What You Missed November 2018 General Meeting
The Art of Amplifying Your Essence Until Your Clients Have Been Moved to Subliminal Intoxication...
November 6, 2018
“I came over from Delray Beach to speak with you for an hour about my story. I was born in Indiana, the oldest of six, my father a banker, my mother a schoolteacher,” began Frank.
“I got on a plane when I was 18 because I was kicked out of two high schools. I was sent to Canon City, Colorado and was taught by Benedictine monks. They gave you a horse if you took horsemanship. They asked me to leave after a few months.”
I just had to start over. I had a $50 bill when I landed in Florida. Back then there was a show called The Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous and I was a fan. I worked digging holes for sand traps in a golf course and I watched people who did not have to go to work, who just played golf. Then I would see Robin Leach talk about the people I saw every day.
I had no education, no connections, and no money. I was proud to be working and was in a one-bedroom apartment with two other maintenance workers. I furnished my apartment from Woolworth’s for $5.10, and slept on a blow-up raft, which doubled as my shower curtain.
I was good at tennis, but my friends were making $40 per hour teaching tennis and I was making $4 per hour cleaning up. I decided I wanted to be a tennis instructor. I took a class for three weeks and became a “Certified Licensed Professional” tennis instructor. Then I started my own business as a tennis instructor.
I went to all the ocean communities and their managers to say I would provide training on their tennis courts. I went to Kinko’s and printed my “Director of Tennis” business cards. I was then making $50 per hour, or $2000 per week. As an entrepreneur, I was making $100,000 per year at 21.
I saved my money, had no vices and was lonely. But saving my money enabled me to drive a Ferrari at age 21. I also noticed that the people to whom I taught tennis had three-million-dollar houses and drove up in a Mercedes. I then wore my tennis students out so they had to sit for awhile to catch their breath; that gave me a chance to pick their brains.
One man told me he first bought a duplex and I had to ask what a duplex is. He said he now had 300 units paying him $600 per month. He was getting $30,000,000 per month. To a person, they all invested in real estate, so I saved my money till I had $36,000. I needed $100,000, so I asked my students, and finally got two yeses so I got my $100,000. I bought a HUD repossession and got the key.
I had to break the door down to get in and found that the house was used by prostitutes and drug users. I decided to be a house designer. I put on a new roof, three coats of paint and a white picket fence. I made $7,000 on the first sale and felt really good about it.
For the first five years I did not do a house over $100,000. By the time I got done with those houses I was making $25,000 profit per house. One day I was early to church and, in driving around, I saw another crack house, but it was on the ocean. It was $750,000, but was the same as the other houses I did. It was just the process.
I talked to my wife and we decided to sell our house, our cars and our clubs. She said, “Tell me the numbers.” I told her we could buy it for $750,000, put $250,000 into it and sell it for $2 million, giving us one million without having to do it again. We bought the house and went over budget for $300,000. I put it on the market for $2.2 million and got an offer for $1.8 mil. I declined it, but nine months later I sold it for $1.4 million. I learned a good lesson.
Frank showed us several other houses, from $10 million to $25 million, but they were all renovations. Now the buyers want new construction, so I do all new homes.
I spent a year designing a huge home and wanted to build a nine-figure spec house but, while they were bringing the concrete for the pilings, there were two guys on bicycles who wanted to buy it. I sold it for $10 million more than I paid for it. He decided not to buy it, so I bought it back and subdivided it into five lots.
You need to heighten the senses of your buyer by touching all five senses. Stress the sight, smell, sound and touch. If you accost the senses, you will open the impulse window and they will buy. You have to move them from need to live in the house to desire to live in the house.
The three areas to stress are the kitchen, the master bath and the master bedroom. All three are chosen by the female, but you also have to have a room in which the man can see himself watching the game with a beer.
Inside every one of my houses is a finished contract with everything filled out except the buyer and the price, because I am always ready to close the deal.
My next project will be my last and best. It will be post-formed prestressed concrete slabs so there will be no posts in the way of the ocean view.
If you are selling a house, make sure you show it yourself and treat yourself as an artist. Take pride in telling the story of the house and all the things that went into it. Get to the point you can tell your own story.
Healthy ego is simply passion and a belief that you can do it better than most. I love creating art in three dimensions. My constructive outlet is my houses.
Motivation disappears and does not last. We can’t stay motivated, so stop beating yourself up for not staying motivated. Inspiration: Watch an inspirational movie, but inspiration also dissipates. What changed my life was aspiration. I aspired to look up to the people I taught tennis to. The best inspirational book is Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory.
I found that I aspired to help families in Haiti to have a home to go to. What legacy do you aspire to leave? I know the houses in Haiti will crumble one day but, in the meantime, the people will have great homes and can learn to be self-sufficient.
We each have a highest calling, but how about your spiritual highest calling? I saw the article about my selling the highest-priced home in Palm Beach County. On the other side of the page was an article about a soup kitchen feeding the homeless under an underpass. At that time, I decided to work for one hour a week in the soup kitchen.
From that, I found that I could help some of the poorest people of Haiti.
If you are starting out, you need to have some of your own money to get into the game. The first-time buyer market and the upper-level markets are always stable in any market. Anything between $150,000 and $2.2 million is dicey.
Frank talked about his books and introduced his tree-house auction, where the highest bidder would spend time in his treehouse and view the current construction progress. He earned almost enough to build one house in Haiti and thanked us for our participation.