Christopher Bello On Earning More Income By Being Productive
Episode 483: Christopher Bello On Earning More Income By Being Productive
Time means money. The more time you spend doing nothing, the more money goes down the drain. Learn how to be productive with real estate expert Chris Bello. Chris is a real estate agent and investor for Keller Williams Realty, Inc. He is also the podcast host of the Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast. Join your host, Mitch Stephen, as he discusses how to be productive with Chris Bello. Take away some productivity hacks and get some insight from Chris’s introduction to real estate in today’s episode.
Watch the episode here
I’m here with Chris Bello and we’re going to be talking about some productivity hacks and how to stay productive. This guy has been a few years in the business. He quit his job. He’s on his own. He’s flying solo and that’s important. Anyone who has the nerve, the guts and can last a few years is probably well on his way. For those of you thinking about making a run at financial independence, you might want to stick around and see what this guy is made out of.
Before we start, I’d like to pay homage to the sponsor LiveComm.com. There’s a reason why I only have four days on the market and that I don’t use any signs in front of my houses to sell them. There’s a reason why LiveComm is at least 50% of that reason. That combined with some free multimedia and free social media stuff that we can do, we don’t have to do anything else. Go to LiveComm.com to find out how cell phone capture, lead generation and mass texting all work together with your social media to create huge followings and more than enough buyers to get done whatever you need to get done. Thank you, LiveComm. I paid the bills. Chris, how are you doing?
I’m doing great. How are you doing?
I’m doing good. Give us a little background and then we’re going to jump in on the productivity hacks.
A quick background. I did the traditional route. I went to Catholic school and private school my whole life. I went to a Jesuit high school, college preparatory, all my friends went to Texas A&M University or the University of Texas. I’m from Houston. I was going through the motions. I did a couple of activities and then I went to the next school. I took SATs, then went into college, then I got an oil and gas job. I never stopped to think about what do I want to do with my life. I was going with, “That guy’s getting an Engineering degree. I don’t like Engineering. I’m going to do business. Let’s try supply chain.”
It was like life is happening to me but I was still checking the boxes. I felt like I was on the right track. I never got arrested, never had to go to rehab for drugs or anything like that like some of my friends did. I felt like I was doing pretty okay but 3.5 years into my corporate life in oil and gas, I’m like, “I’m not excited about this. I don’t like these meetings. I’m in meetings all day.” I had a company with 600-plus employees at my one location. It felt like I was at a prison, going from one jail block to the other, going to lunch in the cafeteria.An entrepreneur rarely ends up with the business that he started to create. Click To Tweet
All your friends that did the drug rehab are out making $1 million because no one will hire them and they had to be self-employed.
They figured it out faster than me. I’m here, 23 years old, working for the man, wondering why the hell I’m only making $70,000 a year and I’m capped. I quit the job and tried a few things that didn’t work out but then I landed into real estate. That’s where I got my start. I’m a few years into my journey and I haven’t fallen on my face too many times yet. I’m well on my way to hopefully getting mentorship from people such as yourself to acquire my own assets and forever cashflow.
We all started out from zero, at least everyone I know. You were talking about some productivity hacks or something to keep you on the right track. Talk to us about that.
There are some books like the E-Myth or The 4-Hour Work Week that I recommend to everyone because that changed my mindset around trading time for money and feeling like I have to do everything on my own. We talked about it when you’re on my show. You need to work on the business not just in the business because then you get stuck doing all the $10 or $12 an hour tasks. You don’t want to be cutting your grass all the time on all your rental properties. You want to be doing the deals and then paying other people to do that. That’s the first paradigm shift that I would tell everyone to focus on. Every time you get a task, ask yourself a question, “Is this the best use of my time? It might have to get done but do I have to be the one to do it?”
That’s a hard task for a lot of people to learn. It didn’t take me that long to catch on to it. The further up the ladder or the chain you go, you start to figure out that there are things that you think you can’t part with or that only you can do and it’s not true. There are a lot of people out there that are better at it than you are.
Just because you can do it, you may be the best at doing that one task but it’s a low-level task that you can easily outsource. I’m not saying that to sound mean or anything on the people who do those jobs but we talked about this as well on my show. If you’re earning $800 to $1,000 an hour for your time in whatever you’re doing, you should not be spending that time doing those things that you can outsource for $10 or $15 an hour. Meal prepping is one of those things. I’ve been ordering more or I’m not cooking because I want to eat healthily. I don’t need to be the one cooking, cleaning and doing the dishes. I can go talk to more clients, more buyers or sellers. I do a lot of real estate agent stuff and have some wholesaling experience as well but I’m a mass delegator. At this point, I feel like I don’t do anything. I have people on my team that are doing it for me.
I heard this theory from a guy named Chris Craddock with who I’m in a mastermind with and I signed up for him. Are you a real estate agent?
I do have my license in Texas.
I suggest that you find out where Mitch Stephens or a couple of the go-getters are in the house buying industry in your region. There’s a way to do it but get them to refer you to the 18 out of the 20 that don’t want to sell their house at a discount. They need to be listed. There are some easy but fundamental things you can’t do wrong. One is if you’re working with me and I find out that I’m not going to be able to buy this seller’s house, they want way too much money from me and they want retail, then I have your calendar on my phone and I set the appointment for them to list their house. You say, “We’re going to go ahead and get your house listed.”
Take the assumptive like I’m doing, not like you need to meet this guy and decide if you want to assume. I say, “I’m going to get you this price. I’m going to have my guy come over and he’s going to list the house for you. Maybe we even get you a little more than you’re asking. Let’s put it up at $105,000 instead of $100,000 and then let’s get it on. The average days on the market in this area is 4 or 5 days. Are you ready to do it? What time do you want? Do you want 2:00 or 3:00? I set the appointment for you.” Now you owe me 35% of your commission but how easy is that?
That’s easy. Someone at an event I went called it almost like a lay-down lead where you just go there and it’s a done deal. They’re signing with you.
It still kills me how some realtors go, “I’m not going to give you 35% of my commission.” I say, “You’re a dumb ass.”
That’s free money.
Listings have babies. They always have babies.
You get many opportunities out of that.
You may get a baby in the form of a baby buyer or a baby seller. They always have babies.
It’s very short-sighted for someone to get butt hurt about the 35%. To me, especially in this market of listing, I saw this on a Facebook group, “Would you rather have ten buyers or one listing?” Someone was like, “One listing, for sure.” It depends on the buyer. If they’re cash buyers, it’s okay. It’s a fistfight trying to get buyer’s properties right now. When the market changes, that changes. I love how you said that listings have babies. You’re right. You might get 2 or 3 leads out of there that turned into 1 or 2 deals.The circle of life in the real estate business can be very lucrative for everyone when you’re working with the right people. Click To Tweet
That was my idea for any of you out there with a real estate license or if you’re out there and you’re a realtor looking at this. Know that you’re going to have to give up part of your commission but a listing is the lay-down commission check.
You just put it up and get 50-plus offers and accept one. That’s it. I had 81 offers on a listing in Houston. We sold it for $51,000 over asking the price, cash. It’s crazy.
This is a way a realtor, especially a new realtor that’s hungry that knows how to close, that’s who you’re looking for. You’re looking for someone who’s hungry, smart and passionate about it that can close. You’re going to give them a lay-down deal.
It’s pretty hard to mess that one up.
It all has to do with how I’m setting you up as the agent. I have to do my part too. I have to set this person up just right. It’s like an assumptive. It’s not even like, “We’re going to see if you want to list houses. I’m going to get you that price. I’m going to send the guy over. We’re going to list this thing. I’m going to get this thing sold for you. I can’t pay that much money for it, but I know where you can get the money. It’s not as fast as me but it’ll be in your bank account in 60 to 90 days.”
That assumption right there is powerful. You’re not asking like, “Do you want me to connect them?” That gives them that yes or no out. You’re assuming, “I’m going to connect you with them. They’re going to get this thing done for you. What works better, Monday or Wednesday? What time works best?”
“I got Wednesday at 3:00 or 4:00.” You don’t give them any outs. If you do this right, if you have the right investor, it should be worth at least $200,000 a piece to your better in one year. That’s if you’re doing a good job. What is that like? Twenty listings?
Yes, depending on the market and the average price point, probably about twenty.
Tell me about this book. You’re going to be giving away a book called Productivity Hacks. I want everyone to go get this free guide. You go over to 1000Houses.com/ChrisHacks and get this free booklet.
It’s a little eBook and a couple of productivity tips. I’m a very big proponent of outsourcing, delegating, and automating. I’ve got tools for everything and reminders that get sent out. As humans, we make mistakes sometimes but if you set it and forget it on some automation, typically, the machines don’t let you down.
If you set it right.
If you set it wrong, it’s going to automate the wrong stuff.
Tell me about some of the deals that you’ve done. What was the first deal that you did?
Back in 2018, I had joined a wholesale company in Houston. That’s where I got my feet wet. I remember pounding the pavement and trying to meet people. They had me doing a lot of business development, networking with real estate agents. Those homes that you don’t want to list, we’ll buy those from you. We were doing probably 7 to 10 deals a month at that company during that time. My first deal, Vladimir Drive was the street name, I still remember it. It had flooded before 1 or 2 times. Houston’s got some flooding that happens every now and then with the storms.
We had an investor who came by. The assignment fee was $10,000 on it. I have that check somewhere framed. They framed it for me from that company as my first deal and everyone signed it. It was a very exciting feeling of seeing how relatively easy it was once you find the deal. If it’s the right price point and you estimate your repairs correctly, you’re able to find a buyer relatively quickly. That’s what opened my eyes to like, “How much did I make per hour on this transaction?” That was the first of many deals that I worked with that company until I got my real estate license. I have it here on my gratitude board. I’m grateful for the ability to make a quick income because from having a conversation, 2 to 3 weeks later, I know how to turn that into $5,000 to $10,000 checks in most cases.
Most people that start out in this business, start out with no money. If you’re waiting because you think it takes money to make money in this business, then you’ve got it all wrong. Although I’m not going to chastise them much because I was one of those guys a long time ago. I couldn’t get it through my head. What do you mean? You don’t know money. That’s just bull. You’re a professional deal finder, deal writer upper, a contractor. You go out and get contracts on things, not contractor like fixing stuff.
You’ve put in enough time to get good enough at it that you know what to write a contract on and what prices to write contracts for so that you’ve left yourself a little room so you can make some money and so that the other guy can make some money. You’ve taken some time to learn how to negotiate. You’ve learned how to write up the specific kinds of contracts that you want to write up. You don’t even have to be an expert at all contracts. It’s just the kind of contract that you need to deal with a couple of variations. You go out, just yourself, and go make money out of thin air.
That is the power of mentors too because I looked at some stuff on YouTube but I still was not comfortable enough getting something under contract on my own. Having a mentor there that I worked with to say, “Get them to fill in the sales price, do this, sign here, and then we’ll sign the rest. We’ll coach you along the process.” That’s what helped a ton.
All the little things. You’ll find first. They sign first.Less dreaming, more doing. It’s great to dream but you have to take action to get closer to those dreams. Click To Tweet
Those things that you don’t know at first.
There are all these little things that give you the confidence like, “Why do I’ve got to do that?” “Because if X happens, you’re not going to like it if you did it the other way around.” “I got it.” You then start to get your confidence, “This guy knows what he’s doing. I’m doing the right thing.” Real estate has changed a lot of people’s lives. An entrepreneur rarely ends up with the business that he starts. It’s always morphing. I learned this from Ken D’Angelo, the Founder of HomeVestors. He was a friend of mine before he passed. He said, “An entrepreneur rarely ends up with the business that he started out to create. He’s always morphing to the path of least resistance to the most money and oftentimes, it’s not the business they’ve started. It morphs into something else.”
You may go down this thing and real estate may not be for you but you may find a whole other different avenue. I like to use an example. If you own a lumber company that makes boards out of trees, then one of the things you’re going to have is a big mound of sawdust. You either pay someone to come to pick it up and haul it away, or you can figure out what you’re going to build that sawdust for to make another profit center. Sometimes that profit center ends up being worth way more than the board-cutting company.
I’ve heard of a few people talk about that where they had something that they created internally like a tool they use to communicate and that was the thing that ended up being the business that they became successful with.
The sponsor of this company, LiveComm. I invented that software but it can easily put all my businesses to shame any minute now. I could look at the numbers of that one company and go, “Who would have never guessed that this is where it’s going to come from?”
Entrepreneurs look for opportunities. You solved the need.
I solve my own problem.
That’s a problem that other people likely have.
I thought, “While we’re solving my problem, if it works good, then other people are going to want to do it too. Can we make it so it has a subscription base and people can sign up like, ‘You’ve got to add that on?'” The thing about being an entrepreneur is you’ve got to put yourself in the middle of the road if you’re expecting to get hit by the money truck. If I didn’t build it where people could subscribe, then I would have built the whole software but it had never been able for anyone to sign up or use it besides me without a bunch of hassle and it never would’ve worked. You always have to go like a little extra. You got to move towards the center of the road. If you’re standing away on a pasture somewhere, the money truck doesn’t drive in the pasture. The money truck drives on the road.
You’ve got to also take some risks.
I’m always like in the middle of the road with the blindfold on like, “I think I hear him coming.”
I hope that’s the money truck, not the garbage truck about to hit me.
Every now and then, the garbage truck hits you but it’s just a price to pay. Don’t be afraid to try things that you don’t know where they’re going to lead. Be open and think. I have eight businesses because I was interested in the cashflow business from real estate. I ended up with eight businesses, most of which are related.
One business would also open the doors and the relationships, connections to the other like my journey is interesting too. Wholesaling in Houston with the team, getting my license in 2019 and then going off on my own. Now, moving to another state where I’m closing deals remotely in Houston. I still work closely with that team that I started off with. What you mentioned earlier, they send me referrals as well like, “We’re going to wholesale this guy’s house. He wants to buy a smaller house that doesn’t need any work. Can you help him?” I get a little referral feedback. When you start networking and developing those relationships, everybody eats. I like that saying because everyone’s closing deals, everybody’s getting paid off of these wholesale fees, realtor commissions, profits on a flip. The circle of life in this business can be very lucrative for everyone when you’re working with the right people.
You’ve got to give to get. Don’t be stingy. You’re getting ready to move and try to do business from afar. Are you going to move to Colorado and do business in Texas?
The funny thing is I haven’t even updated my bio or information so everyone thinks I’m still in Houston but I moved back in March 2021 to Denver.
That’s a cool thing because are you going to be able to do business in Houston or Texas from Colorado?
I had 2 or 3 clients looking at houses, submitted two offers. I have showing agents that are my boots on the ground. You put the sign up in the yard, put up photos and they sell on their own. It’s working well.
That’s a real business.
I’m traveling. I’m remotely making a couple of phone calls and the deals are closing. The commissions are getting wired. It feels amazing.
Are you married? Do you have kids?
I’m not married yet but with my girlfriend for years. We’re talking about it. We just moved here together. No kids.
No pressure. I was trying to think of how free are you. You are free.
You can pick her up and go or did you bring her from Texas too?
I met her in Houston and we packed up. We have two cats and a dog. We took a U-Haul, had all the pets in there, drugged up the cats and we made the drive.
That’s good for both of you. It’s very exciting. You’re both free as the wind, chasing your dreams and making them work. Get the Productivity Hacks at 1000Houses.com/ChrisHacks. Any parting words you would like to say to some of those people that are thinking about making the leap but haven’t made up their mind yet?
The tagline of my podcast is, “Less dreaming. More doing.” I’ve been preaching that mantra for years because too many people talk about all the things they want to do. They’re going to do it someday. They wish they had done and they never do it. Like, “I wish I could move to Denver.” Make a plan, work the plan, then you can make it happen. The same thing with traveling, skydiving, buying real estate or any dreams that anybody has. Set a plan, have a couple of deliverables, put a date on when you’re going to accomplish those and then work the plan. My takeaway is less dreaming, more doing. It’s great to dream but you have to take action to get closer to those.
It’s like that joke. The guy prayed to God every day. He wanted to win the lottery. After about ten years, God finally called him down and says, “Could you meet me halfway and just buy a ticket?”
You got to take some action. That is a perfect example right there. How are you going to win the lottery if you didn’t buy a ticket? Come on.
I’ve been with Chris Bello and we’re talking about staying productive and taking action. I’d like to thank LiveComm. Check out the videos on the homepage and you’ll see exactly why this tool is so instrumental in my business and could be instrumental in almost any business. What person doesn’t want to capture the incoming call or cell phone number for every client they potentially have or that calls them, and then be able to text them for $0.2 a piece directly with a 96% open rate? Thank you for stopping by to get you some Chris Bello and we’re out of here. Bye, Chris.
Thank you, Mitch. See you.
About Christopher Bello
Experienced real estate professional serving buyers and sellers in the Houston / Greater Houston area. Chris Bello is a college graduate that quit his corporate job 3 years in.
He wanted to take hold of the reigns of life and write his own story.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Real Estate Investor Summit Community: