You're listening to the REI Marketing Nerds podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of Ad Words Nerds, a high tech digital agency focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition and live a freer, more awesome life. And now, your host, Dan Barrett.
Hello everybody. Welcome to this week's REI Marketing Nerds podcast. As always, this is Daniel Barrett, here from AdWordsNerds.com. How are you? Hope you are having awesome week. I'm a little throaty this week. It's, you know, the weather's doing its New England thing and making me a little raspier than normal. But this week, I've got a really interesting interview with Beau Kriedermann. [0:01:04.9]
Now, Beau is an investor in the Milwaukee area and what Bo does really, really well is create an incredibly memorable and strong real estate investing brand around himself and around his own personality and he's got a really fascinating story going from laid off and unemployed to just jumping, both feet first, into real estate investing and he has had an incredible run. So without any further ado, I want to get into my conversation with Bo so you can glean some insights and value there. So, let's get straight into my conversation with Beau Kriedermann.
Dan: Alright. I am here with Beau Kriedermann from BeauBuys.com. That's b-e-a-u buys .com. He's a real estate investor. He's out in the Milwaukee area, basically anywhere driving distance from Milwaukee, he is investing there and doing a really incredible job. So I want to make sure we kind of jump straight into this conversation. Beau, thank you so much for coming on the show, man. It's a pleasure to have you. [0:02:10.5]
Beau: Thank you for having me.
Dan: Yeah. So let's, I like to jump in by looking back and I'd love to know how you got started in real estate investing. What was your "in" to this whole kind of industry?
Beau: Yeah. Well, I got started in 2008, so right as things were kind of crashing is when I jumped in. So I had bought my own house. I was working a normal job, kind of a crappy job, and I've never actually had a good job. I've only worked for myself when I started making any kind of money, but I was working kind of a crappy job at a university local here, basic tech support and stuff for classrooms, but they decided that they were going to downsize and make some layoffs. [0:03:03.1]
So a little bit before that, I had bought a house and I fixed it up and I was going to, you know, try to sell it and buy a nicer house. So I had done the work myself and I did a thing called "How to Sell Your House in 5 Days." It was a book and the whole concept was you list your house for half of what you think it's worth and you hope that people will come see it and then they'll get all excited about it and then they'll bid each other up over to what it actually is worth.
Beau: But that did not work, but the … it was a good concept and I think maybe it just, well it works maybe 20 years ago or something because they had you putting up signs in the neighborhood and stuff and I don't know, I just don’t think there was enough serious buyers that actually…there were just too many ways to look at properties where they weren't…I couldn’t find the serious people in that method of trying to find people, but anyway… that did not work, but in the process since I listed my house for so low initially, I met a real estate investor that came to see the house and they kind of showed me how to get started buying a different house, so I kind of shadowed them and followed them around. [0:04:12.2]
They actually wholesaled me a house just because, you know, they wanted to make a deal happen too. So it wasn’t the best deal in the world, but it at least got me started. So I bought that house and I was renting it out and I think I bought one other house and then that's when I got laid off. So I had two houses that I had never actually made any money really, I got a couple of rent checks from the one I did rent out but I hadn’t actually succeeded in any way, shape, or form at that point. But, I just decided to make a go of it and go full-time into real estate. So I did one and there were some pretty dark days there for a while, but you do the one that works out where you make, you know, 5 grand on it or something and then you figure some things out and then you do another one and you do another one and you just kind of keep building and keep learning and slowly, very slowly, just keep putting things together. I did a good job with just saving my earnings and reinvesting it into the business rather than, you know, buying a bunch of crap or whatever. So, that's how I got started. Just kind of built over time. [0:05:19.4]
Dan: It blows my mind that … it's just like how this all started for you was you were selling your house and you just happened to meet an investor and it's been really surprising to me - a lot of people kind of start because of something like that. So what I'm curious about is I think 9 out of 10 or 9.9 out of 10 people that went through that exact same experience, they would not have made the decision to pursue real estate investing. They would have gone out and gotten another job. Right? So, I'm so curious, when you were in that situation where it's pretty dire, you had both these houses. You just got laid off. What was it that made you be like I'm going to do this other thing. Like what made you jump into that versus kind of going back to what you were probably more comfortable doing? [0:06:11.8]
Beau: Yeah. I mean, I was pretty young, so, this was my early 20s, I didn't have a lot to lose really. I mean, I had my house that I had bought, so I could have lost that and I was living there. But I had a brother who was living with me. He was like basically house hacking where they already paid me rent. I owned the house. So my expenses weren’t too terribly high. But, I don't know - I just decided that I just, you know, you got to try something and make a go of it. So now just seemed like the time, just I didn't want to get another crappy job and start over, you know, working for somebody else. So I just tried this and it ended up working out. It did not work at all at first. I mean, there was…there's a steep learning curve. There's a lot of competition, but you just got to keep plugging away and read stuff online, read some books, try things and some of them don’t work, some of them do work and you just got to take one step at a time. [0:07:03.7]
Dan: What is the Milwaukee kind of market like? So let's kind of fast forward to what you're doing now. How would you describe that market? Is it competitive? How do you think about where the market is at right now?
Beau: Yeah, it is very competitive. In the last couple of years, it's gotten... I think everywhere is very competitive.
Beau: There's a lot of people …the thing I run into a lot is a lot of new people are starting, so a lot of new people that don’t what they're doing. So, jump in and they meet with potential sellers and they make offers that are too high and then they don’t close, but then the sellers' expectation is really high, so that's hard to talk them into your lower offer. Like, "Oh, I just had this other offer from two other people that was $30,000 more than yours, so."
Beau: But they didn't close and then there's just, even when you do go on another appointment, there's… you're usually competing with a couple of other people typically, but I think that's how it is everywhere. You just got to keep trying and you know, make your best offer or use your… try to build rapport with the seller and some of them work and some of them don’t. I think sometimes people are paying too much and you don’t get those deals, but I don't know, you just keep plugging away, as I said before. [0:08:21.1]
Dan: Yeah. Well, so something that you've done really well is, and I really encourage…So, everybody that's listening to this, if you're an investor, I mean, definitely if you're a seller, but if you are an investor, go check out Beau's website. So you can see his website at BeauBuys.com, which is b-e-a-u buys .com and like one of the things I love about that… so first of all, I love the domain. I love the name. Right? And if you go check out this website, like you are front and center on the website. One of the things that you've done really well that's actually super rare is you've made yourself into a brand, the whole effect of that… go to that website, is I go there. I see you. You've got, on the current version, I don't know - if you're listening to this in the future, who knows what this website is going to look like, but in the current version, you're literally holding a briefcase full of cash, which is pretty amazing, I immediately know what you look like. [0:09:23.3]
I have a sense of your personality. You've done a really good job of turning yourself into a recognizable brand. I'm wondering if you … do other people do that in your market or is everybody kind of anonymous? What is that whole process been like for you? Have you seen an effect from that?
Beau: Yeah. I don’t think anybody else really does that in my market. That's kind of the reason I tried to do it that way is to have some kind of differentiation, you know, to just have… if you Google "we buy houses," you see a lot of just kind of bland, generic picture of some big house that is too fancy for an investor to buy anyway and then like a bunch of pictures of smiling families in a field with you know, just generic photos.
Dan: Where there is no house. They're just in a field with the sun setting behind them or whatever. Yeah. [0:10:15.2]
Beau: I guess they sold their house and they don’t have a house anymore. So maybe that's why they're there.
Dan: Yeah, they sold and demolished it. Yeah.
Beau: Right. So I figured I'd show myself off a little bit because that's who I am. I'm just a one-man show at this point. So I do have an assistant that does some stuff and I have contractors that do the work, but as far as who you're dealing with when negotiating, it's going to be me. So you know, they can see me before I actually meet with them and they know who they're meeting and it's kind of like building a little bit of rapport even before you meet them because they already know what you look like. They already have some kind of idea of who you might be and then you show up and that's you.
Beau: Briefly, I had a TV commercial on television, which was where the briefcase full of money, or the original briefcase full of money was, I actually got $10,000 in singles and then I put on straps and made it look like 100s of dollars instead of single dollars and I just was throwing money at the screen and stuff and talking about buying your house, but …[0:11:20.2]
So then, that was like when you got people after they saw that, it was… you could actually see like the stars in their eyes, like oh my god - it's that guy from TV - he's meeting with me.
Dan: Wow. Yeah.
Beau: Which is …because they already see you as like a leader at that point.
Dan: Yeah, I mean, it's really interesting the effect that that has. So I'm really curious about that. So break down the experience of what was it like having the TV commercial? It sounds like you're not doing them anymore. So, what was the end result of it? Was it good for the business but maybe not for long-term? Or what was that whole experience like?
Beau: Well, it was early on, so I hadn’t really done a lot of pay per click or direct mail at that point, but again, I was pretty young. I want a TV commercial. That'd be so awesome. People would see me on TV. I'd be a celebrity. So, it was almost like it was 50/50 wanting to be on TV and also wanting to do real estate deals. So, so… [0:12:22.0]
Dan: It was like you just killed two birds with one stone in this one TV commercial. That's amazing.
Beau: Right. So, I did it and it was really fun. You kind of feel like a big shot, which is always fun - for me, anyway - it doesn't happen a lot. So, you know, they help you make your commercial and you know, you go out to a TV studio and all that stuff and planning it. I planned it myself and I wrote the whole thing, so - not that it was that difficult. But, yeah, it was … it was a good experience. I did get a few deals from it. At the time, I thought, oh this is, you know, it's kind of expensive. I'm not getting that many deals from it, but all marketing is kind of expensive. So, I don't know, I might do it again one day. [0:13:02.4]
The thing is though, when you do a TV commercial, you're kind of, you're blasting out to everybody. So whether they have a house or not, whether they're a certain age, you know, whether they're … who knows - kids are watching; adults are watching. You can pick a time slot or whatever that, you know, a certain demographic is paying attention. But, with pay per click or direct mail, you can kind of pick who you want to see your ad, so your money is being spent more efficiently rather than just blasting everywhere, although I probably got some deals that I would not have gotten otherwise because just people are seeing it that are not necessarily being marketed to in a different way. And actually, just recently this summer, someone called me and I did a deal where I made like $20,000 off of the TV ad that they had seen like, you know, seven years ago or whatever…
Dan: Whoa. Whoa.
Beau: …they saved my number that whole time.
Dan: That's amazing. Like they put it on their fridge or something and they're like, some day…
Beau: Right. I don't know where they saved it. [0:14:01.0]
I don't know if they had the same phone the whole time and they saved it in their contacts. They remembered me and they saw me and it was the same thing where they see you, like I don’t have any hair now, which I did then, but …
Dan: I was going to say, like, I was like maybe they remembered the shaved head or whatever, but …
Beau: No. I didn't have…I had a small… I hadn’t committed to the shaved head at that point. So, and actually I wore a hat when I had the meeting, so I did not wear it at closing - like, oh you look different.
Dan: Well as a fellow shaved head brother, I'm a big fan of the shaved head, so I'm into it.
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Dan: Yeah. I mean, it's so interesting with TV, I think you're right, like one - TV is one of those things where its strength and its weakness is that it casts such a wide net. Right? So exactly right. You're going to get deals no one would ever have gotten because it's like no one's going to target… no one's going to knowingly target this person, right. And then, but then the downside is it's pretty indiscriminate, but I also think too there's something really interesting that happens. I think TV is one of those things, and I don't know this for a fact - like, I'm not a TV expert. You know this. Like online is my thing, but TV has always struck me as one of those things where a lot of the value is running the commercial forever. Right? Like there's a guy in my … I live in Connecticut…there's a guy in our area. He's a pawnshop guy. Right? And he ran commercials - TV commercials - here forever and it was good ole' Tom. That was the thing and when all the commercials look the same; it's like someone is like, "I sold my earnings to Tom and he gave me $100. Good ole' Tom." [0:16:08.4]
You know, really awkward, really weird, and he ran those commercials for literally over a decade and he has since passed away and his kids do it and they do the exact same commercials. And I still remember that. I've never gone to a pawnshop in my entire life. Right? I still remember that. So I think it's…a lot of that cumulative effect that just, you know, like you said, like that person saw that commercial five years ago or whatever it was, but that's pretty amazing. That kind of thing doesn’t happen online.
Beau: Yeah, yeah. I did try to make it to where you have, you know, some kind of hook. So my hook was, like I said I had hair at the time, so I actually dyed a blue house into my hair and then I said, "My hair may be blue, but my heart is gold and my money is green," and that's when I held up the cash.
Dan: Ohhhhh. You're willing to commit to it, man. I think that's what makes it work. You know what I mean? No one else is dying blue house in their head. That's really amazing.
Beau: Yeah. [0:17:04.7]
Dan: You know, now that you've shaved your hair, you just need to get a head tattoo. I'm sorry to break it to you. That's the obvious thing.
Beau: Maybe that's the thing - yeah.
Dan: So what kind of deals are you focused on now? Like what's the … what's the current structure of your business?
Beau: Yeah. I'm pretty, pretty broad. So I buy pretty much any house. I try to stay away from 2 bedrooms because they're harder to sell and harder to rent out. Most families want to live in an at least 3-bedroom house. In our area, we have basements, so I like to have a basement. Again, basements are harder…there are houses without basements and they're difficult to sell and more difficult to rent. So and then I like to have a garage for people who want to keep their stuff out of the snowy winter here in Milwaukee. So they like to have a garage. And condos are kind of tough just because the condo association, you never know what they're going to, what rules they're going to put in there and you've got to pay this monthly fee and stuff. So I try to stay away from condos too, but other than that, I pretty much buy any house within an hour of Milwaukee. [0:18:02.3]
So I do… I do buying to fix up and resell. I do those in kind of the more suburban areas, in the city I do have also a portfolio of rentals. I’m also a landlord. So I do have quite a few rental properties that I hold onto. Those are single-family duplex and I do have a triplex as well. So, I kind of have several different real estate businesses. I do the flipping. I also do the landlord. So I do both. So that kind of lets me buy a variety of different homes because I have different things I can do to each type.
Dan: And so those preferences you were saying, like you know, you want the garage. You want the basement. Stuff like that. Was that something that you knew when you got started or was that just the experience of going through it, being like this house was harder to sell, you know. Was it kind of a conscious decision or was it just borne from the experience?
Beau: Yeah. I think maybe just looking at comparable sales so you can see, you know, like this one really didn't sell very well - it didn't have a basement and I think someone else may have gotten burned like that I knew or heard about that tried to sell a house without a basement and I was like, ah, I should probably stay away from that, and then just the more you do, the more you see in your market. [0:19:17.3]
Like, oh yeah, that's …sells for almost half the price, it doesn’t have a basement. Or you know, the 2-bedroom is just not as desirable. It just comes with experience. It just comes with looking at a bunch of houses. That's kind of key to the whole industry, is knowing the market. So knowing what things will sell for. Looking at comparables.
Dan: Looking back, because you've done a number of things and you know, you've kind of…it's interesting your whole journey into this real estate investing thing was you know, was part necessity as well as part desire. Right? So do you feel like the thing that stuck in my mind was earlier you were I've never had a good job outside of this one… and I immediately was like, I feel the exact same way. [0:20:00.9]
Well, I used to be a teacher and I should change that. I loved teaching, but I was never 100% happy there. I am wondering if just looking back on all this, do you feel like you just couldn’t be happy being an employee? Was it that - that you were just, you were like hey, you're not cut out for that - you were meant to kind of do your own thing? Or was it just you just hadn’t found the thing that you really liked to do yet?
Beau: I'm not exactly sure. I mean, honestly, I was only employed, you know, from any job, whether it be fast food or this job at the university for you know, five years total, my whole employment history from being a teenager until when I got laid off from this other, you know, I think I made, at my highest earning time, I was making $13,000 a year as an employee. I was making like 13,600 or something. So I had never had like a really strong middle class job, ever. So, I don’t really know. I don't know what would have been exciting or made me happy as far as being employed, but it is a lot… I think it is… looking back on it now that I have, you know, worked for myself for over 10 years, or about 10 years now, I do think I probably would not have been happy working for somebody else just because you know, I like to have the time off and you like to feel like you're in charge and you like to feel like you can have unlimited potential and your decisions matter and reporting to somebody, I don’t know if I would have liked that so much. [0:21:31.6]
So, someone else, you know, like some people ask me like, oh, would you work, if you could get a job doing this, and I was like, oh, they'd have to…they really can't afford me, like I just, they'd have to pay for me to work for somebody else at this point, even just with a …thinking about the income, comparing income wise, they'd have to pay me more just because I'd have to be under someone's schedule and you know, thinking about working for somebody else and not in control. So there's also a cost to that as well. So, I'd be happier making less money if you have your own, control your own destiny type of thing.
Dan: I mean, it's funny, man. It's hard for me to tell whether it's nature or nurture, but I do know that what tends to happen is you get a taste of that freedom and that's … just like you said, the sense that what you're doing is important and it just ruins you for other jobs. [0:22:20.8]
It's just we're both ruined forever. Like we can never go work for anybody. You know, it's we could, but nobody wants to. You know what I mean? So I think that's … if anybody is listening to this and you're thinking about it, just go into it knowing that that's how it tends to go. Hey, Beau, thank you so much, man. For people that want to follow up with you online or want to learn a little bit more about you or what you're doing, what's the best way for people to kind of get in touch with you on the internet?
Beau: You can go to my website at BeauBuys.com. You can go to Facebook.com/ I think it's /beaubuyshouses. You can just Google Beau Buys. I don't know about Instagram. I just started it. But maybe I won't give that away. So the best way to do it is my website, BeauBuys.com or Facebook.com/beaubuyshouses. [0:23:09.2]
Dan: Alright. Cool. And I'm going to look up everything that you got there. I'm going to make sure that we put the links in the show notes for this episode, so anybody that wants to like go check it out, I'll make sure the links get up there and everything. Beau, thank you so much, man. This is a real pleasure having you on and like I said, anybody that's listening to this, like Beau brings a really unique take to what this… like what we all are kind of involved in and I highly recommend that you all go check him out. So Beau, thank you so much for sharing with the audience, man. I really appreciate it.
Beau: Thanks for having me. It was fun.
Dan: That's it for this week's episode of the REIMarketingNerds podcast. As always, you can see show notes for this episode and all our past episodes at AdWordsNerds.com and if you are not in our free Facebook group, you need to do that. I post amazing stuff in there every day. You're missing it. I'm telling you; it's amazing. You can get there by going to AdWordsNerds.com/group. That's AdWordsNerds.com/group or just go on Facebook, search for REIMarketingNerds. You will find it. Listen everybody, I hope you're having an awesome week. I can't tell you how grateful I am for everybody that listens to the podcast, and that means you. So, thank you so much, and I will talk to you next week. This is Daniel Barrett, signing off.
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