Chih-Hao Yang from Prospect Equities realizes that buyers were once sellers. He wisely has built up a rental empire, closing over 80 per year, and specializing in Chicago’s luxury apartment market. In this conversation, Chih-Hao discusses the importance of niche marketing, social media and customer service. His professionalism and energy has secured him as one of Chicago’s most talked about new real estate agents.
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D.J. Paris 0:00
Today’s episode of Keeping it real podcast is brought to you by nest egg. Looking to add value to your investor clients recommend nest egg a Chicago based app that is everything your clients need to manage their rentals in only minutes a month. Nest Egg is the only app that gets things done at the rental including on demand maintenance, and services like tenant placement and snow removal. Also nest egg is free to use which makes your clients investments 20 to 30% more profitable. Join nest egg today by downloading the app or by visiting mistake dot rent. That’s nest egg dot rent, use promo code keeping it real to get your first hour of maintenance for free. And now on to the show. Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast most listened to podcast made by real estate agents. And for real estate agents. My name is DJ Parris, welcome to the show. Thank you for listening. Thank you for coming back. And as always, thank you for telling a friend think of one other real estate professional that could benefit from hearing from top producers and send them a link to our show. We do two to three episodes a week just for you guys, so you can learn from top producers and today is no exception. We have Chih Hao Yang from prospect equities coming up in just a moment. And this particular episode should be a little different because she how Yun does over 80 rentals a year which is huge number and I was just moderating a panel of top producers for the Chicago Association of Realtors last week, two of the three panelists who are top 1% producers mentioned doing rentals and so a lot of brokers don’t do them and they’re kind of curious and how it works. And our interview here is going to talk a lot about that. So I think you’ll get a ton of value there. As always please follow us on Facebook you can find email@example.com forward slash keeping it real pod. Now the reason to follow us is we post an article every single day that we find online dedicated to helping you grow your business and of course we post links to all the episodes we do like this one, but also we record our interviews live on Facebook so if you can’t wait the couple of weeks it takes us to produce an episode you can watch it can almost like kind of like a behind the scenes and you can watch us live and if you follow us on Facebook Facebook will notify you in real time as we’re doing one of our live interviews and you can also chime in with questions along the way too. So again, follow us on Facebook facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod and now on to our interview with top 1% Producer chi how Yang?
Okay, today on the show, we have Xiao Yang from prospect equities. GL Yang is bilingual, both speaking both Mandarin and English. He is a broker who specializes in Illinois real estate rentals and sales. He’s been living in Illinois since 2003. And to see the continuous growth of the city and knows every insight a renter or buyer needs to know he has worked with investors and buyers from from the from here locally as well as overseas. He has closed hundreds of deals and receives five star reviews from his clients. He helps clients purchase their dream home and also sell their investments. Besides sales. She also helps international students look for rental apartments throughout the city of Chicago. He’s received tremendous amount of positive feedback from his clients in the rental and sales services. She was part of a part of our future top producers. A series that we’re doing on the show and what caught our eye about him is that every year in addition to all the sales he does, he closes over 80 rentals, which is an insanely high number and it’s super amazing. We’re We’re so honored to have him on the show. It’s an incredible amount of production as we as we enter the rental season. A great reminder that rentals are how a lot of realtors leave them on the table. So we’re going to talk about that today. By the way, please visit Hsiao at realtor ca hy.com That’s realtor C H y.com. Welcome to the show to
Chih-Hao Yang 4:36
thank you so much for this wonderful introduction.
D.J. Paris 4:40
Well we’re super honored to have you and I know you and I had met previously and I was so impressed by you know your business plan and what what you’re doing with your own practice over at Prospect equities with respect to how you’re building your business and the niche you found. I immediately contacted our casting director I said we need to build Got a show. So thank you for being available so quickly. And we’re honored to have you. So I would like to jump right in. I know you you are, you know, you’re not necessarily brand new to the industry, but but you’re still kind of a newcomer, and you’re having all this great success. Can you tell us about how you got into real estate?
Chih-Hao Yang 5:20
Yeah. So then I actually got a major in advertising, and minors in Business and chemistry in college. So when I finished school in 2010, I began working for a commercial real estate developer, doing marketing for them. That’s my initial contacting real estate. So I worked for them for about six or seven years. And then a lot of our clients, then were oversea investor, they were coming to America doing investment, you know, commercial deals. And that’s when I realized, wow, I am in love with real estate. So then two years ago, May 2018, that’s when I went back to when to get my broker license. And then since then, you know, I realized that was the right decision, because I love what I do. And I’m doing what I love. And I think that’s important, like people need to do. Well, they’re into if they’re doing something they, you know, just getting, like getting through today. No, that’s not I, you know, that’s not what I want to do.
D.J. Paris 6:23
Sure, it will tell tell us a little bit about you know, you started you had no clients like a lot of realtors when they get started. Tell us how did you develop your clientele? How did you you know, how did you start prospecting and finding people to work
Chih-Hao Yang 6:37
with, you’re just like everyone else. When I started, I’ve no client. So I started with my background in advertising marketing, I started building my own website. And I have my you know, Facebook, or Instagram, just like everyone else, everyone has the same thing. But to make a difference, I started to produce videos, I do videos to teach people how to buy a condo, a twosie. Like, if you want to buy a condo, watch my videos in five minutes, I will tell you everything that you need to know. I make videos to teach people how to rent apartment, if you’re moving to Chicago, you know, people think that they have to pay a broker fee to rent an apartment, I say no, watch my video, I’m going to teach you how to rent apartment, a twosie. So then I started doing that. And then I you know, every, every chance that I know, every time I meet somebody, I tell them what I do like an Uber share, right? You know, there’s one time I remember there was a lady that was going to her listing appointment. And then I said, hey, oh, just my business car. Contact me if you don’t like the broker that you’re meeting, or you know, when I go out to the bar, you know, people go out and drinks and then I always make sure hey, how are you? My name is G, what do you do? And they will tell me what to do as a hey, I’m a broker. So then I always make sure I asked for their Instagram. Because I they asked me I add them so they know what I’m doing. They might not need me now, but they are gonna need me in six months and eight months and 12 months. And that was my company prospect equities. We sponsor some colleges in Chicago. So we go to their events. And, you know, I builder and meet the students or meet the clients that my knee housing in six months or 12 months, so I’m just planting the seeds and then you know, hoping they will come to me later and it works.
D.J. Paris 8:31
Yeah, it does. It sounds like your background in marketing has really helped you to realize that and I think for most Realtors that’s the hardest part of the job right? Is is sourcing clients. And even as its you talked about, you know, in a share ride on an Uber, passing your card out. It’s it’s like, you know, I took an Uber twice yesterday. Yeah, if never, I don’t I don’t practice real estate. But if I did, it probably wouldn’t have occurred to me to hand my card even to the driver and say, Hey, by the way, I don’t know you know what your living situation is, but whenever you need to move, are you ever thinking about buying or renting or selling? I would love to work with I did
Chih-Hao Yang 9:09
it one time the guy told me that he was looking for apartment, I always ask them Oh, where in the city do you live? And they will tell me here they are. If they live in a city near me, oh, and then you know, they will usually they will have somebody you do and I would tell them what I do. And then that’s where you know, hey, here’s my car. If you need it in the future, call me or email me. And that works out pretty well. Just everywhere. It’s not just Uber riders everywhere I go. If there’s a chance I don’t want to bother that though. I don’t want to go into a deep conversation. That’s when people are turned off about show thank but you have to let them know you’re there for them whenever they need it.
D.J. Paris 9:41
You also talked about making instructional videos on YouTube and I think that’s one part of marketing that Realtors often don’t realize how powerful it is is, you know somebody, for example, moving to Chicago, especially from overseas was even just from another state They’re not going to know the neighborhoods unless they just, you know, happen to have experience in Chicago, they likely aren’t going to know where to where to move, what the best buildings are, where to move to match their lifestyle, and in having videos, obviously, from an SEO perspective might find how people find your videos on their own via YouTube, and then might reach out to you. But How successful have those videos been? Not as far as number of views? Because that’s not relevant to me. But like, I imagine they’re incredibly helpful to your clients.
Chih-Hao Yang 10:32
I think so because a lot of the times I asked people well, why did you you know, after I close it sales or after a rented apartment, I always ask, Why do you choose me? Where did you find me? So they will tell me Oh, I found you from Instagram, I found you from referral. And I so you, your video talking about? Home Inspection because I even interview like, attorney, I interview Home Inspector, I interview lenders, so the videos are out there for my clients to watch. So they say, Oh, I saw this videos, and I saw your great, that’s why I chose you. So I think they’re pretty useful. And then you actually touch a topic about you know, me moving here from I actually moved from Taipei to Chicago in 2003. So I’ve been living here for 17 years, a lot of my clients are first time homebuyers or first time renting an apartment here. So I know how difficult it is for them. Because I went through all this, I came here as a student, and I have this document called eight one A and I was trying to rent apartment nobody knows what I 20 is 20 is actually a document that’s approved by the USCIS department, homeland Department of Homeland Security. So there’s a section where it says how much money is being sponsored by the family per year. So I told you it was 80,000 or 100,000. So that’s more than enough to rent apartment. But a lot of the landlords don’t understand how to read this document. And I experienced that firsthand because I was a student. So now I’m helping all those students, you know, renting an apartment in a city and bringing them to different high rises, you know, management, and then it educate those buildings, hey, this is a 20. This is their proof of income. You know, they’re being paid, like the parents are supporting the, you know, the school, they’re giving them money. So don’t worry, this is even approved by the USCIS. So you guys shouldn’t be worried about those students not paying rent. So yeah, and I make sure my clients know, I’m on their side, because I went through this. So I think my clients find comfort, knowing that I did it, and I’m helping them. So they trust me, to help them.
D.J. Paris 12:48
Yeah, you know, and I want to circle back to the i 20. Because for a lot of our listeners, probably most of our listeners are gonna I don’t know what that is. So, so to just explained it, but just to make sure it’s really clear, this is a document that is endorsed by the Department of Homeland Security, basically, they have vetted this particular individual, and they’re able to have a document that says, here’s the amount of money that is that is going to be spent by the family of this individual who is maybe a student, you know, going to school here, and then you then present that document in lieu of a social security number. Gotcha. And to a prospective landlord, or, you know, maybe even if they’re purchasing a property, how, how much of the time do you have to educate the landlords on what this document is? How it works, how to interpret it.
Chih-Hao Yang 13:40
So like, you know, we know, for renting, there are two sides of renting. You can go on MLS and individual owners, individual owners, and those are usually the ones you know, they don’t know why 20 years, right. And they even if you tell them, what, 20 years, they might not accept it because they’re just this fear, you know, the tenants might not pay rent, sure, so that instead of bringing those clients to the MLS listings, I bring them to the high rises in the loop st reveal River North South Loop where you know, the scores are so then those heights, I bring the my clients to those buildings, they know four or five, six, and they pick one and usually those buildings, they know what’s going on, they actually have a lot of those students already. So want to remind, you know, auto brokers, when you get a client’s that’s international students with i 20. You have choices, you don’t have to just bring into the MLS listing, bring them to high rises. And then another thing is the high rises pay more. That’s true, they pay 100% of one month’s rent or 125 from this 150 If you put them to the MLS you get 50% Right. So then why not? If you really think about If you you know, it really depends, but then I always it’s good for us, but it’s also good for the clients. I always, you know, I want my clients to have an easy process when they’re applying for it, you know, apart I don’t want to apply for this round got rejected got applied today and get rejected, they should have a fair, you know, chances, you know getting apartment.
D.J. Paris 15:22
Yeah, and you just said a lot. I want to unpack that a little bit because there’s a lot of our listeners who are like, What do you mean there are rentals off the MLS, so in Chicago and, and in many other markets as well. Obviously, individual owners or sometimes management companies will list their properties on the MLS. There’s also what we would call third party management firms that don’t list their properties on the MLS, but still work with brokers like chi, how to get their properties rented. And because those properties aren’t, or those units aren’t on the MLS, there’s no listing agent, which means as she has said, there’s no one to split the commission with and in Chicago, including the suburbs, most of these management companies pay one month’s rent. So all of a sudden, you know, depending on whatever your split is, with your current firm, you might be getting, you know, I will you will be getting much more money, because obviously, there’s no one to split it with. And you typically get one month’s rent, as she has said, sometimes there’s specials where it’s 150% of one month’s rent. So if you’re saying, Well, how do I get access to these buildings? What I would do for our listeners is talk to your managing broker and say, Hey, I understand there’s all these management companies that will work with brokers on how do we get in contact? Can you help me get their inventory, because the challenge, of course, with these management companies is because they’re not on the MLS, you have to keep up to date with their inventory. And so a lot of times, those are 10, typically called Hot sheets. So you ask those management companies, either directly or maybe your managing broker can make the introduction and say, Hey, can we get on your distribution list? So every time you send out updates about what’s available, can you email us and then there’s, there’s all sorts of software solutions, where you can put that information into into but even if you’re just getting the emails, that’ll help you know what’s available. And I imagine you get a lot of those, those emails, I
Chih-Hao Yang 17:10
get 3040 emails every day for hot sheets. And I actually go through one by one because I look at it and then memorize I remember because in case somebody in two days later asked me, Hey, you know, I want to get a two bedroom, two bath, my budget $3,000. And I know where to bring that? Because the hash is in my head. And I know what to bring in. What
D.J. Paris 17:31
percentage of brokers do you think have that level of knowledge? Obviously, you know, you’re focused on your business, but it has to be a small percentage of brokers who even really, really try to, you know, explore that market.
Chih-Hao Yang 17:45
I have a couple brokers friends, they only do MLS, you know, showings? And I say, hey, like, think about, you know, the other way? Why are you You know, when you get $3,000 clients, if you bring in two or 3000 from MLS, you get 50 to 1500 or lower. But if you come to that one is three, like, it’s 3000 or more, that’s, it’s a big difference. And we are putting the same amount of work into right in our job, why not getting more, and that is it’s also for the clients benefit. So we’re now you know, we want to make sure the client likes the place, of course, so that Yeah, I think a lot of people don’t don’t even think about the third party management as an option. And I always tell people, I love to tell people, hey, that’s Option two, don’t forget, it’s not just MLS.
D.J. Paris 18:37
Yeah, it’s nice to know that and and I, you know, I know, like, at the firm, I work out, we have a similar database of third party management. And sometimes there’s 5000 listings in there. And I think, Boy, if I was a practicing broker, and I only use the MLS, which might only have 5000 rentals in it anyway, now, I’ve effectively just doubled the amount of not only the amount of money I might get on the transaction, but double the number of possibilities for my client, which ultimately is the best part is you get to show your client more stuff, and something that might meet their needs. Oh, and by the way, you might you’re gonna get paid better on it if they decide to choose that property.
Chih-Hao Yang 19:15
Yeah, I actually always there actually, like four or five big third party management in Chicago, and you can I email them directly, I say, hey, please send me you know, a hot sheet every day, which they do. So then that’s how I get, you know, update it all the time and know what’s going on. Who’s doing promotion here, you know, sometimes they give promotion to clients that we bring, they will say, Hey, if you bring your clients to our building, they get one month off, and I tell my clients, hey, let’s go to this building. You get one month or two months off, you get the applikation fee waive admin fee waived. Why not as good. MLS would never waive your read. No, never waive your applikation admin fee. So when I get this benefit, I tell my clients Hey, let’s go see this building. They’re giving two months off for You well, you signed a 12 month lease, why not two months off? So yeah.
D.J. Paris 20:04
So my my girlfriend, I think I might have shared this with you off offline. But my girlfriend is in the leasing office over at catalyst, which is down at on display ads. And I asked her when I first started dating her, I said, Be honest with me. I said, Do you like working with brokers who bring in their clients? Because she’s trying to rent properties as well? And I said, or do you? Would you rather not work with brokers like between you and me? What do you think? And she goes, I love working with brokers. And she says, Well, let me she was actually let me let me adjust that statement. She goes, I like working with really good brokers. Because she goes, they make my job easier. And they bring in qualified candidates. And we’re both working together to close this transaction. So even though a lot of these buildings that you work with and represent have their own internal staff trying to rent, they are they are very, most of them are very broker friendly, and some of them aren’t. And some of them won’t work with brokers, but the majority of them will, and they’re thrilled to have you come in and learn the property and be able to bring them qualified candidates.
Chih-Hao Yang 21:04
Very true. I actually build you know, a personal relationship with a few brokers on size for the for the buildings, you know, I just need to submit a text I say, Hey, are you free tomorrow? Can I bring my clients? And they will say yes, even on the off day, there’s a broker, there’s an on site leasing agent, they would show me on her days off, because she knows, when I bring my clients a, they’re going to sign it or they they’re going to consider because I already pre approved my clients. I asked them, Hey, can you show me your i 20? I want to make sure you know, their approval in Cali if they’re if they’re working, I say, hey, how much is your salary per per month, and I do the math divided by three, note that three times rent qualification. I already talked to my clients about those requirements. So I know where to bring them.
D.J. Paris 21:56
Yeah, it’s such a smart. Such a smart idea. I was moderating I was telling you this offline, but I’ll mention it to our our listeners I was I was moderating a panel of top producers for the YPN in Chicago, for the Chicago Association Realtors yesterday, there were three top producers. And they asked them, one of the questions from the audience was, how are you adjusting to the changes in the real estate market? You know, basically, what are you seeing as trends and two of the three, what one person only does sales, and that’s all she does. And the other two people said, oh, my gosh, rentals are where it’s at. And they said, It’s great because most brokers really don’t like doing rentals, or they have it in their mind that they don’t think they should be doing rentals. And both of them said it’s this, it’s really not a smart plan. Because one of the gentlemen does 100 rentals a year. And a really a great guy named Will from Fulton grace. And he goes, he goes, I love it because most brokers won’t touch rentals. He says I love it. Because not only am I helping that person, obviously, and he loves helping people. But he said, I’m starting the relationship. And those people at some point down the road, if they stay in Chicago will probably become a buyer at some point. And he goes, my job is to take such good care of them today that maybe in two years, three years, five years, when they decide to purchase, they say hey, well I’m finally ready to buy and or even along the way, maybe they want to move to another apartment, right? And now all of a sudden, I can help he can help them again. And also, you know, they’ll refer possibly their friends as well. So I really admire your tenacity. And you have a team now and I want to talk about how impressive this is. Because you have built up a team fairly quickly in this business that is particularly unusual. Usually brokers don’t build teams, until they’re many, many, many years into the business. But you saw the opportunity and started doing that. Now can you talk a little bit about your team and yeah, guys are doing
Chih-Hao Yang 24:01
Yeah, so my managing broker actually talk to me and say, Hey, how you have so many clients, and why don’t you and there’s people that are coming into our brokerage and then I actually three now that are under my teams, and then you know what, I’m busy, I cannot do to showings, you know, I give it to my team members, they would go do the showings and then when they’re busy, I would take on, you know, their clients to the showing, I think it works great. And then I want to make sure that my clients are because a lot of I’m just one person, I cannot be at three places, you know, at a given time. So it’s always good to have a team member then shares my my goal I want people to I don’t want to just take everyone I want to I want that my team members to have the same goal and so desire to be successful.
D.J. Paris 24:53
Yeah, and I have a question. So how what is the typical lead time from the moment you start working with renter, okay, the time when they typically make a decision is is it to several weeks? Is it a few days? Is it a month? What is typically the time?
Chih-Hao Yang 25:11
Well, I get a lot of people they’re looking didn’t right time to talk to me, it would be 45 days, 60 days before their lease is up, because there’s when availability as is there for everyone to see. So if they talk to me six months, early, I was saying, talk to me later, like, you know, I will talk to them and say, Hey, what’s your budget? What’s your location? Like? Where’s your location that you want to live? A? I asked him a question. I said, but there’s nothing for us to see. Yeah, I would put it on my calendar to make sure I go back to the person in four months. And we’ll revisit and then I will book the showings. But you know, if they talk to me 45 days before their leases up, I can quickly I talked to them I sent you know, all the questions location and budget and your phone number email, like I say, hey, you know, let me schedule you a showing this weekend. And then, you know, on weekends, I was scheduled 1234565, or six places, and then we go see, usually they make a decision right away, I have clients that would, you know, they see 123 on the force showing there’s a Oh, why don’t need to see the other two, I want this one, and then we’ll just apply and do it right away. And that happens all the time. So then, you know, for with attendance or renter, they can be it’s not buying a house. So they can make their decision pretty quickly. If everything that they tell me fits, you know, the apartment fits the requirements. So it’s very important to listen to what the tenants well, they said we weren’t in Unit laundry. So don’t be bring them to places that have no in Unit laundry, it’d be wasting my time, their time. But then, you know, some people will say, Hey, I walked in Unit laundry, but my budget is 1500. But I will tell them, hey, if you want a unit laundry, 1500 you cannot find a studio, if you are in unit, it has to be maybe 17 or 18, in the area that you mentioned. So that I will tell them right away. And so they know. I don’t want to be you know, taking them to places with laundry. And then is it Oh, is it because of my budget? So I tell them upfront is that hey, if you want a dishwasher, you want this your hardwood floor? Maybe you have to up your budget, otherwise, we don’t have anything to see. Yeah, I
D.J. Paris 27:21
think it’s also so important. And you obviously have done this, which is you know, your inventory, you know, these buildings inside and out? How did you first get acclimated to these buildings? Where did you go visit them on your own and say, I want to learn what you guys offer? And tell us about how you did that? Good question.
Chih-Hao Yang 27:41
So my managing broker when we started, he was coaching us. Our assignment for the first 12 days was to visit 10 properties in your area. So I pick Streeterville. So I picked 10 high rises, as soon reveal, I call them I say, Hey, can I do a broker tour? Just me. So I went outside, take photos and take videos, I talked to the leasing agent or the property manager. And I take notes, how much is your applikation fee whatsoever. So I’m actually putting an Excel sheet. So I learned I first learned about the area. And then you know as time as time goes by, I will get a second client that wants to live in South Lou or River North. So I just go on site. And then that’s how I get started. I actually for the first half days, actually, each day I went to one property and learn about that building. So I know what floor is the pool, what floor is the gym, and then just I think we need to know we need to be familiar with the product. So then we can sell it to our clients. If we don’t know anything about products, how do we sell sell it to the clients?
D.J. Paris 28:50
It’s so funny. You mentioned that because it’s such great advice. Just today we predict we publish an episode with Matt Larissa, who’s the number two highest producing broker in Chicago. And he tells us in our episode, when he first started, he didn’t he grew up in in Cicero didn’t even know any of the neighborhoods inside of the city. And even though it was only a few miles away, and he would get up every day, and he said I wanted to he said he wanted to know River North. So he said he would get up every day. And this is this is many years ago, but he would just walk from building the building and go, Hey, are you a condo building or an apartment building? He said, he said, I had no idea. He had a notebook. He did exactly what you did, where he wrote everything down. He became an expert. He did that for a few years. And then all of a sudden, he just knew more than everybody and I suspect you have a similar thing that you know more about apartments and I know that’s not all of what you do. Of course, you’re all do a ton of sales as well. But you just know, you know these buildings where you don’t even have to think about when you just have to talk to the client and say what are you what are you looking for and you probably know where did a few minutes I imagine.
Chih-Hao Yang 30:01
So like, there’s a client, they’re looking for apartment near a Gold Coast, Chicago, he told me Chicago red light stop. So in my head, oh, this here, here, here here like in my head I already have like list. So I just need to type it out and send it to him and say, Hey, let’s go see those places. So it just the more you do, the more familiar you get to learn. And then you just remember, I don’t, I didn’t mean to memorize those buildings, but just, you know, I do this every day. So it becomes part of my life. And then I actually love doing that. So that it’s not like a pressure for me to memorize buildings or stuff.
D.J. Paris 30:36
Yeah, and I have a question. App. And I know you work with a lot of international students who might be returning back home or or maybe staying after the duration of their lease or school year is up? How do you stay in touch with them after they move in? So you’ve helped them find an apartment? And obviously, you be honored to have referrals from them and and then again, maybe down the road, they want to move to another apartment or possibly buy a home? Do you? Do you do anything to stay in touch? Do you have any advice for our listeners on how to? Because a lot of times what I find even with a broker, is that our own firm, although I don’t, you know, I don’t know for sure. But I suspect a lot of them like sell somebody a home or rent in somebody’s apartment. And then just well, hopefully they’ll think about me in the future. Do you have any processes to stay in touch? Yeah. So
Chih-Hao Yang 31:23
as soon as a lot of people stop talking to their clients after a sign a lease, but Right, I don’t stop there. I ask them, Hey, do you know how to set up you know, your combat account? Because a lot of people don’t know how to set it up. Right? Erica, how would they know how to set up combat account by right blocks and teach them hey, you might have to call if they don’t accept your you know, because they don’t have social security. So you might have to go to their office to set up your account and I teach them to and then some buildings require renter’s insurance, I don’t know where to get a renter’s insurance. So the website listed as a hey, you can do this, you can do this, you can do this. And on their moving days, I texted and said, Hey, good luck moving in today. And let me know if you need help with, you know, the moving company, and gifting you know, contacts. And after they moving, you know, I might send them like a welcome like a housewarming gift. So they knows me. And then I actually have this newsletter that I send out monthly, and I just write a little thing, just really personal, it’s about me know what, you know, where I see, you know, where the new buildings are coming up, you know, where my clients are being, you know, renting their apartment, where they’re where they’re buying their homes, so they get email from me once a month, so they knows me and I say, Hey, if you have any other clients, you know, they’re looking for renting or buying, you know, you have had my service before, if you’re satisfied, refer me to them, I’m happy to help them, I’m happy to find your next home. So then I Christmas, I send them chocolate cards, stuff. So they know, it’s not just a one time thing I want to I get a lot of repeated, you know, is my third year a you know, as a broker, and I get like my second year and third year I keep getting this client who rent it, and then they want to move apartment and I go back and tell them, you know, move them, you know, help them to move move apartment, or people who rent it the first year, and then now we’re gonna buy and helping them to buy. And I actually have people who want to sell your condo from the first year. So it’s, it works out. It’s not just a one time thing with clients, I think
D.J. Paris 33:30
it’s probably the biggest mistake that brokers make when they work with a client, whether it’s a buyer or a seller or renter, is the transaction closes, and then they go, Okay, well, if it’s a buyer, he’s probably not going to buy another home for seven or 10 years. seller who knows renter, they’re going to be there for the next 12 months? Well, we’ve tried to remember to check in in month 10 Or month 11. But you need to really have a process obviously, like you do, because I mean, I’m always amazed. And I don’t know if you can relate to this. But it’s not just in the real estate world, I find that most of the service providers who I pay fees to on a annual basis or even monthly basis, very rarely do I get a lot of communication from them over the years, you know, I think about different professionals that that I’ve probably given a substantial amount of money to over over the years and I think well sometimes I get a card during the holidays and that’s about it. I think you know, boy, they’re really missing out on opportunities because I like them. I’d be happy to share their information with my friends but I just don’t think about it because I’m not hearing from them. So this is a great strategy for our listeners to stay in touch.
Chih-Hao Yang 34:44
I’ll give you a great example like even buyers. I close a condo at Oh Tang in January this year, so last month, and then I’m already helping them first their second property thereby it’s an investment because they were there asking me, Hey, they have, you know, little extra money, they want to, you know, do something investments. And then I actually personally bought, you know, an investment property. So I was telling them, Hey, you can go, Wait, which area they were, you know, they were consulting me I was like talking to them. So yeah, it’s the buyers not necessarily going to wait five, six years, my buyers, they bought a house in January, they’re already working out on their second candle they’re buying for investment.
D.J. Paris 35:25
Yeah, it’s, that’s just the perfect point is, and that’s the other thing too is as a broker, if you’re listening, and you’re going, oh, gosh, I don’t really know much about investments, then make it a mission over the next year or two years to start studying and understanding what house hacking is, you know, buying multi unit properties, and why why people do that you know, how it works, and educate yourself. So that, because you might always be thinking about primary residence, okay, where are they going to live where, and they might be thinking, gosh, I have some extra cash, maybe I’d like to invest in and if you can’t really help them, then you’ve just missed another opportunity. And they’re going to use somebody else. Right? Yeah. I would, I’d like to hear this particular story that you that you shared here. And when we were talking, or you were, we were asking you about what you wanted to talk about. And safety is such an important thing. And oftentimes as men, we might not think as much about safety as maybe women would, but you shared a really interesting safety story. If you don’t mind sharing that with our audience, I think it’s important to hear it.
Chih-Hao Yang 36:37
Yeah, I want to share about this story because as a broker, now we have to take this sexual harassment prevention class. So the you know, we know how important this is. And so this happened to me last January 2019. When it was during the polar vortex, it was so colao. So I was wearing my, I was doing a showing. So a girl contacted me and she want to rent an apartment and this was the MLS deal. So I went to the I went to the building, and there was a guy already there’s a doorman and there was a guy at the lobby, and I didn’t think he was my client because it was a girl. So just waiting there. And then the girls show up. And I gotta keys we all went up to the building is the one bedroom is a small one. So it was a quick showing. So we went inside. And it was after five minutes or so we were leaving. And then the girl was standing at the door. blocking the entrance. The guy approached me and he said, Hey, nice jacket. I was wearing my Canada Goose. You know how last year there was all this quite Yeah, that’s going out to most
D.J. Paris 37:47
that’s the biggest jacket. Yeah, it’s a very, it’s a nice jacket. Yeah.
Chih-Hao Yang 37:52
And then the guy say, but it was so it was so cool. I had to wear it. Because I don’t know about you. Yeah. So the guy say, Hey, nice jacket. And I just look at him as Oh, yeah, you know, I just smile. You know, it keeps me warm. And then he say, hey, let’s switch. Let’s swap our jacket. And that’s right away, I realized he was blocking the door. He was saying that I run away. I knew something was wrong as your client yet but I never met them before. Right? That was the first time you know, I’m meeting them and read it. No, I knew. Well, I’m one person, you have two people. And it goes blocking the door. And the guy said, well give me your jacket. Basically, that’s what he’s saying. But I have I always have my phone with me. So right away, as he say, Dad, just Oh, sorry. I have a phone coming in. So I could just cause there. Hey, so pretend I was talking to somebody else. And I say hey, so and so. I pretend was another client call me I say Oh, I’m I’m doing a showing and 123 Main Street. I’m only two three minutes away. I’ll be there in five minutes. As soon as as soon as I say that. They got a stop. They changed her tone of voice. So then we left. So it because it gives them a signal where hey, I’m telling somebody that I’m here, right, noting so then, you know don’t do anything to me, and then works. And here’s the thing. I went down to the lobby, and then they left. I talked to the doorman. I say hey, do you know the guy and a girl? And then doorman say? Yes, he knows the guy. Oh, so long story short, the guy used to live in a building. He was he got evicted. And then now she’s using me to see the unit and want to apply. So I just know it’s a big no no, like I don’t know. And I asked the guy. I asked the guy why he was expected. I don’t want to share the information live but then you got effector so you know it was
D.J. Paris 39:52
it was just That’s a remarkable story. Yeah,
Chih-Hao Yang 39:55
we have to be and then I asked so then I kind of saw now from what I do showings now, I will go even earlier and go talk to the doorman as a hey, I’m going to do showings at this unit. You know, just if I feel I don’t know, I just wished that the doorman could have given me a hence to you know, get to where he sold the guy going up with me, right? And I don’t know what’s going to happen if somebody didn’t, you know, say hey, do the phone call thing or whatever. I don’t know what’s uh, what was going to happen but
D.J. Paris 40:26
well, it’s it’s amazing because I’m guessing he must have just seen your nice jacket and gone. No, well, I’m up there. Let me see if I can get him to give me the jacket. But that wasn’t his primary reason for being there. I guess he wanted to move back into
Chih-Hao Yang 40:40
the Yeah, he was fascinating. But I can tell that afterwards I could tell he was always under the influence to like, oh, yeah, like, just so they just be careful. Like is there we’re, we’re telling, you know, the female brokers to be careful. But I think this can happen to anyone, everyone. Yeah, my
D.J. Paris 41:00
my girlfriend who’s at catalyst, they have. And I imagine most of these big buildings have the safety features, but she has a little device that she wears on and attracts everywhere she goes. And if she isn’t back from a showing and a certain amount of time, it immediately calls the police. And so you know, for realtors, if you’re working with clients that you haven’t yet met, and you want to be safe, I know that you can buy these devices. They’re not expensive, I don’t think and it might just even be a good idea to have one of these. And there’s also apps you can put on your phone where you push a button. Yeah,
Chih-Hao Yang 41:37
like on the iPhone. If you push the your bottom five times it goes to police right away. Right? Yeah. And then like I turned on, find my friends so that my family or my friends know where I am. But if I if I’m doing a showing a PM, or like night, like sometimes people want to go see you at nighttime to see to view and then I would make sure one person knows where I’m going because usually just me going to, you know, a condo. And nobody like if I don’t tell anyone. Nobody knows where I’m going.
D.J. Paris 42:05
Yeah, safeties, it’s so important. And I we don’t talk about it enough on the show. So I’m so glad you shared that. Because it’s it’s it, especially with rent rentals. You know, it’s a lot of times it might be people you’ve never met before. So this is a great, a great, smart strategy to stay safe. It looks so you know, I think I think what I owe if you have a few questions, I’m sorry, a few questions from our listeners. So we have Randall from Chicago says, Since you do a lot of rentals, how many apartments? On average? Do you show your renters before they end up choosing? And you’ve sort of touched on this?
Chih-Hao Yang 42:42
So it’s a tough question. Some people want to you know, some people say they want to see eight or nine, you’re just crazy. Because for if you go into those high rises, it takes an hour, 45 minutes for them to do a building toward it, you see why unit, maybe two three units, they show you the gym, they show you the pool, they show you their amenities, you sit down and go over pricing. So for each tour is 45 minutes. And when you travel from one place to the other, that’s an hour. So then when somebody wants to see eight or nine isn’t, there’s no way we can see a places in eight, nine hours, like, you’re gonna be tired. I tell them, six would be the maximum for a day, because that would require six hours of showing. And I usually tell them, hey, why don’t you just pick top four. If you don’t like any of the four hour schedule the other three on the next day. And I will say 90% of the time, they will they will be able to pick the top, you know, pick one out of the four. Because I this is just for me, like I find myself forgetting about the first property or first building shop. You know what I can see 12345 I like the sixth one. I’m forgetting the first one. I’m getting confused. When I do this every day. I’m getting all confused. Like, if I don’t even remember how my clients remember anything. So one of the things I take photos for my clients every building Oh, that’s so smart. Oh, yeah, I three, if I go into this building, we see three units. I take a meter off this unit, this unit this unit Oh, after? Yeah,
D.J. Paris 44:20
I’m sorry. I’m pausing it for a second. That is a brilliant, brilliant tip. So and you can do this, by the way with buyers as well, of course. So I mean, I don’t know that anyone has shared that on our show. So I want to just pause for a second and say, if you’re showing your clients, whether it’s homes, apartments, take videos and then get them to your clients after after the day or that day. I’m sorry, go ahead
Chih-Hao Yang 44:41
check with the building for some buildings might not allow videos or photos but and when you ask nicely, they say yes. I’m telling you, I only use it for my personal like I’m going to send it to my clients. So that like let’s say we finish one building and then when we are going to the second light traveling to the second buildings, I will ask them hey, we See through units here? Which one do you like the most? And it was Oh, I like the second unit. So I will make a note, they’d like this one. After we see the second building, I say which unit Do you like the most? And it will say that why? So how about this one? I will compare. I keep comparing, like, so I make mental notes. So on the fifth one, I say, Hey, do you like this one, like, they will also add the fifth one when we finish? I know which ones their favorites? Because and I will send them the videos and photos to them. So they have it. So they can go home and apply. Or they would back to the building. Like to that will work.
D.J. Paris 45:33
Great suggestion. Okay. So Susan, I don’t know where Susan’s from. But Susan asks, I do a few rentals each month, which is great income, but I’m having a hard time converting renters into buyers when their lease is up. Any suggestions about how to convert renters to buyers overtime?
Chih-Hao Yang 45:56
I don’t I don’t count. Well, first of all, you have to make sure they like your service. Like they’re satisfied with your right. Yeah, that might be the problem. Yeah, like it’s a, you know, not every renters I have turned two buyers, but a lot of them turn into buyers. And so you know, you need to make sure they, if they’re not if they Yeah, like I will say that, you know, I make sure that I do everything I can to make sure they’re happy and satisfied with the building, you know, sometimes my, my, my, my client, tenants, client would text me and say, hey, my management is doing this doing that they’re not fixing my, my, my fast and my fixing my lights. But that’s not really my job anymore. But I would go out of my way, send management an email, copy my clients say, hey, my clients so and so is having problem with, you know, having issue with this, can you help them fix it? And now my clients, oh, you know, you know, Chad, how he’s taking initiative to do this for me. And then you know, when they ready, ready to buy, it might come to me, but it’s, it’s hard to I don’t really have I don’t I’m not out there purposely trying to confer my right buyer. I’m not doing that I’m not, you know, making note and you know, planning to do, it’s just, it just happens.
D.J. Paris 47:15
You’re just you’re you’re you’re trying to be of service, no matter whether they rent or purchase. You just want to be the one who helps them and hope that whenever they need any assistance with real estate, they’re reaching out to you. And I think that’s a really good answer.
Chih-Hao Yang 47:33
One of my clients wrote on Zillow as a review saying that I’m a one stop guy, like one stop shop or something because meaning like I can rent and I can help him to find renter insurance, combat, and then I can do the moving company. So I thought it was funny. He called me that one stop guide to go to
D.J. Paris 47:50
Yeah, but that’s what you want to be. And that’s it makes you so valuable to people. And also for our listeners, if you’re thinking oh gosh, you write renter’s insurance. That’s a good idea. I should tell all my renters as they’re moving in, you know, here’s a couple of insurance agents. And so this is an opportunity also to make relationships with insurance agents, and say, Hey, Mr. or Mrs. Insurance agent, I work with renters, or buyers, of course, and they need renter’s insurance or homeowners insurance, can I pass them over to you? And of course, every single insurance agent can say yes. And then you can say, Oh, by the way, if you ever know of any, if your clients are ever moving, I would love that if you would pass in those people over to me as well. And you can develop really good relationships that way.
Chih-Hao Yang 48:32
Yeah, you’re correct. I actually have a couple guys that I can just, I feel comfortable. I know. Their goal is like my so when I they will take care of my clients. So they just say, Hey, this is my client, a new internship, and then they need homeowners insurance. So I know they’re good, good.
D.J. Paris 48:49
Well, for all of our listeners out there, if you want and by the way, not all of our listeners are our brokers. So if you are a buyer or a seller or renter, and or if you’re a broker who wants to join your team or learn more about what your team offers, in case that’s a good fit. What’s the best way that one of our listeners can reach out to you?
Chih-Hao Yang 49:11
Yeah, so go to my website. It’s www at realtor C H y.com. I have my email my phone number my phone numbers 217-819-8009 Send me a text. I’m a My phone’s glued to me. I’m always on my phone. And then I checked I check my emails all the time.
D.J. Paris 49:33
So yeah, and we didn’t even touch on this. And I know one of your big things is you respond to emails and texts, like almost all day and all night. And I don’t want to set that expectation because you need your own personal time too. But you you you that is a big deal to you. I know personally, and I know how much you care about your clients and you are willing to really go the extra mile in communication you’re I know you’re always amazed when Realtors don’t reply. And you’re like, Ah,
Chih-Hao Yang 50:04
I think it’s important to reply emails, like when I get it, I will reply within 30 minutes. Like, why wait, and why are you not checking emails? And sometimes, you know, my clients want to see a building. And then I go onto MLS, it says, oh, please call me to book an appointment. And I was like, Okay, it’s 10 o’clock. And then how can I call you now? or text me? And then right? Why not? Do you know why not using the technology to the emails or other things? Why do I have to call? And then I remember one time I text somebody at maybe 1130. And the next morning, I got angry text back from the realtor saying, hey, it was like, it was it was like, it was 1130. White, it was rude for you to text me 1130 I was like, Okay, so why why did you even protects you? Because I might be working at 2am and they find something I’m working on when I text you. But so turn off your phone, or turn into silent, but don’t yell at me when all right
D.J. Paris 51:06
on the showing notes. Please don’t text after 11pm Yeah, but
Chih-Hao Yang 51:11
yeah, I just assumed that he would turn off, you know, to silent or just let people email you. I think email is the best way to you know, book anything or just doing a joint. Yeah. So and then use I was, you know, recommend other brokers use technology I have had a managing broker was was another broker brokerage. My client was signing, they just, you know, signature and stuff. He doesn’t know how to use Docusign. Wow. So he asked me to sit out DocuSign where I send you my client and send it to his client and giving a copy. And I was just shocked. I was like, so I asked him, I said, How do you usually do this? He said, Well, he asked his clients to go into his office and sign. Oh, and I was like, well, it was 2020 You need to learn how to use DocuSign or, you know, but I was happy to help. But it just, you know, we I think older brokers need to be on the same page. So we can all help our clients to reach their goal, you know?
D.J. Paris 52:09
Well, it is called a cooperative commission. Right? It’s just to be cooperative. And I think sometimes brokers forget that they’re they’re actually sort of on the same side of the table they might be negotiating with one another, but at the end of the day both want to close the deal and and you know, so yeah, utilize technology, especially things like DocuSign dot loop showing assists to schedule showings. It’s amazing how many listings I see on the MLS where it’s like yeah, call me or text me I’m like, why don’t you just set up showing time?
Chih-Hao Yang 52:37
Call me Why is always crazy or like text me? Why would I text I have to like, tell them who I am. It’s email all my senators down there. They know who I am. But it was texting today. Oh, I’m sure how it was prosper equities. I want to do it is it’s, it’s just an extra work that can be say, like, we didn’t have to do this.
D.J. Paris 52:57
Well, on behalf of our listeners, she how I want to thank you for being part of our show, you have given so much incredible value. And I and you know, especially now that rental season starting and you’ve just given our listeners, so many great tips on how to participate, how to and just how to be a better broker in general, whether you’re doing rentals or sales, or both. And so for everyone listening if number one if you’re a broker and you’re like boy, I want to work on a team like that contact CI howdy visit his website, which is realtor, ch why.com. Again, realtor, ch y.com All his contact information is there. We’re gonna post that in the show notes as well so you can get in touch with them. And also, if you’re a renter, or a buyer or a seller or an investor who is looking to work with a realtor like she how you reach out to him the exact same way he’d be honored to talk with you and he’s clearly a rising superstar in the Chicago realtor industry. There’s 46,000 realtors, by the way in the Chicagoland area. Chih Hao is is a rising superstar. So we’re so happy that he came on the show today and and on behalf of the audience, she how thank you for spending time you know how we know how busy it is for you right now with with rental season. And also on behalf of Chico and myself. We want to thank all the listeners for continuing to support our show. Please continue to support our sponsors. And please tell a friend, every listener if you can just think of one other realtor that could benefit from hearing this particular interview. Send this to a friend and also follow us on Facebook, you follow firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash keeping it real pod. Not only do we post the behind the scenes recordings of these interviews in real time, but we also post an article every single day that we find online dedicated to helping brokers grow their business. So we give you nothing but good quality content on there and great interviews like the one here with Shih Hao Yang, so she helped thank you so much again, and we wish you continued success. And this is a great great episode and so much value Farleigh sirs,
Chih-Hao Yang 55:00
thank you so much for having me. I’m glad to be here.