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investing investor May 10, 2021



Justin Letheby 0:00
Okay, everybody, welcome back to the professor of real estate. This week we get to talk with Sean Morrissey. He is an investing real estate agent and managing broker. He does it all. He's also has a podcast this week, we get to talk to him about how he got started in investing, why he got started in investing, as well, as, you know, kind of the things to think about if you wanted to jump into the investing side of real estate. I really hope you enjoy this episode, there was a ton to learn from it. And we'll chat after that.

Welcome to the professor of real estate podcast. My name is Justin Letheby. And I'm a realtor trainer and coach. My sole purpose here is to take my many years in real estate, as well as my even many more years as a trainer and get you to your goals and beyond. I'm going to do this by talking about business growth, development, branding, marketing, you know, basically all successful things that entrepreneurs are doing today. And hey, since I'm your tech guy, there's going to be tech thrown in here as well. So let's go

Okay, everybody, welcome. This is Justin this E Professor real estate and today I've got the one and only Sean Morrissey. And he's a real estate agent, broker, landlord property manager, maybe a property manager, property manager, he does those things. He's also a guy I have known for, what, 10 years now. I mean, since I've seen you come through the office, I think it's longer than that. Oh, seven, so 14. Okay, this man. Yeah, I like tennis. Sounds younger is better. Um, so yeah, 14 years. Um, so the reason I brought Shawn on today is I believe in all my heart that if we're doing real estate, we're doing it so we can help other agents. But we also believe we want to invest, right, we got to have a retirement program or something of some sort. And that's actually one of the things that Shawn has actually wrote in his goals for this year is that he wants to have financial freedom by the end of this year. So we'll get into that question here in a little bit. But that's what I wanted to bring him on for Shawn. Anything I missed?

SEan MOrrissey 2:44
I mean, yeah, I can give the listeners a little bit of a background on myself. I mean, I ultimately got into real estate back in 2000, to purchase my first rental property in 2003. I actually got my real estate license in late 2006, because I thought it'd make me a better investor. And right around the time I met Justin at Keller Williams, in 2007. Ultimately, the market bottomed out, right, that's when things kind of fell apart. It was awesome. Yeah, timing was, it was it was something. So having said all that, you know, back in those days, I tend to I what I did is I targeted a lot of folks that couldn't sell their property didn't necessarily want to go through the short sale or foreclosure process and still would have like a positive cash flow and renting their home. And I would rent out the home in 2010, that evolved into property management in 2011. That evolved into me opening my own brokerage, Chicagoland Realty Group partners here in the western suburbs of the Chicagoland area. And then we managed up to 200 properties at one point, ultimately, assign that portfolio to a competing brokerage in early 2018. All along the way, kind of focusing on my real estate investment, ultimately just buy and hold stuff for the most part in being a landlord and using my property management system to help scale over time. And, you know, really, from 2018 on the focus has been more of becoming more of the landlord because becoming more of the passive investor to some degree, although still very, very hands on with the self management, and then if you know, done less brokering over the years, ultimately me I've sold homes put more or less energy into that and more into finding local folks that ultimately would love to sell their property. And and have it make sense for both our our buy and hold model and or, you know, flip model is what we're looking into now. So, yeah, that's that's kind of a 1718 year summary in about two minutes.

Justin Letheby 4:50
Well, that's awesome. And you know, you're leading me I think fairly well on to some of the first more natural questions. And I think you've already answered a little bit right with the introduction, but I do want to ask why Did you go the route you did? Was that the intention from the setup? And were you would you did you go to real estate saying, You know what, I want to be that investor? You know, maybe discoveries happened along the way as I get that, but Is that me? Was that one of the reasons why you did this?

SEan MOrrissey 5:13
Yeah, I mean, what's funny is discoveries do certainly happen along the way. But when I, when I initially got started back in 2000, to 2003, I mean, it all, it all came from a book that my dad gave me, which was really about using real estate investment as a tax shelter. And back in those days, I was I don't even know what a tax shelter meant. Um, so that was the intent. Um, you know, as dumb luck would have it, ultimately, I'd get involved in different real estate investment clubs here, you know, locally in the Chicagoland area from 2003, to 2006. And into 2010, really, that just kind of left me in a good position, market bottomed out in a way that I could help folks in renting their home, because I had already had that experience and evicted folks and had, you know, ultimately, put together a system so that I knew how to rent to quality people. And that's what a lot of people were learning now. No, come 2010 2011 I mean, my thought wasn't necessarily that I wanted to become more of an investor than an agent. My thought was really, I wanted to become more of an agent, property manager than an investor, because I could see some scalability there over time. But, you know, I think what ultimately evolves is a as I grew as, as an agent, as a property manager, and as an investor, I came to learn that, you know, as an agent, especially, you always got to hustle for the next deal, right? You've got always got to have referrals in the pipeline, or other agents you're working with, or a system in place for lead generation, because that's, that's always that's always key. And then after that transaction is completed, well, you're, you're back out there hustling again. And there's certainly advantages to potentially like the time per hour you spent on not only trying to find new leads, but processing the transaction. But what I came to find over time is when you own an asset that can produce, you know, not only positive rental cash flows, but you know, ideally appreciates over time, you're paying down the principal of that mortgage balance, and you're getting tax benefits, the net effect in regards to adding one's net worth tends to compound as opposed to the the agency or brokering business, or the the property manager, which I probably even say the property management business is great, because of the fact that you have one year contracts and a reoccurring revenue stream and once a month basis, as an agent, you don't necessarily have that. So you got to have the, the relationships in place to make up for that. And, you know, for that reason, there's there's very successful agents that probably say, Why invest in real estate or why even consider property management as a model. On the opposite end of the spectrum, like myself, that's a well the investment model works great. Because by management systems are already in place. And I know where I got it, what I got to do on a day to day basis to maintain that reoccurring revenue stream. So hopefully that all makes sense. But that's, you know, in a nutshell, kind of where my mind had been over, over surely years.

Justin Letheby 8:21
Well, and you know, I think you raise a very huge point, you know, I you know, especially right now, right? I think you you probably asked the best question realtors are going, why would I want to invest right now I plan a sign and I sell it in two days. I get 15 offers all above asking, this is a beautiful day. But as you also said, me and you I mean, I started I think one year before you. It may be three months. I don't know I was there before you got there in the office. but not by much right. And the world came crashing down on us. And I tell you I left side tangent I keep telling a lot of people I don't know about you, but what me and you started in feels eerily similar to what's going on right now. Everybody's loving Hi, they're loving good. They're not questioning anything, right? They're not doing any of that. You know that wonderment right? Which is what it felt like when I walked in I planted a sign I sold the home it was easy. It was it was the hardest one Well, yeah, finding the business but once you found the business, everything else was easy.

Unknown Speaker 9:23

Justin Letheby 9:25
long tangent short, the question I got for this is this real simple. Would you because I know you kind of started off lease my recollection a little bit as a property manager, right? Is that a natural progression to do what you did because I know the reason I think it's good because you mentioned it already is there is continuous income right there when that when things do go drive that still is producing for you. At least yearly if not better than yearly.

SEan MOrrissey 9:54
Absolutely. So back in the good old days of you know, 2009 dead really 2000 And 13 I mean, that's what paid the bills on a month to month basis, that reoccurring revenue stream. Um, and it's something that, you know, I suppose all agents should consider. But at the same time, I think what's changed a lot since 2010 to today is that Tech has really stepped in and said, Hey, property managers, or Hey, landlords, frankly, we can solve all these problems for you. So that ultimately, you don't need to pay that property manager 10% that that individual person or that company doesn't host as much value as they wanted once did, because tech is figured out how to, you know, figure out, ultimately how to process work orders faster, using their own maintenance crews, or, you know, collecting rent on line via credit card or checking and savings account. I mean, that wasn't available back in 2010. So there's, it might be possible for an agent to say, hey, I want to I want to start in property management tomorrow and build a model. But man, there's, there's way more competition than they used to be. Compared to 2010. There's less demand, because everybody's home selling a day right now. So it's, it's very, it's not particularly driving for most folks to say, why would I rent when I can sell for top dollar? And, um, and then yeah, tech is kind of changed things to where ultimately, um, you know, as a landlord, you can find, you know, software like nest egg that, to me is, is really figured out kind of a lot of the issues that prop that landlords were having that property managers would self but to do it for a cheaper price. So it's a it's an ever changing world, right? I mean, we've got to continuously change and adjust as the times change. And that's, you know, I guess that's what I see. Now.

Justin Letheby 11:41
So let's take this to another way. Let's take it to another conversation. Just a side tangent, let's let me play the devil's advocate. Technology has made life so easy. Why do I need a property manager?

SEan MOrrissey 11:53
Oh, so yeah, I mean, I would say that some of the things they haven't figured out via tech, in my opinion, and based on my experience, is leasing, it's there's there are self showing options when it comes to leasing. But at the end of the day, you're counting on that individual to stop it and not only be able to get in without an issue, and see the place, but to turn off all lights, make sure the doors are locked, and you know, frankly, not be a squatter, so I'm having a local property manager that will show your property and then an efficient basis, there's, there's, for sure, or or real estate broker for that matter. Um, but the rent collection piece of it, it's, it's pretty well solved, in my opinion, if you if you dig deep enough into the tech solutions available, e lease signing, I mean, that's basically solved Point A to Point B lease signing, there's no big deal, they're requesting repairs, a lot of that's been figured out. But I will say there's still a lot of loopholes, when it comes to getting the vendor in touch with the tenant. And then getting the vendor in the door to make that repair. There. There's a company out there called property meld I've, I've had some relations with that tries to solve that. But it all it all comes at a price. So if the price isn't justified to make that solution affordable, then that's not a justifiable solution. So there's that and you know that that's figured out a lot of it when it comes to work orders. And then the last piece, in my opinion, which we haven't really figured out, is performing inspections to that property on a regular basis. So you may want to see your property manager get in there once a year, twice a year, maybe four times a year, depending on the tenants level of cooperation and the class of property. But to do that, you really need somebody that's boots on the ground, right? That's local. So with that in mind, you know, it's tough for tech to figure that stuff out. So there's still some reasons out there in my opinion as to why leasing agents, real estate brokering with rental listings still exists when it comes to the leasing side of things. But really, it's that inspection piece that I suppose is the one that's probably the most inept to having technology solve yet. And you know, and then till that happens, there's there's still demand out there. And there's still landlords that don't know the solutions that are available to them when it comes to tech. So they may pick up the phone and call the property manager whenever he talks to him first they go with so it's a you know, it's a ever changing world once again.

Justin Letheby 14:26
Well, yeah, and it sounds like to me, you know, it's

Unknown Speaker 14:28
you know, it's

Justin Letheby 14:29
from an agent's perspective, it's a fairly logical flow, because we're we succeed in this business from a property manager is where we succeed as a real estate business, right? It's the relationships. It's not the, it's not the processes, right? Because if we can, if we can set up a process, they can be duplicated through technology, right? Those are the things that can be mimicked and duplicated, but our processes are not our processes, our relationships in which I keep trying to teach people so often, it's the relationship business run. It's the it's the service providers that we know it's the vendors that we Know, it's the wealth of database of clientele that I have access to that I'm going to give you results from, which is where I think most of this comes from in here. Because I always think and maybe you're wrong, if I'm wrong, let me know from a property management perspective. But I think one of these always we fail on is we always try to say, we're faster, cheaper, slow on lower, right? Well, if those are your three items that you're selling on, someone's going to build a better mousetrap. And now you're, you're fighting a losing battle.

SEan MOrrissey 15:32
Yeah, and that goes with all industries, right? I mean, Chapter fees, faster, cheaper, better, is kind of the the name of the game and you know, the kind of the American model, I suppose. But your points a great one, that if there's one thing that can't take away from us, if there's one thing that competing agents can't take away from us, it's the relationships we have with those, those those people out there in your community and what you're doing. And I feel like if you, you know, nourish those, that ultimately you'll be, you'll be sustainable over time. And we stay, that would be my my thought. But again, I think, you know, we kind of go back to the idea of, you know, what makes real estate buy and hold the real estate investment so attractive to me versus the agency model. And it's that you own a hard asset that has rental cash flows every month that, you know, pay down the principal appreciation over time, and some tax benefits. And the agency model doesn't necessarily have that. But again, it goes back to what we were talking just five minutes, if you focus on those relationships, there's probably ways in which your GCI exceeds what you would anticipate to obtain on rental cash flows, which would justify you building that agency model rather than a real estate investment model. So, you know, to each their own, I suppose? Well, yeah,

Justin Letheby 16:55
I would agree with that. I also think it goes to our skill sets, right? I mean, you know, some of our skill sets are going to be we just want to be out doing those things. We want to look at homes every day, you know, there are certain people you know, I hear from agents, I just want to get home, I just want to go home with clients. I think that's fun. Okay, great. Well, in the maybe investing isn't going to be your thing, because you don't want to go look at your property that someone else just beat the heck out of right. That's not something you're gonna want to do. Yeah. But I do think that if you are trying to price point, your hourly wage agency versus investing, I think there's an there's an obvious difference there. Right. I

SEan MOrrissey 17:33
mean, there is definitely especially getting started, right? I mean, it takes time to build a portfolio. So the agency side of things is going to make much more sense in the short term. But you know, in my case along with it, yeah, then in the long term, the the the buy and hold side is gonna make a little more sense. But you're right, it's, it's all going to come down to your skill set, and where you want to focus your energy. And you know, where I find the most enjoyment is to go out there and find the deal, frankly. So that's, that's where I focus my energy.

Unknown Speaker 18:04
So this,

Justin Letheby 18:06
yeah, this leverage as well, right to the next question. So you moved from property manager. And again, I know I'm simplifying the conversation, but just for the points purposes, you move from property manager to being a little bit more on the investment side, where you're, you're at this point in time. How Where did you go, did you do buy and hold? Did you do flip? Now, again, we're gonna take this for perspective, because we knew started real estate in the downturn. So some of these were not a decision you can make. They're just realities that you had to be in, right? I mean, sometimes it was just a buy and hold market. That's the only thing you're gonna have for an option. Some remember flips, cuz that's the only options we had. But so, let me ask you I know right now, I think you're mostly buying hold, right? Yeah. But you and we'll talk about flipping a little bit. So let's talk about that. So when you're looking, why are you looking? Why were you looking last couple years, three, four, or five, whatever, pick your number. Why are you looking at a buy and hold versus a flip strategy? Last,

SEan MOrrissey 19:00
I really came down to knowing that rents were ever increasing as as home prices are increasing on the sales side, I suppose. And, you know, ultimately, the strategy that three uses in their in their toolboxes, you're looking for some kind of value add, right, so you're looking for that rundown house in a beautiful neighborhood that you can improve and either flip or rent out or you know, some might consider it you know, wholesaling so that's that's kind of the the target market now I tend to float more towards the small multifamily these days, and instead of continuously, chips are looking into real estate syndications. Try to keep everything in house. But yeah, at the end of the day, that's really what I was looking for now, given where we're at in the market now with with prices being so great and the drop in interest rates over the last years. It's a great time to unload kind of the low hanging fruit on your portfolio to say all right this how requires a lot of repairs, or it's not in a neighborhood that attracts great tenants, or the associations not maintaining the property the way I feel it should be. And I think, you know, it makes sense to unload those properties. Now. Other than that, I, you know, I tend to be kind of a buy until you die type attitude, because of the the capital gains reset, which is actually on the table right now in Washington. But having said all that, um, you know, I guess that's just the general philosophy, I mean, based on where we're at in the market, right now unload the the bad stuff, hold on to the good stuff, and continue to ride the wave. You know, we'll see where we're at in three, four years. But, you know, I can't ever see our federal government or the state government letting the bottom fall out of real estate, like it didn't wait. And my, I believe there's already some some markers in place to prevent that. So it's, yeah, well, I mean, it's, it's still a great asset class.

Justin Letheby 20:57
And, and and you're absolutely right on that. Right. I mean, which is, I think it's challenging for investors, right, because I don't think there's going to be the same investing opportunity we had six years ago. Um, you know, there was a windfall going in the area. And the thing that I worry about, or I watch with this, because I do think I think we're gonna see a shift in the market, I think we're gonna see prices plateau out, I think we might even see a dip in pricing, not like we did, you know, in 2007 2008, through 2013, we're not going to see that. But for most of what you just said, right, I think the government's already has tools and keys in place to, to stop that hemorrhage before it starts. But with that being said, we still have to be aware it's going on, because I use remind a lot reminders for people that aren't that are listening from across the country that aren't used to it remind is a prospecting tool that's out there tax database tool that will show you business opportunities. And if you actually look at the pre foreclosures for the last six months, they've actually increased. Now, they're not going short, right, and they're not getting foreclosed the pre foreclosure. So the list pendants are being filed. They're just not. They're not coming out right there. They're not even hidden inventory, right. They're not even that the hidden inventory that people like to talk about, this is just not going up there, because the government or the banks are working with them ahead of the game. So with that, if you're looking for properties, what would you recommend today? How are you going to find those properties? Because I don't think we're going to see the same opportunity we did six, seven years ago, we're gonna see I'm not nearly the same way.

SEan MOrrissey 22:28
No, you're right. And I mean, ultimately, we're not going to see the same opportunities as six, seven years ago, and it's tough to be an investor in 2021, open the MLS and be like, Oh, I'm gonna, you know, potentially overpay for a property or, you know, ultimately purchase a property that's going to have limited rental cash flow, because of what I'm buying it for? And to answer your question, you just got to dig deeper, right? I mean, ultimately, you've got to find the deals, and no one else is finding, and as the marketplace is become more competitive, you know, as an investor, that's only become more difficult. So you've got to be able to find information that no one else can find. So if you're going and you're looking in, in remind, as an investor, you know, you can pretty much bank that the majority of agents that are investors are probably doing the same thing as well. So it's, it's very difficult to find that deal. So then the next question is, you know, should you just hold on to the cash and wait till these lists pendens get processed? And now there's going to be this flood of foreclosures? I mean, is that possible? I mean, it is, but from what I've read, it sounds like there's gonna be some government intervention there and ultimately limit the amount of foreclosures that hits the market at any time. So we may see a price dip, but we're not going to see a collapse. And in my opinion, and with that in mind, you know, those are folks that have been holding on to cash since 2017. that have been like, here it comes. I mean, here we are four years later, and we're like, Where's the recession? Right? You know, we're in we're getting to a point where we may be limiting any, any form of recession moving forward, just with the the amount of money that's been printed. So it's a, it may be more of an inflationary game moving forward than it is a, you know, wait for prices to fall, because any kind of deflation at this point is, I think it's gonna be hard pressed to see.

Justin Letheby 24:16
Well, and you make a good point, right? There's actually I talked to a mortgage person out in Arizona quite a bit. And he's had the same conversation I used to have, like, we're gonna see something, right. I mean, again, it feels too early, like when me and you started just like something's got to happen.

SEan MOrrissey 24:30
But it's like a war on affordability. I mean, that's the thing when you when I think of what's going to happen over the next 10 years, there's gonna be government intervention when it comes to affordable housing, because I mean, you've seen it, Justin, I mean, look at the cost of lumber right now. Like, what's the point of building anything new, we got to wait for supply systems to get back on track, wait for prices to fall before that even makes sense. And even then, you know, unless we start printing 3d houses or, you know, mobile home parks. Become zoning eligible. I don't know how we quite solve that affordability issue. And yeah, unless the market drops to some crazy capacity, that's going to be kind of the ongoing issue. And you know, and I've seen it here in the state of Illinois, where I feel like there is a war against landlords right now. I mean, rent control has been on the books two times in the last couple of years and hasn't quite gone through yet. But, you know, it's eventually right. Eventually, it will. Yeah. And, you know, then we got the eviction moratorium, right, which creates a whole other slew issues, which we kind of talked about, you know, prior to this call. And it's, it's one of those things, we're really if you're, if you're a government official, it's a war on affordable housing, how do we build housing cheaper for the slew of Americans to make their lives better, and yet that penalize the general public in doing so? So that's, to me, that's the, that's the battle for the next 10 years.

Justin Letheby 26:01
Interesting. Well, okay, so let's talk about this real quick, then we're going to move to a different conversation. But I think this is fascinating. This is how I talk what we do. If you guys listen to me on the podcast, folks, you know, this, I like going with the flow naturally. But you mentioned something, how much do you think for the next two years? forbearance are going to play on you as an investor agent?

SEan MOrrissey 26:25
forbearance, meaning like, no, so not

Justin Letheby 26:27
you going into forbearance, but other people going into forbearance that can not because remember, well, so for this short story, long story short, right? when this started happening in April of last year, when all this stuff, you know, our world got turned upside down. I brought in for mortgage people I said, let's talk about forbearance. So we can educate the public. And I'll be honest with you, they they kind of Whammy me because they go stop doing the forbearance, they're not good for you. X, Y and Z. I'll do this for you instead, right? It was, it was amazing conversation, I learned a ton. But the thing I really learned from it that I didn't actually recognize at that point in time was there's really a couple different versions of forbearance out there, one that's going to get tied to the back of the loan whenever the forbearance is over. And the other one that says do when the forbearance is over, right, so we got some that have had 12 months of no payments, and they're going to be due at that point. Well, even if they can afford to sell their home, they can't afford to pay that forbearance.

SEan MOrrissey 27:30
Yeah, their equity is basically getting chewed up by those payments. Right. Right. You know, I'm assuming there's no later penalty fees. But if there are, I mean, good luck.

Justin Letheby 27:40
So my guess so I'm so you as an investor, I know me as a real estate agent, trainer coach for ages trying to feel how to get ready for the next pending market, which is what I think the next pending market is going to be. I would think from you, as an investor, you're looking at this as potential opportunity, whether it shows that way or not. I guess that's why I'm looking at it. Am I wrong? Are you looking at it that way?

SEan MOrrissey 28:03
Oh, you're right. I mean, there's a lot of folks out there that are that are, you know, lip licking their chops, right, that say, Hey, you know, I've had cash on the sidelines, I'm going to wait for these wait for this COVID situation to play out. And you know, the sales will be at a discount all over. But again, I question if that's going to be the case, I think there's going to be government intervention there because they don't want to see 2008 happen again. And it's going to be much more limited. And going back to your point of, you know, the two types of forbearance that you tend to see, I mean, I'm not educated on that. But assuming you were the unlucky one that ultimately has 12 months of payments due or beyond that, at the end of COVID. You know, whatever that means, at the end of the day, I'd like to think there's going to be intervention there too, because we just, it just tends to be the it just tends to be the the juice that's been poured lately. Um, so yeah, I'm not expecting any great deals. But I would anticipate given the amount that's been added to the US money supply, that anybody who holds hard assets, like real estate, is ultimately going to see the prices inflate, doesn't necessarily mean there's been more like added to the gross domestic product for that matter. It's just that the US dollar will be worth less. I mean, that's what I'm anticipating but I it sounds like you know, Biden's gonna try to counter that with increased taxes and, you know, talk about 1031 exchange termination and stuff, which I don't necessarily think is gonna happen, but at the end of the day, I just, I can't see us, and I can't see is getting around inflation at this point. And, you know, and again, we're going off on some tangents here. But there's another reason I think Bitcoin is so intriguing to poised folks, as well, because there's a fixed money supply that's tied. to something and ultimately, we're not just creating money out of thin air. So

Justin Letheby 30:03
there's three of you, I want to bring on to that conversation at some point. I'm a real estate agent.

SEan MOrrissey 30:09
Yes. And I'm qualified to really speak to Bitcoin. But it's it's certainly something that fascinated me. And in the process of COVID, in our solutions as a country in regards to stimulus, and what we've done to the money supply, so, again, it's one of those things where it's like, you may look at the the market out there and say, it's a great time to sell, and you're right. Um, but if you're just to hold, I would, man, I'd be likely to think that ultimately, natural inflationary pressures are going to increase the value of your real estate over the next 510 years, as this money hits the system more and, you know, unless our, our federal government can limit that unless the Federal Reserve can limit that to some degree. Just, you know, it's a good time to be an asset holder, I

Justin Letheby 30:58
suppose, just with used cars, right. I mean, with the with the last recession, and that current presidential group and senators and that we they bought essentially all the used cars out. And now what you're seeing, what's that?

SEan MOrrissey 31:14
That's an interesting way to look at it. And in regards to, yeah, bailouts.

Justin Letheby 31:19
It's what we're seeing, right? I mean, I don't know about you, but I know in my car isn't even desirable. They're still calling me saying do you do you want to trade your car in because it's, there's such a huge pent up demand for us cars, that that can't be satisfied. Because we did it right. And so that's what I worry about some of these things, right. I mean, you know, inflation is gonna happen, as you just said, which again, you know, if you're, again, the reason we're talking about this, from an investor perspective, that's why this point matters. Because if you want to buy, still, I think today is a great buy and hold scenario, you may not get through by the 50% off home. But that inflation is going to make it 50% off hopefully, in the next few years. Because that that pent up demand, no one's building homes, all this other stuffs going in place could be a very interesting play out there. Now, you don't ever want to gamble investing, and I think Shawn would agree with that you don't ever want to gamble on these risks. But these are the factors we got to pay attention to.

SEan MOrrissey 32:14
Well, and just to elaborate a little bit more, you know, in going really back to the topic, because then I'm getting a little off base here. But at the end of the day, I always think it's effective as, as an agent or broker to have tried to create multiple streams of income, right, so you've got, you know, your your sale piece, maybe your listing piece, you got your your buyer agent team, perhaps you've got a few rental properties, you know, you've got your stock portfolio, you've got your property management portfolio, I mean, at the end of the day, Now, given where we're at, and we tracked where real estate has been. And really common sense tells us like this is no longer like affordable for the general consensus of America, in my opinion. Create your systems now. So that if things you know, do have a tumble down effect, and those mortgage forbearances lead to a flood or foreclosures that you're there, and you're ready, and prepared to have income in place, so that ultimately, you're not going to be one of the ones that are that are bitten by the bug here. So, um, yeah, it's, you know, develop your plan for multiple streams of income based on your skill set. And if you don't have a skill set, then work on developing that range of skills so that ultimately you can you can be there to benefit from it, or survive through it, whatever happens over the next Well,

Justin Letheby 33:35
I think that's interesting. And that brings up a very good question that follows the flow what we started on, you said build systems, right? And I mentioned that we all have our own skill set. Well, maybe my skill set isn't the one to go hunt and find the deal but my skill set is the one to build the relationships or find a property and someone else established a deal prayer for you know, paradigm on it. Did Did you or do you even recommend building that team? I know you talked about syndication and I'm not talking about that really at this point in time. But I mean, you I know investors, you know, the real estate investor book right The Millionaire real estate investor book, you go to real estate groups, it's one of the biggest most common topics you hear build that team around you. Is it something that you encourage you know, to build the you know, the financier to build your your bird dog so to speak, and you know, those kinds of steps?

SEan MOrrissey 34:29
Yeah, I mean, if you can do it and do it right, absolutely. Have I done it and done it right Nin I really, I mean, you know, when I went to open my own brokerage and you know, and a handful of agents working for me know what I came to realize pretty quick was that ultimately I didn't have the systems in place to manage those people. And ultimately, I'm I was really relying on skill set to bring revenue into the office rather than train others, right and a lot of that comes from an owner operator. mentality. And I and I learned that at that time now, my opinion these days is I tried to scale, you know, via tech via improvement of systems through technology, rather than bring another person on board to the team. So that's that's kind of what I focus on these at this moment in time. But I mean, I can tell you all sorts of folks that I have seen since 2010, since the downturn that ultimately knew how to know how to work with people know how to develop systems with people, and they were able to leverage that. And now they're leaps and bounds ahead of wherever I thought I could be. So understanding how to manage people is is absolutely critical in this world. And I wish I had the silver bullet to figure out but I simply don't. So I, you know, I kind of went the other direction and said, Alright, well, I'm going to find different tech tools that help make my time more efficient so that I can do more with less. And that's, I guess that's, that's really, you know, what I continue to do moving forward.

Unknown Speaker 36:03
So, oh,

Justin Letheby 36:06
I don't want to kill our time. We've been doing this for a few minutes. I got two more questions. I got Wally, one more question. What do those systems look like for an agent? So if you were to tell a newbie agent me, right, I'm not a newbie agent. But let's say I'm the newbie agent says, Shawn, you know what? I want to be an investor? I have no cash. I am literally starting out there. I have people I know. But I have no cash. What would you tell me? How would you tell me to get started? And what systems? Do I What are those systems? Maybe you don't want to give me the whole secret sauce, I totally get that. But what are those from

SEan MOrrissey 36:40
time, I'm happy to give you whatever I got. So assuming we've got a licensed agent, right, somebody that is licensed to sell real estate, ironically enough, I probably tell them go that route first, because that's the point of least resistance in order to obtain the most income quickly. So with that in mind, you know, and part of the reason I went to Keller Williams, frankly, was because the the training systems were so good in terms of you know, being in the classroom and learning what you need to learn to survive on a day to day basis via marketing, or how to fill a contract or whatever the case might be. But at the end of the day, sitting in a desk in a room for a few hours a day, can only get you so far, it makes you you know, book smart, but not necessarily street smart. So really, you want to work with an agent that already has that establish lead generation system and work under their tutelage. Right. So ultimately, they're mentoring you, which is kind of the premise of what a team really should be is that you learn what you need to learn from that team leader, in my opinion. And then once you learn that, and you've feel comfortable in generating your own lead cycle, then ultimately, you go out on your own, and you do it yourself. And after you do it on yourself, then I'd recommend you open up your own brokerage too. Because, you know, again, it depends on the state. But it's, it's not the most difficult thing in the world. And now you've got, you know, no commission split, in essence, depending on how you structure things. So all that comes into play to develop first, once you've developed that, and you've got some funds on the side, and you've got some relationships built through your agency stream, then I'd say, buy that first rental property buy that, that first opportunity, and that may just come through happenstance from your relationship building with people out there in the general public, which is the best way to do it. Because you know, as I'm sure all sorts of agency this day and age, you know, finding a deal on the MLS is it's impossible, it's very difficult. Although ironically, I found one in December that's turning in. That is like an anomaly, man, it's it really is. So having said all that, that's, that's the way I would go, um, focus on your agents game, build your relationships, but at the same time, attend those weekly meetups or this day and age and you do them all through resume, in terms of real estate investment clubs local to you. And, you know, once you kind of get the agency thing figured out, your property management systems can be relatively plug and play this day and age, you buy your first property, you, you know, the burn models talked about all the time these days, but you buy your rehab, you refinance, and you repeat, and that's, that's all you need to know. So you've got your net worth being built in the form of real estate and pretties that you you buy and hold all while you're, you know, churning away your agency system. And if you got those two working side by side, and then you've got like a third property management arm that happens to sprout over time because you're managing your own properties. And you can also help your clients in the process of doing so then more power to you. Now, you know, that's, that's basically who I am. It's those three arms and they play off each other and they work well together. And I've tried to expand that into like, you know, cleaning businesses or carpet cleaning businesses or handyman services and natural progresses all that right. You would you would think so more difficult. And are much more, much more in the face of the public. So it's, it's, you know, I don't want to push the envelope that far, but I've seen other property managers do that where they've, they've made that work and it's an even more profitable stream of income than the property management is. So it's, it's, uh, you know, there's, there's different ways to skin that cat, there's just, you just got to take it all in time and really look for the big picture in regards to where you want to be in 510 years, and then what that translates into into income, and then work it backwards in regards to what it's going to take to get you there, I suppose. I like

Justin Letheby 40:39
that. And again, I pretty much what I watched you do those three things that you naturally grew into. So I love that setup. And again, I don't think it needs to be complicated, it feels complicated. And trust me, it feels stressful. But I don't think it doesn't have to be either one of them. If you if you step systematize your process and you move through it in a natural flow. Perfect. Last question. And then you get to talk about whatever you want to talk about how you know, whatever thing you want to promote any, any has any, like, wow, that was an interesting discovery through your journey that you want to make sure people realize that, like not that you want them not to go through, but you want them to either be prepared for or learn how to avoid before they get there.

SEan MOrrissey 41:21
Yeah, it's a good question. I think the first thing that comes to mind is you gotta you gotta respect that you're, you're part of larger systems in play here, right? So we could happen in 2008. And we can't control what's happening now with COVID, right? Like I am, I am probably losing here daily over this eviction moratorium and the fact that, you know, we're now on 16, going on 17 months. Um, you know, I've used the analogy of imagine your employer telling you that they're not going to pay you for 17 months, and you can't go to court and do anything about it, but you're expected to go to work every day and work just as hard. That's, that's what landlords are going through right now. And I I'd love to see the general public step off in back the the mom and pop landlord, especially because of the fact that they're the backbone to affordable housing, in this country for folks that aren't ready to buy. And, you know, I can't help but I'll get off my soapbox,

Justin Letheby 42:19
though, because it's risky if people were not ready for and that's

SEan MOrrissey 42:22
why he came out of left field, right? I mean, those are the swans that we have to keep in the back of our mind are going to happen in life. And when they do happen in life, you want to be liquid enough to get through it. So you know, always make sure you got at least six months in reserves, because like this, or, you know, what happened into and out of those things usually comes opportunity. At least that's the way I look at it. So, yeah, I mean, always, you know, you probably heard all the time growing up, but always prepare for the worst. And if you can do that, and you certainly keep enough liquidity on hand, you know, you'll be able to get through, get through anything. So, you know, that's relatively simple answer, I suppose. But it's it's one that kind of hits home with me right now, when it comes to the eviction moratorium and the fact that, you know, we're really going to have to get through the end of June before we can start to look past COVID

Justin Letheby 43:17
Well, and I laughed because I'm telling people on the real estate side, not even investor side to start saving an extra 10% not because I think the market is going to shift that fast. But my thought is right now we don't know what's going to happen. something's gonna happen. It could skyrocket or it could fall my prediction is it's going to fall not huge. I agree with you. I think government's going to protect

SEan MOrrissey 43:36
to some degree. Yeah, there'll be some intervention Yeah, but

Justin Letheby 43:40
I would rather people right now save that extra 10% and then go on a great vacation because they no longer needed to worry about it. Then realize what we discovered. I mean, I watched huge teams fall apart as soon as the recession hit in 2007 Yep. And I just again I feel so eerily to me the similar that I really would like I just want people to save a little bit more money and the same thing you're saying right just save that little extra as nest egg so you can withstand the uncontrollable right and yeah,

SEan MOrrissey 44:15
I mean, I think of 2018 I mean, there are a whole offices that would just like dry up overnight. And you know, they were they were over leveraged frankly so it's just being sensitive to that over the over leveraging that so easy to do. You know, in our culture, I suppose.

Justin Letheby 44:31
Well, awesome.

Unknown Speaker 44:31
Well shot I do

Justin Letheby 44:32
appreciate your time. I don't want to kill all your time. I know you're an extremely busy person. But um, you know, this is your time to promote whatever you want to promote. tell anybody that you want to go to like, for instance, I was horrible, and I forgot to talk about you have your own podcast and investing podcast.

SEan MOrrissey 44:48
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's actually you know, I just realized that the other day, but yeah, I've got a podcast called landlording for life kind of defines who I am. To some degree landlord for life, but yeah, we were just pushing 100 episodes. And we'll cover all sorts of different topics when it comes to landlord stuff that's really just on a nationwide level nothing really specific locally. And you know, so yeah, pushing 100 episodes, if you go to landlording for, you'll find all the previous episodes there. And I've got some show notes and stuff that, you know, you can dig into a little bit. But yeah, we're at roughly a little over 38,000 downloads. So that's, that's kind of exciting. And, you know, we'd love to educate more agents in regards to using buy and hold real estate is, is an alternative to they're not even an alternative as a supplement to their retirement plan. So something everybody everybody should be looking into, especially if you're an agent already. I mean, that's what your specialty is. So do it.

Justin Letheby 45:52
Yeah, no, I agree. I think landlording for life is great, because I think having that retirement programs in place, right, where our average age actually went up, or 54 as an agent, and I think part of it is we don't have that. We never had that in place when we were starting to set that up as a real estate agent. So I think it's huge. Yeah, absolutely. Well, thanks, Shawn. I appreciate your time. Hopefully, we'll get you back on talking about cryptocurrency, Steve.

SEan MOrrissey 46:17
Yeah, not sure if I'm qualified, but it's certainly intriguing. Well, let

Justin Letheby 46:20
Steve talk about it all. Awesome. Thank you, sir.

Sean Morrissey Biography

Sean Morrissey is a “buy and hold” investor and real estate broker/owner who resides in Aurora, Illinois with his wife, two children, dog and cat. Sean started his real estate journey, as landlord, in 2003. He earned his real estate license in 2006 and opened his real estate brokerage, “Chicagoland Realty Group Partners LLC”, in October 2011. Since 2010, Sean has managed up to 200 single family homes while building his real estate rental portfolio in the western suburbs of the Chicagoland area – primarily in the Aurora, IL community. Sean’s current goal is to earn three times his family monthly expenses in passive rental income and earn financial freedom by the year 2021. Sean hosts a weekly podcast for entry level real estate “buy and hold” investors called “Landlording for Life” and just surpassed 85 episodes launched. 

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