How Real Estate Agents Can Create Their Own Transactions • Sharon Rizzo

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For 32 years Sharon Rizzo of The Rizzo Group at Coldwell Banker has been one of Chicago’s top producing real estate brokers. She’s been the city’s #1 agent (out of 42k agents) and has built up a team that specializes in everything from luxury properties to investment opportunities for developers. In our conversation Sharon discusses the importance of adding investments to your portfolio, and how she and her team are staying as busy as ever during the current stay-at-home order.

If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!

Sharon Rizzo can be reached at (312) 953-4086 and sharon.rizzo@cbexchange.com.


D.J. Paris 0:00
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Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents. And for real estate agents. My name is DJ Paris, I am your guide and host through the show. And guys, we have over 150 episodes now. And that is really exciting. And I encourage everyone who’s newer to the show, to go back and read through the titles and descriptions of previous episodes, because so much of the content that our guests share is really timeless, and will could really stand you know, my idea starting the show was to create a library of the stories of top producers. And we’re really proud to say we’re we’ve hit a bit of a milestone. So we only have done that, of course because we have listeners. So thank you to everyone who has supported us and who continues to support us please remember to tell a friend and follow us also on Facebook. But guys, I just wanted to say thank you and now on to our interview with the great Sharon Rizzo.

Today on the show we have Sharon Rizzo of the Rizzo group from Coldwell Banker here in Chicago. If you’re not yet familiar with Sharon, everyone in Chicago who’s listening is already familiar. But for our listeners who aren’t yet familiar with Sharon, who live elsewhere, let me tell you a little bit about her. Sharon Rizzo is a familiar name in Chicago real estate. Her 32 year career is peppered with professional accolades, multimillion dollar deals, and industry recognition among local and national developers. More recently, she was the Chicago Association of Realtors Golden Eagle winner, which basically means she was the top agent in the city. And by the way, we should mention before I continue with Sharon’s bio, there are 42,000 realtors in the Chicagoland area. So this is a big, big accomplishment. It turns out, she did over 114 million in residential sales in 2005. Sharon had more than 60 million in sales in one year, making her the number one agent in Lincoln Park. That same year, she co founded a family run brokerage with her husband, Santo and their daughter Kelly, which later evolved into the Rizzo group. Now at your service through Coldwell Banker, Residential Brokerage, and I drive by her office every day on the way into my own office. And obviously, it’s a little The streets are a little less crowded at the moment, but excited to finally get Sharon Rizzo on the socials. Sharon, thank you so much for being part of the show.

Sharon Rizzo 3:32
Well, you’re welcome, DJ. I’m thrilled to be here. And good to know that you drive by the office all the time. We’re one of the few offices that actually has a parking lot,

D.J. Paris 3:40
usually huge parking lot.

Sharon Rizzo 3:42
It’s the know how cool is that?

D.J. Paris 3:44
For our listeners, Linkin Park is one of the most desired areas in all of Chicago. And parking is a massive premium. So you guys have the biggest parking lot of any any real estate firm I’ve ever seen.

Sharon Rizzo 3:58
very thrilling. We’re all happy about that, for sure.

D.J. Paris 4:01
Well tell us a little bit about you. You’ve been in real estate for such a long time and have such

Sharon Rizzo 4:05
oh my gosh, for a long time. I know how you got started. I know I was I had sort of a weird background. I mean, not weird, but an unusual background in that I was an audiologist actually at the University of Chicago. So I said I’ve great from the neck up, treat. We treated a lot of hearing issues, but mostly I diagnosed hearing problems. And I had a part time practice there. And then in my much younger days, I was under contract to Playboy models and traveled about 100,000 miles a year mostly as a narrator model spokesperson for major corporations and got married and decided I wanted to have a family and it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to travel 100,000 miles a year with a young family. So I was looking for something not to replace the audiology necessarily because that was a flexible part time thing but to replace the modeling, I was kind of done smiling and being on all the time. So I thought it was a good time. And my husband was with American Invesco at the time, which was sort of the condominium conversion king of the business. And he got me started and got me interested in sales, which I never thought I would be interested in. And little by little I eased into it completely became a sales manager for them, gave up my practice at the University of Chicago and became a full time realtor was also working for NBC a little bit as a broadcaster. So I gave that up as well. And I’ve been in real estate, the rest of my entire career, up until now.

D.J. Paris 5:49
Yeah, right. And everything’s changed. But, of course, I’m sure you’re still trucking along, you have a huge team we should mention, Sharon’s team is 15. People at this point, 15 realtors, and may even be growing in the future. But which can tell us a bit about why you developed a team? Was there a need at some point where business just became so so big and constant that you needed additional help?

Sharon Rizzo 6:16
Yes, that’s exactly what happened. I had been a sales manager in general brokerage for many years anyway. So I was used to managing a large group of people. So it was kind of natural for me. And little by little, I found that people sort of one or two to join, and it just really grew organically. As a result, we were also working on some very special projects that really required more people than just what my husband and myself could could accommodate. So it grew a little by little and now we have a team of 15. And they are really a diverse, terrific group. I can’t speak highly enough of the team. We’re very excited and the sales manager at Coldwell Banker has been so supportive and just terrific. So it’s been a great, great opportunity for us with Coldwell Banker.

D.J. Paris 7:07
Yeah, I am curious to know and I’m sure our listeners would be curious to know since you’re the head of, of this big team, how are you? What are you talking to your team about these days? Since we know right now, while we’re recording this, probably most of the country is still under a stay at home order. Real estate agents are likely at home most of the day as well. How are you and your team staying busy? What are you guys doing to keep the business running and growing?

Sharon Rizzo 7:35
Well, it’s interesting that you asked that because tomorrow first zoom virtual team meeting with with all 15 members and really going to see how they’re doing of course, I’ve kept in touch with them individually anyway. But they are doing virtual open houses virtual showings. Literally wearing masks and protective gear going up showing homes when when applicable. Sometimes we specialize a lot in condominiums, of course, being a downtown broker. And some buildings do not permit you to even come in. Some buildings aren’t even believe it or not permitting move ins and move outs which I was a little surprised at. But yeah, so most of it has been virtually However, one thing that we’re trying to get everyone to focus on right now is what is out there. That’s a really good investment. Because if you can find some really good investments right now, and there are quite a few. It. It’s, I think an easier time to get people focused on that to get buyers focused on that right now. So we’re really working on that.

D.J. Paris 8:52
Yeah, let’s talk a little bit about investments because I know that’s a particular passion of yours to educate other agents about wealth building through through real estate investments. So can you talk a little bit about you know, how you started, obviously, you know, with your history, you would have come across investors along the way. But But why why is this such a passion for you?

Sharon Rizzo 9:14
Well, we started out in condominium conversions. American Invesco was very well known for converting major high rises like Lake point tower, Millennium center, even which was new construction, which was a little bit different. And because of that, because you have to have a 50% presale, for example, in most of those buildings. To get that you really have to focus on investors. And that was very, very popular at the time because interest rates were not as low as they are now, which is another reason to be focusing on it but enough to where you had very little negative cash flow with about 20% down and so it was very, very easy and very popular to get investors to buy In condominiums, especially in a conversion, because you had a renter already built in, so we started focusing on that very early on, and really focusing not so much on selling the real estate per se, but rather what the real estate did for you. For example, you know, giving you the, let’s say, vacation home that you’ve always wanted, or sending the kids to college or whatever additional, you know, an independent retirement, for example. So we are focused on what the real estate could do for you, rather than the real estate per se. And we were able to build up a very large body of investors that we had that we were also able to refer to some of our team. So that has been very, very, very a big part of our business from the very beginning. And still is.

D.J. Paris 10:53
Yeah, I’ve always thought that real estate, if it was done with with the way you were mentioning as an investment is really an annuity at that point, and hopefully a cashflow positive annuity. But now with rates being as low as they are, really creates a lot more opportunities. And I wanted to ask you this, because we’ve had a lot of guests on the show over the years, who are real estate investors. And so seems that and then, of course, with with my own experience with realtors at our own firm, we have a lot of investors here as well. And it seems that the prevailing thought, and I’m saying this for the benefit of the audience who might not be working with investments or investors, that a lot of times a realtor might think or listener might think, well, I don’t know any investors and and from everyone I’ve ever talked to in sharing, I want to get your thoughts on this is that the guests will always often say, Well, that’s actually the easy part, finding the investor isn’t difficult, because there’s lots of people that that are cashflow heavy, or cash heavy, rather that are ready to to get a seven to 9% return, if that’s possible, but finding the deal is the challenge like don’t worry about the investors, they’ll show up, find the deal first. And then you know, typically the finding the money is the easier part, would you would you agree with that?

Sharon Rizzo 12:07
But yes, I would. And I think that what’s interesting to look at is pre 2008 when the market crashed, if you will, pre 2008 The interest rates were like seven and a half percent in like 2005 2006. So if you put say 10% down as an investor, and you could get that financing, then you would have a significant negative cashflow. Yeah, but because real estate has always appreciated from the very beginning, even in the 1980s, when it went up to 20%, there was a little bump, for sure, for a few years, but it jumped right back up. So we never had that big huge dip that we did in 2008. So you always banked on appreciation, and didn’t care, really about the negative cash flow. So in 2008, however, that, you know, that became a problem. And people were let you know, that’s when you had a lot of short sales and foreclosures, because people could not support it. But now, with interest rates literally being less than half of what they were in pre 2008. Now you can put 20% down and not have a negative cash flow. So even if there were a problem down the line, which we don’t anticipate that to happen again, like it did in 2008, because a lot of those problems have been connected, like giving a loan to someone who had a pulse. And yeah, all right. So as a result of that you don’t have a negative cash flow. So you don’t, you’re not going to have that kind of a problem that you did with teaser rates that they were giving pre 2008 And then all of a sudden you were left with a maybe a $2,000 a month negative cash flow on a $300,000 purchase, and a lot of people can support it.

D.J. Paris 14:00
Yeah. Well, and now and the other thing too about working with investors or or, you know, investment groups, is that right now, whereas, you know, realtors aren’t as easily able to show properties. A lot of times investors don’t need to see the property anyway, right? They just want to look at the numbers. And what a great opportunity with rates being as low as they are to find those those deals and present those to

Sharon Rizzo 14:24
exactly they will they will buy sight unseen, especially with a good virtual tour. Even if you have to do it subject to seeing it down the line lock in the deal now that I was able to do four of them as a matter of fact, in the past couple of weeks sight unseen just because of the very low interest rates and some of the great deals that are out there right now you have to look for them, but they are there.

D.J. Paris 14:48
So this is a good question. And I’m gonna I’m gonna ask you a difficult question that I know is is one that has could have a an hour long answer, but wanting to get some tips from you for our listeners who haven’t yet Get started to work with investors or find investments. But any ideas about how they can start to educate themselves on different opportunities where to search for properties? Obviously, the MLS is one, one area, but then there’s a lot of properties that never hit the MLS for investment purposes. So just some suggestions to our listeners, if you don’t mind about how they can start to educate about how this all works.

Sharon Rizzo 15:25
No, absolutely not. DJ, I think that, first of all, I’d love to find A plus B buildings, and a plus locations. Sure. And a lot, there are quite a few of those in River North high rise condominiums where they’re pretty maintenance free, you really can, as an investor purchase something in one of those buildings and really not have to worry too much about it. They have large staffs, and engineer maintenance person on site in many cases. And they’re also priced right in that sweet spot. Use me that my good is in that sweet spot right around, say 250 to $350,000. Square, one bedrooms, I generally suggest one bedrooms in that 250 to 350 range in a big building and an A plus location, there are a lot of them. And you will find that you will have very little if any negative cashflow was sometimes even 10% down if you can get that kind of financing. Right now 20% down for investors, maybe 25 is easy 20 You can get if you look for it. And it’s that would be my advice is to stick in that sweet, sweet sweet spot between 250 350,000 Generally a one bedroom, maybe a studio where you’re going to go down into the, say 170 to $210,000 range, and in a major high rise, but maybe one that’s a little bit older, but again, in a great location that’s always going to be sought after can’t go wrong with that. Yeah, that’s

D.J. Paris 17:18
very true. And we have to remember to that right now. I mean, with with investments, the lending is a little bit different, right? So you’re putting probably more down and the rates are slightly higher than if it’s best. But there’s still so incredibly low,

Sharon Rizzo 17:34
exactly, you’re going to be at you are going to pay a little bit more, but there’s still way too low to where it reduces your negative cash flow to virtual Well, when you consider the tax break. And depreciation, actually, it’s probably going to be a slight positive cash flow, which was not the case pre 2008.

D.J. Paris 17:54
That’s very true. So for everyone listening, by the way, there’s a great resource, I always recommend to get incredible knowledge, it’s probably not the best resource online. It’s called bigger pockets.com. It’s the largest forum for real estate investors. They just chat back and forth all day. And they have podcasts and books and all sorts of other things, but go to bigger pockets. And it’s a wonderful education, because it’ll connect you with other investors, but also just people talking investments all day.

Sharon Rizzo 18:20
No, I’m learning something.

D.J. Paris 18:23
You don’t need any in education. No, I

Sharon Rizzo 18:26
trust me, I can always stand to learn something. But I have to remember that that’s really good to know.

D.J. Paris 18:33
Well, and you know, obviously you don’t only work with investors to you work with traditional buyers and sellers, renters. can talk a little bit about you, do you mind sharing a little bit about how your team is structured? Is everyone working with their own clients? Or is it is it a collaborative approach where there’s different roles? How do you guys have it setup?

Sharon Rizzo 18:53
Well, we, I would say we’re kind of flexible on that everybody certainly works with their own clients. Sure. They work both rentals, no sales, absolutely. But right now we are working on some special projects that involve condominium D conversions. Now if someone had told me a few, a few years ago, I wouldn’t even I didn’t even know what that word meant. Many D conversion How could you ever D convert a large building a condominium to a rental What are specialty had been converting them from rentals to condominiums. I mean, it was it’s just unbelievable what has happened in the past five years. And we have been consultants for a company who has specialized in condominium D conversions. And we’ve gotten our entire team involved in that. So that’s some additional, an additional avenue for them. In addition to just general brokerage, and having the support of a major company You like Coldwell Banker and our sales manager who’s been very active as well, in helping to support the team?

D.J. Paris 20:07
I wanted to ask as well about rentals. So you’ve been a broker for so long. And I’m curious, and there’s a lot of realtors who get their license or who are, you know, building their business, and maybe they’re starting out, and they’re going well, I didn’t get my broker license to do rentals, right, I want to do the big sales, but maybe they don’t have a lot of sales right now, which probably most brokers don’t when they start out. And so I’ve always recommended to brokers who have the time to do it to do rentals, because not only can those people turn into buyers down the road, which hopefully they will, but you can, you know, learn that it’s a more immediate type of transaction. So there’s not as long as the lead time also gets you introduced to the to real estate, the local real estate market, and you can start to learn, of course of the different buildings that support apartments. But just curious on on what your thoughts are on rentals, right. Right now I know the rental market is I mean, well, we’re supposed to be right in the middle of rental market, of course, things have slowed a bit with stay at home. But right now in Chicago, normally, this would be our biggest rental time of the year. Just curious your thoughts on rentals.

Sharon Rizzo 21:16
And well, first of all, I totally agree with you, I think it’s a great way to get started, especially for a new agent, because it takes a while by the time you, you make your first sale, even if you’re doing pretty well, it could be four to six months, where with a rental, you get paid very, very quickly. Like you say you learn the market, you learn the ropes very, very quickly. I think that that’s a great way to get started, particularly for a new agent. So we highly recommend it. We have a lot of people on our team, who do rentals to support particularly the investors when you we have such a big investment base, that we have to get involved with the rental market to make sure that you’re doing full service real estate and giving them the proper service that they need. So it is great for full service Realty as well as getting new agents up and running in the business.

D.J. Paris 22:13
I also wanted to ask you about open houses. So right now open houses have changed. There’s probably no open houses at the moment. But But when things get back to normal, and of course they will hopefully sooner rather than later, but without a yet to be seen. But when things do resume normal to normal, how important Have you found open houses to be obviously from helping the seller, you know, get more marketing exposure to to the property, but also from a broker’s perspective going in and possibly finding buyers to to then work with on other properties? Is that an important part of of what your team focuses on with listings?

Sharon Rizzo 22:52
I think it’s important for the seller for sure. Yes. And I think it’s it’s obviously part of our marketing strategy, assuming that the seller wants a public open house. Sure. Some sellers do not. I do think what is very important is a broker’s open house for listings. And so we always encourage that, and very few sellers would not want you to have a broker’s open, but you want to expose as many other brokers to the property as possible. I never count on the fact that I’m going to sell the property through an open house. Sure. But I certainly want to expose it and also other brokers will come to an open house, and you still may sell it through another broker through an open house. So I think it’s important on many levels because of that.

D.J. Paris 23:43
That’s a really good point. Sharon, and I’m so glad you mentioned the broker’s open open house because I think you may be our first guest that’s talked about that, believe it or not, and we’ve done 150 Some episodes so I want to meet I want to circle back to that. So for everyone listening there is a you know, the opportunity to do open houses just for brokers is something that is somewhat popular here in Chicago and in your local market. It may or may not be what a great opportunity to get other realtors I mean it is called a cooperative commission. Right? So

Sharon Rizzo 24:14
it’s it is it is Let’s cooperate but reason.

D.J. Paris 24:17
But the most successful agents that I have known when they started out and maybe even they still do, although of course right now things things are paused. But when when when times are more normalized. The most successful agents I know go to those broker opens, they want to see what the inventory looks like because then they look more professional and more knowledgeable to their own clients. So hosting open houses just for brokers is a wonderful and smart idea. And the people that show up are typically going to be successful agents that want to see what else is out there. So

Sharon Rizzo 24:51
absolutely, absolutely. I think their broker’s open is really the most important. I think it’s actually more important than the typical Sunday open house. Wow, be honest, I really do. on many levels, you’ll find that brokers who are very experienced, they want to know what’s out there on the market, particularly if it’s if there’s a shortage. If they’re working with a specific client, they want to preview it, and what a great way to preview it without asking for an appointment without a client. And it’s also a great way for new agents. So new people on my team, for example, that’s one way that you encourage them to learn the market to learn what the inventory is out there in and to meet other brokers and establish relationships. So it has many far reaching advantages beyond just the open house, but the primary reason is to expose that property to as many brokers as possible, because they all are working with clients. So it’s, it’s very, very important. And it’s, there is a particular day, and it’s usually Tuesday from say, 10 to two, you can pick hours within that timeframe where it’s actually advertised on the MLS as right, right, and brokers look there, and they want to know what is out there, particularly if they’re working with a client and they want to preview it, they can go back to their client. See, I saw the perfect property for you, you got to see this. So it’s very important.

D.J. Paris 26:21
Yes. So I’m so glad you said that. And thank you for that information. And also think, you know, as everyone who’s listening, let’s think about the proposition, the value proposition to the seller, to be able to say, you know, I’m actually going to do two types of open houses for you. One is going to be for the innocent, I’m assuming that that’s what they want. But say, you know, one, of course will be for buyers to come in and view the property. But I’m also going to do a private open house, just for other agents in our area, because I want to expose, I want them to see this property. And and by the way, so So you guys understand, of course, that conversation, but I would almost bet that if you are up against a another agent, you’re both doing listing presentations, there may be looking at two or three brokers who did go with somebody who says, here’s why I’m going to do two different kinds. That is number one, I’m going to separate you from probably the other brokers that you’re in competition with. But also just it’s just a really good idea on top of it to help get more exposure to the property.

Sharon Rizzo 27:19
Yes, I agree with you. And one other thing that I stress with my, my team is not using lockboxes. unless you absolutely have to, particularly if it’s a property in certain instances, you can if it’s a vacant property, for example, but if it’s a higher end property, I still see brokers using open, I’m using lock boxes all the time, even on a million dollar property. And nobody knows that property better than the other than the seller than the listing agent. Because you’ve made it your business to know it, obviously, you need to show that property. And if a seller is going to hire us specifically to do it, then you should do it and not just let someone walk in on their own when they don’t understand what the you know, the highlights of the property are. There might be a lot about that property that that an agent just walking, and even the best agent walking in would not would not they would likely not know. So it’s very important. And that’s what separate can separate you sometimes as you say, I’m not I’m going to be there whenever possible to show that property. You know, in person, I’m not going to rely just on a lockbox because why would you be hiring me if you’re going to lose use a lockbox all the time?

D.J. Paris 28:42
That’s they can get their own lockbox? Exactly. Yeah. No, that’s it’s a very fair point. And I know this is a debate in the real estate community probably nationwide about should I go to my own showings for my listing? And and some people say yes, most brokers I think would agree that’s that’s a good idea. But that’s the conversation you can have with the buyer’s agent and say, hey, just so you know, I prefer to be there. I can stay out of the way I won’t interfere. But I want to make sure I answer those questions so that you, Mr. or Mrs. buyer’s agent, don’t feel the pressure to have to know everything about this property, I’m going to be your resource. We’re working together, you know, your clients won’t feel uncomfortable, you know, but I want to make sure that I can present the property in the way that that you don’t have to feel the pressure to, to know everything, so

Sharon Rizzo 29:29
Exactly, exactly. And particularly if it’s a higher end larger property, it becomes even more important. And you might do a lockbox on a vacant unit, even if it’s higher. And in the event. Let’s say someone is passing by and they want to see it right then and it’s impossible for you to get there and it’s a broker who might be familiar with the property. That would be a reason to do it. But for the most part, I tried to separate myself on a listing presentation by saying And then I want to be there for all the showings to sell the property rather than just show it

D.J. Paris 30:06
absolutely could not agree more. What a great suggestion. And for right now, for everyone who’s not going to a showing, you could tell the other agent, if they’re still going with their client and you’re unable to go or you’re a stay at home order. You could say, well, if you want put me on FaceTime, and I’ll be there. And I at least could answer questions as your client walks through. So but But what a what a great suggestion. I’m so so grateful that you

Sharon Rizzo 30:30
and so many people, you mentioned FaceTime, and of course, so many agents are using FaceTime now they’ll go through the property and use FaceTime with their clients. Yeah. During this this time, especially with a lockdown. So I’m glad you brought that up.

D.J. Paris 30:45
Yes, it’s where it’s this virtual world. It’s funny.

Sharon Rizzo 30:49
Can we recruit you on?

D.J. Paris 30:52
Yeah, well, I work just down the street, I’m only a couple blocks from you. So pretty close by you know, it’s funny, I have always know people who are listening can’t see this. But for everyone watching you will be LCS, I am normally in in a, you know, a tie and a shirt and suit pants. And this is this is it’s been kind of nice for the last month that we’re at stay at home. Even though I’m going into the office, I can dress down a bit. So I’m actually quite excited not to be so formally dressed, casual and fun. Yeah. So I apologize for everyone watching this and seeing that I’m a slightly dressed down. But it’s, as soon as the stay at home orders lifted, I’ll be back to my tie and my uncomfortable shirt and tie. But

Sharon Rizzo 31:39
on the bottom right? Well, that would

D.J. Paris 31:41
I would love that I do get to I do bring my dog to the office. So she’s underneath the desk. So that’s a lot of fun. But, you know, John, I wanted to also ask, you know, you have seen so many brokers. And when I say broker for everyone listening, of course, different parts of the country call real estate professionals, different titles. Here in Illinois, everyone’s a broker. So if I say the word broker, you’re like, I don’t know what that means. Or that only means people who own their own firm in Chicago or in Illinois, rather, that’s everyone’s, so I should just say realtor, a real estate professional. But you’ve seen a lot of real estate professionals, start their business become successful, I’m sure you’ve seen other agents struggle, and maybe even leave the industry without having the success they want. For anyone who’s looking to get to the, you know, to that next level, whether it’s just hey, I did three deals three sales last year, I want to get to six, or I did 30 sales last year, I want to get to 60, or whatever those numbers might be. Do you have any suggestions for what agents could do? Right now, when we’re all stuck at home? Were not able to as freely walk around and drive around? What would you suggest to to help agents, you know, grow their business?

Sharon Rizzo 32:51
That that is a great question. And the first thing I say is don’t be a secret agent, which I think a lot of agents tend to be you have to remember, you know, think sales 24/7. And it’s funny, normally, if we were not in this lockdown, I would say one of the first things is to get out to a good networking group. But I think we couldn’t, we will sort of skip that right now. And I, you know, again, I don’t know whether, you know, I’m coming back to the investments all the time. But this is a great time to do that. Because you, you are less likely to have your buyer or your potential buyer have to see the property in person, if you can give them a good virtual tour because it is more about the numbers. And what you know what the potential upside is of this particular property. So I think it would be a great time to look through the MLS pick some great again, B buildings and an A plus location and come up with some investments, from studios to one bedrooms, perhaps to start in that 175 up to $300,000 range, you’re going to find if you do your numbers with 20% 25% down, you very likely will not have a negative cash flow. And the returns are great. And come up with maybe four or five properties and try to link them up with some people you know, who have some cash to put down maybe even more and could do a cash deal, which would be even better. And I think that’s a great thing to do during this particular time. As opposed to somebody who’s actually going to live in the property because it may be a little tougher right now for that.

D.J. Paris 34:39
Yeah, I think you’re right. So Sharon saying learn study, start studying real estate investments, you know, it’s a great opportunity for you to add that to your skill set. So if you’re a realtor who is traditionally just working with buyers and sellers, you know non investors, this is a great time to add this because you The worst thing to happen is to a real estate agent, unless they’re just so incredibly busy, they’re happy to pass off a transaction to another agent. But if you’re not that busy, what you never want to happen is somebody to say, you know, I, I actually have want to do some investing. And you say, well, that’s not really what I know, or I do. And I have to now refer you out, which is okay, of course, but to spend this time that we probably all have a little bit more time than we have had in the past, to start to increase that knowledge so that you can service those customers, because you’re missing out.

Sharon Rizzo 35:33
Exactly, it’s a great way you can create your own deal here. Yes, rather than I think that is so important, you can create your own deal rather than waiting for somebody who has to sell a home, which is a little tough right now, or waiting for the buyer who has to see a home because they’re buying their, you know, a property for them, which is a little different mindset, of course, it’s still an investment. And it’s still important to focus on that. But it’s different when you’re focusing strictly on numbers. And this is a great time to create your own deal. By doing that, where you’re focusing on the numbers, and matching up someone you know, with a particular property downtown, pretty much like I was talking about in River North with the ayllu, you know, a plus location B property.

D.J. Paris 36:20
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And you know, we have so our listeners are not only real estate professionals, we also have buyers, sellers, investors, as well, who listen to the show, we’re really fortunate to have have a lot of listeners who listen to every episode. So if anyone is looking for a real estate professional who has a tremendous amount of experience, one of the top agents production wise here in Chicago, and has a team as well as a company, a wonderful company that’s supporting her. We you know, what, if somebody wants to work with you, or anyone on your team, Sharon, what’s the best way they should reach out to you?

Sharon Rizzo 36:58
Well, I think they could certainly look us up, obviously, through Coldwell bankers website. And I couldn’t be reached and I’m happy to also introduce anybody to someone on my team who I think might fit that person’s needs really well, we have all different age range. We’re very, very diverse team. And I’m really proud of these people. But my email, for example, is Sharon dodge Rizzo at CB exchange.com. That would be the best way.

D.J. Paris 37:33
Yeah, definitely reach out to share and her team is always growing, and they’re doing more deals after more deals year after year. And not only that, but just the amount of information and knowledge and and the generosity that Sharon has and provides. Her team is well known here in Chicago. So definitely, whether you’re, you know, an individual looking for an agent, or maybe even you’re somebody who’s looking to see what teams are offering. As for other realtors definitely reach out to Sharon to see to see how that all happens. But Sharon, I think this is a great place for us to pause. And to I would like on behalf of Sharon and myself to thank our listeners for continuing to support our show listening, we ask always just two quick favors from our listeners. One is think of another real estate professional that could benefit from hearing this great interview you just heard from Sharon, and please pass this over to them, they can always visit our website, which is keeping it real pod.com and stream every episode we’ve ever done. I think this is probably our 156 there. So episode, we have this huge history of a huge backlog in the library of content that they can go through. But also the second thing is we asked you to everyone to please follow us on Facebook. And then I’ll explain why in just a moment. So but you can find us on facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod. In addition to posting of course all of our episodes, we also every day, find an article online written by some institution designed to help Realtors grow their business. So we try to provide great content there as well. But on behalf of the listeners and myself, Sharon, we want to thank you for being part of our show you were one of the when I first started this about four years ago, you’re at the very top of our list of shortlist of guests that were in our dream guest list. And we’re so grateful to finally got you on the show and appreciate I know how busy you are. So I really appreciate your time. And thank you for being part of it. And on behalf of Sharon and myself. We want to thank again the audience and we will see everybody on our next episode. So thank you so much.

Sharon Rizzo 39:39
Thank you, DJ. It was an absolute pleasure to be on your show. And I’m thrilled that you thought of me. Thank you so much.

D.J. Paris 39:48
Well, we’ll see everyone next time. Thank you. Thank you

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