Real estate is a deep and thorough market with so much information to learn. Real estate can also dig deep into the pocket. Anything in life that requires years of debt can raise so many questions and concerns. Are the markets too intimidating? Has your entry or re-entry into the markets been delayed because there are too many questions and too little confidence? We were able to sit down with one of Traverse City’s finest real estate agents/brokers, Sam Flamont, to bring you peace and let you know your dream home is out there and possible to attain.
Sam is a seasoned veteran in the industry. His history of business relationships has been the source of his success. He cares for others. Sam is the true definition of a businessman who operates with integrity and puts morals first. The interview with Sam below is a set of questions and answers that will explain why you should not give up on your real estate dreams. Also, you will learn the importance of working with an individual you can trust and who has your best interests at the forefront of your partnership:
- What is your favorite part about working in the real estate industry?
“I really love putting deals together that are off market and watching clients become excited. On the investment side of real estate, I enjoy watching clients create passive cash flow. Watching my clients make money in any form is what brings me happiness.”
- How many homes and/or $ value have you sold in your career?
“$99 million sold, $28 million pending. In total I have 425 houses closed/pending.”
- Why should people hire you as their agent/broker/partner?
“I never push anyone into a transaction. Getting to the closing table fast doesn’t have to happen and doesn’t define success for me. It’s all about the right deal. It’s all about my overall market knowledge l have, investment or single family.”
- How do you create a trusted relationship with your client base?
“Great communication. I let them research on their own but I am always there to coach them through the process. Talking them out of deals that are not good for them is important as well. For example, a lady during covid was relocating from Alaska to Traverse City. We were doing everything virtually on FaceTime and she only could see what I showed her. The siding was rotted due to a lack of gutters which caused some splash back. She said, “sometimes I feel like you don’t want to sell me a house”. It wasn’t about the sale for me. I could have sold it and not cared but that’s not why I am in this business.”
- Talk about where you had a hard time creating a relationship with a tenant, owner or investor. How did you handle that differently than other agents/investors?
“If it’s not a good fit, I don’t force a partnership. As for clients and investors, if we don’t fit on the initial conversation, we won’t work together. That’s not my thing. If our goals do not align at the start, I will let them know things probably won’t work out. For tenants, if they pay rent and we fix things needed to be fixed, we’re all good.”
- What are the most important resources buyers should be using? Why?
“For buyers of a rental property – Zillow is a great resource because it shows rent costs people are getting. A local real estate agent is your best resource. Skilled investors build good relationships with local agents ALWAYS. An intelligent, skilled investor who knows what they are looking for is always perfect for me. That one on one connection is unbeatable when everyone knows what they want and how to make it happen.”
- What types of technology do you use to improve your selling and showing process?
“Nothing different really. The biggest separator of a good and bad agent is who wants to work hard and who doesn’t. All the technology like client searches and CRMs are available to all agents. You just need to dig and understand the market or else you’ll be no good. We are all on the same playing field, it’s about who wants to work harder and be the best.”
- What qualities do you believe make up an effective real estate professional?
“Attention to detail. If you don’t have great attention to certain details, get an assistant who does. Paperwork is not my forte. Price per square foot and in depth details are my focus. Knowing things I’m not good at and hiring that out is needed and so important. Know your strengths and weaknesses and learn how to distribute that. Also, work ethic has to be unmatched. I know people who don’t work past 9-5pm and that’s not beneficial to success in this field. You can’t do that. That’s when the general public works and are busy. Also, having a strong ability to learn and comprehend the market. You HAVE TO know the market front and back, up and down. You have to be the best in your market or you will fail. You have to always keep learning because the market is always changing.”
- What are some steps clients can complete to make sure they are as ready as possible for the markets?
“Get with a lender. Whether you know you can get approved or not, talk with them. You have to get pre approved or else you can’t move forward. If you feel scared, you have to just get over the fear and go. They won’t judge you if you aren’t approved. They will give you solid steps to set you up to get you in the right position to get you approved. Don’t give up on your dream of owning! Also, make a list of the top 10 things you want in a house and get with an agent and tell them. The agent will tell you if you’re crazy and need to reassess or if there is something in the market that can match that list with cost. I DO NOT want to be a tour guide for you so you can just see homes. I want you to know what you can afford and what your wish list is so we can all respect each others time.”
- What are 5-10 tips you have for new buyers?
“Get pre approved.
Save your money for a down payment. You don’t need 20%, sometimes you can get it at 0 down.
Know what you want and ask a realtor if that’s even a possibility. Ask them to be brutally honest with you and let you know what you can get with that. You want the most straight forward realtor possible.
Know what you want, the area you want to be in. If something changes at your job while you’re in the process, like a raise, tell the lender and agent immediately because you can potentially get approved for more!
Once you start shopping for a house, do not open or close a credit card. Don’t go out and buy a car. Always pay your bills. Get your debt to income low. PLEASE don’t quit your job while in the process.”