This Is Why You Should Follow Fulfillment

by Ben Handler

September 8, 2020

Top Training Institute for Buyer

Babak Haeri:

And also what I’ve learned the most or what I’ve integrated from the previous business to the buyer’s agency is people skills and how to communicate with people and connect with people and, and that’s important the most. Definitely.

Ben Handler:

Welcome to the buyer’s agent Institute show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyers agents to bring awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector provides people to bring awareness around the value that buys AIDS, provide to people who need help buying property. Our goal is to strip back and dive into the remarkable stories and journeys of buyer’s agents. We’re paving the way forward in one of the fastest growing career sectors in real estate in Australia right now. Our guest today is Babak. Hi Arie. Babak’s from Sydney. He’s on the Northern beaches. He’s an entrepreneur at heart. He’s been running businesses for the last 11 years. He works in landscaping. He’s ran two businesses in landscaping where he’s basically automated around 90% of the business, so he does not work in the business. He works out of the business, which has given him flexibility to start his buyer’s agent business called the investors agency.

Ben Handler:

Babak has bought property himself, not just where he lives but for investment purposes only. His first property he bought was around 10 years ago and he’s bought investment properties on a national level, so Babak’s buyer’s agent business. He’s focusing on principal place of residence, the Northern beaches, and he’s also buying investment properties on a national level and what he’s doing now with his buyer’s agent business, he’s implementing and integrating a lot of the skills that he’s learned running his businesses and now bringing this into his buyer’s agent business so he can also grow that. Also today I’d like to introduce Babak. Welcome Babak. Thanks Ben for having me. Pleasure to be here. Great to have you here. Thank you mate. I’ve always wanted to ask you this. How did you get into landscaping? Easiest thing to fall back on after school.

Babak Haeri:

I actually have no interest in landscaping. It was just a few of my other friends did it and just got into it and it’s very, very easy. And after a few months I realized, well, I worked for someone else for a year, but I realized it’s so simple I might as well start my own business. You bought your first property similar time to, I’m assuming when you started your landscape business, correct. Yet, I’m assuming you liked property more than landscaping? 100% yes. Did you ever think of becoming a real estate agent? No, never. A lot of buyer’s agents that I speak to, including myself, always wanted to get into real estate, didn’t want to become a real estate agent. And then when they realized they could become a buyer’s agent has jumped at that opportunity pretty much spot on. Yeah. I, I always had a healthy obsession with property. Um, but landscaping was the vehicle to allow me to do what I wanted to do for property and I automated the company thinking, no, that’s the dream.

That’s what everyone wants to do. And as soon as it was automated, I started going down a bit of a spiral. It’s not, it’s not, you know, it wasn’t what I wanted to do and I needed a purpose and, and you know, I was quite fortunate that I could start a business in what I love, which was property. It’s amazing that you, when we said the word automated, which was around 90%, you share with me, I’m assuming that’s giving you autonomy to fully step out of the business and the business just ran itself. Is that what you mean by that? That’s right. Yeah. So it takes about an hour a day. Um, I’m still the point of contact for a lot of the clients, but I’ve got systems in place for all the boys to work together and, and um, and quotes and quality control and all that sort of stuff.

But I’m still the point of contact for the clients. The next step is to fully automate that.

Ben Handler:

So and so out of that or would you keep it?

Babak Haeri:

No, I would keep it. Um, I see the landscaping maintenance company as the red role of a real estate agency. So that’s going to be the regular cashflow coming in. It’s going to be the safe, secure, regular income and the buyer’s agency can be the, you know, the shiny, exciting sales part of the business. Yeah. Nice. And if you commenced your buyer’s agent journey for the last, how long? Six months. Yeah, I started in may last year. I finished, yeah, I started the company in may last year and we were talking earlier and few things came to light, which I thought would be good to discuss now as one is you said you were fortunate enough to have an income coming in via your landscaping business to support you while you were learning.

The trade is a buyer’s agent, right?

Ben Handler:

That’s correct. Yeah. And I think for anyone looking to get into this, right, if you can have that supplementary income supporting you, it’s a lot less risk. 100% yeah. If you can, if you can have a regular income coming in or if you have enough savings backing you then, then yeah, it’s a lot less risk and a lot safer and, and you’ll go a lot further in succeeding I think. Because if you have that, that stress on your shoulders that you’re cashflow poor and you don’t have that income, I think your pro, your potential clients will see that as well when you get in front of them. Yeah, exactly. That’s right. We also talking around, you had a client meeting earlier on in, you know, the, for your first few months getting going. Yeah. And they obviously, from what I understood, maybe found a property themselves.

Babak Haeri:

They didn’t require your service then they referred you to a family member to their son. So let’s talk a bit about that because I, I thought that that was, uh, that was phenomenal hearing that. Yeah. So it was a, a more mature couple. They had investment properties all around Australia and they were looking for owner occupied house on the Northern beaches, close to their son, close to one of their sons. And he was honest with me and he said, look, we enjoy the process. We’re here for another two weeks. If we don’t find a property in two weeks, then you’ll be, the business is all yours. And I felt the, I felt the meeting went well, but when they say that, you know, it’s a little bit demoralizing, but I did, I did feel it went well. And then a few months later I got, I got re the son of that same client was that the son of that same prospect reached out me and, and I’ve got the business.

Ben Handler:

So yeah, very good. I mean, to me what that screams out is obviously you built a high level of trust. There was credibility, there was rapport for, for them, just to be honest and let you know, which has happened to me before, where there I’ve found something or I bought something, I don’t require you any more. But then to refer someone in their family, that’s a big win. Yeah, 100% it was, it was really, it was very, very rewarding. Uh, even though I didn’t get that first sale, it was a very, very rewarding knowing that they referred their son onto me. Cause I know I did everything I could of in, in my prospect meeting. Do you think with the skill that you’ve developed over 11 years running two businesses, you’ve obviously got staff, I know you’ve got around eight staff, right? Yep. So you know what it’s like hiring and doing all the fun stuff.

Do you feel like that you’ve been able to integrate a lot of the business lessons that you’ve had from your previous business into this new business?

Babak Haeri:

Definitely, yet 100%. And also what I’ve learned the most or what I’ve integrated from the previous business to the buyer’s agency is people skills and how to communicate with people and connect with people and, and, and that’s lovely at the most, definitely. It’s such, I mean share your experience, but for my experience, like I came from the corporate world and I was a young guy when I got into this and I hadn’t run businesses like you or manage people and all that stuff or the fun stuff. I really feel that this simple skills that you do well at in this role, which you said people skills, communication, listening, you know, I think there’s very simple skills you need to succeed in this role.

Ben Handler:

Did you agree?

Babak Haeri:

100% I am not a sales salesman. I never have been a salesman. And I was concerned about that to be honest. Uh, going into this new business in real estate, I was quite concerned about not having that skillset and I think Sophie has worked in my favor not having that skillset. I don’t have the sales side, but what I do have is just listening and understanding and solving the problems. It’s true. Like I said, as everyone knows, I didn’t come from a sales background either and I totally agree. It worked to my advantage and I think it could work to a lot of people’s advantage getting to this sector because it’s consultative, right?

Ben Handler:

As you said, you’re solving problems, you’re listening, and we’re here to see if it can work or not. So let’s talk about what’s going on with your business.

Because I know for a lot of people, including myself, it’s, it’s never Rosie, there’s always, it’s like a yoyo roller coaster, whatever you want to call it. It’s up and down as an entrepreneur. Obviously you were sharing that the first six months was taking time to build momentum. Right? That’s right to the first six months. It’s a lot of ’em prospects, a lot of, um, referral partner meetings and, and getting your name out there and a lot of stuff on social media and, and just, um, just getting comfortable with the space because it’s, it’s a brand new industry. It’s a different beast ride compared to landscaping. It’s a different beast. So just getting comfortable with, with, with the space and what you’re working with. That was the first six months. Yeah. And did things move as fast as you thought or, I had my expectations, quite my, my expectations were quite realistic.

Babak Haeri:

Um, the first six months than I, I, I knew it was going to be quite difficult and it was. Um, but after that it was, I feel like I was just filling up that pipeline in that funnel and it really just started taking off from there. Yeah. I love, I’m noticing online you’re doing deals, you’re signing up a lot of clients.

Ben Handler:

How many clients you sign up recently?

Babak Haeri:

So we’ve got four in the past four weeks. We’ve got two this week, um, who are trying to get the finance sorted for us, potentially six in four weeks. Wow, that’s good. So it’s now a lot of the work, I mean, I’m just finished reading a book called atomic habits. We’ll talk about that earlier and it very much talks about you 1% a day, 1% of effort every single day. And it starts to compound 100% and really focusing on daily activities and really focusing on systems instead of goals.

And then everything starts to build. And I’m assuming that a lot of the work you put in in that first six months is now gaining momentum. Exactly. That’s shot. Yeah. And, and it’s also, it’s like you said that all the work you put in initially start, you started getting the my momentum. But also when you get a bit of traction, people can and you get a bit of traction and a bit more, um, confidence and you start getting in front of more prospects and the way you’re talking, your language, your body language, all that sort of stuff. People read that, right? So it’s all just a matter of, um, you know, really hustling that first six months and, and having realistic expectations. But as soon as you start getting a bit of traction, uh, people feed off it and they can, they can sense it.

It’s on that point regarding communication. Verbal, verbal communication plays a very small part. Body language tonality play the most important parts when you’re talking with prospects or talking with people. And so what people don’t realize a lot of the time that the words that we’re saying aren’t that relevant and it’s around, you know, when you’re talking about confidence, it’s around, people can feel that. They can see your posture, they can judge you by the tone of your words. That speed speeds obviously got to do with confidence if you talk way too quick. And so there’s a lot to to do when we turn up to meetings regarding communication. These are just skills that we learn throughout life. Right? Exactly.

Ben Handler:

100% I think the landscaping stuff helped me quite a bit, but I, it was a lot of, it was subconscious with the landscaping stuff, with the buyer’s agency stuff, I’ve made it a lot more front of mind and I’m really trying to focus on it and better myself and, you know, reading books and, and um, and, and just taking advice and listening to other people.

Cause like you said, the language is 10% the rest of it’s the body language and persona. Yeah. It’s so true. Are you happier now running your buyer’s agent business?

Babak Haeri:

I’m much happier. So I actually thought the dream was to have it fully automated business before. And as I mentioned, I started getting quite bad anxiety and started going down a spiral. And, and now I’ve, I’ve never been happier. I’d say it’s a cliche, but if you love what you do and it doesn’t feel like work and it sounds cheesy and it’s true and um, I guess I’m really lucky that I found something that I found a passion that I can monetize cause a lot of people can’t do that. It’s true. And I think, you know, mental health, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s increasing everywhere. Especially in, I know in the States and Australia and a lot of us do is people I don’t think are working on purpose.

Ben Handler:

They’re, they’re stuck in jobs they don’t like or running businesses they don’t want to be running and it takes its toll right after. I like that compounds like I was in that space when I’ve worked, when it’s a corporate like it, it compounds and a few years or 10 years or of that it has impact. Right. 100%. Yeah. Talk through the client experience in the sense of are you enjoying a lot more working with the client, communicating with the client, developing a relationship and then buying like compared to what you’ve been doing previously with your work. I know you’re so out of the business now, but I do know that you’re telling me you were speaking to clients in your landscaping business. Are you finding it a lot more fulfilling working with clients in the buyer’s agent capacity?

Babak Haeri:

100% because it’s what I love. It’s a passion.

Real estate is what I love and I feel like I’m adding a lot more value to someone’s life, finding them their forever home or finding them an investment property then renovating their gardens for their family coming over before Christmas. You know what I mean? Like so it’s 100% yet. What do you love about real estate so much? I know you started obviously 10 11 years ago buying your first property, but I mean everyone talks about real estate in Australia and I’m just curious to know like what drew you to it and what do you love about it? No one’s ever asked me that question before. So I got into it first because when I started working full time, my dad were living at home with my sister and my dad said either move out and pay rent or start paying him rent or he’s going to buy us our first investment property and we paid the mortgage.

So that’s how I got into it. And we obviously took the latter option. Um, he bought us an investment property and, and, and yeah, we started paying, you know, my sister and I started paying it off and it could be you just start seeing the results maybe then maybe that was the less I saw the results and, and I saw the, the power it can have in terms of investing if you do a properly. And I think that’s where I just grew a healthy obsession for it. Yeah. It’s interesting because it’s so talked about in this country, it’s all over the papers, the news magazines and people love it here. People throw everything. They’ve got a lot into their primary residence. It’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s a, it’s an, it’s an amazing obsession. But I always just get curious around why certain people fall in love with it.

Ben Handler:

Some people are trying, obviously just primarily build wealth through assets. Um, some are looking to obviously have passive income. I mean everyone’s got different strategies focusing on the Northern beaches. So that’s where you’re from. You’re from Narrabeen yeah, I mean I see that as a big market, especially for PPOR. It’s a great market. It’s an expensive market, a lot of opportunity there. Are you planning on dividing time between that and any investment on a national level, you now want to focus more on one or the other or how’s that?

Babak Haeri:

So I originally started the company to only help investors find investment properties and I started getting quite a few inquiries for people looking for an occupied on the Northern beaches. And I know most of the agents in the area. I know the area back to front. Um, I’ve spent the past 25 years on the Northern beaches, so it just seems crazy to not not add value to people in that area.

So now I’m focusing on both building both of it up and sort of see where it goes. My true passion is helping people create passive incomes. That’s what I am passionate about. I’m helping people create portfolios and finding a mixture of growth and yield and balancing it together so they can live off the legal, live off the income and eventually give up work if they want to. However, just because of the contacts and the knowledge I have on the Northern beaches, I, it would be a shame not to help people there as well to leverage that. When you say contacts, I assume you’re spitting out real estate agents. Exactly. You know a lot of agents there. Yeah. Most of the agents on the Northern beaches. Just because you, while your landscape and you love property and you kept inspecting properties and just buying property and buying property.

Lots of work with the landscaping companies for real estate agents. A lot of the agents we grew up wearing that around the same age we grew up together. Um, so just a mixture of all three. Yeah. It’d be crazy not to leverage that. Yeah. And so have you started getting some referrals from real estate agents? I haven’t done, yeah. From a few of the few of the local, there’s agents that we grew up with, so, so yeah, it’s been good. And the national buying, so have you basically earmarked specific States that you are buying it? Exactly. Yeah. So I’ll do some research on a macro level based on what States have the population infrastructure, supply and demand, all that sort of stuff. And then, um, and then we just narrow it down onto a micro level from there. Each area we buys different based on the client’s needs.

Ben Handler:

So you know, someone who’s on $300,000 a year, we’re not going to go find them a $300,000 property property on the Northern beaches, I mean in Brisbane, sorry. You know what I mean? Whereas someone who is on $60,000 a year, they might need several properties to add to their income. So where we’re finding for our clients is really dependent on what their goals and needs and wants are. Yeah. I mean it needs to be specific. It can’t be like that one size fits all approach. So we real estate agents in different States. Do you fly there, meet them, build up relationships with those people? Yes. So that’s quite difficult actually though. It’s, it’s hard because you know, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll have a look into the data and there’ll be an area where we think it’s really going to perform and then we have to start working really aggressively to build those relationships in those areas.

Babak Haeri:

So, and it’s hard because those agents have buyer’s agents and contacts that they’ve used over the past 20 years. So that’s quite difficult. But I guess the, uh, it’s hard. It’s hard in that sense, but at least like, we know that we’re buying an area that’s going to be performing very strongly. So what we don’t, what we can’t get in terms of the contacts as much as the locals we get in terms of the research, we have access to the data, we have access to negotiating with agents in different areas of say Queensland in let’s say a regional area that you may not be buying infrequently based on the Northern beaches. And you knowing the agents and chatting with them and growing up with them and then buying property there for yourself.

Ben Handler:

Do you find the negotiations are different, easier in Brisbane? Really?

Babak Haeri:

Yeah. Easier in those areas that you just mentioned, if I finding the $300,000 property, $400,000 property, it’s easier to negotiate.

It also depends on the time of the market ride. Right now in the Northern beaches, if I’m the agent’s friend, they’re not going to care because the markets, there’s 60 people going through the open homes.

Do you know what I mean? So I have the contacts and they give referrals and give me access to off-market property and stuff. But being able to negotiate, they have their clients’ best interests at heart. Do you know what I mean? They have every right to, um, do everything in their power to, to sell the house at the highest price. That’s what they have to do. Yeah. So we’re at Brisbane at the moment. In some of the areas, there’s nowhere near as much demand, so we can negotiate much more successfully as part of our role. I strongly believe that is our relationships with the agents to have strong relationships or to know how to negotiate with them, especially better than the average buyer.

Ben Handler:

Do you enjoy the negotiation with agents on behalf like that? Is that a part of the process you like?

Babak Haeri:

I do. I enjoy it. And it’s, it’s a lot of it’s about understanding how each agent works, right? And you get to know that over, over, over time. So on the Northern beaches, I know this agent works in this way that this agent works in that way, this agent doesn’t like going to auction. They’ll take off those prior to auction. You know what I mean? So it’s really understanding about how each agent works and working with them to get the best result. Yeah, it’s a very good point around understanding what is the preference of that agent.

Do they love to clear stock prior to auction? If yes, let’s give them an offer, let’s close it. 66 w let’s do a deal. Um, yeah, it’s interesting and that that’s, that’s a lot of the value, I believe why people engage us as buyers agents is so we can strategically make effective decisions on their behalf to get the best property at the best price.

Ben Handler:

Right. 100% yeah, and I mean Queensland, it’s, I mean, I’ve bought property for myself there before. It’s, it’s such a different ball game. Just dealing with the agents there, the way they do business. It’s an indifferent States. It all varies. It’s, it’s quite, I mean it’s, it’s, it’s fascinating. Don’t you think? 100% I was having a laugh, actually. I inquired with an agent on Saturday and he didn’t get back to me until Wednesday night. 10:00 PM he sent me a text message at 10:00 PM and I was just thinking to myself, if an agent did this in Sydney, they would lose. They wouldn’t, they wouldn’t survive. You would not survive. It’s true. Yeah. Their, their work. I mean, I don’t know if their work ethic is different, but it definitely, everywhere. There’s just a different vibe. Even the Eastern suburbs, the Northern beaches to the agents in Sydney.

Babak Haeri:

I feel like there’s a different vibe in a West and Northern, like everything’s just a bit different. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

What are plans for your business? Right?

Babak Haeri:

So you’ve obviously getting a lot of traction now for six months, a lot of building, building systems and you know, building your network, et cetera. Now you’re getting traction. What are the plans for the next six months? So I’m not going to take on admin the moment I was thinking about someone, another sales position, but if I take on another sales position, I’ll just end up be DePaul, end up doing their admin. So I’m looking to take on admin shortly and that’s really going to be in the next six months in terms of putting for taking, putting someone else on. Um, but I, like I said before, I’m a firm believer of not trading your time for money. So the medium to long term goal is to hire staff.

And I mean, I’m doing what I love, but I feel like if I was going to be a sole trader, I would just work with someone else. You know, that’s sort of my belief. Some people might not agree with it, but if I was going to work for myself, you might as well just save, save the hassle of having your own business and work for someone else.

Ben Handler:

That’s how I feel. Yeah. So you, you, you’re, you effectively will hire people. So there’s revenue coming into your business just outside of you. Exactly. That’s interdependent on that amount and that, that, that I agree with that philosophy. That’s why we’re in business. Right?

Babak Haeri:

Yeah, that’s right.

Ben Handler:

Otherwise you’re right. Go, go work for someone else and don’t deal with the, all the headaches. Yeah. Are you planning on it all focusing more on PPOR or are you planning on just having a healthy mix for the investment slash people por probably for now a healthy mix, but that will change.

Um, I assume it will change. I guess I just got to see where, where it gets traction at the moment. My passion, like I said, is uh, helping investors. But that might change. I might start having a real passion for PPOR as well. So at the moment, a healthy mix and we’ll see how it goes. Had there been any surprises starting this business? I mean I know start, I mean I’ve started multiple businesses and but is there anything that like that you, that you weren’t expecting when you started this business? Was it, was there anything that has kind of shocked you in a good way or about like has there been any, I guess aha moments just has there been anything that’s kind of really, cause it’s what, from what I’m been hearing, you’re working previously running your Lance and you still are your landscape business, obviously not that fulfilled.

You’re running a new business now where you’re, you seem connected with the work, it’s your passion, you’re monetizing your knowledge. Has life changed in a good way? Like as has anything 100% like I said, I, I was, I had anxiety and we’re talking earlier, I was waking up with clenching my teeth all night and, and a whole heap of stuff which had underlying issues I think with not having fulfillment. And since, since having, since starting the buyer’s agency, that’s all disappeared. I’ve, I’m up at 5:00 AM every morning. Never had more energy. I used to have two double shock coffees a day. Now I just have one single in the morning. Um, I don’t need alcohol to unwind after a big week at work. You know, it’s just if you’re doing what you love, you don’t need, it’s just, yeah, it’s great. I haven’t, I haven’t looked back in terms of anything.

Babak Haeri:

I wasn’t prepared for course, honestly prepared me for everything. So I was sort of, I, I knew what was, I knew I had the expectations with that. Yeah. It’s, um, I, it’s, it’s, it’s nice and reassuring just hearing around how you were looking after yourself previously and now when you are connected with your work and you’re fulfilled, you don’t need that stuff is like vices. And that’s, I mean, the, the, the goal I think is for all of us on this planet to be doing what we love and a lot of us aren’t. And so when you’re not, I think in tune with what you’re supposed to be doing, it causes a lot of friction. I feel like life can really get wild. 100% can get wild.

Ben Handler:

So before we finish up, have you got any like big grand plans for this business? Is it something, I know you want to hire staff and you’re obviously a, you know, you’re an entrepreneur and you know how to run things, but are you looking to grow like your business for example, or have you even thought about this to have offices in different States?

Are you just focusing on the next six months on systems?

Babak Haeri:

Obviously maybe an admin hire and just keeping it simple like that. I haven’t thought grand plans, but I do, I do want to office, I’ve had that vision of, of having a nice relaxed vibe in the office. So when staff want to come and go, not set nine to five hours, they have the choice to come and go as they please. As long as the tasks are getting are getting done. Um, I have this vision in my head, but obviously obviously we’re moving further and further away from the typical office nine to five, you know, society’s moving away from that. So I’m not sure if that’s going to happen, but I’ve always had that vision of, of having you know, staff and, and having a really cool work life balance, but have that place where people can, where we can all work together if we choose to.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, that’s awesome. And so leading up and put a finishing off now, what, where can people find you?

Babak Haeri:

So on all the socials, uh, the investors agency or Babak at the investors agency as well on Instagram, LinkedIn of course on the website, theinvestorsagency.com.

Ben Handler:

Awesome mate, great chatting. And congratulations like just hearing how it is isn’t always so rosy, but when you do put in the work, while it’s not rosy, it does pay off. And I think that’s a very, very powerful outcome when you do your daily activities and you stay resilient and you stay true to where you need to go. So congrats. It’s great hearing about your success. Thank you very much. Thanks for having me. You’re welcome. So check out Babak, where he just mentioned he’s a real good entrepreneur, knows what he’s doing. He’s bought property for himself, not just to live in, but for investment purposes only.

Especially if you are looking around the Northern beaches, whether it’s you know, to move and relocate or you want to look for investment properties. He’s actually based there and he’s building a presence there and he knows a lot of the agents very well. So it’s very, very good market knowledge, but also on a national level investing. He’s done it himself. He’s buying for clients now. So check out Babak. It was awesome chatting. And more importantly, it’s just great to know when you are working on purpose, how your life can on all levels. And you heard Babak story around where now that he’s working on purpose, that vices that he used to do in order to feel better, he doesn’t need them anymore. So it’s a good message for all of us to know that it’s important to work out what we love to do and make change. If you have to see a next week.

 

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