After an interesting thought came to mind today, I decided to share an old story and explain how it relates to the cash buyer’s industry.
The biggest bullfrog I have ever seen was during my 2nd-grade year in elementary school. A traveling zoology group brought a bunch of exotic animals to our classroom. I was excited! We got to move our desks into a huge circle (remember moving your desks out of the traditional rows? So awesome, right?). Then what I believe was a husband/wife couple proceeded to unload, from their cargo trailer, all sorts of animals into our classroom.
There were many types of fascinating snakes and lizards, but for some reason, as a young boy growing up in rural Michigan with a pond in my backyard (and as I considered myself to be an amateur bullfrog hunter with hopes to go pro someday), the animal that caught my attention was the African Bullfrog. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was the size of a dinner plate! Now, my dinner plate experience was limited and it’s possible that my size as a 7-year-old kid has locked in a memory that should proportionately adjust to my adult size, but I digress…just go along with me on the journey of a kid with a pond that caught all kinds of frogs: average frogs, leopard-spotted frogs, and yellow-bellied bullfrogs on a weather permitting daily basis and now, in my 2nd-grade classroom, I had just witnessed the biggest frog of my life! It filled the plate it sat on and seemed as big as any plate I’d ever seen. It made an impression and quite possibly, caused me to question my bullfrog hunting skills and abilities (which up to that point were second to none).
Fast-forward 25 years: I work on a project in Lakeside, AZ as a general contractor and real estate investor. I’m a principal investor of an REO property with a financing partner; the property is deep in the woods with tons of 100-feet ponderosa pines that back a large meadow with stellar views of Porter Mountain. A large Cattle Co. runs cattle directly behind us and our fence backs a watering tank. It’s huge, it’s never dry, and back home, we’d call it a pond, but in Arizona, they call it a tank.
I brought my young and ambitious nephew up to help out with keeping the worksite clean and filling the dumpster, as well as grab tools. This provided the 12-year old kid some extra cash and quality time with his uncle as well. A bit too often for a businessman, I kept catching my nephew hunting frogs. It’s cool, I don’t blame him – he worked hard and often had downtime in between trash runs, but he was becoming distracted. Why? He had seen the largest frog in his life; an elusive bullfrog that was reminiscent of the frog I’d seen as a 2nd grader and according to his description, a frog that was brought from Africa.
I gave him leeway instead of stopping him I said, if you come across a frog that big and you want to catch it, take a chance and go for it! I wasn’t hard on him. I didn’t say the job-site needed to be swept, but rather, I encouraged him to chase a dream! It’s my weakness: I believe in dreamers and their need to pursue – heck, I’m a dreamer myself!
Well, turns out, he caught it! It is no exaggeration or hyperbole to tell you it was every bit the size of the frog I was shown in Mrs. Stayer’s 2nd-grade class from the traveling zoological gypsies that came through rural Michigan that one fall day. I was not only impressed but also amazed and awestruck by it. First, it’s pure size and girth were note-worthy; even surreal. Second, my nephew set a goal and accomplished it. He was beaming with pride and so was I. The experience was a worthy distraction from the mundane task of sweeping and bagging trash.
He was so proud, he wanted to take it home to show everyone, so I agreed. His work deserved validation from his dad and the rest of his family and friends. It was a huge frog, it was soooo huge it deserved to travel the world and destroy the professional frog catching dreams of other 6 to 8-year-olds around the nation.
What was his goal? To put it into an aquarium and give it a life of leisure and luxury with a steady diet of crickets, flies and other bugs.
So, what did we do? We placed it into an orange Home Depot bucket, gave it some bugs and water, sealed the lid, strapped the bucket into the back of my F-350 diesel truck with a tie-down and headed back to the Phoenix Valley.
Now to be fair, the truck was getting old. The miles were getting pretty high and we were dealing with some maintenance issues that I thought I had resolved, but as we drove, we began to hear a crazy sound…
It was like someone was ringing a huge gong. I thought to myself, that can’t be the brakes.
What is that??!!
What the heck?!
I pull over, pop the hood, check the motor, check the wheels… NADA!
WEIRD, SO weird!
I started driving again, and just when I was finally reaching cruising speed… Once again: gooooonnnngggg!
What the hell???
This little cycle went on for some time. If you’re familiar with the area, it went on, deep into the Salt River Canyon. We pulled over, looked over the car, and find nothing after hearing repeated ‘GONG’ sounds.
Over, and over, and over again.
Finally, we realized what it was:
It was the frog jumping and running into the bottom of the bucket lid. That huge bullfrog had the power to jump and hit the bottom of the lid on a 5-gallon bucket and subsequently beat it like a drum!
Gooooniing! Booooong! Boooiiiinnngggg!
That frog was so big, so powerful, and so determined, it successfully popped the lid off of a Home Depot bucket! Now, stop and give that some thought. Have you ever removed a lid from a Home Depot 5 gallon bucket? It’s not easy, ‘can be very frustrating and difficult’ is NOT an understatement if you’re young OR elderly, right?
This frog didn’t care and validates the story of its size and strength.
How did we figure it out? Well, eventually, the noise stopped and we drove on. When we got to Globe, AZ, we stopped for food and to stretch, as well as to check on our amphibious passenger. The bucket was still strapped into the corner of the bed of the truck by the tie-down, but… you guessed it! Both the lid and the biggest bullfrog in Arizona were missing.
That’s when I realized where the “gong” sound was coming from. That poor bullfrog, who was in transit to living the happiest fattest life he ever experienced, used all his energy to escape it, to do things the way he wanted. We wanted to tell him how proud we were. We wanted him to know that we wanted to feed him, to see how big and how powerful he would become. We wanted him to know that we were his biggest fans, advocates if you will, and our intention was 100% focused on his growth and success.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t convey that message…
What in the hell does this story have to do with real estate, you might ask?
Well, honestly, I find myself in a similar situation in the #Proptech space as a business.
As the founder and CEO of ExitNest, we have created the world’s first cash buyer search engine! As a search engine and aggregator, we only succeed by feeding the best and biggest cash home buyers. ExitNest doesn’t buy houses, just like Kayak or Expedia aren’t flying planes. At ExitNest, we want to help home sellers find the best cash home buyer or iBuyer for their individual needs. Metaphorically speaking, “we just want to feed the beast and help it grow!”
Just like the frog my nephew caught, which faced a future of ease and luxury, we have been faced with the dismay of iBuyers refusing our help. In fact, Offerpad sent us a cease and desist letter, which is confusing, at best. Opendoor says “we don’t like your perception of real estate investors,” yet we continue to feed them and help them grow. We’ve worked hard on this, but it seems, just like the frog, the big iBuyers are hyper-focused and although we offer an opportunity for lower acquisition cost and free consumer education, they simply want out.
You know what? That’s O.K. They will still continue to buy the houses we bring them, even though they don’t want to solicit nor want to encourage our help. Unlike the frogs who discouraged our help, we want the new frogs coming to the pond to know that we are here to feed you! We’ll work to provide the best motivated, distressed and unconventional sellers that don’t want to use realtors until you are the biggest frog in the pond.
We are so excited to see the new kids on the block in the iBuyer space and welcome you with open arms. We will feed you and help you grow!
iBuyers help where Realtors and local cash buyers can’t, won’t, or simply charge too much. We’re here to tell you that it’s all changing!
ExitNest is leading and driving the #iBuyerRevolution and will continue to do so until they achieve their objective of increasing liquidity in the market, all while providing multiple options and choices for every single property type – from raw land to mobile homes, million-dollar properties or cheap condos and everything in between. We have buyers for them all. ExiNest is not only the world’s first Cash Home Buyer Search Engine, it’s the future of real estate!
If you’re an iBuyer, private equity group, hedge-fund, or Reit, reach out to us at [email protected] to set up a discovery call and learn how our disruptive and revolutionary tech can help you with acquisition, disposition, and how to deploy capital or to even grow your portfolio.
Founder/CEO of Exitnest, INC.