On the recommendation of a friend, Miami, Florida’s Yansey Valdes began to explore the real estate industry. That was more than a dozen years ago. In his recent appearance on the It’s Closing Time podcast, the Associate Broker at Julie’s Realty said that rentals specifically provided an ideal foundation for sales and his subsequent career.
“I started to try to look for ways to make money immediately. And, my friend had recommended, ‘Hey, you could start doing rentals.’ The next office I moved to, they were highly focused on rentals and that's where I got the real bulk of learning how to do everything to close [rental transactions] on a consistent basis.”
According to Valdes, brand new agents need to make sure that they’re choosing their first brokerage based on the training that will be provided, not just based on where their friends are working. “I knew that I needed a lot of hand holding. I needed a lot of training.”
“The trainings even depend on what’s my style?” he continued. “Am I the type that likes my day structured for me? Or do I just like to get [whatever] trainings that they have and I can just jump in when I feel like it? [There are] so many different factors that you need to determine before you” decide.
Valdes said that brand new agents should “check out a couple different offices, see what they offer, hear them out. And then you have to actually ask yourself, what does my business need from me?”
Working effectively with rental clients
Early on, when working with renters, Valdes said that he “would just kind of be like an order taker at a restaurant. You just come in: ‘What are you looking for?’ And then that's it. Just jump on the MLS and start going.”
Eventually, Valdes learned to connect with the person, rather than literally just take down their wishlist. “It's asking a lot of ‘whys’. Like, ‘Why are they trying to do what they want to do?’ So finding a lot of motivation within the person, and then also getting them to commit to working with you.”
While there are no exclusive rental representation agreements, “if they feel comfortable that you're good and competent at doing the job and you actually ask them about a lot of stuff and why they're trying to do something, they feel more committed to working exclusively with you.” This insight led to more consistent conversions and a better sense of where potential clients are in their process.
In addition, Valdes found that an extra five to ten minutes of conversation could save an hour or two of frustration in the field or several days of looking at apartments when the potential tenant was not really ready. During this upfront time, Valdes also begins to lay the groundwork with the RentSpree screening process.
How Valdes uses the RentSpree screening process before identifying a rental property
“As soon as we have our conversation about what they're looking for, why they're trying to do this, and I get them to commit to working with me, I explain the process to them. And during that process, I'm explaining what we're doing step by step, which includes the screening process.“
“I go ahead and send them the application run the screening. We get that out of the way. Sometimes they're asking why; generally I don't get too many questions because I go through the process pretty thoroughly, but if they do end up asking, I say, ‘We're not screening for a particular place. We're just gathering all of the information we need. So all we need to do is just look at a place and submit an offer.’”
“We used to use some other system in the office and it was from the 80s, very clunky. When I came across RentSpree, I love the system; very easy to use, very clean. It made everything easier.”
Once he has worked with and placed the tenant, he stays in contact with them in order to help them get ready for a subsequent purchase. He also stays in contact with the landlord on the transaction. “Right after the move, just to make sure that they have the tenant's information, but really it's just for me to get a contact with them. Once about halfway [through the lease term] and then once also if my tenant confirms that they're leaving.”
“Around the time that my tenant tells me, ‘Hey, I'm gonna be moving out or I need another place or I'm ready to buy’ or whatever the case may be, I've already talked to the landlord so they're semi-familiar with me. So then I talk to them about possibly helping them list their property for rent,” said Valdes.
Valdes says that you have to set up a system for follow up with both the tenant and the landlord. “Really, the conversation is not even only helping them rent. Our market is extremely hot. ‘Hey, you want to rent it, but have you considered selling?’ and once in a while those turn into listings as well,” he said.
The last touch for the tenant occurs about 90 days before the end of the lease: “What do they want to do? Do they want to stay there? Do they want to find somewhere else? Are they ready to purchase on the back end of that? Are they part of my email marketing system?”
Valdes said that “for renters who were placed by an agent, when the time comes to buy, the agent that helped them rent is almost always the only agent that they know. With some small, simple steps, you can make sure you are their number one call when that times comes.”
That may mean drip marketing through your CRM or even something as simple as setting up reminders in your Google calendar to reach out on a regular basis with information. Asking questions, understanding motivations and staying connecting are essential to making sure that you are top of mind when it’s time for these renters to buy.
When askied for his number one book recommendation, Valdes shared Harris Rules by Tim and Julie Harris. When asked the most underrated part about the business of real estate, he said mindset. And when asked for his 2022 prediction, Valdes said that he was determined to keep training and learning so that he would be ready for any uncertainty that came along.
Finally, Valdes talked about the importance of video marketing, saying that agents need to overcome their reluctance to engage online and in their social media through video content. “If you can find a way to incorporate yourself, and people can hear you and see you, you'll get a lot better engagement in those results.”