The Neighborhood Realtor

A Secret Weapon for ANY Market — Cara Ameer, CA & FL

August 29, 2023 Matt Muscat
The Neighborhood Realtor
A Secret Weapon for ANY Market — Cara Ameer, CA & FL
Show Notes Transcript

This week the Neighborhood Realtor Podcast welcomes Bi-Coastal Realtor and industry thought leader Cara Ameer. 

Over her 20 year career in real estate Cara has developed niches in both Southern California and Florida. She uniquely plays her skill sets in both areas and markets tax and social advantages in each state to market herself as the expert for clients looking to go from 1 sunny state to another. Cara and Matt discuss how she started her career with tactics like door knocking, calling expired listings and a host of other tried and true methods—this hard work and approach carried her through not only the recession but are now helping her to grow even in a tight inventory market. Every market has its challenges, but the magic bullet is putting in the effort! 

We go on to discuss how to write a winning offer, and tips to get them accepted. Finally, we discuss a loan program that has become her secret weapon to unlocking the market for many buyers.

The Neighborhood Realtor is proudly sponsored by Treadstone Funding and Neighborhood Loans. For more tangible tips in real estate marketing, check out Matt's book, The Tangible Action Guide for Real Estate Marketing available on Amazon.

Learned something new, or have a suggestion? Message Matt Muscat on Instagram

Matt M. | 00:00:03:24 | We've literally received camera phone photos of piles of money in mattresses. We've had people that were using their change collection, loose change, to pay for their down payments. And we have to tell them, you need to wrap this, get it to a bank and turn this into a check.
Matt M. | 00:00:24:00 | Everybody, welcome to the podcast today. Again, thanks for listening and thanks to everyone who's left to review in the last couple weeks. Those reviews help us get more amazing guests and that is partially how we got our amazing guest today to agree to be on our little podcast. Welcome, Kara. And I'm really exited here because you are not only practicing real estate in California, which sounds exciting and aspirational, but you're in a state often that I go to very often, which is Florida, the Sunshine State.
Matt M. | 00:00:52:00 | So tell me a little bit, how did you get started in real estate? Give me your give me your origin story, your superhero origins.
Cara A. | 00:00:58:24 | Well, thanks, Matt. I'm so excited to be here. Thanks for having me as a guest. Well, I started in real estate back in the day of late 2001. I got my license when I moved to Florida and we moved to the Jacksonville northeast Florida area due to my husband's job. And I had worked as a paralegal before that.
Cara A. | 00:01:18:01 | And I thought, you know, when it came to Florida, I wanted to do something different. The the real estate market seemed very interesting. There was a lot of new construction. The area was growing. So I got my license at that time and really built my business from scratch. I didn't know anybody in Florida. And flash forward here to 2023 and we're still going.
Matt M. | 00:01:37:18 | So the first most interesting thing, you've been in the business for a while. So I have 12 years and you have, you know, 19, 20 years ago. But you made it through some different times, right? So everybody knows freaking out. Interest rates are at all time highs. Well, they're not at all time highs. They're like five, seven, ten year, ten year highs.
Matt M. | 00:01:56:08 | How did you how did you keep your business going through a crazy market, a down market, and then back up again because you've now seen you've seen highs, you've seen lots of what could how could new agents expect to make it through this market? What advice, sage advice, could you give them?
Cara A. | 00:02:13:05 | Well, you know, the old adage, what does not kill you makes you stronger, right? So resilience, I think good old fashioned hard work. I mean, there's a lot of elements that go into that in a real estate business. There's a lot of things you can do. When I got into it, obviously social media wasn't what it is today.
Cara A. | 00:02:29:13 | I mean, we didn't even use it. We didn't have smartphones like they were. So when I got into it, you could barely get a listing. Inventory was so low there was nothing people.
Matt M. | 00:02:39:00 | That sounds familiar.
Cara A. | 00:02:40:27 | There were people were trying for sale by owner and just sticking their home out there and it was selling in a matter of days. So, I mean, this was, you know, old fashioned practices going after expired, knocking doors, walking the streets, sweating and, you know, 99 degree weather just, you know, meeting people, getting involved in as many different activities and organizations that I could to build my business and get my profile out there doing a neighborhood newsletter.
Cara A. | 00:03:07:01 | These were sort of the old school things before we had Instagram and, you know, all these wonderful things that we have today to to be able to build our brand and put ourselves out there.
Matt M. | 00:03:15:27 | So I think the first lesson here is you need tactics for every market. And in every market there is something to learn, right? And you have done such a great job. And we connected because I read one of your articles about some of the takeaways that you've taken out of this market. And I was like, Hey, I need to have you on the show.
Matt M. | 00:03:33:06 | But it's so important to to kind of like zone out for a moment after a busy week in real estate and think, what did I learn in that tough situation? Or how did I actually get this new what's your how did I get this sold? So how do you how do you intentionally always remember making these takeaways? I know so many realtors and lenders are just you're going for me to be they're going fast.
Matt M. | 00:03:57:09 | Like, how do you stay intentional about always remembering the important stuff? Because obviously that's what's helping you get through these markets and thriving.
Cara A. | 00:04:05:04 | Well, obviously doing it as long as I have a lot of it becomes gut instinct, but you have to schedule it because if it's not on the calendar, it doesn't exist in my book. Right? Because we are so distracted. It's easy to get distracted with our phones blowing up the text to the moment somebody. And we're always kind of in fire drill mode because a customer calls us with a happy thought about, Hey, what?
Cara A. | 00:04:24:26 | You know, what could I get for my house by listed it? I just saw this property but really get a real run. Yeah, but I think it's just really important to, you know, plan it all out. Plan your day, you know, plan your week, plan your month. Because if you don't, these sort of long term goals that you want to hit, whether it's I'm going to contact everybody in my sphere, how am I going to do that?
Cara A. | 00:04:46:15 | They're not going to get done if you don't set aside time to put that on the calendar like everything else.
Matt M. | 00:04:52:17 | What if it's not that we talk about this all the time? If you're if it's not on the calendar, it's not going to happen. So I think here's the first takeaway for everyone in the audience today. Schedule something in your calendar for Thursday or Friday or o'clock, 10 a.m. with your coffee, whatever works for you, and reflect on what your biggest takeaway that week was.
Matt M. | 00:05:10:21 | What did the market teach you? Even if a teacher asked this week, What did you learn from the market? What did you learn from a difficult client? What did you learn from some that went really well? And how can you reverse engineer and after that time, what, Monday I'm up something for money to say. Who can I share this message with?
Matt M. | 00:05:28:00 | So I learned this. Who can you share with? Can I share with other agents to maybe attract others and recruit and share this with clients? To show the clients that I'm learning, I'm doing things differently because a lot of times clients want to see how you overcame a situation is it gives them the idea that real estate's not this easy, and maybe I really do need a great realtor with experience.
Matt M. | 00:05:49:23 | Help me get through the market. I think that's a huge thing. It's not all about posting how easy it is to do your real estate.
Cara A. | 00:05:56:29 | No, I mean, when I post about a just sold, I don't just post just sold. I tell the story. I tell him story of what it took to get this transaction to close. And there's always a story in real estate, right? I mean, I've had all kinds of challenges from things like bats in the house that almost derailed the deal to, you know, whether it's termites or some other complicating factor.
Cara A. | 00:06:18:04 | But I want people to understand it's not just that we put a sign in the ground, took some photos, took some video, you know, held a few open houses and boom, it was done. There was a path to get there. And that path may have been riddled with challenges, landmines along the way. So I just think that's a good, easy way to get the public to understand.
Cara A. | 00:06:39:09 | I try to make what I tell a fun and engaging well, not just.
Matt M. | 00:06:43:23 | Memorable to great like people do. Remember that you help someone buy a house. That's not that exciting right there. Go your realtor. They get that all ready. But when you tell them the story of those specific things you overcame, and then they're at work the next day and one of their coworkers like, Yeah, I'm having this problem selling my house, they're like, Oh my gosh, I just saw my realtor, Kara.
Matt M. | 00:07:01:26 | She posted this on Facebook. She got this terrific. Like, you need to talk to her. That's how business happens in our industry.
Cara A. | 00:07:08:10 | Where problems are. There's more than you know. I've always set, like my first broker told me, if you're not solving problems, you're not selling real estate. And she was so right. She's like, If you don't have a problem, you don't have business going on. So I always take that.
Matt M. | 00:07:22:24 | So you were talking about some of these takeaways and articles you've put out, and I want to talk about one specifically. You had an article out this week called The Heat Is On. I want you to walk people through all of it because I think the takeaways were huge and very relatable in these in this market where, although things are changing, there are still multiple offers on most well correctly priced house.
Matt M. | 00:07:47:02 | It's like where I am the super high end stuff is kind of sitting, but for the most part, anything decent under 500 is selling in in a day, if not hours. So walk us through your article and some of your takeaways on offers and kind of negotiation.
Cara A. | 00:08:01:14 | Well, the inspiration from this came from certainly ferreting through so many offers. I have experience that were very poorly written and whether you're in a hot market, a buyer's market, or somewhere in between, these fundamentals do not go away because if you have a poorly written offer, you're not doing your client any favors, right? Because and these poor clients, they have no idea sometimes how their offer is written and how it's being presented.
Cara A. | 00:08:28:27 | I mean, I just had a situation not too long ago where we had two offers on a listing that we had, and I just couldn't get over the sloppiness of this one offer. And I felt bad for these people. And because I didn't have information about the offer, it was just a name, a number on a piece of paper.
Cara A. | 00:08:44:11 | What I was thinking was actually not the case at all.
Matt M. | 00:08:48:02 | If they couldn't think of it, the agent wrote an offer that didn't even communicate what they were trying to get across to you.
Cara A. | 00:08:54:08 | Well, he just said it. There was no context. And so what I saw was a very big, big loan amount. I had a pre-qualification letter in my offer instructions. You know, we always put all the details about the seller's name, the title company, you know, any specific details that need to be written into that offer. And we include, please include a pre-approval letter or a fully underwritten letter.
Cara A. | 00:09:18:17 | Even better, write where they've actually gone through underwriting proof of funds. I'm just one of the things I talk about in this article is people don't read directions, they don't read the details. And I'm whole aspect, you know, where it says offer instructions posted under documents, they don't go there. So what you get is to me it looks like, you know, the back in school when people are just trying to rush to finish the homework assignment.
Cara A. | 00:09:40:15 | Right. Without much detail or they didn't care just to turn it in. That's what some of these offers remind me of when I get them.
Matt M. | 00:09:46:25 | And I think that actually brings up a really big frustration and challenge in the market. So I think too many agents are afraid to tell their clients no right. Like so many of these agents are writing these crappy offers because they don't believe in the offer and they don't believe it's going to get accepted. So they're not putting the time in to craft a good one.
Matt M. | 00:10:04:09 | And the issue is that they have all these clients and they're not telling them, Hey, this is not the price range we should be looking in. We need to go to lower or we need to look 10 minutes outside of your target area because that's more of the range. If you're afraid to have those tough conversations, you're going to end up writing lots and lots of offers and eventually they're going to become ad offers because they're disingenuous.
Cara A. | 00:10:25:26 | Well, I think in this case, or they're the agents are not telling the story, tell the buyer story. So in this case, we had two offers. Like I said, I got this one offer. It was a very high loan amount, very low down payment. I had a pre-qualification letter. I didn't have any context from this agent. What he sent the offer as to, you know, a little bit about the buyers, what's bringing them, you know, to the area or the home, what they do for work.
Cara A. | 00:10:49:29 | So what ended up happening? I'm asking the agent all these questions and he just punts and diverts it to the buyer's lender who he said he didn't know. And actually the lender gave me a call. I was very impressed. It was a Sunday. She was very detailed. If it wasn't for her, this thing might have ended up in the circular file.
Cara A. | 00:11:09:25 | You know what I mean, as far as the seller was concerned. So she gave me insight. Oh, the only reason they have a prequel letters because they literally just started looking and that your house came on the market. They wanted to jump in, but she told me that they were they had great jobs and income was not an issue and they had strong credit scores and they both owned houses respectively.
Cara A. | 00:11:29:05 | They were engaged. They would be selling them eventually, but they couldn't sell them first because they didn't want to make a contingent offer. Now I understood, but still I just couldn't believe how none of this was relayed by the agent, you know? So that's an example of, you know, really doing a disservice to the client because in my view, you know, you only get one shot.
Cara A. | 00:11:49:25 | You may never get a second chance to make a first impression, Right. So you really need to put your best foot forward. I mean, we're all taking time out of our schedule to show all these homes. We know writing an offer is not a five minute thing, depending on what state you're in. I mean, in Florida, it's a little bit quicker.
Cara A. | 00:12:05:13 | But in California, I've got a list of forms and disclosures. This one that I have to go through. So you want to make sure that offer package is buttoned up, it's detailed, it's complete. One of my big pet peeves is, you know, the financing, again, don't send a pre-qualification letter. Or if you are, explain why. You know, it's it's assumed today nothing less than a pre-approval but ideally fully underwritten approved especially with interest rates where they are.
Cara A. | 00:12:32:13 | Sellers don't want to be tying their home up longer to find out that somebody can't, you know, qualify. So especially today when we don't know when the next buyer's going to come proof of funds. So basic, I see agents screen shotting, proof of funds from, you know, some account or taking a picture on a computer screen. I just am amazed at, you know, this is not how you do this.
Matt M. | 00:13:18:24 | We've literally received like low grade camera phone photos of piles of money in mattresses. We've we've had people that were using their change collection, loose change to pay for their down payments. And we have to tell them, you need to wrap this, get it to a bank and turn this stimulus check. I mean, this stuff is ridiculous. But I mean, you can write a book about it.
Matt M. | 00:13:41:10 | What other things are you seeing? And great offers. Let's let's get away from the bad. Let's focus on the good is there's a lot of great agents out there. What are you seeing in these strongest of offers right now?
Cara A. | 00:13:51:28 | So the offers are properly written. They don't have vague, you know, or unchecked boxes. You totally can understand a plus be equal, see? And they include all the detailed information as requested. Very easy to read, very easy to understand. I love when a lender reaches out to me as my listing agent to just check in because I have the lenders I work with do the same.
Cara A. | 00:14:17:02 | When I'm working with Share.
Matt M. | 00:14:18:17 | I have to really give a shout out. This podcast is sponsored by Neighborhood Loans, licensed in 40 states, and their lenders call on Sunday to let the listing agent know how great the buyers are. So if you need an agent or great lender who will do that, find a neighborhood loans lender. I'll get back to you. I had to give the say.
Cara A. | 00:14:36:29 | No worries. But I really think besides all of that, which I think should be expected, it shouldn't be extra to write a properly and fully completed offer with all details is that that agent takes some time to not only tell the story, but also reaches out to the listing agent to advise that they're sending the offer and sends the email, but once again reaches out to confirm that they received it.
Cara A. | 00:15:01:29 | So many times. I've just received an offer on email. There was no heads up, there's no phone call, there's no text. How do you know I got it right? How do you know it didn't land in spam? That's a big one today.
Matt M. | 00:15:13:12 | What? Also like in in a time when things do end up in spam, you don't want to lose out on a, you know, 5 to $100000 commission because of a technology issue. But also like, it's a rapport thing, right? Like, I don't want to go into this podcast with you without having talked to you for 5 minutes. That's not going to be a good show.
Matt M. | 00:15:31:09 | If I'm putting an offer in with you for one of my clients, like I need you don't like me and have rapport with me first because that's going to increase my chances of success here. And so just sending out that offer blind and I think this is what most new agents are doing. It's just not representing your clients in the best possible way.
Matt M. | 00:15:48:23 | I mean, this is where years of networking, this is where years of like being a face in the community really helps you. So if you've done all those things, take that extra step and reach out and call some attacks. Do what feels natural to you.
Cara A. | 00:16:02:14 | And if you're a new agent, you know, I was a new agent in my California market, you know, going out there to broker preview, just kind of getting to know agents, build that relationship, just so they kind of never you are being very nice, respectful dressing the part looking professional. This is not, you know, flip flops and t shirts even though we're, you know, by the beach in both Florida and California.
Cara A. | 00:16:26:11 | Yeah, that's important. I think there's such a lost art today of looking the part and I'm kind of old school. I grew up on the East Coast and maybe it's just the way I was raised, but I, I just can't really slack off when it comes to, you know, how I dress when I'm with clients because I want people to know that I'm the agent.
Cara A. | 00:16:47:25 | It's okay. They can dress however they want, but I feel like I need to look a certain way because I'm here for business.
Matt M. | 00:16:54:17 | Well, and it's it's elevating the industry, right? Like, I think a lot of people don't realize that a realtor can make just as much money as a surgeon if they have their head on straight and they're doing a great job of representing their clients. So we need we do really need to act, dress and walk look part, right?
Matt M. | 00:17:12:05 | So I want to go back to now your your experience moving because you now work in both states, which I think is genius, because in 2023 you do not need to give up your business that you've built in one place just because you want to spend some time in another. So when you you did 16 years in Florida and then you transitioned your business to add on California as well, so many people have not been able to make that transition nicely and they end up either going back to the original place or getting into a new career.
Matt M. | 00:17:41:08 | How did you how did you do that? And you did it during COVID, which during the pandemic, I should say, which adds a whole other layer of complexity. But what tips would you give to someone who's wants to start in a new state or or who's moving? How does someone do this?
Cara A. | 00:17:55:29 | So the pandemic really made all of this entirely possible, right? Because we had to transition as a real estate industry to do things virtually even if we were in our local market. So that really paved the way for this and there was no footprint for this. I tried to research and see if there were, you know, agents out there doing this, but there really wasn't.
Cara A. | 00:18:14:27 | So you can be here and there if you have a desire to expand your business somewhere else. The key is you need to have people you trust that are boots in the ground and the market that you're currently in so that you can expand your business. And you may want to choose to do that quietly. I didn't, you know, put a billboard out that, Hey, Care is moving to California.
Cara A. | 00:18:35:21 | I had to be pretty careful and deliberate about how I did that. But I still always am very hands on and very involved. So I think it's important to stay connected while you are expanding to another market. Don't just, you know, turn it off and shut it off and expect to delegated to people and hope all is going to be okay.
Cara A. | 00:18:53:24 | You still need to be very hands on and tools like a Zoom, Skype, Microsoft teams there are so many ways to be able to meet virtually with your clients and you can have your team there. So that's what we do. I mean, we go on a listing appointment, even though I may not physically be there in Florida, we do get on the phone, I do a video phone call first using Google Duo.
Cara A. | 00:19:16:20 | You know, I can see the home. They're there in person. And then, you know, we sit down and they flip open their laptop and I have a Skype meeting link and I'm there talking with the clients. So obviously I can't be there being boots on the ground, but obviously being in the business as long as I have, I don't necessarily need to.
Cara A. | 00:19:37:02 | I can still do a lot of the transaction work, the detailed work, the marketing work, you know, the execution with that and, you know, overseeing overall strategy and, you know, reaching out to people. So it is kind of two things, right? The team is boots on the ground and I'm more, you know, doing these other things.
Matt M. | 00:19:57:12 | It's kind of like step one. How did you get people in a new area? Like you probably didn't come with like a million friends. How did you get people in California to work with you? Obviously, you seem nice, but like, you know, there's a million nice realtors out there right?
Cara A. | 00:20:10:08 | Well, it's again, leaning into my sphere. I did let my sphere know that I expanded by business and I have a team that's helping me in Florida. And if they knew anybody that I should meet in California, not, oh, do you know anybody that I should buy or sell? But hey, if there's anybody you think that I should meet, let me know.
Cara A. | 00:20:27:03 | And I've actually had a few transactions that were from Florida related clients. There is really a synergy between Florida and California, believe it or not. I see all these Florida cars on the road in California every day. So there's people for the tax purposes that like Florida, but they also like the weather in California. So there are there are synergies there.
Matt M. | 00:20:47:03 | So that's really interesting. So you kind of find the advantages when you're playing this dual dual state marketing role, you find the advantages that one state has to the people in your home state, and then you find the advantages that your new state has to people in your original state and you kind of it make sure that everybody knows all sorts of options so you can almost like create a deal out of thin air, like you're able to talk about these tax laws Florida has.
Matt M. | 00:21:13:10 | It's those two people in California. It's like, hey, this is what some of my other clients are doing to avoid some of these taxes. That that's genius.
Cara A. | 00:21:44:08 | Well, and I think no matter what two markets you want to work in, if you're going to expand or more than two, you can always find people that own property in both of your markets or then even, you know, one market and then the other state that you're going to. And that can be a farm that you can build because there are synergies there already with that commonality that, hey, I I'm from here and I'm going between the same two states that you are property.
Matt M. | 00:22:07:23 | And now obviously you're a super connected person with a lot of relationships. But I'm going to guess that you did not get that list of people who owns properties in both states, just like from your cell phone. I'm assuming you probably used a tool to do that because most of us don't know more than 20 people that that would have homes in those two specific states.
Matt M. | 00:22:27:06 | Like, how did you do that? How could someone else do a version of the same thing?
Cara A. | 00:22:30:10 | So your MLS with Tax Records is a very powerful database. And so using the tax record databases that I have through both my MLS is in Florida and California, I was able to pull up people in my northeast Florida market that have a California address, and I was able to pull up people in my Orange County, California market that have Florida property address.
Cara A. | 00:22:53:05 | And you know, your title companies can help you with this too that can can pull lists. So it's very powerful information.
Matt M. | 00:23:00:27 | So you've got this information and then the place we always go on this podcast is what did you do with it? Like you get a list of like names of people that have houses in both places, non primary, you know, residences, whatever. How, what did you do with it?
Cara A. | 00:23:13:02 | So reach out to them. You know, what I did is I did individual letters, I had special letterhead. I have a couple different brands, depending on which market I'm in. Obviously my branding for Northeast Florida, my branding for Orange County. And then I have one real estate with Cara. I'm your coast to coast. So that speaks to the people that own property in both Florida and California.
Cara A. | 00:23:34:01 | So I wrote letters to all of these people introducing myself, explaining my background that I'm licensed in both states and how I can help them. And, you know, if there was something I could make specific commentary on related to their property in my Northeast Florida market about how, you know, their their community or area is doing, I would certainly put that in.
Matt M. | 00:23:53:06 | I love that. It's really interesting. I mean, like one of my best friends and the realtor that I used when I moved to Fort when I bought my house in Florida. She she straddles both markets, Michigan and Florida, because so many people here buy properties there and vice versa or own both properties for kind of that winter getaway.
Matt M. | 00:24:09:03 | But she took a slightly different approach. She focuses most of her energy on marketing to the realtor community in both markets to say, hey, when you have a client that's moving to Michigan, please refer them to me. I can. I'm here, I'm there. I'll be easy for you to work with. I'll be easy for them to work where they fly back and forth.
Matt M. | 00:24:28:06 | So she's gotten over 572 5 to $7 million a year in business just from other realtors. And she's happy to pay that slightly above average referral fee. And these are people that you really know. So that can be a really, really interesting option for any agents listening who are trying to grow a business in the secondary market.
Cara A. | 00:24:46:22 | Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there's so many different ways to skin the cat with Michigan and Florida. Obviously that's a very followed the snowbirds and seasonality. So there's definitely ways to lean into it. We don't see a lot of, you know, Florida people coming to California in the way you would maybe go to a warm weather state from a cold weather state.
Cara A. | 00:25:05:26 | But there definitely are, you know, for people in California that want to have that tax benefit of residing somewhere else but still keep their property here that they can come and enjoy, that's sort of the talking point.
Matt M. | 00:25:16:14 | I love that. So what are you doing differently this year? So obviously we're in a market where there is perceived uncertainty, I would say, right? Like our rates are going to stay high, our rates going to go down, our our home prices is going to crash. These are all the crazy things you hear. If you listen to idiots on Tik Tok, How are what are you doing differently this year?
Matt M. | 00:25:35:12 | Or is it back to basics like we're where is your business right now?
Cara A. | 00:25:39:06 | So definitely back to basics. But also what I've leaned into is trying to just become a student of all the different financing options out there. I mean, really, you know, while you knew a lot of these things existed in, you know, certainly when rates were higher, I've danced with interest rate by downs before. I've danced with offering that on listings that weren't selling in the past, but really becoming very well-schooled in all these different things.
Cara A. | 00:26:03:08 | Like stated income, the non QM loans because everybody has challenges today. Very few people I find fit in that Fannie Freddie box anymore. People have had multiple jobs. People are freelancing, people are in between jobs. So you really have to be able to know enough to be able to help introduce these concepts. Well, I'm not a lender and I don't pretend to be a lot on TV.
Cara A. | 00:26:26:06 | I certainly want to be able to speak intelligently when I hear a situation be like, Well, did you know you might be able to do this? Or did you know, for example, a 40 year mortgage could interest only could save you $600 or more on a payment right now? And that just buys you time until rates change. I want to products that I really started leaning into.
Cara A. | 00:26:48:29 | One is the renovation loans.
Matt M. | 00:26:51:18 | So what I.
Cara A. | 00:26:52:19 | Like that is such an underutilized tool. It's so powerful. I had a listing in Florida a couple of months ago. It was pre-foreclosure, which you don't really see a lot of that, but the property had not been maintained. And we're talking, you know, the house was built in 2006, but it needed a new everything roof, AC, water heater.
Cara A. | 00:27:14:27 | It a lot of deferred maintenance. The inside was pretty beat up. And the only way we were going to get this financed is either with a cash buyer or renovation loan. There's a lot of insurance challenges going on in Florida as a side note. So that is also making it very difficult to get these transactions through. So insurance definitely would not someone would not have been able to go the traditional route with financing and get insurance on this property.
Cara A. | 00:27:41:15 | So it was a beautiful situation. I teamed up with a lender I have that's a renovation loan expert, and we did some tag team marketing and through that we were able to capture some on the bought the home with an FHA loan three and a half percent down including.
Matt M. | 00:27:56:25 | The renovations.
Cara A. | 00:27:57:28 | Financed just 65 $70,000 with the renovations the property appraised based on the improvements at 100,000 over value and through FHA, they have a payment abatement program with FHA renovation loans. Since people don't have to make payments for six months. I mean, win win win. So I think becoming a student of these programs is hugely important. And another one and I think a client of mine who started getting into this and recently did I educated myself and my team is using whole life insurance as your own bank to buy real estate.
Cara A. | 00:28:35:06 | This client got into that. He's a believer in it of be your own bank. He bought a vacation home in Tennessee. I would refer him to the agent that he otherwise wouldn't have been able to get if he hadn't been able to tap into his whole life policy for cash and buy this property in a very hot market in Tennessee.
Cara A. | 00:28:54:03 | So that's a little known thing. People really aren't educated about life insurance. It's just not for death.
Matt M. | 00:29:01:12 | And investments in general. I mean, we have people here that are buying properties inside of their IRAs, right, Like these crazy situations that you just don't see very often. But as a realtor, when you have a client, do something creative, talk about it, tell other people it gives them the idea. We are I mean, I tell the story all the time, but we were working with a young lady, a 23 year old nurse in the area.
Matt M. | 00:29:22:26 | She was renting her house out with two other nurses. So they had a good income collectively, like they made pretty good money. The house that they were living in was $250,000 and it went up for sale. The landlord didn't bother to tell them, by the way. And so the one girl they're calling our office, she asks about getting a loan, etcetera.
Matt M. | 00:29:41:28 | And it's like a slam dunk, right? Like they make well, more than they need to for this house. They're already paying 20 $200 a month to rent it. Their mortgage is going to be 1800. So she buys it by herself and rents the other two rooms out to the same girl she was living with. And now she's she's paying $0 in rent, making 150.
Matt M. | 00:30:00:03 | On top of that, it's like a11. But we tell that story, pick up six more people just like her. There's so many ways to do this. When you can be a storyteller and an advocate for your for yourself and your clients, I.
Cara A. | 00:30:13:03 | Think you just you can't think in the box anymore, right? I mean, this market is forcing us to be students of options that we can bring these to our clients and educate them, because most people don't know. They have no idea. They're still stuck in the oh, I, you know, 30 year mortgage and I've got to put 20% down.
Cara A. | 00:30:30:23 | And they think that's all there is.
Matt M. | 00:30:33:18 | There's it's a wide, big, exciting world out there. And if it's going to be different next year, that's that's the cool part. That's why this podcast will keep going. But thank you so much for your time today here. Can you tell us if someone wants you in touch with you to brainstorm, to refer you someone in Florida? California, How could they get ahold of.
Cara A. | 00:30:49:18 | You so you can reach me on my cell phone? 9046357058 You can find me on all the social platforms at Para Amir. I'm on Instagram, I'm on Twitter or I'm on Facebook. Just type in care. Amir and Google and you can find me.
Matt M. | 00:31:09:00 | It would be bad if they typed it in and they couldn't find you because then be like not a real estate agent. So thanks. Which on the show today, we really appreciate your time.
Cara A. | 00:31:16:10 | Thanks so much for having me.