June 4, 2018

JF1371: She’s #1 In The Brokerage & Doubling Her Real Estate Volume This Year with Kellie Revoir

Kellie has partnered with her mom, Linda, and together they are the #1 agent in their brokerage. Over 112 transactions last year, and on track for 250 transactions this year. Along with the sales volume and realtor income, they also own 58 units that they self manage. How is she able to do so much? Listen to this episode to find out! If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!


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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff. With us today, Kellie Revoir. How are you doing, Kelly?

Kellie Revoir: I am fantastic, how are you today?

Joe Fairless: I am fantastic, nice to have you on the show. A little bit about Kelly – she has been a realtor since 2013. She grew her business to over $500,000 gross commission income in four years. She’s based in Springfield, Missouri. With that being said, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?

Kellie Revoir: Sure. Like Joe said, my name is Kelly Revoir and I’m from Springfield, Missouri. I got my license in 2013; I decided to join real estate with my mother, who got her license in 2006. We are the number one agent at our brokerage company, in the top 1% of the realtors. Last year we closed 112 homes transactions, and we are on set right now to close 250 this year. In the first quarter we closed 47, and I think we’ve got 29 under contract right now.

Joe Fairless: Wow! You’re on fire.

Kellie Revoir: Yeah, we’re busy.

Joe Fairless: I want to make sure I heard you correctly – you are the top 1%, and then what did you say?

Kellie Revoir: We are in the top 1% of our local board of realtors, but we are the top agent at our brokerage company.

Joe Fairless: Awesome. 112 transactions last year, on track to close 250 this year. You’re on track to more than double what you did last year – what would you attribute that to?

Kellie Revoir: A couple of different things. Linda, who is my mother and my partner (I will probably reference her a lot), the two of us have grown the team. One manager right now, and currently we have seven buyers’ agents, and we have three more buyers’ agents coming on probably within the next 2-3 weeks… So a lot of training, a lot of team probe… I want to have 15 buyers’ agents by the end of the year, and we wanna add another operations manager as well, or an assistant for our operations manager.

But we really focus a lot on our sphere and our referrals in our past clients. We do pay for a lot of lead generation, we do pay for a lot of buyer leads, but we also spend a lot of time and effort and energy into client appreciation events, just taking care of our best clients in our sphere of influence. That way, when they know somebody that’s looking for a realtor, they automatically think of us.

Joe Fairless: Will you elaborate with some examples on focusing on your sphere of influence and referrals and past clients?

Kellie Revoir: Sure. Every month we send out a newsletter, and in that newsletter are quizzes that they can take to earn some free ice cream, we do a lot of client appreciation in a couple of weeks, and we are going to go to a Springfield Cardinals baseball game. We have reserved 100 seats for that, and we have — our past clients in our sphere have to reserve the tickets, obviously. We have done pumpkin pie giveaways over Thanksgiving week, we have done fall events… We just have a lot of client appreciation events. We try to have three to four every year.

Over St. Patrick’s Day we’ll mail out everybody a lottery ticket that says “We hit the lotto when we got you as a client, and hope you can be as lucky as we are.” We just do a lot of little things like that. We send out anniversary cards and call it a “Houseaversary” to all of our clients that have sold or purchased with us over the last five years. They all get an annual anniversary card to congratulate them on another year in their home.

Joe Fairless: I like that. What system do you use to keep track of that stuff?

Kellie Revoir: RealtyJuggler is who we use for our database in terms of mailing these letters. We use FastNewsletters.com, and it’s just $10/month; it’s really cheap. They create our newsletters for us, we just have to plug and play a few little items. That was hands down one of our best investments. Then we send all of that out through a bulk mailing rate through the Post Office, so it’s cheaper to send it out that way.

And with our anniversary cards, we just use a 3×5 index card in a box, that we just pull it out every month and look through it to make sure those people are still living in those homes, and send them out. Nothing too elaborate or expensive.

Joe Fairless: Very economical, and also (it sounds like) effective. FastNewsletters.com – and I wasn’t picking up that it was actually mailed out until you just said that; so it’s a physical newsletter that you mail out every month.

Kellie Revoir: Correct. We do a lot of mailings. I’m sure everybody that’s listening right now gets so many e-mails every day… They just go through and delete them. I know I do. That’s the first thing I do. I just delete probably like 15-20 e-mails every day of just junk. So instead of doing that, I actually want something to show up in their mailbox. The newsletters are 11×17 sheets of paper that you fold in half, and it actually shows up in their mailbox.

It’s not even real estate-related. It might be “The best haunted houses”, or… Fast Newsletters creates the entire thing, and it’s pretty interesting to read. Then they’ll have little snippets of real estate in there, but the bulk of the newsletter has nothing to do with real estate.

Joe Fairless: That’s really interesting. And then you’ve got the database, RealtyJuggler – is that correct?

Kellie Revoir: That is who we use for our newsletter mailing database, but for our CRM, our client relationship database, we use Follow Up Boss. All of my buyers’ agents, when we get leads, we use Follow Up Boss. But just for the newsletters, we use RealtyJuggler. It’s $120/year. That’s kind of what we started with 5 years ago, and  just haven’t taken the leap to switch everything over.

Joe Fairless: Fair enough. Let’s go back to the team – you mentioned different team members. Will you recap the roles? You said you have buyers’ agents, you’re hiring for another operations manager later… What are the other types of roles you have on your team?

Kellie Revoir: So Linda and I are both team managers or team leaders, and listing agents. We have seven buyers’ agents; they solely work on buyers, they don’t do any listings. And then our operations manager does all of our transaction to close, she does all of our social media, all of our advertising, and she’s at the point now where she’s busting at the seams. So our next hire is going to be a part-time person to help her with a lot of the transactional paperwork.

Joe Fairless: Where are all of these homes that you’re selling?

Kellie Revoir: Springfield Metro Area, so [unintelligible [00:07:36].14] Basically, our area – Springfield, Missouri and the metro-rural area has about 350,000 people living in it, so that’s where we sell most of them. I will put a sign in the yard anywhere, so… We’ve been as far as two hours out, but pretty much all within a 45-minute drive from us.

Joe Fairless: What’s something that you two have done to evolve your business over the years, to make it more efficient or effective?

Kellie Revoir: Definitely growing the team I would say is what’s made it more effective for us and more efficient. Really hiring our operations manager. She was our first hire, and that really exploded the team, because that gave Linda and I enough time to actually work on our business, instead of working with getting initials and signatures here and there.

And then we started hiring two buyers’ agents, and then two buyers’ agents led to four buyers’ agents, and literally we’ve just exploded. I would say our first two buyers’ agents hired — it’s all a process, so they’re not with us anymore. We learned a lot, we learned how to be more accountable. If we’re spending all of the money on these leads, I want my buyers’ agents to actually reach out to them… So as the years have progressed, we’ve made them more accountable, and making us more successful, as well.

Linda and I [unintelligible [00:08:51].16] anymore, unless they are referred to us individually or unless they are friends of ours (friends or family). So we do not work with buyer leads at all. We give all of those to our buyers’ agents, which has really freed us up to focus more on listings and to be home with our families at night.

Joe Fairless: Based on your experience in real estate, what is your best advice ever for real estate investors?

Kellie Revoir: For investors – well, the 10% rules. So with the market that it is right now – and I’m assuming that across the board there’s not a lot of inventory… So buy and hold is absolutely where I would be right now, rather than a flip, because it seems like a lot of investors are getting into the market and they all think that they can flip a home and make a ton of money on it.

I would recommend buy and hold until the market starts to slow down, and then if you want to sell it, you can… But buy and hold, by far, is the best thing that I would do. We own 58 rental units, and buy and hold is pretty much — we can make a lot more money holding them than flipping them.

Joe Fairless: Well, I didn’t know that. I didn’t see that in your bio. [laughs] Let’s dive into that. You own 58 rental units… What’s the largest property in terms of units that you have?

Kellie Revoir: A lot of single-family, a lot of duplexes. We do not own any apartment complexes. We find that for us personally those are revolving doors. We do not hire a property management company. It literally is just the two of us that manage it, so we don’t want high turnover. We’ve had fourplexes before, we’ve had apartment complexes before, and the ROI wasn’t there for us. We make the most amount of money on single-family and duplexes. We make the most money on duplexes, but single-family and duplexes is where we are.

Joe Fairless: You got really excited when you talked about the duplexes.

Kellie Revoir: Yeah. [laughs] I like duplexes!

Joe Fairless: How come?

Kellie Revoir: I like duplexes because one side typically makes the mortgage payment, and the other side is just gravy.

Joe Fairless: Will you give us an example of the last investment property that you purchased?

Kellie Revoir: Sure. I bought one probably a month ago. It was a bank-owned; one of the nice things about being a realtor that is so successful in my area – I get a lot of banks coming at me with properties that they need to sell… So it was bank-owned, and I went and gave them a price, and they took it.

Of course, I had to do some work on it. There was some mold in it, which we get a lot in Missouri, so I had to do all of that, but I bought it for — do you want me to give you numbers?

Joe Fairless: Yeah, please.

Kellie Revoir: Okay, so I bought it for 33k. I could probably turn around and sell it for about 80k, but it’ll rent out for about $795. I’m still working on getting it fixed up.

Joe Fairless: How much did you need to put into it in order to get it to be rent-ready?

Kellie Revoir: I think I’m at about $5,000 right now.

Joe Fairless: And what do you think the total will be?

Kellie Revoir: Probably about $5,500-$6,000. Not much, I’m pretty much done.

Joe Fairless: So all-in around $39,000, renting for about $800.

Kellie Revoir: Yup.

Joe Fairless: Is that about a typical case study for you?

Kellie Revoir: That’s what I like, yeah. A lot of people in our brokerage company know that we’re investors, so when people are in dire straits, they will come at us and ask us if we want it; we don’t buy it at retail, I don’t buy anything at retail. We just sit and wait for the right property, and we’ve been very fortunate… I would say that we buy 2-3 every year.

Joe Fairless: With the mold – that would scare some people off. Why doesn’t that scare you off?

Kellie Revoir: Because it’s everywhere in Missouri. I’ve been in real estate long enough to know mold is not going to scare us off. As long as you have the right person in there doing it… I did not clean up the mold myself, I hired a company to do it for me. It doesn’t scare me at all. I know it’ll take care of itself.

Joe Fairless: With 58 units, you and your mom do management of those units… How many hours a week do you two spend on it in total?

Kellie Revoir: Five, maybe.

Joe Fairless: And what does that time consist of?

Kellie Revoir: Dealing with the phone calls on why they’re gonna be late on their rent… [laughter] Or toilets flooding up… [laughs] But really, we’ve been so fortunate… Again, this is why I like single-family and duplexes – most of our tenants are long-term tenants. We do not have a lot of turnover. We have, but it tends to be family; when you rent to your family, that tends to get you in the most trouble. So the biggest issues that we’ve had is typically from family.

Joe Fairless: What’s the approach you take when someone calls and says “I’m gonna be late”?

Kellie Revoir: If they’re late one or two times, it’s not that big of a deal. They all get late fees, but if they’re consistently late, then we get to the point where we start sending them letters.

Joe Fairless: With maintenance requests, how do you handle those?

Kellie Revoir: Those are pretty simple… We don’t have a big software company that we use, and I know that a lot of investors do. We don’t have a lot of them. We’ve been fortunate — my father is a builder as well, so a lot of the duplexes he built. So it’s simple for us just to call up my dad or my brother and have them go up there and fix whatever it is. We’re kind of like one big happy investment family.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, it truly is a family operation, I’m picking up on that.

Kellie Revoir: Yeah.

Joe Fairless: When you invest with your family, what are the pros and what are the cons?

Kellie Revoir: There’s not been a lot of cons. We’ve been so fortunate for us… My family is probably the untraditional family; we are just such a tight-knit family, we really hardly ever argue over business at all… The people that we’ve struggled with that are the renters that are family – they’re usually just cousins or people, friends that are in a hard place.

I will say though that because we’re also realtors, it’s been pretty easy when you have a seller that sells a house and they don’t have a place to live, we can put them in a short-term rental for 3-4 months until we find them the perfect place, and that’s worked well for us, too.

Joe Fairless: What’s a project that hasn’t gone according to plan?

Kellie Revoir: We got into a flip – because we do a few flips a year – and we try not to let emotions drive us, but this flip was actually across the street from the house that all of us grew up in, so we really wanted it, we wanted to flip it… And it needed a new roof, there were termite problems with it, and it just took a lot more to fix it up than what we thought. We didn’t lose money on it, but we certainly didn’t make any money.

Joe Fairless: If presented a similar circumstance in the future, how would you approach it differently?

Kellie Revoir: We wouldn’t buy it.

Joe Fairless: What would you look at, in particular?

Kellie Revoir: Well, we crawled under the crawl space, but we just crawled within the first three feet of it and glanced… And the roof – we’d definitely pay more attention to the roof, because that’s for our market $6,000 or $7,000 right there, and in Springfield, Missouri the average price point is 150k. So it’s nothing like it is on the East Coast or West Coast, where the average price points are in the 500k, 600k, 700k. So there’s not a lot of room for margin.

One of the things that we definitely do is we make sure that we are making money. We can’t just throw money at a new project. We’ve really gotta be diligent and treat it like a business, and have a spreadsheet, and know our P&L, know our balance sheet, know the expenses… So we would have put a little bit more thought into what was gonna be required on that particular home, because $6,000 can eat up your ROI pretty darn quickly.

Joe Fairless: You said for the crawl space you got for the first three feet and glanced… What would be the ideal scenario?

Kellie Revoir: Crawling through the whole thing first, to see if there’s any sub-flooring that might be damaged, or foundational issues under there. In this instance, we didn’t have foundational issues, but there was some sub-floor damage, termite damage that upon the first glance we didn’t notice.

Joe Fairless: We’re gonna do a lightning round. Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?

Kellie Revoir: Let’s do it!

Joe Fairless: Alright, let’s do it! First, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.

Break: [00:16:36].13] to [00:17:24].23]

Joe Fairless: Best ever book you’ve read?

Kellie Revoir: The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.

Joe Fairless: What’s a mistake you’ve made on a transaction?

Kellie Revoir: Oh, there are so many… The worst mistake I’ve ever made on a transaction – not communicating well and letting septic tank issues overcome the entire transaction.

Joe Fairless: Can you tell us that story?

Kellie Revoir: [laughs] Oh, the septic tank… I forgot to actually get the septic tank inspected; completely my fault, and it was a mess. A new septic tank – $5,000.

Joe Fairless: When you think of a deal that is the best one you’ve done, what would you say that one is?

Kellie Revoir: I currently right now have a home that has 25 acres hunting backstop to a lake. I thought it would be about $415,000. We got into a multiple offer situation, and I’m under contract for $465,000. So $50,000 above asking price in day one on the market.

Joe Fairless: Oh, you’re selling it. I thought you were buying… I was like, “Oh, okay…” [laughter]

Kellie Revoir: The best deal I’ve ever done when buying – we bought a duplex for rental; the seller lived in one side and had the tenant on the other side, and she was just in a desperate need… Needed out real bad. The duplex was probably worth about 220k, and we ended up buying it for about 108k, and fixed it up a little bit and rented it out.

Joe Fairless: Best ever way you like to give back?

Kellie Revoir: Oh, multiple ways. Definitely through mentoring and through my time. I volunteer a lot for our community, so absolutely that would be it… And trying to be available for all of my agents when they need me, whether they be agents on my team or agents in the brokerage company, or other brokerage companies. I get a lot of calls from people asking for help.

Joe Fairless: What’s been a challenge you’ve had in your business? Not deal-specific, but just something that you all have had to overcome?

Kellie Revoir: Creating boundaries, not working so many nights and weekends. I’m a single mother, so I have the tendency sometimes to drop my kids off at places and go work… So the biggest challenge that I’ve had to overcome is definitely creating boundaries and respecting my time and my family enough to know that they’re worth the boundaries. To realize that I don’t wanna work with clients that don’t respect my boundaries either.

Joe Fairless: Have you had to fire a client?

Kellie Revoir: Oh, absolutely. I fire buyers and sellers.

Joe Fairless: How does that conversation go?

Kellie Revoir: A few different ways. There’s a couple I can think of, but one of them was — he was out of his mind, and threatened to sue me over something pretty dumb, and I said “You know what, I like my job too much, I’m not gonna deal with the threat of a lawsuit. If that’s the type of client you’re gonna be one week in, that’s not the type of client that I want.” [laughter]

But buyers, after working with them so long, I just flat out said “You know what, I don’t think I’m the right realtor for you, and I think that you might have better luck using somebody else.”

Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners get in touch with you?

Kellie Revoir: You can go to my website, KellieRevoir.com. You can find me on Facebook, also Kellie Revoir. Or e-mail me, KellieRevoir@gmail.com.

Joe Fairless: Excellent. Kelly, thank you for being on the show, thanks for talking about how you and your mom have grown the brokerage company, on track to double your transactions from 112 transactions the last year to 250 this year, as well as those 58 units that we talked about, and how you’ve approached managing that portfolio, and why a house with mold doesn’t scare you off, and the typical deal that you would do. I loved the septic tank example, the cautionary tale there.

Thank you for that mistake, by the way, because now we have something entertaining to talk about on the show, so I appreciate that. Subconsciously, maybe that’s why you did it in the first place.

Thanks again for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever day, and we’ll talk to you soon.

Kellie Revoir: Thanks, Joe. I appreciate you.

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