Author and Investor
This week Bruce is joined by Tony Alvarez. Tony is a successful investor. He now lectures inside and outside California. Tony is the author of Breaking Into The REO Business. How I Went From Bankruptcy to $7.2 Million in 7 Years While Making Friends.
After the Multi-Millionaire event, Tony spent five years writing his book. Some self proclaimed real estate educators are using things like infomercials to rip people off. Tony was speaking in Vegas some time ago, and while he was there, he heard a story from a young man who spent $40,000 on real estate classes. When this young man was later sent the list of all the classes he paid for, he realized that they were taking place in different states, and he had no way to pay for the traveling expenses. Tony has met many people who are paying large sums of money to learn about real estate, and many of them are being scammed.
You do not need to pay $15,000 to learn how to buy a house. Tony’s book is 25 dollars. You can check out Tony and his website at www.tonyalvarez.com. Tony put a lot of effort into writing this book, and if you can get past the first 10 pages of his book without understanding that he really wants to help you, then you are missing the point. Tony only teaches about what he knows, and Tony knows all about the REO business. 95 percent of the houses he has bought were been bought using REO agents.
The third section of Tony’s book is called “14 distinctions for the lazy and incompetent.” Tony works very hard at what he does. Bruce thinks that Tony’s definition of “lazy” can be more easily translated to “efficient.” Tony focuses his attention on what he knows well, and he kicks everything else to the curb. Tony retires when the REO business is not performing well.
Tony was ready to sell his investment houses 3 years before the last peak. Before Tony sold his houses, Bruce advised him to hold on for a little longer. Three years later, near the end of the real estate boom, Bruce advised Tony to sell. Tony made 3 million dollars by taking Bruce’s advice. Tony claims that Bruce Norris makes a millionaire nearly every day he teaches. After Tony sold his houses, he bought two homes near rivers, and spent two and a half years on vacation. Tony works really hard when he works, and when he is done working, he stops completely.
When Bruce speaks at an event, he often gets an ovation afterwards. Bruce has noticed that every time Tony speaks at an event, Tony has a line of people trying to hug him afterwards. That is not a typical response.
Some people might feel intimidated by Tony, because they do not feel that they can compete with his personality. Tony interviewed the REO agents he worked with, and he discovered some of the reasons they chose to work with him. Perhaps the most important reason why these agents chose to work with Tony is because he never lied to them regardless of the consequences. When Tony had a problem with a deal that an agent gave him, he would schedule a meeting with them so that he could personally explain to them why he refused. Tony always explained to his agents what he needed in order to take a deal. Tony does not like telling agents that he does not want a deal; he tells them that he will take the deal when the numbers work for him.
When Tony interviewed 3 of his agents, they told him that they want to be told the truth, and they want investors to treat them pleasantly. An agent’s job is frequently unpleasant, because they have to evict families and they have their asset managers constantly complaining about their inability to sell quickly. Agents receive 30 calls a day from investors who want to buy foreclosures. You need to solve a problem for them. You cannot buy yourself a relationship if you only call for properties that will earn you an easy profit. If you do that, you will only be called for bad deals. You have to care about the agent’s success as much as your own.
Even an agent’s best investors sometimes cause problems. There are times where an experience agent will back out of a deal in the middle of escrow, because they discovered that a deal was not as good as they thought it was. Once you make a commitment to a deal, you need to stick with it regardless of the outcome. Never complain when a deal does not work out to your benefit.
You do not build relationships at the same speed you perform your business. Building a relationship takes more time. Building a relationship requires you to pay attention to the needs of another individual. Tony does research on the agents he works with. He discovered that some of them had children who belonged to baseball teams, so he donated money to the teams and bought from their candy fundraisers.
If relationships are not getting deeper, they are probably falling away. Realtors are going to first call you with their worst deals. You have to explain to them why you cannot do those deals unless they can get the numbers to work. Doing this will set you up for your first great deal.
When Tony buys a property from an agent, he will come back to that agent when it is time to sell that property. Other agents take notice to this kind of business. When the market peaked last time, Tony’s agents had no idea that he had obtained that many properties from them, and they were blown away. When he asked them to help sell those same properties, some of them were even jealous. Tony explained to them that he could not have obtained these properties without them.
Always thank the agents responsible for your success, both privately and publicly. When other agents notice you doing this, they start asking questions about what you’ve done. One of the agents that Tony worked with gained $500,000 in commissions within weeks, because the properties sold so fast. Tony did not have to do that, but in his mind, that is the only fair way to do business. The 1980s version of Tony would not have done this. Back then, Tony would have been selling his properties on his own, and squeezing every penny from the Realtors he worked with.
Tony states in his book that he is “relentless in loving the people [he] meets.” Tony believes that if he is not doing this, then he is not doing his job. Tony does not feel alive when he is not doing that. When you are kind to someone, it positively affects yourself, the person you are kind to, and the witness. Tony believes in a Creator, and he believes that if the Creator created you with that kind response to love, then you should not ignore it. The love you give others will increase your own happiness, and Tony does not believe that there is any other true recipe for success.
Tony’s book is called Breaking Into The REO Business. How I Went From Bankruptcy to $7.2 Million in 7 Years While Making Friends.
For more information about The Norris Group’s California hard money loans or our California Trust Deed investments, visit the website or call our office at 951-780-5856 for more information. For upcoming California real estate investor training and events, visit The Norris Group website and our California investor calendar. You’ll also find our award-winning real estate radio show on KTIE 590am at 6pm on Saturdays or you can listen to over 170 podcasts in our free investor radio archive.
Tags: agent, bankruptcy, Breaking into the REO Business, bruce norris, escrow, foreclosure, investing, investor, mentor, Multi-Millionaire, property, real estate, realtor, relationship, reo, short sale, Tony Alvarez