Creativity is a Real Trick - Episode 49
Melina: Welcome to "Flippin' Off," a purpose-driven podcast about flipping houses and making a difference.
Oscar: The man, the myth, the legend, Batman himself. So the man with the tool belt when it comes to creative acquisition. Chris, thanks for joining us today.
Chris: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.
Oscar: Appreciate it. Yeah, it's awesome. And we've got obviously John over there.
Oscar: And we've got Tim. I think he's Robin to your Batman.
Chris: Oh, I don't know. He's pretty...
Oscar: Well, the only other option is Batgirl. That wouldn't work.
Chris: Serious substantial Batman himself, I think. Yeah.
Oscar: He'd be a... Wow. There you go. Never mind.
John: I'm thinking spandex right now. That's all I'm thinking. That's what I'm just what I'm doing.
Chris: Do they know the story of Batman? Of why it's Batman?
Oscar: No. I think most people don't understand why we call you Batman or why we went with Batman as a theme today.
Oscar: So that's a great segue into maybe sharing a little bit about the story of Batman.
Chris: Sure. You know, I always talk about superheroes and different superheroes are different because they have different abilities. Well, you know, Superman is a superhero because he can do things other people can't do because he's from outer space. He's different. Spider Man is superhero because he has the strength of a bug. You know, he's, he's different. You know, he was bit by a spider. Batman is different in that he simply uses his intelligence and his resources to do what he does. There's nothing special about him. I tell people, he's probably a real estate investor because he's got lots of cash. But he uses creativity and so that's why Batman is my favorite superhero. And so that's why people kind of nickname us Batman because we are creative. And we use our resources, not anything special, nothing thing that nobody else has.
Oscar: And there you have it. Now everybody knows, right, and we'll, we'll keep this on file, I guess. Because I think I've heard this before, right?
Chris: It's not because I wear spandex, no.
Brit: Thanks for clarifying.
Oscar: That's awesome. So creative acquisitions, right? So for those of you out there that don't know about Chris, Chris started out as a school teacher. Now refresh my memory, what grade?
Chris: I taught high school English for 10 years in the public schools in Illinois. And my mother had been a real estate investor. She was a school teacher as well. And I'd seen her success. And when my wife wanted to be a stay-at-home Mom, we wanted to empower that decision. So I needed to do something more. I needed to do something different. And so we decided that real estate was an avenue that I could be successful at. And so I started buying some rental real estate in Illinois. And it just kind of kept growing from there. And eventually, you know, 300-plus units later, it's what I do, it's really become my passion.
Oscar: The look at his face. 300 units later.
Chris: Three hundred unites later. Yeah. And it had to be creative because on a teacher salary, you don't just buy hundreds of properties.
Oscar: On an Illinois teachers salary.
Chris: On an Illinois teacher salary, yeah. Maybe out there, but I don't know.
Oscar: Right. Okay. Awesome. So obviously the things that you teach and the things that you do on a daily basis are really based on your experience and what you had to face, the obstacles you had to overcome, right, to really develop that creativity, if you will.
Chris: Right. Yeah, I teach classes in creative acquisition. I teach classes in, you know, avoiding pitfalls in real estate. And I teach classes in, you know, buy and hold, fix and flip. It's really all about math and making sure... The biggest mistake people are gonna make is with their math. Real estate is very forgiving industry given enough time. And if you don't do the math wrong. And so that's the biggest challenge. And then there are people out there who can help you and there are people out there who will hurt you. And so we just have to be aware of those things. So just being aware, being educated, that's the most important thing.
Oscar: Sure. So I like to say that the numbers never lie, unless you lie about the numbers.
Chris: Absolutely. Absolutely. And there's a lot of people who do.
Tim: I'm hearing a lot about like the whole sellers who send me a deal a day.
Oscar: Right. Everything is great, right? There's $700,000 margin on this. But not really, so very cool. So now, you guys, so you've missed how many of his classes?
Tim: Oh, I don't think I've ever missed an entire class. But there's been a couple times where I had homeowner meetings. Probably twice, I've missed sections of Chris's class. But I'm typically here and absorbing everything I possibly can.
Oscar: That's the key in our business, right, is, to your point, Chris, that get educated, be good with math. But definitely the crux is get educated, understand what to do, what not to do, and then surround yourself with the right people. Now, John, if you you've done some creative stuff as well and a I know that a lot of it came from listening to Chris and Tim and...
John: Absolutely. I mean, I remember citing Chris's class for the first time because I wasn't able to go to Chris's class kind of first year and a half. And then eventually, I was able to attend the class. And I sat there for whatever it was, six hours, and it just blew my mind for the entire time. But it was, you know, you just gotta listen very carefully. It's very creative. But at the same time, the way Chris brings it across is very simple. You can be very creative, you've just gotta have it all organized. So for me, the idea of, you know, even something like 'subject to' or something like that, it just didn't make sense to me. But then eventually now, you know, we were talking about this couple weeks ago, we just got a new one up in hammer that we're looking at now. We're getting very creative, taking the mortgage out as subject to splitting, doing an equity split with the homeowner as well. You know, all the numbers make sense. But, you know, for me, I don't have access to Chris every day. So Tim is my next stop, and, you know, "Hey, Tim, can I ask you about this deal? Can I talk these numbers through?" And I know Tim has obviously learned from the best with Chris. So it makes a lot of sense.
Oscar: You know, the cool thing about is that, you're going of and doing your own thing now and being creative about it. And Tim is off doing things. Tim and I work together close and we're doing things and then other people learn from us, right? So it's kind of like there's this ripple effect that you've created, Chris.
Chris: Absolutely. It makes me feel really good. It does. You know, for a couple of years, I taught with the guru programs out there. There was a promoter out of Florida, and we would go out every weekend and be teaching different real estate trainings. And I would be representing different gurus because it was just a promoter. We were just hired guns. And I knew that the people in those classes that anybody could do it. And I also knew that most of them would not. And it's primarily because they won't get involved with a group of people who are doing it. And that's the difference.
People who, who say, you know, "Hey, that guy on TV, he did that deal and took him 30 minutes to do it. I think I can do that in 20." You know, and those are the people who are destined for failure because they're not seeking the right resources. They're not seeking the right people to lean on. And there are a lot of people who will educate you, and who can educate you. There is a lot of people who can put it together. The most important thing people can do is get involved in a group that is doing what they envision themselves to do and move forward with that support system and that network. Because without it, it's very hard. I mean, I had my mother. I mean, that was my group. But absent of that, I wouldn't have been able to do anything.
Oscar: Nice. Very good advice. It's similar to the challenges that we faced, right, getting started.
Tim: Dude, from the creative perspective, do you think people too often try to get too creative?
Chris: You know, I think that a lot of people hear creative strategies, and because there may be a deal there, the creative strategy may work then they will fudge their numbers. I was teaching a group in Omaha this past week and after the session, that was before I got here...it's been a busy week. After the session, a guy came up to me and said, "Okay, if I wanted to, to fudge on the numbers, I have a house..." yes, swear to God. That was his question. "I have a house I'm interested in, I think I've got it worked out where there's the deal but if I wanted to fudge on the numbers, which of these numbers could I fudge on?"
And the answer is don't, you know, it's not a deal. If the numbers don't work, don't do that deal. I mean, you know, technically, you can fudge on your profit. I mean, that's because ultimately, that's what's going to suffer if you fudge on the numbers. But, you know, it's amazing. A lot of people can deliver information. I believe that there are people who can deliver it more understandably than others. There's a lot of information out there. The most important thing is taking action and being involved with an organization that can help that you can just kind of lean on and, you know, commiserate, or be excited about it. It's like being in a family.
Oscar: I appreciate that. Because when I was starting out that was my challenge, right? Because I chased the dream and I chased education. And inevitably, right, I was left with, "Okay, so I learned something, now what? What's my next step? Where am I gonna go?" And really nobody to ask questions of, right? So and that leads to obviously failure because you have no choice but to quit, right? Or at least put it on pause for an extended period of time, which I did. I think I got bit by the bug in '97, right, after I bought my first house. And I really didn't do anything till all '05. And then it was like, "Oh, maybe I shouldn't have done that," right? And then in '11 is like when I really got into this and it started working for me. But it was exactly that reason, like Chris was saying, that surrounding myself with the right people, getting the right education and then applying that with a safety net, if you will, I have a team behind me and around me to help me through that process. Because otherwise I'll be drowning for sure.
John: Thinking back I when I first thought about real estate was watching one of those infomercials late night. It was actually in, I know, 2004, 2005. I laid in bed and, you know, I was coaching soccer at the time. I didn't know anything about real estate. And I saw one of those infomercials on TV, "Buy houses, no money, no credit." I said, "Do you know what? 197 bucks, I'm gonna buy it. I'm gonna become a real estate investor with 197 bucks." But I wish I still had it. Because this box was huge, with probably 20 books in their, 20 DVDs in there. And I opened it up. I read the first couple of pages and, "A lot of stuff here. I can't do that. It's too much information." But it's sold as something great. And, you know, you don't realize the potential opportunities it has, that there are those deals that you can get creative where it's, you know, you buying it subject to, there's no money going into it in that respect. But more often than not, there is money in there somewhere. So it's just, you know, that was 2004 and then I didn't start here at the club until 2013. So I saw that box and thought, "Too much information, put it aside," and then waited another eight or nine years before joining the club.
Oscar: So it wasn't just me. Thanks, John.
John: No, no. I've been there.
Chris: I remember my first purchase from an infomercial, one of those books and tapes, literally, cassette tapes, and, you know, I devoured that stuff and it was it was good. And I went out and took some action. Some of the action was wrong. And I kept taking action. I'm in a market that's a little bit cheaper than it is out here. So in the Midwest, we can buy houses little cheaper. So the deals are a little bit less risky from that perspective. But everything feels like a big deal. You know, and creativity is, that's the real trick. There was a guru, and it was one of the gurus that that I was teaching for years ago. And he had some kind of a challenge where he would fly into a city and he would find no money down deals. And he would do that. The challenge is they weren't good deals but he didn't say that.
You know, I mean, anybody can overpay for anything. I mean, if my house is upside down and I owe $200,000 more than it's worth and somebody else say, "Hey, I'll take it subject to that mortgage." You know, you may be okay with that. And, you know, you might get three or four of those deals in a weekend. It doesn't mean you should. And so it's really important. I mean, I'm just, and something Tim and I are working with right now. In 2008, I sold 200, well I sold 100 rental units for $2.2 million, which if you do the math that kind of tells you about my market a little bit. But when I sold those years units, it was to a guy who he was a he was a real estate attorney. He was an adjunct professor in a university teaching real estate and negotiations. He got a first position mortgage for, well, I guess for 80%. I carried back at 30% second.
So he was literally into this $2.2 million transaction for nothing. He walked away with a check. And then for the next nine years, I think his goal was to never spend money on it. So as the properties diminished, and you don't fix them up, you just keep renting them cheaper and cheaper. And eventually, the first position mortgage wasn't getting paid. I didn't get paid after six months on mine. And so you know, I wasn't gonna foreclose off at $1.8 million first. So, you know, I just kind of waited to see what would happen. And after nine years, the first position mortgage took some action. Their action created a situation where the properties were worth even less. Then they went away.
And so in order to satisfy me, he recently deeded a number of those properties back over to me. So now I have...well, recently, last summer, I end up with a bunch of challenging derelict rental houses. And that's when I called Tim. And I said, "Look, you know, the only way I'm going to get made whole on this is to fix these houses again. And so with some of Tim's resources, we've been working through that scenario. You know, rehabbing a number of rental properties, fixing them. More fixers than rehabs, but getting them occupied. And then we've been selling some in order to pay for the fix up of the others. Again, knowing the right people, being in the right team, you're able to do more than if you're it doing all alone.
John: I heard Dave talk about it a few times about Tim getting excited at the opportunity to do a deal with you. And, you know...
Tim: I don't know if Chris knows that story.
John: Oh, I don't, I don't know anything about what the deal entails other than I just heard Dave say one day Tim got excited because Chris is calling him and it's to discuss something that Tim can potentially help Chris with.
Oscar: That was the day that we're doing the podcast, wasn't it?
Tim: We were doing podcast that day.
Oscar: We were at the studio, we're gonna do the podcast and he gets a phone call. And it was like a kid in Christmas, right? Seriously, it was like he just lit... Look. See what he did over there? He just lit up, right?
John: "Chris is calling."
John: "Chris is calling me, not the other way around."
Oscar: "I gotta take this call guys. Sorry." "All right, bro. Go ahead. Take the call." And then he came back with a bigger smile, right? It was like ear-to-ear and then some. It was cool to see that for him. And it's awesome to hear that you guys are working together and doing things. It's great.
Chris: Absolutely. You know, what Tim brings to the table is very important to what we're doing.
Tim: At that time you hadn't taken ownership of the properties yet. We were we were trying to figure out a creative way to get those properties back and how are you going to be able to take these properties back and make it make sense to where you don't take back bad stuff, right? I mean, like you just said, everybody can buy a bad deal, so we wanna make sure that you weren't getting back into a bad deal. So it was really cool for me to get that call from Chris. You know, if I call Chris he'll call me back. That's a big deal. But when he just called me out of the blue, and when I answered it, he says, "Hey, I just want to run some stuff by you. I gotta situation. I just wanna bounce some ideas off you." I was like, "I've arrived."
Chris: And, you know, really it was a brainstorming session. That situation because, you know, sometimes we limit ourselves and I thought, "Okay, probably the best I can do is some kind of equity sharing situation with somebody who has resources that I lack." I mean, that's the best equity sharing situation, you find somebody with what you lack. And as I talked with Tim and said, you know, "What do you think about how I'm thinking? Am I missing something?" And he basically said, "Oh, I think you're giving up too much." And so it was really through discussing the whole transaction and the potential with Tim that made me think about it in a different light and create another creative strategy that was really born out of out of the possibilities that existed beyond my limited vision of it right then.
I mean, remember, I had been feeling beaten up by this deal for nine years. I mean, my goal was, I was gonna sell this, I was gonna get $6,000 a month in mortgage payments, and I was going to be happy. I got $6,000 a month for six months, and never again, and I was not happy. And then I'm getting for, you know, I'm not getting foreclosed on the bank, but I'm named as a second mortgagee in the bank foreclosure and, you know, none of it felt good and I'm thinking, "Okay, you know, at least I've got a personal guarantee, and I can make his life miserable." But that doesn't make me feel good either. So once we sorted out the right strategy, then then it became much more fun.
Oscar: Right. You know, so that's an interesting thing that you said there, right? That when you're...because essentially you're saying, you're in the weeds, so when you're in the weeds, it's hard to see everything else that's going on around you. And so you, you really are stagnant in your creativity, because you are so immersed in the situation, and the emotions, the finances behind that, and all that. And that's a great lesson for everybody, right, because that's where most mistakes are made because you're suffering in silence. And you need to raise your hand, come up for air, and bring in the right people in and in this case, that happened to be Tim. So, that's awesome.
Chris: And that's where most of our sellers are, that's really where most of our sellers live.
Oscar: You make a great point. Yeah.
Tim: They live in the weeds?
Chris: That's, they're in the weeds. And, you know, I know your organization, we teach that we're there to help them. And that's a different mindset than the people who are out there to take advantage of them.
Oscar: Yeah, that's definitely our forte, if you will, is making sure we serve them first. And everybody that's joined us and been a part of us and hangs out with us, they buy into the idea that the homeowner comes first. And through that process, we serve them and we buy real estate, which works out really well. And paychecks are kinda nice.
Tim: One of the cool things, well, I say cool things but, you know, inside of that conversation, that brainstorming conversation, I really didn't bring anything new back to the conversation, I only regurgitated back to Chris things that I've learned from him, right? So it literally was just a matter of like, "You taught me this, like, you're not seeing that. But you taught me this in class or you taught me that as a strategy and you're not seeing it, but that's a possibility here." So I think that all I did was really just give the 10,000-foot view where he was stuck in. And I think it's kinda cool. And now we're actually working on creative ways to exit the properties, right? So packaging up these properties in packages of 25 and 50 and selling them off to people who want positive cash flow.
Oscar: He said 25 and 50.
John: Yeah, 25 and 50. I mean, there's a lot of people that are that are just joining us here at the club, that are finding that first deal, and, you know, I'm sitting here going, "Oh, yeah. I've got creative and I'm thinking, 25, 50?' That's it." I know the amounts are different but, I mean, I couldn't even imagine trying to wrap my head around 100 properties and splitting them up and everything else that's going on but...
Chris: What's interesting is that, 25 it's probably the same as what some people will pay for one. That's really...yeah, I mean, there's some markets where we do our analysis here in class, like, we did this, you know, and, you know, we pull up a house and think, "Okay, wow, you know, I could get 10, 15 for that, you know,"
Oscar: So you tell him just add a zero?
Chris: Yeah, just add a zero, right. If my numbers are unusual, just add a zero. It makes sense. All makes sense.
Tim: That's funny, because just today, Oscar was in my office and Chris, and we were talking about a deal that Oscar and I are doing and how much money we're gonna make and Chris is like, "Holy cow." I'm like, "Chris, if it bothers you that much you have to remove a zero.
All: Just remove a zero. Oh, yes.
Tim: He said the same thing to us guys.
Chris: Now I get it.
Oscar: Yeah. Yeah. Great deal.
John: So how many how many years, Tim, for you, have you been taking Chris' class?
Tim: Oh, eight years.
John: So eight years.
Tim: Eight years.
John: I just find it so cool that, you know, we're having this conversation about, you know, you've been in Chris' class and, you know, being so attentive to not miss a class, to learn and then be able to give back to Chris in the way that you've learned from Chris before. I just, I mean, for me, I just find that so cool that, you know, you've found yourself in a position to, you know, work with and, you know, help your mentor go through whatever it is they need to solve, you know, their in. I mean, I just find out incredible, it really is. You know, and you're now doing this yourself, I know, you've taught me a bunch of things. I know if I need something creative I'm coming knocking on your door first in this club. And I just think it's fantastic, so.
Oscar: Yeah, you know, it ties it right back to what Chris was talking about, right? That when you find the right group, when you surround yourself with the right people, then all of the things that John just said are possible, right? And it's possible for everybody involved, right? It's not, you know, like, we coach people, we do all these things. And we learn a lot from them, right, through that process as well, so, and I'm sure the same... Would you say you agree with that ,Chris?
Chris: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.
Oscar: Right, you know. It's just through the process of teaching, you're learning. And then you're teaching that, that you just learned and then you learn some more stuff, and you get even more creative and it's tough to be creative, like a homeowner, right? You're stuck in the weeds because there's so much pressure and everything else. But once you can step back, man, the possibilities are insane.
Tim: Yeah, I was just gonna say that, like, for me, like, I met Chris, sitting in the room, right? As a student as, you know, as a club member, just like, anybody else who happens to see Chris speak in public. And it was about, probably five years ago. Has it been that long since Dave asked me if I wanted to go pick you up at the airport? And then from that moment on, you know, whenever Chris comes into town, I pick him up, we go have lunch, we spend an hour on the road, you know, from...
Oscar: Really? An hour? Really?
Tim: They've gotten shorter over the years.
Chris: I was also wondering why that trip always took me out through, like, San Francisco employees on their way back to the office. But, yeah.
Tim: Well, let's take the long way. They call me Magellan around here. But at the end of the day, like, we had an opportunity to...first of all, we talked about different strategies. And when we started I know, I asked a lot of questions about deals, but then it got, we actually started talking about personal stuff. And I, you know, we started becoming more friends than anything else. And that's what you were saying, is we build real relationships with the people that we work with. And it's one of the coolest things when, you know, when your mentor becomes your friend, and you just start, you know, doing things together, as opposed to just a phone call and asking, "How do I, how do I get this deal done," you know. It's really cool.
Chris: Yeah. And one of things that I want to mention, I don't know who's gonna be watching this, but I don't do mentorship, I don't do formal. The only things I do is I teach classes. Like I said, last week, my schedule was I did an evening...I'm from Illinois, I did an evening presentation in Omaha, came here, next week, I'll be in Denver and Nevada the following week, and so forth. People periodically come up and, "Do you have a business card?" I don't give out my information. I don't do that. Because nothing about me is about me, it's always about where they are and the group. And so because even if they have my business card, I don't know that particular market. They think they're gonna call me up and say, "Is this a good deal or not?" And I won't have a clue, but the people here will. And that's why I don't give out that information.
Now, there's plenty of people who have my information and Dave and Molina and Tim and all of you guys, you can give my phone number to anybody you want to who needs a question answered, that's not a problem for me. But I never promote myself and I never, you know, I don't have a program for anybody, you know. What I do is I teach a class. So the most important thing is to be aligned with people who are doing what you wanna do in your area. And that's true ofeverything, not just real estate. My son just graduated from seminary and he's gonna be a pastor. He just got his first job offer, really good. And I'm so excited about it. But the people who want to be in his church, his community, you know, he's not gonna be nationwide. It's a, like I said, it's building a group, building a network, building a family. So it's true for whatever the endeavor. This just happens to be real estate and I enjoy it immensely.
Oscar: Yeah. And so what you guys just heard is why David and Molina built a relationship with Chris because he gets it...I guess, the best way to put it, right, that the foundations are there, the basics are there, those are easily taught, but you have to know your market, you have to be around people that know that market. So I appreciate what you said because it's absolutely true. And, you know, unfortunately, all of us have been through that circuit of buying things from coast to coast, right? It's just, is what it is. And we all, you know...I get the mailers, I get my packages in the mail still from things that I...
Chris: The guru I used to teach with, their coaches were in a phone bank in Orlando, Florida. I mean, how are they gonna speak to your deal peer. I mean, I called it many times. And just think of the math, if the same coach is doing something here and doing something in my market and the attorney fee is the exact same amount, think of the difference in a percentage of the deal that happens to be. And if they don't know that math, and that's where we bring it back to the math, if they don't know that that percentage may derail one deal or another, then you need to find a different organization.
Oscar: All right. Yeah, I like to believe that...actually I don'tlike to believe, I know for a fact that, if you're not willing to put in the work, the time, the effort to find the right people, then don't even bother with this business. Because if you're just gonna snap up, whatever it is, the next shiny object, whatever it is that comes your way, you're gonna get frustrated. You're gonna end up in a situation that you don't wanna be in. And that's because I've been there, I know what that looks like, I know what it feels like and it's not fun at all. But this is home now, this is, this is where it's at, so. Cool.
John: You guys are working on it together? So So I think the deal is...
Tim: Mainly we're working on different strategies to exit these, you know, hundred or so properties. And, like I said, we're ready to package them up and packages of as small as one deal, right. I mean...
Chris: Yeah, we can do that.
Tim: We can do one property one-offs. But we're looking at packaging it up in 25 to 50 properties at a piece at a time. And then, you know, fully rented, fully rehabbed, fully managed, you know, hands-off type investment.
Oscar: So it's a complete solution?
Tim: It's a complete solution.
Chris: But one of the things, I mean, I always tell people understand the motivation, and then you'll be able to understand the creative solution. If you don't understand the motivation, then you don't. So my motivation is, I got back from this individual. I mean, I have a number of properties in different LLCs that they have nothing to do with this deal. But I took back 58 units that were in need of some serious work. The ones...remember I sold 100. There were 42 that I didn't even want back, so that's how bad they were.
The ones I took back needed fixed more than rehabbed, but the ones we needed to fix up. So we were able to creatively acquire the funds to fix them up. But the motivation is, I need to pay those funds, and to recoup the investment. So it's not that I really wanna get rid of all my properties, I don't. I'm a buy-and-hold guy. I want to own as much as I can but what will happen is, I'll end up owning about half of them by selling the other half. And so that's my motivation, to sell half of it in order to pay for what I'm going to be able to keep. And so, like Tim said, we're looking for a buyer who is, you know, about 1.25, 1.5 and we can put together 50 properties. You know, half of that we can put together 25 properties.
And it sounds like a lot of properties but we were talking about this earlier, when we were doing the analysis, the more the properties, the more stable the portfolio. If you have one property and it goes vacant, you know, it's a roller coaster. But if you got 25, 50 and one or two goes vacant, or even three or four, it's much more stable. And so this is for somebody who's just like, maybe not excited about where the stock market is, or whatever, and they're interested in something real estate, that's really who we're looking for. I don't do deals with students. So if you've ever seen my name before, don't call, but I will...because students have a different expectation. I want them to be interested in the deal, not interested in the relationship with me. So that's the key.
And so, you know, that's the main thing that I'm doing. I just bought a house on a contract for deed, from a friend of mine from a church. He bought it for his daughter and she decided she would rather live somewhere else with someone else. And so he needed to sell that house. So I bought it creatively, he would rather have monthly income. Well, I mean, once we talked about it, he realized he would rather have monthly income than a check. And he realized that that was good for him. So we were talking about part of the conversation. It's just part of the conversation, getting people to understand that that creative solution may be of benefit to the seller, much more than a cash offer.
Oscar: Yeah. I like what you said, that understanding the motivation.
Oscar: And then you can provide solutions herein and so forth. So that's awesome.
Tim: There's one thing that...one thing I realized probably about four years ago in constantly coming back to your class Chris is that, for a long time I was here, I came, and I was, like, absorbing all this information about subject to and all this creative stuff. And then all of a sudden, one time I'm sitting here and I'm listening and I realized, "Man, I don't... Has he ever said that before?" Because it was, what I heard was more about negotiating with the seller and the conversation you're having with the seller and all of that was inside there.
And now looking back, I'm like, it must have been there the whole time because it has been there for the last four years, you know, that same thing. But I just wasn't ready hear. It must have been there but I just wasn't ready to hear that, but there is so much in your class, in your classes, about negotiating and talking to the sellers and really getting down to what is important to them and being able to, you know, even so much as the language that you use to make sure that they actually hear the offer, as opposed to just confusing them, really. So there's so much in his class that it took me four years to just hear that part. And I still learn something new every time I'm, you know, sitting and talking to Chris.
Oscar: Or driving him through San Francisco and back.
Tim: Or driving him the long way.
Chris: I learn a lot too.
John: How many exits he misses.
Chris: Hey, that's right.
Tim: "Hey, that looked familiar. Are we supposed to go up there?" "Yeah, Chris, we're going this way."
Chris: Right, right. Different way.
Oscar: I've found a new way. What's that one thing that you want people to know out there about what we do?
Chris: I guess, the one takeaway is, creativity is not a gift. It's more of a skill set that one can develop. And that's one of the reasons we kind of bring it back to Batman. Batman has a tool belt, and it doesn't do him any good at all, to pull out the wrong tool. And so creativity involves listening to the challenge, understanding what is the challenge, understanding who owns that challenge. Is it my challenge, is it the seller's challenge? And then once we understand that seller's challenge, that seller's motivation, then we can form a deal that, or an offer, we can form an offer that's going to make sense to them, we hope.
And I'm the first to say that when I started about one in seven of my offers were accepted. So don't get the idea that if they say no, that that you've done your job poorly. If you get more Yes's, than No, you're paying too much.Absolutely, yeah. If you get more Yes's than No's, you're paying too much. So the idea is understanding what is the challenge, who owns the challenge, correct that to offer relative to the challenge and present it in a way that they understand the benefit of that offer to them. And if they understand the benefit to them, they're more likely to say yes. And most of the time, they won't and that's okay.
Oscar: That's awesome because I look at it as one out of seven, right? That's not bad, if you think about the numbers, right?
Chris: It's better now because they call me.
Oscar: Because they call you? So the point though is that, so one out of seven were favorable, but you went through the experience and the learning cycles through those seven. And then you did one out of seven again. So now you have experience over the 14 that you've put together and that just grows exponentially to where now they are calling you. So that's the game changer, right? But it becomes consistency and earlier you said, you bought these tapes, right? Not to date ourselves, but you bought tapes, and absorbed it all. But really, it's you absorbed it and, like you said, you took action and you kept taking action and you get your bumps and bruises, right?
Chris: Mm-hmm. Oh, Absolutely. Everybody does. Everybody does.
Oscar: We all do, right? We scrape our knees, we get back up and it's all good. But it's really about commitment, consistency, activity, right? And once you get, put those things together that's awesome. So there you guys. Tell you what? Chris, thank you so much. I appreciate you spending the time with us. I know you gotta catch a flight and all that other good stuff. So...
Chris: Thank you so much for having me. It's awesome.
Oscar: I know everybody had a blast in your class this weekend. So, great stuff. And you live with Batman again?
John: Look at his face light up. Look at him.
Oscar: So there you go. So now you know who we all learn things from. It's Mr. Chris Albin here. So, again, thanks for the time. You guys just, you probably need to listen to this a few times. So rewind, listen to it again. At the end of it all, it's all about creating the opportunity. Create the opportunity and good things will come. So, and learn from the best, but you gotta keep moving forward.