Cocktails and Dreams Real Estate Podcast | Candice Amundson | Be A Resource

 

We’ve interviewed a lot of seasoned pros from a variety of different industries to help you identify those little recipes for success. Like a cocktail, it’s made with a dash of this and a squeeze of that and has become so popular over time that it gets its own name. You ask for it, and you expect it to be good, but each restaurant or bar or private party may have their own spin on it. But hey, an old fashion is an old fashion. It fits the occasion.

Today, we’re drinking the Worley Real Estate Network’s special reserve, that fine-aged spirit that comes with grit and a punch in the nose. It’s complex but refreshing and it leaves you with a sophistication that you didn’t know you could ever achieve. When people see you holding that glass, they say, dang, I should have ordered one of those. What’s interesting about this episode is that we put a spritz of Vrolio in there. Data science, mentorship, and coaching, and when you combine all of that with a real estate agent as smart as Candice Amundson, you get results.

Candice is smart. She’s detailed, takes time to learn and understand things, and has the courage to share her knowledge with whoever will listen. It’s a beautifully lethal combination and it’s landed her with leads and lots of them. Candice has a story that’s very special to me. She recently had the courage to leave an abusive relationship, move her son away as a single mom, and start her business. She started as most agents do on a team or with good intentions, but soon realized that she was built for more and made the decision to specialize in working with investors. She joined WREN, a.k.a. Worley Real Estate Network, and the Vrolio data tool and has accomplished in months what many agents take years to do.

In the last 30 days, she’s been invited on six podcasts, has become the thought leader for investment acquisitions in her market and sent me a text recently showing me one investor who has millions to deploy and wants to buy five properties now. Listen, you can watch the news and freak out about what’s going to happen in this industry or you can be like Candice. She’s kicking butts and taking names because she’s so giving, so smart, and is proving her value. That’s worth every dime of the money that you’d pay her. In fact, you’d be crazy not to do business with her.

Here’s the thing. As mentors and coaches, we cannot take credit for success. We lay the highway and our students do the driving and it’s my honor and privilege to share this data-backed investor agent with you. She’s a super positive person who starts her day with gratitude and a relentless drive to win. Her opinions are based on facts. And if you’re an investor looking to invest in Minnesota, you can stop looking because I found your agent. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to my friend, Candice.

For Video versions of the podcast:

https://youtube.com/@worleyrealestatenetwork

Connect with Jeramie and our business

https://www.linkedin.com/company/worleyrealestatenetwork

Copy of Jeramie’s Book, Workbook, or Audiobook

https://worleyconsulting.textretailer.com/qc/tlkA3RcG9W

Link to our website

https://worleyrealestatenetwork.com

For a free trial to the best investment grade Short Term Rental Data tool for locating the best deals out there and to help Investors and Agents achieve mastery in their real estate business:

https://vrolio.typeform.com/worleynetwork

Listen to the podcast here

 

Candice Amundson | Be A Resource For Life’s Biggest Moments

We’ve interviewed a lot of seasoned pros from a variety of different industries to help you identify those little recipes of success. Like a cocktail, it’s made with a dash of this and a squeeze of that and has become so popular over time that it gets its own name. We’re drinking the Worley Real Estate Network special reserve, that fine-aged spirit that comes with grit and a punch in the nose. It’s complex but refreshing. It leaves you with the sophistication that you didn’t know you could ever achieve.

When people see you holding that glass, they say, “I should have ordered one of those.” What’s interesting about this episode is that we put a spritz of Vrolio in there, data, science, mentorship, and coaching. When you combine all of that with a real estate agent as smart as Candice Amundson, you get results. Candice is smart. She’s detailed. She takes time to learn and understand things. She has the courage to share her knowledge with whoever will listen. It’s a beautifully lethal combination, and it has landed her with leads and lots of them.

Candice has a story that’s very special to me. She had the courage to leave an abusive relationship and move her son away. As a single mom, she has started her real estate business. She started as most agents do on a team or with good intentions but soon realized that she was built for more. She made the decision to specialize in working with investors. She joined WREN aka Worley Real Estate Network and has accomplished in months what many agents take years to do.

She’s been invited on six podcasts, has become the thought leader for investment acquisitions in her market, and sent me a text showing me one investor that has millions to deploy and wants to buy five properties. You can watch the news and freak out about what’s going to happen in this industry or you can be like Candice. She’s kicking butt and taking names because she’s so giving and smart and is proving her value that’s worth every dime of the money that you’d pay her. You’d be crazy not to do business with her.

Here’s the thing. As mentors and coaches, we cannot take credit for success. We lay the highway and our students do the driving. It’s my honor and privilege to share this data-backed investor agent with you. She’s a super positive person who starts her day with gratitude and a relentless drive to win. Her opinions are based on facts. If you’re an investor looking to invest in Minnesota, you can stop looking because I found your agent. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to my friend, Candice.

 

Cocktails and Dreams Real Estate Podcast | Candice Amundson | Be A Resource

 

You’ve been on a lot of podcasts. Tell me about some of your podcast experiences. It’s 5 in 30 days. Do you have podcast fatigue?

Not really. People ask you, “What you’re doing is so amazing. I want to tell people.” Sometimes, they’re like, “Let’s talk about your origin story.” I’m like, “Why is my story so intriguing to people?” or “Why would people want to know?” Usually, people come with questions. They’ll say, “Here’s what you can prepare for.” I have created a pitch sheet too so it already has my bio on it. My pictures are on there, and then I attach a headshot so people can use that and maybe some questions that they could feel free to ask me.

It’s like a media kit.

I learned that from somebody. Peter knew this person who does podcasts and she helps people. She said, “You can even take this pitch sheet and send it to people to ask to be on their podcast.” I haven’t done that. It’s that more people are seeing me on my social media and then they reach out to me. Everybody’s different. Their levels of expertise are different.

Sometimes, you walk in and it’s a real recording studio and it’s so official. They’ve got all these cameras going and are like, “Pay attention to this.” They’re trying to tell you what to do. Some people are like, “It’s just a conversation.” There was one where he had his dog on the podcast. It was very distracting because the dog was not listening. He was trying to chew a toy and being distracting.

The toy was squeaking in the background.

He threw things off.

You were trying to tell a meaningful story and there’s this little noise in the background.

It’s been an array of different people and different levels of how much they’ve done it, their expertise, and things.

What’s your takeaway from doing all those podcasts?

Most times, it’s investors, but there was one podcast I did where it was more like how to do your daily routine, how to set up your mindset, and how to live from gratitude. That was a very different approach. I thought, “If one person out there hears this message, starts doing something, and believes in themselves, it snowballs from there.” I felt like I would be able to help a lot of people.

Why is that important to you?

It’s because there have been times in my life when I felt worthy of needing help. As you grow up, sometimes, you have these paradigms that money doesn’t grow on trees, or if you ask for help, you’re weak or if you ask for money, then that shows weakness. I had those paradigms too from whatever environment I was in or how I was raised. I would be like, “If I ask for help, this is going to make it seem like I can’t be strong, independent, and on my own.”

I wanted to be that person to extend the hand right away so people didn’t have to go through that awkward asking. I would come out and say, “Here are my secrets, and here’s what I’ve gone through so that you don’t even have to ask me and feel weird.” That’s where it comes from. It is my own insecurities about that. As I’ve grown and I’ve learned about it, that’s what makes you a leader. It is knowing that that person needs to hear it or there’s a need for you out there and then fulfilling it somehow. 

Why do you think that we as entrepreneurs or parents sometimes need to be strong, independent, and on our own? Why do you think those are important things to society?

Hierarchy and status are part of some of that. It’s how we grew up and the environment that we were in. If you were in an opposite environment where everybody helps everybody and doesn’t expect anything out of it, that has a lot to do with our society. There are cultures that they help out. Everybody has a part of it. We’re disconnected from that.

Kelly and I have realized as we’re raising our kids that they’re intelligent and extremely moral. We love them. They’re starting to become more independent. We’ve also realized that we have maybe failed a little bit in pushing them out of the nest because you have to, it seems. We love them so much that we want to keep them in the nest, but we have to help them become strong and independent on their own so they can become good adults.

In some cases, for Gen X like me, there was no choice. We were strong, independent, and on our own at six years old. I was coming home in sixth grade by myself. Luckily, I had a big sister to help me cook some mac and cheese and stuff and boil water, but I got good at cooking ramen noodles in sixteen different ways because if you have ramen noodles every day for lunch, you have to get creative after a while.

I never took any value from being strong, independent, and on my own. I’ve always valued teamwork. I’ve always loved being a part of an ensemble. Not always taking focus or being the center of attention, but being a member of a team. I like being the leader of a team as well because I feel like that’s where my skillset lies.

I say this all the time around here. I describe myself as Captain America because I’m not going to be the strongest Avenger like the Hulk, Thor, or whatever your opinions are about that. Some people are pretty nerdy like me about it. I’ll never be the guy who could fly the fastest or run the fastest, but I know who does. I have this unique ability to see people’s special talents. I can say, “You need to go here. This is the mission. Let’s go do it.” You can knock me down, but I could do this all day.

That’s how I identify with superheroes. It’s interesting how different superheroes I would identify with at different stages of my career. When I was younger, it was much more Spider-Man, but now that I’m an older man, an eighteen-year-old, I don’t identify with it. Do you have any heroes that you identify with? Not necessarily superheroes, but anybody where you’re like, “That’s me.”

I’ve never thought about that, but Wonder Woman. When you say superpowers, people always tell me I’m like Snow White because whenever we go out into the wilderness or the woods outside, animals come. I was talking to somebody upstairs about when I first met my boyfriend. We went on this hike and a fox ran across our path. Later in our relationship at another location, another fox ran across. I’m like, “There’s something with the fox. We need to look this up.” A lot of people have said that about me, about being like Snow White. I was in the veterinary career before I got into real estate, so I can work with animals and have shown to do that well.

I think Wonder Woman too. You could take on anything. I’ve been through a lot of hard challenges mentally and physically. I’ve been down to my worst point and had to build myself up again. Those are the heroes where they are in the rubble. They’re dusty, tired, thirsty, and hungry. You have to figure out a way. Being a single mom too, I’ve helped become that person, that superhero. I’m a mix of all kinds of superheroes, I feel like. I’m not just one.

I love that. Is there anything worth sharing that you would want to talk about? I’ve used your example to so many people to inspire people to try to get them to make a decision to move forward. I talk about you a lot when I’m coaching other people because we’re trying to inspire other people to action. You are somebody who has taken such progressive action from a low point in your life, and you’re still having some great successes.

We want success fast, but it’s the appropriating and the walking out of the journey that gets us there. I don’t think so many of us value the hard times, but it’s those hard times that make us who we are. How would you advise somebody who’s maybe having a low point that maybe came across this episode that’s like, “I just want to get out of this.”

It's the hard times that make us who we are. Click To Tweet

Awareness is the first step. You first become aware of what it is. It’s okay to feel sad for yourself. Looking back, some of the things that I went through were so horrific that if I shared those with people, they would never be able to imagine what happened to me. Feel those feelings. Be sad for your person at that time of their life because they are going through something very sad and hard.

Only live in that moment for a moment though. You can sit and feel sad for yourself for 2 minutes, 2 hours, 2 days, or 2 weeks. You can keep going, Having the ability to recognize, “This is hard. This is probably the lowest I’ve ever felt. It’s okay that I cry and I feel bad. I’m going to give myself time and pick myself up.” Do something that will help you at the moment that might get you one step closer to that.

In my situation, I was in a domestic situation. It was daunting to think about going from where I’m at to getting somewhere else safely with my dog, my kid, and myself. The first thing was that I started researching. I started gathering information about how to talk to somebody and how to get somewhere and figure it out. I then made the call. That was a big thing.

With domestic violence, you have to be very careful because people can search your history on your computer. They can also get into your phone, see what you’re doing, and be tipped off, which could lead to another altercation or something. That was one thing that was a big step. I kept getting prouder of myself as I went. I made that call. It was so hard to do, but I made the call and I started a plan.

It is being aware and starting to gather information. Once you make that irrevocable decision like, “This is what I’m doing,” then you can’t go back on it. When I publicly speak for my charity, I tell people, “Any little step that you can make in talking to people is moving you closer. You will get there. It might take you 100 tries to leave your situation or you might come up against roadblocks, but you keep going a little bit every day.” That’s how I got through it.” 

Cocktails and Dreams Real Estate Podcast | Candice Amundson | Be A Resource
Be A Resource: Once you make an irrevocable decision, you can’t go back on it. You just have to take a step.

 

You have to get out there and talk to people. Connect with people because of the team and getting your village together. You need that to do something strong. That was one thing. I started finding those people, and then I was like, “I can do this if I have lawyers to help me and I have this person to be at the courthouse with me.” I started lining up my plan because I had the support behind me to do it.

Did you have a real estate license? Were you an agent when you were going through all this, or did you become an agent after everything?

It was after. I was in the veterinary field and was reaching a point where I was like, “I can’t make any more money doing this.” I’ve done every job. I’ve managed hospitals. I’ve worked in poison control. I created positions there to be the lead person that everybody goes to. When everybody would come in from out of state, I would take them around and show them the town, where to eat, and where to go. I was always the host of our company. I was always a cheerleader. I reached a ceiling and said, “I can’t serve enough people anymore, and I can’t make any money. I’m a single parent, so I need to figure this out.”

Did you get your real estate license and start part-time or did you jump into it? Tell us about your early career.

I decided to do both at the same time. It meant a lot of work during the day at the vet clinic, and then I would show houses at night or I was doing open houses on the weekend. I started with Keller Williams, so there was a lot of education and training.

How long ago was this?

That was 2019. I started out doing that and I was working all the time.

Were you on a team?

I was solo when I started.

Great job. You started out. I love it.

The very first house I sold was my own townhouse. It was a pre-foreclosure sale that ended up being recorded on my credit report incorrectly for many years. That was a damper because I was in a situation where technically, it was considered a foreclosure. In the state of Minnesota, you have a redemption period, so you can still sell. I made a profit off the home. That started my career. I was like, “Great. I made a sale, but now, I’ve got terrible credit and I can’t buy a house.”

Let me tell you that when I was a national account executive at a big nationwide mortgage bank, I had the privilege of being able to see credit reports of super-wealthy people getting $2 million loans. Every single one of them had a bankruptcy on their credit report. Every single one of them had property going back to the bank. Those credit reports were the worst that I’ve ever seen, but they were 5 or 7 years ago and their credit scores were back up to 700 again.

In 2008, so many people didn’t want to let their houses go and have to pay $50,000 or bring their life savings to have an honorable exit. They would do a strategic walk-away. They would let the bank have the property back, and the bank would eat the $80,000 deficiency. In seven years or even less than that, their credit is fine. They’re coming back.

I would encourage you in a way and tell you that if you haven’t got it off your credit report already, you’re in good company. You’re headed towards the multimillionaire wealth circle with a foreclosure on your credit report. You can’t get there without it. I’m not going to claim that, but I saw a lot of people with them.

Luckily, I found a partner in Minnesota who was very familiar with this incorrect reporting and how to overcome that. Luckily, I am looking for my next property and then my investment property after that. I’ve found a couple that I am interested in. They’re off-market properties I found with a data tool I subscribed to.

I’m excited about the future, but that was a big rough start to the market. During that time, it was a buyer’s market. Sellers were doing a laundry list of things and offering concessions. It was an amazing buyer’s market. I love the contrast of starting there because then I got to go through COVID and I’m back in this different market where we have low inventory. The buyers are still a little bit in this hot seat, but we have multiple offer situations, so the sellers are still holding the market. It has helped me go from a buyer’s market with lower-priced homes and sitting on the market for a while to where it is now. I appreciate that contrast there. 

Cocktails and Dreams Real Estate Podcast | Candice Amundson | Be A Resource
Be A Resource: Minnesota was definitely a buyer’s market.

 

A lot of times, people even say if you got into the real estate market anytime between 2015 and 2024, there are a lot of skills you haven’t learned yet because we were, especially for the last few years, holding out buckets, catching deals. It didn’t make it easy. I heard somebody say, “It was easy. Realtors make too much money because it was so easy.” That’s not the case. That’s quite insensitive to say that because how many offers did we write on properties that we’re getting seventeen offers at once?

These real estate agents, especially new buyer agents, are writing offers, and then they’re not getting paid. They’re showing property and they’re not getting paid. You can’t tell me that it’s easy, especially if you’ve never done it before in your life. It’s like waiting tables where you’re like, “I’m not going to tip that guy.”

You wait tables or bartend and see what it’s like to stand in a puddle of water until 1:00 AM every morning and listen to people, have to make drinks for servers, and have somebody looking over your shoulder at the cash drawer to make sure somebody doesn’t steal $1. The accountability as a bartender was insane. It’s much heavier as a real estate agent because there’s a lot of compliance, fiduciary responsibility, and great care that we take for our clients.

Can you describe to me a little bit about your early career and the benchmarks that you hit or faced or some a-has you had getting to where you are? It could be changes you made in your business, or maybe you joined a team or jumped off a team. I did all of that. I started independent, jumped on a team, went independent again, opened up my own brokerage, joined Keller Williams, went back to my own brokerage, and joined eXp for a lot of different reasons. Talk to me a little bit about your career.

I feel like I did a little jumping too. I started out late in the year, and then I went on this little boutique brokerage. I was there for maybe a month. The feel of it was, “We like to buy houses and fix them up ourselves and flip them. In the meantime, we do real estate. If you want, we can all create the systems together and recreate the wheel.” I was like, “This is not what I want to do,” so I quickly went over to Keller Williams as a solo agent. I was there for maybe a year.

My first couple of years in real estate, I was successful. I didn’t have trouble with bills or anything. I was still working part-time at the vet clinic, so I had supplementing income that way. Chrissy Peterson came to me one day because she was at the Keller Williams brokerage I was at. She said, “I want to make a team. If I were to pick anybody here, I want you to be on my team.” I was like, “What does that mean?”

We started talking about negotiating percentages and things and how she was going to structure it differently from the Keller Williams model, which was 50/50. To me, I was like, “This seems a lot more fair. We’re going to work together on marketing.” I learned a lot from her. She was the early mentor that I had. She did a business where she came up with event planning and things. She has always been like the event person. If we ever do an event, I always collaborate with her because she knows about how people are going to flow through, what kinds of things, and how it’s easy to pick up food. I never think of these little tiny details.

Do you mean open houses or lunch and learns?

Client events. We pull all of us realtors together in Minnesota and do a Santa event. We have a real Santa that comes in. He sings. He’s got a microphone. He’s got a light show going on. He comes in and then everybody writes down all their clients’ names and then the kids. We all have a gift there that comes directly from Santa when we sit down with Santa. It’s always this huge production that we do. Every year, people love it. We have a face painter that comes out. It’s a big event.

Client appreciation. You’re like, “Thanks for being my client.” That’s cool.

It’s like, “Come here so you don’t have to go to the mall and stand in line for Santa. You can get a personalized experience with us.” We have a cookie decorating station and all the fun stuff. She taught me more about hospitality and how to love your people. I was then like, “At this point, I’m ready to fly the coop.” That’s when I met you. I was introduced to you by Cari Briner. I’ve always wanted to be working with investors.

I started working with investors. I had my first break with a cool investor. He was investing with his self-directed IRA. I learned so much about that. That was probably the best negotiating deal that I had done with him. I should look this up, but it was $40,000 or $50,000 less than the list price. I don’t know how it happened. I even negotiated more during the inspection period. We ended that deal and he fixed it up and flipped it. I came to his open house and he was boasting about how amazing I was and I helped him get this awesome deal. I was like, “Don’t tell everybody because I don’t know how it happened. I’m not going to be able to repeat this for everybody.” That was my big break.

I then found Michael Pogii. I started investing myself with my IRA into vacant land. Things kept taking off from there. I’ve been attracting more of those investors because that’s what I want to work with, that’s where my marketing goes, and that’s who my ideal client is. That’s where I got to now, but when I left my team with Chrissy, I had to rebrand. I knew that that was going to be a big cost for me.

There are also other associated costs with joining a national or nationwide brokerage team, so there was some uncertainty there. I talked with my coach, Angie Gerber, and said, “Something is drawing me to these people. Everyone is bringing me together and the universe is telling me. I can feel it. These are my people.” I made the jump. With your help also of transitioning smoothly, it worked out to be the best decision. That’s what led me here.

When the universe tells you something and brings you the right people, you have to make the jump. Click To Tweet

Let’s drill down on that a little bit. Thank you for saying those wonderful things. I appreciate that. That’s why we do what we do. It is to find people who are ready for more and then equip them to do that. You’re such a brilliant example of how we hope people move through the ladder. I was telling somebody in a conversation, and you were there, that you showed up as an accomplished agent. Most of the time, we’re alongside those people who are like, “I don’t want to be a veterinarian anymore. I want to take some risks and some of my time and start learning this.” That’s usually where we find people because that’s how I had to get my start.

As a real estate broker, a trainer, a coach, and a mentor, I had to invite people to my firm who had never been in real estate before because realtors are a little competitive. Nobody wanted to come running over to my firm, like, “Who’s this Jeremy Worley guy? He’s not from around here.” I had to earn my way to a certain level of success by making sure that the people who came over and worked with us did see results in their lives.

That’s why I’m so infatuated with your success because in a way, it’s a calling card for what we do, but not everybody applies the lessons the way you do. You drill down and dig deep. You study and apply it, and then you adjust, pivot, and learn. You’re brilliant at adopting the strategy and taking action. The most powerful thing about you that I know is your ability to take action. I wanted to talk to you like you wanted to talk to us because not everybody is a great fit for us.

Our personality tests that I invented, I’m looking for those people that have that cobra mentality because I know there are certain things I can’t untrain. Somebody’s relationship with money, I can’t untrain it. Especially if they’re overly focused on money, I know they’re not going to treat the client the right way. I know they’re not going to serve the client the right way.

If my logo goes on somebody’s marketing, I want to be sure that those people serve and those people are going to make sure that that client is taken care of. Honestly, that’s the best way to do business. It creates a multiplication factor in your life. We’ve all done business with people who we know that were like, “That was a sale. I feel like a number now.” That’s not at all what we wanted to do. Did you make the move to eXp with Chrissy while you were at KW? Did you guys do that together?

Chrissy can’t tell me to do anything. KW was very strict about how things happened. They weren’t happy because they thought that Chrissy was trying to take people away or that kind of thing. There was this woman named Cari Briner, and I didn’t know her at the time, but I knew that she was our previous team leader many years ago at this same location. I also knew her story, so I knew she was very influential and was amazing at what she did. She said, “I’m going to eXp. You don’t have to come, but it’d be great if you came. You would love it. Would you like to schedule a call?”

We got on this three-way call, and by halfway through, I already made my decision. I was already going to come. I’m like, “What am I going to do? Stand on the KW island by myself and fish around? No way.” At the end of that call, I was like, “I’m coming with you.” By the things that Cari said, I knew it was the right person. I could feel there was something there. I’m like, “I need to go to the coaching.” That was one thing I was missing at the time. It was a together thing, but she didn’t at all make me feel pressured. I made the decision.

It was helpful because we came over together. She was my leader, so she was in charge of helping get the systems in place. We were going through it together even though she had five more years of experience than I did. It was like we were on the playing field together. I was way ahead of technology than she was, so I was like, “We can do this” I would help figure things out. I was like this silent little whisper that would come in, do something, and help out, so I felt like I had a purpose. It was one of those things where it was, “Come if you’d like,” but I wasn’t going to stay on the island by myself. I wasn’t going to do that.

Did a lot of people make a move?

There were a few people. She didn’t have a large team or anything. There was me and another agent, so with us, two had come. There were other people that we worked very closely with that decided to come. They were solo agents. The number of all of a sudden these people exiting and they were all associated with each other was a red flag. You see people’s character when you go through those. Even leaving Chrissy’s team was sad and hard.

Tell me about it a little bit.

When I had gone to her, she was thinking, “You’re making a decision so fast,” and then how it affected her. I didn’t think about how she might have to rebrand and do things that were like, “This is what my cost is.” I was looking at the numbers. I wasn’t maybe as intentional about that conversation. I was more like, “This is my choice. This is why the numbers make sense.” It was a very analytical transaction. I didn’t think so much about the emotion of how to transfer the message and handle that part.

After the fact, I found out that it hurt her feelings because of the way I transferred the message to her. I had to go back and repair that a little bit and say, “I didn’t intend on having this long drawn-out conversation about why I made a choice. I was trying to deliver a message that was clear and concise. I didn’t take into consideration how this affected you and how sad it was losing this. Maybe the fact if I would’ve told you, it’s not going to change how often we talk to each other. We’re still going to be together.” Once we had that conversation, I said to her, “I wish I would’ve done this a little bit differently and felt a little bit more caring about your feelings.” We repaired that relationship.

We are super close friends. I texted her before I came here to see if she could show a house for me while I was gone. We help each other a lot. We were talking about working with investors and she had said, “I thought you were crazy when you said you were going to go and work only with investors. All I could think of is you’re going to drive around, see 100 houses, never write an offer, and write these lowball offers.” I was like, “That’s not how investors are.” There must be some bad rap out there or something.

Some are. Somebody will take a seminar, get with a real estate agent, and do that very same thing. Those people aren’t real estate investors. They don’t have the money. They’re acting like investors. Real estate agents oftentimes work before they get paid, there’s a certain investment. We trust that our clients are going to buy a property. We realize that a certain amount of people that we show aren’t going to buy, and that’s business. Investors typically will look and look. It is something that they do.

Like anything else, as you become an astute, smart, and dedicated professional, you begin to stand out. You begin to ask all the questions upfront that you need to ask. You begin to ask, “What is your goal? How can I help you? What cash-on-cash return are you looking for?” A lot of investors will ask agents those questions and the agents have this deer in the headlights, and then they know, “This isn’t my agent.” Seasoned investor agents can ask investors those questions, and if they don’t know, you can say, “No problem. This is your first investment property. We’d like to help you.”

When somebody is educated by a guru-type coach, that person may have only bought a few properties. They may not have had the transactional experience. They’re coming in with a skewed view of how the real estate transaction should go. We live in this minefield all the time. I have always wondered, “Why would you not use a real estate agent? We live in this minefield. We know where the mines are. Wouldn’t you want to step where I step and help me guide you?”

Cocktails and Dreams Real Estate Podcast | Candice Amundson | Be A Resource
Be A Resource: When someone is educated by a coach who may lack transactional experience, they come in with a skewed view of how a real estate transaction should go.

 

Oftentimes also, a part of being a good real estate agent is advising somebody when they should freak out and when they should not freak out. Many times, people have an emotional reaction in a real estate transaction and you’re like, “I see this every day. It’s not something you have to freak out about.” In some cases, you’re like, “This is a new one. We’re going to put these documents in place to protect you. If we don’t hear back by this certain time, then we’ll have to either terminate the contract or you’ll be moving forward with a certain level of risk.” You explain it, and then if they freak out, they freak out.

It is helping people understand, “This is the pathway. This is my best advice for you.” They’re so thankful to have those pathways and that somebody calmly lay out, “This is a new one. We’re going to either get an attorney involved or get a broker involved. We collaborate.” A lot of people don’t do that. It is why I think real estate agents get so offended when their friends, family, or whoever doesn’t choose to do business with them because there’s a level of closeness that happens between a good real estate agent and a good investor.

When that loyalty happens, you create a power team. That’s one of the things that we’ve always coached people on. It’s like becoming a member of that person’s power team. Some of these coaches are like, “You got to work with three real estate agents.” Maybe you do. Maybe you should. For me, I want somebody who’s going to answer the phone when I call them because I’m making multiple purchases with this person.

There's a level of closeness that happens with a really good real estate agent and investor. When that loyalty happens, you create a power team. Click To Tweet

It’s the same as my banker. The banker is on my power team. Whenever I call my banker, the president of the bank answers the phone because I need to be able to get an answer, or he’ll call me back the same day because he is endeavoring to make sure that he’s available for my needs. I used to be like, “I need three different bankers.” You do need three bankers because once you get over $1 million of loans with a bank, they’re like, “I don’t know,” depending on your net worth at that point. You have to spread the risk around to different banks.

The point is having a good banker on your power team, being able to make that phone call, and getting those answers is great. Most investors don’t appreciate how a good real estate agent can earn them a ton of money. If you’re loyal to an agent, an agent will be loyal to you, for sure. That’s some of the stuff that we teach people.

When we met you after you had already gone to eXp, Cari Briner also guided us through the transition process. We were an independent brokerage that became affiliated with eXp. It’s such a bigger family. It was so neat to begin to meet all these people from all around the place. Honestly, we had no idea. I knew I wanted to scale my business model outside of Branson, but I didn’t know how. We’re still figuring it out a little bit.

Originally, I wasn’t going to train anybody that wasn’t in my revenue share family because those are the documents that I created. I’m like, “This makes sense because even if they leave eXp or they leave my team, they’re still in my revenue share family and there’s some honor there.” I sat on it for a while after I met you and Peter. You guys joined the network right around the same time.

He was right before me.

I had this huge a-ha moment. It was, “These are some extremely quality people. Why would I miss out on the opportunity to be in a relationship with these people because of money?” Meeting you and Peter changed the way I do business. I was like, “Let’s create a scenario that is a win-win scenario for people who are outside of our revenue share network.” I still get the same joy if you are growing your network with what you’ve learned.

Maybe this is an old man thing, but I’m realizing that sometimes, we’re supposed to plant trees under whose shade we’ll never sit. I do love to run with a big family because the bigger we are, the more benefits we get. The more widely respected we are, the easier it is for us to get business because people then begin to look for that brand or it becomes special to people. They’re like, “These agents have this philosophy. I want to work with them.” That’s what we’re growing.

It takes great agents like you because I know you serve your clients. I know you do because I know you as a person. You’re such a kind, caring, and giving person who puts education first. It’s been so fascinating to watch you succeed, grow, and have these a-ha moments. Even as the market tightens up, we’re proving the concept that you’re working with investors. Even at 8% interest rates, what are you seeing in your market?

A lot of my investors are either worried about the interest rate or they’re trying to figure out how to find a solution to it. Some investors don’t care at all. Some of them are using cash, so it doesn’t even affect them at all, but then some people have multiple mortgages and it does affect them. They’re getting creative. Sometimes, they’re taking money out of one of the properties and doing a HELOC to cash out some money and put it down on the next property.

Some of them are even doing their IRA, so then they’re using their $300,000 to roll over into the IRA from a 401(k). That gives them the freedom to get three properties, make three down payments, and get loans that way. A lot of people are still in our market. The sellers are still paying for some of the concessions so then they can buy down their points for a temporary period or a longer period. There’s always a solution to it.

That’s a great strategy.

Sometimes, we’re seeing that people are offering more. If they’re financing it, they’re offering more and then asking for concessions so the seller nets the same thing. There are also other strategies I use that are a little bit different from a normal sale for an investor. Sometimes, the possession date can make a big difference.

I’ve done dumpster clauses is what I call them. If you see some personal property or items in the home that the seller wants to probably walk away and the buyer’s willing to take that on, I get a dumpster and get rid of it. There are a lot of creative things that I do. I offer to buy pizza or something if it’s the winning offer. It’s some way to stand out amongst the crowd. Those are some of the creative offer terms that we’re doing.

We’re still getting the deals done. We’re still sometimes getting them for lower knowing that we’re getting some concessions. Sometimes, I target ones that have been on the market for longer. Sellers are more likely to make a deal no matter what. There are a lot of different things happening, but in general, we have a low inventory problem in Minnesota. Anything that you can get under a contract that you can find from people who have purchased when the rates were too low are the golden houses because those people don’t want to move. It doesn’t make sense for them.

Cocktails and Dreams Real Estate Podcast | Candice Amundson | Be A Resource
Be A Resource: Developing creative offer terms is crucial to closing deals even in markets with low inventory.

 

There’s a cash buyer program that one of the lenders uses. The lender buys the home for cash, and then the buyer buys the property back from the lender and sells the home within a certain timeframe. They can move into this new home and get their old home all set up for staging and everything and sell it for top dollar. The idea is that you save money on the other side by using cash and then you can sell your home at your own convenience and for top dollar.

I’m working with my vendors and finding different programs or different things that people can use so that they can get to where they want to go the easiest way. It’s about being creative and talking to people. We meet with realtors locally. There’s a group of twenty-plus of us. Lots of us are solo agents. We get together twice a month and talk about some of the struggles, off-market properties, and ideas on how we can get creative with things.

From different brokerages agents hanging out? That’s great.

A lot of them are eXp because that’s who started it, but we invite people from different brokerages. It’s not a recruiting thing. No one talks about that. It’s just ideas.

It’s super collaborative.

By being involved with those things and hearing what people are doing, you’re building relationships because then, they usually list the properties. A lot of my success is coming to these listings. I know these agents because I’ve been at a conference with them. That goes a long way, knowing the people in your market because they’re like, “I know that agent shows up. She’s going to make sure this transaction gets to close.” Sometimes, that helps you win. I do all the things.

We compete, but we also collaborate in a lot of ways. We cooperate. It’s a very interesting dynamic. When I was transactional, I would try to go out to lunch with an agent in the market as often as I could, different ones, to break bread with people. You’re right. In those tough situations, it’s nice to know who people are and to try to work for the benefit of both of our clients to make something happen because somebody needs to move because of their grandkids. Somebody has a legitimate need. Maybe they have a moving truck that they only have for a certain number of days.

We compete, but we also collaborate in many ways. Click To Tweet

We have to solve some problems for our clients that sometimes are difficult to solve without collaboration and emotion. We have to solve them without emotion, but it’s hard because emotion is there. It’s in the way. It has been difficult for me as a parent because I try to remove emotion from parenting. It may have potentially scarred my children a little bit because I’m like, “You can’t cry. Please stop crying. Why are we crying here?” They’ve learned, “I shouldn’t cry. Dad doesn’t like it when we cry.” I’ve had to go back and say, “It’s okay to have emotion.” In my profession, emotion doesn’t help. It’s the centrifugal force that causes the wheels to fall off the wagon. If we can keep the emotion down, we can hold the deal together because cooler heads prevail.

Being a broker, and by a broker, I mean agent, somebody who’s in between two parties, the translation effect that we have to have when it’s like, “You tell that guy I don’t like his offer. You tell him to go stick it. I’m not doing anything.” We’re like, “He said he’s looking for something a little bit higher than that. Maybe if you would counter-offer, we could keep the conversation going.” It’s then like, “I’m not countering, I’m offended that he sent me a piece of paper with words on it. I can’t believe it. They weren’t the words I was looking for nor did they have the numbers. You tell that guy that he can go jump off a lake.” I’m like, “He said that he would consider your offer if it was closer to this.”

Having to translate for buyers and sellers is a tough place to be. For a lot of agents, it’s where burnout happens. This is my opinion. Unless you’re extremely resilient to that level of emotion, most agents have about ten good years before they need to replace that transactional income with some type of leadership income, some type of team structure, some type of real estate portfolio, or stock or revenue share through eXp. That is why that’s such a revolutionary model. KW was in the beginning with profit share, but it’s an outdated model. Maybe eXp will be an outdated model someday, but for now, the cloud brokerages seem to be working.

This is exactly where I’m at in my career as well. I’m also trying to figure out how to solve problems for agents. This is how I ended up at Vrolio and how I ended up digging into the data tool. The more I started paying attention to Erica and the data tool over at Vrolio, I thought to myself, “This is a greater return on our time. To pay a certain amount a month for this level of access to information wins clients. One $300,000 sale, we’ll pay the cost of that data tool for a year.” I’m thinking this is crazy not to do. I’m not a marketer though. My skills are more in leadership and relationship-building.

The first thing I did was I went in and negotiated a discount for the WREN agents, the Worley Real Estate Network agents. A lot of the agents on this team have jumped in and have started working with it, but not like you. You jumped into it. You did the same thing with my training as well. You consumed it. I don’t know how to describe it, but you have the ability to sit, learn in detail, and apply it. I’ve never seen other people have that ability.

It only happens when I make that irrevocable decision. The pain starts getting too much, and then I’m like, “I have to make a decision.” In 2023, I went through a time. It was right around the time I started at the WREN network. I had gone 3 or 4 months without a paycheck. I had known from my previous years to set aside some money because there were going to be slow times. I didn’t set aside enough money and was scraping the barrel. I’m like, “Why am I making these decisions? What’s going on?” I went through this low part.

I ended up having my best year yet in 2023 in a market where many people suffered and didn’t do well. I was proud of myself and said, “I got to take this money from the proceeds of all these sales and need to put it to work.” That was the beginning of 2024. I created my business plan in December 2023. I’m like, “If I want something I’ve never had, I’m going to have to do a bunch of things I’ve never done. What kinds of things are good with my personality, or what is going to get me the most success and set me up for the activities that are going to be good?”

I decided to put the money into the tool and do that every month, and then I said, “Now, I need to set up a time and say, “This many hours a week, I’m going to dedicate towards learning.” If you get something and you don’t use it, what’s the point of having it? It’s just money. I’m like, “I have to focus on learning this.” I didn’t feel like I had the confidence with the tool until I sat down, did all the classes, and practiced a little bit. I then started coming to the advanced calls so I could see what other people were doing. I was finding questions that we weren’t answering in the classes. I’m like, “I’m learning a lot.”

I started finding different ways to use the tool for marketing, finding listings, finding clients, referrals, and all these other things I could do with it. I then started sharing it with my local friends and realtors in my area and they were like, “I need to have this. Do you want to share it on the tool?” They wanted me to teach them everything and have the tools for them. I’m like, “There’s a need for this.” I started going to my normal networking groups with investors and started sharing with them. I started sharing with my lenders who specifically work with short-term and midterm. It was any investor at that point.

I started learning more. I put the time in. Instead of watching Netflix at night, I would watch one of your videos, or I would watch a video that Erica did for us in the masterclass. In the car, I would listen to podcasts. It was like, “If I could immerse myself in short-term rental all the time, I would have to remember something.” I was talking to my boyfriend about, “This property would be so cool. I found this property. We could buy all these properties or we could sell them and help all these people.” I started getting excited about finding opportunities.

My first investigative thing was I was on the tool and I looked for low-performing single-family homes in a certain city. I found this one. I opened up the Airbnb listing and I could see the address there. This was before I knew that Erica had the ability to give me the addresses. It was this super investigation. I’m looking and I’m like, “I can see it’s 1400.” I found it on the map, looked it up on the MLS, and then found that it was listed and canceled. I’m like, “They still want to sell. I need to buy this house.” I started coming up quickly with a list of all the reasons why I should buy this house.

I started getting excited once I started finding these deals and these opportunities. I’m like, “This is the way because now, I’m not like every other agent.” I know 1 or 2 people in Minnesota at that time had it because I asked Erica, “Is anybody in Minnesota subscribed to the tool?” She was like, “No.” There was one person. There’s something with that. I know I have the confidence because no one else is doing it. That was powerful.

I kept going with it, spending the hours every week and going to the calls every week. Some things would come up and I would have to say, “I’ve got a call. Let’s plan to do it at this time.” Sometimes, I would do Zoom in my car or whatever it was, but I made a point to be like, “This is non-negotiable. I’m always going to show up for this. I’m going to always do these things.” I did it consistently over time. I would learn something new and would apply it again. I’d have my VA do something for me. It spiraled from there.

I joined the Referral Network. There is an official contract that you sign and you have to be interviewed, so it’s not like anybody can join this network. Tori was her name. She was the one that was interviewing me. At the time, I was like, “I got a class signed up. I’m going to have people come. I’m going to talk about the data tool and how I use it to find deals.” She was super excited. I became a member of the Referral Network. The next day, I had six referrals.

There have been opportunities. People have money. They have it sometimes in certain markets that aren’t performing well and are like, “Why can’t I take this money out and move it over here?” The more that I talk about it and share my market, people are like, “I want in.” It has been fun to be the one person that’s in Minnesota using the tool or the one to start it.

This market is very saturated. Short-term rentals have been around forever, it seems like here. My market is a little different. People are like, “You have a short-term rental in a suburb and it’s making a 20% cap rate? That’s crazy. There’s no lake there.” It’s almost like you have to educate people that this is a good market. Once they see the numbers, that’s all they need to see.

Cocktails and Dreams Real Estate Podcast | Candice Amundson | Be A Resource
Be A Resource: You need to educate people that this is a really good market. Once they see the numbers, that’s all they’ll need to see.

 

It’s no longer a sales pitch. It’s, “Look at this computer screen.”

I’ve gotten quicker with using technology. I’ve met Peter and learned some of his systems and things like that. I’ve started to do some things like Loom videos where if someone says, “I’m interested in the Stillwater market,” I can go into the data tool, do a quick two-minute video and say, “This is what I think about this market.”

That person was somebody who was talking about being in syndication and doing a lot of bigger projects together with other people. He trusted me at that moment because I sent him that video. He told me his wife was more of the decision-maker, so I said, “Send this to your wife. Let me know what she thinks and we’ll get together.” It could be something as simple as that, sharing the tool with them in a quick video. I didn’t have to spend much time of my day, scheduling Zoom calls.

Doing data demos on the tool is exhausting. If you have more of a purpose, you can say, “Let’s look at the condos in Minneapolis,” or “Let’s look at this particular market.” It’s then, “We can look at any market. We can go from there.” It helps people see I’m an expert and that I practice it, and this is why. It speaks for itself.

You’ve done such a great job with it. You’ve done in 30 days on the tool what it’s taken a lot of my agents years to accomplish. It speaks to the need to automate and educate with real data. It’s hard to refute it. I admire you for jumping in with both feet. It’s truly an honor to know you. You’re such a classy human being. We feel like family. You are a special human being that deeply cares about other people. It comes off of you. That’s super nice to see.

I can tell you that I have trained people that grow up to be douchebags. I decided I’m not doing it anymore. I care more about the intent or the reason why somebody wants to do something. People are loyal when they’re poor, and then once they make money, it’s shocking sometimes to see who people become. I don’t want to do that anymore. That’s why I’ve poured my faith into my business a little bit more.

That’s not always the case. I know some greedy Christians out there too that I can’t stand and that I’ve had words with. These were people who have been spiritual big brothers to me. I don’t like the way they deal with money, but that’s between them and whoever. I have decided to put a tighter entrance requirement on who we work with because I want people to grow up and use their resources for good. You don’t always know that about certain people. I’m getting better. How would you advise a baby agent or somebody jumping into the business?

The first thing is finding a group of people who are doing more than what you want to do. You need to show up in those rooms with those people all the time because you have to learn little secrets. What does a person like that drink? How do they act? You have to learn all the things from the people that are successful and doing well.

I would say to get into a niche. It might take you a while. I didn’t know right away that I wanted to work with investors. Find a niche where you can go all in on one thing. We all start out where we’re like, “I’ll work with anybody from a first-time home buyer to a VA buyer to somebody that’s downsizing and to assisted living.”

Maybe luxury. Maybe storage units. It’s something that you’re an expert in.

It is finding something and then going all in on that and immersing yourself in it. As a new agent, having systems in place is big. In your first couple of transactions, you do need to go through every single paper and all those contracts and understand them. Everybody says something a little bit different. Sometimes, they’ll say, “After this many sales, then hire a TC.” The idea is that you can do it on your own so if something happens with a system, you can step in and take care of things. That’s important. Finding a TC right away has given me back so much more time. It also empowers me to be able to put things off on that person so that I feel like I don’t have to do everything. It’s leveraging those people.

As you have more finances and you’re paying your bills, and things are evening out, maybe then consider adding an admin or a virtual assistant. Starting with good people, coaches, mentors, or whoever you’re surrounding yourself with, getting yourself into rooms, and feeling uncomfortable is going to help you grow the most.

I’m very extroverted. I am a public speaker. I teach. I do all those things, but it’s still hard for me sometimes to get into a room and go to a meeting or something. I get there and I’m like, “What am I doing here? Who cares if I’m here?” I have all these limiting beliefs and things that come up. It’s still a struggle for me sometimes to get in the room, and then it’s good after that.

To a brand new agent, get in the rooms. You’re going to feel awkward but be awkward. Do it. Get over it. Find that person that you can attach your heart to and go with that. I do find that I’m that person for a lot of people. It’s about not making someone feel bad for asking a question or helping them navigate things and saying, “This is what I’ve done when this happened.” You’re not telling them what to do, but suggesting things. A new agent has to find a mentor, a group, or something. Get into a niche. Get your systems in place and work towards that every day. Do one little thing every day that’s going to get you to that end goal.

Do one little thing every day that's going to get you to that end goal. Click To Tweet

For me, if I break things down, it’s so much easier. It’s like, “If you need this much revenue, this is how many calls and appointments you need. This is how many hours a day.” It is breaking it down and figuring out what things are the most important and what time of day you do that and getting a schedule going. All of that can come from good mentorship and who you’re surrounding yourself with.

That’s good advice. Is there anything else you would want to share that you haven’t got a chance to share yet? Maybe to somebody tuning in who wants to get a leg up in the world and maybe get into real estate or invest in property, is there anything else that maybe you haven’t shared that you’d like to?

When you start to dream about things, start vividly dreaming about how you want that to happen. Don’t get stopped by, “I don’t have the money,” or “I don’t have the expertise,” or whatever it is. Push through it. I’ve found that you don’t need money to buy real estate, or you don’t need this or that to get where you’re going. Taking the risk and doing it has so many rewards.

Investing in real estate, I can’t imagine why anybody would ever think anything bad about that. Looking at stocks, bonds, annuities, and mutual funds doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s finding your people and working towards that goal. Get the goal. Don’t let anything stop you. There were people early on who were like, “Real estate is going to be hard. You’re not going to be able to do it. How are you going to be able to provide? You’re a single mom.” It fueled me up. I was like, “Watch me. I’m going to do this.” I wasn’t very out there like, “Fine. I’m going to do it.” It was this internal thing.

If I hadn’t met those people and taken those risks, I wouldn’t have learned that you don’t need this and you don’t need that. You don’t have to have five degrees in something. You don’t have to have this imposter syndrome. You can be whoever you want to be. You can claim it. You can do it. Try to get that mindset out of your head and focus on getting there. Don’t let things stop you. That was something I had to learn early on.

That’s great. Good advice. Are there any good deals in Minnesota?

Yes, there are. There are deals from condos with an HOA that are pretty low-entry costs. We’re talking anywhere from a condo in St. Paul at $98,000. Your revenue is going to be a little bit lower, but still, the cap rate is over ten, which I feel is a great deal. We have some great options for single-family. We even have cool duplexes up to quadplexes with ADUs. You can have six individual vacation rentals going at the same time.

There are some great opportunities there. Our price point in general compared to the general US is pretty low. You can find those quadplexes for anywhere between $600,000 to $1 million, but that’s five different businesses running at the same time. They’re two-bedroom units. There is a lot of cool stuff going on there.

We don’t have a ton of restrictions. Most of the neighborhood and everything is pretty pro-short-term rentals. They see the value of boosting the economy. We love tourists. It’s Minnesota nice. We love to be like, “Come over. I’ll make you a hot dish. We’ll have some pie. We’ll go fish off the dock afterward. With our little pieces of corn, we’ll go fish with that.” It’s our culture in Minnesota too. I have a client that’s moving here from North Carolina. They love everything they’ve read and thought, “It sounds great except for the snow and the cold.” It’s funny to talk about all the great things. I’m like, “In the wintertime, don’t go outside or wear Sherpa for everything. You cover everything.”

They can read books and sit by a fire.

We have fun things too. Sometimes, people come from the outside and they’ll make ice mazes or castles. There are things where we can go outside, bundle up, and do. We make it fun. All four seasons are great times to come to Minnesota for different things. If you know when to go there and what to do at that time when you come there, there’s so much to offer. I love it. Minnesota is one of the most beautiful places, so come to Minnesota.

I will. Thank you for coming down here. Your son is such an amazing kid. He’s great. He is such a treasure. It’s good to see you. Thanks for all the wisdom that you shared. We’ll see you.

 

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About Candice Amundson

Cocktails and Dreams Real Estate Podcast | Candice Amundson | Be A ResourceCandice is an Investor Realtor® in the Twin Cities (Mpls/St Paul) Minnesota market. Mom to a 12-yr-old and 2 dogs and active in the community. She has a passion for empowering clients in their journey through the real estate market focusing on vacation rentals or short-term rentals. Candice aims to turn investment dreams into a reality, offering personalized, data-driven advice and strong negotiation skills. Her dedication goes beyond real estate; she is an Investor Realtor® helping you profit, and your resource for life’s biggest moments: Investing, Selling, Buying & Global Connecting!