Alexander Concepcion with Taco Street Locating describes how he landed in Austin and how he got into apartment locating. Alexander describes what does the rental market cycle look like and talks about non-MLS rentals. Alexander also talks about the process of finding rental leads and discusses the importance of knowing your inventory. Last, Alexander talks about his master class in rentals and what this course offers.
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D.J. Paris 0:00
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Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping the real the largest podcast made by real estate agents. And for real estate agents. My name is DJ Paris. And in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with Alex Concepcion, who is a top realtor and also a top super agent for renters. But before we get to Alex, just a couple of quick reminders one, please support our sponsors. They support us during these episodes, please check out their products and services and consider investing in them for your business. And second, tell a friend to think of one other agent that hasn’t yet listened to our podcast and send them a link to our website, which is keeping it real pod.com Every episode we’ve ever produced can be streamed right from a browser or if the person you’re sending us to is a podcast listener of other shows, just have them pull up whatever podcast app they use search for keeping it real and hit that subscribe button. All right, thank you so much and on to art my Episode Sorry, under my conversation, which is really the episode of Alex Concepcion.
Today on the show is Alexander Concepcion from Darko street located serving Austin Houston and Dallas. Let me tell you more about Alexander. Now Alexander is a Cuban American born and raised in Miami, Florida, he moved to Austin to chase riches and tacos. After trying a bunch of random gigs going broke, he stumbled into apartment location services and created taco street locating. Now after more than 400 deals and 700,000 in revenue, he’s becoming one of the most successful independent apartment locators in Texas, probably in the country out not just Texas, what he’s not locating, he’s working on a book that he’s writing. He’s also being a low budget Anthony Bourdain. That’s not the book that’s a coma being a low budget Anthony Bourdain, Cooking, playing disc golf and also working out I have two websites, I want everybody to check out first, just to see what Alexander is all about taco street locating is his apartment, locating service. But he also teaches and we were just chatting about this beforehand, we believe the first and maybe only course out there for agents to learn how to do apartment locating. So the best way to learn about this course and we’re going to talk about it today, visit the website apartment locating mastery.com By the way, both of those links are in the show notes. So just scroll to the show notes. Click on in particular apartment locating mastery to see his course owl Alexander I keep wanting to call you Alex because I have a very close friend named Alex. So I apologize. I might stumble over that here. But anyway, Alexandra, welcome to the show.
Alexander Concepcion 4:16
Thank you. Yeah, I I used to go by Alex but I switched to Alexander this year. Because I it’s my actual full name and I just like it more. So there’s less Alexander’s. I’m like I’m going with it to mind.
D.J. Paris 4:31
I like it. I think there’s some names that sound better shortened. And I think Alexander is not one of those names. I like it better. It sort of works all the way through. Now I My name is a nickname so I’m sort of not one to talk but, but my name is actually it’s a Spanish name. It does. It doesn’t I’m not I’m not from any sort of Spanish speaking country. But my name is Delfin is the D and J is walking. So and I I don’t look particularly Spanish, I don’t think so I DJ is just a heck of a lot easier for people to absorb. But anyway, we’re not here to talk about my my name. But I am so excited to have you because this came at just a perfect time. So we have to give you a little background. So right now, you know, by the time you’re listening to this, it’s probably mid December. And Alexander and I are recording this late, late November, just actually a few days before Thanksgiving. And we have about well between I don’t know, set between seven and 800 agents here at our company. And we do mostly sales. And we’ve tried over the years to really introduce our brokers. By the way, in Illinois, every realtor is called a broker. So I know that’s not the way it is in every state. So I’ll just say realtor, but we tried to take to really encourage our Realtors in between sales to do some do some rentals, because specifically here in Chicago, obviously big rental market, and lots of money to be had. Most agents, however, don’t get their license to do rentals, meaning they don’t, that’s not why they got their license. And so they oftentimes just overlook it. And for me, I think it is a huge mistake, especially if you’re newer to the business, and maybe aren’t as busy as somebody who’s, you know, only doing sales, you know, full time. So I think this is so perfect for for that reason. And also just the state of the market right now with interest rates being where they’re at. Every realtor I talked to even the ones at the very top of the food chain seem to be stressed about next year. And I think this is so such perfect timing to talk to you. So let’s, let’s talk about it. So first, I’d love to find out. I’d love to hear your origin story. How did how did you get to Austin? Because there’s I know there’s a good story though. So tell us why Austin and and how you got into apartment locating?
Alexander Concepcion 6:48
Yeah, I graduated from college thinking I was gonna get into like finance. I spent two years getting rejected from every single job interview I ever did. Over Over 50 I can relate to that. And I tried a little bit of real estate in Miami and just wasn’t working. And I kind of just snapped. I burned my college diplomas. And I went to Austin, because it just seemed like the right place for me. I didn’t know a lot of people had like $1,500 in the bank account. Get to Austin get like an actual job job. First time I ever quit that after nine months realizing I’ve got to be on my own. And I spent the next two years doing a bunch of random gigs. I sold cricket protein bars. I did real estate photography. I traveled to Southeast Asia on like a food travel documentary. Amazing stuff. But I come back to Austin after the after the trip and I’m completely broke. Yeah. And in the middle of all about I got my real estate license. And I’m like, I really don’t want to be in real estate at all. I just want like a job have money. It’s not the broker anymore. So I get into apartment locating thinking I’m just gonna do it for a few months. And I realized that what I’m pretty good at it. Like it’s actually cool work. Getting to be someone’s like ambassador and like, yeah, building those relationships. I realized how much money I can make. And given that was Austin 2017 ish. And people were flooding them like, yeah. Okay, this is this is a serious opportunity. So that’s how this broke in desperate, the tour became a business. I’m still running five years later.
D.J. Paris 9:00
It’s amazing. And yeah, I don’t know if it was just, you know, perfect timing meets perfect place meets, you know, meets hard work, which obviously, you are a hard worker, I just think it’s such a smart way to enter the real estate business. Because number one, you possibly are setting yourself up for future sales, at least a certain percentage of the people you service on the rental side could or will become buyers. Also. Everyone’s got to live somewhere. So if they’re not buying or renting, right, so there’s just so much opportunity and you’re in a city that is still I mean, years years later, still one of the coolest you know as far as when you put you know what, what are the cool cities of this country? Austin’s right near the top if not right at the top out there with Charleston and Nashville and others kind of of its ilk. But let’s let’s so So what’s interesting to me is you’ve built this course apartment, locating mastery and I’m actually a little jealous because because it is such a smart idea. And I was saying to Alexander earlier, I said, I don’t, I don’t know that there’s another product like this out there, which by the way, if you flip that into sales mastery or, you know, being a realtor sales mastery, there’s about a million courses, and there’s a lot of really good ones and trying to enter that market, I think is a lot more difficult. And trying to make a name for yourself, but you’ve really created something that and Alexander said, Yeah, I think I think I’m the only one out there doing this. And I’ve really created this impressive platform and program, so I am super pumped to tell you about it. But before we get into that, maybe just for because our audiences is all over. Maybe we have listeners that have never sort of done rentals. So can you just sort of go through like what is a rental look like? As far as how quickly do rentals usually close? Meaning, you know, you meet with a person, you might show them some properties, and then they sign the lease? What’s the usual average time that you find that that sort of start to finish
Alexander Concepcion 11:01
ends? And I have a great answer for that. This, the cycles can be a day, it could be a year, people are just on different timelines. So someone can reach out to me today, I schedule them a tour for the afternoon. Pay close, bam, that’s it. Yeah. Or they reach out like, Hey, I’m moving in January, because I got a new job. And then oh, now it’s like February or March. And then they move into an apartment like April. So I may not see that check till like the end of summer, right. And the actual transactions themselves, if you want to get into that are really straightforward. So when I talk about apartment locating, I’m specifically referring to these big three 400 professionally managed buildings you see popping up all over the country. Those are the only buildings I work with. Because it’s effectively a bounding system. Yeah, where I bring someone to a building, and the per se they’re spending like $2,000 on a one bedroom, which and awesome, that’s pretty common. And the building pays 100% Commission. That means I’m making $2,000 for that single deal. But I’m not touching paperwork. I’m not putting my hands on the lease on the deposit. There’s no inspections. So financing. All it is and my client, putting my name down as like, Hey, this guy referred me. And then the building pays out later.
D.J. Paris 13:04
Yeah, I here in Chicago. So we have we call it the sort of there’s like two buckets or two into two different inventories for apartments, there are what’s on the MLS. And then they’re what I just called non MLS or maybe better said third party, third party property management companies, which again, don’t list on the MLS, these apartments, a lot of times high rises, like Alexander was saying, But who do pay usually one month’s rent, like you were saying, as a commission, or even more, sometimes, depending on times of year, and how much occupied occupied, or how many of the units are occupied. So it can be incredibly fast, it can be incredibly lucrative. And in a way, it’s kind of nice. So the downside is that you may be competing, if the building works with other agents as well. I know here in Chicago, many of the buildings, they’re like, we don’t really care who rents it just someone get this thing rented. So they’ll work oftentimes with with a lot of different firms and provide that inventory to the firm. Or they’ll only work with certain agents. My girlfriend works at a building, there’s 500 units here in Chicago, and they only work with like three to three or four agents total out of 45,000. So it all just kind of depends. But a lot of agents don’t even know that this inventory really exists because they’re focused on the MLS, when they have a rental, they don’t really think beyond that in a lot of markets. And there is a market for it in a lot of places. So my question is, how did you learn about about you know, this sort of, I don’t want to call it off market because it’s not off market but non MLS style of rentals.
Alexander Concepcion 14:48
I joined the first brokerage that would where I can make any kind of money that was apartment locating and They’re like, Yeah, this is how it works. We work with these buildings, they pay us this much money and like, oh, that’s kind of cool. And I liked it, because I didn’t have to do like houses. Because I never want it to be like a home, like a classic home buying and selling real estate agent. I still don’t do any of those deals. But yeah, this is kind of just the, this was my point of entry into like making money in real estate. So I’ve kind of just stayed in this niche this entire time. And I don’t plan on getting into sales.
D.J. Paris 15:44
What’s what’s nice is that, you know, you can get paid on those referrals. So if you do have renters that turn into buyers, and you’re like, you know, I don’t really have time for that I don’t really want to do that’s not my thing. You can still earn referral commissions, of course by you know, referring, which of course, you already know, but I’m making that point for for everyone else listening. It’s like, it’s not, you know, Alexander’s still maintaining relationships with all of these renters. So if they want to move to another apartment at the end of their lease, he’s their guy. If they want to buy a home, he’s going to connect them with someone else who can assist. But But tell us. So I want to mention one thing for anyone out there who’s like, how do I get access to this inventory? Let’s say they work at a brokerage that doesn’t care about rentals, they don’t really do rentals, and they’re like, how do I get access to this inventory? How would you suggest that people start to build this? We’ll call it non MLS inventory of apartments that, you know that that these management companies will work with you for
Alexander Concepcion 16:41
with? Yeah, so there is like a database specifically for apartments, called Smart Apartment data. And it’s basically the MLS for apartments. And it’s way cheaper than the MLS. I don’t use the MLS, but yeah, there is a database where you could see which buildings are in my market, work hand I send referrals to what Commission’s do they pay? And it also functions as like, at least for me, the first point of research that I could send to my clients, I kind of all happens on that platform. But yeah, that’s getting the inventory is pretty straightforward. Yeah,
D.J. Paris 17:29
I know, like, the way that we built ours before services like that exist is we just called a lot of buildings, and said, hey, you know, if our agents want to come rent, is that okay? And you usually have to sign some sort of agreement. And but it’s, it was shockingly easy to get access to that information. And now I’m so glad to hear that there’s a service that does that for you for a relatively low fee. That’s incredible value. I didn’t even know that existed. So I’m going to take a look at that myself. What was that called? Again? If you don’t mind me asking?
Alexander Concepcion 17:59
Smart Apartment data. Got it.
D.J. Paris 18:02
So let’s, let’s talk about apartment locating itself. We talked about like the cycle, the sales cycle, the rental cycle, could be as quickly as you said, as an afternoon could be as long as a year depending on on how you know when the person’s moving. But let’s talk about lead generation. Because that’s always, you know, on our listeners minds is, hey, this is all great. How do I get leads now in the past years and years ago, when I first started in this industry, and this is going back to like 2010, or 11, there was the the way that a lot of people did is they posted ads on Craigslist, because it was free. It’s no longer free, I believe to do that. But it’s still pretty inexpensive, I believe. But it was free at the time. And people would post hundreds of ads, because there was a software that could do this. And I think it’s maybe now transitioned more to Facebook marketplace, but we’d love to hear it. Oh, I’m sorry. And so let me just complete my thought. The reason why people would post ads on Craigslist is because that was used to be the number one place people look for apartments. And so they would reply to ads. And by the way, the buildings that Alexandria is referencing oftentimes allow it sometimes they don’t, sometimes they do but they some allow you to actually promote their listings there. They’re open apartments. And so I don’t know if that existed so much in 2017. But I’d love to hear about how you recommend people go about you know, getting there getting the name out there and, and finding some leads.
Alexander Concepcion 19:29
Yeah, just start. I started on Craigslist. Early on, it worked. But Craigslist is a lot to manage. But it is something you could do to start off. There are a lot of apartment rental websites where you can like yeah, you just take a building’s information, make ads with it. Get leads like that. Yeah, pretty much all buildings I know. Just let you do that. Some don’t, some will ask you to take your stuff down, then you take it down. But it’s knowing like all the channels you’d put like those ads on and get leads like that. A lot of people do that. And a lot of people just make the ads look like how everyone else has looked like. So everyone’s kind of just blending in. The ones I would make would, would stand out. Yeah, it’s my, I do a lot of creative writing a lot of silly fun stuff. And I’ve put like a business card picture on there, as me and like my alpaca selfie business card picture. So yeah, what I do stands out at all layers. But zooming out, there’s a difference between what I’ll describe as rented channels and owned channels. So our rented channel could be like Facebook, Google, any of these platforms to post ads, Craigslist, I don’t, I don’t own any of them. I don’t control any of them. And for me to survive long term in this business, I didn’t want to rely on channels, I didn’t control. If I didn’t control my channels, then I didn’t control my business. It’s good point. So that’s why early on, I would, I got my own website, like professionally done for Taco Street. It’s a brand I own, it’s a website I own and control. And I knew that had to be one of my primary lead channels, because it’s something I’ve owned and control. So these days, by more than half of the deals I closed come from my website. But that took a while to build. That’s not something that immediately started getting traffic. But I think it’s just practical to have a website day one, that in my case, I got to be the face of my own business. It was my website. I didn’t capture leads, I use really fun, like lead form software. Yeah, so I’m very pro owned channels have a rented channels.
D.J. Paris 22:24
That’s actually really smart. Because Craigslist, in particular, going back aways used to be you could get away with posting 100 ads an hour. And then eventually Craigslist goes well, that’s we don’t really want people doing that. And they make an algorithm change or, or, or just a change to their code. And all of a sudden now you can as easily do that. All of a sudden, you know, Zillow starts charging for rental ads. These are what what Alexander’s saying these these rented channels, you’re you’re at the mercy of how friendly they are feeling at that moment. And all of a sudden, now Craigslist is like, Oh, by the way, we’re going to start charging you now for ads that used to be free. You know, and it’s probably still reasonably priced. But it now it all of a sudden now changes your business. And so this idea of creating your own brand is so smart. And I really encourage everyone to go to Taco street locating because Alexander has done such a good job of making it fun. It’s a fun experience to browse this website, which by the way, if we contrast that with the average real estate agents website, and I guess, of course, Alexandre is a real estate agent, but I mean, somebody who’s who’s a more traditional sales agent, it’s going to it’s going to give you a different experience. I think going to your website, it’s a fun experience, you get to learn about you, you get to very easily browse through inventory. And just you know, you provide a lot of value on that website. And I think it’s it’s a and also it’s funny, like you have humor in there. And humor is oftentimes doesn’t show up anywhere in a realtor website. So I love the fact that you made it fun and funny. I think that probably goes a long way with with your clients.
Alexander Concepcion 23:57
Yeah, so one big. So again, I think of everything through a survival first framework. And from this, this tangent begins on why I don’t believe competition is real. Because I’m never going head to head against another locator. Even though there’s a lot of them out there. I’m never going head to head against any of them. The reality it’s the the quote unquote, trophy is a human and they get to choose. So the risk is that I don’t It’s not that I lose a competition. It’s that I don’t get chosen. So I call them I call it like replacement risk. And I have to make myself a replaceable so I start with that with brand. I’m the only talk with the real estate company the rates. But there’s a lot of content on the website, a lot of videos, a lot of blogs, a lot of guides, which means by the time I’m people get to me, they’ve gone through all this. And I become the only one they trust. Yeah. And by the time they get to me, they’re like, Hey, I’ve seen your videos, I’ve seen your content. They’re like, I’m ready to go migrate, I’ve won. It’s a good point, because
D.J. Paris 25:21
we’re really talking about what is also known as social proof is sort of showing somebody your expertise in a way that they now feel more connected to you as an individual as, as somebody who Oh, I feel like I know Alexandria a little bit through his writing through his videos through his fun website. But also, I don’t, I don’t have another experience to sort of compare to that because no one else has this content in this particular way. And so you’re right, you’re not competing with other agents online, because you’re like my contents better, my sites more fun. And I’m going to provide a better service. So that’s a really important point, which, which really goes, I think a lot of our agents are lost, sorry, a lot of our listeners can really sort of go gosh, wouldn’t it be great to have such an incredible experience for somebody that by the time they get to me, I’ve already been chosen, which is a pretty incredible task that you’ve that you’ve completed for them.
Alexander Concepcion 26:21
And it goes a long way to me preserve my energy. Yeah, before my first calls would be like 2530 minutes. And they’d be the same phone call every single time. What’s the service? How does the process works? What neighborhoods do you recommend? What buildings do you like? And I just made videos about all of that. And just put it up front. So by the time someone gets to me, they seen those videos, what would have been a 30 minute call is out like a 510 minute call. And through a survival first framework, my most important resources, my energy, yeah. And Department locating it’s a high volume business, it to make good money, you need to work with a lot of people. And there’s just a lot of mechanics, there’s a lot of doing a lot. And most people I know who make it to a certain point in this business, burnout. Yeah. Because even though one transaction isn’t hard 100 is if you don’t have the right systems and operations. So yeah, everything is something I look at through survival first,
D.J. Paris 27:41
that’s a really, really good point. So I recruit realtors, I was thinking about this, putting it through my own lens. And I have essentially a very similar conversation with me, which about a half an hour, like you would like your apartment, locating additional conversations. And I just realized I could be doing a better job of this as well, where I could have that 30 minute sort of monologue for lack of a pitch, I guess, for lack of a better word, the way I do it. That could be that could be a video that I could send in advance to somebody, and maybe I wouldn’t make it 30 minutes, but whatever, I would make it a certain period of time where they could get the vast majority of the information, feel like they know me a little bit. This is actually helping me in my business. So thank you for that. But I love this too. Because also, you’re branding yourself in such a way that I would assume other agents are like, who don’t want to deal with rentals. It’s just not what they do. They’re like, Oh, Alexander’s the guy. He’s got all the best content. He’s got, you know, the buildings. He knows he knows the inventory. By the way. I am curious. I’m sorry. I’m gonna interrupt myself. I am curious how important knowing the inventory is as a rental agent, because as a sales agent, inventory is always changing. For rentals. You know, there’s a finite number of buildings that you probably work with, how important is it to just know those buildings in and out and everything about it?
Alexander Concepcion 29:02
I want to flip this on you. Go ahead. You go to restaurants Chicago. How important is it for you that the waiter knows the menu? It’s super important. Exactly.
D.J. Paris 29:13
Yeah. Because Because I asked the waiter, hey, I’m looking through here. What are the best things? I always ask that? Because I don’t know. And you’re absolutely right. Amazing point.
Alexander Concepcion 29:23
So the way most locators get trained, is you get a few meetings with a broker. A pat on the back. Good luck here. Some leads have at it. Yeah. And these people don’t know the inventory. They’re like people that they serve food on the menu. They just don’t know what’s on the menu. And that’s why their service kinda sucks. Yeah. Whereas I did the opposite. And I teach the opposite of my course. It’s No, you need to be an expert. First. You need to go out into the market, tour buildings see what’s going on. So when you’re talking to, like prospective leads, they know you know your stuff. Yeah, I even take it a step further. I made videos where I talked about the use of the buildings in the market. I love it. And people watch the videos are like, this guy knows his stuff. Yeah, and all that something, if you’re starting, you could do pretty fast. Like, you don’t have to wait five years to do this. It took me years to figure out how maybe I should make these videos. But that’s something you could do now.
D.J. Paris 30:43
Yeah, it’s a really, again, it goes back to this, setting yourself up, to be able to have people know that you are the expert. And having this content at the ready is like, Oh, hey, you know, I’m thinking as your chat, you know, you’re having your initial conversation with somebody. And maybe they don’t know about you yet. Maybe it’s kind of a random introduction, they don’t know you as the support great apartment, locator. And all of a sudden, you’re like, Okay, based on what you said, there’s two places that are probably the best fit, I have videos for both, I’m gonna shoot them over to you. So you can get a sense of, of what I think about it and things to learn. And all of a sudden, I mean, that is such an amazing high level of service, I guess the idea is providing the highest level of service, right, and that is an incredibly high level of service. It’s not Well, here’s what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna go, we’re gonna go see these properties, because you’re probably going to do that too. But you’re like, before we do that, let’s just make sure that you kind of like what you see. And of course, they can go to the building websites as well, but with your own spin on it, and your own videos, your own content. Boy, you again, you’re just branding yourself as I am the guy.
Alexander Concepcion 31:52
And that doesn’t even get into like the actual service that I’m doing is like the research process, because I don’t know if you’ve had to find your own apartment. It takes a lot of time. It’s a pain. Yeah, Superferry apps. And most locators take people who are very like, just click a bunch of options on this database, send it over. And there’s no real value add to that anyone can do that. Yeah, I built a process I call the big fancy spreadsheet, which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s just a really big detailed spreadsheet. But that takes inventory where I was like, not me, my, my freelancers do this for me. But they will like call every single building you’re interested in, tell you what’s available, put all in one place, and organize it. And just it condenses your research process by so much. Yeah. I don’t know a single located that does anything close to that. So I know when I send that spreadsheet to someone, they’re like, Oh, this guy’s on messing around. Because the biggest waste of time is to tour an apartment that doesn’t have what you want. Yeah.
D.J. Paris 33:08
And both for both parties for the agent. And for that tenant. Yeah,
Alexander Concepcion 33:12
it goes back to like survival first, if I if I’m touring, if I’m spending all my day touring places that don’t have the right availability, that’s wasting my time is wasted their time. So if I do all this research ahead of time, then we’re not wasting any. Yeah.
D.J. Paris 33:32
Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s a great, it’s a great point. And, you know, as you were talking about touring the building, I want to just to mention something he said at the very beginning, that I just want to make sure everyone understands. So it’s like, Okay, once somebody’s ready to make the decision. And the way that Alexandre works with with his, his prospective clients, is by the time they’re going to see a building you he they already know, this is probably the place maybe there’s one other place, but it’s going to be a short list. And here’s the beauty when the person lands on the property they want. Alexander walks them down to the to the office, where if there’s an onsite office where there usually is for these big buildings, and says I’ve got somebody and I mean that you’ve already been introduced to them at this point. But they you’re right, they do the paperwork, they have their own process. And you’re maybe you’re there to be present as they do it. But but your job is basically done at that point. You’re just handing the person off to the building, internal leasing agents, or whatever they may have, or the property management team. And they do a lot of the heavy lifting for you.
Alexander Concepcion 34:36
Oh, yeah, I don’t touch contracts. I’m not doing any of that. It’s huge payment. Yes, I don’t want to do it. So I don’t and that’s just not part of relocating. There’s the stuff there’s still stuff. There’s like invoicing actually getting the money. That’s a pain in the ass down the line.
D.J. Paris 34:58
i We have, we have 700 plus agents here we we know that pain. So what we’re talking about just for anyone to know, and this is important, one of the and I don’t want to call it a con, I just want to call it something to know that if you’re getting into apartment locating to be aware of and be aware of is how you get paid from these third party management companies, which not like in MLS transaction where a closing agent gets the check, everyone’s happy, everyone’s paid. No, often some firms will do that. Some apartment locating, sorry, some apartment companies will pay you that way. Most in my experience. As Alexander mentioned, you have to invoice and so you have to send them an invoice saying, Hey, you’re basically sending them a bill, hey, you owe me one month’s rent or whatever the the agreement is, and then they’re going to take their time to pay the bill some pay faster than others. Some I know some in Chicago can pay as quick as a couple of weeks. Others take a couple of months. So that’s the thing to know is that getting paid? There may be a little bit of a delay, because they’re not obligated to pay you the moment. The person signs the lease.
Alexander Concepcion 36:07
Yeah, and if you’re not careful, and go through the proper steps, a building is going to find a way to not pay you. Yeah, I’ve lost a lot of money from thinking I was gonna get paid on a deal to the buildings. I actually you didn’t do this small little step. So we’re not going to pay you that $2,500 that you thought you were getting. And yeah, I that’s that’s part of the course that I teach is how do you do the upfront work to make sure that you do get paid? Yeah, it’s getting paid is a huge pain in the ass. hugeness notice my Freelancer does that for me. So I don’t I don’t do when you have because it’s okay. Survival first. Yeah,
D.J. Paris 36:58
you don’t you don’t want to be chasing you don’t want to be chasing the check. Yeah. And we have a whole department here at our company that chases those checks because and again some management companies are wonderful and easy and others are more challenging and and I like some even will have rules that like well if the person walked into our office before they met you Mr. or Mrs. Agent and you brought them in maybe they walked in we’ll turn around and walked out but somehow their name got put in the system and then you now walk them in and maybe the your person doesn’t even tell you that they’ve already been there that could that can sometimes be a thing where advantages like well we’re not going to pay you because this person already knew about us so there’s there’s these are important things to know about each building so that you’re not you know, wasting time or or not getting paid. Yeah, another
Alexander Concepcion 37:45
really important thing is the send an escort policies of a building. So in apartment locating, there’s either escorting a person to a building or you like go with them in person do the tour. That’s called escort buildings always passports. Like they’re always pay their maximum on escorts. But then there’s a second, where you don’t tour in person with the client, for whatever reason. Some buildings actually pay the exact same. Both escort and send some buildings, pay a lesser percentage, maybe like we’re in where they normally pay one month’s rent, maybe on a send, they pay 50%. Sometimes they don’t pay anything. So that’s one way to lose money is sending someone to a building that doesn’t pay commission on sending tenants who lost a lot of money that way. But that’s something you should research ahead of time. By but it also makes us a more depending on where you live. Different cities are have different blends. Austin is a blend of sending square buildings, Dallas and Houston on mostly you could send an escort at the same price, same commission, and it’s great. It’s a big reason I’m able to do business in those markets also. Sure. So that fact makes locating really interesting as remote operable business. So I don’t know how most buildings are in Chicago. But with if you have if you operate in or near market with a lot of buildings, you could send people live so get paid a good amount of money. You don’t like if you’re based in Austin, you could do business in Dallas in Houston. It’s incredible. Yeah, so it’s a really interesting market for that reason. And on the lead gen side If you can generate a lot of home buyer leads with apartments because people who rent apartments eventually buy houses. So if you’re even starting off this business apartment locating is a really good long term high quality lead source. Because you’ve already built a relationship with the client, you don’t have to sell yourself again.
D.J. Paris 40:24
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Alexander Concepcion 42:40
Yeah, another benefit a lot of people don’t think about is because of carbon locating as a higher volume business, you get more contact more people. Or as in traditional sales you may do I don’t know what the average amount is like it doesn’t maybe. But it’s not a lot of like human to human contact. So yeah, we’re, I could do 510 1520 deals in a month. Which means I have that number of people who know me. Which means more referrals means more word of mouth. It means more repeat clients in the future. I’ve had people lease with me to be four or five times. It’s incredible. They get them they send their friends to me. So there’s a survivor’s bias. And kind of like in any in all real estate, where the longer you make it, the more likely you are to going to continue to make it. Right. But yeah, I think there’s a lot of benefit to having higher volume client exposure.
D.J. Paris 43:53
Especially if you’re brand new. Yeah. Yeah. Especially. I mean, it’s it’s such a, you made such a this is such an important point for everyone out there who is going nobody wants to buy right now it’s you know, rates are at 7%. Or, I guess they just did drop. So maybe now they’re in the sixes, but it’s still higher than a lot of consumers would like. And you know, but if people aren’t buying or renting, and yeah, you’re right, it’s a high touch business. And you just your reach just goes really far because the transactions are typically shorter in nature. So you just get to reach a lot of people. And you’re right more opportunity for referrals for, you know, for repeat business or for conversion to sales. Let’s talk I’m going to talk about apartment locating mastery your course because by now, I hope we’ve made the case that you could easily depending on the market. Now if you live in rural, I don’t know rural Iowa, maybe this would be more of a challenge. So that’s not going to fit every particular market. But I guess it could fit probably just about any market because there’s always apartment or there’s always rental opportunities but it. What LM center does is he teaches you exactly how he started the systems he’s put in place, you know, all of the best advice he has about how to run this business, even how to select brokerage, because not every brokerage is super friendly to their agents doing rentals. So some brokerages are kinda like they dissuade agents to do that. But tell us about apartment locating mastery, which by the way, website apartment locating mastery.com, but tell us about the course.
Alexander Concepcion 45:29
Yes. So before there’s been an unlimited number of options, to just learn how to do the business. Usually, the first option is to join an apartment locating specific brokerage, that’s going to realistically do like two or three meetings with you. And here’s some leads. They’re not really going to train you. I know people, I didn’t one of those quote unquote, programs. And I know dozens of agents who’ve gone through similar programs. It’s really up to you to learn about yourself to just figure things out the hard way. And the main reason I started this course was I think you don’t need to do that. You don’t need to go through one of these apartment locating brokerages who are going to take most of your money. I effectively paid $27,000 my quote unquote, training. Wow. Yeah, cuz it was it was the leads I generated on my own. That was the money I paid to my broker. Right. So he got a great deal out of me. Yeah. But yeah, I’ve spent just five years really fine tuning apartment locating. And I hit a point where I realized I don’t want to be located forever. But I do want to transition into training and coaching. Because for me, it’s been such an amazing vehicle to become an entrepreneur, something I never imagined being to making a good living for myself more than I ever imagined. And it’s given me this sense of confidence, I never imagined for myself, given given where I was where I started. So it’s given me so much sovereignty and freedom, where, in the last five years, I’ve probably traveled the world for about one of them. And I can’t imagine having freedom in any other like way. And I wanted, and I want to teach other people how to use this business to become their own solver and entrepreneurs.
D.J. Paris 48:05
Yeah, it’s, it’s great, because it gives you a lot of leverage when you are negotiating with your brokerage or when or maybe you want to open your own brokerage because I can just run it myself. But this idea of what what what Alexander was saying is really common here in Chicago is that they have these apartment locating companies who really, they’ve already curated the inventory. So they already have the inventory that you don’t have to go out and kind of build on your own and, and figure out that database. They’ve also figured out some sort of lead generation source where they’re usually providing you leads the trade off is that your commission splits, I’ve seen commission splits as low as like 30 35%. And it’s usually, you know, people would find that shocking, but but because they can, they have the inventory and the leads, and they know that you can’t do that on your own. I mean, they you could do it on your own, but they’re not going to teach you how to do it on your own. So they’re going to take the lion’s share of the income, and they’re probably not going to train you well, because you’re not probably going to make a lot of money at 35%, which means they’re going to leave at a certain point, which means they’ll just keep that machine rolling with people coming and going at all times.
Alexander Concepcion 49:19
Right. Which means if you’re an independent thinking, you don’t want to go down that route. Yeah. You don’t have to, quote unquote, compete against those people because they’re not going to be there for that long. Yeah. And so you have these agencies, or like they’re big and kind of scary on the surface I caught like compete against them. You’re not You’re on your own, building your own brand, building your own reputation. And you get to choose what brokerage you can go with. For me once I once I figured out, I could do all of it on my own. I joined One of the one of the zero commission brokerages smart, and that they’re, they’re basically a bring your own everything brokerage, where it’s on me to bring my own training, my own education, my own lead source all that stuff. But I could affect I’m effectively running my own business inside of another brokerage. And it let me do whatever I wanted to do. And no one was there to stop me. So, yes,
D.J. Paris 50:33
we’re talking and again, we’re keep continue talking about sovereignty, or now people use the word agency, this idea of is not to talk about working at an agency, but this idea of having really so much control over your own brand, your business, your destiny, that even even in the brokerage that you select, we’re 100% firm as well, we have a similar model to the firm suspect that you work at. And, and so it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s really nice. And I love the fact that if you’re an agent out there, and you’re worried about 20, even if you’re not worried about 2023, if you want to add just another revenue stream, and you’re like, well, not a lot of buyers these days, the sellers, you know, a lot of the homes are sitting sitting on the market for longer than I’d like. So even you know, just having listings isn’t a guaranteed sort of quick, quick money as it as it was before. So things might just be sitting a lot longer add rentals in because number one, like Alexander was saying high touch business, you’re going to expand your reach, you’re going to just talk to a lot of people, you’re going to probably have more opportunities to you know, get more referrals that way and just reach more. And also, again, people become buyers down the road too or or I always like to say the other way instead of some renters become buyers ago, pretty much everyone that owns used to rent. So I always like love that expression. Because it’s so true. And I’m shocked that brokerages who do take on newly licensed agents, most of them don’t really touch on rentals that much. And it’s a little surprising because I you know, by the time by the time I was ready to buy a home, I had never worked with an agent, because I found my own apartment. And I nobody, I just didn’t know that there were even people who could help you find apartments. So I was always finding my own apartments. And by the time I needed a realtor, I didn’t have one. I didn’t have one in my back pocket. Meaning I didn’t know anybody. And I had to go Wait, do I know someone who’s a realtor? And then I had to find one. And thankfully it was my friend. I was like, oh, yeah, my friends, a realtor. But had my friend helped me and it wasn’t his he wasn’t an apartment guy. But had he had somebody else helped me along the way, I probably wouldn’t have gone with my friend not because I don’t like him. But because I would have felt obligated to work with the person who I already knew, like and trusted as my agent. So you’re absolutely right, you’re building that confidence and trust early on, and hoping that you know that person stays with you your whole life, but you’re gonna learn all of this stuff. By investing in apartment locating mastery, again, the website, apartment locating mastery.com, and Alexander This isn’t or Alexander does not just teach, here’s how to show apartments, here’s how to convert he does that too. But it’s really everything. It’s like how to deal with inventory lead gen, you know, converting leads into clients, picking the market learn it, just just professionalism. And that’s another thing in the apartment space is the people that are apartment locators, sometimes professionalism is not at the top of, of everyone’s, you know, sort of value lists. So that’s another way to separate yourself is to be this highly professional, and person who’s helping people with apartments. And the best way to do that is through knowledge and experience. And Alexander’s going to teach you how to do that, you know, basically his, his goal is zero to 10,000 a month and apartment locating. So if you wanted to add anywhere from, you know, a couple of deals a couple rentals a month to, you know, gosh, 100 plus a year, he’s going to show you how to do it because he’s done it and he is doing it. So Alexander, if everyone if anyone wants to learn about this, and of course you do and of course you should. Apartment locating mastery.com is the place. And you have some bonuses to that, that exist with the with the course not just how to build successful practice. Can you tell us a little bit about the bonuses?
Alexander Concepcion 54:25
Yeah, so I’m still working on content for the course that gets more gets deeper into systems and operations, especially like how to use a CRM because it’s closing one deal is easy. And getting the basics down is fairly straightforward. But taking that next step into closing like 100 deals a year requires a lot more kind of operational muscle. So that is going to be part of the course. And so the the course is already launched, but this is going to be supplemental bonus material that’s going in there. And yeah, it’s a it’s a lot I spent months building this course. It’s extremely detailed, comprehensive. And yeah, it’s, it’s good.
D.J. Paris 55:23
Yeah. Well, I encourage everyone listening, look, let’s make 2023 the year you add another stream of income to your real estate business. I mean, this is a way I’ve always thought, you know, real estate’s transactional, of course, in nature. And we want to try to smooth out the in betweens as much as we can in between clients in between deals, rentals are a great way to say I service everyone, I service, the buyers, the sellers, the renters, or partnering with somebody who does that like and Alexander like, if you, if you, for example, for everyone listening, if you have a client that’s moving to Austin and wants to you know, find an apartment for per se, you’re going to refer Alexander, he’s the guy he is the guy. You want to be, if you if you want to take your business to that particular level, you can be that person in your local market. And I would bet there’s not as much competition as there is at the top of the I want to be the top, you know, sales agent of you know, everyone’s vying for that spot rentals are often kind of forgotten about and I think it’s a good thing for anyone listening because it means there’s less competition. And again, I Alexander was right, and saying there really isn’t competition, but there’s fewer players in the space, I guess we could say. And, you know, I mean, Alexander’s made almost a million dollars doing rentals, like, this is an incredibly lucrative business. And so you can make great money, you can help people that a lot of agents would just discard Oh, you don’t want to buy Call me when you’re ready to buy, right? I mean, I bet you have stories of renters that come to you going, I reached out to an agent, they basically told me to get lost. They don’t do rentals. I mean, it happens, which is so shocking to me, but it does happen.
Alexander Concepcion 57:08
Yeah, I get it. I get a lot of other real estate agents are like, I don’t know what to do with rentals. I’m like, I’ll take them. And then I can make like two $3,000 from their referral. And the agent just didn’t know how much money they just lost by like referring. That’s me. Yeah. And they wouldn’t have been like a lot of work for them if they only knew how to do very basic foundational things. Yeah. There is another really interesting point with locating that I think makes it really compelling in any market. So you probably saw a lot of market squeeze when it was got really hot, or there just wasn’t inventory. Yeah. That doesn’t happen with apartment locating. I mean, if you’re like in San Francisco, New York City, this doesn’t work in those markets, because there just isn’t inventory. But in your normal city. All of which only out on the website. A single building as three 400 units, and you have hundreds of buildings. You’re not running out of inventory. The inventory is gonna be there, as always turnover every month as well. Yeah, so the there’s always going to be inventory, you’re never gonna get market squeezed out of the business, where you could be the world’s best real estate agent. But if you’re in a market where there’s nothing to buy or sell, then it’s not going to work out well for you.
D.J. Paris 58:43
Yeah, this is just a great way to to work with, you know, a changing market when maybe sales are down. Rentals tend to tend to go up. So this is the time to invest in a course like this apartment locating mastery. And I’ll just end with this. So I was mentioning my girlfriend works at one of these types of buildings where there’s 500 units, it’s like a super high end luxury building. Some of their three bedrooms Now, not every market is going to have this of course, but some of their three bedrooms are like $7,000 They pay a $7,000 commission if you bring them now they only work with a couple of agents. It’s kind of a goofy building. And that’s a really extreme example not not every market has things like that. But imagine if you walked somebody into a building and you let the like my girlfriend the way that it works in her building as the agent walks in, they know the agents because they only work with a handful of them. My girlfriend does all the work she takes the tour the agent kind of hangs back kind of chimes in when need be but my girlfriend’s job is to sell the building. So she’s leading the tour the agents kind of piping in from time to time and then she goes down and she wants to close the sale to so are the rentals so she you know she does the hard heavy lifting. You know, they have quotas to hit a lot of these apartment. Internal leasing agents for these buildings. And and then a $7,000 check gets written to the agent. It’s in. There’s incredible money in this.
Alexander Concepcion 1:00:08
Yeah, for me, I would say the average check is about 1500 to 2000. But I did have a deal recently where I get a call the morning, scheduled tour with a client the afternoon. And he signs a $4,400 unit lease at a building paying 150%. Commission. Ah,
D.J. Paris 1:00:38
it’s an amazing, it’s about like a $6,000 check or so. Yeah, more.
That’s a good day’s work. Yeah.
So how would everyone out there like to learn to do that. So you know, Alexander is not just saying it’s possible, he’s like, I’m going to show you how to do it. So check out apartment locating mastery.com, why not learn from the the guy, he’s the guy. And also check out his website to get hooked on him. Because what I really want you to do, whether you invest in his course or not, I encourage you to invest in it. But even if you don’t, I want you to look at how he branded himself. His his B to C website business to consumer website is Taco street locating that’s think about how go to the website, let’s look at how fun it is. He made a really arduous process, stressful process, traditionally, not a super fun process, he made it fun. And that in and of itself is brilliant. He’s going to teach you how to do these kinds of things and build this side business. Maybe by the way, maybe you’re still like, I don’t want to be an apartment, look, I don’t want to do rentals, well, maybe you could bring on a team member and they could be the apartment, or the rental person and you be the salesperson. So it’s not like even if this doesn’t affect you, or maybe you’re a team, you don’t really have somebody doing rentals. Oh my gosh, there’s so much opportunity here. So 2023 we know it’s going to be tough on the sales side, we just know that I wish it wasn’t but it’s going to be rentals are where it’s at. So apartment, locating mastery.com is where you can learn about the course taco street locating is Alexander’s website to see how he services his clients the content he provides so that by the time they actually get to him, they’re like, he’s my guy, and he hasn’t even met them yet. That’s an amazing thing to have happen. And, Alexander, we’re so grateful that you came on the show to talk about this. So on behalf of the audience who want to thank you for coming on, we know you’re probably racing to your next apartment locating client or appointment. So thank you for taking time out of your day to tell us about the course and how you built your business. And also, on behalf of Alexander and myself, we want to thank our audience for what you know, listening or watching all the way to the end, the best way that you can help us grow is by telling a friend think of one other agent. Everybody knows a struggling agent. They need to hear this episode, send them a link to this episode. The best way you can do that, while they listen to podcasts. Just have a pull up keeping it real on any podcast app or just go to our website keeping it real pod.com every single episode we’ve ever done can be streamed right from a browser. You don’t even need a podcast app to do that. So anyway, Alexandre, on behalf of everyone. Thank you. This has been a fun conversation, and we will see everybody on the next episode. Thanks, Alexander. Thank you