What I’ve Been Up To: Off For the Summer

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Well, it’s that time of the year again – I’m finally off for the summer! Though before I go, I’d like to take some time to write about an experience that recently happened.

So many times, I get folks who tell me their frustrations of trying to find deals. Time and time again it’s the same old adage I hear from people that there’s just no deals out there. And, in many cases – I have to reiterate the importance of learning how to create strong, lasting relationships (as in any business) above just finding that one deal.

To help you understand this concept, I’ll tell you about an opportunity that recently came my way. A park manager of one of my favorite parks told me about a seller who needed to sell their home quickly. As usual, I collected all the information from the manager and found out it was one of my favorite types of homes – mid 1990s with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Plus, it was in a quiet area of the park.

(Note: When visiting and getting to know the parks you want to work in, it’s very important to note which areas of each park are more desirable. In some parks, there are streets and areas that are more quieter/noisier than others. I talk more about the concept of getting to know your market and analyze parks in my new book).

Here’s a pic of the home:

Now, this home never had a for sale sign nor was it advertised anywhere else. And for the most part, the majority of the homes I buy are never advertised. No one knows about these homes that come on the market except for the park manager and folks who are local to the park and the area.

In any case, the park manager told me they’d have the seller give me a call (they usually do) so I could come check out the home. Sounds good, right?

Well, the seller didn’t call and on another trip to the park I mention this to the park manager. The park manager thought this was odd (as usually they do call when the leads get passed on to me). So, the park manager gave me the seller’s phone number to see what was going on. And, so I gave the seller a call.

Once I called the seller, I got all of the information I needed (i.e. year of home, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, condition of home, etc) and proceeded to make a time to check out the home. Before I got off the phone with the seller, they told me to call them the day before we were going to meet as sometimes they “forget.”

(Note: Now, I thought this was a bit odd as usually it’s the sellers calling me (not me calling them) when working a lead passed on through my network. My gut was telling me there was something not quite right if I had to be the one calling them especially if they “forget” about an appointment to meet to sell their home).

In any case, the day comes when we’re supposed to meet. And, to my surprise – there’s another family looking at the home. Now, they found out about the home on the market through one of the neighbors who happened to be a friend of the family. So essentially, the seller had two interested parties looking at the home.

After viewing the home, the seller had told me the other family (who was there by the way) was also interested in the home. I told the seller I was also interested in it as well. The seller told me what the family had offered to buy the home for and asked me what I’d pay for the home as well. I asked the seller who they wanted to work with – me or the other family? The seller told me they wanted to see what I came up with as well. So I gave the seller my opinion and figure (which by the way was a bit higher than what the other family was willing to buy it for). And, guess what?

Well, it turned out the seller decided to go with the other family. The seller told me if things didn’t work out with the other family (as they still had to go through the park’s application process) – they would sell the home to me. So, we left it at that.

(Note: Remember, sometimes it’s not always about price!)

After my meeting with the seller, I let the park manager know the situation. The park manager was surprised and told me, “I don’t know why the seller decided to go with them – you can close the deal and there’s no waiting time as you don’t have to get approved by the park.” I told the park manager, I didn’t know why either but maybe the seller just wanted to sell directly to that family instead of me. In any case, the park manager told me they would keep me updated and let me know if they weren’t approved by the park and the sale didn’t go through.

So a week rolls by and I touch base with the park manager again. The park manager tells me the sale did go through and was sorry things didn’t work out this time. I told the park manager not to worry (as this was not even the time of year I actively bought homes) as I’m sure there will be other opportunities that come up down the road. And, guess what?

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Sure enough, the park manager told me about another opportunity in the park. Again, a similar home with the same specs in a quiet area of the park. Even more so, I got a call from another park manager the same day about another opportunity in another park. So two good leads in one day, not bad!

The point of the story is that not every opportunity will go your way – sometimes things happen for different reasons. And, in this case I’m a bit glad not to have gone into the deal. There were a couple issues not with the home itself but with the outside. Here’s what I mean:

Tree growing on the side of the home

(Note: This would have been an issue in the future as sometimes the roots can actually grow into the pipes and cause plumbing issues. I once bought a home from a family with this same exact issue – they owned the home but not the land. Unfortunately, the landlord (owner of the land) did not want to spend money to correct the issue so the family decided to sell the home and move into another home and live with relatives).

Pole collapsed from wind issues

(Note: The seller told me this pole had been like this for 3 months already. Turns out there was a dispute between the electric company, phone company and city as to who was responsible for correcting the issue. Clearly, this was a liability. Had I bought the home, I’d have to deal with this issue).

Though the deal did not work out for me, other opportunities came up and will continue to come up in the future. This is the power of networking and learning how to create strong relationships.

Had I not taken the time to create strong relationships and build up a strong network, I would be like everyone else chasing and constantly looking for deals one after the other. And yes, it would be very frustrating.

Since I do take the time to build up my network and have created strong relationships, I work smarter not harder – the opportunities keep coming my way. Yes, I still have to maintain contact with the members of my team but they are my eyes and ears as I can’t be everywhere.

So you see, this business (as in any business) is about relationships – it’s not a one person show. Without a good team and a strong network, it will be very hard and frustrating to succeed.

I hope this post has helped. Before I go, I’m going to leave you here with a video that inspired this post. Have a great summer!

(Note: Recently, my new book received another review here. Thanks for reading!)

p.s. Feel free to leave comments on any post either here and/or my Facebook Page. Comments are always welcome, thanks for reading!

Video Link

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  1. Great idea for a blog. I have a friend who dabbles in this kind of investing in our town, but I never thought Id find an entire blog devoted to this kind of real estate investing. I’ll poke around some more, but do you primarily buy and hold or flip? Thanks, Mike L

    • Thanks for the note Mike, it’s nice to meet you! Regarding your question, I’ve done both but my main focus is buy and hold. Hope that helps, thanks for stopping by!

  2. I’m glad your strategy is working for you. I think everyone has to find their own strategy according to their own personality. As an aside, although I like the content of your site, those pop ups like “like” or “tweet” are most annoying because one cannot get rid of them and they block the reader’s view of the page and even the posting of this comment. Maybe you can get rid of them and I just don’t know how?