What It's About
A real estate agent finds a way to close more deals thanks to renovations.
Words of Wisdom
Graham stresses the importance of building a strong team if you intend to do something like this. He's essentially locked down the competition because he enlists the help of reliable builders who give him highly competitive quotes. This way, even if a client goes elsewhere, they’ll never be able to match Graham's prices.
Properties in Spain are usually pillar and beam constructions meaning the walls don't support any weight. This means owners can have a great time knocking down walls at their leisure. Afterward, they can completely change the layout of a property to suit their liking.
Notes from Chris
Episode 796Graham Hunt works full-time in real estate. As a successful agent in Valencia, Spain, he knows a thing or two about selling property. You’ve probably heard the real estate agent’s mantra, “location, location, location.” It suggests that the main reason to buy a property is for where it is, not what it is. For the most part, this is true—but it isn’t always the case. Seaside homes and tourist hot spots will command a higher price, but there comes a point of diminishing returns where the location doesn’t outweigh other factors—like the quality of the property and its condition. Graham has seen this first hand during his career. After selling real estate throughout Valencia, there was a common theme among sellers. They almost never presented their homes well. Many of the homes had been passed on as part of an inheritance. As such, they hadn’t been updated since the 1960s … and sometimes they just looked downright awful. By contrast, Valencia is a beautiful place, a coastal city densely populated with both locals and tourists. Many potential buyers are looking for properties they can use as holiday homes or vacation rentals. It’s not shocking that apartments or houses that are a mess don’t go over well. Over and over again, Graham heard, “This is a great location, but we can’t see ourselves buying this place as-is.” In fact, this type of feedback became so common that he could predict it during showings. Sales fell through constantly because of it. These untidy residences in desirable locations were affecting his ability to sell property and make a living. He kept thinking, why can’t the seller put a little time into sprucing up their place before listing it for sale? One day, he had a perspective shift. If there was nothing he could to do make the sellers act in their own best interests, perhaps he could convince the buyers to purchase with a little incentive. You see, aside from selling property as an agent, Graham had purchased, renovated, and flipped a few properties in Valencia himself. Throughout that process, he’d made connections with a number of reliable builders. These were people he knew he could trust to provide good quality work at a reasonable price. He’d also developed a keen eye for what buyers were looking for. Graham saw an opportunity to combine these skills and experiences to manage building renovations for new property buyers. The idea seemed simple enough, and soon Graham had the chance to test it out. One afternoon he was showing a property by the beach. Sure enough, the issue of untidiness cropped up again. Before the buyers had time to reject the property, Graham suggested they take a look at a recent renovation he’d completed for an apartment he was planning to flip. It happened to be in the same building, with the same layout, so Graham knew the renovation would do a good job convincing the buyers. When they walked into the modernized apartment, they were floored. They couldn’t believe that this apartment was the same layout as the one they were considering buying. The renovated apartment looked and felt nothing like the older style one. Not only was Graham able to net a commission from that sale—one that almost got away—but also turned that sale into an additional twelve hundred euros ($1,360) in his pocket. Currently, he serves anywhere from ten to twenty clients per month which results in around two thousand euros ($2,200) profit every month. That’s after he’s paid his freelance project managers for any projects he cannot handle himself. And remember, because of the new service, he’s also making home sales that he might have missed out on—so the true profit is likely much higher. The extra income has helped Graham find stability in his work. On a personal level, he’s caring for a son with autism who attends school online. He now has more time to spend with him at home—and more money to pay for the school. For the future, Graham wants to hire more project managers to handle larger renovation projects. That may allow him to build this side hustle into a sustainable business in its own right.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Valencia Property: Head on over to Graham's website if you'd like to learn more about the renovation work he's doing
- Real Estate Consultant Fills Apartment Buildings with Original Artwork: How a woman in Seattle who works as a real estate project manager during the day started a side hustle that literally appeared in front of her. After making $12,000 from that first year-long hustle, now she’s building it into a mid-sized business that she hopes will replace her day job income
- Junk Removal Service Owner Earns $22,000 A Year From Real Estate Referrals: An entrepreneur stumbles on a low-tech, high-yield side hustle through his day job, and brings in an extra $22K annually handing out business cards
- Hobbyist Photographer Finds $800/Month Hiding in Local Newspaper: A university employee takes photos of homes, helping real estate agents and getting paid for his efforts
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