EmEz sat down with Real Estate Professional, Investor, Entrepreneur, & Author, Michael Lavan AKA “Pop” on Thursday, February 18th 2021 to chat about how he entered into the real estate industry, began investing in it, and what it took for him to be the overall successful man he is today.
EmEz kicked off the interview by asking Michael why we should pay attention to him to which Michael confidently responded by stating
“I have been in Real Estate for 5 years come May covering Connecticut, New York, New Jersey & Pennsylvania. I am a 2-time winner of the Regional Top Sales Agent Award, and a 4-time winner of the Office Top Sales Agent Award at my company. My first 4 years in business, I have sold over 100 houses for buyers & sellers, and I have helped investors flip over 10-15 houses. I am also an author of my book, “I Got the Keys,” which is a step by step guide for first time home buyers. Overall, I try to stay busy and consistent with the business.”
Wow! That is impressive for Michael to have so many amazing accolades as a 5 year real estate agent!
Focusing on the topic of his real estate business, Michael goes on to mention how he utilized the knowledge he gained from being a successful agent, to become an even more successful real estate investor & entrepreneur.
He has been operating as such under his own contracting company, Homes by LV, along with his investment partners who he mentors on how to flip properties. With these arsenals in tow, he“took some contractors, built a team around that, hired them under my company, so now as a realtor, I can find my own properties, as an investor, I buy these properties, fix & flip them, and as a contractor, I hire my own guys to do the work. So, I pretty much eliminated the middle man.”
..And that, Ladies & Gentlemen, is how you take control of your own destiny and create financial success & freedom! EmEz then followed up with a real smart question from a viewer that most people, such as myself, definitely need the answer to, “Can I buy my own house if I have a lot of student loan debt?” ...and the short answer to that question as per Michael, is yes. However, your credit score, and business & debt to income ratio needs to be intact and attractive to the banks as well. In other words, you need to make sure you make way more money than what your cumulative debt is, are able to pay both your loans & mortgage on time each month, and have a great credit score in order to be pre-approved with no issues. He then made sure to mention that he is not a mortgage professional, so that is a question for a mortgage broker. He advised us to ask and have a conversation with a mortgage professional about any questions or concerns we may have around pre-approvals & such instead. Either way, his great response gives us student loan holders much hope.
This interview is extremely informative and has proven itself to be helpful within only the first 10 mins, so it is very important to really listen to all the gems that Michael Lavan has given us at no charge.
Therefore, I have decided to take some Q & A style notes to help you out (you’re welcome, lol):
EmEz: What is the biggest hurdle for new homebuyers in your opinion?
Michael: People finding what they want vs finding what they can spend, because everybody wants the 4-bedroom, master bathroom, finished basement, fenced in yards, pools, etc. However, if not approved for that amount of what those houses sell for, it can be kind of discouraging for them.
Michael goes on to mention that it is important to “always get the numbers first, figure out what you are approved for first,” so that you can start looking for houses within the price range you are approved for. Once you are married to a house that is outside the budget of what you are pre-approved for, it will be difficult to remove yourself from that mind frame, which will hinder you from finding the perfect house for you that is within your budget. This is why it is important to have the right real estate agent and mortgage broker on your side as you search for properties.
EmEz: How much money is a good down payment? (question from a viewer)
Michael: They say you want to have at least $20,000. That will take care of your down payment, your closing costs which consists of your taxes, attorney fees, lender fees, appraisals, inspections, and all of that. If you have $20-$30k, you are in a great position.
EmEz: Are you someone that can handle all of that? Appraisals and things of that nature?
Michael: Everything, I handle everything. I get people as far as me being a real estate agent, then I will get them a lender who deals with all of that as far as the mortgages and appraisals, I get them a home inspector, & an attorney. It’s a one stop shop here.
EmEz then asked the question, I am sure we all want to know by now, “How did you get into the field? Michael informed us it was because of his mother. He shared that he never had an interest in the sales industry, especially since he has a background working at a juvenile corrections facility. After leaving that position and being out of work for a while, he began to miss some of the overtime pay he was able to acquire while working at the facility. That is when he took on a sales position near his home at Woodbury Commons and discovered how good he really is with interacting & engaging with the people he would meet.
His mom then stepped in with a solution for him to begin working in real estate, mentioning that he would make higher sales by selling houses. Soon after he visited a real estate agency to speak to an agent who during their conversation showed him a commission check she made after selling one house. After seeing that check, he was sold on pursuing a career in Real Estate. Due to Michael’s obedience to his mother, he is now deemed as a Multi-Millionaire Real Estate Professional within the Tri-state and Pennsylvania area, within his first 5 years as a Real Estate Professional! Moral of story: Listen to your mama.
After making sense of it all, and visualizing how several commission checks, like the one he saw, could benefit him and lead him to financial freedom as an independent contractor, Michael was ready to do what was needed to become an agent. He gave himself a realistic goal of pursuing it for a year, and if after that year, he found that he was not successful in it, he was ready to walk away from the industry. Clearly, he did very well his first year for him to be the successful man he is today within the Real Estate industry.
Back to the questions...
EmEz:What happens if someone buys a house then all of the sudden they don't want it? Is there a grace period to get your money back? (question from a viewer)
Michael: Before you sign a contract you will usually have about 2 weeks to put an offer in and then after you put your offer in, you do your home inspection…but once you do your home inspection and you sit down with your attorney to sign that contract, then you are locked in. After you sign that contract, and you decide you don’t want that house, then whatever down payment you put down, you lose it. On the other end of it, for a seller, once they sign a contract, they are basically saying that they will not sell the house to anybody else, if you back out a month later, they lost time not marketing the house to other people.
EmEz:Which platform do you think is more effective for you when promoting your brand? (question from a viewer)
Michael: Social media as a whole is best since it allows you to touch thousands of people all in one shot. If you put good content out there then they can reach out to you, even if they are not a contact in your phone. Social media and word of mouth is the biggest because if you help one person close on their house, they are happy with you, then they will refer you also, so treat every customer like it’s your first because that can go a long way.
EmEz then shifted the conversation to focus on Michael’s book, he asked him, “Why did you write the book, what was the purpose, and who were you trying to reach in writing the book? Michael states, “I wrote the book 2 years ago but re-released and self published it this past year. I did that because when I first got into real estate, I helped over 100 people buy houses, and out of all those people I helped, they all had the same question around the process of buying a house.” Since the same question was frequently asked, he figured he would update his book & re-release it as a guide for first time home buyers. Tips from making the decision to buy a house to ultimately closing on your first home, & everything in between is included in his book. You can purchase the book on his website, & on Amazon.
Make sure to watch this episode of “The Sitdown w/EmEz Show” in its entirety. There are even more gems dropped which will be extremely helpful & advantageous to anyone that is thinking about buying their first home or looking to sell one.
You can catch the full interview below on EmEz’s Youtube Channel “The Sit Down with EmEz.”
(Photos Courtesy of Michael Lavan’s Instagram Page)