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Shop Talk - The Real Estate Agent Podcast


Real Estate Agent Podcast Episode 86: Buying, Developing, and Selling Land with Dan Haberkost

Episode 86: Buying, Developing, and Selling Land with Dan Haberkost
February 23, 2022

At the age of 25, Dan Haberkost has built an impressive real estate portfolio that gives him the freedom to work when and where he wants — and now he’s sharing his secrets with you.

 
The three things I'd harp on is consistency over the long term, niching down, and treating people well.

Dan Haberkost

About This Episode

At the age of 25, Dan Haberkost has amassed an impressive real estate business and portfolio that gives him the freedom to work when and where he wants — and now he’s sharing his secrets with you.

Haberkost founded Front Range Land and Homes at an early age and has watched it grow into a successful development company. Today, his business takes on every aspect of a new home development project — from sourcing to purchasing to developing to constructing new homes.

Learn more about Front Range Land and Homes at their website. Read up on Dan Haberkost at his website, and connect with him on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Ready to Get Started With The CE Shop?

Whether you’re a new agent looking to start award-winning Pre-Licensing education or an experienced veteran wanting to finish your Continuing Education, we’ve got a 100% online curriculum that’s one of the most diverse and groundbreaking in the industry. And if you want to network with your peers, join our Facebook group and get connected!

Episode Transcript

Brett: Hey there and welcome to Shoptalk, the real estate show. I’m Brett Van Alstine and on today’s episode, we’re joined by Dan Haberkost. Haberkost is the founder and owner of Front Range Land and Homes. A boutique development company that specializes in sourcing, purchasing, and developing parcels of land. On top of this, the company also works with local builders and contractors to construct client’s dream homes.

He got started in real estate at a young age, and now at 25, has created a foundation that affords him freedom of time and money to live life on his terms.

Brett:

Hey, Dan, thanks for taking the time to hop on the podcast today,

Dan:

Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here and talk a little bit about real estate today.

Brett:

So can you give us just a quick background about you and your journey into real estate?

Dan:

Yeah, absolutely. And it actually goes back to when I was 16 years old. I was actually in high school and I managed a farm at the time. And at the same time, my boss would spend a lot of the year traveling and he had a portfolio of rentals. So he actually had me manage those rentals while he was gone. And that experience did not make me want to get into real estate. In fact, that taught me how not to manage. In hindsight, he was a bit of a slumlord [who] had a very confrontational dynamic with his tenants [and] was always having problems, but that was my first foray into real estate investing or being involved in it. I guess I was not doing any sort of investing,fast forward a few years when I was in college, I was running a landscaping company while going to school.

Dan:

And as I was finishing up, I had paid for school outright, you know, because I was working and I had managed full school and work and I thought, okay, once I'm done, how do I take take some of the experience I've had some of the lessons I've learned from running other people's businesses and apply them to some sort of business or investing in my own life when I'm done with school here to create some sort of freedom, right? Cause I've worked all through school, high school, college, you know, didn't have a lot of free time or fun but it is what it is. So how do I create a better life going forward with the experience and skills that I have. And so I read a lot of different books read about equities, real estate, and, and rich dad, poor dad caught my attention just like it did for many other people.

Dan:

And so I said, okay, real estate investing is the way I'm gonna go. I'm gonna figure out how to build a real estate business. So before I graduated college, I actually bought a duplex to house hack. And that was my first step. Did a lot of things wrong, pretty much everything wrong, but making mistakes on, you know, 130 was 130, $4,000 duplex is very manageable, right? And making mistakes early on small deals is much better than making 'em on big deals down the road. So that was my first purchase ended up moving from Ohio, where I was from, where I was born to Colorado, as we talked about a little bit and bought another house hack out here. And soon thereafter I realized, okay, if I wanna scale my portfolio, if I really wanna build a portfolio of rentals, I need to figure out how to make more money.

Dan:

We hear all of the low and no money down strategies, which sound great and sure you can pick up a property or two that way, but this is a cash intensive business. Things are gonna go wrong. You're gonna need to replace roof sewers and so on and so forth. So you have to have cash. And I quickly realized that. So I went out and it wasn't as planned as it sounds in hindsight, but I found, yeah, I found an experienced investor at the local real estate club here who had a lot of experience with land and development. And here in Colorado, that was very relevant because it's growing. And just like most of the Western side of the country, there is a lot of room to grow, whereas where I grew up, it was already built out. And so fast forward to today, I have a land and development business buying and selling land some for cash, some for notes, building houses, and then feeds the passive investing by creating a lot of income. So that's where I'm at now. I know that was kind of put into a short synopsis there, but yeah, that's a starting point.

Brett:

No, that was a perfect snapshot. How old were you when you bought that first house hack?

Dan:

21.

Brett:

Wow. Did it seem like, as you did of it, did it seem, you know, that anything was like over your head or super overwhelming? Or did you feel like you had a decent grasp on it based off your previous

Dan:

Experience? No. I, I started working really early as I kind of mentioned in the summary there. So at that point I had a lot of confidence and I had been managing people for years and managing businesses for years. So, so no, honestly, if anything, I was probably over confident which led to many of the mistakes.

Brett:

So yeah. Well, like you had said with the, when you were 16 working for the previous real estate investor, sometimes it's more important to learn exactly what not to do than what to do. It seems like it paid off so far at least.

Dan:

Sure. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Definitely.

Brett:

So looking at your website which is front range land it looks like you have a pretty large scope of projects and obviously clearly experience from land development to home renovations constructing homes, and then obviously the selling of those properties. Can you dive in just a little bit more on what that, what that larger scope is? Either high level or you can dig deeper if you'd like?

Dan:

Sure. So the first thing I'd say is that it has not been updated for quite a while. And we'll get into why that is here at the moment, but it still kind of sums it up. Sure. So in everything I do, I think, and, and for your listeners, understanding the basic concepts of investing in business is essential. And so my land business is really just a result of understanding those concepts. So number one, it's an extreme layer and an extremely inefficient market. And what I mean by that is to give an ex counter example, right, in an efficient market or closer to being an efficient market would be like the world of equity stocks. You have millions of people all day long, looking at the prices buying and selling. So it's very hard to find MIS pricing, cuz it's so much attention and so much, so much money in that space with land.

Dan:

There's no ticker updating every moment. It's a little less well known, less well understood. So that leads to inefficiencies or mispricings in the market. So land is a very valuable asset. And on top of that, we have a lot of people moving to Colorado and there's a lack of housing. So those are the reasons that land and development works very, very well right now, if it was 2008, this would not be the case. And you know, maybe non-performing notes would be the area I would take my business to. But so setting the stage, all I'm doing is the start of everything is direct to seller marketing, to buy land at 20 to 40, sometimes 50 cents on the dollar. Wow. And depending on the piece of land, I either flip it, assign it, sell it on a note, which simply means I close on it and then sell it to you for terms, right.

Dan:

So you're paying me every month, just like on a mortgage or I build on it if it makes sense. So for example, just a couple weeks ago, I closed on a lot that was on a street that was getting paved the week I closed on it and surrounding it was a development of new homes. So all of the utilities had been improved. The road had just been redone and there's nice new homes all around it. That lot. I'm gonna build a house because utilities are in place, all the infrastructure's been upgraded and it's in a great area. So that high level view is what the land of development business is, but it all starts with the basic principles of investing because again, I'm buying the land at 20 to 40 cents on the dollar.

Brett:

Okay. And what is so for that price for the land, what is like the average cost for land in Colorado or I guess the market that you're specifically in which is Pueblo west, correct?

Dan:

Yeah. Yeah. That's one of 'em. So in Pueblo West, there are two different categories of land. There's the one acre sections, which are a little more expensive, those sell anywhere from as far as retail, 32 to 40, and then in town, the smaller lots they're about quarter acre. Those ones are generally between 25 and 32, sometimes 35 ish. So yeah, that's retail

Brett:

Retail. Okay. Okay. And so I mentioned front range land a little bit earlier. Can you talk to us a little bit more about that? Or is there kind of a different side to this now you had said that the website is a little outdated. Do you wanna dive into that?

Dan:

Yeah. So front range land is the entity I use for the buying and selling of land and building of houses. Really the big change is here, especially in the last year and a half. Number one, we, I was doing it as, as far as the builds with presales where let's say, I, I found a lot that makes sense for building well, I can give it to a realtor to, to bring a client to and, and have a pre-sold home on it.. Now, in the current environment, it's almost more risky to do that. Traditionally speaking a pre-sale seems to be a little more foolproof, right. You know, you have a buyer, you know, they're pre-qualified, there's a down payment. That's great. However, with the cycling of commodity prices, you know, lumbers, the big one everyone knows about right. That one came back down, but you know, I just updated my cost line breakdown with my GC and every single thing has gone up.

Dan:

I mean, literally everything. So right. A presale because prices can change so much is almost a li so the big change is I'm not doing any presales. I'm doing a couple of spec builds. So spec being speculation, right. Where you build it and I don't try to sell it until it's nearly complete. That way, my basis of all the major components of the home is established before I set the price. So that's one major change, no more presales as at least for now. And then number two, just buying and selling more of the land as far as opposed to building on it. There is such a margin to be made and the velocity of the money. Most of these lots, I have sold within a week or two of closing on 'em. Some of 'em that I sell to builder friends of mine.

Dan:

I already know I'm gonna sell it to 'em before I even, and close on it. So the velocity of money is very important, you know, frenzy like we're in right now, you know, these good, good times as far as being realtors or developers or investors, they don't last forever. So I'm trying to get as much out of it as I can. And so the velocity of money is very important, right? How quickly am I getting a return and then recycling the capital, do it over again. So those are the two major changes that are just building far fewer homes. I only have two, probably a third one going here right now. And no pre-sales

Brett:

Okay. Okay. And for those pre-sales, you were, you were saying that the costs associated with those pre-sales as far as, you know, the resources that it takes say you had sold a presale and began building on it. If those prices rise, does that cost fall on you or does that fall on the buyer?

Dan:

Yeah, that, that fell on us. We had a couple that finished up early this year where the margin was very poor. We didn't lose money, but didn't make much.

Brett:

And what sort of margin do you expect? Like what's an average margin for you?

Dan:

On, on the house, I just just, I'm starting with the updated breakdown here. It looks like there's about a hundred thousand.

Brett:

Wow. That's a pretty solid return, I'd say.

Dan:

Yeah. Yeah. Well, and that's the thing that doesn't last forever. It just works right now. And when that stops working, I'll take those basic principles and apply them to a different asset or a different market or a different strategy, whatever you have to do.

Brett:

Sure. Sure. Okay. So you had said earlier that you do operate outside of Pueblo west, what are some of the other markets that you work in

Dan:

A little further south down I 25. I know you spent some time here and the path of progress has just gone straight down the highway.. For those who aren't familiar with Colorado, I, 25 is the main highway and immediately to the west of it, you hit the mountains. So there's a natural barrier, right? So the progress goes east and it goes south and past Pueblo West and Colorado City, that little market down there. I'm not sure if you're familiar with it. There's actually growth going on there. So one of the houses I'm building, I got a lot on the golf course for a thousand bucks. So building on that one. Wow. And it bought and sold a bunch of land down there too.

Brett:

Interesting. Wow. That's I mean, that's gotta be pretty exciting. How do you feel about all this currently, you know, from your first beginnings into, as you were 16 and not really wanting necessarily to get into real estate, how does it feel now knowing that you've made so much progress and you've seen so much success?

Dan:

Well, it's great. I try not to think about it too much. I, you know, keep the ego in check, but no, it does feel great because really, really it's about out, it's about creating freedom. And that's what I've been able to do. You know, I go snowboarding every Wednesday. It doesn't matter what's going on Wednesdays. I go snowboarding. So yeah, no, it's been great. And that really, to me, is the purpose of business. And, and so, and actually right now taking some time to reevaluate what I wanna accomplish, cuz the original reason that I started a business on I'm, you know, I'm out of the situation of having to work for somebody else. So yeah, I'm doing some reflection and figuring out what goals I want to achieve after moving forward.

Brett:

OK. And for your business how many is, you know, do you have a bunch of employees or are you just managing, you know, kind of outside parties that are involved in the overall scope of it? What does that look like?

Dan:

Yeah, great question. And this has been something I've learned quite a bit this year. So in the land business, I have an acquisitions manager who handles all the buying and transac or coordinating those transactions. So I, I'm not involved there. And then on the sell side, I have a couple different realtor I list with. And then as far as the building of the houses, I I'm just the orchestrator. At this point, I have a couple different general contractors. I use, we buy the land in my acquisitions manager gets the land and then there's a bit of work on my end, as far as getting things going, you know, getting the engineering, the architecture done. But then the GC takes it and runs with it once it's going. And then the realtor sells it. So pretty well systemized, but not quite to the point that I want. I, I want every step of that process off my plate. So what I'm act, I'm looking at either hiring someone else and, or potentially paying my acquisitions manager a little bit more next year to handle everything, but yeah, leveraging other people has been invaluable. And I'm looking to do more of that leveraging people or systems so that I don't do anything more than just communicate, talk. You know?

Brett:

So focusing on that's the goal focusing on building the business instead of yes. Working so much within it.

Dan:

Yes. Yep.

Brett:

Yeah. And then I was just gonna ask, you know, how hands on are you throughout this whole process? It seems like right now you're pretty hands on. And that's something that you would all kind of wanna offload to, you know, free up some time to focus on more building and you know, other ventures.

Dan:

Yeah. So for one was getting everything off my plate that kept me physically here. So I am to the point where I simply have to make calls or send a few texts to get things handled, but I still do have to handle them. So I, I think the first thing, and I'm getting to the point of being comfortable to let my acquisitions manager actually makes the decision, make the decision on what price to get these lots on her contract for. She knows the markets pretty well. So that will be one big step and then offloading. So none of my tenants have my number that is gonna be the next thing going into next year. Granted I treat them very well when you're a small landlord. So, so with the newest house, I'll have 11 tenants right at that at scale, I think any small landlord, one of the biggest things that emphasize is just treating them like human beings and, and being fair but fair, but consistent with them as far as setting your standards, but then also, you know, they pay on time.

Dan:

So when there's problems handle it quickly. But anyways I got off a little bit of tangent there, but I think that's, that's a big part of, I haven't had problems with them because I treat them very well. But anyways, I need to offload that. So going into next year, that's actually gonna be one of my major goals, whether it's an administrative assistant or, or how I want to do it, I'm not sure, but I don't wanna deal with anything that's reactive. So if there's a problem from tenants or, you know, on the disposition side, right, the realtors are still calling me and saying, well, Hey, here, we got this offer. I want that off my plate too. So I, it's gonna be a matter of either giving my, my acquisitions manager is pretty competent. So I, I can see almost giving her down the road a piece of the business and then she just runs it on both sides and manages the other people. But you're yeah, you're right. So I've offloaded things to the point. Well, I don't have to be here, but there is still quite a bit of input and decision making from me. And that is something I've been thinking a lot about how do I reduce the amount of decisions I have to make and set rules and processes for employees or my realtors or contractors so that they know as opposed to having to call me. So I I'm in transition or in process of learning how to systemize and offload everything.

Brett:

Okay. And so you are fairly young, you're 25, correct?

Dan:

Yeah.

Brett:

25. Okay. Did you find it difficult when you first entered and you know, even today does age, did age ever play a factor as far as, you know, people taking you seriously?

Dan:

No. No. I have never had an issue with that. If you speak with confidence, you look people in the eye, there's no issue with that in your own mind. And even more, I'd go to say that when you are a responsible, younger person doing the things that a lot of people wish they had done at your age, and you're not arrogant about it, that's a key, key point there. They wanna help you. I think being young has been a huge advantage. A lot of people wanna help you, a lot of people who are where you want to be, want to give you advice and share what they know with you. But again, big caveat there don't be egotistical. Because if you are, then they won't. But, but yeah, no speak with confidence, look people in the eye and don't leave a question mark at the end of your statements and you won't have an issue with that,

Brett:

That ego and check. Well, I, and that's pretty refreshing. I think that a lot of potential agents or people that want to get into real estate that think they might be too young kind of fear that people might take them might not take them seriously. And that might, you know, halt them from even getting started in real estate in the first place. But I think that that would be very refreshing for a lot of our listeners to hear that as long as you're confident, you know, you know what you're talking about speaks for yourself and you kind of keep that you ego and check that those are the kind of the biggest factors to people wanting to help. And I think at the end of the day, ultimately everyone wa everyone does want to help people. People like helping each other and people want to do that kind of stuff. So that's, that's great to hear actually so sorry. You were good. Go ahead.

Dan:

Oh, I was just gonna agree. Yeah, absolutely. To any of the listeners that are young, it it's an advantage. It, I mean, it really is an advantage if you treat it right. If you try and go into it and say, oh, Hey, I don't know anything. Can you teach me talking to older people in the business? Well know then you are gonna be the little brat that no one wants to help, but if you take the time to learn right. And then speak confidently, not because you're cocky, but because you have taken the time to learn what you're doing, that's different and people will respect that and they'll wanna work with you. So yeah, absolutely put the work in on your end and it'll be much easier to be taken seriously. Sure.

Brett:

So kind of going off that note of learning. Do you have any books you had mentioned rich dead, poor dead earlier. Do you have any books that you would recommend for people to read? Just to kind of get a better grip and, you know, educate themselves heading into the career

Dan:

Specifically on real estate? You know, I don't, I don't remember a lot of the real estate books I read, but it could be

Brett:

Anything, anything that's really hard to you.

Dan:

The most important thing Howard marks and he writes a memo every quarter or whenever anything comes down, but I would read anything by Howard marks, very rational, calm, and, and he's one of the investors. He's a friend of buffet and Munger. He's one of the people that is, is all about value investing and he's in the world of equities, but that's a hundred percent applicable to real estate investing. And he also is not one to pretend that he can predict the future. So the future is ultimately unknowable is what you'll read often in his, his writing. So I would read anything by him and then also poor Charlie Almanac by Charlie Munger. I enjoyed that one a lot, but really just anything from people, you know, I like to listen to podcasts and read books by people who have all the money you could ever want, have all the fame you could ever want.

Dan:

I think you can learn a lot from them, especially when they're later in life, you realize that when you get to your goals, everything isn't suddenly perfect. Right? You're still gonna have the same challenges you have today. And there's also just a lot of practical advice from those people. Cause usually the ego goes away as you get older. And they are, are focused on what actually matters in life. So port Charlie Almanac, most important thing mastering the market was very good. And then any sort of history, because oftentimes everything that happens on a day to day basis is far less scary when you read about history and you realize that none of this is really new and we're a little bit spoiled. Yeah. We're, we're a little bit spoiled today. So that was a long answer, but those are books I like personally.

Brett:

That's awesome. So throughout your time, I'm sure that you have had your fair share of interesting situations. Interesting deals. Can you you know, talk about any sort of examples that you might have about some of the most interesting deals you've run into?

Dan:

Yeah. I've got a couple, I got a new one actually, cuz my contractor was just arrested in the middle of a large project with the whole front yard excavated. So I know what one you're referring to, but maybe I'll hit on that. And I'll, I'll hit on the other one too. So new house big rehab. We lowered the whole house. Four inches lowered the main beam, complete gut remodel. And we were in middle in the middle of replacing the water and sewer line, the whole front yard's excavated. He had to go run to home Depot to get one more part. He just, he just missed a part and his assistant calls me. He goes, I don't know how to say this, but Jeff just got arrested. He's gone. I'm like what arrested? You gotta go bail him out. I'm like, oh wonderful. So anyways, I, I call over, I didn't know.

Dan:

Thankfully I know nothing about the, or I knew nothing about the jail system now I do. So I called over the bail bondsman was much quicker to give me an answer than calling the jail. So they go, yeah. There's there's no bond set. He's gotta wait till his court date. Oh boy, what did he do? So anyways, long story short, I had to scramble and find a different plumber to deal with the water and sewer line because it's about 10 foot down. The whole yard's excavated. It's spilling into the neighbors, spilling into the street. There's kids in the neighborhood. They could go get themselves started. It's a huge liability. So that was a bit stressful. Found someone thankfully to deal with it, cover it up, go visit my contractor. Unsurprisingly. It has something to do with his baby mama. Right? So he had a daughter with someone who looked like I actually just talked to him this morning.

Dan:

Looks like he'll be getting out on Monday. It's really a bit vindictive on her part where he didn't actually do anything, but I wanna pull something out of this. That's actually meaningful. Don't discard people. And this is a relationship business. I went in, went in, cuz this guy's been very good to me over the years, he's done a bunch of projects. It's reliable, trustworthy. I mean, I feel like I could leave uncounted money out and he wouldn't touch it. He just can be a little bit of a child. So anyways, I went and visited him. I put a hundred bucks on his account so I could buy food and make calls and stuff. And when he gets out, this guy is gonna be an asset to say the least, because I didn't just discard him. I didn't, you know, treat people like treat people.

Dan:

This is a human business. This is a people business and relationships are everything. So a little bit just entertaining there in the story. But seriously, I think a lot of windfalls have come my way because I generally treat people well. And I try not to forget that. So that's one interesting one. If you want more, I can tell you about the house I bought with the prostitute and one and felon in it, but why not? Let's into it. So in 20, what is this? 2020, there was a deal through a wholesaler and again emphasis on this being a people business at the real estate group. I host here in the Springs. I met a new wholesaler and a lot of times people show up, they say, they'll be a wholesaler, but it's a hard business to get into. So they disappear after a couple weeks, but I said no harm and giving her my numbers.

Dan:

So I did, she ended up with a deal the next day, actually within a few weeks of having started, she shared her Google drive, which had all the pictures on it. It also had her entire cash buyers list, which was four people, four people on her cash buyers list. So I'm like, all right, nobody knows about the so anyways, great house, great area, district 20 which I'm not sure if you're familiar with down here, but it's a nice school district. Backs up to a park. It's just the junker on a really nice street, just a cosmetic rehab. So right. Bought that closed on it. And it was gross inside, but I didn't realize the degree to what was go the degree to which things were going on in the house. So number one, the son, it was three people dad's son and his quote unquote girlfriend.

Dan:

And the son had just gotten outta prison. Well, a couple days after they left and I'm renovating the place, I heard a pound on the door, the police are there to arrest him. Apparently he was already wanted for something. So that happens. And then I ended up seeing the dad again and it turns out that the quote girlfriend was actually a prostitute that son was paying. So that is why she was so nice. And that's why the house was absolutely disgusting. So anyways, I think a lesson there, even though these people were gross, we were very nice to them, treated them well, figured out what, where are you gonna go? Do you have somewhere to go? What can we do to help you to move on? We didn't take a confrontational sort of approach and you know, just like get out.

Dan:

No, we, we talked to them, we tried to be kind. And so what do you know? They left willingly within 30 days and didn't trash the place worse than it already was. So again, treating people like humans, I think, is really important in this business. Regardless of what they're like. So that's been an awesome rental, the tenants that after rehabbing and are in there have stayed for a couple years. They actually just texted me to renew and yeah, makes money every month and it's appreciated quite a bit. And that'll be a good part of the portfolio for the long term, but I had to solve a few problems in order to do that. Cause that's really all we're doing all day long is just solving problems.

Brett:

Well, and it seems like just speaking with you that you're a pretty even keeled go home person and yes, when you are presented situations like that, instead of acting emotionally and active acting reactively, you can kind of take a step back process, everything, handle it, non confrontationally and yes, you know, that is always, what's gonna give you the best outcome instead of going in and be like, you know, get outta the house. This is my property now. And you don't, you like you keep on saying, treating people like people cause it's a, it's a human business.

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Brett:

But I think this is a good segue for kind of talking about networking and networking always seems to be a question that real estate agents are asking as far as kind of getting their feelers out, connecting with people helping to grow their own business. When you first got started in this, how did you, or what were the best ways you found to network with other people and kind of build your sphere of influence?

Dan:

Yeah, the local real estate meetup was probably one of the best places. You know, I met I came to that about three days at, after moving here and ended up actually meeting the guy who taught me a lot of the land of development business at that meetup. So that's been very valuable. And then just people that I do business with repeatedly, a lot of times I'll end up going to lunch or getting to know them. You know, there's been a couple builders. Who've bought lot after, lot after, lot from me. Some of the realtors that have, have bought and sold things for me. And that has been very valuable. A lot of the people I do business with I've met in either one of those two scenarios basically. And a lot of times they just become friends too. And then you can help each other out and you consistently have buyers for whatever it is you're selling or people you, you know, pick their brain when you're struggling with something in your business. So yes, networking is very valuable and, and I would start with the local real estate meetup. Awesome. That's one of the best places to go.

Brett:

Okay. Very cool. And when you kind of look back at your career and, you know, thinking ahead about your career, what do you think has been like the biggest factor in building a long lasting career? Cause it, you know, real estate in general, as far as real estate agents, the retention, isn't great people don't stay in the industry for too long. I think the average is like two years, but everyone, you know, wants to be in it for the long haul. What would you, what would your advice be on that?

Dan:

That, that's a great question. And I have a couple different thoughts. Number one, it's just a matter of whatever you're doing, being consistent over the long term. I mean that, that is so important, too many people get excited and they spend a bunch of money on the investment side, you know, marketing and cold calling for a month or two. But most of the deals I, we just got a lot under contract. I think she had called, followed up with him like 14 or 15 times, and we're gonna get two deals out of it. So in everything you have to be consistent over the long term. And what happens is then you build a network and a reputation and it gets easier. That's the thing that kills me is the first year or two are always the hardest part. You feel like you're beating your head against the wall, right?

Dan:

You're, you're clawing for every dollar that you make. You know, starting a business, whether it's being an agent or starting a wholesaling business or a land business. I like to joke it's working for zero or close to $0 an hour. So that one day you can work many hundreds or thousands of dollars, even more if you scale it to a degree an hour. So being consistent over the long term and you'll find several years in that it gets much easier. Suddenly everyone knows you as the guy with lots or in your case as the agent to come to the agent, that's an expert in whatever. So as a corollary, I would say number two is niching down. Every time at the real estate group that I was telling you about when we have professionals introduce themselves, I always ask the realtors, well, what's your niche because just saying, oh, I buy and sell houses.

Dan:

That's not great. That's vague. And there's a million other realtors with licenses that buy and sell houses. But you say, I find house hacks for first time investors or I, you know, do such and such that sets you apart. And that principle is also applicable to you as an investor. You know, what, what do you go after? And then number three, I would go back to the point I kept harboring on with this is a people business, especially as a realtor, everything's easier when people like you and they want to help you. They want to send you business. They want to refer their friends, their family, and they'll come back to you when it's time for them to buy or sell our house again, in the context of being a realtor. So those are the three things I'd harp on is consistency over the long term niching down and treating people well.

Brett:

Okay. And for real estate agents that want to break into more of the investment side, what sort of advice would you have for individuals

Dan:

Do you mean in their own business or working with investors as an agent?

Brett:

Let's go on both of those, I guess let's start with the first.

Dan:

So in their own business, it's really hard to go wrong, starting by house hacking. It's not comfortable. Not everyone wants to do it. I don't wanna do it, but it's a short term sacrifice for a long term gain. And I think of it as training wheels for investing, right? Because of your tenants, they live right next to you in the other unit or in the house, if it's renting rooms. So it's a lot harder for them to get away with anything you're right there. Plus it's serving as your housing, so you don't have to be as spot on with the numbers. It's just, it's such a good way to get your feet. Wet house hacking is, is in my opinion, one of, of the best ways to start now, maybe you have a, a spouse and four kids and that's just not feasible or whatever.

Dan:

Maybe it's not feasible. Well, I would start by finding someone who is where you wanna be providing them value somehow and then learning from them. And then you have guidance. When you go out to buy, you know, maybe you make a good amount of money, you know, you can qualify for the loan. A lot of agents do make a lot of money. But having that guiding hand is essential. So another thought there too is if you can find an agent, if you already are one in your network who is an investor and then go through them on a purchase that that's a great way to go. Oh two. So yeah, starting with house hacking and, or, or really doing both of these finding it an expert, who's where you want to be and learning from them. I've done that with everything and that's greatly shortened the learning curve.

Dan:

And then number two, if you want to work with investors, I think an important thing there is well twofold. One thing that you might not think of is, is have your own set of parameters or your own way of screening the investor, cuz there's a lot of tire kickers and people who say they're an investor, but they don't, or won't ever actually do anything. And they're just gonna waste your time. So I mean, gosh, I, I, I, if they haven't bought anything and someone tells you they're an I to be careful or set some clear boundaries, as far as, you know, timeframe and figure out when they're actually gonna buy and make sure that they're prequalified, cuz you can get your time wasted really quickly as an agent working with people who say they're investors, but are never gonna do anything. I mean, I've seen this with people at the real estate group, there's plenty of people that come that are investing, but then there's quite a few that had been talking about it for their whole life and they'd never done anything.

Dan:

So I would say, be, be mindful of that as an agent. And then, you know, I can tell you some, there's an agent, especially here recently that has caught my attention and I've given her a lot of business because she went out of her way to follow up on things that I mentioned to her or told her I was interested in. And if she asks her a question and she doesn't have an answer, she says, I don't know, but I'll go figure it out. So I, I, I rambled a little bit there, but I think that that's yeah, I, I, I think that that first point is important because as a new agent or an agent in general, right, you only get paid when deals close, so you don't wanna waste your, so just as much as you want to be an asset to the investor, you wanna make sure that they actually are gonna be an asset to you. So you know screen them a bit and make sure they're actually ready to purchase.

Brett:

No, I mean, and that makes total sense. Especially when it comes to vetting the investors that you'd like to work with, you know, people talk a lot without actually backing that up. Yes. And especially today, you know, that's not necessarily anything new, but I feel like today it's almost easier to try and get away with that kind of stuff and almost build some sort of front as if you've been in your business for this long and you've done X amount of deals and you've seen this sort of success or blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So I think that that's a really important point for people that wanna break into this to really kind of understand and practice themselves.

Dan:

Yep. Yep.

Brett:

So, Dan what, where would you like you know, our listeners to, you know, go to, to get, you know, more information about you, maybe being able to connect with you if you have any sort of educational resources for people where would you like them to get started?

Dan:

Sure. Yeah, you can connect with me a, on Facebook or Instagram, just Dan HaCo. And then I also recently started doing YouTube videos. Again, just, just my name. I'm not especially creative. So just use my name there and there's a couple live deal analysis. Analysis I don't know if I'm saying that. you can see the, the property, I just bought how I ran the numbers before making an offer, how the numbers came out after. So, and some of the builds I'm doing that sort of thing. So just videos on things that I'm actually doing in my business every day. Dan Heber cross on YouTube.

Brett:

Awesome. Well, I'll make sure to have links on that when we publish the page we'll be able to point, you know, our listeners in that direction and those sound like really good transparent, you know, educational sources for people to get a better of, you know, the ins and outs of the, you know, the process of buying land, building homes, renovating homes, and then obviously selling them out.

Brett:

So looking back, this is a question we ask every episode, but looking back at your career, what is one thing that you wish you could have, you know, done differently or go back and change and why?

Dan:

Yeah, that, that's a great question too. I wish I would have niche down sooner. Especially on, well, okay. Let me, lemme backtrack a little bit more realizing that creating a business and, or a job that makes a lot of money realizing that earlier would've been useful. So to, and your listeners, this is a lot easier when you can figure out how to have a substantial income and then number two. Yeah. Just niching down sooner. Cause it's so easy to get distracted, hear about mobile home parks, flipping land. It all sounds interesting and you can make money with all of it, but when you're starting, especially because it's gonna be on you, you're not gonna have employees or systems yet start with one thing, become the expert on that and, and, and scale all that before you move on to other things.

Dan:

So whatever that may be, maybe you're a doctor, you have a bunch of money and, and income. And so start by buying a bunch of single family homes, if that's what makes sense for you. But, but start with one thing or maybe you don't make much money, you can't buy a rental, so you need to start by figuring out how to make money. Well, well being an agent is a great way to do that. So go establish yourself as the expert for real estate investors who want a house hack. There's plenty of people who have built businesses off of just that, but niching down in some way is one of the biggest mistakes that slowed down progression for me. And I could be a couple years further ahead if I'd done that.

Brett:

And let's, I guess let's break down nicheing down for you specifically, what would you describe your niche as

Dan:

Land in Pueblo west at well Pueblo county. Yeah. I know that market at this point street by street and I have just been able to get deal after deal after deal there because I know most of the builders to sell to I just, I know the market very, very, very well. And then Colorado city has, has been the same. And so just simply buying and selling land has been an excellent way to make money. And then off the off of that comes the building of houses. Eventually you learn how to buy and sell the land and a corollary to that was putting houses on a few of them. So really just land in my specific market.

Brett:

Okay. That's awesome. Well I think that that's a, a good note to end on. It sounds like niching down and treating people like people is kind of the two biggest takeaways. And I think that, you know, if that's something that you could apply to most everything, it doesn't have to be just real estate. But you know, talking about those principles that you had mentioned earlier seems to be another key takeaway for listeners to try and one educate themselves on and then two obviously apply to their careers to grow their business.

Dan:

Yep. Yep.

Brett:

Well, thanks Dan, for hopping on the podcast this has been great. I've learned a lot. I hope our listeners learned a lot. Thanks again for taking the time.

Dan:

Yeah. Thank you, Brett. This was fun.

Brett: That’s it for this episode, thanks for listening! If you enjoyed the podcast, you can subscribe to us and leave a review on your podcast player of choice. Shop Talk is a production of The CE Shop.