Believe Me, If I Knew Where All The Great Deals Are - I Would Tell You

Real Estate Broker/Owner with North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate

House InvestmentWhenever you let someone know you’re a real estate agent, what type of response do you get?  Almost always, the first response I get is “Residential or Commercial?”  Then, after the initial ice breaker, I frequently get this follow-up question:  “Do you know of any great deals out there?”  Now, certainly I'm not the only real estate agent who gets this inquiry.  However, the nature of the question never ceases to amaze me.

The last time I flew on an airplane, I was seated next to an off-duty pilot.  Since I'm not one to shy away from a friendly conversation, I carried on a discussion with my seat mate throughout the entire flight.  At first, I asked if there was anything he could personally do to make the lavatories, overhead compartments, and the distance between my seat and the seat in front of me any roomier.  After politely offering me an earful of regrets, he asked what I did for a living.  “So, what do you do Carie?”  I responded:  "Me?  Well, I’m a Training and Communications Specialist with a background in real estate.  I’m a licensed Real Estate Broker in both Illinois and Texas – and I have years of experience in training, marketing, sales, leasing, and property management.”  “Hmmm ... that’s really interesting,” he replied.  “I’m always looking for some good investments.  Are there any great deals out there?  You know – maybe a foreclosure or something with decent equity?"

Wouldn’t we all love to invest in deeply-discounted properties loaded with equity?  I joked with him and reminded him that most everyone on the planet would also like to have the answer he was seeking.  Additionally, I mentioned that if I knew where all the great deals are, I would be flying on my own private lear jet instead of sitting next to him!  We chuckled for a moment then proceeded onto our next topic.

Until I uttered the words "real estate broker," you didn't really hear anything I said, did you?  You know, I happily and passionately speak to others all day long about my occupation, credentials, business skills, and professional accomplishments.  Yet, as soon as I mention that I am a real estate broker, it seems most everyone wants to know where they can get a great deal.  Don't get me wrong I understand completely.  I mean, who wouldn't want to pay $5 and get $10 of value in return?  All I can say is:  Please take a number.

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Ron Marshall
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire

Now, that WAS funny....I love it when people ask me where the best deal in antiques are, too.

Aug 25, 2012 07:52 AM #2
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

Yes.. people do ask some rather silly questions.. If we knew where those fabulous properties were then we would NOT be selling them to others... LOL

Aug 25, 2012 08:05 AM #3
Diane Daley
Caron's Gateway Real Estate - Northumberland, NH

Listening.... I do not know why it is so difficult... Deals all over what is great for one is not great for all...

Aug 25, 2012 09:12 AM #4
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Carie, I hear that too. What I want to say is I have a long list of past clients that have been faithful to me that I call first, but I just smile and say sure.

Aug 25, 2012 09:49 AM #5
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
United Real Estate - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

This happens ALL the time. But you know what? There are good deals out there. They don't last long. And sometimes the good deals are created just by making lowball offers.

Aug 25, 2012 10:00 AM #6
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

The funny thing, often those people who are fiercely looking for 'the deal', end up with a very average deal. It is not about the price, but their believe that the price is right:)

Aug 25, 2012 10:11 AM #7
Alan Grizzle
Chestatee Real Estate - Dahlonega, GA
Full Time Realtor, Lifelong Resident of Dahlonega

Looking for a deal myself.

Aug 25, 2012 12:07 PM #8
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Carie, yes everyone wants a deal.  But it also shows the underlying confidence people have in real estate as an investment and that's great.  Out here in Silicon Valley the good deals have always been harder to find than people interested in buying them.  Even when the market is soft.

Aug 25, 2012 12:12 PM #9
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Peggy:  Thanks!  Sometimes, I think people just hear what they want to hear, you know? :)

Ron:  Right?  I guess it happens everywhere, yes?

Janis:  Ha!  Exactly right :)

Caron's:  That is so true.  Seems like a lot of people are searching for that one great deal.  They could be everywhere and as you say, different for everyone too!

Debbie:  Yes, allegiance to loyal clients is what you want to say.  But, I like your answer ... smile and say sure.  So diplomatic :)

Lorrie:  Exactly!  Yet, sometimes I think there are people out there who believe there's a top secret list somewhere  :)

Inna:  Very true.  And, who doesn't like to get a bargain anyway.  I know how happy I feel when I buy a pair of shoes on sale ... sweet! :)

Alan:  Aren't we all? :)

Lloyd:  I agree.  When people view real estate as a solid, long term investment ... that's always a good thing!

Aug 25, 2012 12:12 PM #10
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

I get this all the time, "find me a forecosure in good condition for pennies on the dollar". Heck, if the deals were that great I would buy them!

Aug 25, 2012 12:19 PM #11
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks Carie,Thanks for sharing a story that all agents encounter often and how you handled it so well.

Aug 25, 2012 12:20 PM #12
Tom Branch
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs - Plano, TX
Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador


I can't tell you the number of times I've been asked to find perfect properties at 50 cents on the dollar. My usual response is, "if I found one, I would purchase it personally!" They simply do not exist in our market...


Aug 25, 2012 10:12 PM #13
Kathryn Maguire (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

This one made me laugh!  There are too many hucksters who hype that these deals are ALL OVER the place so the public thinks that it is a piece of cake to find them.

Aug 25, 2012 11:21 PM #14
Edward & Celia Maddox
The Celtic Connection Realty - Queen Creek, AZ

I think we will start using Toms response to this question" "if I found one, I would purchase it personally!"

Aug 26, 2012 01:48 AM #15
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Doug:  Exactly!  We'd all be living on easy street, yes?

Bob:  You're welcome.  It's funny that so many of us get this inquiry, don't you think?

Tom:  Right?  Who doesn't want to find a great deal?

Kathryn:  Thanks!  I agree ... it's not as easy as people think!

Edward & Celia:  I like Tom's response too!

Aug 26, 2012 01:52 AM #16
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Carie, I'll never forget the guy who actually asked me "when are you going to show me the homes for pennies on the dollar?" I simply responded with, "If I could find homes for pennies on the dollar, I'd buy them well before you'd ever know about them."

Aug 26, 2012 02:08 AM #18
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Eric:  Unbelievable!  I do like your answer, though ... :)

Aug 26, 2012 02:56 AM #19
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I do know where all the good deals are!

They are right in your mls, it just takes a lot of work to hunt them down and make offers, get turned down a lot, find a few homes that nobody wants, then spend lots of time and money to turn them into homes that people do want, and then you might experience a reasonable profit.

Most people are not willing to do this, or equipped to do this.

Aug 26, 2012 03:12 AM #20
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Hi Carie -

Good post and now suggested.  As I was reading your post I was thinking good grief my bride and Carie are related.  When on a plane I am quiet, read, surf my computer anything but interact with my seat mate.  Oh but not Debbie she like you will strike up a conversation and even hand out business cards with anyone.  I just smile now and then and shake my head and let her be the in flight socialite....LOL.  See you on the Feature scroll :)

Aug 26, 2012 08:18 AM #21
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Bob:  Whew ... I got tired just reading your comment :)  You're absolutely right ... I guess they're out there if you are willing to put the time into finding them and making them happen.  Not as easy as many people think, right?

John:  In-flight Socialite ... I love that!  Mind if I use it?  And yes, it sounds like Debbie and I have a lot in common.  Plus, now that you mention it, I may have passed out a business card or two myself :)  Thanks for the Suggest ... and I hope you guys had a fabulous weekend!


Aug 26, 2012 11:06 AM #22
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