Episode 001 – Buy The House, Not the Market
It’s the inaugural episode of the podcast and we’re coming out swinging! We start off by discussing the one thing that seems to pre-occupy all of our clients whenever they go into the process of buying or selling a home — FEAR. You’ll find ways to overcome being so afraid and embracing the process, the most primary of which comes from a very odd source — the works of Plato! Tom then takes a look at how investors took advantage of everyone’s fear of the market during the crash, when everyone was running the opposite way, and made a killing buying houses when no one else was even thinking about it. We then start the conversation about what types of agents you want to avoid (the Weak Agents or WA’s — and Salesman Agent SA’s) and what type of value an agent should bring to your home purchase or sale. We wrap up with our 10 Commandments or promises we pledge to provide to our audience. It’s a jam-packed first episode and we’re incredibly excited to be bringing it to you!
Announcer: Welcome to the Clarified Realty Podcast — exposing the real estate secrets your agent doesn’t want you to know. Here’s your host Tom Clary. Tom: Hi there and welcome to our inaugural podcast Clarified Realty episode 001. We’re so happy to took the time to give us a listen. I’m hoping that we’ll have some great adventures ahead of us and we’ll be able to learn a lot about the great big world of real estate together. Some introductions are in order. My name’s Tom Clary. I’m a licensed real estate agent here in the state of California. My practice is located specifically in the beautiful San Fernando Valley. I’m a valley boy, born and bred, and while I handle real estate transactions in pretty much all areas of Los Angeles — Downtown, Hollywood — this is really my specialty. I work with both buyers and sellers and my office is located in the tony and prestigious enclave of Calabasas, California. You might know it as the home of a Kardashian or two and it’s pretty much the Beverly Hills of the Los Angeles suburbs. Joining me today and on the rest of our podcasts will be my friend, sidekick and amazing lender, Ron Bruno. Hi there, Ron. Why don’t you give us a little about yourself. Ron: Tom, thank you so much. My name’s Ron Bruno. I’m with the firm, Guaranteed Rate here in beautiful Pasadena. I’m a Chicago guy originally — born and bred. We moved, my family we moved. when I was seven. Grew up in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina a nice little resort town — and as my wife likes to say, I’m a cabana boy — she she married a cabana boy. It is true. Tom: It happens! The dream happens. Ron: It does happen, exactly. I went to college at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and moved out here fourteen years ago. Tom: Wow, you’ve been out here a while. Ron: I’ve been here for a while. I moved originally for a girl and stayed for the weather. Yes. Tom: Understandable. Sometimes the girls change. The weather here in California relatively stays the same. Ron: It’s true and my professional background I for the first ten years I was in various realms in sales and marketing. Wy first job actually was advertising. Tom: OK. Ron: I’ve been in professional, personal finance and professional services for over eight years now starting in wealth management and moved over to the wonderful world of residential lending. Tom: Awesome, awesome, Ron… And we’ll be going more in depth with Ron in our upcoming podcast number 002, where we’ll be taking more of a deep dive into mortgages and how they are really the first sign post on our trip up the mountain of home ownership. Yes, even before talking to a real estate agent like me. But for this episode this is really going to be the two of us giving you a preview of what we’re really trying to achieve here and give you an idea of what to expect moving forward. You know, when I first spoke to Ron about starting this podcast I told him that I wanted to make sure that if we were going to do you know to get together and talk to you guys once a week to humbly request the gift of your very valuable attention, I wanted to make sure that we were saying something completely different. I wanted it to be something that had a completely different voice and point-of-view. It had to be nothing that you could hear on another real estate-centric podcast or any other real estate content. If you’re going to take your very precious time to download this podcast, how can I just, you know give you information you could just hear in a hundred of other places? And Ron and I really, you know, talked about it and I started circling around different concepts and nothing we really came up was really clicking. So I thought about it and I thought about it and I started thinking about all the clients I’ve worked with. Was there something about them that seemed to be a common thread? Was there something on, you know, either the buy side or the sell side that seemed to keep on coming up? And then it hit me. There was something that seemed to keep on coming up, over and over, every deal for whatever reason it just for some reason couldn’t escape it. Every potential buyer I talked to was preoccupied with it. There was something here and I thought, well I could do something about that — and that thing that kept on coming back and back and back — fear. It’s such a simple concept but it seems to rear its ugly head constantly in real estate. I mean everywhere I looked in my business I saw it. Fear about timing. You know? “Is now the right time to buy or sell or should I wait until next year?” Fear about inspections and disclosures… “Uh, what if I buy this amazing house but then I find out there is mold in the walls?” It’s the one thing that united all these deals and it was an element of fear and I could only imagine that this fear sets in even before the process gets started, before people even make the decision to buy or sell a home. It paralyzes them. They sit in their studio apartment all huddled up on the couch under a blanket, saying “Oh, I sure would like to buy a house but what’s the best choice? Should I rent? Should I buy? What if I lose my shirt, you know, like all those people did when the bubble burst?” “I’d love to start looking for a house but then I’d have to talk to one of those awful real estate agents giving me a hard sales pitch and I’m sure they won’t leave me alone!” Actually that one is really a scary one. Ron: That’s true. Tom: But look don’t get me wrong. All of these are valid concerns, but they shouldn’t ever be fears. At the end of the day, buying or selling a home or condo is not rocket surgery. Trust me I’ve spoken or done transactions with agents that I would consider to be the absolute best and brightest agents in the business, I mean the cream of the crop. And trust me no one is mistaking them for Mensa members or Nobel laureates. If they can understand the process, so can you, right? So getting back to fear. Look… Let’s take a look at really, really good example. What do you think is the number one question I get asked over and over and over again as an agent? The first question anyone asks me when I walk into a party or some sort of networking event? Ron, you’ve probably got the same… The same story. What’s the number one question you get asked whenever someone sees you that hasn’t seen you for a while? Ron: How’s the market? Tom: Yep — or is now a good time to buy? Or, is now a good time to sell? I mean am I right? It mean it’s sort of cliche. Ron: It is. It is. You get people asking questions about, you know, where rates are going… What’s the Fed going to do? You know, is now the right time? Should we wait? Is the… You know, are we in a bubble? Tom: Right. And it’s and its foundation is really coming from fear. It’s coming from a place of either, “I could lose my shirt or you know am I going to make some sort of mistake?” So, if someone comes up to me and asks me this… I mean, I’m talking about a person that that actually wants to buy, right? Not, you know, somebody who’s just kind of, you know, waffling or whatever. They actually do want to buy, but they — they’re asking this question seriously… What they’re really saying to me is, “Listen, Tom, if I buy my house now, will I lose my money?” Fear. That’s what’s really at the root of it — and I’m going to let you in on the secret… About seventy to eighty percent of agents are not going to be exactly forthcoming about it if the market isn’t going that person’s way. They’re going to twist it and turn it in a way that still gets you hooked. So, I mean, seriously? What do you think they’re going to say, right? You think they’re going to go, “I don’t know — I hope you don’t like that shirt you’re wearing ‘cause you’re going to lose it if you buy a house right now.” I mean, no. They’re going to say whatever they can to get you to sign on the dotted line. Period. And they are everything I despise about this business and I’m sure you despise it too. So that’s why it’s so important you can find an agent who you can trust. And we’ll go into this into a more in depth in a future episode — ways to weed out the good agents from the bad — but right now we’re going to stay on topic about what this whole podcast is going to be about. So which is the fear — what can you do to reduce that paralyzing fear? Well, when I was in college at U.S.C. I took what I guess could be considered a general philosophy course, where we read Socrates and all the great philosophers and I basically learned how to argue with people using the Socratic method, which pissed my parents off to no end, right? Because I’d like, I’d come home and they’d say, “Clean your room.” and I’d say, “Is there really a room?” But there’s one thing that always stuck with me. In the class that we read one of these books was called the Protagoras by Plato and I can’t remember what the general gist of the whole thing was but there was this one part that really stuck with me and I think it’s really important to this conversation. And, in that part, Plato — he’s writing as Socrates, but it’s Plato — is convincing his disciples that, you know, the five important human virtues: there was courage, temperance, holiness, justice, and wisdom — are all just names for the same exact thing. And his disciples, you know, they like go crazy. They disagree with him. “Oh oh. Whoa, whoa Socrates! How could these be the same things? How on earth could courage and wisdom be the same thing? That makes absolutely no sense!” But then Socrates, or Plato, goes through and systematically proves it. If someone has knowledge of the battlefield, they in turn have courage. If they make themselves educated about successful tactics and successful strategies, they have courage. Or, should we say — a lack of fear, right? What Plato was was trying to really teach us was that cowardice is really ignorance — and more importantly even — ignorance is cowardice. Ron: That’s deep. It’s a little deep — but I’ll tell you something, it struck me so hard, even when I was eighteen, that I still carry it around with me, every single day — that basically, the more knowledge that I have the more courageous I’m going to be. So, anyway… If we, if we look at and if we look at real estate from this perspective — who do you think are the folks out there that aren’t afraid? Well, it’s the guy or girl with the most knowledge about the real estate market and real estate period. They’re the ones that have you know taken time to educate themselves. The person who understands the battlefield as it were. They understand that fear keeps the scaredy cats on the sidelines while they jump in and they grab all the best deals. Look, after the crash, it’s understandable that people got skittish. I get it. I mean people watched as friends and family, I mean lost their homes and lives were turned upside down. It only makes sense that there be a level of fear when people thought about the possibility of re-entering the market. But here’s the thing. There were a lot of people who took advantage of this. They sat back until everyone was so afraid to buy and they swept in and basically bought everything with four walls. Usually with cash. Now, what do we have? Now, there’s still a lack of inventory out there. We went from months worth of shadow inventory just sitting there to basically being in the desert looking for an affordable glass of water. I mean we’re dealing with a housing shortage at least at least here in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley that has made home prices climb and climb. I mean sure I’m starting to kind of see that stabilize a bit but when things are all scary out there there were there were very few people that came in, investors, that took advantage of that atmosphere of fear and ate our lunch. I’m going to come… I’m going to come right out here and I’m going to let you know that I’m firmly in the camp folks who believe that homeownership is a good thing. I mean, it would be sort of weird for a real estate agent to be bearish on homeownership. So, right? You buy a house you keep it for a period time and you get more money than you started with. You can make changes and additions that add value and historically, at least, historically we’re talking about an asset that appreciates. It gets more valuable as time goes on. Not to mention you don’t flush your money down the toilet once a month in the form of rent. When you buy a home the money effectively goes theoretically back into your pocket. Yes, you need to come up with a larger portion of money to begin with in the form of a down payment and the payment each month may be a bit more but it’s really hard to argue against the benefits. Ron: You know, Tom… You bring up a really good point and back when I was in the Wealth Management days… You know I was in wealth management in two thousand and eight, if you can believe that’s when I actually got my start. Tom: Geez, you’re old. Ron: It’s like I timed that absolutely perfectly. But what was really interesting is you saw people like Warren Buffett and they saw companies and they saw a stock where that company was on sale. So, the value of that company didn’t necessarily mean that it lost half the value. Japan, when they had the tsunami the E.T.F. for the Japanese economy didn’t all of a sudden go away after the tsunami and it just so happened the next day that E.T.F. was down twenty five percent. So, real investors… They’re looking at value when it’s on sale and they are you know it just you know your wife she goes to Bloomingdale’s and sees something that’s half off doesn’t mean that, “Oh my gosh, you know, the value of that bracelet is now half of what it’s worth.” No. She sees it on sale and that’s what investors do they see things that are on sale and when it comes to real estate when it comes to stock, there are a lot of people who see it as it’s all of a sudden worth half the value. Tom: Yeah. And we’ll go. I’m going to go into that in depth a little bit later on and he’s but he’s entirely right. I mean it’s it’s like a let me get to that but what I’m what I’m getting at is well look I don’t consider myself a conspiracy theorist at all, right? I don’t own a tinfoil hat to keep the aliens from talking to me and I don’t think there’s a one percent that is doing all they can to keep the other ninety nine percent down at least in any sort of organized way, but because of the scarcity and the scarce nature of real estate, we’re fast becoming a nation of haves and have-nots. And when I say scarce I mean there’s, there’s only so much real estate out there, folks. Housing starts aren’t what they used to be. Not a lot of new houses out there. Developers aren’t building like they used to and when they’re building it’s predominantly rentals. Right? That’s important. That means there are less and less places to buy and if you don’t jump on the train that’s speeding by you might not ever be able to get on. When the economy was burning down and and everyone else was grabbing their hats and heading for the door — a lot of very smart, informed people were running toward the fire and end up making a lot of money in the process. They didn’t let fear overwhelm them and now they’re in the catbird seat, holding properties that were worth more than they were then you know they were worth even two, three years ago. Even though… Even though you’re not here when we’re recording this I can already hear a lot of you and you’re basically probably saying, “Hey, buddy… I’d love to buy a house… A condo… But I, but I can’t afford it. I don’t have the downpayment. I don’t even make that kind of money to make a monthly payment in this market.” I get it. I get it. But that’s — that’s not what we’re talking about here and we’ll go into depth in later episodes about how you can go from having zero in the bank to saving enough for a down payment or or how you can use a down payment assistant plan… Assistance plan to purchase a home. Ron will definitely be talking about that later but you can make it happen if you want to but I’m not I’m not going to B.S. you — it’s hard freaking work and takes a lot of sacrifice but it’s totally worth it. But we’ll get into that later. So I keep on talking about things we’re going to go back into later, but I swear, we’re going to get back to them later. So, so no… What I’m talking about now though is I’m talking to those of you that are still standing on the sidelines and you’re hemming and you’re hawing — and, Oooo… Is this the right time to buy? Should I wait another six weeks? And you’re vacillating back and forth… I’m going to let you in on a little secret. If that’s what you’re doing, you probably don’t really want to buy a house in the first place. Because — want to know how I know this? Because you didn’t come off the bench during the last bottom of the market. You already missed the chance — this quote-unquote bottom you keep waiting for! So, don’t B.S. me and tell me that you’re some sort of junior economist or something. “I keep on hearing I should wait until next summer to buy.” Well, you know what? Those folks still out there buying houses know something you don’t: you buy the property, not the market! Alright, and what the hell does that mean? OK. Well, let me give you an example. And this is right off of… This stands on basically what Ron was just talking about it was it was Saks Fifth Avenue and the bracelet. But, I’m going to I’m going to put in more kind of every day corner market kind of terms. Right? So, so you… You’ve probably been to a Whole Foods, right? Now, let’s say this Whole Foods is right next door to a Ralphs or a Vons, right? Something like that. Now most of the time because I am not made of money, I’m going to head over to the place where there’s lower prices — usually the Vons or the Ralphs. I’m not a moron. Am I going to spend more money for almost everything just for the honor of walking home with a snazzy green canvas Whole Foods bag on my arm? No. But let’s say one day I’m walking into the Ralph’s and I glance over and I see that Whole Foods is selling bags of grapes for fifty cents a pound — and that’s a really good price. Do I say, “Oh, no, no, no… That market is way too expensive. I’m not going over there!” Once again, Hell no! I’m going to go to Ralphs and do the majority of my shopping over there and then I’ll go right on over to “Whole Paycheck” and pay you know buy a few pounds of their very tasty fifty cents a pound grapes. The same goes for real estate. You buy the property, not the market. There are a lot of savvy buyers out there still finding homes they can afford. They’re not sitting on the sidelines waiting for the sea to change. No! They’re out there, educating themselves every day in a way that these opportunities reveal themselves to them — and then they strike. And by the way that reminds me of one of my really big frustrations about people that want to buy but are still sitting there doing, you know, watching the world pass them by. You tell me, “Well, I’d love to do it but there’s nothing I can afford out there.” Or, “I can’t qualify for a loan.” Oh, really??? And what exactly are you basing that on? Have you spoken to an agent like me? Have you even given Ron a call and talked to him? Has he told you that you can’t? Then how can you have any real idea about what your situation is? Because reality might be something completely different. I’m going to let you in on another big secret — for buyers? You don’t have to pay us for this information! You actually don’t ever have to pay us at all. That comes from the seller after you move in. So what the hell do you have to lose to pick up the phone and have us run some numbers? Or for me to look around at things that may not be on Redfin or Zillow yet. Or maybe I know of areas you haven’t even thought of yet. Areas that make you say, “Oh, I didn’t know this neighborhood was here!” You know, it drives me crazy! And we love those kind of clients because they give us a call that you know to find out stuff because we’re like, “Cool! This sounds like someone who’s actually taking the time to understand the reality of where they are!” Don’t get me wrong, sometimes Ron’s going to give you bad news. Or, I’m going to tell you that maybe moving into Beverly Hills isn’t in the cards for you when you can only afford five hundred grand. But isn’t it better to know the actual facts? Knowledge cancels out fear! It at least cancels out ignorance. Am I right, Ron? Ron: Yeah absolutely. I mean when you look at having the information at your fingertips… You can go online and run every scenario and look at what the general consensus says about your particular situation and you could paralyze yourself in fear where you’re not actually really doing anything. You’re just basing your situation off of what the general populace says versus actually running the hard numbers. And when I look at a client, I look at them from the standpoint of “OK, here’s what you qualify for now.” Right? And if that’s not the number that they’re looking for, then we start talking about a path of either changing the expectations — or this is how we’re going to work to get you into that position. Tom: Yeah, it’s an actual getting your butt off the chair and doing something instead of sitting there and going, “Oh, I probably can’t. I can’t. You know? Oh, I read this and I read that…” You know, you could literally… It’s like the snake eating itself. You’ll never, ever, ever be able to get enough information to get you off the couch unless you actually do it. You actually have to do it and the first really good step is actually calling us and finding out. We’ll be happy to tell you one way or another whether you can do it. And, by the way, I want to make sure everyone understands this. This is not some sort of you know get rich quick infomercial B.S. This is, this is an actual strategy for you to really become self-reflective enough and get the real solid information about your financial situation. You know, to overcome your fear and become a homeowner instead of just being a perpetual spectator. So, anyway alright… So what is this podcast going to be really? Well, we’re going to be looking in-depth, really drilling down into each facet of the process. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, you’re going to hear things that could potentially give you an advantage. In each episode, we’re… We’re planning to a look at whatever you know whatever the topic is, whether it’s escrow, title, lending — from both sides of the fence. Sort of like, you know, how Law and Order does… They do the whole police work first and then they switch sides and they go to the you know the whole court/prosecution side — that’s that’s what we’re going to be doing here. We’ll start with the buy side, discussing how you can get the best deals, things you should look out for when looking for a house. Things to look for in inspections. You know, things like that. Then we’re going to switch gears and go the other way. We’ll grab our sellers hat, put it on, and talk about how you can avoid certain pitfalls like disclosures and negotiating repairs and end up getting the best net for your home. On each side we will go deep to really try and provide insight and advice that you’ve never heard before. The last thing I want you to be thinking as you listen is is, “Jesus I’ve heard all this stuff before” I will struggle… You have my promise to you I will struggle with every episode to make sure that you take away incredibly valuable information that you can’t get anywhere else. Another thing that I really want to do — and don’t get me wrong, I’m running into very uncomfortable territory here… I want to provide a very honest look at what the real estate business is really like. For a long time now, real estate agents, Realtors — there is a difference by the way, I will tell you about what that difference is — have earned a pretty despicable reputation. They’re like a very small step above used car salesman, with like new car salesman sort of running neck and neck with us — and it’s incredibly well earned. Sometimes, I hear stories stories and I go. “Yep, that’s why everybody hates us.” But I’ve got another maybe not so big surprise… Sometimes it’s even how we’re trained by our brokerages to do business in the first place. It’s really, I mean it embarrasses me and this whole comedy of errors has a cast of characters and we’ll definitely go into this more in-depth in later podcasts — but just to give you a little bit of a taste — there’s basically, there are basically three types of agents. First, there’s what I call the “WA” or “Weak Agent.” Generally they’re the young and inexperienced agent. They just haven’t been through enough deals, or they never had a good mentor, or they haven’t been in the trenches long enough to really have gotten any kind of seasoning — or even worse, they just don’t care about being informed or knowing about how things work. They don’t learn about their area or how to analyze comps, so they can add value to your home search or your home sale. They just — like they just passed the agent exam by the hair of their chinny chin-chin, right? These kinds of agents can be really dangerous to you and can definitely end up costing you money and a lot of hassles. They make for a very stressful transaction. Then, the second type of agent is is what I call an “SA” or a “Salesman Agent” and you probably know the type if you watch Million Dollar Listing and other T.V. shows. They wear the totally slicks suits and have perfectly shaved stubble and perfectly waxed Jaguars. And by the way, they may have lots of knowledge but it really, really becomes a question of are they really using that knowledge for your best interests or is it to get the best deal or bottom line for them? After you sign the listing agreement with them are they doing the hard work? Are they there for all the inspections? For the photo shoots, are they moving furniture around to get the best shot? Are they are they making phone calls to your lender to make sure contingencies are hit on time — or did they they just make the deal and run, right? Is there some quote-unquote team, made up of usually WA’s, by the way, in the background doing the work for him or her? Well this this type of agent is slightly better than the WA, they’re still dangerous to you in other ways and and we’ll get into that in the future podcasts. And the last type of agent is what I call the “PA” or the “Protector Agent.” This is the type of agent you should always, always be looking for. They’re the ones that not only take care of issues but they take the time to make sure you understand why there are even issues in the first place. They have a portfolio of transactions behind them and have heard about most if not all of the pitfalls that might lie upon the road ahead. Every transaction is different and has its own moving parts but generally the P.A. knows how the engine works and even when there are unique and crazy curveballs they can find the best way to solve the problem and make sure you stay protected. I know I’m a protector agent because I’m looking out for problems before they even become problems. If we’re going to breeze past contingency during escrow you bet your butt, I’m going to see it coming a mile away and be trying to fix the issue before it kills the deal and makes everybody’s life miserable. So, look… My ultimate goal… What I want to achieve here and I think what Ron wants to achieve here as well, is that when it comes to picking an agent or a lender, I want to give you the knowledge and ability to really see through their mindset and find an agent or loan broker that is truly looking out for your best interest. Look, I’m not going to name any names. I’m not going to call anybody out, but I do think there needs to be a real self-reflectiveness in terms of agents really coming to terms with how we are perceived by Joe Home-Buyer or Josephine Home-Seller. When I’m, when I’m with my clients, I don’t consider myself a salesman — like at all. I want to be more like like a professional with them, more like a doctor or a lawyer than any kind of, “Hey kid… Hey, hey, hey… Can I help you today?“ You know, B.S. salesmen. I wear a completely different hat when I’m with my clients. And yes, if I’m selling your house, I need to market or sell your property — or if I’m trying to get you into your dream house, you know, when there are ten other offers — I’m trying to sell you and your offer, but I should never be a salesman to my client. You’re the person I work for. You’re my boss. I’m supposed to advise you to the best of my ability and then you tell me what to do. So, we’ll discuss this a lot more along the way too. Ron: You know Tom, you bring up a good point, because there’s… There’s two types of professionals out there. You have professionals that are transaction oriented, which means they will do anything to close the deal, right? It’s A.B.C.. Yeah right. It’s Glengarry Glen Ross. Always be closing. But then you have those professionals like Tom and myself — we’re relationship focused. We’re looking out for your interest and we’re always thinking of the long term. Because we want to help you, we want to help your family, your colleagues what have you. So if you’re looking at a particular home and it’s not going to be a fit and we know that, we’re not going to be pushing you into anything. Tom: Right. And you know it’s… I’ve literally had this exact same conversation with all my clients, where I basically say, “I’m not trying to sell you this house. I’m trying to sell you the house ten years, twenty years, thirty years down the line.” That’s what we’re talking about here. It’s not in my best interest, by the way, to just sell you this — like do everything I can to hard pressure you to buy a house “I don’t know if I can do it” because all you’re gonna do is be thinking all the time “That Tom, he just kept, you know, kept pushing and kept pushing and I would never go back to him again. I would never recommend…” No, no, no… I want, I want you to when you walk into that house, I want you to have a feeling of, “I’m home. I’m home. This feels great. That Tom…” That’s really what I’m looking for. I want to hear “Tom” associated with that amazing feeling you have about walking into that house — and I think that works the best for anybody involved in that transaction. Ron: Absolutely. Tom: And and by the way while we’re talking about like the high pressure thing and everything… I was thinking about this the other day… And I’m talking to Ron, because I don’t know if you have you ever heard the utter exasperation of a homeowner after their listing expires? Ron: Oh, yes. Tom: If you don’t know what that means when a home is put on the market and doesn’t sell in ninety… one hundred twenty days, whatever days it says in the contract between you know the agent and the seller, it’s then considered to be quote end quote “Expired” and it’s up for grabs. Any agent can come in and try to, you know, get the listing again. And oh, boy… oh boy do they come. Holy moly. These these poor homeowners… Look, They’ve already experienced the humiliation of the market rejecting their home for whatever reason, whether, you know, there wasn’t enough marketing — or they just didn’t want to put in, you know, the resources to change the crazy pink walls in the living room to you know some color the didn’t make people throw up when they looked at it. Or, you know, more than likely you just didn’t listen to the agent and priced it way too high. Right? But for whatever reason your dream of packing up and moving to Bermuda has been totally shattered — and then what happens? Ron? Ron: Yeah, so what happens is… It’s in the new Realtor’s handbook. You get barraged by expired listings… There is this term, “door knocking” you are essentially you assault everybody in your neighborhood. Tom: I mean they literally get inundated with a barrage of phone calls from low-life WA’s and SA’s and they get easily, easily fifty to sixty phone calls, all in one day. Like they come out of the woodwork — it’s like a zombie movie. I’ve been in places, brokerages, right? Where they call the receptionist they finally call the receptionist at the front desk and they plead for the calls to stop. I mean it’s disgraceful and we wonder why we have such a horrible reputation as human scum. It’s ridiculous. And it’s like the crowd never stops. But I mean look I take a look at that stuff. It really makes me totally understand why people want to even nix real estate agent out of the mix completely, right? “I mean I’ve got Zillow and Redfin — they give valuations… They tell me what’s for sale. I mean, why do I need an agent anymore? How are real estate agents not just a middleman You know that does X, Y, or Z, when I can do X, Y, or Z on this here smart phone of mine? When is someone going to come along and disrupt or Uber-fy the real estate business?” Well OK. OK, right? Point taken, but listen. Two things. Two things… First, speaking for real estate agents, we really need to listen to that. That means that people either think of us as unnecessary at beset or complete a-holes at worst. We are doing such a horrible job with how we deal with our clients or potential clients that they just don’t want to deal with us at all. They want to cut us out of the process completely! And the second thing really… The other side of that coin is that not only are we horrible, but we’re not doing a good enough job letting them know what value we do bring to them — and by the way we do bring value, an enormous amount of value but it just may not be in the way that they necessarily expect. There was a there was an incredible article I read the other day on Inman.com. It’s a… That’s a… If you don’t know what that is, it’s a website mostly for folks in the real estate business like me and Ron — and actually this article is more like a transcript from a presentation by a guy named Jed Carlson from a company called Adworx… And he was talking about this this exact stuff and he was comparing real estate to other businesses that had, you know, gone through the quote/unquote disruption. His biggest example was the music industry where you know basically Napster came along and changed the way that we think about music. Before, when you wanted to hear your, you know, favorite song that you had, you know, you wanted — you had to go out and buy this big black disc called an album or a CD — and you couldn’t just have the one song you wanted, right? You needed ten other not so great songs that came along with it. But, like, with Napster you could choose the one single you wanted and listen to it as many times as you wanted. So he started thinking if technology like this could disrupt an industry like the music business could things like Zillow or Redfin, you know, etcetera do the same with real estate? So, he was reading an article — he was reading an article. So I’m reading an article of a guy who was reading an article — from an industry expert who was asked if you could boil down what a service provider really does for the client — what would it be? And this is what he said the guy said. I’m going to read it here. “I think it’s three things. The first one is they help reduce the risk. They reduce the risk of the transaction. The second one is they help carry the load, grunt work, leg work, all that stuff. And the third one is they comfort the client along the way.” Now, it sounds exactly what a real estate agent should be doing. Funny thing, he wasn’t talking about real estate agents. The guy was an expert in mountain climbing and was talking about Sherpas, Sherpa mountain guides. I’m going to read from the transcript here because what he says I think is very important. So listen up. He says, “Now for those of you who don’t know what a Sherpa is, what they are… They are a culture of about fifty thousand people that live in eastern Nepal and they’re famous for their hard work ethic and being acclimated to high altitude and a lot of them make their living taking climbers up Mount Everest and K2, the most dangerous mountains in the world. So the Sherpa, I think, make a great analogy to the real estate agent in a lot of ways because they share an eerily similar set of core value propositions, right? Reduce risk. Carry the load. Comfort the client.” End quote. So, that’s what — that’s what real estate agents really sell — confidence. You’re going through one of the biggest purchases or sales if you’re a seller in your life — you want someone who has been up the mountain enough times so they know when there’s an outcropping that is extra slippery… Or “Oh, those clouds on the horizon are looking pretty scary over there. We should probably camp out here for the night.” And then this guy Jed goes on to say — and he’s talking about the role of the real estate agent here — talking to the client, quote, “I’m going to take you through the most difficult and treacherous and biggest transaction of your life. I cannot guarantee it will be painless or easy, but it is my job to protect you…” There’s that word “protect” you, “…during the process and make you as comfortable as I can. My experience will prevent errors and when something unexpected comes up we’re going to benefit from my experience. Listen, I’ve got your back all the way through the process, even beyond the close until you are satisfied. I am your Sherpa.” So when you tell us that you can find the house on Zillow? You know, awesome! You know, that means we can save time finding you a place. I mean, but if all you think a real estate agent is is a dog running around to find you a bone — you’re mistaken. That’s not where my value is. An agent’s value is being your Sherpa, guiding you up the mountain, doing some of the grunt work — and if the weather turns bad, as it does sometimes in a real estate transaction — you want them to have enough experience and knowledge to guide you to a safe place. And that’s that’s also what I, what I’m hoping to do here. I want to help guide all of you up that rocky slope of buying or selling a home. Remember… It doesn’t have to be scary. I mean, not if you know where the handholds are, or the footholds are, and I’m I’m going to help you find where they are… Guiding you… Being your Sherpa. And whomever you choose to be your agent will take you the rest of the way, you know… Ron: You know, Tom you bring up a really good point and I really, really like this and you know professionals like us being Sherpas. You know, I think a very important piece to that is also transparency. You know, we want our clients to share everything and what’s going on. They don’t have to necessarily share everything with everybody in the transaction, right? But, at least with with us… Because what it helps is— it actually helps us create a path. So when we find, you know, just like you’re hiring a Sherpa to take you up a mountain… If you have a heart condition, that’s probably something a Sherpa would want to know. Tom: I was literally about to say if you, like, if you have asthma or something like that… You know, you’re probably going to want to tell the Sherpa that. “I don’t know if I can make it up this mountain.” Ron: Exactly exactly. Tom: Or, if you’re afraid of heights, right? You know, you might want to reconsider. Ron: But you know those are things that, you know, once we know this information — knowledge is power. So, being transparent. If you’re going to go on vacation a week before we close escrow, well these are things we need to know because we need to make sure that we lay out the path and that just helps us navigate and help. Tom: Well and to go into really and hopefully not to belabor the whole sharper analogy. We’re basically if you have these issues. Well then we have to pack differently. I mean we literally have to if you. You know have a heart condition we’re going to we’re going to make sure that we’re going to have you know adrenaline or some sort of being a deferred later inside of our back just in case that somehow you start clutching your chest you know at eight thousand feet and it’s much easier to plan for this you know we set foot on the mountain. Right exactly. So when you’re in the middle of escrow OK yes it’s good to know if these these things pop up but it’s a lot easier to know all of this in advance before we’re helping you with your offer and helping you get into escrow and everything else because it helps us plan and strategize when advance because we don’t have we don’t have the clock or I don’t have a gun pointed at our heads right. Great so here I’m going to be closing up here and basically what I’m closing up with is and what I’m calling my ten commandments for this podcast The first one commandment number one I will tell you the truth once a week. Even if it hurts me what does that mean. Well that means total honesty if you need to know something as a buyer or seller My duty is to let you know even if it’s counter to my best interest. It’s the podcast version of fiduciary. Duty basically But here’s the other side of that coin. I’m going to and like you know we were just talking about on I’m going to ask you to be honest about things too if you’re you know going to take a bigger role in finding your home or selling your home than you need to hear when you’re screwing up to I’m not going to coddle you here. This is about you learning the most you can and then turning around and taking action effectively losing your fear and taking action effectively if I hurt your feelings in any way please try not to take it personally but there’s a chance. It’s going to happen next. Commandment number two I’m going to throw more value at you then you could ever need in this podcast in this pocket as you will hear everything the kitchen and the sink. There are times where it will be very kind of inside pool and nerdy and maybe too technical but I think it’s important for you to hear it in order to get the whole picture and in between you will find you’ll find things that resonate with you and then you can use personally. Number three. Every episode will have a riginal information and perspective that you can’t find anywhere else. So basically if you say I X I could’ve gone on the internet look that up. I and Ron have failed and I definitely want to hear about it. Number four. I’m going to answer your questions. If you have anything specific you want to hear about do not hesitate. Email me at Tom at clarified Realty dot com and I’ll be happy to answer it for you but don’t be surprised if you hear it on the next episode of the pod cast. If you’re asking a question then somebody else is probably asking that question to command number five shenanigans. I am going to be on the lookout for all the latest shenanigans and cons that you need to be on the lookout for in the market your protector agent should be looking out for these two but I’m going to try to do all I can to let you know before you get burned. Harmed in any way commandment or six you will learn ways to hold your agent and other real estate professionals accountable. What should you expect for the commission you pay what behavior and ethics of the protector agent personify each episode will include specific things you should be looking for when you’re working with that command and over seven. I will introduce you to incredible experts in the field when I have a guest they will be bedded to make sure that they truly know what they’re talking about and are professionals I consider to be the best in the business and you will hear amazing advice you won’t hear anywhere else. Straight from their own mouths commander number eight. And this is an important one. I’m going to be learning right along with you. And that’s going to be one of my big criteria when planning these pod casts have I heard that stuff before is it new to me and you know and I’ve been doing this a while. There’s probably a good chance you guys haven’t heard it either. If I haven’t heard it command number nine is that I’m always listening. If you have something to say whether it’s some way this podcast can improve or become better I want to hear about it. I want to read your comments. We’re going to be building this plane mid-flight and I always want to hear ways to make it better as a matter of fact that’s why I’m leaving command number ten open. It’s going to stay empty in the off chance that one that you know once you hear this. You know if there’s some way that the listener has a way to make this show better and more useful to each other then maybe might have a commanding number ten. Because in the end it’s. It’s my show. But ultimately it’s for all of you and I can’t wait to see everyone get involved and do what you can to make it even better. So that’s just a small glimpse at what I really hope to achieve with this pocket as I think that if you listen to these pop cast episodes I’m going to you know consider it a success if you go into your first home purchase or your first home sale and say hey this that wasn’t so scary. I can do this. I got this so wrong. You got anything else you want to. Here I think only covered and I’m really excited to hear everyone’s responses and feedback and I mean the ultimate joy is listening to someone who. They didn’t qualify or thought I can’t buy a home. They’ve been turned down in the past and then ultimately through the right resources they come out at the other end and we get to celebrate that. That’s what I’m most looking forward to. It’s an incredible feeling. And it’s literally like I can only compare it to you know I’m not a drug addict but if I can only compare it to a drug. I mean I love the feeling of helping people to get into homes and and if I can help any of you in that way in terms of giving you information and making the process smoother. This is going to be a success. So thank you again for listening. I’m begging you to not let this be it. I appreciate that you’ve taken your precious time to listen to this podcast but I hope you come along for the ride. Well we’ll have new episodes each week all packed to the rafters with a great information. Listen to the podcast interact with other listeners and let’s make this a truly amazing and useful experience for everyone. I want to thank Ron and his company guaranteed rate for Linux record i Pod cast in the offices here in Pasadena. If you want to get more information or ask me questions please email me at Tom clarified Realty dot com for more exclusive bonus content between episodes please check out our website www dot clarified Realty dot com and I am on Snap Chat Twitter and Instagram my call. Sign is act clarified reality. And please check out our clarified realty page on Facebook. I beg of you please please please leave feedback and reviews on i Tunes or in the comments section on our page as Gary Bain or Chuck likes to say the back is my oxygen so I want to hear what you all are saying my amazing theme song Hey now is from the band Wolf. So that’s what two apps and please go check them out and like them on South Sound Cloud will also leave a link to the song in the credits if we can they rock show frickin hard makes my teeth hurt. Go check them out for amazing tunes and just a little disclaimer Ron and I are licensed by the California Bureau of real estate my Emma last number a license number is zero one seven one five three five three Ron’s is integrate and two six one five eight seven The advice we give is only for properties located in the state of California for all the other states. Please contact your local real estate agent or real estate professional and that’s about it. Ron you good. All right thanks for coming by everybody and remember the greatest feeling is making someone feel at home. Take care and we’ll see you next week.