Steve Berneman helps investors get their deals done in a totally different way than you may think, as their title agent. Founding Blueprint Title, a national title agency 100% focused on real estate investors – Steve has revolutionized the way investors complete their transactions. Seamlessly integrating technology & his own investment experience…

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556 Steve Berneman

Dylan: [00:00:00] Hey everybody. What’s the number one thing that can screw up a deal for a real estate investor. It’s bad title. Welcome to real estate investing secrets. We’re all looking for freedom and the opportunity to live better, more fulfilling lives. But most of us were trained our entire lives to work for someone else and chase their dreams.

How can we use real estate investing as a vehicle to achieve financial freedom? My life is dedicated to answering your real estate investing questions and helping you build an investing business that allows you to change your. And the world around you and to enable you to turn your dreams of financial freedom into a reality.

My name is Mike Handbright from and your questions get answered here on the real estate investing secrets show.

Hey everybody. We are back with another real estate investing secret show on the flip nerd podcast network. And I am here today with Steve Breneman and he is, what’s known as a [00:01:00] title expert.

So before we get too hot and heavy into what’s going on, Steve, I wanna say hi. And how are you doing today?

Steve: I’m doing great, Dylan. It’s good to, it’s good to be here, man. I appreciate.

Dylan: Yeah, absolutely. So, um, title is one of like the, uh, the, the scary, like little evil things that a lot of newer investors don’t really understand.

And I think a lot of the, uh, the advanced guys and gals still don’t really have a handle on what’s going on. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about what your company does and how you guys help

Steve: investors? Yeah, absolutely. Um, so blueprint title is a national title in escrow company. We focus exclusively on acquisition and disposition.

We only work with investors, wholesalers, PropTech builders, right. It’s anyone who looks at real estate, it as an asset class, not as a home. And, and we do that because it’s just, like you said, we have to come into the transaction thinking, how do we help their business? How do I help you get from [00:02:00] contract to close so that you can monetize the contract that you work so hard to get?

Um, and that’s just so different than what a, homeowner’s looking for. A homeowner wants that confidence and the marble floor and a law office. Right. And, and when you’re buying, you want, how easy, how transparent and how little cost can I, uh, get through from contract to close. And the only way to do that is to be experts in this field, um, to have a national footprint and to do everything we can through technology.

Um, because if you’re calling us and faxing us and texting us, uh, that’s, that’s cutting into your day and you should be enjoying your day or, or doing more acquisition work. Um, and, and so that’s how we’re, that’s how we’re designed. Um, the really quick premise on title and escrow. There’s two parts to every close.

When you go under contract, [00:03:00] you hire an independent third party. That’s there to manage the contract. And that’s our job. Our job is read the contract, whether it’s one page or 30 pages, and we have to make sure that everything buyers said they would do happens. Everything seller said they would do happens.

And then on the day of closing, we collect all the money. We collect all the signatures. And we exchange ’em and if we’ve done our job well, you haven’t had to correspond with each other very much. And you’ve been, uh, we’ve been transparent through the process where you know, everything’s happening. And so that’s, that’s the escrow part.

The other side is title. And that’s what you said. Uh, we’re experts in and, um, title insurance is a guarantee that the land you’re buying. Is free and clear of liens or in conferences basically. Can you buy the property and does it come with a bunch of blemishes [00:04:00] that you’re gonna have trouble with when you buy it?

Um, and so to be an investor friendly title company means we know what you’re looking for. Uh, and we know that sometimes you bring some ugly title work and so we’ve gotta be built to clean that up and get your deals.

Dylan: Yeah, that that’s a great way to break it down. Steve, I’ve been, uh, I’ve been running real estate, investment clubs and meetings for close to 20 years.

And, and, uh, one of the most important things to me as I learned early on was you had to have an investor friendly title company and, and really. I always wanted to be an expert in almost everything that I did when I sat down with a seller with a private seller and sat on a sofa so that I could explain things because when you can’t explain things properly, people get confused and confused.

People don’t typically make decisions. So it’s harder to get a yes, when it comes time to buy that property. So, uh, I think that’s something that newer investors again, and maybe even the advanced ones, they, they just are a. Confused about is, is really what a title company [00:05:00] does and how important they are and really how vital they are to getting transactions done.

And, uh, and we get a lot of nos when you talk to normal title companies who don’t understand what we do as investors and for you guys to be able to take that and, and go broad in nationwide is, is really huge, uh, because I’m sure there’s, you know, you’ve talked to probably thousands of investors, if not more.

And, um, You know, I’ve, I’ve run across so many who, who know all these, who, who learn all the wrong things and all the misnomers. And tell me what’s illegal. When a lot of times it just takes the right title company to get you across the finish


Steve: Yeah. That that’s right. It’s it’s, um, I’ll talk to an investor and they’ll say, you know, I’m working with this title shop in Virginia Beach and they just suck.

They’re bad at everything they do, and they do this bad and they do that. I go, Hey, you know what, man, I bet that title. Shop’s probably not that bad. They know what they’re doing, but they do retail home buyers all day long. And when you just brought them [00:06:00] like an assignment deal that you switched to a sub two halfway through, um, and it’s really in probate, you got some other stuff, you broke their world.

Like they put you on the bottom of the pile because you didn’t bring them the contractor. Right. You didn’t tell them this is what to expect and they didn’t know what to do. They just don’t wanna do that work. We built a bunch of templates so that when you bring that file, it goes into a workflow, man.

We’re not, we’re not trying to learn every time. We’re, we’re trying to put it into the.

Dylan: Yeah, it’s super important to, to have that relationship. And, uh, you know, I try to explain to some of these new folks, you go through all these trials and tribulations and, and sitting with sellers and, and all the money you spend on marketing.

And then you get to what you think is the finish line with that contract gets signed, but that’s really when the, when the, the game kind of starts in my eyes, because if titles no good, then forget. That’s always my first question, right? Did you run title yet? If a new investor brings me a deal or a wholesaler tries to tries to bring me a deal to [00:07:00] sell.

And obviously that’s the first thing that I do is, um, you know, I have to run title and make sure it’s clean because I don’t wanna put it out there to other investors. And then them look at my deals and say, Dylan doesn’t know what he’s talking about because it makes you a bad wholesaler or just investor in general.

It doesn’t have to be wholesalers, but there’s so many wholesalers in the market. So I know a lot of people who are entitled Steve, and I’ve heard the saying that, um, you don’t find title, title finds you. And, uh, and you know, you’ve, you’ve told me a couple times now that you started your career, um, in law and, uh, and, and that’s awesome.

And, and now you’re entitled, right. And you own blueprint title. So how did you go from being an attorney to deciding, to, to be a, uh, you know, a title guy?

Steve: Yeah. Um, so, so my journey, I, I. I went to law school. I did a joint degree in the law school and the business school, um, here at Vanderbilt, which is why I live in Nashville.

Um, And it really, my design was, I I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I’ve had some small companies and, [00:08:00] um, uh, I had a little sports company for a while. Um, and so I really went and did a, a joint degree so that I could be a small business attorney or, or continue being an entrepreneur. And so, um, I did high tech, mergers and acquisitions in Austin.

Like I was selling companies to sun Microsystems and, um, and from day one, I was really lucky. I had a partner. Who knew that I didn’t really wanna be a lawyer. Uh, he knew I wanted to be one of our clients. And so I would get in and work with founding teams and just say like, so you’ve built this $300 million business.

Walk me through the journey. Like, what’d you learn? And I, and I immediately got all this mentorship. Um, and so I was able to leave the firm after a few years. And I started at a tech company. Uh, we was at the intersection of professional sports and video games. Uh, I’m not a gamer, but it’s a space I’ve always respected and gaming is huge.

Right? And so we built this really fun company. Um, we sold it in 2016, [00:09:00] uh, and I went looking for what I wanted to do next. And, and title found me. I had bought a couple homes. I had a couple rental properties. I was like an early investor. Um, Nashville was already pretty expensive in 2016. And so I wasn’t able to buy all that much.

And as I talked to the market, I said, what, what about investing is hard? And the answer came back every time, closing and title sucks and there’s not a solution. And so I went and started learning, um, and there are parts of title and closing that are just so antiquated. That for me is an amazing moment because if, if you can come in and apply like modern technology, To an antiquated business, then you can provide value on day one.

And so, uh, I went and built this terrible beta website that was basically like, I cobbled together DocuSign and [00:10:00] Dropbox and like four other real estate products. And I just started like, I just day one, I just went out like attracting builders and, and some investors and just said, like, You know, Hey, my pro I mean, the pitch in like early 2017 was never drive to a title company again, log in, see all your documents, e-sign everything.

Um, and the problem was, I didn’t know anything about title insurance and I was making it up as I went along. And then I, I had to go and learn and, and, um, as nerdy and like niche and specific as this market is, uh, it’s kind of fun to be in problem solving mode, all the. And so title found me. I just, I started to like it.

Um, and then fortunately, I got to replace myself with people who actually do know how to do title insurance and, and they’re a lot better at it than.

Dylan: Yeah, I think the best, uh, I think we talked a little baseball last time we were together mm-hmm and the best managers aren’t necessarily the best players.

They know how to play the game, [00:11:00] but they may be the guys or gals who are able to kinda motivate the rest of the team and be able to put those puzzle pieces in place. So that machine worked better. Yeah. And, and I, I like your analogy of, of taking technology and stacking on an, on an antiquated business, because again, I’ve been around not a long time.

For invest for the investor world 20 years is a little bit of, of a long time. And, uh, title really hasn’t changed much other than there’s products out there allowing people to sub with, with some counties or states that you can, um, that you can sign, uh, your notary, you know, in front of a video screener, like the PSO.

And I know about all these other companies, so that part’s cool, but I think the big part is, is the ease. Like you said, I deal with a lot of builders, myself and other investors, and it used to be. I would stop at Starbucks on the way to the closing. And this is like pre foreclosure days cuz after the foreclosure days, no one ever wanted to go to a title company.

Right. But I would be meeting like I’d be meeting you, Steven. We’d be, you know, co investors doing deals together. I’d have my suit on, I’d bring you a coffee, me a coffee. We’d sit there for [00:12:00] two hours after the closing, we’d be networking, you know, and, and talking about the next deal. And today it’s just not like.

I don’t ever no offense, you know, I love my title company, but I don’t ever want to have to go there unless I’m going to run into someone of that caliber who I can spend time with. And it’s just not like that anymore. Everything gets done at a desk and, you know, mobile notaries, depending what state, what city, um, or counties and all that stuff.

But, um, I guess, what do you, what would you say, like the biggest misconceptions that real estate investors have about the title business are that you’ve seen?

Steve: Yeah. Um, One is every title company is the same. And, and you already debunked that, right? Um, the second is the prices are set by the government. So there’s no reason to shop.

It’s not true, right? I mean, in Texas and Florida premiums are set by the government, New Mexico. Those are the three states. If you’re buying anywhere else, you can shop. And so, um, [00:13:00] We have an underwriter. We filed our own rates. We only work with investors. We save people a lot of money, so people should shop that’s number two.

Um, number three is, uh, an ugly title means the deal isn’t doable. And that’s just not true. If you, if you go to a reasonable title shop and you work ahead, we can get through almost everything. The only thing that changes is the time. And, and so I, I pitch that all the time when I’m talking to investors, you know, even if they’re not in a state that we’re in, I’m saying, look, let me help you find someone who can get your deals done.

Um, because we’re supposed to be here to serve your business. And 20 years ago, if that was networking, that’s great today. I feel like, um, if I can help you close a higher percentage of your contracts, then we’ve really created value for the.

Dylan: Yeah, they’re gonna keep coming back. And I think, um, I met some mortgage guys who are probably in their [00:14:00] eighties now, and back 20 years ago when they were in their early sixties, they, if they couldn’t get a, a deal done, they would say, come to me anyways.

Right? Mm-hmm because I’ll find a lender or a bank or I’ll make this happen. And I would say to myself, you know, 20 year old guys can’t do that because they need to eat. Right. That’s all they think about is closing their next deal. But the 60 year old guys said, wait a minute, let’s have all these people come to us because even if we.

Get paid on that a they get a, they get a referral, a handshake, not, not a referral fee, but they get a thank you from who they’re dealing, doing business with. But more importantly, I’m gonna come back to them. And then who am I going to refer to them also? And, uh, I think their relationships are coming back a lot stronger than they were.

Um, You know, it seems like again, after the foreclosure days, and we had that run up for such a long time for a solid, you know, decade plus everybody was winning almost no matter what, right. We had 17% growth in states, like where I’m at, I’m in Michigan. We don’t have 17% growth ever. And now it’s down to eight, they say, and that’s still spectacular because you know, I, I don’t bank on growth in Michigan.

Not, not that type of growth [00:15:00] anyways, but it’s gonna get back and normalize, I think a little bit mm-hmm and it’s gonna take those relationships, uh, between guys like us and, and other investors. People that we’ve known for a long time to keep that business going. So I guess with that being said, what, what would you say that, um, what, what would you say that, like, one of your funny investor stories is, um, that, that you have, that you can pull outta your hat?

Steve: Um, our very first deal is our very first deal. And, and one of the reasons it was funny is cuz I didn’t have anyone else. So I was dealing every part of it worked this deal. Um, February 14th it’s Valentine’s night. The deal’s supposed to close February 15th. I start getting phone calls February 14th and the buyer is walking through the property and the buyer can’t get in touch with the wholesaler and the buyer can’t get in touch with the seller.

Um, and this guy is buying the property and he try, he’s trying to move renters in on Monday the eight. [00:16:00] This is Thursday, the 14th. Um, he calls me and he said, Steve, I need you to get to this property immediately. And I said, man, you’re in Decatur, Georgia. And I live in Tennessee. So you gotta get over here immediately.

Uh, there were painters in here today and they brought their dogs in and there’s three giant piles of dog crap in the middle of this living room.

And so he’s cursing at me on the phone. I’m trying to call the B call the buyer. I’m trying to call the seller. Uh, and no one will pick up. And this is my very first deal. And I wasn’t entirely sure what the title and company was in charge of. Uh, and so I called a maid service and got the maid service to show up at the house.

Um, they cleaned up the carpet, they got everything done. The buyer was happy. Um, they ended up closing the deal the next day. Uh, and I I’ve got a mentor in Nashville has been a title agent for 40 years and I’m telling him the story. And I said, yeah, you know, so I, I, I guess I just, I paid for the maid and he [00:17:00] said, you paid for the maid.

You did what? Yeah. uh, and I was like, man, I don’t know what my job is. And so, uh, at blueprint, um, not to, not to curse on the foot nerd network. Um, but when we call something a dog shit deal, It doesn’t mean it’s a bad contract. A dog shit deal means there’s irrational people yelling about irrational things and we gotta figure out how to solve.

Dylan: Yeah. I, I think something that that’s missing in the investor world, and I try to, um, I try to educate new investors about this all the time is what a title company actually does. And I don’t mean in terms of, of, um, you know, of examining title and that. That kind of stuff I’m saying kind of what their role is.

And, and I know it’s different in each state and I’m a title state, not an attorney state, but a lot of times I have, and, and, you know, I always make fun of guys because women are much smarter than us. Right. But I have these new guys calling me and, and sometimes they’re younger and they’re so excited. And they’re like, yeah.

So, uh, I’m working with, you know, I gotta send everything to the title company and they need to call the seller and they need to set this up and I need them to tell them this, but [00:18:00] they won’t do it for me. And I’m like, no, no, no. Like the interpret contracts, just like you said, Steve, they’re, they’re there to close the deal.

A lot of times you guys will go. Mile, but, um, I guess what advice would you give to, to the new investors who are getting started that, um, who, who don’t really know how to manage a deal and they kinda look to you guys to think that, that you are like the, almost the real estate brokerage.

Steve: Yeah. Um, I love the thing you said at the beginning of this conversation.

How can you sit on the couch and sound knowledgeable? Cause we both know and you know, and I’m an investor. If I’m talking to a seller. You’re talking to a seller too. How am I convincing them to go with me? I’ve gotta sound credible and honest, credible. Right. Um, and so the first part of that is understanding a transaction.

I talk to the same young guys that you talk to. Um, and yeah, it takes them longer than, than young women, uh, that I’ve got two daughters. So that’s even easier for me to say. [00:19:00] Um, the first thing I say is, have you read your own contract? They go, no, a lawyer friend drafted this for me, so I didn’t read it.

Okay. Why don’t we spend 20 minutes doing that together? So let’s read the contract. Um, let’s go through and figure out the elements. And when you do that, you’re gonna get a roadmap for how this works. Hey, Dylan, your screen went black. And so I’m gonna

Dylan: pause cause I’m still here. I’m just changing batteries.

I think.

Let’s see.


there we go. We’re back. I needed a new, big fat battery. You’re fine, man. Go ahead. We keep rolling.

Steve: Uh, so first is read your contract and if you do, um, you’re gonna be able to talk to the seller really knowledgeably incredibly about what’s gonna [00:20:00] happen next. The second part is, uh, talk to your sellers, find out, Hey, is there anything I need to know?

I wanna close this as fast as possible, and I wanna get you your money as fast as possible. Is there anything I should know, as we head into closing, a lot of times, sellers will start to tell you, Hey, this is happening. This is happening, and this is happening. If you know that going in, you can better set expectations for the seller and for yourself.

And then when you open the contract with title, um, whether it’s blueprint or anyone else. On your first deal asks to be heavily involved. So everything we do is in our portal so that you have transparency, you know, as moving, no matter who you’re working with, ask to be involved in the first deal and know the milestones of a transaction.

And so really quickly, Dylan order opening order opening is get the contract in, do the title search, receive the earnest money. Right? Get all that stuff. Mortgage so that you can pay it off, [00:21:00] uh, HOA grabs up. So order opening, the second one is processing processing means I’m gathering all the information.

I’m building a settlement statement. Why is it important? Well, now you can look and make sure your money’s going in the right way and seller can look and make sure that seller knows that money’s coming in. The third part is. Um, is the title clean so that we can close on this file? Meaning seller has authority.

There are no outstanding liens. Um, that IRS judgment got paid off, right? All that kinda stuff. So order opening, processing, title, closing investors should know their own closing and their seller. So for the seller these days, you’re almost always gonna have a mobile. Make sure the seller knows what to expect.

Um, they’re bringing an ID with them and a good title company is gonna work with them, but the seller should have an ID. The seller should be, uh, there should be a witness there in [00:22:00] most states, um, for you as an investor, you should know. Yeah. Can you do Aran a remote online notary? Frankly, most investors should be e-sign for everything these days.

So are you, are you ready to e-sign? Is this ready to go? Uh, so you have closing disbursement. How quickly is the seller gonna get their money? And if you’re a wholesaler, when are you gonna get your assignment set? Those expectations up front? Um, if you’re closing at 4:00 PM on a Friday, you’re getting paid on Monday.

Afternoon. Probably.

Dylan: Yeah. Maybe Tuesday morning, if, if wires are slow

Steve: that’s right. Um, and certainly in Michigan. So, uh, if you know that seller needs their money, I promise you schedule that closing for 9:00 AM. They’re gonna leave you a good review. Schedule it for 4:00 PM. They’re gonna leave you a bad review.

You didn’t do anything different. So have that knowledge. Right. Um, and then post-closing. [00:23:00] You better be confident in your title company, that they cleaned up, that they did everything right. And having a good, trustworthy relationship means, you know, that after you receive the money, all those other things happen too.

And so I, I think it’s that it’s, it’s take the time early in your career to learn the stages of a closing and the milestones. And when you do that, you’re gonna feel better about your business and you’re gonna sound more credible for your seller.

Dylan: Yeah. I, I really think that it’s missing and, uh, no one wants to do it, Steve, nobody, you know, it’s like going back to baseball, like no one wants to field ground balls all day, unless they really think they’re gonna make it right.

Or if they’re really sucky, hitter, and all they’re good at is playing shortstop. That’s the only way that they’re gonna start. But, uh, the, the newer people and like it’s all the flashy stuff. And like, I, I don’t wanna sound like an old man. The what, what you learn on Facebook and the contracts you get on Facebook, they might be good.

They might not be good. I’m certainly not gonna use anything I get on Facebook. Um, but I think, uh, the new generation is taught just to run and gun and fake it till [00:24:00] you make it. Yeah. And I used to sit with a title examiner from, uh, the biggest title, the biggest family owned title company, and like pretty much the tri county area where I’m at up in Detroit.

And he’d be there at just like, Title examiners are crazy. Right. And that’s okay. Yeah. To be there at 5:00 AM. And he, the office was like a mile for my house. So as I’d be going to job sites before I had to go and be a flipper and do all that horrible home Depot work, I’d sit with him sometimes for an hour or two.

And he would just teach me stuff. We were buying lots of foreclosures, you know, dozens and dozens a month. Um, and sometimes they, you didn’t get a title policy with them. If they were HUDs, like all stuff we don’t have to worry about today, but I truly did learn how title worked from him. And a lot of the nuances.

And like you talked about the milestones and setting expectations, I think, um, it doesn’t, this has nothing to do with title, the best business owners and sales people know how to set expectations and, uh, and deliver on them as much as humanly possible. And I think that, um, that’s, that’s something [00:25:00] the newer investors who are listening are watching definitely should build into their business because people are just nervous all the time.

And there’s so many online scams out there. I just closed the deal recently with a guy who is like young, like us. And, uh, and like he’s, and he’s closed multiple deals and he’s just paranoid. When do I get the wire? I don’t know when this works. I don’t know how closing works. And I’m like, you’ve been through this a dozen times, but some people just get anxiety.

And I think when you, um, the newer wholesalers they’ll kinda just hide, right. They’ll hide. And then. The title guy or the title company always picks up the phone between eight and five or whatever it is. So they’re looking for Dylan, right? They can’t find him. They’re asking the title girls. And they’re like, he said that title’s not clear yet.

Well, this is another thing I explained to these new investors. I’m like the title company isn’t and they certainly shouldn’t li going to lie for you. Mm-hmm so you don’t have your clients deal direct with the title company, not because of the lying reason, but because you need to keep. Control of the transaction.

And then you deliver all the information to your clients. [00:26:00] When you’re an agent, it’s a little bit different, right? Because the, the lines get blurred and there’s other people involved and it, you know, their attorney drawn contracts. It’s very, it’s much more sanitized than our crazy world of investing.

Like you said, and, um, a lot of times these newer investors just figure that, uh, they’ll let the title company do the work and that’s fine. But when they do, you just never know how things are gonna be delivered. How, you know, if, if they’re mistaken, not every title person truly understands sub two. Right.

Even if it is a, a. An investor friendly title company. And, and I don’t want anyone. I I’d let Steve explain something to my sellers or my buyers, but I really don’t want anyone doing that because I’m gonna do it. I’m their concierge. Mm-hmm . And this is what newer investors don’t understand is like, we have to have a hundred percent control of the transaction because you don’t want anybody else in there, like mucking the water up because once one person says the wrong thing, they’re always gonna be nervous.


Steve: I I’ll tell you can, can I add something to it though? Please? The other thing that I see investors get [00:27:00] nervous about is, um, I don’t want my seller to know it’s an assignment don’t ever tell them anything. Right. And that’s when we show up and we go, listen, first of all, they’re gonna know the day they signed the documents, cuz your name’s not on it anymore.

Now, now it says right, like big fund mm-hmm um, they’re gonna figure it out or two. Depending on the state, uh, the escrow company may have to tell them, so yeah, so all stay dependent, right? Set, set them up, be set them up for it beforehand, and then title’s not gonna scare ’em but, um, work with your title company.

Not against them by like being honest, upfront and, and the way you said it was exactly right. If you trust your title partner, then you trust. When they tell you do this, don’t do this, do this, don’t do this. Um, we tell people all the time. Hey, you, you don’t wanna do this deal, right. I’m gonna make, I’m gonna make 40 grand on this assignment and go, yeah, [00:28:00] we’re pretty sure this is a fraudulent sale.

right, right. There’s a, there’s a sister and brother, isn’t telling you about it. And he’s gonna tell you this, this and this, and you can take this deal away from us and you can give it to another title company. We want you to make money. We wanna make money. Don’t do this deal. Right. And we have plenty of people who ignore us and they go do it and that’s okay.

But if you trust your title partner, um, you can also trust them to talk and, and kind of do things correctly.

Dylan: Yeah. There’s always a third brother-in-law. Every attorney will tell me that when it comes down to probate and, uh, and, and, you know, I think greed just overtakes people and, and that’s not an excuse, but it does.

And, and I’ve lost out on a couple huge deals because my title examiner was just. There’s something funky here and you have to be double, extra careful. And when we dug in that, you know, the, the seller couldn’t produce something or it was just weird. And I don’t wanna go, I don’t want six years later for somebody to come back and say that something, something was, you know, that smelled funny was, was wrong.

Yeah. Cause it, [00:29:00] it comes back. I hear it all the time. You know, there’s forgeries and all kinds of crazy stuff. Um, when I’ve met and talked with different national underwriters and you hear their stories and, oh man, it’s like, there’s definitely some criminals out there. So there’s so many deals that you wanna learn how to do it clean.

And you want people to love you and to know who you are, as big as this business is. I, I don’t know who you are, Steve, other than, you know, when we’ve met in the last year. Yeah. But if I dig deep. Within about three calls, you can probably find out something about Dylan to Detroit. And I can learn about more, how you got started, where you come from.

Mm-hmm , you know, because our business real estate investing really is teeny tiny. Um, because you know, there aren’t that many very successful real estate investors nationwide, and it’s a small circle. So you wanna have that, that good name and, you know, today with, like you said, Google reviews and, and the way that.

Customers or clients are just so fickle, you do not want to, um, you know, leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth.

Steve: Yeah, that’s right. And, and, [00:30:00] um, it’s like any other thing, there’s no reason to work with a vendor you don’t trust. There’s no reason to like hide stuff. Um, and that’s why I like working with you and, and with, you know, anyone you ever bring is, um, That honesty and transparency.

They understand that’s not only are they probably good people to begin with, but, um, uh, cuz we’re middle America people and that’s, that’s where the best people are. Uh, but um, they understand they’re building a long term business and, and so, you know, I think that’s, that’s what we always look for in our clients.

That’s what you look for when you’re doing buying and selling and it’s a small C.

Dylan: Yeah. You know, I always tell people, listen, I’m gonna be around forever. So to, to make a quick buck, isn’t worth it. Yeah. And uh, long term relationships, you know, they just they’ll surpass everything else. Um, but I, you know, I have a, I got a market question for you, Steve.

This isn’t tied related, or even really necessarily investing related, but you’ve been in the business for a long time. So everyone’s talking [00:31:00] about this, this big shift that’s coming, or that’s already upon us, um, for, for investors, uh, or any. Real estate professionals. What, what advice do you have or what, what do you feel like is happening over the next couple years?

Steve: Sure. Um, look, I, I gave a big presentation the other day. Uh, this is not a bad economy. This is a different economy, which means there are different winners and different losers in this economy from an investor’s standpoint. What do we see? Um, cash is king cash is always king. Right now, if you have cash in hand, what a great time do we buying, know your markets?

And so the other thing I would say, um, and I think we’ll see this more over the next couple years, Michigan grew at 20%. Well cause the whole country was growing at 18% or 20%. Um, I think over the next couple years, you gotta be a little pickier about your markets, uh, [00:32:00] and you know, Detroit isn’t Ann Arbor and Memphis isn’t N.

You’ve gotta go a little bit more local. Um, and we have a mutual friend in Detroit who tells me that he’ll only invest, uh, in one county and it’s not Wayne, right? Oakland. Yeah. He, he will only go in one county. Why? Because he don’t know enough about that next county. Um, I think over the next couple of years, that’s who we’re gonna see start to win, um, are those people who can get in, uh, and then, you know, I think Dylan.

What are we seeing about the new economy? Um, those people who build a pro-consumer brand are gonna be the ones that I think win over the next couple of years. Um, if you look at the hedge funds who are doing all the mass acquisition, um, Google reviews and everything else, but even Congress coming out, uh, and going after some of these large, he funds with, you know, [00:33:00] doing 30,000 acquisitions a year, um, The ones with positive consumer brand seem to be unscathed.

Uh, and so, you know, as I’m looking, when I’m looking at properties, I’m always looking for dispo partners, uh, who have a good brand in the market, um, because I’m gonna get attached to their name. And so am I looking for people, not just, I wanna do business with, but that are treating people right in the end.

Um, and so from a market perspective, We’ve seen in the last six months, average purchase prices have only dropped 2%, um, across all of our markets. I’ll tell you, there are some markets where they’re still going up. Uh, but we’re down 2%. Uh, since January, February, um, acquisition volume is up. Despite what newspapers will tell.

Our acquisition volume is up per client. Um, and we don’t yet see a slow down. I, I [00:34:00] think Q4 is gonna be pretty hot. Um, and then the last thing we’re looking at is, uh, foreclosure. Um, I, I think we’re gonna start to see in particular, redder states start to, uh, experiment with some foreclosure rules that override federal government rules.

Hm, as that happens, you’re gonna see sellers, whether they’re gonna be successful or not. Uh, we’ll see. Um, but in the political landscape with states saying, no, no, no, we’re gonna free up some land. We’re gonna free up local banks. Um, are you gonna have, uh, more motivated sellers? So more motivated sellers at prices that might make sense and people who wanna stay in their house, but be renters.

So can you, do you know, can you do lease back deals? Can you do I think those buyers who have cash and can be creative, um, are gonna have a lot of opportunity in Q4, Q1, Q2. Yeah.

Dylan: That’s interesting, [00:35:00] Steve. I, I like that insight. I, I think, um, you know, long before there were. The technologies that we have today, like zoom or, or us being able to do a show like this.

I think our real estate forefathers were probably coming outta world war II, talking about, there’s never been a market like this. Right. And then in the seventies, there’s never been a market like this mm-hmm then early nineties, you know? And then after the foreclosure boom, and, and I, I don’t think we can never really get ready for that wave, but being a prudent investor, having as much cash as possible.

And like you said, you know, becoming an. In, in maybe more niche or smaller areas, uh, protects you. There’s always gonna be big whales who can handle anything. But the, the people I think who are listening and watching shows like this, uh, they’re what you would call, like you said, they’re, they’re normal, right?

They’re guys and gals getting started, or they’re, they’re at a certain level and they’re not buying 30,000 properties a year. You know, the hedge fund. You know, hedge fund CEOs, aren’t listening to us yet, but, um, but I think that’s pretty good insight. It’s, uh, you know, it just, you gotta bear down and, and [00:36:00] take your business serious and learn how things work.

And I think, um, just, just sit back and build slowly, and that’s kind of counterintuitive to what we’re taught today, or especially the kids are taught today. Everything is, you know, Right now, right now, right now, and, and disposable. And, uh, I think the, the investors who can sit back and, and build a little bit more slowly and take advantage and look at things from a more creative standpoint, like you said, will come out ahead because I think the average American is kind of, you know, I think they’re just starting to lay lean back, like you said, and they’re ready to kind of sell their house to you and lease it back from you almost like on a reverse mortgage, you know, that’s kind of the attitude that you see out there.

So that’s, uh, that’s pretty

Steve: exciting. I, I think there’s some common sense elements to it, Dylan. I don’t think you have to be, uh, a PhD in economics. Um, you know, you look at the economy and you say, all right, unemployment’s really. [00:37:00] But mortgage rates are really high. Um, well that means more people are moving to this city, but they can’t buy houses.

Maybe this is the market. Maybe this is my buy and hold market. Right. How do I pay for that? Well, I’ve got another market with rising unemployment. Um, I’ve got another market where, you know, Memphis, who’s losing people. Every year. Right? So how do I look to wholesale in my Memphis market to pay for my buy and hold in Nashville, don’t just do what you did last month.

What can you do differently this month? That builds upon your knowledge and, and, um, that’s what we try to do. That’s what you’ve done really well, your whole career. And, and I think the people who are listening to the show, or probably here, cuz they know that you’re teaching good stuff and they wanna change next month from what they did last.

Yeah, that

Dylan: that’s great advice. I, I always try to teach. You have to be nimble. And, uh, again, only being in the business 20 years, I’ve seen quite a few cycles pre foreclosures during foreclosures, after foreclosures. So I’m always extra careful [00:38:00] and, and kind of ready to, to dance with whatever music kind of starts playing.

Uh, And we’ll see what, what music comes next. So as we’re, uh, as we’re rounding third heading home, Steve, I always like to ask all my guests, you know, what, what has networking and relationships, what have they meant to you in, in your business?

Steve: Yeah. Um, I have to learn every day. Uh, I didn’t know, notations two years ago.

How did I first learn about notations? Someone called me and asked for a resource. And I said, I’m happy to introduce you to someone. Can you teach me a little bit about this and I’ll make the, the joy is in giving, right? The networking is what can I do for you? Not because I know that I’m gonna need to call on you tomorrow, but what can I do for you?

Uh, because I’m gonna learn from it today and I’m positive. It comes out in the end and real estate is such a small market. So whether it’s reputation, uh, or [00:39:00] introductions, the more I can give the more. Our company can grow the more I can learn. Um, and, and just, uh, you know, there’s no doubt that guys like you and, and, uh, folks who are so well respected in the industry.

Um, it’s because you learn every day and you give, um, and, and I will try to do that every day. And, um, I don’t have 20 years, so I’m gonna, by my 20th year, I hope I can be where you are, but, uh, uh, you know, We work all the time. Um, one of the things I stole from you actually, uh, one of the goals I’ve set is to mentor, uh, at least 10 times a month, which is I, I, I have mentor points on the wall, uh, in my office.

And it’s how many times can I help someone with no expectation back. If you call me and ask me about a deal in Oregon blueprint, isn’t live in. But I am very happy to review a title, commitment [00:40:00] with you, teach you how it works and go through, because I bet I’m gonna learn something about Oregon, but also because I know I’m gonna help you and that’s gonna be good for the, uh, for the ecosystem.

And so, um, I keep points, uh, I don’t always get to tent, um, but we work really hard to try to get there. And I know that our business grows.

Dylan: Yeah, that’s, that’s a really great answer. Uh, I get different answers all the time. Once in a while, I get that you’re supposed to give more than, than you get. But a lot of times I get that if it wasn’t for networking and the, the R groups and the meetups, I wouldn’t be where I am either because, you know, that’s where a lot of us there’s no school.

Well didn’t used to, there was never a school to learn real estate investing. Now there’s a lot of places who will teach you for, um, you know, tens of thousands of dollars a class. But, uh, but yeah, that’s great. I think, um, the cliches you gotta give till it hurts and, uh, I make a lot less money than I could if I was a bit more cunning, but I’m happy with what I do.

I’m happy with the relationships I’ve built and you know, to me, that’s what networking is also. It’s it’s giving and not really looking to get anything [00:41:00] back. And then a lot of times we get things back and we don’t know how lucky we are, because it could always be a lot worse. Right. So you gotta have gratitude.

That’s absolutely right. I think people forget about that all the time. And I try to remind myself daily, so, and we even have the gratitude journal right at, at investor fuel. The mm-hmm the, uh, Is it called the power of five. I forget it’s called the five. I don’t know. I don’t know if you were there that when you heard the, the new booklet that came out, but I, I did.

Steve: I don’t remember the name five

Dylan: fuel fuel five is what it is. That’s right. Yeah. I used to, I used to do mine. It was called the power of five, same thing, but we’re all on the same path. So Steve you’ve given us a ton, ton, ton of information. We truly appreciate it. What is the best way for our listeners and viewers to get in touch with you and to learn more.

Um, blueprint

Steve: title. Absolutely. So, uh, websites, blueprint, included in there. I would tell you, there’s a section called the blueprint academy. The blueprint academy is about 300 articles on title, insurance and closing. Um, if there’s something you need to know, if you want to know [00:42:00] a little bit more about sub twos, for example, Log in.

There’s an article for that. And I know that cause we’ve got a woman named in Amanda, in Florida who just sits and write articles all day. And so, um, we try to be that resource for you. So log to My email address is Steve at blueprint title, uh, happy to address anything you have. And again, if you can help me get to my mentorship points, I’d love to do it.

And so, uh, Steve at blueprint,, uh, would love to work with you and see how we can help. But if you’re just. Asking about a deal or wanna learn more, um, would really love to connect. So I appreciate the. Awesome.

Dylan: Steve. Yeah. So as, uh, as you guys know, we listen and take all the notes, so you don’t have to.

So when you go to, just click over to the podcast. If you guys wanna see all the show notes from today, all of Steve’s information’s in there, how you can get ahold of me. Of course there’s links there. And more importantly, we’ve done over 1500 shows at flip nerd. So if you have yet to give us a shiny gold [00:43:00] five star review, then we would love for you to do that.

And really just leave us an honest review because we work hard for the show and that’s what helps us, uh, keep going. And if you haven’t left us, uh, any comments, please do that. We would love to see what you guys have to say. And, uh, as always, we’ll see you guys on the next show. Thanks Steve. Thanks. Thanks for

listening to today’s show.

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