Secrets to Real Estate Investing Podcast with Holly McKhann. Expert Real Estate Investor and House Flip Master.
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Now displaying: January, 2017
Jan 27, 2017

On this episode of House Flip Masters Holly is joined by guest Aaron Hendon. Aaron shares his secrets on finding selecting a realtor to be on your team or to work with you on your investments. Aaron is a Seattle realtor, real estate investor, author, educator, and speaker. Aaron is also the managing partner of Christine and Company, a Seattle magazine awarded 5-star real estate agency winning team the past five years, he is also this years individual rising star in Seattle real estate winner. 

Being a New York native Aaron finds that hustle is engrained in him that he uses to his advantage. Aaron graduated from art school and found himself waiting tables, and shortly after opening a bakery that he owned and operated for 9 years until he sold it. Aaron quotes author Daniel Pink saying that ‘to sell is human,’ as a business owner Aaron got into the sales business which ultimately lead him to real estate. 

Aaron is an advocate for education, teaching first time homebuyer classes, he wants people to be knowledgeable about the other side of real estate so that they are empowered to make better choices in their real estate decision. Aaron is in the process of writing a second book to help people learn about the real estate process and what happens on the other side of the equation. 

Holly asks Aaron when selecting a real estate agent what numbers do people normally focus on and what numbers should they focus on instead? Aaron says that people pick their realtor based on the number of units a realtor has sold or signs on homes being sold; a higher volume of units sold equates to a better agent. From the realtor’s perspective it looks great that they have sold a lot of houses but the number of homes sold does not tell you about the person’s performance or how much better they are than the next realtor. Aaron asks Holly what she looks for when she’s looking to buy a property - to maximize the bottom line in the shortest time possible. Aaron recognizes that this is important to a lot of flippers or investors and says that no one asks him how much over listing price he averages compared to the local market average; a question that you should be asking when selecting an agent. Aaron averages about 5% more than the local market average. When Holly asks how he does it Aaron says it’s all in his marketing plan, the way they set the price of the house, and not taking every listing. Any agent will take your home and price it at what you want, but not Aaron, if your home is not valued at what you want to list it at he will not take the listing because it is not going to sell.

Holly reminds listeners that a lot of time when a home is being sold, that home often has more value to the people that lived in it than what it is worth on the market. These people raised their children in  these homes, made memories, upgraded the flooring 10 years ago - these sellers are often offended or get their feelings hurt when they cannot get the price that they feel that they deserve. As a flipper Holly reminds her realtor that her feelings will not be hurt by the price the home is listed at or what needs to be fixed because she is in the business of making money and getting in and out of the flip quickly. 

When you select a realtor you need to have someone who is going to price aggressively and not overprice the home. You can get over your price when you have 4 or 5 bidders, but if you price too high people will not continue to look higher than what the home is originally priced at. To sell your home you need to be proactive and have a strategic plan in place to get the most people in and seeing the home to have a better outcome.

Holly and Aaron talk pricing strategy saying that you want a realtor that has come to you with the data; the market value and the trends of the homes selling in your area; they need to have the evidence because any realtor can say that they know the neighborhood but its they don’t have the evidence to back it up what do they really know? Aaron says that the market is always right and the market doesn’t lie - get a realtor that is going to price right and knows your market. 

Pricing your home lower is going to get more eyes on the home and increased interest and will get you closer to the dollar amount that you want to sell or buy your home at. When you have a lower priced home you end up with people bidding against each other and bidding up the price of the property. 

When asked if he has comments about offering 4% commission to bring in buyer’s agents. Aaron says that he doesn’t get it, he can’t see an ethical buyer’s agent promoting your listing because they are going to get more money. From his perspective he cannot see that extra commission helping to motivate him to sell that home. Both Holly and Aaron agree that they want to help their clients get the home that they want not the home that is being pushed for extra money. 

Holly asks Aaron to give his advice on vetting realtors for those who are looking to flip and those who want to invest. He says the best way if you are flipping is to interview them, his book ‘Don’t Get Fooled Again’ discusses the seven questions you must ask to avoid hiring the wrong real estate agent. His book gives you the lay of the land and also includes a template to email the real estate agents to help you decide who is the best fit for your needs. You really want to find out how well versed they are in the things that matter most to you and the goals that you have. 

If you are interested in learning more from Aaron and getting your hands on a copy of his book you can find it at the link below. Once you have registered for the book Aaron will email you back, in that email he will provide all his contact information and encourages you to reach out to him and stay in contact. Additionally, anyone who gets the first book will be sent the second book for free.

Below you will find the template that Aaron and Holly discuss to help you interview your next real estate agent. 


 Easy Email Pre-Screening Interview Questions 

Below is an easy, cut and paste, email you can send to any real estate agent you are looking at possibly hiring. 

I made this because I really think most people get uncomfortable asking questions that are likely to make others uncomfortable – and interviewing an agent based on their actual performance is likely to make people uncomfortable. 

It’s a self-fulfilling kind of situation. The consumer doesn’t know what to ask to separate high performing agents from low performing ones, so they don’t ask the right questions. Then, because nobody ever asks real estate agents questions about their actual performance the agents don’t focus on their performance. So, when you finally ask them about their performance they will surely feel uncomfortable. 

They might even react poorly – I have seen agents I otherwise respect react to these questions by mocking the consumer who asked them. 

It’s pretty sad to me because these are personable, competent people. They are agents that I have zero doubt, had they been interviewed using standard methods (i.e. do they “seem” competent) they would be hired. 

The purpose of the email below is to take you out of the position of any awkward situations. You can email this to any agent that you find online or has been referred to you by a friend and let their responses do the talking. The ones that would stoop to mocking the questions won’t even make the cut. You’ll never hear from them again. And that is as it should be. 

This email will return to you the agents worth your time. After you get your responses you can then interview them in person and see who you feel will best represent your interests. 

And as a bonus, because I am currently conducting research for my next book, if you will send me back the results of your surveys and the answers you receive I will send you a $25 Amazon gift certificate. 

Please let me know if you have any questions or want some coaching when you get to the 1:1 interviews. 

Good luck, 

Aaron Hendon 

Realtor | Christine & Company | Keller Williams 


2016 Rising Star Winner 

Five Time Recipient of Seattle Magazine’s: 

Five Star Real Estate Agent Award for “Outstanding Service & Client Satisfaction” 

Dear _________, 

I am considering selling my home at _________________ and you came highly recommended to me by 

__________________. {alternatively, you could say: “I found you online and your reviews are impressive.”} 

I am in the process of interviewing real estate agents and would love to see your answers to the questions below. 

1. How many transactions did you do last year? 

2. How many so far this year? 

3. What percentage of your business is referral/repeat business? 

4. Do you have a team or are you a solo agent? 

5. What is your commission? 

6. How much over or under list price have your listings sold over the past 12 months? 

7. Can you send me 3 or 4 references for me to call? 


Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. 

I will compile all the responses I receive and be in touch should I wish to do an in-person interview. 

Thanks again, 


Jan 20, 2017

On this episode of House Flip Masters Holly is joined by guest Dana Klaft. Dana was a landscape entrepreneur until he retired at the age of 50. Since his retirement 10 years ago Dana has been practicing and teaching real estate.

After high school Dana started a landscape company and was a landscape contractor until he was 50. When his dad passed away he realized that he had no way to help his mother. He didn't know how to generate income so that he could help his mother but had been looking at real estate since about 1998. In December 2003, he pulled out a program that he bought on the internet years prior and decided to watch it. The video prompted Dana to write down his goal; which he did. His first goal was to own 3 house in 60 days - on day 58 he closed on 2 properties that had 3 houses. 

Dana used the principle that he learned in the course which said to borrow a down payment from somebody and ask for owner financing and make three offers, so that is what Dana did. Dana got the properties that he wanted and after fixing and selling them Dana and his wife ended up walking away with $55,000. Dana and his wife decided to continue to use this technique to purchase more properties. 

In his first 3 and a half years of real estate Dana and his wife purchased 50 properties. When asked how much of his own money was invested into these properties Dana tells Holly that he did not invest any of his own money on down payments into these properties. While he did not spend any money on the homes he did have to spend money on repairs during his process. 

When asked what he attributes his success to Dana says writing down your goals is huge, the course that he purchased prompted him to do so before doing anything else. Dana also believes that educating yourself is important to be successful in real estate. Dana and his wife purchased training courses, and seminars to make sure that they knew everything that they could about real estate. Dana says that if he had known better he would have invested in coaching sooner than he actually did.

When asked to share the opportunities that he has found during his time in real estate Dana shares about a home that he purchased from foreclosure. The homeowner was an 80-year old man who moved out of state due to his wife's illness. Dana called the homeowner to talk to him about this foreclosure, they agreed that Dana would bail out the home so that his credit would not be ruined. After the home was obtained the homeowner's daughter called to thank him for taking the burden off of her father. After the home was completed and sold Dana and his wife made a trip to Oregon to visit Russell to give him $5,000 for the home that they had purchased from him. Dana prides himself in helping others on his real estate journey. 

When asked how he gets his deals Dana says that he tells people all the time that they need to have signs on their vehicles. On Dana's car he has large signs on the back window and doors. He said the signs need to be large especially when you are driving at high speeds so that people can see them and that they grab their attention. Dana is constantly being approached by people who see the signs on his vehicle, while the signs are a large investment upfront they have paid themselves off numerous times over by the amount of business that they have generated for him.

Dana advises new investors to get knowledge about the business before you jump in, do not quit your job! Get all the knowledge that you can and make sure that you market yourself for success. 

If you are interested in getting in touch with Dana and learning his tricks to make money out of nothing you can reach out to him by email or by text message. 


Text: (805) 550-8502

Jan 13, 2017

On this episode of House Flip Masters Holly is joined by guest Bruce Jones. Bruce is what he calls himself a tax strategist. Being a former CPA Holly is fascinated by what Bruce is doing and loves to meet people who know how to make taxes less dreadful for people who are successful in their investing ventures. Bruce entered the financial services industry in the 1970’s and has taught the subjects of tax management and financial strategy planning since 1974. He is president and CEO of Tax Wealth a tax analyst, solutions, and research company which identifies comprehensive tax planning solutions for real estate, privately owned businesses, and other appreciated assets. In addition to supporting his own clientele Tax Wealth also supports CPAs, attorneys, financial advisors, and real estate and business brokerage professionals in helping to solve their clients tax problems. Bruce is headquartered in Newport Beach, California. 

Bruce has entered his 47th year in financial services which makes him pretty experienced in the field. Tax Wealth focuses on identifying planning opportunities that were overlooked by CPAs and by finding solutions to tax problems. Bruce was in the financial planning and services industries for 41 years before retiring 2 and a half years ago. Knowing the statistics of people who retire and wanting to live longer Bruce created Tax Wealth which has been existence for about 27 years. Tax Wealth is a passion of Bruce’s and he loves to show people what they aren’t aware of and how they can save money. 

Holly asks Bruce what are some of the ways in selling real estate that he can solve the tax problem that comes with the sell of properties. Bruce says that when you are selling an appreciated piece of real estate or any other piece of appreciate capital asset there are very few choices to investigate. The first choice for those in real estate is the 1031 Exchange is the sell of an asset and then buying a property of equal or greater value. By following the rules that are under this exchange you will be able to defer your taxes as long as you follow the guidelines. Bruce explains that the 1031 Exchange is a well established law that a lot of people look at to defer their taxes. The second choice for those in real estate is through charitable tax planning - in this option the seller of the property gives the property to a trust or a charity (non-profit and tax free) in which they do not incur any taxes and escaping all capital gain taxes. The donor of this property then gets in return an added charitable tax deduction for the year of the gift and income for term of years or for lifetime but what they are not getting is a lump sum of cash to close escrow. The third choice is a Deferred Sales Trust with this structure the seller of the asset sets up a trust and they sell the property to that trust and then hire a third-party trustee to manage that trust and through this mechanism they defer their taxes. Bruce does not fully support this choice and says that if you are interested in going down this path that you need to listen with great caution and be sure that you fully understand before you make a decision. The next choice that Bruce mentions is the structured sell that allows you to defer the taxes. An important element of this choice is that the money goes off-shore for a portion of time before it comes back for the sale. A choice that Bruce mentions and favors is having to do with installment sales allowing you to pay capital gains taxes at the first and last installment of the note. Bruce calls this option a bandaid at best, but can be worked out better if structured differently which he discusses with us in great length and detail. 

Holly asks Bruce to share with listeners how he has been able to help people save money. Bruce shares that he helped to defer $1.5 million in taxes for one man who had a property that was worth millions. Another example Bruce gives is about a family who inherited around $60 million dollars of commercial industrial properties, the three siblings that inherited these properties had two active siblings managing the properties and the third sibling wanted to be bought out because they did not want to manage as well. The only way that it was possible to make this happen was to sell one or more of the properties so that they could buyout the third sibling/partner. In the selling of the property Bruce was able to have the commercial industry taxes eliminated and the other taxes deferred for 30 years. 

If you are interested in learning more from Bruce you can get in touch with him at his website and you can also call his office toll free at (800) 300-4723 - Bruce wants listeners to know that he wants to help people and any call to him does not cost the caller anything to talk to him. He believes that you have to earn the right to earn the client. 

Jan 6, 2017

On this episode of House Flip Masters Holly is joined by guest Valerie Clark. Valerie has escaped the rat race through investing in real estate. Valerie is based in Southern California where she does most of her real estate deals. 

Before Valerie got into real estate she worked in marketing for 20 years and when it was over she decided that she wanted to be self employed and knew she wanted to get into real estate - when she got into real estate she knew that she wanted to stay in and that’s where she finds herself today. Valerie says that real estate had always been a passion of hers and she’s glad she got out of the rat race and now employs herself. 

When asked about her first deal Valerie says that she started very early by purchasing in her hometown of Hermosa Beach, California. Valerie recalls that this lot was a dump that it had an ocean view - she even recounts that she had buyers remorse after purchasing this home. Eventually when Valerie was done living there she split that lot on paper and hired an architect and made plans for 2 units and then she sold the plans. 

Around 2000, Valerie was no longer working in marketing and was looking for real estate full time when she came across a building in Long Beach that she liked. When the property was in escrow Valerie again for buyers remorse and admits that she was nervous and scared of the deal and ended up giving away two-thirds of the deal. Valerie says that she doesn’t feel bad about giving any of it away because she knew that she was partnering up with two people who knew what they were doing. The three decided that if after a year things weren’t working out that they would sell the property and go their separate ways and that’s exactly what happened - Valerie walked away from that deal with a $100,000 check. When she inquired about the woman who cut her the check she learned that the person who bought the property from her and the two other partners was making much more money than her $100,00 check Valerie decided that’s what she wanted to get into condo investing. Valerie decided to start research condo investing so that she could start investing in them - after that she bought 2 properties that had 16 units each in Long Beach.  After working with condos Valerie dabbled in house flipping until those deals disappeared from the market where she was flipping in. Valerie says that she became desperate for a deal because of the way that the market was going and she said she was bleeding to death looking for a piece of property that would help to pay her bills. 

Holly asks Valerie to share what happened when things were not working out for her in Long Beach and Orange County areas before she decided to move to Central California. While Valerie really liked the Long Beach area she had a friend who was a parole officer who mentioned to her that the parole office was looking for housing for parolees - this did not interest Valerie at all, but when her friend told her that the government would pay for this housing she started to think differently about the opportunity being presented to her. Valerie ended up buying a house in Long Beach that qualified for the parameters of the parolees where they could and could not live - she bought the home and fixed it up, as well as furnish it. She recounts that before she could even finish fixing up the home she had 6 people waiting with cash in hand wanting a place to stay. Valerie really got into this area of real estate and continued to buy houses to continue to house parolees, but eventually she ran out of money. When this happened she went to a hard money lender to refinance her house so that she could get another property. When Holly asks how Valerie felt about having parolees as tenants, Valerie says that the people staying at her homes were very respectful and she doesn’t regret doing these deals. After 7 years of housing felons Valerie mentions that she did sell one of her properties to Holly and Holly said that this property has been a very lucrative business for her. 

Since moving out of the Orange County area Valerie has found herself in Kern County that she says she currently has more than 10 homes in that area. Valerie says that people are always saying there are no deals in California and complaining that they have to go find deals in Memphis but Valerie says that Kern County is alive and well and keeping her bills paid and her cashflow consistent. Valerie has even created a team where she is able to do all of her deals from the comfort of her home or her car because her team takes care of a lot of her work. 

Holly asks Valerie to share a piece of advice for beginners and Valerie confirms that real estate investing is scary and that you cannot just jump into any deal, even though there are deals all over the place, you need to get an education and connect with people who know the business. Valerie encourages relationships; join local clubs and get to know people because those relationships will be extremely helpful in the long run. For a seasoned investor Valerie advises being very strategic with your investing and to diversify your market and to make sure that you have a plan for what’s next on your real estate investing path.