RG 239 – The Billion Dollar Agent w/ Dan Lesniak
Dan is a billion dollar real estate agent and best selling author, investor, developer and coach. Dan has a hyper local strategy with his business partner Kerry. He has a team of over 80 employees and brokers and a combined sales volume over $400million annually. Dan made his first dollar as a child on a lemonade stand.
Dan never thought he would get into real estate and went to school and then the Naval Academy. He has several degrees and then became a defence contractor and got an MBA at GeorgeTown. He had aimed to get into consultancy but at 2010 no one was hiring. His real estate side hustle became full time and he never looked back. In his first year he sold over $20million in volume and he met his wife would was a real estate agent.
The biggest thing he learned from his journey was narrowing the area of focus. Don’t get distracted in your first year – focus and then spread out later.
- habit – getting up early and writing down priorities
- person – tony robbins
- tool – zoom or phone
- contact – thedanlesniak on social media
Listen to Podcast
Dan Lesniak (00:35):
I think the reason we were able to do it so fast is, is because we have, I’ve always been a big believer in narrowing your focus. And I think a lot of agents and people in general can get distracted by like anything and everything. So I had a killer first year because I focused on 200 homes and then kind of spread out from there. But that was my start, just, just under 200 homes. And, um, a lot of agents try to be everything to everybody. So I think the narrow focus, uh, really, really helped and not getting distracted from that.
Reed Goossens (01:28):
Welcome to investing in the U S a podcast for real estate investors, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into the U S market join Reed, as he interviews go getters risk takers and the best in the business about their journey towards financial freedom and the sheer joy of creating something from nothing
Reed Goossens (01:49):
Good day. Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another cracking edition of investing in the U S podcast from Los Angeles. I’m your host, Rick, Goossens good as always every with us on the show. Now, I’m glad that you’ve all tuned into learn from my incredible guests and each and every one of them are the cream of the crop here in the United States. When it comes to real estate, investing, business, investing and entrepreneurship, each show, I try and tease out their incredible stories of how they have successfully created the businesses here in the U S how they’ve created financial freedom, massive amounts of cashflow, and ultimately create extraordinary lives for themselves and their families life by design. As I like to say, hopefully these guests will inspire all of my cracking listeners, which are you guys to get off the couch and go and take massive amounts of action.
Reed Goossens (02:36):
If these guys can do it. So can you now, as you know, I’m all about sharing the knowledge with my loyal listeners, which is you guys, and there’s absolutely no BS on this show, just straight into the nuts and bolts. Now, if you do like this show, the easiest way to give back is to give us a review on iTunes. And you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter by searching at Reed Goossens. You can find the show wherever you podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google play, but you can also find these episodes up on my YouTube channel. So head over to Reed goossens.com, click on the video link, and it will take you to the video recordings of these podcasts, where you can see my ugly mug, but the beautiful faces of my guests each and every week. All right. And I’ve had to me, let’s get cracking in, into today’s [inaudible] show the pleasure of speaking with Jan Lesniak.
Reed Goossens (03:26):
Dan is a billion dollar real estate agent best-selling author, investor developer, and coach Dan’s hyper-local strategy led to one of the fastest starts in real estate. And since then, Dan and his business partner, Carrie have developed a team of over 80 employees and brokers with the combined real estate sales volume of over $400 million annually. I’m really pumped and excited to have him on the shutter daddy show. He’s incredible insight and his story and his journey to what success, but nothing to me. Let’s get him out of here. Hey, Dan, welcome to the show tonight. Great. How are you doing Reed? Really? Really a lot better. Now. Now I’m talking to you mate. So tell me what you dialing in from, because I know this is what we spoke a little while ago, but you were in Portland when I last spoke to you. Now you’re in Florida. Like what’s the traveling around the country.
Dan Lesniak (04:09):
Yeah, we got all, all corners covered. So we, we, a couple of weeks ago, we were out in Portland visiting my wife’s family. They’re all from there. So that was great. Or we’ve been, you know, our, our real estate businesses in DC, Arlington, Maryland, Northern Virginia, that, that part of the world that we’ve been running it from Florida since the beginning, mid really middle of March, I guess, because we couldn’t meet with our team, you know, physically. So we were doing everything, virtually everything on zoom. And we have a house down here that we Airbnb. And, uh, as soon as the last person, you know, who, who had a reservation that didn’t get canceled, uh, left week, we came down and we’ve been running our team, uh, probably a better than how we were when we were running it in person.
Reed Goossens (04:59):
Awesome. I want to get into a little bit more about your background and the nuts and bolts of what you do in today’s business. But before we do the first question, I ask all my guests, when they come on, the show is Rwanda clock. And tell me how you make your first ever dollar as a kid
Dan Lesniak (05:13):
First ever dollar as a kid. I think I did the lemonade stand in my neighborhood and my brother and I, um, back back in the day. So I remember doing that, uh, I remember trading baseball cards too at a young age. That’s kind of coming back by now, too, right.
Reed Goossens (05:38):
Gary V has got the, uh, the old swap meet and garage sale going on, which is, which is awesome. But walk me through your journey and how you got to where you are today and the sort of the evolution of you becoming an entrepreneur. Yeah.
Dan Lesniak (05:50):
So I, I, you know, didn’t, didn’t think I would ever become a real estate agent. It’s not something I grew up dreaming to do, or even really knew about or thought of as a career. I thought I would do that traditional route of, you know, work hard in school, so you can get a good job and kind of just repeat all that, that cycle. Uh, you know, we don’t have to get in to that, that much, but I did that. I went to the Naval Academy, became a submarine officer. I got like multiple degrees, became a defense contractor. And I thought after I got my MBA at Georgetown, that I would get out to this big fancy corporate strategy consulting job with like one of the big three or four, however many firms there were, and the timing was bad. It was like 2010, 11, and people were not hiring.
Dan Lesniak (06:41):
Then we were in a recession back then and they, they told me, you know, we think technically you’d be good for the job. We’re not really hiring that many anyway, but if we don’t think you have the sales experience, that was like the negative experience or, or, or comments, you know, that, that I didn’t have this ability to go out and sell. So I was kind of stubborn said, what do I need to do to get another shot? They said, could we get a different type of experience in life? And I had always been a, you know, kind of investor on the side. Like I bought my first home with the VA loan when I was 23 and had, had been a landlord and owned a couple homes and was going through the process again in the DC area in Arlington. And I thought, okay, I’ll, I’ll get my license and maybe sell a few homes for my family or people. I know. And, and, uh, it, it, it grew very, very fast. It ended up becoming a big side hustle and then something that overtook my job. And then I quit. My job never looked back, never, you know, went and reapplied for a, that strategy consulting job. In my first year, I ended up selling a little over 20 million in volume, and I grew a team since, you know, since then, along with my wife who I met, uh, who was also a real estate agent, uh, who I met about a year or two into that process.
Reed Goossens (08:10):
Awesome. Well, it sounds like you, anything you apply yourself to, you seem to be able to pick it up pretty quickly is that, uh, you know, Triton you, that you can just apply self and boom, all of a sudden you start to be successful. Like what, what is that, that you’re looking back on? You thought that was the, uh, special sauce
Dan Lesniak (08:29):
And resilience and, you know, my parents, I think I got to give them a lot of credit. They did a good job of instilling those values in me. Like they were the parents who would not, you know, if you started like a season in the sport, like, and you finish it, you weren’t going to quit because you didn’t like how it went the first week. So, um, between, I think that kind of attitude and pushing us to do good in school, which in itself, I think is a little like broken that, that, that, that, you know, working hard in, in school, just for the sake of like going to a good school. And I think that’s kinda something from a previous generation that, that somewhat doesn’t apply, but, but it did instill, I think that grit and resilience and discipline and the Navy of course reinforced that. So,
Reed Goossens (09:31):
Oh, I’m sure, you know, growing up with parents at a young age with parents who push you at all with assignment in a household of do good at school, it really instills work ethic. Right. That’s the whole, that’s the major part of it. Um, but in terms of creating teams, and I know we want to talk about like getting to the nuts and bolts of that. So today, have you been able to scale it so quickly and what was sort of, what have you learned along the process in becoming an entrepreneur and, and really looking back at the path, he could have taken down the, the consulting route and, you know, you’ve done your MBA and sort of the more traditional, but, but now to go and take the control, take the reins and take control of your life and build this incredible team around you. Um, you know, you’re a thought leader, you have books, you have podcasts, you have an incredible team that does $400 million annually, just to say, all of that sort of stuff is, is a huge achievement, but what is been the sort of the stumbling blocks, I guess, maybe, you know, there’s all the success in that sounds great. But what has been some of the learning points along the way when you build such a well-oiled machine, at least from the outside?
Dan Lesniak (10:29):
Oh yeah. I mean, we’ve, we’ve learned a ton along the way. I think, I think the reason we were able to do it so fast is, is because we have, I’ve, I’ve always been a big believer in narrowing your focus. And I think a lot of agents and people in general can get distracted by like anything and everything. So I had a, a killer first year because I focused on 200 homes and then kind of spread out from there. But that was my start, just, just under 200 homes. And, um, a lot of agents tried to be everything to everybody. So I think the narrow focus, uh, really, really helped and not getting distracted from that. Having a great partner was extremely critical. Like I could not have, you know, Carrie and I could not have done it without each other. So I met her year, two of my real estate career.
Dan Lesniak (11:31):
And at the time I had, I don’t know, five or six people on the team. And I think she had like eight or nine. So we were both kind of small, but growing very rapidly, uh, teams. And we surrounded ourselves by like really, really smart people and not, not just in the real estate industry, but like Robbins grant, Cardone coaches conferences. So I think, I think that helps as well. Not only because you learn from them, but you, you learn that it’s possible. Right? It’s like, it’s like when I taught my, my son had a swim, I had a hard time when I would just take him in the pool, even though I did all the same stuff the teacher did, but when he’s in a class and sees other kids, his same height, doing it, all of the sudden it becomes in his mind, I’m sure like, Oh, someone that’s three feet tall and can swim.
Dan Lesniak (12:29):
It’s just not, it’s not something that’s for six foot people. Right? I think when you get, when you sit down and go to conferences and meet other people that maybe aren’t famous, right. But they’re selling tons and tons of homes are doing a lot of real estate deals or making a lot of money. It becomes more real. And you think it’s possible because like, when I go to a Tony Robbins event, of course Tony is up there on stage and his famous. And if all I saw was him at that event, I might think, well, that’s, that’s great for him, but he’s got some magic gene or something. Right. But when you see like people that aren’t famous and don’t have the followings or eat it, it becomes more real. So I think, I think that’s critical to surround yourself with people that are performing at a high level.
Reed Goossens (13:24):
It’s sort of like the old analogy monkey see monkey do. Right. And you see other people doing it, you see other people’s who are you surround yourself with other people who you don’t, aren’t the Tony Robbins of the world. I think they look to you like at the average Joe, but they’re out being successful and maybe have done something that you haven’t done and you aspire to be to them. So I think it’s really important. Talk to me a little bit about your business strategy today and how you’ve developed it into this world machine. What do you do to make, make your money? Like it’s clearly an agent, but are you also a brokerage firm now? Which you have agents underneath you? Yeah.
Dan Lesniak (13:56):
So we’ve, we’ve, we’re our own brokerage. We’ve, we’ve been independent for over five years now. So, uh, we, the agents that are at our brokerage are all on our team. Uh, so we’re generating 80 to 90% of their business, their leads. And we’ve got a whole system around that. So it’s, it’s one big, some people call it team marriage. Now like a team that’s their own brokerage. So we’ve, we, we have that going. We are going to launch a brokerage for agents that don’t want to be on our team, but want some of what we have to offer, but not everything. So that, that is in the works. But we also do coaching through hyper fast agent. And we do events through that program and platform. We’ve got a mastermind and all sorts of cool stuff there, uh, with hyper fast agent. And in the last couple of years, we’ve really added a huge development arm.
Dan Lesniak (14:50):
So part of, uh, my wife, Carrie Carrie’s, uh, beginning in real estate, was working for new home builders. So she has a solid background there and had developed relationships with builders over the years. And we’ve got a couple that we partner with on deals. And, you know, you can imagine when you’re selling six, 700 homes a year, we’d come across good deals a lot of times before other people do and we’ll get them under contract now, partner with the builder and raise money from investors. And I think we’ve got over a hundred condo units in our development pipeline. That’ll all deliver in the next 12 or so months. Most of them are in Washington, DC. A couple are in Northern Virginia. Uh, we also have one project in Maryland, so we’re, we’re doing, uh, a lot of development. So we’ve, we’ve got multiple streams of income right now.
Reed Goossens (15:50):
And I think that’s really important to highlight. And I constantly on this show that the true wealth is built and built through ecosystems of businesses. And just to what you’ve just described there, you have one piece leading to another piece, leading to a third place, leading to a fourth pieces, all feeds one another, and it’s, it really becomes this mass machine that you can really step away, not necessarily step away from, but have it run on its own. And it’s self-sufficient, which is really, really important, you know, people coming in through the funnel to sell the home, but you might also have an option for them to help them finance a new property or a development arm. You have investors on board. You also have people that want to learn from you. So you have the, the education piece. I think that’s super critical. Was there anyone who laid that out for you when you started this? Or was this sort of like you stumbled into it as, you know, as people responding to you, you responded to them by saying, well, Hey, well, let’s build this product that they’re interested in.
Dan Lesniak (16:41):
Um, w you know, we never, I don’t think we ever sat down and kind of had a grand plan of what it would become. And now, maybe in the last few years, we’ve gotten a little bit more systematic about that and drawn up some five and 10 year plans of, you know, that would include other business ventures we can add. But for the most part, we stayed in our lane and tried to grow and scale that and that, and then adding things that were very, very closely adjacent. So I think, I think sometimes, uh, people that have initial success can take, take their eye off it a little too soon and, and, and kinda go into other ventures or other businesses before they’ve like pushed it around far enough up that curve, you know? Cause I think the success in the scale curve is, is, um, hopefully I use the right term. I think it’s, uh, you know, it was like concave up or it grows exponentially exponentially. Yeah. So if you, if you, if you quit a little too soon, you’re, you’re missing out on a lot of growth because you’re not pushing the ball up that, that exponential curve soon enough. And you’re, you’re, you know, people will go back to other things that are either not closely related or, or, or it’s just too soon.
Reed Goossens (18:16):
Right now, I, I hear you on that. And it’s part of when, you know, when growing my own business and we have over 2000 apartment buildings in Texas, like when do you bring property management? In-house now it’s a business that I don’t necessarily want to have to go stop, but it’s, it makes sense that a certain scale and certain point like yourself, you know, when do you bring on more agents in terms of bringing, so you get a piece of their broke, a piece of their fee or commission every time they sell a house because it’s massive, the numbers are better in mass, you know, scalability. So I think all those things, uh, as entrepreneurs, as leaders, as CEOs, we, we, we struggle with writing, but back to your point, don’t take your off the prize or what the main revenue generation in the business. And don’t, don’t let that suffer because you’re trying to focus on something else. Um, but also what you said before, surround yourself with smart people that maybe can build out that subsidiary business that will support the main business. And you can focus on keeping pushing that, you know, driving towards that North star. So I think that
Dan Lesniak (19:40):
I think the bigger you get to like the, the more resources you’ll have to go in the other ventures. So you can do it through a joint venture or a partnership where you’re able to drive like thousands of leads to something. So you can take a smaller percentage, but find really good people to run it. Um, or, or you can, you can start off with just almost like a franchise or referral system. So someone like you or other guys that have, uh, you know, 2000 doors or, or less, or, or, or more, but whatever the number is like, maybe you get your real estate license, but you, you just refer, you know, your outgoing tenants prefer them to other agents and just get a referral fee, you know, rather than like building a real estate team right away. So there’s, there’s a lot of ways to do it. Um, but you just got to get your main thing big enough, I think at first, right?
Reed Goossens (20:40):
Yeah. The one thing, right. Is it, is it Gary Keller who talks about the one thing? Yeah.
Dan Lesniak (20:44):
And, um, I think Jay, um, Jay Papasan, maybe hope I’m saying it. Right. I apologize if I’m not, but yeah, but they’re both, they’re both Keller Williams, uh, people,
Reed Goossens (21:00):
And before we press record here in the green room, we’re talking a little bit about how you, the idea of having your own real estate license as an investor, and I’m in the commercial space. So being a commercial broker or agent, I don’t know how it would help me, but I know in the smaller stocks, so I’d like the resi side, a lot of people do get that the broker license or the agent license in order to have a subsidiary income to support the investment side. How important is it to you to have the sort of the license, um, as an investor?
Dan Lesniak (21:33):
Well, I think it gives you a lot more options. I was, I was actually talking to a group of investors that are on a digital conference about this last week. But I think if, you know, if you have that license, it’s a little bit easier to get the, uh, sold information and that kind of stuff. So you can analyze your deals a little bit better. Uh, you can probably market them a little bit more. And then I, I think there’s more ways to capture revenue because, you know, let’s say for an investor for every 20 leads you generate maybe maybe one or two you buy, right. Or, uh, if you’re lucky maybe, maybe 10 are just kind of tire kickers that aren’t serious, but maybe there’s four or five, six, seven, eight that really want to sell, but their, their homes in too good of shape as it to fit your investment model. Well, you know, maybe those, those more retail type sellers, if you have a, an agent that you partner with, yeah, you can, you can give them those deals. And if you have your license, you can collect a referral fee on that. Right. And that’s, that’s just money that you never would’ve seen if you, if you didn’t have that. And then that agent will probably kind of be a bird dog for you and bring you good deals. So,
Reed Goossens (22:50):
Right, right. And that goes back to the ecosystem point, like identifying pieces of the business that you spend money on. If you are an investor, a flipper in the [inaudible] space where, you know, you’re doing high volumes a year, it makes sense to go and get your real estate losses because you’re paying whatever the commission is, four or 5%, every deal to someone else will bring it into your own pocket or have your wife or your spouse or whoever, um, do it. So you can, you can qualify from, from the Texas tax point of view, um, I guess moving forward into 2020 before we press recording, or, and you said in the early in the show that you’ve had to pivot your business a little bit, you were based in Arlington Virginia, but now you’re in Florida. How has it been getting out of your own way a little bit. And I mean, maybe being forced to being remote from the business point of view.
Dan Lesniak (23:35):
Yeah. It’s been great. So we’ve, we’ve been running our team meetings on zoom and doing training on zoom, our coaching business. We’ve done a ton of webinars, hyper agent webinars. So it’s, it’s, it’s been going very, very well. You know, the first week that the lockdowns hit, I made a training video for the, I made it for the team, but I actually put it on the hyper fast agent YouTube channel. And it’s like, I think it’s called, like, how did do a virtual sales meeting on zoom or something like that? And, you know, I sent it out to our team and our inside sales agents started to book appointments on zoom if buyers or sellers did not want to meet in person. And we were able to continue at the same pace of appointments, you know, before COVID, we were doing 70 new appointments a week.
Dan Lesniak (24:26):
And, uh, that, that first week after it hit, we did like 72. And now we’re up to like a hundred because we we’ve hired more inside sales agents. And I think there’s there’s, we had a bigger pool of people to hire from for sure a lot of people lost their jobs, unfortunately, but, uh, that did allow us to have a bigger pool and we hired more inside sales agents. And, you know, we’re, we’re booking over a hundred appointments online, you know, they, they typically do that initial meeting at least half the time. Now maybe, maybe a little less, cause we’re kind of coming out of lockdown, but, uh, they do that initial meeting on zoom and then go see houses. We started marketing our houses, virtually doing FaceTime lives for open houses and set up a whole landing page where you can take virtual tours of our homes and, uh, added new lead sources. So we changed a few things for sure. And, uh, just, just kept moving on and, and got creative, how to make the team meetings fun. Like we brought in different trainers for some of them, you know, one time we brought in a comedian or a sort of comedian, JP Sears, he joined our team meeting for 20 minutes and, you know, just brought some entertainment to people which is definitely needed during these times. So we, we changed a few things and yeah, the team has, has responded. They’ve done amazing.
Reed Goossens (25:57):
And you bring up a good point, how much, and I’m going to ask a two question. Two-part question here. Um, I guess the first part is what you want to, you want about the pivot really quickly. Firstly, when COVID hit, like, okay, we’re not doing in-person meetings anymore. How the hell do we pivot really quickly? So what technology and what systems have you built or have come out of COVID that you think will help propel the industry to more of a virtual tour type of, you know, rail, maybe not a hundred percent virtual tools, but there’ll be some element of that moving forward.
Dan Lesniak (26:28):
I think virtual meetings for us will potentially stay around for a while. So if you, if you think about it, like, you know, in the DC market and, and anywhere there’s a city, like having someone come in to meet in the office is a, it’s a fairly large commitment of their time and there’s traffic, not now there’s traffic, but uh, you know, there’s, there’s all of that kind of stuff to deal with. So I think virtual tours, we’ll, we’ll stick around, um, virtual meetings. I think we’ll stick around.
Reed Goossens (27:10):
Well, it will expand your reach with people who you may get. Like I know, and I also, I did from a leasing point of view when we lease our units, we had people signing leases and it’s a little bit different. It’s obviously at least not a purchase and sales contract, but it on scene because just of the videos we were putting up online, are you going to see some, maybe bigger reach of people who may be out of state or internationally? They’re like, Hey, I want to live in this area and they got these great videos and I can see the house and boom, I’m gonna make an offer without even really stepping foot on, on the property.
Dan Lesniak (27:39):
I think maybe I think, I think people for the most part still on a step in the house right now touch and feel we’ve had, we’ve had virtual reality technology for, for showing homes. I think since like 2015, I remember Tony Robbins telling us that, you know, real estate agents might be out of a job a year cause of, cause of virtual reality. And this was in one of his events in London and they, they, I forget what department store, maybe a Harrods, I think it was a showcasing very luxury homes, like, like probably at least 5 million or more. And you could, you could do them on virtual reality. And like, I haven’t seen that technology trickled down and, and there were certainly to where people are like buying homes with it. And um, I don’t know. I think people still want to like touch and feel though. Like we have, we have sold homes in our past site on scene, uh, through FaceTime tours, through video tours. It’s, it’s just a small percentage, a
Reed Goossens (28:56):
Very small, like it looks like
Dan Lesniak (28:58):
Low single digits that, that it happens that way. And maybe that goes up, but I don’t, I don’t see it. You’ve gone up to like 20%, 30%, but who knows maybe in five years, um, that’s like the only way we do it, but I think we need some improvement in the systems for, for people to get to that point.
Reed Goossens (29:17):
You know, I think it’s such an emotional purchase, right? That the first home or second home run investment that people want to see it. They want to touch the on and walk the bathrooms. They want to touch the countertops. And it’s very, um, yeah, again, emotional. That’s all I can really say. There’s any way I can describe it as, but yeah, I agree. There is some element that I don’t think you’re going to be completely. I just like, I’m not going to be completely replaced, but there might be some element that becomes more efficient with virtual tours that maybe takes a portion of the market. It, I agree with you. I don’t think it’s going to be 20% or 30%. So, um, the second part of the question I wanted to ask you was how have you seen, you mentioned too was, and, and appointments, have you seen any dip in perhaps prices since COVID because a lot of people are talking about that with the loss of jobs and maybe just in obviously specific to Arlington, but are you seeing any price reduction right now on, on, on houses
Dan Lesniak (30:12):
Seen that DC, even in the surrounding areas have for the last decade almost had very little inventory, like one to two months of supply in anything under three is considered a sellers market. Anything above six is considered a buyer’s market. That’s I’ve never seen it go like above two in DC. And, uh, we definitely had some people sellers who had health scares or, or concerns or worries. And so they took their homes off the market. They didn’t like the idea of lots of people coming through their house. Um, we also had buyers, you know, put off their search, but, but by and large, I would say, uh, slightly more sellers did that than, than buyers so that the ratios kind of stayed the same and what we still get bidding Wars. We still, you know, our buyers still have to do like quick closes to, to be competitive.
Dan Lesniak (31:05):
So I haven’t seen, uh, a price drop. Uh, and I think another factor to the median income, uh, in the DMV area is, is fairly high. And the price point, you know, our team’s average price point is in the six hundreds. So we’re, we’re dealing with higher priced, um, transactions than most people in the country. Not all but most. And if you look at what COVID did it, it had, uh, the, the, the health and economic effects. Uh, it really hit people like probably 50, 60 K or under, um, we’re on salary because those are the people who either lost their jobs. Like if they were in, uh, retail restaurants, leisure, hospitality, their jobs were gone. If, if so that they were the ones with the most economic risk, or they were in like stores that were deemed essential, uh, or, or like service work that, you know, wasn’t effected. And so they, they couldn’t like go work from home, right? Like you can’t sell groceries from home or build the house, you know, construction workers can’t build a house from home. So those, those people got to keep their jobs, but, uh, perhaps have more of the health risk. So I think our average client got the, keep their job and work from home and, and probably, you know, many people close DC that not, but not all certainly, uh, that statement would be true.
Reed Goossens (32:44):
No, no, no. I completely agree with that, that the low, lower socioeconomic end of the scale, that was definitely more impacted. And we see that and that’s what our rent is. All right. We have 2000 new doors in the low to medium household income around the 40 to $70,000 a year. So, um, yeah, trying to try to navigate that from our point of view is being tough and we have, we have been navigating it, but it’s interesting to hear you haven’t seen a price reduction yet, I guess, with the, with the scare of COVID. I know I personally bought a house here in Los Angeles, um, that I was signed up to close in the March and the lender is completely excuse my language. And, and, and, and, and, and left me the alternate. I have to quickly pivot to a hard money loan. Did you, have you seen any on the financing side, people that to pull out really quickly?
Dan Lesniak (33:30):
Most of our buyer clients, uh, residential clients have, have been fine that the biggest impact I’ve seen in that regard would be on our development, uh, arm. And, you know, we, we typically get traditional bike, uh, traditional bank financing for our projects plus investor equity. Uh, so I don’t, I don’t typically use hard money, but I know hard money got harder to get, um, right. Cause that that market was affected and it was a little harder for us to, to raise money from investors because when this all hit the stock market, I don’t know what it bottomed out at like 17 or 18,000. Um, but it went down a lot from like, yeah. And it was what it was, it was up there. Right. And it’s, it’s, it’s back up again too, which is, um,
Dan Lesniak (34:31):
That’s like the best word. I’m not really a stock investor, so I don’t have much to say about it, but, um, yeah, weird to say the least, but it, you know, a lot of our investors in our projects saw their portfolio size go down or they were just scared in general or they thought, Oh, there’s going to be like blood in the street. I’m going to save this cash for some amazing deal. Uh, one of those three bins. So we, you know, the only effect really on us, we, we delayed closing on two of our projects, but the sellers were more than happy to work with us because they’re not in, yeah. They don’t have a better option really. So,
Reed Goossens (35:09):
And that’s the same with my seller. When I bought my house, I used to sort of delay closing for 30 days. I’m like, you go back to the street right now. You won’t get the same price I’m going to pay for it right now. So there’s a little bit of a two way street. Um, I guess, do you see blood coming in the street, in your local area at all?
Dan Lesniak (35:24):
I, I don’t, you know, we’ve, we’ve got the federal government that helps, so
Reed Goossens (35:32):
A pretty big employer, but you could
Dan Lesniak (35:33):
Almost argue they do better during recessions. And, you know, I told the team when this first happened, uh, the first meeting on zoom, I said, look like everyone’s fairly unified. Not, not now, but back then look at the initial Corona response. And I said, look, there’s, there’s, they’re going to pass trillions of dollars as a stimulus to throw at this. And if anything, government’s gonna have to get bigger just to hand out the money. Like how are they going to do it? Um, and that’s gonna mean more jobs in our area. So D C is one of those weird places that probably does better even intercessions. And really even if parties switch, um, it typically doesn’t change the fact that the government’s gonna spend a lot of money. It just changes what they spend it on, but either way it, it takes, you know, butts and seats to, to do so.
Dan Lesniak (36:34):
I don’t think you’re gonna see blood in the street in the DC area. You know, if I was an investor I’d, I’d maybe look at, um, or if I was like thinking about things where there could be blood in the street, you know, maybe, maybe some of the Airbnb owners that were overleveraged and didn’t really think about reserves and, um, what would they do if they didn’t get renters for a few months? So, um, I’m sure there’s going to be some areas that there could be potential good deals on Airbnb, uh, kind of properties. So that’s one thing I would look at.
Reed Goossens (37:09):
Yeah, no, a hundred percent. I think that, I think across the board, no matter what you’re investing in single family, the Libyan Bazell commercial to the point of the stock market, investing, like people value good businesses on their cash reserves, right. And that’s what coming out of these sort of recessions to look at a new business and want to invest in one, you want to see what’s the balance sheet today and how they, how they prepared for times like this. And people caught with their pants down, you know, skirt and too close to the sun will get fraud. And so, you know, I completely agree with that. Um, before we wrap up the show here, what are your plan for the, for the rest of 2020 personally and, uh, for the business?
Dan Lesniak (37:48):
Well, we’re, uh, we we’ve just made two executive level hires. So, um, we’re excited to, to get those people onboarded and really helping us grow and expand, you know, even more. And I mean, our, our ultimate goal is by 2021 to, to become the highest selling real estate team in the, in the country. Uh, you know, according to the wall street journal, real trends ranking. So we’re, we’re building towards that with these executive hires and, uh, want to continue working on expanding the hyper fast agent coaching business and we’re planning an event, uh, hopefully in Q4. I think, I think the, I think, you know, I think, I think we’ll be opened up enough to do it, which that’ll be the third time. We’ve, we’ve done a big conference for real estate agents and we’re continuing to add to our DC development portfolio. So it’s really scaling more of what we’re doing already with, uh, you know, hiring like executive level type people
Reed Goossens (39:07):
To take it to the next level. I think that’s a smart move man. And, and I wish you the best of luck at the end of the show. We do like to do the top five investing tips, ready to get into it.
Reed Goossens (39:15):
Let’s go, mate. What’s the daily habit. You practice on track to keep on track towards your goals, getting up early and writing down my top three priorities for the day you’re out. You’re a pen and paper type of guy
Dan Lesniak (39:35):
For that. I am. Yeah. I feel like it, uh, it just connects from your brain to your physical body a little bit better and helps you, helps you do it better at a higher rate.
Reed Goossens (39:49):
I, I completely agree on the to-do list on pen and paper, the action of crossing it out for me, whatever, just like success. You did it. So awesome stuff. Uh, question number two, who’s been the most influential person in your career to date?
Dan Lesniak (40:05):
Ooh, uh, probably Tony Robbins. He was, he was like the first big speaker, you know, coach that, that I went to outside of the real estate industry. And I did, I did platinum partners for years. So Carrie and I went to multiple events, always got to sit in the front row and like ask him questions and, you know, just, just like learning, absorbing his, his mindset and thoughts on, on things has helped me in all areas of life.
Reed Goossens (40:39):
Yeah. He’s a completely inspirational guy and continues to be relevant today. So, uh, awesome Molson stuff. Question number three in your business. What is the most influential tool you use on a daily basis? And when I say tool, it could be a software or it could be hardware like a journal or a phone. So it was, what’s the most influential tool. Well,
Dan Lesniak (40:58):
Right now probably zoom, unfortunately, but I’m sure everyone says that, but I think, uh, outside of that, I would say my phone because I’m, I’m big on social media. You know, my, my team makes a lot of content, but, uh, I certainly make a lot of of it as well. So just using my phone and social media to produce, not consume content.
Reed Goossens (41:28):
Right, right. You’re a producer and get your voice heard awesome stuff in one sentence, been the biggest failure in your career. And what’d you learn from that failure,
Dan Lesniak (41:41):
Uh, holding on to bad decisions or, or mistakes for too long. So I think a lot of real estate agents and people in general, uh, either it’s pride, ego, hope never want to meet. They made a mistake. The biggest and easiest example of that for us is you hire someone. You think they’re great, or maybe you overlook one or two things and then like, it doesn’t take too long for you to realize like, Oh no, I made a bad decision, but then you start justifying on, you know, how they’re going to change or, or what’s going to be different. And the percentage of time where your gut is wrong on that, it’s like single digits percentage wise. So you just have to learn how to accept losses
Reed Goossens (42:29):
Quicker. Yes. Except you’ve got an and trust. You got a little bowl. I love it. I love it. My last question, where can people reach you to continue the conversation they want to be in your sphere? Where do they go?
Dan Lesniak (42:40):
Uh, you can go to, um, follow me on social media. My handle is the Dan Lesniak on all platforms. I’m on, uh, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Tik TOK. Uh, you can also text me. I now have the, the community, uh, text it’s (703) 215-1684.
Reed Goossens (43:08):
Awesome, awesome stuff, man. Well, look, I want to thank you for jumping on the show today. I just want to reflect a few things that I took away from today’s show. I think a couple of key pieces of information is narrowing your focus, sticking to your lane. And to your point, you said earlier about the exponential curve, not getting, not being distracted by something else when you could continue to push up that curve a little bit more. So I think that was probably one of the top things, um, that, that I took away, but also how you are hyper-focused in your local market and understanding what the ins and outs, the ins and outs of how people will be effected from income to sales point of view, to having to pivot your business to, in order to accommodate these new world that we live in, I think is really, really, um, inspirational and, and overall, I think your ability to create a business ecosystem that feeds itself, uh, is super inspiring. So, um, didn’t leave anything out.
Dan Lesniak (43:59):
I think you hit it all, man. It was awesome. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Reed Goossens (44:04):
Awesome brother. Well look, thank you again. Enjoy the rest of your week. Remember to wash your hands. Well, they, haven’t another cracking episode. Jam-packed with some incredible advice from Dan. If you do want to head over to his website, Dan Lesniak, remember all social media platforms. I want to thank you all again for taking some time out of your day to do it only the next week. So be bold, be brave. Remember.