Episode 7: Interview With Kurtis & Cindy Squyres of FarBelowMarket.com
We are really excited to have this awesome couple on this episode. Kurtis and Cindy have been investing in Real Estate for nearly 20 years (and actually have a unique story about how they met). They are very candid about the struggles they’ve had to overcome through different market cycles and changes in the industry. They also share some helpful tips for what is allowing them to currently take their business to the next level!
Here are a few Takeaways from this episode:
- A fire isn’t always a bad thing if you have insurance 🙂
- Persistence pays off!
- A little media exposure can ignite your buyers list
- Focus on what you’re good at…and let your partner do what they’re good at.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Episode 7 Transcript
Doug: Welcome to the Spouses Flipping Houses podcast, with Doug and Andrea Van Soest!
Andrea: A podcast about real estate investing, business, entrepreneurship, and balancing it all with someone you love!
Andrea: Hi, and welcome to episode seven of Spouses Flipping Houses! We have another interview for you today, with Kurtis and Cindy Squyers!
Doug: Kurtis and Cindy are a married couple with kids, they live out in the Coachella Valley, out in the Palm Springs area, super hot out there.
Andrea: They have been real estate investors for a long time, they’ve been through a lot of real estate market cycles so they bring a lot of experience and wisdom and great content, and it was really fun to talk to them.
Doug: Yeah, and they have a really cool story of actually how they met. It’s really interesting; I think you’ll really enjoy it. The audio quality isn’t the best, so hopefully you can just bear with us on this one, and it’s not gonna be too distracting because there’s a lot of great content in there. So, I think we should go ahead and get right into this interview.
Andrea: Yup, here we go!
Doug: Well, we’re super excited to have these guests with us today. Today we’ve got Kurtis and Cindy Squyers, two of the pioneers in the real estate investing and wholesaling world as far as I’m concerned. How are you guys doing over there, Kurtis, Cindy?
Cindy: Hi guys, how you doing?
Kurtis: Good, awesome.
Doug: So the connection’s a little– they’re out in the desert, way out there where there’s hardly a phone line…
Kurtis: Inside bathrooms!
Andrea: This is too funny! We’ll edit this out!
Doug: Our housecleaner just turned on the vacuum right outside our door and it’s like blasting…
Andrea: Oh jeez!
Kurtis: You can definitely epitomize spouses, like, doing business together, nothing else does. Like kids screaming or a vacuum cleaner, it’s perfect.
Doug: No kidding, that is true! Yeah, we’re here in our home office-slash-recording studio, we may have to wait a second.
Andrea: Yeah, I think it’s fine, I don’t think it’ll pick up on here. Should be fine.
Doug: Okay. So, Kurtis and Cindy, so why don’t you guys tell us a little bit about yourselves, about how you met, and how you got started in real estate investing?
Kurtis: We like to kid that we met from a personal ad, because when I decided that I was going to do real estate, I had read that you should find an investor, and I started calling a houses ad out of Pennysaver…
Doug: Are you kidding me, that’s how you met?
Kurtis: People don’t even know what Pennysaver is, a lot of people, but it’s like the old Craigslist, the paper version!
Doug: The Craigslist that comes in the mail.
Kurtis: Wasn’t it 2000? Wow, my God, that was fifteen, sixteen years ago? And I think it was the third or fourth one I called, and they said sure. It was Cindy’s office, you know, we’ll talk to you. And I came down here, I knew absolutely nothing about real estate, I was a stockbroker, I’d had it with corporate suit and tie every day kind of thing, and that’s how me met.
Andrea: That is so cool that you met through real estate too, I had no idea.
Doug: That’s like the ultimate investor meeting right there, that is really cool.
Kurtis: Yeah, exactly, I always joke about my rate of return is my highest on that investment.
Cindy: Yeah, he doesn’t always say that.
Doug: So, Cindy, why don’t you just wholesale him off, you know, instead of taking it–
Cindy: I’m trying! I need a buyer, are you interested?
Kurtis: She’s still rehabbing me!
Doug: Yeah, how did he appreciate? That’s what I wanna know. That’s too funny! So you guys met, got married, you have kids, right?
Kurtis: That’s right.
Cindy: Only four.
Doug: Only four?
Cindy: Three of ‘em are teenagers.We have three in high school and a ten-year-old.
Andrea: So you guys are a little busy?
Cindy: Yeah, I don’t know how we’d do it if we had like regular jobs at a company.
Kurtis: We always wondered how nine-to-five people are able to do it because, you know, you gotta leave constantly. Someone is sick, and you’ve got to take care of ‘em–
Cindy: Well, you guys know that, you have three kids, don’t you?
Andrea: Yeah, we do.
Cindy: Yeah, so you guys know.
Doug: Yeah, it’s so true. It’s so nice- we had to reschedule this interview with you guys because you had a sick kid, and we had to reschedule again because we had an awards ceremony to go to, and you know, it’s awesome to be able to do those things.
Cindy: It’s been fun. We were talking the other day, talking about how our kids were actually raised watching us flip houses and they have been used to, since they were in diapers, they’ve been used to being dragged around from house to house helping us point out all the stains in the ceilings, or whatever. We’ve had at least one of four, who’s expressed that she wants to follow in our footsteps, so that should be fun.
Andrea: Oh, that’s awesome. So you’ve been doing this pretty much your entire married life?
Cindy: Yeah, and beyond, for me.
Doug: So, how did that get started? Cindy, how did you get started, and then what were you guys doing, in terms of real estate when you guys got married, and then how that progressed?
Cindy: Okay, well, I started a long time ago– actually, next year it will be twenty years. I had a furniture store, and we were having an outdoor sale, and I got a phone call at three o’clock in the morning from my security guard, telling me my store was on fire.
Andrea: Oh wow.
Cindy: So I raced down there expecting flames all over everything, but no it wasn’t the case, it was a small fire at the front of the store, and they had put it out with a fire extinguisher, so I thought I was going to be open for business the next day. But as it turned out the insurance company came and they deemed everything smoke-damaged. They handed me a big fat check.
You guys are probably too young to remember this but back in those days they had one real estate wholesaler guy that I know of on late night TV, he was CarletonSheets. And this guy had this whole program with all these, I don’t know, maybe cassette tapes and DVDS and binders and all this information you could buy.And I used to stay up late watching these and thinking, that doesn’t seem that hard.
So, after the insurance company gave me the check, I thought to myself, what if I didn’t end up with money back in furniture, by the way? What if I just tried what this guy is doing for one year, and if it doesn’t work out then just open the store again?
And so that’s what I did– it was 1996, and I did one house. It was a small little house in Fontana. I bought it for $85,000 and sold it for like $135,000, something like that.
Cindy: And then I was addicted- so after that it became a couple more and a couple more, and then I forgot all about furniture.
Doug: Yeah, yeah I bet you did.
Cindy: And I got that phone call from Kurtis.
Doug: Yeah, four years later. Were you flipping houses, like buy, fix, sell, in the beginning?
Kurtis: Yeah, so, it was the tail end of the recovery, because ’90 was the recession, and it was kinda like a mini-version of what we went through, and Cindy and her team were buying homes from auction, they were doing fifteen at a time–
Kurtis: Our meeting was just perfect timing, because the market was recovering, kind of about about where we’re at now in the cycle, foreclosures were shrinking,
Cindy: It was hard for me to even get the deals anymore, and that’s when we put the ad in the paper.
Kurtis: Yeah, they were not getting that many deals. I didn’t know much about real estate but I was really good at marketing, so it really worked well for us because I did massive mailing campaigns for pre-foreclosures and was able to just go knock on doors and get some deals that way. And Cindy knew had to rehab them and with escrow, I didn’t even know how agents worked or–
Cindy: Yeah, no, he’s not exaggerating, he did not even know what a mortgage was, I’m like, really?
Doug: Yeah, it just shows really what’s important when it comes to getting a deal from a homeowner; it’s not that that you know what a mortgage is,and how the amortization works, it’s people and marketing, right?
Kurtis: Exactly. And so that worked really well, that was 2000– about 2006 we got it really dialed in. It’s so funny, before Zillow, we had this program called Shark Bait, we would import county records data, and we almost like had our own version of Zillow and we were able to find equity.
We had gotten up to about fifteen houses at a time, and then the market crashed. We didn’t even know what a wholesale deal was, you know, we were just rehabbing and selling. We did learn subject twos actually, but then when the market crashed it just crushed us and we had most of our net worth out in homes, plus we had some hard money loans, and–
Cindy: And four kids. It wasn’t an easy time. That was a hard time.
Kurtis: Yeah, it was really bad. I remember we tried to sell a property and we’d get it sold and into escrow a few times, and the mortgage company would go out of business.
Cindy: The finance mortgage company.
Kurtis: We’d get a call from escrow saying there’s no lender anymore, they’re gone. I think twenty nationwide lenders went out of business. Lehman Brothers, which is an old bank, been in existence for a hundred years, went out of business. It was really bad, I mean, just all the businesses were getting boarded up, and not only–
So your net worth is your combination of cash and equity, and you’re making these hard money payments, and your equity is shrinking, literally, like twenty or thirty grand a month, they’re just plummeting, and people can’t even buy because there’s no lenders and then inventory’s flooding the market because foreclosures are flooding.
Kurtis: And we had reached a point when we were telling our kids do not open the fridge because our utilities had been turned off and we had to conserve the cold air. You open the fridge, your food’s gonna go bad. And I’ll never forget that, it was full panic mode.
Cindy: I remember Kurtis and I, we looked at each other and said, what we’re doing is not working anymore. We’re gonna have to figure out a new wave to ride, because it’s not working, so, we had this kind of a heart-to-heart conversation with each other, what are we good at? What are we good at? And the answer was, we were good at getting deals. We’re good at that, we know how to get deals.
Kurtis: And there was this other thing that happened, we actually quit for about six months, and my big idea was Internet marketing, because that was just starting to take off. And kind of like the last little bit of money we had,I went to some seminars and boot camps on Google marketing, and that kind of thing.Cindy was going to do interior decorating, and we kind of realized it was not going to happen fast enough.
So like what Cindy just said, we’re good at getting deals, and you know, wholesaling was not any kind of buzzword back then.
Cindy: We thought we invented it! We did, we really thought we invented it, because, you know,if we would have had the cash we would have taken the deals ourselves that we could get, but we didn’t. But we knew investors who were really taking advantage of the market at that time by buying everything they could find.
Cindy: And we knew these people, so, we thought we invented wholesaling by catching the deals.
Kurtis: When the REOs started coming out, I know for sure we were the first ones to start writing on them. Because banks had no means to cope with the amount of inventory they were getting. And we were writing offers, like really low offers, not knowing what to expect on these REOs, because REOs just started to happen. I mean there was like no REOs before that.
And we’re getting- everything’s by fax. And we’re getting offers faxed that said, “Don’t waste my time.” Literally, it said, I remember, “Haha.”
Cindy: Filing it under T for try.
Kurtis: Yeah, all these smart aleck remarks from brokers saying you’re crazy to offer that. The same brokers, three or four months later, started calling us back, and we had no means to close on any of these deals, but we finally got one. And I think it was, we got an acceptance, we called an investor, and he came over and said, oh yeah, I love it, cut us a check for ten thousand, and like the clouds parted!
Cindy: Angels were singing!
Doug: Choirs were singing!
Kurtis: So tell us when you want us to stop going on and on, because we’ll go on for hours.
Andrea: No, this is so great! Because that downturn not only crushed, but totally defeated a lot of investors, and the fact that you guys were able to turn it around is just so awesome.
Kurtis: Yeah. Lenders were gone, what was interesting was the banks again, they had no idea how to evaluate that many properties, and our offers started sticking. The problem was now we’re getting all these accepted offers, but we only knew six or seven investors. So you keep calling them.
We applied, we had learned about this Internet marketing and I started writing a blog and basically did what those Internet guru guys were telling us to do, and it just exploded.
We just started, we hada web page with a sign-in form, that’s it, and I just started writing articles and it was just amazing what happened next, because we got, I think I got an e-mail from the editor from Investors Business Daily which is one of the main competitors to Wall Street Journal, saying hey, can we use a quote? I said sure.
And then from there, another big name periodical contacted us, all of a sudden people who we had no idea who they were started signing into our website, and then it was, oh! Sean O’Toole, who had just started for Foreclosure Radar, recommended an LA Times guy to interview us. He interviewed us at our house for like three hours, and we thought, oh that’s cool, that’s probably going to be at the back of the business pages- it was on the front page of the LA Times!
Cindy: Yeah, it was like a sexy topic at that time, flipping, because no one knew about it.
Kurtis: Flipping. And then, I think we got 400 sign-ins, like, that night from that article.
Doug: Yeah, I was one of those, I’m pretty sure, because I think that’s how I first heard about you guys.
Kurtis: Oh, really?
Kurtis: It just took off from there. Inside Edition, Fox News saw that and it just kind of ballooned. So, that was like our fifteen minutes.
Cindy: We started getting phone calls to be on different TV shows, it was kind of fun.
Kurtis: What happened was that basically set us up for until now, I’ve hardly done any marketing, we got all the investors that we need. So then we would get the property, put it under contract, blast it out to the same e-mail list, and then we would start moving them very quickly. Aftera few years, we made a comeback and we started flipping again and we got three rehab projects– we keep it about two or three now, you know?
Andrea: So what does your business look like today, and maybe you can describe what each of your roles are within your business, because I think you guys are kind of similar to us, Cindy manages your rehabs, and Kurtis, you do acquisitions, is that right?
Cindy: Yes, that’s right, we have an office in Palm Desert, and we have, I don’t know we have five or six employees and we have some virtual employees as well, and we come into the office every day. I’m usually here about half the time that Kurtis is here, only because I have to go juggle kids and stuff.
Cindy: And he can stay where it’s nice and calm! But yeah, Kurtis does the acquisitions;actually he does almost everything that’s related to running the business. He’s the broker here, it’s a real estate brokerage the we have, we have agents, he deals with the agents, he does all the accounting, he does all the marketing and acquisitions. What else is there?
Kurtis: It’s taken us forever but we’re finally more of a company versus us doing everything. Our biggest change that we’ve had with our business starting to take off within the year where I turned over, finally I turned over the complete sales to a representative where once again something in our contract is handed off–
Kurtis: It’s like, I don’t look at it again. Once we did that, it freed up my time tremendously.
Doug: So you’re still involved in the acquisition, but then after that you hand it off to like a processor, who just takes it to the finish line at that point.
Kurtis: Exactly. They sell it, they do– I mean, we’ve got a really good admin team; they do all the work. On the front end we have virtual assistants in India that do a lot of screening of the MLS, we’re very heavy on technology. They do a lot of screening, every night, even over the weekend; they load up good quality stuff that we call on.
We’ve got a great authorizing system now, we go on our database, we do a quick call and we just throw it in there what we want offered, and our admin team sends the offers out.
Doug: I’m going to pause you for a second and back up a little bit. You mentioned the MLS, so what’s your source of deals? What are you doing right now to find deals, is it all MLS, or are there other things?
Kurtis: No. Our manners are coming into their own, too. What happened was– the struggle was time resources just killed us just for the past few years. We would oscillate back and forth, we would do some heavy mailing and do, actually, I remember talking to you about mailing.
Kurtis: When we very first did it, just picking your brain, on what your numbers were like, I don’t know if you remember that. That was 2013.
Cindy: Yeah, (. . . . )
Doug: Oh yeah.
Kurtis: And so, we finally got the mailer going and I mean, really crushed it. But it would go back and forth between our mailer, and it would take time from our MLS. I went back to look at profit numbers. And it’s like, we would do really good when we mailed, but then the MLS would stop.
So, it’s taken us a couple of years but now we’re getting a lot of the MLS automated, and now I’ve spent the last four months on getting the mailer processing automated, and then getting another representative to handle the mailers. So we’re getting there, it’s just taking us forever, but we’re starting to get where it’s actually systematic and we’ve got other people doing stuff.
Doug: So am I hearing you right, that you’ve got people, you’ve got some in office, five to six, and you’ve got some virtual assistants working for you, are they actually, these virtual assistants or maybe it’s an in-office person, is scouring the MLS daily?
Doug: Calling agents, making offers, analyzing the properties, the whole thing?
Kurtis:No, they’re downloading the good stuff-
Cindy: And then we take a look, and that’s one of my responsibilities. I’m kind of in the field, doing buying and rehab, and then my other duty is screening what they–
Kurtis: We actually have three screening processes from MLS before it gets to us, and then after it’s gone through three screening processes, it’s hopefully the good stuff that’s left and that’s what we make offers on.
Doug: So is this like new listings, or–
Kurtis: Yeah. New listings.
Doug: Primarily new listings.
Kurtis: Old is huge too, a lot of our stuff. We’ve got–your database is so crucial. We’ll make an offer, it’ll get rejected, and then it’ll get scheduled for follow-up, so, you know, I’d say thirty to forty percent of our time is the new ones, and the rest is just re-offering. And I think that’s really, for someone wanting to do this, I can’t stress that enough,is follow-up.
Cindy: And processing the rejection.
Doug: Would you have an idea of what percentage of the MLS deals you get come from a follow-up versus a first-time offer?
Kurtis: Yes, I’m gonna say it’s about thirty-forty percent versus sixty-seventy, with maybe like a third of ‘em, we pop on the first shot.
Doug: Okay, so the majority of them come from a follow-up.
Cindy: Yeah. I mean there are leads buying properties that we’d offered on from the MLS for two years, we keep them for two years. That’s a long time for us to wait.
Doug: It just goes to show–
Kurtis: One of the homes that we’re wholesaling right now- I’m sorry, that we’re remodeling right now, I didn’t even know, we wholesaled it in 2008!
Andrea: Oh wow.
Kurtis: She was like, see, you sold this, I was like what are you talking about? And we, sure enough, we’re in the (….)
Doug: Yeah, it just goes to show, that all forms of searching for deals work. I think that the common answer today, if you ask most people, ourselves included, would be that the MLS is just a hard road to go to get deals.
Cindy: Yes, it is hard! It is hard!
Doug: And it is, but you’re doing it, and you’re making it happen with yoursystems and the processes you’ve set up.
Cindy: And you know, you have to be persistent. We have to be persistent.
Andrea: And Kurtis, you had mentioned, I think yesterday to Doug, that you guys are really using time blocking. Can you tell us about that, and how you use that in your business?
Kurtis: Yeah, you know, you have got to focus on the things that make money first, and we’re the first ones to admit, that we fall off of that, it’s so easy to happen.
Cindy: But thank goodness, Kurtis carries a big whip!
Kurtis: Cattle prod! Yeah, I have to use it on myself half the time. So I’m a statistics person, I way, way rather enjoy putting together our mailer thing that I’m working on right now, and it’s so easy for me to get carried away and just start working on it, and not keep the offers going out.
And Cindy’s an amazing designer, and would rather drive around Palm Springs looking for ideas for remodels. It’s what we’d rather do, but every time we do that, we pay a price. You start looking at your white board where your deals are and it starts to get empty. And you’ve gotta–
I went to a time management thing once, and the biggest thing I ever got out of it was one simple thing, it was like a jar and if you tried to put little rocks in first you’d never get the big rocks in, so you gotta put the big rocks in first and then you can put the little rocks in.
And for us the big rocks are hunting, so it’s nine, nine-thirty to noon, or one-ish, we’ve gotta get our hunting in. Now our quota, which we haven’t been real successful, is four offers a day, off the MLS.
Doug: is that per person or for your whole team or, how’s that go?
Kurtis: That’s just for me and Cindy. Erika, some of our other hunters have done pretty well. We haven’t put a quota on them though.
Doug: Not yet.
Kurtis: Yeah, not yet, yeah.
Doug: You have any idea how many offers you’re making these days, and how many deals you guys are doing these days on average?
Cindy: It’s a precise idea.
Doug: Can you be more specific on that?
Kurtis: It takes about, averages for me, it takes about two to three hours on average to find a writable offer. For writable, it’s gotta have either a motivated seller or the pictures have gotta be pretty bad–
Cindy: Or it’s been on the market for a long time. Because of stress of either the seller or the property.
Kurtis: It’s as much of an art as it is a science. You’re just not going to offer– if anyone thinks they can go out there and just start offering 200 on a $350,000 house, it’s clean-
Cindy: It’s a waste of time.
Kurtis: It’s not going to happen.
Cindy: Especially in this market.
Kurtis: You’re going to have a lot of agents angry at you. So–
Cindy: A writable offer–
Kurtis: A writable offer–
Cindy: It takes two to three hours–
Kurtis: Two to three hours to get one–
Cindy: And it takes forty to get a deal.
Kurtis: And it takes forty to get a deal. It’s absolutely amazing, because we track our offers like, to the– really, really minutely. And one month, it’ll be a deal for every twenty, and another month it’ll be one for fifty. But in 2014, it was on the nose one for just a tad over forty. And then this year, it feels like it’s all over the board. We went this year, I think in February or March, we had 125 offers without a deal.
We looked at it, I looked at it, and right on the nose again for 2015 it’s a deal for forty, forty-one offers, it’s inviable [sic], it just happens. And that’s a great thing to know, because every time we feel like–
Cindy: Giving up.
Kurtis: Oh, can’t do this, this giant thing here, everybody and their mom’s gonna be hunting for deals, and this and that– it doesn’t matter, it’s just, you get your offers out and you’re gonna hit one for forty, at least in our market.
Doug: That’s awesome that you track that. And I know you sent me a little, you called it a report card?
Cindy: We get a report card every week!
Doug: Tell me a little bit about that. How did that come about, and is that good for keeping you accountable to do your offers?
Kurtis: Yeah, that’s why we instated it. Because the plan is not there, and our personnel who write the offers and log the offer tracking make a report card and send it to us every week, and it’s got our average offers per day. For the week, it’s got a six-week average and for the month, it’s got for a quarter, and it’s got for the year. And if we’re under three and a half, it’s kind of like, it’s like red-alert, we need to make it happen.
Andrea: So then, what percentage of the deals that you guys are getting would you say that you wholesale, and then what percentage are you rehabbing?
Kurtis: Oh, that’s a good question. I’ll think about that for a minute.
Doug: Yeah, because it’s been a few months since we bought one from you, so we’re looking for another one, just to let you know.
Kurtis: We got you covered. (. . . . ) It should be more and more back into we’re closing on ‘em-
Cindy: (. . . ) so we put a cap on it.
Kurtis: I would say ninety-ten, and moving a little more towards eighty-twenty.
Cindy: Yeah, I think that’s right.
Doug: Okay. So, you only keep a certain amount of rehabs in your pipeline that you’re doing-
Cindy: Yeah, it gets too crazy, your quality of life, it’s just not fun anymore, when you have kids, they’re in high school, you’re looking at them going they’re not going to be here much longer. You know? Let’s spend some time with them, we can play a little bit later in life, you know.
Andrea: Yeah. Well then that leads me to our next question, which is how do you guys work together and balance being married, a married couple that works together, and parents and spending quality time with your kids and doing the things you want to do there- how do you balance all that?
Kurtis: We don’t.
Cindy: We don’t.
Doug: I love your honesty!
Kurtis: No balance whatsoever.
Cindy: You know what it is, we don’t know any differently, so we just do it.
Kurtis: I coach my kids’ soccer, I coached every one of ‘em, and that’s sort of a forced balance, because I’ll work until eleven p.m. sometimes, but soccer practice, that’ll force me out of the office, that’s a good thing.
Cindy: You know what, now that we say it out loud, I think it’s more that we know each other’s responsibilities and duties. Like, I don’t come in here and try to tell Kurtis how to do what he’s doing, and he doesn’t try to step on my toes in what I’m doing either. And for parenting, we happen to be very like minded, luckily, and it’s pretty much us against them.
Kurtis: She does a lot more growth and development. Of kids.
Cindy: Oh. Sports and recreation is you.
Doug: That’s awesome. You guys have obviously done well, you’ve been doing this your whole married life, and four kids, so kudos to you for that, because a lot of people can’t handle that.
Cindy: Thank you.
Kurtis: Thank you very much. You know what’s funny? It’s like, we don’t really fight over–we’re really like minded on money issues, kid issues, all that kind of stuff. Wanna know what our biggest marital fights are? Values on houses!
Cindy: No, that’s it! ARVs! I’ll hook up a deal and I’ll bring it to him and I’ll go here, I got one, and he’ll go–
Kurtis: Yeah, but that (. . . .)!
Cindy: Screaming about ARV. And that’s pretty much the only problem in our marriage!
Doug: That’s funny. Yeah, that’s a tricky area out there, the desert; you guys are in a unique market. And it’s a fun market; you have a lot of cool mid-century properties in your area, which I really like.
Andrea: But also seasonal issues too, right; do you guys deal with that?
Cindy: What was that, Andrea?
Andrea: Do you guys have seasonal issues out there, where you’ve got the snowbirds and people buy it specific times, and certain times that they don’t want to buy?
Kurtis: Yeah, it’s definitely quirky. We’ve seen it since we’ve been out here, it’s Coachella Valley, by the way, Palm Springs area. It’s about what sixty, seventy miles east of LA, I think. We’ve seen it become more year-round economy, so it’s not as seasonal as people think.
Certain types of properties remain pretty seasonal, it’s your, kind of like your resort, country club stuff that– a good Palm Springs 1950’s or 60’s house, that kind of thing, it’s going to sell all year–
Cindy: Any time of the year.
Kurtis: A starter home, it doesn’t matter if it’s August, it’s gonna sell. It’s kind of like the country club, golf course ones. There’s definitely some quirks here-
Cindy: But that’s anywhere. I mean, you learn your market–wherever you are, you learn the market and you can play the game.
Doug: So, our podcast is called Spouses Flipping Houses and there might be some spouses listening to you right now, saying, we want to do that! We want to flip houses, we want to get into that game. But maybe they’re new, maybe they’ve done a deal or two and they’re trying to work together and figure it out. I mean, you guys are seasoned experts on this, what would be one piece of advice that you would give to a married couple or even just a brothers, or father-son —
Doug: Yeah, people who have a relationship beyond the business, what’s your one piece of advice you’d give them?
Andrea: On getting started?
Kurtis: I think play to your strengths.
Cindy: Yeah, that’s it. Know what you’re good at, and let the other person do what they’re good at.
Kurtis: I think there’s kind of two levels to that question, it’s one is the dynamics of your spouse, which I think you’re leaning more towards. And then there’s just for anyone, you know, where you start. And I think in the anyone realm, it’s all about, everything starts with value, which is funny, we just said that–
You’ve got to understand value. It doesn’t matter if you’re flipping, if you’re selling antique watches, or what, you gotta know value, and it starts there. And if you’re just literally starting from scratch, couple or not, I’m thinking a good place is starting with realtors, and get access to MLS.
Cindy: People who are already doing it, like you did.
Kurtis: Figure out how to learn value. And that, because I think people starting out will tend to offer too much. And I would say the next part, if the goal is wholesaling, start meeting investors, go to some investor meetings.
Cindy: You can do that as a couple, and start together.
Kurtis: Yeah, and if you do that, and kind of extrapolate it to couple hood, you know, one may kind of start networking out with maybe some realtors and people who can help with value and maybe title.
Cindy; And wholesalers.
Kurtis: And maybe another starts, you know, reaching out more towards investors. You can get a lot of information from public records with research, like who’s buying at trustee sales. Again with your title, you can find out who’s paying cash, or who has multiple properties.
And that’s, I think your two places to start. Because once you’ve got value, and you know what to offer, and then you’ve got some investors that are looking, that’s pretty much it. Paperwork.
Cindy: Yep, and then you’re in the business.
Doug: Good, very good. Thank you so much you guys. I think– if people want to get in touch with you, I know you’ve had– Kurtis, I know you’ve been all over the Internet for the last twenty years, what’s the best way for someone to contact you guys? Where can they find you?
Kurtis: Absolutely, we’re happy to help. I would e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrea: And we’ll put that in our show notes as well.
Kurtis: Perfect! Yeah, thank you. And then, just regular old farbelowmarket.com is our website– I think it needs some work, but I’m pretty sure there’s a contact field there as well, I’m almost positive. But if you can’t get through on the website, just e-mail email@example.com. We’ll get back to everybody, be patient. It might take a couple days but we’ll respond.
Doug: Well, Kurtis and Cindy are the real deal, we can certainly vouch for that. I get deals sent to me from him via e-mail on almost a weekly or at least monthly basis.
Andrea: And they’re good deals!
Doug: And they’re good deals, they’re real deals from guys who’ve been in the business, know what they’re doing- good people to reach out to especially if you’re in that area, in the Coachella Valley.
Andrea: Thanks you guys, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us today, we really appreciate it!
Kurtis: Thank you for having us, thank you very much!
Cindy: Thank you so much!
Doug: Get back to soccer practice!
Andrea: Take care!
Kurtis: Take care.
Doug: We really hope you enjoyed that interview with Kurtis and Cindy Squyres, I know that we got a lot out of it, really a great couple. So we want to encourage you to head over to iTunes if you haven’t already, please subscribe to our podcast, give us a rating and review, let us know what you think of the show, helps get the word out to other people.
Andrea: Also we have a Facebook page, so if you like that Facebook page, then you will see the future episodes pop up in your news feed!
Doug: Yeah, and it’s just the Spouses Flipping Houses in Facebook, right, just search that to find it?
Doug: Also you can go to our website, connect with us there, we have two free gifts for you, just put your contact info there on the main page and you’ll get two free awesome gifts, let us know what you think about that. We put a lot of time into them, hopefully those will be valuable resources for you, and you can stay connected and know when the next episodes are coming up.
Andrea: Yep, and one of the free gifts is Eleven Tips to Working with your Spouse, a little e-book; the second one is how to value a property from an appraiser’s perspective, Doug’s a former appraiser, certified residential, so he put together a three-part course on how to know if it’s a deal and how to value a property. So, it is really good.
Doug: Hope you like it, so go check that out and we’ll talk to you next week!
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