Erin Spradlin from Erin and James Real Estate talks about her own podcast Erin and James Podcast. Erin describes her journey into real estate and how she got involved in the business. Erin explains how the medium-term space renting works and emphasizes the importance of regionalizing the advise on investments. Next, Erin discusses remote work and the opportunities it brings in the investment world. Erin gives a tip on how to use AirBnB Try Before You Buy to help you decide where to invest. Last, Erin discusses her book “American Nomads: Finding and Renting to Remote Workers”.
Buy Erin’s book American Nomads: Finding and Renting to Remote Workers here.
Subscribe for Erin and James’ podcast here.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
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 in just a moment we’re going to be speaking with author and top producer Aaron Spradlin. Before we get to Aaron, just a couple of quick reminders. Please tell a friend I think of one other real estate agent that could benefit from hearing from top producers like Aaron and send them a link to our show. Easiest way is to send them right over to our website, which is keeping it real pod.com which they can stream every episode we’ve ever done right from that website. Or if there are a podcast listener, just have them pull up their podcast app and do a search for keeping it real and hit that subscribe button. Also, please leave us a review. So whatever podcast system you’re using, for example, iTunes, or Spotify or Pandora, feel free to leave us a review. Let us know what you think of the show. We really appreciate it. And as always, we say thank you for continuing to listen to us to support us and to keep us going so we can keep producing more episodes. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you and now on to our interview with Aaron Spradlin.
All right, today on the show our guest is Aaron Spradlin from Erin and James real estate in Denver and Colorado Springs. Let me tell you a little bit about Erin Erin Spradlin works with investors in Denver and Colorado Springs. Her niche is the furnished medium term space which caters to people that need a furnished rental for more than 30 days. Not only is she an ambassador of this trend for her clients, she’s also published a book on the topic, which is called American nomads finding and renting to remote workers. By the way, if you look in the show notes for this episode, you will see a direct link to Aaron’s book so please go check it out and buy it now. 14% of Airbnb guests one now this is interesting. 14% of Airbnb guests want 30 Plus day rentals. Right with with so this is the rise of the remote workforce. And the trend is growing fast. So Erin helps her clients find properties and tenants for this model, which is the reason that we wanted to bring her on the show because I was not familiar with this particular model, please visit Erin at her website, which is Erin and James and Aaron is E r i n So Erin and James real estate.com. Aaron, welcome to the show.
Erin Spradlin 3:29
Thank you DJ that was such a thorough intro. I appreciate it. And also clarifying that my name is E ri n instead of Aaro n which is sometimes sometimes those people rarely have. So I appreciate that. And I’m so excited to be on the podcast. I love the podcast. So Oh, thank you. Super excited to be a guest.
D.J. Paris 3:47
We should also mention before I forget, and I just did and so I’m so glad you said the word podcast because you have a podcast as well. Could you tell us a little bit about your podcast?
Erin Spradlin 3:57
I do. So it’s called Erin and James, Colorado Springs real estate if you Google that we should come up podcast. But we focus on Colorado Springs. And honestly we focus a little bit on Denver to just because a lot of our buyers just want to be in Colorado, they’re open to different areas. And I have lived in Denver since college and now I’m back in Colorado Springs, which is where I grew up. So we feel like we know both communities really well. And since we’ve been in business, depending on what our investors or our homebuyers want, we will point them in either direction.
D.J. Paris 4:29
Wonderful. And by the way, you can also get to Erin and James, the Colorado Springs podcast from their website, which again is Aaron and James realestate.com. And we will also in the show notes. There is a link directly to Aaron’s podcast. So please check that out and subscribe as well. So I will re welcome you to the show because I forgot about your your podcast. But I am really interested in talking about your business model. But before we get to that, we’d love to hear about your journey into real estate. So can you tell us about how you initially got involved in real estate and sort of what that looked like and how, how you’ve sort of transitioned now to working exclusively with investors.
Erin Spradlin 5:09
Yeah, so we, it was an interesting journey, I think kind of followed a lot of people’s in the sense that it wasn’t necessarily the plan. But both my husband and I were in marketing, and we had a background in marketing, I specifically worked for a small marketing company that worked for other small companies. So I had a lot of exposure to small businesses. And it was always a dream of mine to do that. My husband, so my boyfriend, now husband, at the time, in 2014, we were dating but we weren’t ready to move in together. So we were spending a lot of time together. So I decided I’m just gonna put my place up on Airbnb. And it’s crazy. But 2014 was kind of early days, Airbnb, at least, at least for Denver, there weren’t like a ton of options. And so I had put it up. And I thought, you know, if I just make 400 bucks a month on this, I’d be happy about that. And it would cut down my rents. And within 30 minutes, I just had $100 listings or $100. Sorry, reservations. And so then, you know, it was just crazy, we actually ended up doing Airbnb arbitrage where we were renting other places and renting it out, we promptly decided to move in together, because the money was so insane that we’re like, okay, we can do this. And then, long story short, because we were making that kind of money, we thought that there were probably other investors or real estate people that want to make this kind of money. And that would be interested in the laws around Airbnb, because they were rapidly changing. And it’s a city to city thing. So we both put our jobs within a month of each other, which was kind of wild. But even though I didn’t always see myself in real estate, I was wanting to own my own business and real estate seemed like the fastest vehicle and Airbnb seemed like a good niche for that. And as it just worked out, we absolutely love it, we think it’s a really great job in the sense that you know, their strategy involved, it’s a good income, and then also, it actually makes a huge difference in people’s lives. So it has a lot of the elements and a job that you would actually want. And I think we’re four and a half, five years into it. And it’s awesome. That’s the best decision I’ve
D.J. Paris 7:16
ever made. Wow. And did you ever have a traditional sort of realtor business where you were working with just normal non investment clients, you know, retail buyers and sellers? Or are people buying and selling the primary residence or, or have you always sort of been in the investor space?
Erin Spradlin 7:33
No. So we still do. So I would say, you know, 2525, to 40% of our business is just standard buyers and sellers, and then 50 to 60%. As investors, I think we’ve always been investor heavy, because we’ve done a lot of education and SEO and written a lot of articles for bigger pockets, and just been in that scene for a long time. And so those clients have been great to us, and they tend to be repeat clients. And, you know, there’s also a little bit of intimidation around those clients. So I think if you feel comfortable in that space, and you know, I think a lot of those clients too, are looking just for someone to double check their numbers or someone to talk to because it is scary, when you’re making a huge financial decision. For your family or for yourself, you want to make sure that like, a lot of times it helps to have a second set of eyes or somebody that’s a partner with you on that. And so I feel like that’s we provide that for clients. And I think it’s something that people are investors respond to,
D.J. Paris 8:28
for sure. And you had mentioned bigger pockets. And I only just want to pause for a moment because a lot of our audience may or may not yet be familiar with bigger pockets as a resource. But what bigger pockets is, is a great sort of a subscription based forum model. They also have podcasts and books and lots of resources. But basically, they’re a hub for learning about all things, investments and chatting with other investors. It’s really the place to be for the best education, you could probably get around learning about investments because it’s people who just kind of live live investments all day, chatting back and forth. So there’s like a social aspect to it. And then it’s really kind of a no brainer, if you’re looking to really get into that space. It’s I don’t know of any other resource that’s as vast so and we’ve had we’ve had some of the bigger pockets guys on our our show in the past. So for anyone who wasn’t familiar with that, and you’re interested in learning about investments, and I’ll ask Erin if she there’s any, you know, things she wants to add to that, but I would encourage everyone to check it out. It seems like a no brainer.
Erin Spradlin 9:33
No, absolutely. I always tell people I think your description was better. I usually tell people like face. It’s like Facebook for real estate. So it’s a great way to network with other people. I actually think too, you know, they’ve been very heavy in the investing space for a long time but my guess is long term. It will just become a real estate resource and I think you’re even starting to see that so I think it’s a good space to be in regardless if you’re in real estate and then I know Millie and acres is also kind of making a push, as well, and I’m less familiar with them. But I do think it’s interesting because you’re starting to see articles are starting to see them enter that space as well. Yeah, so
D.J. Paris 10:11
just to pause this for a moment and just mentioned another great resource on the non investment space. So the two best communities I found for realtors to hang out. And it’s not just realtors, but but the vast majority of people who listen to our Realtors to the show. Again, bigger pockets is awesome for investments. Anyone who does investments, who’s a realtor is probably already familiar. But if you’re not check it out. And then as a more traditional realtor labcoat agents is just insane. So check them out as well on the retail space there, you can find them on Facebook. But anyway, back to Aaron. So. So tell us a little bit about Aaron and I were chatting beforehand. And it’s particularly interesting because I myself am not, I’m not an a real estate investor. I mean, I own a place, but I live there. So I wouldn’t call that an investment. I’ve always thought it was funny that people can sit, people will put their primary residence in their asset column on their, you know, on their balance sheet. But it’s not really an asset, right? Like, it’s only an asset the day you sell it, and then and then and then you have to live somewhere else. And unless you’re renting or something, you don’t probably get to bank all of that money. So I’ve never really thought of primary residence as investments. Of course, we’re talking about, you know, I guess it could be your primary residence, if you also have other units there and you’re renting out other prop, you know, part, they call it, you know, the, you know, house hacking or multifamily investing. But can we just just let’s just go through because you Aaron has a very particularly interesting thought about investments. So, and this is just one little minor point that I wanted to have her discuss. But we were talking beforehand about cash flow. So investors tend to want to look at long term investors not fix and flip, but buy and hold investors, right? They are typically looking at cash flow. So they want to see, you know, net, at the end of the month, like you were saying you were making 400 a month, that’s pretty good cash flow. But right now, we’re kind of in a weird spot with where we are in the housing market, and a lot of stuffs appreciated. And so Aaron was sent over some, some math, a really simple math that said, you know, if something’s appreciated, you know, $100,000, well do the math on how long you you’d have to make that up in passive income. And you know, and it could be, you know, 15 plus years before you see that same return. Are you starting to have those conversations with investors who were buying hold, who are now thinking maybe I should cash out?
Erin Spradlin 12:47
Definitely, I mean, I think for the last two or three years, it’s been a big conversation locally in Denver, and Colorado Springs, and not just for myself, but for a lot of real estate agents. And I think the frustration has been that traditionally, the rental model. And the way to have a good investment is to have really high cap rates and high cash flow. And that just does not work here up and down the front range unless you’re doing a short term rental, and you’re managing it yourself or a medium term rental and managing it yourself, then that might
D.J. Paris 13:15
just pause you for a sec, because what you just said was really important. And so short term and medium term, we’re not talking about 12 month leases here. Now we’re talking, what do you define short and medium term as
Erin Spradlin 13:27
so a short term would be like 30 days or less. And traditionally, what you think of as Airbnb VRBO, and then a medium term, typically what we see is still furnished, but it’s for the 30 days or more. And that usually, you know, it’s what happens is people will come in definitely this summer, we’re seeing more just 30 day 60 Day rentals. But a lot of times these people actually will end up renting for six months or a year. But they initially come in with, you know, month to three month lease and go a little bit longer. And that’s what we mean by that medium term space. And so if you’re managing either of those yourself, maybe you can cashflow in this market, but if you’re doing long term rents, you have a property manager on it, it’s really it’s very hard. And so as agents, sometimes it’s frustrating, because people will come in and say, you know, I want this and then and then you go through three months of them saying the numbers just don’t work. The numbers just don’t work. And it’s like, yes, they don’t work because the rents don’t the rents have not matched the mortgages yet. But the point that, you know, you and I had been talking about before we started was that, you know, if you go to the Midwest or somewhere, you can have good cash flow, they’re gonna have 400 $500 A month cash flow, but traditionally those houses don’t appreciate a house that was 30,020 years ago is 30,000. Still and this would be like Tulsa ish area. Where as you know, and I mean, I don’t mean Chicago basically, is what I’m saying. I’m talking about Kansas, Oklahoma. This is like that. However, so people will think okay, that’s a great investment. I mean, 405 I’ve $100 a month in cash flow. But in Colorado for the last couple of years, we’ve seen close to $100,000 in appreciation every single year, or, you know, in a bad year, or 50,000, or 25,000. But if you take that one example, of 100,000 in the year, if you did that in Colorado, and you have that appreciation versus the same investment or similar investment in Oklahoma, that’s $500 a month, it would take you 16 and a half years of $500 a month to get to that 100,000. So just trying to talk to people about how to think about investing differently, and maybe to question some of the advice that we’ve always taken as gospel, it just might not be relevant anymore. And I felt that way, too, when I first started investing, and was in the short term space, some of the clients that I would work with, it was like, No, my dad and best and he says a multiplex is the only way to go. And you know, this is an it’s got to be long term rents, and it was like, You should really be looking at the Airbnb numbers, because they’re stronger than that they’re gonna appreciate you’re gonna make way more money. And you don’t necessarily need a duplex to do that. So just trying to speak to people that like, yes, it’s always been done been done this way. But there’s potential for a new way to think about it. And I do think you’re starting to see that more. And the other and the other thing I just to add, one more thing is that I think a lot of real estate advice, sometimes that you hear is national real estate, investing advice, and it really should be regionalised. Right? Like, the investment that you would have in Colorado is very different than the investment you would have in the Midwest. So just, you know, depending on what your goals are thinking about it, and, and the best way to go about doing it.
D.J. Paris 16:43
The other thing that’s kind of neat about the Airbnb model, aside from the fact that, you know, they’re going to do a lot of the marketing for you, and just, you know, some some of the headaches around, you know, figuring out who’s a good tenant, you know, for the short term, or midterm now is that, and I, you know, I’m so sort of like this, this wouldn’t have occurred to me, because maybe I’m just not very logical. But I, my thought was, oh, if you’re renting out your property with via Airbnb, it’s going to create more wear and tear because there’s more turnover. And the I’ve heard the exact opposite from investors that there’s actually less wear and tear, because people tend to treat places they’re only in for a couple of days, or maybe a week a lot better than they might treat a place that they’re living in for 12 months is have you found that to be true, or is that not always true?
Erin Spradlin 17:33
No, that’s definitely been my experience. And I think the medium term space as well, I always say, you know, people have a fear of tenants. And, you know, I just personally have not really had a bad experience with a tenant. And I think some of that may come from the fact that I have been in the medium term and short term space. So I haven’t, you know, I’ve had one tenant that started as a medium term, and I think he stayed for 18 months, but still, he took care of the place impeccably. And, you know, I just I have not knock on wood. But I have not had a bad experience with tenants. And I do sometimes wonder if that’s if part of the reason for that is because of the short and laces.
D.J. Paris 18:12
Yeah, it’s very, it’s very interesting. Well, let’s talk about remote work. So tell us a little bit about this trend in just so the workforce and how this has been an opportunity for you on the in the investor space.
Erin Spradlin 18:24
So this is a topic I feel extremely passionately about, I think investors should really be paying attention to, I kind of think it is the next it is the next step for Airbnb and you’re seeing Airbnb talk about it. The stat that you actually quoted in the beginning with the 14%, Brian Chesky has come out. So the CEO of Airbnb has come out and said, you know, it took us 10 to 12 years to get to 14% of people, 14% of our guests that wanted 20 days or more stays. But in the last two years, that’s now bumped up to 24%. So almost a quarter of their rentals are 28 days or more. And then you’re just that’s remarkable, right? And in two years, right, and I’m sure some of that is the pandemic but that’s going to that’s going to continue and I think when you look at Airbnb, I think they believe that too, because there’s a page dedicated to 28 day or more stays, but there’s also a page dedicated to it’s called try before you buy but it has to do with Tulsa remote and some other communities where they are trying to get remote workers to pick their communities to live and that’s because remote workers typically have $100,000 or more in salary. And places like Tulsa believe they’re going to spend their money in Tulsa and potentially stay and make the city better. So it’s a really good investment for them. So the try before you buy is a whole page on Airbnb dedicated to these different cities that are making offers to remote workers to come in. And it’s the space we’ve lived in for a long time because we We had Airbnb investments where we were doing Airbnb on it, but the laws changed or we just burned down on it. And so we ended up flipping to saying, Okay, we’re not going to sell the furniture, but we’re going to keep these rentals for, but we’re just going to make it 30 days or more. That way, we’re still complying with the local laws, but we can have these shortened tenant certainly says, and it’s just been amazing, the tenants are great. They, they don’t pay as much as the short term renter, but they definitely pay more than a long term renter, and they’re just easy to work with, you typically don’t hear from them a lot. They’re, they’re professionals, and adjust, we found this model to be very easy, and I’m passionate about this, because I think in the future, you’re just going to see more and more and more of this because of the remote work becoming more of an option for people.
D.J. Paris 20:48
Yeah, that makes that makes a lot of sense. I imagine if if the if the demographic say that people who are exploring these kinds of opportunities, maybe going to another city for a month as try before you buy via the Airbnb sort of program. These are, as you said, if the if the demographic say that these people make, you know, on average, at least 100 grand, yeah, you get these are probably people that you would put in the professional category that, you know, have, you know, maybe there’s a they’re not coming into party for the weekend, and then leave. These are people that are really thinking about Where’s where’s my life going to take me and, and is this is Topeka, Kansas, the place I want to be for that. And so there’s there’s all these communities and cities that are really eager to get this remote workforce. Because I mean, the genie is sort of out of that bottle, the pandemic forced that hand. And, you know, we’ve seen it here in Chicago downtown, we have these beautiful, wonderful, the cityscape, that these beautiful office buildings that, you know, I don’t know what the occupancy is anymore, but it’s still, I imagine they’re struggling. And so I don’t know how many employees I would be very curious to see in the next two years, how many of the what percentage of the people who, who worked remote during the pandemic are still working remote I, I don’t know if it’s going to be 50% or 25%. But whatever the number is, it’s going to be a lot of people working from home that are now thinking, Oh, I can I can work anywhere. And
Erin Spradlin 22:17
yeah, and I think there’s, you know, a generational divide there, too. They’re saying some of the older population wants to go back and the younger population does not they’re saying 33% of the workforce is threatening to quit if they’re brought back. And so I think what we’re seeing is that, you know, there’s kind of two different ways of people doing this. So there are people that are just traveling to different cities in the US that they had a curiosity about, and just living, you know, for two months in Denver, two months in Seattle, two months in LA, whatever, trying to decide where they might want to live, or just having that experience. And then there’s also people that are moving into communities that, that you know, they want to live somewhere and check out the community and then decide what neighborhood they best want to buy in. And so that’s the try before you buy aspects of Airbnb. So like saying, like, come check out the community don’t buy a house yet when you don’t necessarily know what neighborhood you want to be in. And I think it’s interesting too, because the remote work is that’s absolutely pushing it. But in the past, you know, people thought of this as the traveling nurse model, or the corporate professional model, and that’s primarily who we rent it out to before COVID hit. And then also, just as a side note, when COVID hit, there are also a lot of people that wanted did not want to spend COVID in their house with their spouses. We actually that some people that were maybe on the brink of divorce, and this is like a separation period. And so that’s also another subset that we get sometimes these high skilled,
D.J. Paris 23:47
yeah. Or they were just in a high risk environment at work. Maybe they worked at hospitals, and it made sense for them to not be at home with their spouse, because there was just contamination issues and infection. And so yeah, that’s very interesting.
Erin Spradlin 24:02
Absolutely, we didn’t, we didn’t have anyone like that. But some of my clients that I actually have a client that had a place she had just bought in Michigan, right before this whole thing happened. And they were, you know, really worried they weren’t going to be able to get anyone but when COVID Had they flipped it basically into a rental for people, yes, that you know, didn’t want to endanger their families and their families were vulnerable. So they would come and stay there or they would be in quarantine, basically, and then go see their families. So very interesting how this has changed things.
D.J. Paris 24:35
Yeah. And again, I’ll be very curious to see what percentage returned to a traditional nine to five same office every day. Life. And I Yeah, it’s funny because you think like, okay, maybe the employer gets slightly less production because out of out of the employee, because maybe they’re working from home and the more easily distracted, there’s not as much structure. So I think we could logically make that argument that they’ll be less productive, but the also saving on office space, the employer. So you know, it probably nets positive for a lot of businesses, not all businesses, but certainly a lot of them. And so as those numbers start to become more evident and Published and Promoted in the work of sort of the, you know, the business world, it’ll be very interesting to see how long people now stay in certain markets to live. Or if there’s just a, you know, people typically maybe who are single, or don’t have children or are newly married, and have the ability to sort of travel around more and spend 30 days here or there. And I know you guys have obviously, that’s your your whole model, you see tremendous amount of people doing that. I am curious to talk just for a moment about I think we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about pricing, because right now with so much appreciation that we’ve seen, and we hear more about it, I think with primary residences, but in the investor space, are you finding it more challenging these days to make the numbers work? Because you know, prices have appreciated? Or is it in your market? Is it still possible to find some of these, these properties that and you know, and make them cash either cashflow positive, or, you know, good sort of shorter, shorter term investments,
Erin Spradlin 26:21
I have only found it to work in my market, if you are doing a furnished rental, either short term or medium term, I’m not finding it working with the long term, if you’re buying anytime recently, we’re also seeing people also buy places and then rent out rooms to individuals versus the whole house. But again, in a furnished space and, and then also taking out the property manager, especially with the medium term, I think with the short term, it’s harder, because you have to have a reliable cleaning crew all the time and stuff. So trying to do that out of state can be challenging. I think with the medium term, I have strongly discouraged my clients for being an any kind of property manager because I’m like, you just need a good relationship with one handyman, one cleaner, and then a Smart Lock. And that takes care of a lot. And you know, and then as you go along, you’ll get your systems down. And this is something I’ve talked about a lot in the book with checklists, and how to think about how to write your leases a little bit differently, and what the insurance product looks like and things like that. But I just think that, you know, we we self manage all bars, because we just haven’t found it to be a big issue. Whereas I would never self manage a short term. Because I think it does require a lot of you. But I think you know, the long term. I don’t know, I think it’s really hard in Denver and Colorado Springs right now to have, you might break even. But I don’t think you’re gonna do it with the 5% expenditures and things like that. So it’s just, it depends on you know, what you’re going for?
D.J. Paris 27:50
Yeah, you’re absolutely right. It’s so interesting, though, because it seems counterintuitive to people maybe who aren’t in the investment space to think short term and medium term rentals typically don’t require property management, or, you know, a professional property manager, third party property manager, but you’re absolutely right. My sister has a property in in Tampa, she lives there. She has an investment property that’s very close to where she lives, and she does short term and medium term rentals, just like yourself. And yeah, she I go, Oh, who’s your property manager? And she’s like, Oh, you we don’t need one. And they’ve had it for years. They go she she goes and checks it out every you know, every few weeks just to make sure things haven’t you know, completely, you know, gone to pot. But she’s like, No, you don’t, I don’t need anything. She goes, I just need a great shoe. Like you said, I have a great handyman, I have a great cleaning crew. And that’s pretty much an Airbnb sort of takes care of the rest. I mean, it’s it’s really remarkable. And I wonder almost if property management companies are starting to, you know, feel some pressure to compete in that space. But so, so the pricing, you’ve seen increase, has there been more competition from investors trying to do to, you know, sort of grab these properties? And has that driven prices even further up? Yeah, I
Erin Spradlin 29:09
think I just read something. There’s a lender here that we follow. And I think you had an article saying that 30% of 30% of properties being bought in the last 12 months were cash, and quite a few of those were investors. And so I think, you know, I guess I think it’s kind of hit or miss, right? Like it depends on the investor. I think in some ways, we’ve benefited from this with remote work because when you can live anywhere, a lot of people want to live in Colorado or they want to live on the coast. On the other hand, it’s gotten so expensive that if you again believe or ascribe to that cash flow that might turn you off because you’re not getting get that in this market. So a lot of times to what we’ll see is people that actually do buy as a primary and then they house hack. They have the basement or something where they rent it out and you also find people that are buying now because they just don’t believe in the long term. Um, that they’re ever going to be able to, you know, if things continue to go the way they have been in two or three years than buying a house and Colorado will be totally out of the question. So they’re buying now living house hacking or, you know, accepting of the fact that if you if they are going to do a long term rent, that they might not cashflow on it, but eventually they’ll have a house in Colorado when they’re ready to retire.
D.J. Paris 30:20
Yeah, it makes sense. And also to there’s, you know, with this medium term, rental, remote sort of opportunity, as I’m thinking about it, from our listeners perspective, you know, these, these are going to be people you know, who are professional, who are highly skilled, and are sought after in whatever field they’re in. And if they’re able to, if their family situation allows for this, and their work situation allows, they’re going to be able to be mobile. And this try before you buy thing is a really good idea. And so as a realtor, you might start to want to have these conversations with your clients to find out what their future goals are, right? I think that’s a huge opportunity. Because, you know, you can start talking about these things. And and as a result, if, if the client is now saying, we may want to sell our primary home here, and now we never thought we were always thought we were chained to, you know, Chicago or wherever. But now, now we those chains maybe don’t exist as much. And so we’re going to explore other opportunities. So as the realtor, I might think, oh, gosh, I’m not going to lose a client. But I think the realtor can still help with directing these clients to check out other cities and towns and say, Hey, I’ve got some ideas for you. But also, eventually, those, those that couple, that client may, and probably will purchase somewhere else. And so that’s an opportunity to refer business to a realtor in another state and city. So I think that’s a huge opportunity is really starting to build your network of people you want to refer to, like, learning about other markets, which I know is daunting as a realtor to think I have to know about my market. And now I have to sort of understand other markets. But what really all you have to understand is, where do people in your market go? Either for the winter? Where do they tend to vacation? What cities are close enough by that are really attractive? Maybe they’re more affordable, and start to talk to them and say, Hey, what is your long term plan? Here? I am your realtor. And even if you move to another city, I still want to be able to help you. So anyway, I know I just went on a bit of a rant there. But I was curious. I was just thinking as you were talking, I’m curious if you see those kinds of opportunities for traditional realtors who have clients that maybe leaving town?
Erin Spradlin 32:44
No, I think that’s great advice. And we have really strong relationships with a realtor in Austin, and then also one up in the mountains, because we don’t serve the mountains. And so those relationships have really paid off. I also just think in general, clients, even I, you know, this is something my husband’s been very great about it. I feel like I have adopted more last couple of years. But I think clients really respond to you just being humble and a resource. And even if it’s not going to pay off for you now. People remember that and they have goodwill towards you. And it shows back up maybe in three years, maybe it’s not an immediate thing, but just helping people in educating them. They I’ve just found people like that, especially in something as as intimidating as investing right with you can really help them, especially for first time investors, like really help them feel good about it and talk to them about a lot of the like a lot of the things they’re afraid of that they don’t want to admit and say this is totally normal and stuff, but also to your point having those relationships and referrals and other cities. And something I would recommend to other real estate agents is to go onto the try before you buy page for Airbnb and see what cities they’re talking about. Because those cities are going to have remote workers that need furnished houses. And so it might be a real opportunity to buy up in those communities and have a furnished rental because you know, and I actually would pay attention to the ones on the Airbnb page, because I think a ton of cities are are starting to launch these and not all of them will be successful. And my guess is that Airbnb has really vetted, which ones they believe will be successful.
D.J. Paris 34:21
So Erin just gave a really, really good piece of advice. And I just want to I want to I want to double up on it. So what she said was go to and we’ll link to this in the shownotes. So go to the Airbnb, or just Google Airbnb try before you buy it comes up. And what you see there is a little description of kind of what that means, you know, medium term rentals, you know, space 30 plus days, I think is kind of their definition. And also it shows all the communities that they are kind of rolling this out. And so Aaron just gave a really great piece of advice such as maybe as investors, you know, you’re thinking about your local market, but this remote workforce thing is likely not going away. So look to see what communities are participating in Airbnb is nice enough to show you exactly the the communities that are participating in this, like Topeka, Kansas, I think is on the list that we mentioned. So this is an opportunity for you as an agent, to then say, you know, I’ve been reading a lot about this try before you buy model of Airbnb, you know, Mr. or Mrs. Investor. And I know we’ve we’ve traditionally focused here in our local community, I want to talk about this, and I want to start thinking about opportunities for you and other other areas. And then as the realtor, all you really need to do is find other realtors who who focus on the short and mid term rentals in those markets and develop relationships with them. And hopefully start you know, passing, passing leads back and forth. But you can also do that locally, too. So if you are an agent, who, you know, maybe you’re an agent in Topeka, and you’re like, I don’t really want to play in this investor space, because it’s not really what I do. I like working with, you know, first time homebuyers who they just going to buy for their primary or whatever. Find somebody who does this locally or in other markets. And boy, that’s there’s just tremendous benefits to you, as the agent don’t have to know everything I imagine. Aaron, you probably get referrals from other realtors who say, you know, this is somebody that is right in your wheelhouse? Can you take care of it for me?
Erin Spradlin 36:17
Yeah, absolutely. And I think you know, I so I always had something called the orange theory theory, which was basically like, if you’re looking to invest somewhere and you’re starting to see orange theory be there or Whole Foods or Starbucks, it’s like, you don’t need to actually do your own research or demographics they have done for you. They’re not showing up for no reason they’re not dummies, they’re there for a reason. And I think it’s the same thing with this Airbnb and try before you buy I’m like Airbnb is that they have done the research to see who’s doing it right and who’s not. And so I think that the logic kind of follows there. And I remember one time, my husband was timing, I think this is so funny that he said, you know, McDonald’s does hundreds of 1000s of dollars in research for real estate and Burger King does $0 And they just follow wherever McDonald’s, be the Burger King, and then and just benefit off of the big companies that have the money to figure out where you should be.
D.J. Paris 37:15
It’s such a smart thing I went to Santa Fe about maybe 15 years ago with my mom, just a little father, mother, son trip. And we it Santa Fe is a wonderful city, if anyone has been there, you’ll know just how beautiful and lovely it is. But it’s a relatively small city, it’s not as big as you might think. But there are two whole foods in Santa Fe and which is shocking for the population. And then you kind of go like, Oh, a lot of wealthy people live here, like, and then again, this is 15 years ago when Whole Foods was really just a wealthy person’s grocery store. And it isn’t so much that way anymore. Although it’s still can be of course, but But I thought, Oh, this is a place that is is is definitely growing and their population is increasing. And, you know, so so the point, that point is very good. And so again, yeah, go to the Airbnb website for try before you buy it, and just take a look at those communities and very least, find another realtor out there who specializes in short and mid term rentals and start a conversation and say, Hey, I’m going to start talking to my clients about your community. Can we ever jump on to like a three way call with my clients? Who are investors? Or can I just start passing leads over to you and again, boy, what a tremendous amount of value you have just brought to your aid to your clients without really having to know much about those particular communities. up real quickly, before we wrap up, I definitely want to get to the book, which we talked about at the very beginning, but not not enough. The book is called American nomads finding and renting to remote workers is exactly what we’ve been talking about this whole time. Can you just give us a little a little bit more information on the book?
Erin Spradlin 38:47
Sure. So I mean, it’s interviews with people that have done it’s checklists that cover it. Just different conversations about how you might find these renters out, you know, Airbnb is going to have it but there’s also other websites that we’ve used for a long time that we find to be strong that take lower fees than Airbnb how to think about insurance, how to think about, you know, what a remote worker would want in their space that might be different than than your standard renter. And then also, the difference between a remote worker that’s a single a couple or a family because identify, you know, I have a girlfriend that just did it for eight months, and she was talking about a kitchen is so important for the family. And then also privacy because you have to get away from your kids a lot, you know, to to maintain, you know, business calls and stuff. I was shocked to see that nobody was doing second screens, and then also just talking about how you would advertise your particular like a lot of people say that they’re good for remote workers, but then when you look through the listing or whatever, it’s like well, there isn’t a private space, there isn’t a second screen, they’re not talking about Wi Fi. So just talking about the different ways that you really want what you want to put up front and how to think about these people and just I just really studied who remote workers were and I really studied what they would want and then pulled checklists from our experience and things that we’ve found that have really streamlined it so that things aren’t falling through the cracks. And it’s just, it’s just been really easy. And I am, like I said, I’m passionate about this, because it’s been very good to us. And we really like those kinds of clients, or those kinds of tenants. And our clients tend to as well.
D.J. Paris 40:23
Yeah. And if you are an investor, and you’re want to play in the in the in this sort of work, remote workforce space, definitely upgrade your internet speed to, you know, a fast connection and promote that in you know, and I don’t know what else. Yeah, yeah, make sure that maybe it’s a screenshot of the actual uploads and download speed. But like that, I know, for me, that would be absolutely critical. If I were to, you know, do remote work, I would, I would, is embarrassing. And I would hate to like ask the owner, can you run a quick speed test and send it to me, but I don’t know, sort of, I would need that.
Erin Spradlin 41:00
Yeah, and also put it in your listing. So the speed test here is for this, and we’re happy to provide that for you. On an EndNote. Two, I’ve done an interesting, a lot of people that can travel singles and couples, they don’t have kids, but they have animals that they are very serious about. So being pet friendly. And if you have a fully fenced in yard, that will make your ratings go through the roof. That is a hard thing for remote workers or all renters to find on Airbnb. And so that’s something where again, in my interviews, it was just coming out like finding a place that was pet friendly, was a real limiting factor. So I think you can charge more for that. And I definitely think for the demographic of remote workers, a lot of them care a lot about their Furbabies. So being accommodating to that.
D.J. Paris 41:44
Well, the book again is American nomads finding and renting to remote workers. Also, everyone go look in the show notes for the link directly to the book. And you can purchase it there. Also check out Aaron’s website, which also has links to her podcast, which is Erin and James again, era n and James realestate.com. That’ll also be in the show notes era. And this was such a fun conversation. And it’s really funny just to pull back the curtain a bit on our show we get because there’s so many real estate investment podcasts already. I mean, there’s dozens and dozens of them. A bigger pockets, of course, is probably the best example of that. But we have specifically not really talked much about investments since we we started and we get pitched by publicist every single day talk to my investor client who wants to come on your show. And we almost always turn it down simply because we don’t think our audience would would find as much value in that as they could if they went to like BiggerPockets web podcasts. But this has been so wonderful for our audience, I really want to thank you for making investment stuff fun to talk about. I really do appreciate it. And I love the fact that you’re so passionate about this remote workforce sort of trend, which likely isn’t going away anytime soon. And there’s just tremendous opportunity there. So Aaron, thank you on behalf of the audience for coming on and sharing with us that this knowledge. And on behalf of Aaron and myself, we want to thank our audience for continuing to listen and support our show before before you sign off from this episode. If you’re still listening, please follow us on Facebook, go to facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod and hit the follow or the like button. And you’ll get all of our episodes. And we also post an article every day about how agents can grow their business right on our Facebook page. And and please just tell a friend about the show. Think of one other real estate professional that could benefit from hearing this great interview with Aaron and send them a link right to our website. If they’re not a podcast person, just send them to keeping it real pod.com Or if they are podcast person, just have them pull up their app and search for keeping it real and hit this subscribe button. Aaron, thank you so much.
Erin Spradlin 43:51
Thank you, DJ. This is so fun. Thank you. Awesome.
D.J. Paris 43:53
Well, thanks everyone for listening and we will see you on the next episode. Thank you