CDRE 23 | STR Portfolio

 

Selling a solid STR portfolio will certainly deliver a huge amount of revenue. But for one to build and scale such a profitable investment, it requires perseverance, grit, and a few calculated risks. Jeramie Worley just exited a major real estate portfolio he built from scratch with seasoned investor, advisor, and his beloved wife, Kelly Worley. They talk about the properties they acquired for their portfolio, how they borrowed money to make ends meet, and how they turned ugly properties into enticing assets, leading to their $2.8 million exit. They open up on the experience of getting their very first property and the challenges they faced when tourism was halted by the pandemic. Jeramie and Kelly also reveal how their careers impact their married life and what they love about working with each other since they became a real estate team in 2017.

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Build, Scale, And Sell An STR Portfolio With Kelly Worley

As I rounded the corner on the first year of doing this show and scaling our team nationwide, my beautiful wife Kelly and I decided to reconnect and tell our success story on how we went from $0 in assets to a $2.8 million exit on a real estate portfolio in just a short period of time. It’s one example of how we work together as a couple with an aligned vision and how we stand in agreement amidst hard times to conquer fear and lack.

We did it while raising three kids, and we’re still raising them. Though our goals are now bigger, our drive is just as intense as our love for each other, our family, and our team. As long as I live, I’ll never get enough time with this wonderful woman. I wanted to share her caring, thoughtful, intelligent, and sometimes super sarcastic way with you. I hope you enjoy the conversation that we had as we reminisce about building, scaling, and selling our short-term rental portfolio.

 

CDRE 23 | STR Portfolio

 

Welcome as a guest on my show.

Thank you, Jeramie.

How many times have you tuned in to this show?

How many episodes do you have?

Eighteen.

Three. I am joking.

I know you’re being honest because that’s what you do. You keep me humble.

I’m joking. I haven’t tuned in to all of them, but I am working my way through them.

You’re joking. You’ve only tuned in to one. Honestly, tell me how many, how many of these shows have you tuned in to?

5 or 6.

5 or 6 all the way through?

Yes.

A hundred percent?

A hundred percent.

I believe you.

Thank you.

Thanks for tuning in to quite a few. It’s interesting hosting a show. There’s a performance aspect to it because I always care about the audience. I always care about if they’re learning something, I always care about that we’re keeping the conversation strong and that we’re having meaningful conversations. That’s the introvert in me. I love doing it so much because I get to have meaningful conversations and there is nobody on the planet that I would rather have a more meaningful conversation with than you. We have a lot of meaningful conversations.

We do. Thank you. This setup is cool because we’re forced to look into each other’s eyes and connect without interruption.

Have I turned you on yet?

Yeah.

That wasn’t real confidence. This isn’t insecurity. This is just me observing you.

I am very reserved right now.

How come? You haven’t had enough wine yet?

No, because I’m aware of my audience.

It’s not your audience. It’s mine. To let me speak to that, I do take credit for way more than I deserve. I wrote the book.

I did start Worley & Associates and then Worley Real Estate Network, which is a nationwide, soon-to-be worldwide company. I did create a workbook and a mastermind. I have been traveling all over the United States and it’s only April of 2023, but aside from all of that, I finished.

I wasn’t going to say all that. Thank you though, but what I meant to say was that I did write the words in the book, but all of the experience that came with it was 100% shared with you. All of my successes, failures, and creative thought were designed with and enhanced by you. I feel like a lot of times, you are such an anchor to this business and a valuable mentor to people, not just here, but in the network that we’re building. People don’t get a chance to know you as well as they should. Part of it’s because you are an incredible mom and businesswoman. You love your clients and everyone around you, and there’s only so much energy to give and you give what you have. I feel like more people deserve to know you and hear your wisdom. I’m trying to tell you that more.

You’re so kind. Thank you for saying all of that.

Also, I could not have done any of this without you, and I wouldn’t have wanted to. I’m always looking for a business partner or a buddy, but everything I do, I do it with you. You’re so precious to have come along with me this whole way. When we’re feeling good, I feel like a man. I’m like, “Look what I did for you. Come on. Look at this.” For so long I felt sheepish that your sister’s husbands provided them good health benefits. I could never give you a 401(k), but I gave you this entrepreneurial journey that’s full of excitement and unknowns.

In a lot of ways, there is no way I would ever have been satisfied doing anything different. Who doesn’t like consistency and security? There’s a natural human need in us to need variety and which is also another version of insecurity. This is why some people create drama when there’s not enough in their life because they need that feeling of insecurity. I like the security, but I would be bored if I didn’t have this journey and these new adventures. With you, there will never be a dull moment because your vision continues and you have a new vision and a new idea. I’m your wingman and executioner.

Even though we like consistency and security, there is a natural human need to need variety. Click To Tweet

You executed something for me. I was like, “Kelly, there is a cultural thing happening and I need you to handle it,” and you did. You handled it way better than I would have because I was like passionately needing this cultural thing inside the company to be handled. I told this story already to someone else, how impressed I was with you and how much I need you.

I was like, “I told Kelly this situation,” and she’s like, “Jeramie, this person is a type X, Y, Z person who requires A, B, and C.” I was like, “That is so brilliant.” I was moving off of passion and I recognized the need and the importance of the cultural change but you knew exactly the strategy to take the words to say in order to handle it in a caring way. It makes me realize that’s why we’re an amazing business team and I don’t give you enough credit for that.

In that particular situation, my instant reaction was, “Yuck.” You don’t want to have to handle a yucky situation. My heart started to pound a little bit thinking about the words that I was going to say, and I started talking it out. The more I talked it out, the more I realized that it’s not that I’m condemning a person in any way. I’m relating to them. I’m seeing the beautiful things in them.

Whenever you make a situation comfortable and natural to you, and you’re not trying to say someone else’s words or trying to get something across that’s not natural, then that’s what creates the insecurity. If at the heart of it, you’re like, “I love this person and they deserve to be loved and to be better. I deserve to have an opportunity to express my coaching,” then the nerves go away. You’re like, “I can do it my way. Let’s do it this way in a non-confrontational way.”

I’m going to hire you as my coach so that you don’t talk to me the way I wanted to be talked to. I can ask for my money back and tell you I quit.

That’s a thing. You let your guard down with your spouse and you don’t talk to them the same way you would talk to somebody else in the business world.

This is a sign of us working together a lot. A lot of times, I can tell that when I get frustrated about a situation. It has nothing to do with you but I’m frustrated. I’m saying words to you in a way that I can see you. “Why is he yelling at me? Why is he talking this way?” Just the fact that I’m talking that way signals to you that I am in a heightened state, and you are concerned for me. That’s okay. You should be concerned for me but you shouldn’t be afraid of me or you shouldn’t feel like I’m angry with you because I’m not. I’m angry at the situation.

I know that. I still have a different opinion. There are certainly times when you have to show that person grace. Have the grace to know that this is a comfortable place. I get that you’re super stressed but also, it has to be balanced. For the most part, we have to watch the tone. We have to be careful about that and that’s important. When I have an off day knowing that it’s a safe place you know I’m going to come back around and even out again.

Like Matt Grindstaff who was on this show, it was one of the best shows we’ve done. It’s so much fun. I love that guy. He shared with us some wisdom that a lot of times when you come home and you say something about your day or something that’s off. When your wife is talking to you, if that first conversation doesn’t go well, now you’re having an argument about tone. How many times have we had arguments about tone? What I loved about the progression that we’ve made and our commitment to each other. You and I went into a heightened emotional situation for me.

We both knew it was going to be that for me. It was and it got there. You could see that I was dealing with as much as I could and when I started to get frustrated, the words came out of my mouth. “I’m not frustrated at you. I’m frustrated at the situation.” That was me recognizing that you’re not a punching bag. I need you. It was a cry for help in a way rather than you being a punching bag. I could see your countenance. You went from being, “I’m concerned about you,” to, “I’m here for you.”

I got it. I understand we’re in this situation. I know it completely and fully. I can only imagine how you feel right now. I realized the instructions you were giving me because you were doing your best.

Thank you for being there for me. I couldn’t have done it without you. I know I’ve said that already, but it’s true. I want to talk about a couple of things. I want to talk about something that I hope will inspire people because you and I have always communicated and planned. When we would come home from our job, we knew that there was more for us in life. We would go for a walk. We would walk around the apartment complex and always talk about what we wanted. We did that for a long time.

We always knew we wanted to get into the nightly rental business. We wanted to invest in real estate and make money while we slept, but we didn’t have any mentors or coaches. Nobody taught us anything. I remember when we moved to Branson, we knew we were going to get the nightly rental business, but then the market totally crashed. 2008 happened and we both went into survival mode.

Part of the journey, too, is the grit that you have when you can’t see the next paycheck or the next day and you know that there’s more, you have dreams, you have desires, and sometimes it just takes grit for a few years.

An important part of a real estate journey is the grit when you can’t see the next paycheck or the next day. Click To Tweet

Back then, we were having babies. I couldn’t keep my hands off you and I still can’t. Also, we had one TV, and we slept on a queen mattress with hand-me-down furniture. We had cashed in our 401(k) in order to pay off the 20% loan. We bought it with an 80/20 loan because back in ’07 when we closed on it, those loans still existed. We got the last one by the way. We paid off the 20% and cashed in our 401(k) so we could make our house payment and continue to stay in real estate. We spent those ten years of our 30s primarily paying gas, groceries, and rent. We didn’t know anything yet still about real estate education.

Funny little side story, every month we would sit down and do our bills. We would look at each other and we’d say, “We made it another month.”

“Survived another month,” is what I would always say to you. That was when you and I started paying bills together because I needed you to know exactly what was going on all the time. We did well when we did that together because it galvanized us in our approach to our financial situation.

We typed out a fake bank balance account and I posted it inside my closet. It was like $160,000 or something like that. That was what we were shooting for.

I wrote a check to ourselves for $56,000 to pay off all of our debt at the time. I posted it on the ceiling above me with a tack. I had to wake up and look at it and ended up forgetting about it for a year. At the end of that year when we paid off all of our debt, I looked, I was like, “Is that still up there?” It became part of the background. I never even noticed it. At one point, I was like, “I’ve got the ladder out. I’m changing the air filters here.”

Above the ceiling where?

On our bed.

When I looked up, it was right there for a year. There was a check above my head on the ceiling. Did you not remember? It was there and I pulled it down. The money that I had earned was exactly the amount. We had paid off all of our debt that year.

Eventually, we were making good money. I looked at you and I said, “We survived another month,” but we had plenty of money to pay all of our bills. You said, “Let’s not say that anymore.” We stopped. We haven’t said that since.

We’ve conquered since then. I wanted to talk about that because we just exited a major real estate portfolio that we built from scratch. We started it with $0, literally. We had private equity investors and so I wanted to tell that story of how we went from $0 to a $2.8 million exit.

That’s a great story to tell people. I want everybody to know that I am no different from anybody else. We are no different from anybody else.

That’s wrong. You’re totally different. Everybody else doesn’t want to work. They don’t want to put in the effort. They want to complain about politics and the events of the day. You care about people and you are determined and you work your ass off to make sure that what you want to happen happens.

That’s the only criterion that is required here. I would say having the energy to execute it, even when you don’t feel like it when you don’t want to, you have to carve it in when you’re making excuses for yourself that are legitimate. That first property that we’re getting ready to talk about that we had private equity on, we went ahead and listed it live on our platforms and we weren’t ready. I had to stay up until 2:00 AM to finish it for our guests so I could go to work.

You’re talking about the first property that we invested in. We advertised it on Airbnb, VRBO before it was ready because we were concerned about getting the money in time to pay the bills and stuff.

We got that booking. We had to put in the extra time.

Stay up all night to finish setting it up.

It was a stretch. You stayed home with the babies, fed everybody, and put them to bed. That’s what it takes. I don’t want anyone to think that we have a magic formula. It does take a formula, yes. It does take a drive, grit, desire, and ability to put it on the line from time to time because you’re like, “I’m going to make this work.” It takes a measured risk. You have a calculated risk. That’s what we did because we didn’t know a whole lot of people who had done VRBOs at the time. Do you want to tell the story about how we got into the property?

There is no one magic formula for short-term rentals. It takes drive, grit, desire, and the ability to put everything on the line now and then. Click To Tweet

Let’s tell this story in a technical way as if somebody wanted to read this section as a class. They could start taking notes now and figure out how to do this. I first identified an industry that was in real estate. It was the short-term rental industry. I identified a condo community that was short-term rental friendly, close to a large theme park that I knew was most likely going to be a slam dunk. I had analyzed the numbers on it and I knew that it would work. What I discovered was that if we bought this condo for $52,000 and it was fully furnished, I was hoping that we could use all the furniture. Keep in mind I was growing a brokerage at this time and I had a full-time job and children.

I also had a full-time job.

We were doing all of this as a side hustle. It took a month of most of my time and dedication to commit to remodeling this condo. You know when you have a month, you don’t want to give a crap about anything, you don’t show up very well, and nothing gets accomplished? That’s how I did it. I spent that much attention on my business and spent so much of my attention on this one condo because that’s the short-term rental business. It’s front-loaded with an incredible amount of time, effort, and energy. Once that’s done, it costs and earns you money when you sleep and we knew it would.

 

CDRE 23 | STR Portfolio

 

In this particular condo, we weren’t able to use a lot of the furniture there. It was either outdated, stinky, ugly, or whatever. You did an amazing job on that remodel. I didn’t do anything until I came in and did the finishing touches and decorated it.

Here’s what I knew I wanted. I knew that I wanted a wow factor, but a 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo that was an old 1970s-dated condo wasn’t going to give us the wow factor. I wanted to be a unit that was set apart. All of the other units that were advertised had an old brown, wooden door, and wooden trim. I wanted to get all that painted. I wanted new doors. If I was going to invest money, it was going to be a newly painted door. It wasn’t new trim, but we painted it warm-colored walls and a kitchen that popped with new countertops and some bath splash.

Some new appliances but we didn’t have the money to buy this.

I want to say the whole copper buckle thing. I bought a bag full of copper buckles on Amazon and that’s what we called it, the copper buckle. I hid copper buckles all around this place to see if people would find us. We didn’t say anything about it. It was this secret thing. It was exciting to get comments in the guest book about the copper buckles. I would hang them on the chandeliers in every room.

I found the eight. People would say, “I’ve only found seven.”

Can you find all the copper buckles? It was fun for us. We didn’t have the money to buy it, but I borrowed the money from my grandpa, who was my first private equity investor. It was a $52,000 condo, so 20% of that. Grandpa wanted his monthly payments. He wanted to be paid like $59 a month. I’m like, “No problem. I thank you for believing in me. I’m going to pay you $59.82 a month.” I did for so long. Some of our other private equity investors now want to be paid quarterly, and some annually. It’s way easier to do it that way but Grandpa wanted monthly payments, so we did.

The 20% loan was $59 and the bank didn’t know that Grandpa gave me the money but Grandpa wanted a promissory note, so he knew I was going to pay him back. We borrowed the money from the bank, 80%, and we used the 20% as the down payment. We did have to spend about $14,000 on remodels but we did it all through Home Depot credit cards because they’ve got contractors that can come in and do pretty much anything that you want. Anything that we bought, we put on a credit card, the furniture through a Nebraska Furniture Mart card.

We’d make the payments once we started renting it out.

If that payment was $280 a month, that was 1 or 2 nights’ rent on the month that went towards paying the credit card off. Even if we borrowed all that money, and I put that in my pro forma, even with a 100% loan, it was still $6,000 a year cashflow, which isn’t a lot of money but you can go on a great vacation with it.

That’s what vacation rentals were doing for us at the time. It was giving us the extra to do the vacation, to get something extra and fun for the kids. That was worth it. It was the less than part-time job I’ve ever had.

Vacation rentals give you extra things to do during the vacation and something fun for your kids. It was less than a part-time job. Click To Tweet

Highest paid part-time jobs we could ever have. Here’s what I wanted to say. What’s the return on $0 multiplied by $6,000 cashflow a year? If you do the math, it’s 0 times $6,000, I suppose it’s a $0 return if we’re being algebraic nerds.

Let’s say we put $1 into it and that changes the entire equation. It’s a 6000% infinite return.

We got infinite returns in the beginning.

Who knew that that development would increase in value so significantly because then vacation rentals became popular out there?

We knew they would, we could see the trend, and we jumped in. I could see that pathway.

We didn’t know exactly how much. It was amazing.

If we would’ve, I would’ve bought 100 more.

Me too. For anyone out there who’s a real beginner at asking for private equity, I had an opportunity to ask a family friend for some private equity money. I was thinking that at this point, someone’s out there reading going, “How do you do that? What if it’s not Grandpa?”

Would you mind if we fit in a little bit about rolling the equity from the first property into the next couple of properties and then introducing that? It’ll be more impactful.

Jeramie, you like to take your time with things. You are calculated, and very well planned out. Everyone will enjoy this story.

We succeeded at that condo and we had one day off the next year. Here’s what I love about us. We were so busy working our butts off and we had one day off together. We don’t even have time together. We walked through a property and said, “We’re buying it.” It was a 3-bedroom, 3-bath condo and an area that we knew was on the rise and was like, “Why are these only worth $97,000? This is going to blow up.” We knew the inventory in the market and knew there was a shortage of 3-bedroom, 3-bath condos. We had been surviving on 2-bedroom, 2-bath condos and that’s where we learned that heads and beds are the name of the game.

I did a fun Loom video with Candace, our Minnesota network partner. We did a cool duplex thing where there was a 2-bedroom and a 1-bedroom side, we realized how the 2-bedroom was awesome. The one-bedroom was almost a negative cashflow scenario because the extra bedroom was so valuable to the bottom line. This is why ten-bedroom properties in Branson went crazy over the past years. We realized back then that the three bedrooms were phenomenal. We bought 1 and then bought another extra 1 in a short time period.

We rolled the equity from that two-bedroom. We held onto that, bought those 2, and then additionally bought a 4-bedroom cabin. We had all these properties and we’re totally juggling all of those. This money came from anywhere we could get it. We would scrape, scrounge, and save if we got a $20,000 commission check windfall. We would throw it into real estate. We got to the point where we’re paying our bills off and we’re putting everything else into real estate. We were real estate rich, cash poor.

I didn’t even like that four-bedroom, but it made such good money. IT made sense.

It was the dumbest property. It was an ugly duckling. We kicked it in a crap golden egg.

It’s true. It had the ugliest furniture. I hated the bedspread.

I felt like a slum lord owning it.

However, it slept so many people. It slept 14 people in a 4-bedroom because the bedrooms were huge.

We made money on this four-bedroom. All of those properties, we got so crazy and we’re like, “This is insane.” We control a 4-bedroom, a 3-bedroom, and a 2-bedroom.

That’s fourteen bedrooms.

We’re like, “Why don’t we roll this equity into a new project that we knew was being developed? Let’s get a nine-bedroom.” Here’s the problem. It was a $650,000 property and we could roll some equity for some of those properties. We didn’t want to liquidate all of them. We were willing to take a risk to liquidate that first condo, the copper buckle. That was going to give us $40,000 and cash to put towards a brand new nine-bedroom.

I needed $60,000 total to put down on it.

The question became, “How do we make this happen?” This is the story that you wanted to tell. This is an interesting story and I would love to do a video sometime on mine and in your version of this story because your version is so much better than mine. Mine’s more technical and acute and yours is way more personal.

We needed that much money. We needed $120,000 down. We had $40,000 so that leaves $80,000. You had been living in the real estate professional world for a long time. I had been living in a professional world, but it wasn’t in real estate.

You worked retail for a while.

I lived in retail for a long time. It is okay.

Why not? You work whatever job you got to work to get by.

I’m so grateful for it. All that to say that asking for private equity or even understanding the concept of it was very foreign to me.

When we were raised that if you ask for money, something’s gone wrong in your life.

I remember going on a couple of mission trips. One was in high school and the other was in college, and I was supposed to send letters out for donations. It explained what we were doing. I was taught that it’s not good to ask other people for money for this.

Something’s going horribly wrong. It went against our programming to ask for money. My parents had a family friend who was getting crappy returns with his money. We knew our market so well and we had the opportunity to offer this gentleman an incredible return on his money. He was getting negative money. I gave you a sales script to tell this guy. The sales script was, “You’re losing money on your money.” When interest rates were 2%, I was like, “We can get you 6% of your money.”

That is not at all how it went though. You coached me in that way, but here is the scenario for someone who’s very green to this.

Who is green?

I am green. I’m talking about my perspective of where I came from and asking somebody for a significant amount of money that I was not confident in. I am now great at coaching people to ask families for money because I know the benefit that’s there. At the time, this was my first conversation ever and I had to work myself up. I went to Jeramie and said, “I’m going to call him and ask him to be a private equity investor. I need to write down exactly what I’m going to say.” You coached me on it and you said it in those terms. Like, “This return’s going to be this and this,” but I wrote it down and this was the formula.

“This is the project that I’m interested in. Here’s why it’s going to be successful. Here’s the projected rate of return and the money that we’re going to put down on it. What we are looking for is X amount of money at a certain percent of interest that we’re going to pay to you over a 5-year or 3-year period with a balloon at the end. We want to make quarterly payments to you. How do you feel about that?”

How did it go?

I paused and I was drenched in sweat because you have to be quiet at that moment. Let them ask questions. If you know the terms, you understand them, and you believe in the project, there’s nothing else left other than to let them ask questions. He said, “Yeah, I could give you $60,000.” I wanted to scream and I go, “Would you like monthly or quarterly payments? We’ll send you over.” We said your name will be on the second deed of trust.

It was my parents’ friend. I would work ten jobs to make sure that man got paid back. To make sure my dad didn’t come out bad. I was going to do anything because they raised me, and I wasn’t going to let anybody down like we weren’t going to let Grandpa down, our first private equity investor. If we’ve got that dedication, then it’s okay to take a few risks. That property doubled in value over the next two and a half years.

The important thing is if you’re going to ask somebody for this money, you’re going to do whatever it takes to pay that person back because you want them to invest in you again which this has.

We’re like, “This is going good.” We’re going to liquidate the remaining four properties and do a reverse 1031 into a new property. Guess what happened in the middle of that?

COVID.

We had a half-built property in COVID, while we were quarantined, wondering if we should spend $90,000 to furnish the place or if we should sell it as is to some high-risk tolerance investor. What is going on? Are we bankrupt? I wish I could have enjoyed quarantine, but I couldn’t because my heart was beating so fast. My balls were on the chopping block and your balls too.

Also, our kids’ balls.

Everybody’s balls. Were on the chopping block. I’m going to need another little bit here for this story. Poor kids, they didn’t even know their balls were on the chopping block.

The scary thing during that time was the first nine-bedroom that we had built, all of the bookings canceled in it. We have this other property where a building has stalled and we don’t know when it’s going to pick up again. We were very nervous. All we could do is eat red meat and potatoes during this time. Jeramie’s learning to smoke meat. We’re like, “Yes, feed me. More food.”

I remember one time, it was 3:00 AM and it was our normal bedtime. We looked at each other and we’re like, “This is crazy. What are we doing?”

We were going to sell the property.

We had it sold. I had it under contract with the dude for $50, 000 more than I paid for.

I didn’t want to, but I also trusted your lead of the family. I said, “God, if You want this property to be sold, then please let it sell but if You want us to hold onto it, then I trust You. No matter what the answer is, I trust You.” That contract fell through, and you said, “What do you want to do?” I said, “I want to keep it.” You said, “Let’s do it then.” At that point, we had started to get bookings. The first round of bookings was canceled but then everyone was like, “Screw that. I still want to get out, go, and do stuff.”

That gave us a little bit more confidence. Building started up again. We stepped out on faith truly to finish this property. I will say a side note here. It wasn’t completed within 180 days of our first relinquished property. Do you know what happened? The value of what we relinquished was in the property. We closed on it, put the money that hadn’t been paid out yet in an escrow account, and then completed it once it was done. We set it up before the 4th of July of that year.

Meaning you guys need a great 1031 intermediary for reverse 1031s. You’ve got to have that person on your power team.

We set it up got it ready and live in July of that year. We had two nine bedrooms and that was a journey.

Keep in mind, we got a little lucky because if you had started a job or a business in the restaurant industry, you were SOL. Tourism shut down for a minute there but then tourism went crazy because COVID made people realize that they’ll never miss the opportunity to travel ever again. It was removed from them.

For years, we’ve been saying, “People will always vacation. They’re just going to vacation smarter.”

 

CDRE 23 | STR Portfolio

 

The short-term rental industry broke out in the worst real estate market in history. When the worst crap happened on the planet, the global pandemic, and when it was over, people realized, “You will not stop me from crawling all over this beautiful planet that God created.”

All of the rebels came out and they’re like, “No.” Even the people who were not rebels, who were conservative, “We will go and we will do contactless check-in. We’re going on a hike. We’re getting on the lake.”

Life is about movement, travel, going places, and adventuring.

We may not go to our international destination, but we’re driving to Branson, MO. It was truly a blessing that we were able to keep that property.

It was. We operated those properties for a number of years and exited to roll the money into what we believe is the next phase of the short-term rental arc which is branded short-term rentals. Some upscale developments that we’ve got our money in now. That’s exciting because we’re going to be able to increase the number of doors. A lot of equity comes from new construction, from building. Instead of building one property, we’re like, “Why don’t we build 51 at a time?” We’ve had to increase our education on how to get even larger sources of capital.

At the same time, we’re using these resources as opportunities for our network partners. Anybody whom I meet or any good relationship that I’ve got, I use to bless my network partners because they’re such awesome people. We’re very selective with who we bring onto the team because we want to serve investors at the highest level. It’s the same level of concierge service we would want if we went into a new market and wanted to invest. I know the best agent in Pigeon Forge, Coastal Carolina, Upstate New York, and Oklahoma. It’s because they’re part of our network.

We were able to cash out from scraping and private equity from virtually being property-rich and cash poor and cashed out.

We liquidated but we reinvested. It’s exciting to see where we’re going from here. I’m investing in the network.

I have a question about the network. We’ve been on this journey for quite some time together. You started real estate in 2006. Our daughter was one year old. In December of 2008, I begged you to get out of it and go get a different degree. Thank you for not listening to cranky pregnant Kelly.

I would’ve been a magician. It would’ve been fun.

We continued this uphill journey for the past long time. I joined your real estate team in 2017, got my broker’s license in ’19, and became your operating partner in ‘21. Why, how, what, where, why have you brought me on this journey and where are you going?

Why you’re loaded with questions?

I know that you always have a vision. You always know the next step. When we were in California and we were both going to be entertainers, comedians, and all of that, you created this roadmap. Who does that? You created a whole whiteboard full of exactly what your journey looks like, how you’re going to get there, where the manager lands, where these classes land, and you did them. You followed that journey. Your MO is the whiteboard. When you feel like you’re stalled, you go to the whiteboard. You crack your knuckles, grab your different colored dry-erase markers, pull back the curtains, start writing, and say, “This is going to happen, and then this.” It starts to formulate and become real and tangible in your mind and in reality.

If you could see Walt Disney’s version of Walt Disney World, which isn’t a theme park, it’s a music department that provides music for motion pictures. It provides characters that can show up at a live theme park and cartoons and animated movies which add value to the entire thing. Also, merchandise and shorts. If you could see his vision, the chicken scratch for what the Walt Disney Company is, if you could look at that, it looks like a foreign language. It’s a blueprint. I look at it and it looks so clear to me. I look at it and I’m like, “This guy was brilliant and I can see exactly how everything connects.”

That’s what the Worley Real Estate Network is to me. It is a full-service journey for people who want to quit their job as a waiter. They can enter the Worley Real Estate Network as a real estate agent and build four pillars of income for themselves. We can teach them to grow a real estate team, starting with first being a real estate agent and they can keep their part-time job in the beginning if they want to. That’s what I had to do.

I went full-time and then I became a world-class real estate agent because standards mattered. I learned how to serve investors at the highest level. I became an investor-friendly agent, then I learned to invest in real estate. I became an investor agent and people began to understand me better because I practiced what I preached. I grew a team and I was able to leverage success through others to be able to grow to become the CEO of a pillar of real estate income while I had my own real estate portfolio. Two legs are great. Pretty stable to stand on two legs but I was missing something.

I do it all day.

You do a great job at it too. As I began to train real estate agents, I had this unique privilege. It was to be able to see a real estate agent at the beginning of their journey and what they needed. How to get them from $0 to $1 million, how to get them from $1 million to $3 million, how to get them from $3 million to $7 million, and the things they needed in their business that they didn’t have the courage to be able to go implement. I knew that they needed them and for them to be in an environment around me to continue to give them gentle pressure that said, “You need to be able to put this next part in your business.”

For them to still say no, and then for me to go find that part of their business and invest in it, turn around, and say, “I’m going to give you this for three months. You’re going to see how valuable this is and how much you need it.” For them to say, “I needed it.” To allow them to give them the crutches that they needed to grow into the most successful real estate agents in our market.

There’s no way they would’ve done any of that on their own because they wouldn’t have the courage to do it. We need coaches and people by our sides to be able to give us the courage to do it. Why am I so passionate about it? It’s because I’ve never had it for myself. I’ve always desired it deeply and I’ve often wondered, “God, why have You not given me the mentors that I need to be able to succeed at the level that I want to?”

Sometimes, He is like, “You’re a smart dude. You’ll figure it out. When you learn, you teach. When you teach, you learn.” That has been the most beautiful thing about this business. Everything that I have learned about growing a business and helping people along the way. Aligning our business with XP gave me the ability to help real estate agents as they grow their businesses to earn stock and revenue share, which I could have never done as an independent broker.

Now, there are four legs. You’re the CEO of your own real estate income. You can enter our company at that point and be a part of that or you don’t have to. You can be a real estate investor and build a pillar of income because you’ve already got a job. You’ve already got other income sources. If I can help you build one pillar of income, I’ve succeeded. If you enter my organization at the highest level, I help you build four.

That’s so unusual that you want to teach people, empower them, and create this everywhere.

It’s not just that. I like to solve problems. I say this all the time, people wash up on the island of real estate usually. Whether they’re real estate agents or investors, they find the island of real estate because they know that it is the place where the average Joe now can get ahead and can build the resources that they need in order to have the things that they want, and do what they were put on the earth to do. I’ve always had a knack for real estate and I’m very passionate about it and now, I want to take this. That is one small section. That is HQ. Branson, Missouri is Disneyland. This is the place where people can come and experience the joy of financial freedom.

Scaling that to our network partners all over the country is an act of taking my standards of working with an investor and teaching it to other people because I can serve more investors by teaching my standards to people all over the country. I know that if they adopt my standards, they can achieve the same freedoms that we have. Now that we are putting those systems in place, I want to build access to capital sources. As they, in a few years, turn a first-time real estate investor into a developer, I now have the capital resources and the context in New York with private equity firms to be able to fund their clients’ gorgeous developments.

What I love so much about your passion for everybody is that you look at somebody and you see the potential and the truth within them. You’re not afraid to look at that person and say, “This is what you need to do,” even if it’s gutsy, even if, to them, it feels risky. It feels like a leap of faith. When that guy in Indiana Jones is trying to reach their chest, that’s what you do. You reach their chest, pull out their heart, speak truth into it, and then you put it back.

They didn’t do that in Indiana Jones. They didn’t put the heart back, but I do.

You have lived it. You have been there over and over. You know that in order to increase, to go to the next level to do the next thing, that’s what’s required. You’re not afraid of telling somebody else that truth. It’s like Tony Robbins was at UPW where you walk on fire. What is the reason for that? Why do you walk on fire?

To put yourself in a state to be able to conquer that so that you can recall that state in any situation you’re in from that point on.

If I can walk on fire, I can quit my job and sell real estate.

If I could be married to you, I could do anything.

That’s how you were able to walk across fire. That’s the same thing. You are able to confidently look at someone in their eyes and say, “You are worth this. Your family is worth it. This will work. I believe in you. I will not let you fail. Quit your job and let’s do this together.”

I knew if I could do it, they could. It’s a blessing and a curse. I’m full of grit, and I’ve got the same self-doubt that everybody else does and if I can do it, you can. I wanted to tell people about the first piece of property that we ever bought before we go. It’s the Jesus Jason Jeramie. That property cost me a lot of money. You did not know how to negotiate back then.

What did I do?

This was the first house that we ever bought. It cost $90,000 and it was being built by one builder guy.

He lived down the street.

He did. We had been looking at houses in our budget of $70,000 or $80,000 and we found nothing that was worth anything. There was this new construction for $90,000. It’s $20,000 more than we could afford to pay. We walk into the property, and you immediately burst into tears and you’re like, “I want this house.”

“I can see my children making cookies in the house.”

I could see the builder, the dollar signs rolling back in his head. I was like, “Can we have a deck added to this house?” He’s like, “I guess.” I wanted something and we paid full price for the house, but I got an 8×8 deck built on the house.

You’re welcome.

It was a beautiful house. We finished that bonus room together. That was fun.

We made a purple wall and yellow trim. It was cool as heck when we turned it into a movie room.

We added some storage and we bought a $4,000 big-screen TV. We watched Lord of the Rings on that over and over and a Bose Surround sound system.

One time, the builder and Jeramie were standing out in the front yard having a conversation.

We were negotiating the deal.

They were bonding. I was restless and walking around. You had maybe talked about the church or something. I’m not sure.

He was trying to say, “Jeramie.”

He looks at you and was trying to say, “Let me tell you something, Jeramie,” but instead he says, “Let me tell you something, Jesus, Jason, Jeramie.”

Here’s the thing. Let me tell you something about my wife. Do not mispronounce a word anywhere near my wife. She will never let you live it down.

That was on the ultimate level of mispronouncing something or forgetting to say the wrong thing. We walked into the movie theater and they were like, “Enjoy your show.”

The movie person that takes your ticket. One time I walked. We were going to see a movie together. I walked up to the movie guy and he tore my ticket. The movie guy said, “Enjoy your show.” I said, “Fine, thanks.”

You couldn’t think of the right thing to say and I had already fallen on the floor laughing.

I was combing the horizon for bad guys protecting you the whole time.

That was a fun story.

You’re a fun gal.

You’re a fun gal, too.

Thanks for being on my show.

Thanks for being my buddy.

I hope you tuned in to this episode.

If this show spoke to you at all and you want to go from good intentions to implementation, Kelly and I want to see you at our Investor Jumpstart three-day challenge that is starting in a very short time. It’s going to take you from a full-time employee into the mindset of becoming a full-time real estate investor. We know you need courage, action steps, and a peer group to get you there. We want to give you a chance to interact with us and a small group to get you from where you are now to places you never thought possible. Let us speak life into your business and sign up for our three-day challenge at Challenge.STRInvestorAcademy.com.

A big thank you for tuning in to the end of our show. I know your time is valuable and I hope you got a few takeaways that are going to help you get a greater return on that time. I know you will. If you did enjoy it, I’d sure appreciate a share or a comment. Feel free to subscribe for instant access to new episodes and offers. There’s also a ton of free content and ways to learn more and engage more at WorleyRealEstateNetwork.com. Until then, we’ll continue to bring you recipes for success and real stories from real people who, like you, are living out your divine purpose. God loves you. No matter what happens, don’t give up.

 

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About Kelly Worley

CDRE 23 | STR PortfolioKelly is a seasoned real estate investor specializing in vacation rentals. Since 2008, she has successfully managed and transformed properties, from remodeling existing homes and condos to building new vacation rentals from the ground up. Her passion lies in helping people increase their wealth through real estate investing. In 2017, Kelly became a licensed real estate agent to train investors and aspiring investor agents, sharing her expertise and guiding them towards creating their own legacies in the industry. With her extensive knowledge and hands-on experience, Kelly is a trusted advisor, mentor, and advocate for financial independence through strategic real estate investments.