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Investors and agents seem to live and breathe in different worlds in real estate. But did you know that there is so much room for growth when you start focusing on good RE agent-investor partnerships? In this episode, Chris Craddock joins Shannon Robnett to share just how you can make the most of this business relationship. Chris is the Founder/CEO of The Redux Group. Today, he talks about the REI Revive Program and how they’re helping investors create a system, build relationships with their agents, and achieve an optimum win-win scenario. Interested in learning more? Tune in and get insightful real estate and financial advice to supersize your revenue stream.
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Exponential Gains From RE Agent-Investor Partnerships You Didn’t Know About With Chris Craddock

I am joined by Chris Craddock. We are going to be talking about how to crack the code on super-profitable agent investor relationships. We are going to discuss the company called REI Revive, and how helping real estate revenue streams without having to spend a lot of marketing dollars can help you. First, you’ve got to have a mindset to millions, which we are going to show you how to do that. We are going to teach you how to crack the code on real estate investor agent relationships, how those partnerships can work and do that. Let's be clear. I'm not the one that's going to do that. My friend, Chris, is going to do that. Chris, welcome to the show.

Thanks so much for having me on. I'm excited to be here with you.

Chris, tell us a little bit about who you are, what your journey has been to get you where you are at in real estate, and then we will dive right into the topic.

I live here in the DC area. I will share a quick synopsis of what brought me here. In 2000, I graduated college. I was a staff with an organization called Young Life. I loved it. It changed my life. It was incredible. My wife got pregnant in 2003 and I was making $20,000 a year on Young Life as a staff, which doesn't work well in the DC area. I ended up going to the library and checking out every book I could on real estate investing. In the next four months, I made about twelve times what I made in a year in what I was doing on the other side. I funded the ministry stuff that I was doing. I kept doing that because I had the ability.

You were checking out books in the library and made $120,000 a year?

It's $240,000 in four months.

Was there something about the books that you were doing?

In books, I went out. I always joke that, “Imperfect action trumps perfect inaction.” I waited and started knocking on doors of distressed properties and asked them if they want to sell. The crazy thing is when I’ve finally got somebody to send me one to sell, I had no idea what I was doing. I was like, “What do I do? We will buy it. I will come back.” I went home, called a real estate agent friend of mine and was like, “Can you write up this contract and also check my numbers?” He was like, “How about I will do the deal with you?”

It ended up becoming like a quasi-business relationship for a handful of deals. It's called JV-ing on a deal, which is a great thing to do when you first start JV, Joint Venturing, on a deal but I had no idea at all. I personally ended up walking away with about $240,000 from my friend in about four months from those deals. That allowed me to continue doing ministry stuff, which is what I wanted to do at the time and I did that for a long time.

You bring up a very valid point. I have been that young father. You are terrified and broke. In my case, we were on the five-year plan but five months after we were married, I’ve got the news that we were expecting. It was one of those things that propelled me also to massive action. In that terror or inexperience, whatever you want to call it, you went out and did something that 99.9% of real estate agents don't do. They don't see the results that you saw because they won't simply do this.

It was nutty. One of my buddies teaches a class where he teaches people to talk to people to get deals. I went out and talked to people. I found people that were in distress, talked to them, and told them I could solve the problem. I didn't know how I was going to solve it but I will figure it out. I did and then made a lot of money. When you talk about making money, the reality is the people that make the most money are the people that solve the most people's problems. What we were able to do is go out there, solve people's problems and get it done. That's the whole thing right there.
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Agent-Investor Partnerships: If you can see through their smoke screens, the reasons why they say they're doing what they're doing to what they're actually doing, then you can solve the problem and help them.
In that problem, what was the common theme? Everybody had different problems. There were some that it was mom and dad's house, and mom and dad were gone. There were some that they didn't know what to do. There were some that they would lose their job, a spouse, their motivation or mojo. There's one common thing. What was that one theme that everybody boiled down to?

Everybody had some pain that they needed to sell. That was it. For us, we need to be like doctors. If you ask enough questions, you are going to find out what the pain is and what's causing the pain. If you are skilled, you can solve problems. By solving the problem, you write the prescription and say, “Here's the prescription.” Knowing that the people that solve problems are the people that make the most money, that's how we do it.

You bring up a valid point there that everybody has got a pain point and it's not about your formula. If you are a buyer's agent, you've got a whole different formula. You are out to find buyers. If you are a seller's agent, you've got one box that everybody is trying to fit in. You are trying to find people that are selling. If you are door-knocking, you are trying to find people that have a problem. That problem could be widespread, but they’ve got one point of pain and you are trying to identify that pain point. Once you do that, everybody has got a little bit different solution but it all comes down to getting it done for them. It sounds like you are pretty successful in getting the pain dealt with.

If you can see through their smokescreens the reasons why they would say they are doing what they are doing, then you can solve the problem, help them and build a successful business. That's what I did. I've got six kids, which took me a long time to figure out what caused that then I know I can stop it.

It's the drinking fountain in church. You’ve got to stay away from that drinking fountain.

Now I know. I get rid of that. The money started running out so I’ve got back in. At that point, all the distressed people that I was going to were short sales and so did the bank. To flip short sales at that time, the bank was paying agents regardless. They weren't going to give an extra discount if there's no agent involved, so I’ve got my real estate license. I had always led large groups of teams of people when I was in ministry. I started flipping short sales.

In December 2014, we launched our retail team. Over the last years, we built that up. In 2021, we are going to do almost $200 million. That's probably about 600 transactions. I have eleven businesses that I run all in the real estate world. They're all synergistic to each other, everything from flip to wholesale, retail, private money, lending, insurance, construction, and all of those different things in that world. What I found was there are a lot of money to be made because investors live in one world and agents live in another. When you can bring these two together and bridge that gap, there's so much money to be made together.

If a real estate agent understood what an investor wanted, investors are very simple creatures. There are not a lot of emotions in professional investors. When somebody is buying a single-family home for themselves, they want the right school district or the yard to look just so. They don't want a corner lot or they do, whichever one you don't have that's the one they want. An investor is looking for a very simple set of parameters. Why are they so elusive?

Here's the thing. With the parameters, it's like Jerry Maguire where agents and investors don't understand the investor saying, “Jerry, show me the money.” He's like, “Show you the money?” “Show me the money.” That's the deal. Once you get it, they are like, “Investors care about the numbers.” When they get it, then it's about the numbers.

The agents say, “Are you already marketing stuff? You are throwing away so many of your leads. Let me monetize these leads and pay marketing for you. Let me help you on these things.” I'm reenacting all of Jerry Maguire here. “Let me help me you make more money.” There's this massive win-win that can happen when you bridge that gap. I've got one investor client for my personal team. We sit in somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000 a month to them in referral fees for leads that they have paid for, that we're going to sit dead in their CRM. It's crazy.
The reality is the people that make the most money are the people that solve the most problems.
This is truly an instance of one man's treasure is another man's trash or vice versa. What is it that makes it a dead lead for them that's so hot for you?

Think about it. Let's say I send out a ton of direct mail saying, “I will buy your house in cash.” 200 people called back and 20 of them want to sell in the next 6 to 8 months. Of the 20 that want to sell, you are going to find that only 4 of them are going to want to sell at a reduced rate. Everybody else wants retail so you are down to four. Of those 4, you are going to maybe find 1 that you are going to be able to get under contract at $0.65 to $0.75 on the dollar.
You've got nineteen people that raised their hand and said, “I want to sell,” but they are not going to sell with you. They are going to sell with another investor that's going to pay more than you will or they are going to sell with an agent who's going to get paid on it. Somehow with those other nineteen, somebody is going to get paid but it's not you.

This is the way to change that whole idea so that every time the phone rings, you can get paid. Here's the crazy thing. Everybody that hears this says, “That makes so much sense. It's a no-brainer.” What happens is this program, more than anything else, is a program where if you don't color by numbers, you are going to miss it and it's not going to work. I've got so many wholesaler friends that are like, “I have tried that. I have sent it to agents over and over again. I never make any money on it. I'm more surprised when I get paid than when I don't get paid.”

That's the whole thing. If you don't color by numbers and follow a system even though it makes complete sense, you will find out that you don't make any money on it. These agents don't know how to sell to these investor people. These people didn't call to talk to an agent. They called to talk to an investor. If they are not spoken to in the right words, scripts, and dialogues, they are going to go to their brother's uncle who's also a real estate agent and sell with him.

When you are talking about having to paint by numbers, that for a lot of people is so hard because they think that they know and understand. I'm a fourth-generation realtor. By the time I’ve finally got my license, I had already done about $150 million, $170 million for personal transactions. For me, to look at selling other people's property, I had to stop doing what I did and as I did, start listening to them and doing what they wanted.
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Agent-Investor Partnerships: Investors live in one world and agents live in another. When you can bring these two together and bridge that gap, there's so much money to be made. 
I can totally identify it's a complete rewire for me because mine wasn't getting the results that I was supposed to. I knew what I wanted and what they wanted but it was different. Unless you are doing it exactly right, you are not following through with how it's supposed to go. Why is it that you were able to find that successful dialogue in that? How was it that you came up with that script that worked so well?

It goes back to the beginning where if you saw people's pain, you can make a lot of money. What I did was I started boiling it down. There were probably about 150 reasons why people sold but I was able to boil it down to five. You understand that the reason why they called an investor was 1 of 5 reasons. They don't want to pay realtor commissions. They think their house is too jacked up to put it on the MLS. They’ve got to sell fast. They are a hoarder and they don't want their neighbors to see it. They don't want people coming in at all hours of the day.

When you break it down and understand, there are only five reasons and you can answer those five reasons. Also, help them not feel like there's a bait and switch but if they think of realtors coming, they are like, “I didn't call a realtor.” Once you can understand these things, you can speak to them in the way that they want to be spoken to.

There's that old adage, “Whenever you see somebody, you should see WIIFM on their forehead. What's In It For Me?” If you can speak to them with WIIFM, “What's in it for me? Why should I be talking to you? I didn't call you. I called an investor. Why is an agent here?” if you can answer their questions and solve their problems, then you become a tiger playing with hamsters. It's game over.

That doesn't exactly sound like a fun kid's game, especially if you are a hamster. You've got the system down and you are turning all of your leads, regardless of, whether it's for you, into something that pays you. It sounds like you are taking part in every facet of the real estate game from lending the money to the investor to ensuring the investor. It sounds like you've got your hands on everything. How do you manage all of this?

For years, I was with Keller Williams. Thankfully, my team got big enough that I was able to be personally coached by Gary Keller. He's one of the smartest people in the real estate industry by far. One of the things he said to us at one of the Mastermind sessions was, “You can have as many businesses as you want as long as all of them are in a folder. There's a face on each one of these businesses and that face is not yours.”

As long as somebody else owns it, in charge of it and it's not you in charge, you can have 5,000 businesses. Think about Mark Cuban. He's on Shark Tank buying businesses left and right. He can't be involved in all of the businesses he owns. He has a team and people that own that. He is there for strategic leadership and guidance.

How does that all relate back to the mindset? You sell yourself short a little bit with the way you stated simply that you did well enough that you’ve got coached by Gary Keller personally. You had a lot going for you to get noticed by Gary Keller in the first place. There are a lot of credit due there that you walked right past. We will go out and hand it to you.
Now that you are doing that, what was the mindset that went with all of that, that got you to that place? At this point, the fear of having $20,000 a year is way in the rearview mirror. That's all gone. What's keeping you at the top of your game? What's keeping your mindset right? What's keeping you plugging away and continuing to perform at the top of your game?
Fish can only grow to be as big as the tank. So, if you [as a leader] stop growing, you're not caring about your people anymore because you're not allowing them the opportunity to grow.
There are a couple of things. One, what is your big why? I have big goals and dreams, but also the people around me. One of the things that I have learned is if you want to have A-players on your team, you are going to have to continue to level up yourself. I found that the higher level I become, the more often people reach out to me and say, “I would love to run with you and be in your world.”

Let me bring it to a story of something that happened with a buddy of mine. A buddy of mine called me. He's got a business and making about $500,000 a year. On about any scale, there's not anybody that's going to say, “He only makes $500,000 a year?” It's a good number. It's not bad. What I was seeing here with him is I asked him, “Don't you want to go to the next level? Let's talk about going to the next level. Why are you taking your foot off the gas?”

There were some other opportunities that I was telling him about but he was like, “I'm good.” I was like, “You can be good but let me ask you this. Are the people in your organization good? Are they making all the money they want to make? Are they hitting all the dreams they have? Are they where they want to be? Are they good?” He said, “No. Why do you ask?” I was like, “The second you stop growing, that's the fish tank.” Fish can only grow to be as big as the tank.

If you stop growing, you are not caring about your people anymore because you are not allowing them the opportunity to grow. I care about my people. I'm making more money in a month than I made in a year when I transitioned by a lot like ten times. That's the crazy thing. When you look at it, it's crazy. In almost no time, very soon, I have bought big houses and a lot of investments. I have nice cars and all the other stuff but the reality is my life is going to be paid off here shortly.

I could take my foot off the gas and be done but if I do that, I am not doing a service to the people in my world. I wake up in the mornings and pray for them that they will dream and think big. That's what I do when I wake up. I think about my people. When I first started in the retail space, my clients were the clients. Now, my clients are all the people that I'm in business with. If I can dream, think and help them live the life that's much bigger than they even dream for themselves, no matter how high-level they are, they are never going to want to leave the world I'm in. They are going to want to run with me forever and we can win together for the rest of our lives.
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Agent-Investor Partnerships: If you don't color by numbers, if you don't really follow a system, even though it makes complete sense, you'll find out that you don't make any money on it.
Do you ever run into people that go, “This isn't for me. The whole dreaming big thing is not what I want?”

Even smart people were defined in two ways. One is called a cul-de-sac talent where they are talented people but they are never going to go big. They are in a cul-de-sac and happy to go. The other one is capacity talent. Personally, I only want to run with capacity talent. There's that old adage, “Show me your friends and I will show you your future.” That's what I want to do. I want to be running with people that are dreaming big.

Think about working out. If you work out in a way that makes you sore, it means that it breaks it down so that it can build it up. It makes you uncomfortable so you can get stronger and bigger. If the people around you don't make you slightly uncomfortable, if while talking to them your heart doesn't burn a little bit and you start seeing things in a bigger way, then you are not with the right group of people.

I love what you said that they are thinking about working out because I think about working out more than I actually work out. I'm going to take credit for working out by thinking about it. There's so much truth to that. I say this all the time that a trained monkey could do what I do but does the monkey have the desire to do it? Does the monkey have the mindset to do it? That's the part that you can't train. You find those people. You run with the people that are going to run anyway. You give them a guidebook, a light, and a set of tracks to run on and they will get there quicker but they weren't going to somehow get there anyway. Don't you find that to be a little bit true, Chris?

That's the whole thing. What you are saying right there is why I pay for coaching. I spend 10% of my income on coaching. Every year, I spend over six figures on coaching, Masterminds and everything else. The reason I do that is that I know that I can compress decades into days by doing that. There's nothing that I don't think that I could figure out on my own but it might take me ten years. In the ten years, is it better for me to pay $5,000 or $15,000 for somebody to show me how to do it in a year so that I could be living at that level for the next ten years or do I need to take ten years?

I will give an example of that. In 2019, I had a CPA that somebody recommended to me. It was going to cost $12,000 more to have him run my taxes. I was like, “I'm good.” In 2020, I decided to bite the bullet and pay for it. I don't know if I want to say the exact number but I will say I saved well over six figures in taxes.

I felt sick over the fact that I didn't pay $12,000 and it cost me many hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes because I didn't have somebody awesome at what they did and woke up living, breathing, and understanding the tax code in a way that I didn't understand it, walking through, setting up my entities, creating parent and holding companies and all the other things that I never did before. I cost myself hundreds of thousands of dollars because I didn't want to pony up $12,000. It's foolishness and stupidity to have to learn on your own.

You have learned that and you will probably learn that lesson again. I have to repeat some of those lessons several times. Now that you know that, does that make you more excited when you see the opportunity to learn from great people and stand on the shoulders of giants and compress those decades into days?
Our futures are as big as we can dream if we're in the room with the right people.
It's incredible. One of the Masterminds I joined that cost me $15,000, I was able to directly attribute $250,000 worth of revenue to that particular Mastermind because of relationships that made me look at a couple of things differently. We can either have the scarcity-mindedness where we think, “I'm blowing my money,” or we could have the abundance-minded thought where we say, “Our future is as big as we can dream if we are in the room with the right people.”

It goes back to the first thing that you said, which was it's not about having the books. If I want to have education as a hobby, that's one thing. It's about doing it, looking at it, seeing the information, talking to the people, and then going back and doing something with it. At that point, there's not an amount that's too much to pay for.

We have covered a lot of ground but one of the things that are consistent through the whole conversation is that you are constantly learning. This story started at the library. We have educated ourselves a little bit, found out what we are dangerous at, gone into Masterminds and partnerships with other people and learned from investors. If there's one word that this show is, it's learning.

This is what you keep reiterating. What I'm hearing you say is that all these other fifteen businesses that you have, you have learned how to do out of learning from other people about this craft that you are doing. It seems so elementary that if you are continuing to learn, you are continuing to grow. If you are continuing to grow, you are continuing to expand the level that you can go to.

That's it. Your life grows to the extent you grow.

When you are looking at your mindset, is your mindset always going to be, “I'm going to grow until I die?”

Here's the funny thing. I hated school as a kid but when I’ve got older and I didn't have to sit still for school, I went back to school, got a Master's degree and a Doctorate in Leadership. I was illiterate when I graduated high school. I just had teachers that I was able to schmooze into giving me Cs. I had to learn how to learn when I’ve got into college. I took an Econ class and I was like, “This is interesting.” Economics shows how the world works. This goes back to relationships. I had a couple of professors that were there.

One of my good friends, when I went back and got my Doctorate, was like, “It's not about what you learned there. It's about the people you are going to meet while you are getting your Doctorate.” Sure enough, there was one guy in particular that opened my eyes to see the world and leadership in a whole new way and how systems dictate everything. Think about McDonald's. It's a $1 billion business running on the backs of sixteen-year-olds without a high school degree because they created systems that work. It's about being with people that teach you to think in a way that you never thought of before.

That's such an amazing point that so many people miss. Many people come at it that they've got to learn these themselves. They've got to figure this out and be the one that does it first. They are not willing to spend the money on education. You could take the opposite of everything you said and draw out a lot of unsuccessful entrepreneurs. They are not in a group and a flock.
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Agent-Investor Partnerships: It's just about being with people that teach you to think in a way that you never thought before.
Here's the picture of the unsuccessful person or the opposite of it. I see it all the time. These people will reach out to me. I will ask them the questions. It's people that will listen to some podcasts here and there. They are not systematic like every day they are taking in 1, 2 or 3 hours of content to transform the way they think. When they get it, they sit around, make 3 or 4 calls and think, “This doesn't work because I made my 3 or 4 calls and nothing happened.” I'm like, “You’ve got to keep going until you get the answer you want.

Persistence breaks resistance. Don't give up. Don't quit. Get up off the bat. If you get beat up, you’ve got to get up.” That's the opposite of this. I always offer my Instagram to anybody that's a doer and a runner. It's @Craddrock. If somebody wants to ever reach out to me and they are a doer, I will answer anybody's Direct Message to encourage them. If you want education as a hobby, then I'm not your guy. I'm not the guy to talk to.

If you are not picking up on this, if you are looking to learn from someone who can open your eyes on how you can partner with agents and anyone to create new revenue streams without spending any additional dollars on marketing or anything but break down and learn the systems, Chris is your guy. He's offered that to you, @Craddrock. Get ahold of him and do the things he's talking about because he is a successful entrepreneur. He does work hard but he is sharing the secrets of success right here with you.

If you are not picking this up, I don't know what else I can do to help you because the information is here and you are learning it from a guy that started by checking out books at a library and realizing that learning was the path he needed to pursue to get him to where he's at. Chris, am I wrong to say that the money you mentioned is what you are making monthly? Didn't you state that?

I'm making way more than that. It's way more than what I made in a year like twenty times. Here's the crazy thing. I don't want to be like, “Look at that.” Years ago, I was in ministry and I had so little money before I went back into the real estate flipping game. I was calling NIH because I heard that they paid $300 to sell your blood to them so that I could buy Christmas presents for my family. I have been on both sides of it but you don't have to stay there.

The excitement level and the thought process that Chris is bringing are simple. Educate yourself. Be in proximity to greatness. Persistence breaks down resistance. Those are the things that are going to get you where you want to go. @Craddrock is where you can find him on Instagram. Where else can they find you, Chris?

The average podcast listener listens to seven podcasts. Keep following this one. I would love to also have you check out Uncommon Real Estate. I've also got a Facebook group, Uncommon Real Estate, where we talked to the agent investor. You can also check REI Revive. You can go to my website, ChrisCraddock.com, either myself or somebody from my team will get a call from an 801 number likely. Somebody from my team will give you a shout and say, “Let's dig into your business. Is this a good fit for you? Is this where it's at? Let's see if we can help you monetize these dead leads.”

Thanks for being with us, Chris. Thank you for reading the show. Don't forget to like, share and subscribe to us on Spotify, iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. You can get to Chris at his podcast. Leave us some review. We would love to hear from you. You can check us out at ShannonRobnett.com. We truly do appreciate you here, Chris. You have put some excellent tips out there on the table. I hope you are going to sweep those up and be able to work with them. Thanks, Chris, for joining us on the show.

Thanks for having me.

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About Chris Craddock

Chris new main headshot 1 no jacket
A nationally certified Life Coach with a Doctorate in Leadership, Chris Craddock is the driving force behind REI Revive, the host of the Uncommon Real Estate Podcast, a Realtor, and entrepreneur who runs multiple successful businesses in the Washington DC Metro area (and Richmond, VA). Chris is a consistent NVAR multi-million dollar producer who produces over $4 Million in commission each year. In 2020, his team, The Redux Group, was #20 in all of Keller Williams and sold just under $160 million in volume. Chris has been married for 20 years and is the proud father to six beautiful children.