little tactic trick, whatever you want to call it. And when doing sales is certain things convert better for reasons that humans we will never understand why that title was 400% better than my worst performing title. I don’t know. But yeah, it worked.

Chandler:
The sad thing about books too, is there’s so much pressure on a title. I’ve come to find with YouTube, the title is everything, almost more important than the content. And so if you mess up your title after writing whole book, that’s a bummer.

Brandon:
I hear you.

David:
Yeah. And Brandon, they call that split testing. I like that you just sort of took credit for split testing by using it. [crosstalk 01:03:21]

Brandon:
I didn’t take credit. I gave it to Tim Ferriss.

David:
Very clever.

Brandon:
Nobody does it for books though. I never heard that until Tim did it and I still don’t know anybody else who does it. I had a buddy who was a music producer, one time he wrote… [inaudible 01:03:32] he is. He writes songs and we had talked about this strategy of what if we did YouTube ads for a song, right? And then do YouTube ads to listen to the song. And then based on different versions of song, the longer somebody listens, the better version of the song it is. And they could split test hundreds of different versions of a song to find one that converts the best. And that would be the top 40 hit. I don’t know any music people doing that, but split testing, it’s powerful stuff. Anyway, back to you, Chandler.

Chandler:
No, I loved it.

David:
Look at the BiggerPocket Podcast, you learn more than just real estate here. You learn all kinds of stuff.

Chandler:
I told Brandon, if I could have it my way I would’ve taken this hour and a half to just drill you guys with questions, but I’m pumped to be here.

David:
Well, if you want to do that, I’d be happy [crosstalk 01:04:18].

Chandler:
I’ll take you up on that.

David:
I miss being drilled. That was a fun part of testifying in court when you’re a police officer is just having all this stuff thrown at you. We can do that. All right. So next question, .what is your favorite business book?

Chandler:
Right now, The Obstacle Is The Way. And I read it pretty recently, but I love that book for… And I don’t even think it could be… It’s a business book, but that really has helped me with my business a lot lately. The ONE Thing is another one that I really love. So I cheated and [inaudible 01:04:48].

Brandon:
That’s allowed. We’ll allow it.

David:
I’ll allow it. All right. Next question. What are some of your hobbies?

Chandler:
This year I picked up golfing because I was sick of going and people wanted to go golfing and I was horrible at it. I’m just still really bad, but I’ve been a lot this year. So that’s been a new favorite hobby and honestly, making YouTube videos is it’s really fun.

Brandon:
Very cool. I agree. It is fun.

David:
Yeah. I have strong feelings on golf. Brandon and I have talked about that. That just seems like an absolute, crazy concept that you’re into, but good for you. I’ve committed to the fact that-

Chandler:
No, I’ve talked [Keith 01:05:22] on it for years and some days I still talk [Keith 01:05:25] on it, but it’s surprising how much I’ve enjoyed it. You’ve got to go five times in a row just being miserable and then you’ll like it, but some people never make it. I didn’t until I was 30 years old and then I did five consecutively and it was worth it.

David:
That’s life.

Brandon:
There you go. I guess last question of the day for me anyway, what do you think separates successful real estate investors from those who give up, fail, or never get started?

Chandler:
I think, I mean the standard answer is they give up and I love that that is your go-to, it’s awesome. But I think the people that they’re around on a daily basis and specifically like the one or two, every super successful person that I’ve wanted to be like, I’ve found that they’ve got that one go-to guy that they’re constantly just building each other up. And my guy is Garrett Meyers. He is the man, I wouldn’t be where I’m at if it wasn’t for him. And it’s funny, because like I said, we’ve only done one deal together. But I think finding that kindred spirit that has the same vision and goals and everything else where you can have different ideas, but build on each other. I think that’s kind of a unique one, but if you can find that guy, it’s huge.

Brandon:
Love it, man. Well, David, once you ask your last question, we’ll get out of here.

David:
Chandler, where can people find out more about you?

Chandler:
Yeah. So my name is long because it can be used everywhere to find me. So Chandler David Smith on YouTube, on Instagram, and that’s my website. So if you plug in Chandler David Smith, you should be able to track me down on any of those.

Brandon:
That’s awesome. I love it, man. Well, thank you for joining us today. I love hearing about your story of how you just went from a career in sales, dumped all that money into real estate, you’re growing your portfolio there. You’re also keeping your sales thing right now and you’ve really elevated that. So it’s just a whole new level, which is awesome. I just wish you the best of luck in the future. You’re crushing it, man.

Chandler:
Thank you so much. It was so awesome being on here and thank you to both of you guys for putting yourself out there, because that really helped me do what I’ve done and will continue to help me do what I’m doing. So thank you so much.

Brandon:
Awesome. Thanks man. All right, David gets out of here.

David:
All right. This is David Greene for Brandon “The Split Test” Turner, signing off.

Speaker 3:
You’re listening to BiggerPockets Radio, simplifying real estate for investors, large and small. If you are here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype, you’re in the right place. Be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from biggerpockets.com, your home for real estate investing online.

 

Watch the Episode Here

Help Us Out!

Help us reach new listeners on iTunes by leaving us a rating and review! It takes just 30 seconds and instructions can be found here. Thanks! We really appreciate it!

In This Episode We Cover:

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show:

Connect with Chandler: