29 Dec Zach’s Story: 100 Deals in Under 3 Years
I come from a single-mother household in central Massachusetts, which is where I met Chris’s daughter. My mom is a wonderful woman and raised me on a cashier’s salary, so needless to say, I do not come from money. But I come from a great family and wouldn’t have chosen any other way.
Growing up I was always told that after you graduate high school you must attend college, so that is what I decided to do. Actually, I think I only went to college because each one of my high school teachers told me I couldn’t go. I thought, “Well, I guess I'm going on to college!”
From Bartender to Personal Trainer to Real Estate
When I graduated, I didn’t have a clear path for what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. During college, I had started working as a bartender in Newport, Rhode Island. I was grinding away working nights. But, I’m also into health and fitness, so I thought, “I think I can get paid to train and teach people how to eat healthily and how to work out.” I did that on the side as well.
As you could imagine, those are two completely different schedules. I would bartend until about 2:00 am, sleep for about three hours, and then catch everyone at the gym at about 5:00 in the morning. That started to take a toll on me and that’s when I started chatting with Chris.
I would ask him, “What’s going on with this real estate thing?” I figured I may as well throw something else on my plate because I was starting to get bored with the others. It snowballed from there. I started by making some calls from my house and got my feet wet…and that’s the beginning of my real estate story.
I started as a bartender at 21, and I told myself that I would be done bartending by the time I was 25. I was able to hit that nail on the head. I started in April when I was 21, and I ended in April when I was 25. Then I switched over to personal training, and I started doing real estate on the side. I was also in network marketing because I wanted to find ways to build on something that can do better than hourly pay.
When I was just under 26, I came on full-time and started creating this business that we have here with the family. My starting salary was zero, which created the incentive to get right on it and go after deals.
Becoming a Master Transaction Engineer
When I started making calls, the first few were absolute disasters. In fact, they were probably disastrous until month three or four. I was recording my calls and asking for Chris’s critiques, but at the time it was just a completely different language.
When I first got into this industry, my “real estate background” consisted of physical labor. I helped Chris and his family do some building projects back when I was 14, and as a result, I attributed real estate to building—something I could wrap my head around.
But when I dove into this business, I realized it's more about scripts and speaking with people, structuring deals, and understanding the numbers. Numbers do not come easy to me and math was never my subject. It took some time but I was eventually able to grasp it.
I had no background in real estate and I was able to make it work. But it's even more than that—I had no background in real estate, I'm not a numbers guy, I was terrible at making phone calls… These things can all be learned if you're willing to put the time and effort in.
Really, the one aspect that came naturally to me was talking to people and learning. I’m an avid learner, but it still took me some time to wrap my head around the different aspects of this business.
I always tell people that our business model isn’t the easiest to understand. You have to be somebody who really wants to learn. We’re not wholesaling, and this isn’t “buy low and sell high and hopefully, you make a margin.” This is really understanding how to speak with people and how to see that you have a good deal. In Chris’s first book, he calls that “becoming a Master Transaction Engineer.”
Deals are typically based on numbers such as mortgage information, comps in the area, the spread that you can create on a monthly basis, and the sales price. You need to be able to understand those numbers and then ask, “Is this a good deal or not?” Then after you understand the numbers, you still have to pursue the deal and get it tied up.
In short, the transition to real estate wasn’t easy, especially because nothing was promised. When Kayla and I decided to join the family company, everything was in limbo. Chris was doing deals on terms—he had about 65+ of them in the works—and was in need of help. We weren’t yet on a path to scale; we didn't have a support team or any other resources. We were the guinea pigs for how to scale and build this business—and I dove right in.
My Role as a Seller Specialist
Nowadays, I help our Associates do the exact same thing that I do day in and day out for our buying and selling entity. I pride myself in knowing the entire business, but in order for us to be able to streamline and help out as many people as possible, I focus on the sellers.
That entails helping people with their scripts, crafting emails, completing follow-up calls, or jumping on a three-way call and structuring deals. I help our Associates put together different options for sellers. If the Associate is local, I can go on appointments with them. If they are in our top two levels (“Immersion Associate” or “High 6 Associate”) Chris or I will fly out to them and go on appointments with them.
I do any and all things associated with getting a property “taken,” which means under contract with a lease-purchase agreement, an option-to-purchase agreement, or a purchase-and-sale agreement. We buy our properties in several different ways, and I'm here to help our Associates do whatever it takes to get a property under contract. As soon as the property is under contract, we market it and get it over to Nick so he can sell it.
We do whatever is necessary to help our Associates WIN!