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Chris Craddock: Running 8 Businesses In Real Estate That Feed Each Other

Uncategorized Oct 07, 2020

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 Chris Craddock, the Redux Group Team Leader, is a Northern Virginia native and father of six who has been successfully investing in real estate for over a decade. He is a licensed Realtor® in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. He went from making $20k/yr in ministry to now having 8 different businesses that each help feed each other. This includes his residential real estate team, a construction business, investments, flips, a title company, an insurance company, LegalShield, and a coaching business. Chris is passionate about helping others achieve financial and personal success. 

In this episode, hosted by Mike Swenson, we discussed:   

  • How he got started with investing and real estate, having previously worked in ministry 
  • A goal is to find ways to build a passive book of business to help him gain time and financial freedom 
  • Because of this, by age 50, his goal is to have $13 Million in paid off real estate 
  • He has a real estate team, title company, insurance company, rental properties, flips, construction company, LegalShield, and a coaching business
  • All of his businesses can be profitable based on his real estate business 
  • His Redux real estate team had 409 transactions with $210 million in volume in 2019
  • The people that make the most money in the world are the people that solve other people’s problems 
  • Make sure you really know who you are going into business with 
  • Leverage client relations, vendor relations, and real estate knowledge 
  • Grow your business so big that you need to hire help and take time to work with people who are good with systems
  • The story of his first investment and how, if you find the right deal, the money will show up 
  • The importance of finding mentors to help you grow 
  • Focusing on activity and skill are key in your success in the business

Timestamps: If You Want To Jump Ahead To Your Favorite Part   

0:00 - Intro and overview on Chris and his team  

3:10 – What Chris’s future looks like 

5:25 – How he is working on his goals 

12:18 - How he leverages different aspects through his different businesses 

18:45 – How he started with investing 

28:15 – How Chris decides whether to flip or to hold 

34:15 – Advice from Chris  

    

Links Based On This Episode:   

Facebook Group: Uncommon Real Estate 

Chris' Real Estate Team - The Redux Group: https://dmv.thereduxgroup.com/

Podcast: https://www.chriscraddock.com/podcast

REI Agent Program: ChrisCraddock.com 

Instagram: Craddrock 

  

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Full transcript here:

Mike Swenson 

All right, Mike Swenson here with real freedom. And today we have wonderful guests here talking about finding freedom through the opportunities in real estate. So today, we've got Chris Craddock here, and he's going to share a little bit about his journey, where he's at what he did leading up to today and where he's looking to go in the future. So Chris, if you want to go ahead and just introduce yourself, and give us a little bit of overview of what you have in the hopper right now.

 

Chris Craddock 

Yeah, absolutely. You know, I'd love to just, I mean, I'll give a two minute kind of how I got to where I am. So I started off, got married in 2000 2003, my wife got pregnant, I was working for a organization called young life, I loved it, it was awesome. Is is incredible. But I made 20 grand a year in the DC area. And that is not, you know, my wife wanted to stay home and we wonder stay home and raise the kids. And yeah, living on 20 grand a year in DC here in the DC area does not work.

 

Chris Craddock 

And so I went to the library and just started looking at every book they had, because before Google was like the fount of all information, and, and checked out every book that had on real estate investing, and literally just almost like an idiot, just when knocked on doors and found distressed properties knocked on doors. And in about four months, I made 12 times what I made in a year. And you know, I ended up we bought the house we live in now that we're building another house, down the road, currently, but we bought the house we live in now and just kind of lived on that I continued doing ministry stuff for a number of years.

 

Chris Craddock 

But now I've got six kids. And as we started having more kids, it got harder and harder to live on the on the income we had and the money that we put away and some of the other stuff that we were doing. And so I started investing again, and the I guess, early 2010 2011, I guess it was, and, um, you know, I bought a rental property in 2008. We can talk about that here. I know we will in just a little bit. And then in 2011, I started flipping houses again. And I had always just led large teams when I did ministry like large, large teams, I go back to school and gotten a doctorate in leadership. And I read the millionaire real estate agent, the Red Book, your colors, your book, and it just meant it spoke my language to me.

 

Chris Craddock 

And so I think it was December 2014. We moved from the investment side to really going all in and launching a residential retail side. And so last year we did 409 transactions 120 million 190,000,800 volume this year, we are we already have pending closed over what we did all of last year. And yeah, hopefully we're going to, you know, on and off market, we were hoping to get the 600. And although I think we're going to be a little bit shy of that. So that's where we're at.

 

Mike Swenson 

Awesome. Congratulations on all that success. That's what a lot in the hopper. And we'll dig in to because you've got a lot of other streams of income that you're working on as well. So before we get into that, and pick that apart a little bit more talk about your future. So when you think about, you know, financial freedom, what does that mean to you?

 

Mike Swenson 

For some people, that's a number for some people, it's an amount coming in per month. But it's really about freedom of choice, being able to choose how you spend your time versus maybe making decisions based on money or based on what you can and can't do. So. So what do you think about when you think about kind of that, that end game for you? What's that look like?

 

Chris Craddock 

Yeah, brothers to that? That's a great question. And actually, you know, one of the side pieces that we started a while ago of was our insurance company, because of the fact I wanted to find a way to build a passive book of business by way to, to build up passively, but with it kind of my my big dream. And my big goal was, by the time I was 50, I wanted to have $13 million worth of paid off real estate. Now as we reverse engineer to here in this area. $13 million of paid off real estate works out to after you vacancies, FTM maintenance costs, and after I pay somebody else to manage it for me and maybe my own company, but I don't want to manage it.

 

Chris Craddock  

 I'll just tell ya on that. That's a million dollars a year. And so as I was looking at it, I'm like, you know, I know that everybody says there's no such thing as passive income. But I don't I don't believe that like that is that is not true. If you hire other people and hire well and have them take care of the rentals, manage it, well, then passively a million dollars a year should come in. And and that's it. So that's kind of the the goal that I've built around that piece, you know, just having a passive annuity that will pay out a million dollars a year.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, and you've also put a lot of intentionality into that too. And so, you know, some people might decide, you know, hey, I want to invest in something over here and something over here. And something over here and something over here for you the consistency is that's all in the real estate industry. And you're really looking at, you know, when you talk to me and said, instead of getting paid once on a transaction, how can you get paid multiple times?

 

Mike Swenson 

And so it's really being efficient with your work, right? Where you're, you're not having to do something differently, but you're really looking at we're in real estate. So how do I just build on top of that? So why don't we walk through a little bit of how, how you thought to get to that end point and how you're achieving that through each stream?

 

Chris Craddock 

Yeah, absolutely. So um, so obviously, we have the transaction piece, but you know that that is it's transactional, right? So, so I get paid on the transaction piece. Well, we also started a title company, I don't even remember how many years ago, because I mean, the bottom line is, we were looking at joint ventures, we were looking at just so many different opportunities. And one of my really good friends is an attorney built a really fast growing law firm. And so we were actually just actually the crazy thing. And then this is also part of it, too, is you want to go into business with people that you like.

 

Chris Craddock 

And I remember, you know, regardless of what you think about him, Gary Keller is one smartest people in the real estate industry. And I love I love what he said is you can have as many businesses as you want, as long as there's a face on the front of each business, that's not yours, right? Like, it needs to be somebody else that has that driving force. And so and that person, you really need to think about who you're going into business with, because it is a partnership there. And so my friend, Ben and I were just we were actually serving in a church making dinner for the young adults, you know, again, that shows like, like this, the signaling, there is somebody else that's giving outside of himself, he has a generous mindset, generous spirit, you know, just just the right kind of person that you'd want to be in business with.

 

Chris Craddock 

Now, there's, there's more to it than that. But it's just one of those things that signals that he's the right person. So we were making dinner, and we were just talking and title came up. And I was in the process of looking how I could monetize that. Because like I said, a business coach of mine said this, he's like, why would you get? Why would you get big ones? When you could get paid five times? Why would you you know, just get more clients when you can get more of each client in a restful compliant way, right. And so that's the whole quick disclaimer. But that's the whole, the whole idea there. And so we started that, and that started running.

 

Chris Craddock 

So we get paid there, I started our insurance company. And the reason the insurance company started was because I, you know, I realized that, I mean, every single time I do a transaction, I get paid all insurance, the crazy thing about it is you don't make much on the first transaction, but you build a book of business that will continue to pay no matter what, even when you don't do anything. Now it will atrophy, it'll, it'll shrink over time. But you can build a massive, massive book of business that will have residual income that just pays over and over and over again. And so we built out that, then, you know, obviously, I've talked about the rental income we built that, you know, we have flips, because if your real estate, I mean you are going to get you're gonna get access to deals, right?

 

Chris Craddock 

Why would you only give it to other people do some of your own deals, right and keep some of your own deals, keep the best flip the rest, right, get rid of the rest. And so you might as well do that, you know, it's just another stream of income right there. And then I also have a construction company, right? So the construction company, and I've got all these buddies that me similar buddies do a massive amount of business. And they have like punch out companies and stuff, where they'll for home inspections and stuff. But here's what I found all of them. And I've got a number of friends that are doing that. Every time I talk to them, they're always like, man, we're, we're this close to becoming profitable. We just need a little more.

 

Chris Craddock 

Actually, you and I were just talking about that right there, like the low volume, our high volume, low margin. And, but literally, for years, they've been this close to becoming profitable, all they need is a little bit more business. And so for us, we just decided to only we're not doing the punch out stuff. We're only doing like kitchens, bathrooms, additions, you know, pop tops, you know, stuff like that, where it's high, high, high margin, um, you know, deal. So to give you an example, it's like a bathroom like my master bathroom that I did it cost $13,000 to do that my neighbor had it done. They took pictures and had exactly what we did when we posted on Facebook for like $52,000 so it's like massive, massive margins in that it takes like three weeks to do it. Right.

 

Chris Craddock 

So there's high margin. And then the last thing Oh, there's also stuff that we do with with mortgage as well just relationships there and then the last thing is is legal shield. Which I'll tell you legalshield is amazing. Every single person that buys a house needs to have a will and talk about residual income. It's just incredible. I also had a client of mine, who he bought a new build, there was a crack in the foundation, he called me and he's like, hey, they said, they took care of it. Now my, my sheetrock is ruined, my carpets ruined, everything is ruined.

 

Chris Craddock 

And they said, you know that I'm no longer under warranty. So I got him signed up for legal shield, the attorney call them and magically, this thing that was no longer under warranty, when they got a call from an attorney, they're fixing it. And the cool thing is, I make more money from legalshield than I do for my insurance company. And, like, it's just, it's just unreal. So anyway, those are the kind of the different streams that I'm I have currently, although I do have some others that we're working on. But those are the current streams that we're working on.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, I think the key there is, you're you're leveraging relationships that you already have, both with clients and with vendors. you're leveraging all the time and knowledge that you've gained to learn real estate to understand the market to understand the values of properties in certain areas, what the fix up costs, and are all there, and you're using that in every single area of your life and of your business. And so you're you're not having to go learn something new or learn a brand new industry, you're just doubling down on your, on your knowledge in every area.

 

Chris Craddock 

Yeah, absolutely. And that's it, it's, it's just the synergistic business model. And what I love about it is, I've got a number of friends that like get successful in one area, and then they go start a restaurant, you know, which is fine. I mean, it's fine, but it's just, it doesn't feed each other, all of my businesses can become profitable based on my real estate business. Right.

 

Chris Craddock 

And so, you know, when you again, I'm a big reader, well, more or less than I listened to a book a week on Audible, you know, but But uh, you know, Jim Collins, you know, when he talks about good degrees, he talks about that flywheel you push it and push it, and then once it starts spinning, it keeps going, you got that momentum. Right. But the best part about the flywheel is, is that flywheel spits off so much other business, you might as well just capture that business, as long as you're doing it well and respa compliant, you might as well just capture it, right?

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, yeah. So as we as we think about growth, and, you know, there's a few different ways that we can have leverage, we can have leverage through efficiency. So figuring out how to work smarter, not harder, you know, spending your time in more higher dollar areas, we also have leverage through people, you know, whether it's admin staff, whether it's, you know, other people that are leveraging your time to be able to, for you to do more of what you love, and for them to do more of what they love, and then to thinking about leveraging technology. So as you think about your different businesses that you have, how have you experienced those different areas of leverage to help you get where you want to go financially.

 

Chris Craddock 

That's, that is the biggest piece right? There is like, I mean, even my own personal like, like real estate business, it was so hard to give away. Right now, I rarely work with buyers, right? You can give that away. And then, you know, then now it's like a piece of cake, then I really work with with sellers at this point, because I'm working on the business more than in the in the business. But it still was so hard to give that away. And then I just keep looking over and over and over again, where all these bottlenecks always ended up occurring. And it was for me, it was for me, because I, I did one of two things.

 

Chris Craddock 

And I don't know if this speaks to other entrepreneurs, one, I would just give it away to people with no like, no manual, no system, no anything, take this big pile of crap and deal with it, make it pretty, and then just stay in a big pile of crap. Because I didn't give enough guidance or whatever. And I'm like, I figured it out. You figure it out. And it was never quite that crass. But, you know, that was kind of the deal. Or the other side was I just held on to it too long. And so literally taking the time. And I know you're a systems guy, so So this probably your language, right?

 

Chris Craddock 

Take the time to work with the people that are good with systems, right? Because I'm built differently than you are if you're a systems guy, right? I know. That my guy David, who is a systems guy, and my girl, Linda, who's a systems girl, I'm built differently than them. So when we can collaborate together to get the goal plus a real color by numbers, system outlook on how to build that piece of the business. That's when you can set people up for success. I think about McDonald's, right? McDonald's a billion dollar business built on the backs of 16 year olds without a high school degree, right? Because, like they don't figure out they don't guess at what a number one looks like, right?

 

Chris Craddock 

They don't guess on that they, if they guessed it would really be pretty nasty and systematize no matter where you go, and number one is number one. And so for me what we did, I'll just share the progress of leverage. If that's what is that what you're looking? For sure, yeah. Okay. So um, so this is what happened, I started giving away my buyers that step one, giving away my buyers. And this happened when I had literally in one morning, I lost $50,000 with the commission because of a bunch of people fired me because I had too many clients, and I couldn't keep up with them all. And they should have fired me I was being terrible, I was not keeping up.

 

Chris Craddock 

They were always calling me first, which is a big rule in our company is, if a client ever calls you first, you're not doing your job. So they were always calling me first. They were asking, like, literally, I was terrible, terrible, and they should have fired me. And so right away after that, I'm like, okay, so I worked out a split with one of the agents on my team, I helped her a lot, get better at her craft, and she started leveling up like crazy. And I essentially gave her all my buyers at that time. So she got better, we worked them together. And you know, she handled them, I closed them up on the phone or one time, and then handed them to her. And then I'd be involved in the negotiating and just stuff where I could do it from the phone in like an hour or two, because then I mean, I was in my 20%. Right, you know, it's a small area, but I wasn't out showing houses all the time. And then the next step was, I was only doing listings.

 

Chris Craddock 

Well, the next phase for that was, I learned how to close listings over the phone, like a champ, like this was pre COVID. Like, like, I literally was not going to houses to see houses, I would close them over the phone, boom, it was done. Well, a lot of people they would close and I wasn't spending enough time to, to, you know, keep that going well. And I realized I started losing clients because again, if it's this whole like process where I stopped doing good job. So the next thing we realized was I need out so I we got a another assistant, that literally she we paid her a base, and we paid her a small amount per deal. And she just handled my transactions.

 

Chris Craddock 

So I signed them up, she handled them, I was there to kind of do some of the stuff that you know, I really wanted to be involved in, and she handled him. And then we brought in more listing agents to handle all of the listings. So now I, I'm able to step back from all of that, and just work on the relationships, where I can bring in massive amounts of deals for our agents to do all of that. And so that was that was kind of the process of building that out. And the way I was taught was your business earns the right to build out that org chart. So again, you grow the buyer business so big, that you need to hire somebody in there.

 

Chris Craddock 

And now we've got a ton of people in that those roles. And then your listing business needs to earn the right to get none, you don't just have your assistant but you have your assistant that's handling, negotiating with agents, you know, handling just calls, you know, all of the other stuff with it, the the weekly check ins with the clients all of that, well, then your business earns the right time to hire more listing agents. And that's just kind of that process of growing it out piece by piece by piece. Does that make sense?

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, it's helpful to hear how that goes from one solo agent to all sudden, now you've got a team, you know, doing close to 600 units, that's how that happens is one step at a time. And you're picking up this part of the business, this part this part in this part. And now it goes from Chris, the solo agent to Krista leader, the team that's, that's doing a lot of stuff, and having a lot of closings and and then the cool part is, is you're providing opportunities for them where they could go figure out how to do it themselves, but they'd rather be a part of what you're doing, and be a part of that. And so you're giving them opportunities to continue to grow. So let's let's move on then and dig into the investment side. So you talked about how you knocked on doors of this distressed properties. How did that then turn into your investment business that you have?

 

Chris Craddock 

Yeah, sure. So people were going up for foreclosure. Left and Right. So we're like, well, dang, you don't have to go to foreclosure. Oh, and so, um, the nutty thing was, when I came back after the after the crash into this world, what I found out was that there wasn't a lot of people with a lot of equity, like in the early 2000s. Right, everybody had lost their equity and when they were going to foreclosure a lot of people like they just don't understand that world. So like there's no short sales the market is strong here or, or banks know how to foreclose on people right away. And so like they don't last for years and years. I'm like, if you think that you just haven't lived in this world enough, because I'll tell you people know how to get auctions staved off, right?

 

Chris Craddock 

So finally, when somebody calls and says, Hey, I can I can help you live in your house for free. Oftentimes, the bank will even give you money to move. And you know, we would buy these houses at short sale, and you know, we were able to flip them well The tough thing was, I think it was like about and this was part of the reason you're part of the transition in like 2003 2004 range, the banks changed their margins. So you can no longer buy short sales with big enough margins to flip except here and there. And so we just started listing, like, that's when we were just like, okay, we're just gonna list all these because we could not get the banks to sell at a low enough margin anymore. And so the the listing business started there.

 

Chris Craddock 

But then we realized, there's still always people out there that are in some sort of distress, or, you know, my values are different from other people's values. Like, I'd like to get the most money for my house. But I also know there's people that just, they don't want the most money for their house. And that sounds like we're agents, right? That sounds anathema to me, right? Like, that sounds crazy. You're telling me people don't want the most money for their house? Yes, there are people out there that say, I don't want people coming through my house, I'll take this much money. If you give me this, I'll tell you, I was I was at a kitchen table with a couple one time, and they were getting divorced. And the wife was given the right to sell the house.

 

Chris Craddock 

And she literally said, This guy is an sob. And like just customer left to right. And she's like, I get to decide how much we sell this house for. That's my thing. And you know what any dollar that we make, he gets half of so I want to sell it at breakeven, tell me tell me what my breakeven number is. And I'll sign the contract right now. And I was like, holy crap, are you kidding? tended? Doesn't was like, Yeah, I guess that's, that's what she gets to do. It's like, Okay, so that's the whole thing, just realizing there are people out there. And our job is to find them. If you want to work with distressed people, and then you'll, you'll make a lot of money because you're solving their problem. Everybody thinks it's like the people that make the most money in the world are the people that solve other people's problems.

 

Chris Craddock 

So that's, that's that whole thing right there. And, and then on top of that, and this is one what I I actually have a class that I that I teach that I'm, you know, I put together this program, where it's, it's teaching agents, and how to partner with investors, because investors are spending, I'll tell you, 10s of 1000s, if not hundreds of 1000s of dollars in your area every single month, like in every single area across the country, they're spending hundreds of 1000s of dollars. And if they can't flip or wholesale or subject to those properties, they're literally just throwing those leads in the trash, throwing them away.

 

Chris Craddock 

There's a huge, huge market for the agent and investor to come together and do a lot of business together on that front. So that's, that's a big piece there. And then you you'll find ways to to do more business, the more you work in the investor world, the more opportunities will show up on your doorstep.

 

Mike Swenson 

So then, really, for you, how did you get your first investment property? You just stumbled across the right opportunity and said, I'm going in was it you were looking at a certain area or the right property showed itself? How did that first one start for you?

 

Chris Craddock 

Okay, so the first flip, I still remember it, um, I literally pulled out the washington post the classified ads, because that's what it said in this book, like, I'm telling you, it's like, a big thick, paper bound book. Um, you know, but I mean, it should have been hardback, by the size of it. And I read it. And one of the things he said is, is go to the classified ads in your newspaper, and find the trustee sales, which I did. And then I just, I literally looked up where they were, and I just spent a Saturday driving around and knocking on doors. And this one guy comes to the door and, and I remember like it was yesterday, right?

 

Chris Craddock 

He comes through the door. It is a small little condo. And I was like, Hey, I didn't notice I'm like, Hey, I understand your house to go to foreclosure. I'd like to, you know, I've got some money, I'd love to stop it for you and, and, and fix it. And he's like, and he looks back. And he's sitting there watching a movie with his girlfriend, I guess how I didn't want whoever it was the No. He's like, he's like, let me give you my number call me in an hour. And so like literally wrote down his number and he handed me handed it to me open like because the door was open but like had one of those like storm doors open the storm door hit me his number.

 

Chris Craddock 

And I thought he was like just trying to get me to leave or whatever, call them in an hour picked up and he's like, Yeah, he's like, dude, if I can get five grand for this place and and not have to go to foreclosure. I'll get it done. I looked at it. And the crazy thing is, I literally wrote it that time, you know, did it sold it made 30 grand in no time, which was, which was awesome. And I didn't have any idea what I was doing. So so that was the first the first of that deal. And then in 2008 right after the crash. You know, I was working in ministry. I didn't have a I didn't have a retirement plan set up. I mean, I just didn't because where we were.

 

Chris Craddock 

So I thought to myself, I'm like, Listen, my grandmother, who she had a ton of property was bringing in 17 grand a month from her properties. And, you know, I looked at her properties and how she had built stuff through retirement. And I'm like, Okay, this seems like a great retirement plan. But I live in DC area, you know, the first house I bought, it was 380. I'm like, I don't have that kind of cash. Now, we had put together a lot of money and like saved and scrimped, and, like, I had gotten some money together. And we were able to, and I think at the time, we were able, they had like, a 15% down loan or something like that. So it didn't require that much. And we, I got what I could get.

 

Chris Craddock 

Honestly, I was just like, Okay, I need to find somebody else. So I called everybody on you with money. And it's crazy that I'm saying this, because like, it sounds ridiculous, but it was awesome. It's great. My first business partner, and that was my mom. She's like, you know what, I'll invest in a property because I'm like, Listen, I know, I can get renters here. I know, we can rent it for positive cash flow, let's do it. And the crazy thing is how we've adjusted the mortgage, I think it's like five years from now, that property is gonna be paid off. And I think that we bought it for 380, I think it'll be worth close to 600. At this point, it's nothing.

 

Mike Swenson 

Going back to what you said about, you know, people hired you to solve problems. You presented something to your mom about, here's how I can solve a problem. you currently are using your knowledge and experience in the real estate market with her money to help solve a problem for her, which is now she has an investment to make. And so you're doing the legwork, you're presenting it to her but you know, put yourself in her shoes, Hey, I know this, this and this, and it's gonna do this and this and this. And all we need is your money. Okay, great. Like who wouldn't want to say yes to that more easily than if you weren't in real estate and you didn't know anything about anything. So you're you were able to leverage your experience

 

Chris Craddock 

100% and see, I always tell the story about this like, like, if you find a deal, the money will show up, like so many agents are so afraid to go out finding deals because they're like, I don't have the cash to do it. I'm like, Listen, I'll tell you what, anybody that's out there that finds an amazing deal. If you find something amazing, and you don't have anybody to buy it, look me up, call me. I'll be your business partner. Like that's the whole deal. Like if you find the deal, the money will show up. One of my buddies said this story. He's like, he grabs his phone. And he's like, Okay, so this is $1,000 phone right here, right there, like, but you probably have one too.

 

Chris Craddock 

If I were to say, hey, do you want to buy this phone, you probably say add, I got a phone, I'm good. You know, but if I were to say, hey, you want to buy it for 100 bucks, you'd probably say that I'll buy it for 100 bucks, because you know, you can immediately put it on eBay and sell it for five, right? So at the end of the day, if you find the deal, the cash will show up. And, and I, as much as I'm kind of joking. I'm also serious. If anybody's ever listened to this, and they come across an amazing deal. They don't know what to do with it, find a way to get in touch with me because I'll do that. But I can tell you there's probably about 1000 people like right now that are you know, will listen to this or or be a part of stuff that will do the same thing that I would do you know, if you find the right deal, the cash will show up.

 

Mike Swenson 

So then going back to your investment, then how do you decide? So right now you've got how many rental properties that you have.

 

Chris Craddock 

So we have a we have seven, seven, and they're worth, the total of them is worth just over 4 million total. Now, a number of them are leveraged have have some some on them. But most of the leverage is like less than 50%. LTV on almost all of them.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yep. So then how are you making a decision in terms of a flip versus a hold?

 

Chris Craddock 

Well, so for me, and the first thing that we would do, because I did a lot of ministry stuff, I went over to the local, local college, and I just found like campus groups of students. And for this reason, so I've had zero vacancy since 2008, in all of my properties over near George Mason University, which is the local university where I'm at which for a number of years ago, come on, and claim to fame. But, uh, um, the crazy thing is zero vacancy, we're able to rent above market value, because because it's its students in there, and every year two students will graduate and two new ones will move in.

 

Chris Craddock 

And, that's the deal. It's, it's awesome. And we chose to do the work with the Christian groups because of the fact that, you know, I just, I just don't want college keggers at my house. And I know that like, parties and stuff people over but it's not going to be me and I played rugby in college. Like I remember what those parties were like, and I don't want those parties at my house.

 

Chris Craddock 

So yeah, it turns out that it works out really, really well with us not having to do that we're not paying the Vegas not only the vacancy, but also turnover costs the maintenance cost, because every time something, you have to paint it, you have to, you know, redo carpets, although I put in all of our houses, we do, like a high end laminate because of the fact that like, it's just cheaper than carpet, like, you still want to do carpet over and over again. But there's a number of little hacks that you can learn. And you should learn if you're going to do rentals at a high level on on things that are durable, and you know, less less work and less upkeep on it.

 

Mike Swenson 

And then how many flips deed have you done?

 

Chris Craddock 

Oh, I mean, if I look at all of them, I mean, probably, I mean, probably maybe like 300. Somewhere in that ballpark. If I'm guessing like so I've done I've done just a bunch. You know, some of those were wholesales. Some of them were flipped some of them, you know, like, like, just a lot of a lot of deals over the years, you know, since 2003. But it's, yeah, I mean, maybe not that much anyway, somewhere in that ballpark. But, um, but yeah, I know, that's, that's the whole thing is, you know, you look at him, and I look at a number of those deals.

 

Chris Craddock 

And I'm like, you know, I needed the cash at the time. But I think it was short sighted, because in good areas, a flip is still just a transaction. It's a high paying job. You know, a rental property is something they'll pay forever. And just so you understand that what I learned this lesson the hard way, I thought I was a pretty smart guy. And the fact that I sold my townhouse, right before when we bought the house we live in now, right before the crash. Well, the nutty thing is, I just I just sold another house in that neighborhood. Last month, I sold my townhouse for I think it was for 19 or for 35 somewhere in that range. I we literally just sold another house in that neighborhood for over 520 just just last month, so as much and that was that was before the biggest yo crash of our generation of a lifetime.

 

Chris Craddock 

And now they're worth 100 grand more and so like you never seen like a grandfather driving around being like, all man, I'm so glad I sold that house 50 years ago, it'd be worth so much less now you know, it just it just doesn't happen. Real Estate goes up in value. My my one of my favorite stories, my grandfather, who lives in North Arlington, if you know the DC area at all, or anybody comes the DC area, it's one of the hottest suburbs of DC. It's crazy how expensive stuff is there. My grandmother bought a house in North Arlington right after world war two for I think it was like six grand. And like, you know, when my grandmother passed away, we're working on the will and the estate and everything like that.

 

Chris Craddock 

Everybody kept telling the story about my grandfather, right after you bought the house freaking out telling everybody, the bubbles gonna burst. The market can't sustain these prices, six grand, right. But we know that real estate is a hedge against inflation as well. And whatever's going on in the world with COVID. And you know, all the other stuff. It's a hedge against inflation. So like, it's the best place we can put our money.

 

Mike Swenson 

Anything more that you want to say. So just kind of touching on, you know, some of those other streams of income. So actually, kind of going back to the conversation we had before about leverage. I like how you said, you know, getting into your title company insurance company, like, well, I've got a buddy, right? And so you're leading with a person. So it's not, here's Chris gonna figure everything out by himself, but you're leveraging somebody else to go in business with you. Anything more you want to say in terms of leverage with some of those other streams?

 

Chris Craddock 

Yeah, I mean, you just got to find the right people. I mean, even even the legalshield piece. You know, you find the people under you where you can sign up and they can, you can get you leverage your network and the people under you can can take care of everything for you, you know, but they're getting upside on that for taking care of the people in your network. So that's, that's that whole thing, wherever, whatever you're doing, you've got to find people to do it with you. Because if you do it yourself, I mean, honestly, I mean, I deserve to get fired from those clients, because I just was doing too much myself. At some point. I don't care how talented you are, at some point you run out, you run out of minutes.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, any advice that you would give for people so you know, maybe getting into real estate or maybe getting into investments? Or or pursuing some of these other streams of income? What advice would you give to people?

 

Chris Craddock 

Yeah, I mean, if you're getting into real estate, buy your own property. You know, Grant Cardone says the biggest problem with real estate agents is they don't buy their own product. Buy your own product. I was just saying like I am. I am smoked right now one of the girls on our team, just literally so one of the agents on our team last week just bought his first property. One of the girls on our team closes on her property on Wednesday and asked me and a couple of the other guys I've got a pretty big truck and asked us to move a piano for and as much as I didn't want to do any moving work at this point. I'm like, also just so proud of the folks on our team for doing that.

 

Chris Craddock 

So yeah, just just by your own your own real estate, if you're looking to get an investment, I mean, this is my my, the one thing I'd say, for real estate or investing, find a mentor, find somebody who like their vibe, you know, find somebody you're listening to, like, there's so many coaches where you're paying for all the other stuff that they're doing. And that's fine. I mean, I pay over 100 grand a year for the different coaches I have. So paying for coaches is great, but also find some mentors, some people that, you know, for me, I would listen to massive amounts of podcasts when I was getting started. And I just reach out to the people that I've really, really liked.

 

Chris Craddock 

Honestly, the crazy thing is, they're willing to get on the phone with you like, like some of the top people in the world are still willing to get on the phone with you if you just ask. But here's the thing. I also implemented everything I was told to do, because I this is what I also learned is if you get on the phone with somebody who's really good at what they do, and they tell you to do something, and you get on the phone again, and you didn't do it, they're never going to give you their time again, and you don't deserve it.

 

Chris Craddock 

You don't deserve their time. And so that's that's it, you know, find those people that are really good that you like their vibe, see if you can get on the phone with them, and then do what they tell you don't, don't overthink it, don't think you're smarter, you know, until you until you're doing what they're doing. Trust what they're doing.

 

Mike Swenson 

Awesome, cool. Anything more that you want to add?

 

Chris Craddock 

No, I mean, I would just say, it all boils down to activity and skill, right? If you are not making the kind of money you want to make, you're probably not talking to enough people and to you are, you're probably not working to skill up the way that you need to skill up your life and business will grow to the extent that you grow. My, my wife asked me this a couple years ago, and I think that this was this was one of the ways that we've just grew massively, was when she she just said, Chris, I don't know anybody, anybody out there that pays the price that you pay for education. And she's like, both in terms of dollars. And she's like, literally, like all your downtime, you're reading, you're listening, you're, you're you're studying.

 

Chris Craddock 

She's like, does your team know how much you do? And she's like, I know you teach them but does your team and those around, you know, the price you pay for that. And I was like, you know, I don't I don't think I did. And when I started like making sure they understood the amount of hours that I put in to getting better. All of a sudden, you know, as a leader, people will follow but they didn't know I wasn't leading them. Well, I wasn't teaching them what I was doing. And so when they started putting in hours like I was putting into to grow and be better than all of a sudden our team just exploded it like blew up like crazy in a good way.

 

Chris Craddock 

So, um, so yeah, I would just say make sure that you're investing in yourself, make sure you're spending tons of time if you're not spending I think minimum half an hour a day but I'm personally There's not a day that goes by where I don't have at least an hour a day that I am investing in myself.

 

Mike Swenson 

Anything that you want to plug so your businesses, how do folks get hold of you anybody watching this looking to to buy or sell in the DC area? Feel free plug what you want to plug?

 

Chris Craddock 

Yeah, sure. So we got our Facebook group, the Uncommon Real Estate Group, we've got her and there's a podcast, uncommon real estate with our podcas, love to have you there. My class, the teaching agents, investors how to partner together. chriscraddock.com, you can go there, sign up for that. And we can get you information on that. And yeah, just reach out. DM me on Instagram, and it's @craddock. And yeah, I'll tell you if I can do anything to serve or help anybody out here. I'll tell you that's, I would love to do it. And yeah, that's it.

 

Mike Swenson 

Awesome. Well, thanks so much. We appreciate having you on today. And thank you so much for your time.

 

Chris Craddock 

All right, sounds good. Thanks, brother. I appreciate it.

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