Interview with Michael Slockers - New Red Barn Homebuyers Franchisee

Interview with Michael Slockers
New Red Barn Homebuyers Franchisee

Interview with Michael Slockers - New Red Barn Homebuyers Franchisee

Real estate investment can be a lucrative business, and investing in a franchise can provide the necessary support and resources to succeed in this industry. 

In this interview, we'll be speaking with a franchisee who can provide insight into the franchise model, the real estate market, and the keys to success in this industry. Whether you're interested in investing in a franchise or simply curious about the world of real estate investment, this interview will provide valuable information and insights.

Ken Corsini
Michael Slockers

Ken Corsini: 

So Michael, welcome to the show. How are you doing, man?

Michael Slockers: 

I'm great. Thank you for having me.

Ken Corsini: 

Oh, man, we're thrilled to have you.

Kevin Corsini: 

I love that hat. By the way, I love that hat. Yeah, almost as good as the buck on the wall behind you there.

Michael Slockers: 

Yeah, this is the hat that I wear every day, not just for your podcasts.

Kevin Corsini: 

Nice everyday love that.

Ken Corsini: 

I do like the juxtaposition of the Red Barn hat right next to the buck on the wall, that there's something nice about that.

Kevin Corsini:

There you go. Taking down wildlife, taking down real estate.

Ken Corsini:

So Michael, you are only two months into your real estate investing career and you're having a lot of success. And I thought it'd be really cool to bring you on and just talk about kind of where you're at, how you feel two months in, because you know, a lot of folks, they're a couple months in and they're on shaky ground, they're not sure how to feel. But I would love to just your take your temperature, and just kind of walk us through how it feels to only be two months into your initial real estate investing career.

Michael Slockers: 

Okay, so a little background to kind of put the color on, that is that I started real estate about eight years ago, but it was a hobby, it was on the side of my full time career, you know, so it was slow going. But it was, like I said it was a hobby, it was something to you know, try and build some passive income. And so what I'm two months into is my restart of my real estate career because that took a couple of years off. And then back in November last year. So about four months ago, I signed on with Red Barn. And so we started marketing in January. And a lot of the skills that I learned, you know, starting eight years ago have helped me, I think, hit the ground running. And as I was telling Ken earlier, I'm really having fun with it. It's really something that I'm truly, for the most part enjoying. So that's a rare thing for me to be able to say that I'm enjoying the work that I'm doing.

Kevin Corsini: 

So 60 days in, you're having great success, like you're off to the races.

Michael Slockers: 

Yeah, we've got several properties under contract and a couple of good leads in the pipeline. So yeah, we're we are, it's been successful in my mind in terms of deal flow and things like that. Yeah.

Michael Slockers: 

Right. Yeah, yeah, I quit the corporate world two years ago, and just kind of took some time off. And then I started this, you know, a few months ago, after some good soul searching and trying to find the right fit. So yeah.

Ken Corsini:

Nice. Well, so again, for context, you've been in the corporate world W-2 all the way up until now, this is your first time kind of stepping out into the world of like, full time entrepreneurship. Is that right?

Ken Corsini: 

And what was your line of work? Were you in?

Michael Slockers: 

I was in, I call myself a recovering engineer, I was a mechanical engineer by, you know, by degree, but primarily in leadership, and continuous improvement. So just trying to find efficiencies in the company and things like that. 

Ken Corsini: 

Right. It's always interesting the backgrounds that people come from when they find their way into full time real estate, or with or red barn. And so, you know, you never know, you know, there's so many facets to real estate investing, you know, it's the whole human personal interaction component, but then it's the analytical component, should I buy this or not buy it? And how much money? Should I put it? There's so many different elements that you have to bring to the table. Do you feel like maybe that engineering background has helped you stepping into this world?

Michael Slockers:  

In the sense I have, I do. But I think more than anything, you know, any engineer and any leader in the corporate world is doing the same thing that we're doing in the real estate world to me, and that is solving problems, right? So there's problems coming at us every day in the corporate world, from a business standpoint, or a personal standpoint. And you know, the bigger problems that you solve, the more you get paid, and the higher you go up in the company and that type of thing. To me, what we're dealing with in real estate is problem solving. Right. There's people out there who are looking to sell a house, there's people out there looking to buy a house. And so a lot of those come with, you know, as my attorney says, they come with hair on them, right? They've got some kind of pain attached to them. And if you can solve those problems, you'll be successful. That's how I get it. So I think that's the best skill that I was equipped to go into real estate with.

Ken Corsini: 

Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head. I mean, it really is absolutely about talking to a motivated seller, but their pain point is typically a problem. And it's a problem that really if you can come and present a solution. That makes sense. That's a win-win. That's the angle that I feel like investors have the most success with is let me solve this problem for you. It sounds like it's a great angle. So maybe talk to us for just a second about maybe a couple of the first deals that you've put under contract in these first two months, and sort of what those have looked like and how that approach has worked for you.

Michael Slockers:  

Yeah. You know, it's pretty easy to tell, usually on the phone within the first few minutes, if somebody is truly a good fit for us, right? And because those pain points come out quickly. So one example of one, the one deal that we've actually closed so far, was a lady who had a house. And man, it was just in really rough shape. And she was personally trying to put the money into it to get it fixed up. And I think she just really had, she was in over her head. She had owned it for a long time, it had been trashed, and whatnot. And I went in there and looked at the work that was being done. I mean, I didn't know how to tell her, but I was like, this is some pretty terrible craftsmanship that you're paying good money for. And I knew immediately that I didn't want the house. 

 

And I, because of my history in real estate investing, I was a little bit trepidatious, about wholesaling still. And this was the first deal where I felt like this is absolutely a wholesale, because I don't want this house. And I told her straight up, I do not want this house. But I have a network of investors who may want it. Right. And so yeah, seeing her pain point being in over her head, that that was that was the pain that was the problem to solve, right. 

 

So being able to say like, I, we could try this wholesale, and we could potentially get you paid and you know, in 20 days, and wouldn't you rather have all this money, instead of this headache of you know, a year more worth of work and that type of thing. The other one, Ken, that comes to mind is that I had one under contract right now. And the way the lead came into the system. I saw the lead come in and it said best callback time ASAP. I'm going through divorce and foreclosure.

Michael Slockers: 

So so so guess when I called right, ASAP. And we made an appointment that same day for 4pm. And we had it under contract, you know, at 5pm, that type of thing. So just highly motivated. And the best thing that I can offer to them is to help them avoid foreclosure. Right. So when it came down to it, what that seller wanted was a payoff of their mortgage. So they could avoid the foreclosure. They don't need a bunch of money. They just want to get out of the problem that they're in. Yeah. So those are the two examples that come to mind. Yeah.

Ken Corsini:  

Money. 

Kevin Corsini: 

Yeah, that's great. 60 days in and you're already knocking down a couple of solids that you have a couple that you feel like are warm as well.

Michael Slockers: 

Yeah, we've got one more under contract, which we will buy tomorrow, actually. And that's going to be a flip. The story on that one is that it's the owners, the house has been vacant for 10 years, the owners had they should have sold it a long time ago but instead they let the family move in. I bought a number of houses from people who let family move in. I'm sure you guys have done a lot more totally. Often that doesn't end well. And so this house was Yeah, real beat up hasn't hasn't been lived in for 10 years. So structurally it's good but we're gonna go in and so that we should do pretty well on that. So and then yeah, there's a couple others in the pipeline that believe could turn into something with some time and nurture and that type of thing. 

Ken Corsini: 

So what kind of price points are you finding in Tulsa? What we're kind of are you operating at what's that price point level?

Michael Slockers: 

It is you guys probably gonna laugh at this point in your market but the properties that I've that I've dealt with on these three deals want this one we're closing tomorrow we're paying 35,000 for. 

Ken Corsini: 

Wow.

Michael Slockers: 

It's a three three bedroom, one bath, two car garage, and it's kind of in a town that's a little bit removed from Tulsa, so a little bit smaller of a town but the one that we wholesaled that was a $32,000 purchase price. 

Ken Corsini:

Wow. 

Michael Slockers: 

And then this other one, that's this foreclosure one, it's in the 90,000 range and it probably retails for 180. But most of my rental stuff, I mean it's to $250,000 And then the last all the way down to, I would say $50,000 kind of market price. So.

Ken Corsini:

I mean, that price point, you know, clearly lends itself to rentals. Is that part of your sort of long term strategy is to build a rental portfolio?

Michael Slockers: 

Yeah, we've got about a dozen rentals. And I would like to flip and wholesale, but also, as it makes sense, keep two rentals a year, I think that would be, you know, I like to think 10 years down the road to have 20 rentals. You know, my family would probably be well taken care of at that point, in the long term. So I always tell everybody, rentals are not going to make you rich, quick. 

Ken Corsini:

They're not. 

Michael Slockers: 

They're gonna make you frustrated quick, potentially, but they won't make you rich. But long term, man, it's been a huge blessing for us.

Ken Corsini: 

Yeah, that's 100%. Right. I mean, like, the way I look at rentals is don't ever plan on cash flow. Just reinvest, keep it in a rainy day fund, and then watch the sucker appreciate over time, and like you said, 10, 20 years down the road, you've paid down the mortgage considerably. It's appreciated considerably. And all of a sudden, you're sitting on a stack of equity. But it's very much a long range view, I feel like.

Michael Slockers:

Absolutely. 

Ken Corsini: 

So will tell us maybe again, your two months, and you're still kind of trying to figure your groove out to some extent, obviously having some success. What is your date, what's a typical day look like for you?

Michael Slockers: 

Typical day, I usually try to be on Um, one thing I've been maybe unprepared for is taking some time off between corporate world, and this is how much time I spend on the phone. A lot of that is just trying to get people to pick up the phone, you know, because, like me, they don't answer an unknown phone number. So it can be a little bit hard to get a hold of people, but I'm probably spending an average of one and a half to two and a half hours a day, kind of in my Lead System and on the phones. 

 

And then I'm probably spending another hour of the day, working on deals under contract with our attorney and trying to clear up clear obstacles, communicate with sellers, that type of thing. The wholesale that took, you know, a chunk of time, because that was new territory for me. So trying to really establish, you know, the message to communicate to my team I got booted out of I got blacklisted from MailChimp. My first my first day ever to use it, 

Kevin Corsini:

First day out?

Michael Slockers: 

Yeah, I mean, so, you know, some of those things take the wind out of your sails, but like I said earlier being a problem solver, I actually talked to Tracy with Red Barn. And he helped me kind of work around that and basically open up a new MailChimp account and do better than next time. So a little bit of time on that. A little bit of time in the local Facebook groups of the real estate investors just to make sure that I'm aware of what's out there, and really who's out there. And I would say that's it. I mean, I probably am putting in five hours a day. And the rest is, you know, family time, basically nice. If there's appointments, obviously, I'll go on those as needed. And those can often take a couple of hours with drivetime. So I like to keep some time available for that.

Kevin Corsini:

Tell us about your family we were talking about right before we hopped on. I mean, when you talk about spending time with family, you got some family to spend time with.

Michael Slockers:

Yeah, we've got, yeah, I've got my wife and five kids, our kids are 14 all the way down to four. And I you know, my goal is to say yes, as much as I possibly can. So when they want to wrestle, I want to be able to say yes, when they want to go to the zoo, which we're doing right after this call, I want to be able to say yes, you know, so I, they are absolutely my priority. And it's no success is really worth it if you have to sacrifice your family. That's one of the best. One of the biggest reasons I kind of chose to go down this path, I suppose opposed to some other options, is because of the balance. Like this isn't an emergency business. If I don't want to go take a lead that doesn't seem like a really hot lead. I may be giving up on something. But it's a decision that I'm allowed to make. In my own accord, you know, so, so yeah, family is just critically important to me.

Kevin Corsini:

And this business, you don't have a partner, you know, I mean, you're taking the lead on this. You're running this business pretty much out of your home by yourself.

Michael Slockers: 

Yeah, I'm running it by myself. For now, yeah. I mean, I would love to have somebody to do some of these phone calls even though it's not a huge time chunk, it doesn't energize me. But the leads are good. So the phone call, that's not the end of the world, either. What I would love in the future is to be busy enough to be able to justify the general contractor on my team, because I've potentially got some trust issues with general contractors who aren't on my team.

Ken Corsini: 

Yeah, well, at the rate you're going, you know, as you start picking up a couple of flips, especially if they're larger projects, you'll see if you can keep that five to five hours a day. It's gonna Oh, yeah. Unless you step up, like you said, I think that's not a bad idea. Get to a point where you bring somebody on that's managing those projects for you. I think that makes a lot of sense, right? Yep. So, talk to us for just a second about your buyers list. 

 

Because again, your two months, your two months in, and it does take a little takes a buyer's list is one of those things that you're always working on. Like, as long as you're in this business, you should always be networking and adding new buyers into your network. So two months, and obviously, you know, you've sort of got a young list, how have you been able to solve that? Because your very first deal a month in, you did a wholesale deal? What had you sort of prepared for and planned ahead to be able to sell that to a buyer?

Michael Slockers:

Yeah, great question. And that's definitely been a struggle for me because I wasn't really planning on primarily doing wholesaling is that I didn't have a great buyer's list, I had purchased two different I'd worked with two different gig people on fiber, you know, to get buyers lists, those came out with, I would say pretty low quality, especially one of them, I ended up, we ended up canceling the gig and not even not even paying for it. But I did get a couple 100 out of that a couple of 100 buyers, or alleged buyers, I should say. So those were all skipped traced and everything. So I came out with a list of about 500 people, and about 300, kind of 300 of those people had email addresses. 

 

So I put those into my system. I also had an old buyer's list from my previous business that was just, it was very small, maybe 50 people. But 50 people that I knew were real buyers, like I met them at the sheriff's auction, that type of thing. Nice. But ultimately, what what has helped me really build my buyer's list is getting my deals out onto the Facebook group, as well as going or the Facebook groups as well as going back into the history of those Facebook groups and looking for deals and Facebook messaging of people with my MailChimp link that says, hey, if you want to be on my buyers list, you know, here's a link to get on it. And my buyer for the wholesale came from Facebook. So yeah, I met him and definitely somebody I could do business with again in the future, a great person. So.

Ken Corsini: 

Awesome. And it only takes a couple and that's what a lot of people think they need this massive 10,000 person list. Not really a lot of your best wholesalers have five go to buyers, just you know, big, big time flippers or buyers that have a big appetite. That's all you need is a handful of good ones. Yeah. And I love the fact that you're networking in a Facebook group, what other networking opportunities have you found in Tulsa, because I think that's a great way to build your network.

Michael Slockers:

You know, back to family being the priority, I really struggle with the real estate groups, because they always want to meet during dinner time. And I was just, if there were a lunch group I would be and maybe I need to start one. Yeah, some of the best networking I've done is really just with my contractors themselves, right? Because contractors will connect you to other contractors. And the more people that you get connected to that way, one, you can find great contractors which you have to have in this business. But two, as you tell people that you're buying properties, they start to, you know, that it kind of creates a chatter. 

 

And so as they hear something they think of I want them to think of me and bring it to me. So that you know I've got one of my contractors who wants me to help him get into the business by seller financing him a house that he could then flip or rent and I love that idea. Like I would love to help somebody be somebody else be successful. And so those types of relationships, I've found a lot more value in quote the real estate investors clubs, just because I'm not as available for those, unfortunately, but yeah.

Ken Corsini: 

Yeah, I think it's funny I went when I first got in the business, this is back in 2005. I think I went to one or two of those areas. And I don't know if I ever went back, went back once or twice because of the same thing. It's like the other side of town. It was at night. It's kind of a pain, but they're even since then I feel like lots of smaller Rheas have popped up like nowadays, it's a very common thing to start your own Meetup group, or to have one that's local to you. And like you said, if it's your group, you can make set the time whenever you want. 

 

But it's a, it's a great opportunity to trade deals, and I think you're gonna, you'll definitely find yourself in this when you start networking and finding other wholesalers and other investors, you start trading deals, it becomes really common like, Hey, I got this deal. And you got this deal. Let's swap or you buy this for me, I'll buy this from you. And it honestly can become a great not just a buyers list, but honestly a place to acquire properties as well.

Michael Slockers: 

Yeah, that's great. Good point. Yep.

Ken Corsini: 

So again, I know our time is winding down. But I want to just maybe take a 30,000 foot view, how does it feel to you know, for you to jump ship let the W two launch into entrepreneurship your two months in big picture? How do you feel about things?

Michael Slockers:

I feel very optimistic. I'm like I said, I'm, it's the first time that I can say I really enjoy the work that I'm doing. And part of that enjoyment is being able to work for myself and really chart my own path forward. I can work this as hard as I want to. And I can get as busy as I want to. And you know, I can tend to put some pressure on myself in terms of like, okay, we've got this house, we're buying this house tomorrow, I need to be there Friday, to get start getting utilities and contractors. Like, you know what, it's $35,000 that's going to be sitting out there. It's not the end of the world, if that flip takes me six months. For the sake of my sanity, right, it's an hour drive away. 

 

So that felt like a lot of pressure, it being that far away. But I'm really, like I said, I can take it at my own pace. And I can keep working on other other deals and leads in the meantime. So super optimistic, and also excited that it's an opportunity where my family could be involved. I would love for my kids to get up, get the feeling of a good heart's hard day's work cleaning out a nasty house. Like I think people need to experience that. Yeah. And you know, sometimes our kids have to have it a little bit too easy. So I would love for some of those things to kind of come to fruition as well. So. 

Ken Corsini: 

Love it, it's my I'm the same way we try to bring our kids on job sites when we can if this just this last Friday, we'd acquired a house where they had literally left everything in the house. I think somebody passed away, unfortunately, but it was like it was a time capsule for 1960. Nothing was new and nothing had been moved. And so we took the kids and we're like, Alright, you got two minutes, we're gonna let you into the house. And whoever can find the coolest objects. It was a full blown treasure hunt. And like, time do we record and they love that sort of thing. 

 

Like just more through house and or demo day we've taken on demo days, you know, you go in there with a sledgehammer and you knock some walls down. And same thing, I think it's great to have an opportunity to expose your kids to the business that you're in. And maybe they fall in love with it. Maybe they don't but at least they know, they see their parents or their dad hard at work and teaching them work ethic and entrepreneurship and all those great qualities.

Michael Slockers:

Well, one of the, you know, one of the reasons I actually started eight years ago, and this is because I met this multimillionaire and I had the opportunity to have a conversation with him. And he said, he was telling me this story about how he bought his son a house when he turned 16. And it was a rented house. He let his son pick it, he gave him three options and said pick one of these three, and his son learned to run this little business of a rent house because every rent house is a business. Right? Yeah. 

 

Income expenses and people and, you know, decisions and that type of thing. I love that idea. That's actually why I started. So I think, you know, getting into a position that we're not in Atlanta. So buying the kids a house with a you know, on a loan or something like that, or a cash house for $35,000 and letting them run a business. I just love that as an opportunity for them to really get some street smarts in this world, you know, as opposed to just academics or any of that category. So.

Ken Corsini:

I love that idea. Yeah, I've interviewed other folks who similar idea where they they bought the house one and then it was for the kid like future like for all this is your house down the road, but same thing include them in the in the p&l and understanding how it all works and like this is going to be yours and and it also pay for college. You know, who knows what it could do down the road? You know? 

Michael Slockers:

Absolutely. 

Ken Corsini:

I appreciate it. I love it. I think it's awesome.

Kevin Corsini:

Quick question. You mentioned the multi millionaire's advice here. Have you had any mentors that have been sort of along this journey with you for real estate that me either in the past or now that you lean on for wisdom or advice for people that you look to as you start this new direction?

Michael Slockers: 

Yeah, I mean, I would say, you know, indirectly certainly you guys, I've, I got my original education from podcasts and books. Red Barn, you know, I worked with Dave at Red Barn who's just fantastic. So that's a weekly phone call that we have. And then I've got some connections, like, I've got a guy that I call my mentor. He always, you know, pushes back on that. But he's a great flipper here in the Tulsa market. 

We've worked with him on some lending and things like that. So any flipping questions I have, he's happy to answer those things, including going and checking out some of my properties and things like that. So I'm always I've always got my ears, you know, kind of open for mentor opportunities. But those are kind of the ones that I've got cooking right now. And that's been, it's a game changer getting somebody else's opinion on some of these things. It's really, really important. 

Ken Corsini:

Yeah, almost necessary. I feel like in this business to have someone when you're breaking into the business stuff, somebody you can bounce questions off of and whatnot. 

Michael Slockers:

Yeah, yeah. 

Ken Corsini: 

Any advice? If somebody else is listening to this, they're stuck in their W-2, nine to five job and like, Man, I wish I was flipping houses, what advice would you give somebody that's considering this, this sort of opportunity?

Michael Slockers: 

You know, I would say do it. My advice would be quit reading, quit learning and go take action, because there's just nothing like action for education. I don't know if I could say that in the Atlanta market or something, you know. But if I could find an ancillary market, where there's some affordable stuff to go get my feet wet on, get a mentor and get started, like, it's not all about making money. So even if you lose money on your first flip, the education will be worth whatever you lost within reason.

Ken Corsini: 

I definitely lost money on a couple early on. And then didn't look back man took it, like you said, chalked it up to education and was well on your way after that. And part of it. You just gotta get in the game. You know? 

Michael Slockers: 

Yes, absolutely. 

Ken Corsini: 

I'm gonna learn basketball by reading a book, like you gotta get him on the court and play before you really understand what basketball is about. Same thing with real estate investing. You just gotta get in the game. 

Michael Slockers:

Yeah, absolutely.

Ken Corsini: 

So Well, Michael, this has been really cool to get a perspective of somebody that's really only two months into their business, having success, obviously, striking a really good balance between work and family. I mean, I feel like the opportunity for you that lies ahead is going to be tremendous. I can't wait to see what you do with it. And we're thrilled that we get to be part of it.

Michael Slockers:

Thank you guys. I appreciate the time. Thank you for letting me be a part of it. It's been a great adventure so far. So

Kevin Corsini:

Looking forward to yours together doing this.

Michael Slockers:

Absolutely. Oh, yeah. Thanks, guys.

Ken Corsini: 

Take care of Michael. 

Michael Slockers: 

All right. Thanks.

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