Husband & Wife Powerhouse Team Christine Kwon & Olivier Rigon – How we “Do It”
Husband / Wife Powerhouse Team Christine Kwon & Olivier Rigon – How we “Do It”
Get it…haa-haa! I am cracking myself up. :0)
Questions asked to Christine and Olivier
1. Tell us your background, where are you from, how did you two love birds meet?
2. Have you guys been flipping since you met? what were each of you doing prior to jumping into real estate?
3. How did you decide at the beginning who was going to do what in your RE biz? How did you separate the “duties’ and why did you decide to do it the way you did?
4. Do you feel you have balance between business, kids and husband/wife time? How do you fit it all in, what is your secret?
5. What are the best systems you have in place to run an efficient Rehab Machine?
6. What are you 2018 goals and are you on track to hit them?
7. What have you had to tweek or change this year to stay on track with your goals?
8. What is each of your FAVORITE part of your business?
9. What was your favorite thing to do in high school? What are your hobbies now?
10. How can people reach you to send you deals. Do you JV with other investors at all?
Complete Transcript of the Show
Joe Bauer: Welcome to another edition of the Seattle Investor’s Club podcast where we talk about the nuts and bolts of real estate investing. My name is Joe Bauer, and I have my lovely co-host Julie Clark on the call, Julie how are you doing?
Julie Clark: I’m doing lovely. Thanks Joe.
Joe Bauer: Yeah, lovely?
Julie Clark: Lovely, I’m doing good.
Joe Bauer: My lovely co-host is doing lovely.
Julie Clark: Yes I am, and we have two lovely people on podcast with us today that we’re very excited about.
Joe Bauer: Oh yeah. Husband and wife powerhouse team, Christine and Olivier, how are you guys doing?
Olivier Rigon: Hello, doing great.
Christine Kwon: Yeah, hi.
Olivier Rigon: Thanks for having us.
Joe Bauer: Yeah, we’ve been wanting to have you guys on the podcast for some time now, so this is some exciting stuff finally got you.
Olivier Rigon: There you go, here we are.
Julie Clark: Do you guys like my joke that I was cracking myself up, you guys get it?
Christine Kwon: Yeah and-
Julie Clark: Husband and wife powerhouse team.
Olivier Rigon: That’s a nice [inaudible 00:01:14]
Julie Clark: How we do it. Get it? Do it. I thought I was so funny guys I was cracking myself up when I said that.
Olivier Rigon: We are slow to understand things you know. So I guess few days to understand things and then we react.
Julie Clark: Yeah, I’m just giving Joe reasons to name our podcast explicit, so we get more listens. It’s pretty funny. I don’t know one time I must have dropped an f-bomb and then I saw that our podcast said explicit on it on there. Now every time we’re thinking of what topic we’re going to cover, for some reason my mind goes straight to the gutter. I can’t help it, got to stay entertained.
Joe Bauer: All right.
Julie Clark: So let’s do it, let’s kick this off.
Joe Bauer: Yeah guys.
Olivier Rigon: All right.
Joe Bauer: Welcome, tell us about your background, where are you guys from, how did you guys meet, how did you get into real estate. Give us the full spectrum.
Olivier Rigon: We don’t know where we meet and how we meet, [inaudible 00:02:25] blame our efforts. Basically my name is Olivier, I’m French, Christine is Korean. We actually met in Atlanta, I was visiting there and she was living there. We meet on St. Patrick’s Day, I was drunk, she was drunk. We were in a bar, we met, and five years later we have three young kids and-
Christine Kwon: Yeah we actually met right in front of the restaurant as I was waiting in the line. It was so romantic. Yeah, that’s how we met, and I’m from Korea. So we are both from foreign countries, but I was living here very long time, and we absolutely love here. In a world [inaudible 00:03:12] of opportunities, that is bearable for us.
Julie Clark: Awesome, I don’t know why I didn’t expect you guys to say that as far as that you met when you were drunk in line at a restaurant.
Olivier Rigon: We share a lot.
Julie Clark: That makes me love you even more.
Olivier Rigon: I know too much information.
Julie Clark: All right, awesome stuff. How long you guys been flipping? Have you been doing that since you met? What were you guys doing prior to jumping in real estate other than drinking a lot?
Olivier Rigon: That hasn’t stabbed us. We actually started to flee when we moved to Seattle. Prior to that on my side, I was actually a dog trainer for the special forces and for the police for different things, drug detection expert depiction. I did pretty much every scene the dog in the street, and Christine will tell you what she did.
Christine Kwon: I worked in software development architect for the companies before I did this. Olivier said that we started flipping two and half years ago, but we actually did flipping before. When Olivier moved to US first time, after meeting his lovely wife, we like okay, I had a home and I told him can you do a few things, like replacing floors and painting?
Julie Clark: You were testing him out as a husband, that’s good.
Olivier Rigon: I need a job back then.
Christine Kwon: No I was like, “Here’s your free resource, use this. “I was living in a town home, and I asked him to do few things, and I listed a home, and we made some money, not a lot of money. Then we bought our house, and the house was really outdated and cheap. That was his main job to renovate the entire home. Then after that we sold the home and we end up making like $45,000 in six months-
Olivier Rigon: IS this in Atlanta?
Joe Bauer: Yeah, in Atlanta.
Olivier Rigon: Yeah, that was Atalanta.
Christine Kwon: So, when we bought the house we didn’t have a plan to move here. We were planning on living there for long time and he was slowly updating the home. But then I got a job offer from Amazon, so we had to sell it and move as soon as we bought a house. That’s how we ended up getting into real estate, he had to finish the whole thing. We sold it for $45,000 and we came here, then we liked. Maybe we should think about flipping because he was doing a really good job, and then it is something that we can depended together.
Julie Clark: Wow, so you sort of accidentally fell in it?
Olivier Rigon: Yeah totally, that wasn’t planned to flee the house. I mean we were planning on living there for a long time, but then we suddenly had to move right away. So we have to speed up on the process for the rehab. So we did it like a mini rehab without any expense or anything. We make some good money out of it, and we fell in love with it. That’s great money to get.
Julie Clark: Yeah, nice. Awesome. It sounds like Olivier was tasked from the start as the guy that did all the project management, swung the hammer and … did you actually do the work yourself on that house or did you hire-
Olivier Rigon: Yeah, I did a lot myself. I actually did use some subs but I did some of the flooring, I did all the painting, I did a few things. I’m really limited, I’m not a handyman at all. I’m actually really bad. I did what I can, but we use a lot of subs, that was the start, yeah.
Christine Kwon: Looking back it’s really funny because now we know everything about real estate, where we think that we know most of everything about real estate. Back then we had no knowledge, but we found a home that was off market, the owner was moving out of state and they wanted to sell it fast, in the [inaudible 00:07:09]. We just randomly found this house and we became friends with the owner and they sold it to us. So we had no idea about anything but we bought it off market from the people moving out of the state, and it was just enough but outdated. We could add value, and sold it for profit. I think it’s meant to be.
Julie Clark: Right, exactly. No doubt about it. So that was a natural progression into how you guys end up separating duties. I mean you recently quit your job. How long has it been now? Six months? Nine months or
Christine Kwon: I quit at the end of January, so it’s been about four-
Olivier Rigon: Three, four months.
Christine Kwon: Four months.
Julie Clark: Three, four months, crazy. How did you get to the point that you decided it was … you were good to go? I mean obviously I know you guys have been crushing it for quite a while in your business which is super impressive. I would say out of almost everybody in the club, watching your steady climb from just stepping in when we met you a few years ago to where you are now, I mean you guys have just systematically just continued to grow like textbook almost. Very impressive, I mean you guys have not gotten sidetracked … Well, maybe, let me put that back. I think you had one daughter when we met you. So I’d say a little side tracked because now you have three, but either that or you’re celebrating your wins in the right way.
Olivier Rigon: We like to make our life complicated. So we’re adding kids.
Julie Clark: Yeah, how did you decide it was time to quit Christine?
Christine Kwon: Well, so what we did is basically we set goals, and we said that from the beginning in order for me to quite this job we need to reach a certain financial goals. So one thing was to have enough the rental income. We’ve been doing this for about two and half years here in Seattle. We have an eight rental properties now. We met some of those goals that we set out so that I can actually quit my job.
Christine Kwon: That’s how we did, make sure that you first set the goal so that what will allow you to quit. It’s not like just to quit, and like let’s see and if I can really do it because we have a young kids, we also have employees in our job. We have to make sure that we can financially sustain for a long time. So we did all that and when we reach that goal I was like, okay it’s time for me to quit and focus on building business.
Julie Clark: Right. Do you guys own those eight rentals that you’ve bought? Have you bought those steadily through the years or have you bought them all in the last year or are they like slips that didn’t turn out to be great or you for whatever reason just decided well, we’ll keep it as a rental but it wasn’t your intention in the beginning to keep it as a rental? How did you end up with the eight?
Olivier Rigon: No, I mean all the houses we bought for rentals they were planning to be a rentals.
Julie Clark: Gotcha.
Christine Kwon: Yeah, fortunately we haven’t actually lost any money by flipping or even to this day. As Olivier mentioned all the rentals we have now were intentionally purchased as rentals. So the first year when got into business we bought three single family, and the second year we added more, and third year we added more. So every year we have goals for rentals, and goals for flips. So, that’s how we’ve been adding it.
Julie Clark: What are your goals for rentals and flips right now?
Christine Kwon: For this year we’ll probably purchase about four more rentals for the remaining year. When I say four they can be … It doesn’t have to be four single family. We are targeting more multifamily either or fourplexes or a combination of duplexes or something like that, so we want to add four more doors. For the flips, we set goals for in terms of dollar amounts, we don’t really say no less he so the deals. We usually say okay for your 2018, our goal is to net about $750,000 in net profit, that’s how we set the goals.
Julie Clark: Awesome, I love that because nobody talks about it like that. I mean you don’t hear people setting their goals on net amount they want to make. What I mean as far as people always talk, it always amazes me, how many have you flipped or how many flips have you done? That really is a number that doesn’t matter, right?
Olivier Rigon: Exactly, that’s why we stand out actually, I mean when we figured out the first year we did 15 dealer was awesome, we make good money out of it. But the second year we actually did less deal then we make more money. That’s the amount of deal is the quality of the deals. So, that’s important.
Christine Kwon: Yeah, what we decide to focus … Every year we actually sit down together and then set the goal for the year. And we talked about it’s really not the number of deals because if you set the goal for a number of the deals when you chase after all the numbers like they know you’re trying to buy whatever makes sense. But if you set the goal target for net profit then you actually really validate and evaluate each deal in to place, doesn’t really makes sense. Should we really do this?
Christine Kwon: One of the reasons we do it this way is because finding quality contractors and keeping them long time is not really easy. So we’re trying to say with the limited resources we have, what keeps us more in the long term? Which is why we decided to actually focusing on dollar amount better than number of deals.
Julie Clark: Exactly. Have you guys considered the prehab model at all or are you still going full on rehab flip?
Christine Kwon: We decide to avoid cut jobs, unless we really have to because we realized that when we focus on cuts job it takes a long time, and we have a lot more dependencies, a lot more unknowns. So we will be focusing more and more on cosmetics, that’s what we’re doing. I don’t know if we will actually do prehab or not. I mean that’s something that we haven’t really learned yet but we are more focusing on cosmetics.
Julie Clark: Well if you decide you want to do that, give me a call. We’ll go talk about it together and we can talk [crosstalk 00:14:13].
Olivier Rigon: We are open to anything.
Julie Clark: I think a lot of people who are used to flipping, they just need to almost … they can’t get their mind wrapped around what I call prehabs which is …. I think is fun, Right?
Olivier Rigon: Right.
Julie Clark: Because a, you [inaudible 00:14:28] know the contract problem, you don’t have to be so committed to so many contractors and b, it’s just pure fun to see how little you can do. To see how much you can make because you might budget to make less than you’d make on a full flip but with the current market that we’re in, you might get this crazy lift anyways without the time, the marriage to the contractors, without the financial risk and all that stuff. So, if anybody can … I’d love to see you guys do some of those because you would kill it. but. Are you guys buying any out-of-state rentals or are you pretty much all-in-state at this point?
Olivier Rigon: Well that’s a discussion we have for quite a long time, because I mean definitely number makes a lot of sense out-of-states. We hear all these crazy number and everything, so we kind of like it. Now, our concern is when you buy out-of-states then you are far from it so how we do with day to day issue, how we do to manage it. We can’t really trust the property management that much. We’re still in negotiation with that.
Christine Kwon: What we’ve been doing really is trying to build a relationship with people who’s doing it, and potentially partnership with them, instead of trying to start from the scratch. We do have the people that who’s doing merge family out-of-state. We might partner with them maybe syndicate together, something like that, that’s an area that we are exploring this year.
Julie Clark: Yes. Awesome, I think it sounds like a natural progression of, or separation of duties between the two of you. But how did you guys decide … obviously you were still working when you got started Christine, and you gave Olivier the test of husband test to see if he was good-
Olivier Rigon: I passed.
Julie Clark: Handyman, passed the handyman test or not, but did you guys actually sit down? And there’s a lot more to running a real estate business and whether you’re rehabbing, Prehabbing, wholesaling or whatever else you’re doing. Railroad brokerage, there’s a lot more to it than just swinging the hammer. How do you guys decide on separation of duties? How did you have that talk? I know you guys probably have some written manuals for yourselves but tell us about that.
Olivier Rigon: Well, I guess at the beginning it came pretty naturally. She’s good at number, I’m good at managing people, so it make sense. But the more you grow and the more you really have to sit down … and especially when you hire people, now you need to have a structure because it becomes a real company, so that’s kind of why we did. So at the beginning it went naturally and after that we all sit down and dispatch every roles to everybody.
Christine Kwon: What happened was, I got my real estate license from the beginning, and he said previously worked and he was supervising people. So it was really natural that I take care all the acquisitions and the selling part and any kind of contract, and then he would manage in part like a pricing management. I think after that what happened was, as Olivier said in a way we started by defining roles and some responsibilities for everything that involved with work.
Christine Kwon: We started segregating everything that doesn’t require us being there. We hired an assistant who can take care of all the other ones that we don’t really have this. Our assistant did all the little hookups, or insurance management, or rental property management, something like doesn’t really have to be us. We just started that way and then after that, as our company grow, we start segregating more work, like accounting. I don’t have to be doing accounting, I can just work accountant, or taxes. Now we hired acquisition managers because we can’t just tell or train our people, this is how we do numbers and this is how we analyze deals, and they can take it.
Christine Kwon: Once they filter out then we can finally go and visit only those that really passed along. That’s how we’ve been doing, like right now we are at the point where we want to hire pricing managers to manage 100%. We already have one pricing manager, we’re probably have a one more pricing manager so Olivier doesn’t have to manage products anymore, and then we can continue to go out and-
Olivier Rigon: Focus on acquisition.
Christine Kwon: Yeah, focus on acquisition and maybe like a building more, like a more rental properties or like maybe storys or something like that.
Julie Clark: I think it’s such a great idea on the acquisitions person, is that person obviously probably I assume has a real estate license or no?
Christine Kwon: Yeah, most of them have a real estate license and also they know what the wholesaling means and what is off market, so if they go after on an off market deals.
Julie Clark: Did you end up paying that role as a salary or are they obviously they’re taking down deals and they’re probably earning commissions one way or another.
Christine Kwon: They’re 100% commission-based, which is great because … They’re commission-based so that the typical seller would pay them or will pay them if they bring off market deals. We are paying other people anyway, so our point was why don’t we just have in-house because we pay other brokers or other wholesalers when they bring deals. We just guarantee we’ll at least buy two from each of them every month, then they have the steady income and didn’t have to go out and try to find a buyer.
Julie Clark: That’s awesome. Totally awesome. Let me ask you though in the reverse. So, you have delegated out and segregated out all the things that other people can easily do that you don’t need to participate in, which everybody should be doing. What are the things though that you guys think you should never let go of, that you always need to be involved in? Or is it like a top two, three or four things, tasks that you feel is your role to stay on top of? Other than segregate that help?
Olivier Rigon: I think definitely on the acquisition part, I think we would always review the deals. I guess we trust only on numbers, but we wouldn’t feel comfortable having somebody find the deals and decide to tell you this are our [inaudible 00:21:27] proven, and I think for sure.
Julie Clark: You guys do any of your own marketing or are you pretty much just work with wholesalers and people you’re pretty … You guys probably have people bringing your deals on a regular basis?
Olivier Rigon: Yeah that’s what we try to do marketing ourselves, but we find out we don’t like it and we are not that good at it. I know it’s a pretty important things in a business, but we don’t really have time to do it, or we don’t really get enough time for it. So we focused a lot on building a strong wholesaler family network around us, that brought us a lot of deals. So far we didn’t have issue on finding deals by looking at everything they send us and [inaudible 00:22:06].
Julie Clark: Yeah I gotcha, that’s actually a very, very common response from big rehabbers. Is none of them I find do … I mean well I don’t want to say that. Many of them don’t do their own marketing at all, they do how you guys do it. rely on networking and relationships. And that’s all it always worked for them and obviously that’s a great way to get deals. So I just like to keep stats, I find it all interesting because it seems like you’d be able to delegate that part out if you wanted to.
Olivier Rigon: Right, exactly.
Julie Clark: Question for you so, you guys how many deals do you buy that are … Because you have a license and you have … Well, let me first ask you having a real estate license how does that impact your business at all?
Christine Kwon: I think that’s a really great thing to have, because now I have all the analysis like especially that license people go out. So it is definitely a plus for me, some times I do purchase properties through my license, and I used to list all of my listings too. So it increases the amount that we can actually net as well, I stopped doing it. Our acquisition people they actually do all the listings too. Now we just pay them certain amount, and I don’t have to actually deal with all of those anymore, but I think-
Julie Clark: Are you paying your acquisitions person a flat amount or … I mean obviously you’re giving them repetitive over and over business so I meant-
Christine Kwon: Yeah, we pay a flat fee for each listing regardless of the sale price, and if we purchase any properties through them, they get listed there on, how we structure with them.
Julie Clark: How many properties are you guys … like what percentage of your properties do you buy that are listed where you have the benefit of using your license, versus just off market? Like what’s the percentage you buy from wholesalers or on market or-
Olivier Rigon: Was 90% of wholesale.
Julie Clark: 90% of wholesaler, do you guys JV with other investors or are you pretty much just buy them out?
Christine Kwon: Well, we’ve been doing 100% ourselves. We are very open JV, we get JV request time to time. The way we do JV, we think that it supports things in real estate or this flipping. First there has to be a deal, second is the funding and the third, construction crews and forth is the pricing management. So the way we behave is the partner has to bring at least two, and we can provide another two. So if somebody has a deal and crews, we can do funding and we can do pricing management or any combination of those two. They can do more than two, we can bring a deal and they can the whole thing afterward. We are very open to doing any kind of joint venture and structure.
Julie Clark: Have you ever done a JV with a seller?
Olivier Rigon: Yeah, we did.
Christine Kwon: Yeah we’ve done twice actually.
Julie Clark: And how was that? Was that a good experience?
Joe Bauer: It’s a 50/50. One we did right, the other one we made money out both of them, but one the seller was really nice it was way easier to deal with and was awesome. The second one she was a little-
Christine Kwon: Interesting.
Olivier Rigon: Interesting. A little difference.
Christine Kwon: Yeah, I think when you’re either a seller or same view with other primary [inaudible 00:25:51] it’s also very depends on if you the set the like roles and responsibility and expectations clearly. Our very first JV with the seller, it was our first experience. We didn’t really set goals clearly and that came back to us. And so when we met the second seller financing we actually knew exactly how to define contract. We made sure that layout all the roles and responsibilities, and expectations and everything else that we could think of. And I think once you have that there’s no problem.
Julie Clark: Exactly. What’s your team look like these days? How many people on your team and what roles do you have? We know you got an acquisitions person. You guys open your own office you actually officially open your own office which is spectacular, congratulations.
Christine Kwon: Thank you. Actually we’ve been renting this office for two years and we’re actually moving to bigger one, just we don’t have enough space for it-
Olivier Rigon: We need new offices.
Christine Kwon: In our company … so obviously we have Olivier and me, Olivier has been doing most of pricing management and he does all the [inaudible 00:27:04] and also networking. I have been doing a lot of acquisition and listing and then financing. We have office assistant, who handles pretty much 100% property management and he also does a lot of different types of the work, utilities, insurances, or anything else. We have a pricing manager, she just has started and she’s having a [inaudible 00:27:34] project that she is managing. We also have a project manager intern, which is a free resource. She just gets credit from her school, so she’s taking a class pretty much and she does the very simple work but she does awesome job, and apart from that we have a two acquisition enlisting specialist and we are-
Julie Clark: But they’re all paid commission only right?
Christine Kwon: No actually our office assistant is a [inaudible 00:28:06] he was a commission … not commission, he was only part-time last year and we switch him to earlier to this year.
Julie Clark: Awesome. That’s good, and you’re probably looking to hire more.
Christine Kwon: Yeah.
Olivier Rigon: Yeah.
Julie Clark: What are you guys looking for right now?
Olivier Rigon: A good [project 00:28:24] manager.
Julie Clark: Project manager?
Olivier Rigon: Yeah that’s right, the next one we need right now is another project manager because we have 11 years going on right now, so it’s India obviously all over the place. I wish they were all in the same neighborhood.
Julie Clark: Do you guys buy in Pierce County, and are you going all counties in Washington here or are you trying to stick between a certain zone?
Olivier Rigon: That’s actually the funny part of it actually we are open to anywhere, Pierce County, King County anywhere else, but most of our deals so far we came into King County. I guess it’s because of the price point. Somehow we could get enough money that we don’t even have, we don’t really have limit on the money. We can buy more expensive flip, which is more less competition for us. Then if you go to Pierce County where the price is lower and there was way more competition there. So that’s why we would end up in King County most of the time.
Julie Clark: Let’s get to the husband and wife stuff which is what I-
Olivier Rigon: You don’t want to get into that.
Julie Clark: So now we know you guys are structured in the way you ran your business. Now the next question is how do you find the balance and keep your sanity and keep your relationship alive as a husband wife team with three kids? [crosstalk 00:29:49].
Olivier Rigon: Well if I tell you Christine doesn’t remember my name.
Christine Kwon: That’s right.
Julie Clark: How you guys do it? Tell us the secret? What are the tips that you have? There’s a lot of husband-wife teams out there that they either love each other or hate each other I guess or they find somewhere in between. I’ll assume that since you guys are popping off the kids that you guys are still in good shape on that department. Tell us some secrets, how do you guys do it, and how do you cut it off and say, “Okay, it’s our time now.” How do you-
Olivier Rigon: I think the first thing, the first secret is to have the same goal. I mean I think a lot of people are [inaudible 00:30:34] to be sure of couple they should be because they don’t have the same goals and go different direction, and that’s creating a lot of problem. So luckily for us we definitely have the same goals and we know what it takes to get there. So you have to last for sure. That’s the first thing.
Christine Kwon: We have the same goal in terms of where we want to go and all that, but we do communicate, Olivier and I we are literally 20 … we spend 20 hours a day together out of the 24. In that time we will always discuss different things, so we don’t make decisions alone, I probably have something and I always ask him, what do you think about this? And vice versa. We communicate throughout the day and because you have the same goal and have the same ethnic it makes it really easier and we don’t really have a time where let’s not talk about our business. So we enjoy what we do.
Olivier Rigon: It’s part of our lives.
Christine Kwon: Yeah, it’s part of our lives, so we actually love talking about our business and wherever we go even if it’s a break and we talk about maybe we should go should a study about this or should we do this. We always talk about business and that actually brings us together more because we see the same and we wish the same.
Julie Clark: Share your passion.
Olivier Rigon: Yeah, and for the kids we try to dedicate some time off with them. When we come back home in the evening or early in the morning when we wake them up, and on the weekend as well. Usually what we do is one of us goes to work, and the other one stay with the kids. So we try to balance this way so we can spend time with the kids-
Christine Kwon: Absolutely.
Olivier Rigon: [crosstalk 00:32:14] nanny, so we have to spend a lot in the weekday.and believing that he is so he helps us a lot in the week day.
Julie Clark: Yep I get that. I hear some other successful husband, wife teams that they have complete separation of duties that if the wife is the one that handles acquisitions and … Who picks the finishes? Who does your design?
Christine Kwon: Olivier does.
Olivier Rigon: It’s my [crosstalk 00:32:41] touch.
Christine Kwon: He’s a French-
Julie Clark: That’s so funny because Christine you’re such a beautiful stylish woman and here you got-
Olivier Rigon: What about me? What are you talking about?
Julie Clark: I’m not saying anything, I’m saying that I was about to say-
Olivier Rigon: And now?
Julie Clark: And your beautiful stylish husband, but I would [crosstalk 00:32:59] Christine wants her say and all that-
Olivier Rigon: No, I mean we definitely, as we said earlier we definitely communicate a lot. I do this couple work, and I have picked a lot of things but she has well look at it. Sometimes she would tell me, “I don’t really like this one, can we change?” And so she had a good idea some say … Or can we put this one I really love it a real love. So we share that too. I mean I do most of it but she’s into that a lot.
Julie Clark: Do you guys have a three pack, three scheme design plan? Do you repeat your designs[crosstalk 00:33:35] different?
Olivier Rigon: That’s the thing at the beginning when you start flipping, you’re already excited and you want to make every house different, and it’s fun. But once you start to scale up, and you become a company then you have to systemize the thing because otherwise that doesn’t work and so we realized that okay, we need to buy more of the same materials because if we buy more, it’s actually cheaper anyway by buying more and easier to deal with the GC as well they understand better this way. So it actually works much better by repeating the same over and over materials.
Christine Kwon: Another thing is I think that, as Olivier keeps saying we think this as a company, we don’t try to use our emotions. Just because I love designing and all that but I know that he’s wrong and I should trust him and empower him to do the job and what he’s supposed to be doing, and I should be focusing on what I do and it’s all the funding side and then his side. We just separate that way and just trust each other’s work and judgment, and I think that’s the first thing. Otherwise, if I try to go after everything that would not be able to do good job and what I’m supposed to be doing.
Julie Clark: If you guys have to make joint decisions on everything that is, doesn’t seem to be as efficient, so having absolute separation of duties for sure is key. What do you think is, for those listening out there who have that … I mean I call it sometimes a problem like where, it’s a good problem but it can also be limiting where people are so into the design aspect of it that they just won’t do the repeat finishes stuff. How many homes at a time do you think somebody could be doing separate designs on before they get maxed out?
Julie Clark: Is there like a threshold like if you do more than four at a time, forget about it you’re not going to get past that if you have to pick and choose everything different on every house. Do you have any feedback for anybody on that? Because I think we’re trying to give a wake up call to those who have the dreams of scaling, like Sorry guys you’re going to have to get a little systematize and very systematized in your selection of finishes and that stuff.
Olivier Rigon: I think the problem is not a number of house, is how you deal with the contractor, and the [inaudible 00:36:06] is the contractor level on the reaping side, they are not that expansed as the new bill for example. So you cannot treat them the same way, so if you make the things complicated that’s where you’re going to have issue with them. So it can be one, two, three, four, five hours is if you keep changing the color, the paint, whatever everything they will get confused and that’s where you can have a lot of headache fixing everything. It’s really important to systemize the things even with only two houses, three houses does make your life easier because that makes the GC life easier.
Christine Kwon: Yeah, but we actually had a conversation with another flipper. We bought two properties in those Beacon Hill at the end of January, we both spoke with them, now it’s on the market, one we are closing soon. The contractor … The other investor he was asking how could you finish it so fast? You spend like six to eight weeks on each homes. He bought different house around the corner and he’s still working on the house, and I was like well, the difference is you do a lot of customization on all of your flips, we don’t.
Christine Kwon: Our contractor, we don’t really have to communicate it because he knows exactly scalable work that we use in every single homes, and he doesn’t make much of mistakes and we don’t really have to handhold him. There is like less of a communication unless of a misunderstanding. You keep changing different styles and [inaudible 00:37:35] every single of the flips and your contractor probably there’s a lot of communication or misunderstanding with each other and maybe in the mix in scope of work in different projects. Which is why we try not to differentiate anything in most of our flips.
Julie Clark: That’s such good advice for everybody. So it takes you guys about maximum eight weeks typically on a standard flip to get done?
Olivier Rigon: Yeah.
Julie Clark: A month to three four months faster than other people?
Olivier Rigon: Yeah. We used to have a flip that takes forever, and we learned our lesson and now most of us flip about six to eight weeks on a rehab. Yeah, and then why we don’t focus on a good job anymore because it takes way too long GC are usually not that great on a heavy rehab-
Christine Kwon: Managing services are really hard.
Olivier Rigon: Managing service is really hard so if we can keep it as simple as possible, that’s where the gold is.
Julie Clark: Awesome, you pretty much work with obviously the same contractor all the time. How often have you had to switch contractors?
Olivier Rigon: Oh we are like anybody a lot. The good thing that’s something I talked about with people, we keep our GC quite a long time because as I always say we treat them well, we spend a lot of time with them. We teach them to take care of business because most of them they don’t even know how to take care of their own business.
Olivier Rigon: So we spend a little more time with them and it pay off in the long term because we’ve been working with four GC just here right now. And three out of four, they’ve been with us almost since the beginning and we always have some issues with GC that we have along the way, that’s happened all the time and that’s going to be like that forever. That’s the way it is. But yeah by spending a little time with them, explain them everything, be on top of them and treat them well then we keep them longer.
Julie Clark: What kind of software are you guys using to manage your projects?
Olivier Rigon: So we use a couple … so we use smart sheets, what is it we use?
Christine Kwon: We use the smart sheet to pretty track down all the project progress and it’s break down at task label and we can assign who wants the task and status and all. We also use to actually somebody taught us this. We create Facebook Messenger per project and then we add all, everybody involved in there. So all of our communications for specific project will be only within that grip. So we don’t have to go through text message and see when do we talk about this project? Because if you have only one text message with somebody it’s [inaudible 00:40:24] belong.
Christine Kwon: Every single project we have, we have a Facebook group messenger and then we only talk about that particular project in that group, so that we can always go back, okay let’s try to find this information and just open that group and then it’s all there.
Julie Clark: Good too.
Olivier Rigon: And we do as well end up meeting twice a week as well with everybody. We try to get at least the project manager and office assistant, and we go over each project as well and we update the smart sheets at the same times. Our project manager updates our smart sheet while we talk about all the progress we had on every deal, of the progress in the company or whatever it is.
Julie Clark: That is fantastic, what else do you guys got? Tell us more, what [crosstalk 00:41:13] systems?
Olivier Rigon: Well, one thing we do to keep everybody motivated is we include them in the goal. So what we do is we have two goals a year and one, the first half of the year and the second half of the year, so it’s two different goals. If we reach our first goal, so for example this year if we reach our half of the year goal. We are going to New York altogether, paid by the company. And if you’re rich the second part of the year goals, then we go to Hawaii next year altogether.
Julie Clark: Nice.
Olivier Rigon: This is important because if you get too greedy in this business that’s where you burn your wings and you disappear in two to three years whatever. So we don’t mind spending extra money on this kind of stuff because we believe that it pays off in the long term.
Julie Clark: For sure, no doubt about that, have you guys … go ahead Joe.
Joe Bauer: Does that include the whole team that are like the acquisitions people as well, or just the W team?
Olivier Rigon: Yeah because everybody’s involved at different levels, so we want to reward everybody.
Joe Bauer: Cool.
Julie Clark: Awesome.
Christine Kwon: Yeah but going back to the tools and systems, we actually use a trap box so we can literally get to know one single file in somebody’s computer, everything is in cloud, which allows us to be able to access from anywhere in case I don’t have a computer with me. I can access from my phone, so everything we do we’re trying to make sure it’s all somewhere and anybody can access it easily.
Olivier Rigon: Because we like traveling so we’re not often here.
Julie Clark: Exactly. So is there anything this year that you need to tweak with your goals to stay on track or are you guys looking pretty good? Are you ahead? Are you guys all going to New York? I mean we’ve got about-
Olivier Rigon: It looks like we’re going to New York. Our first half goal is getting $300,000 in net profit and all of our rentals are remodeled then rented. We will probably reach that, we have four listings going live this month and Truex we are closing two, and we are already close to all the years. I think we are good for the first half. We just have to start a day out more for the second half so then we can meet the second half goal too.
Julie Clark: Fantastic. So what is each of your … Christine you go first, what’s your favorite part of the of your biz?
Christine Kwon: I think it just makes me feel alive. I had a really good job for a long time and I had to update a lot of people envy, and I climbed the ladder really fast but I think there is a different types of satisfaction. Like now this is our business and whatever I do goes towards to in my train. I feel like every single day I’m so happy with work and how many hours I work and I feel so fresh.
Julie Clark: That’s awesome. I feel the same way. How about you Olivier?
Olivier Rigon: Well, I mean I definitely like the fact that every day is different. I mean you always have the same thing over and over again but there’s always new things going on, good or bad. Still makes your day excited so I really love this part, one day you’re going to wear a suit, the other day you’re going to wear jeans and [inaudible 00:44:24] although we don’t do that much more. That’s definitely the fun part of it and all the networking is awesome to meet all these people that most likely have the same goals, and we are also with all these people together and enjoy it, so we love all that.
Julie Clark: And you guys started with Fortune builders or did you do fortune builders? I can’t remember.
Olivier Rigon: Yeah, we did.
Julie Clark: Are you still engaged with them or is that part of your network or how does that work for you guys these days that in your-
Olivier Rigon: We definitely used a Facebook page a lot although we don’t comment there anymore. But I wouldn’t say we use the tools anymore. We did at the beginning and it was really helpful to build the base but honestly not anymore.
Christine Kwon: We definitely see the shoes benefit of joining Fortune Builders because we did get a lot out of their system and education. We are at a point where we don’t really need their system as much, and we’re a little too busy to engage more than what we hope. So we’re really with that-
Julie Clark: Is there any podcasts … aside from ours, right? That you guys love and that you listen to or any … I guess I’ll say real estate gurus, who do you educate? How do you get educated? We all need continuing education no matter where we’ve made it to or whether that’s inspiration, mindset or changes in the market, tips on stuff like that. What you might have your systems down for your business but everybody needs to continue to educate and be inspired. What do you listen to or do you go to any annual events that keep you on that path or are you just in a lockdown mode because you’ve got so many kids and so many projects right now?
Olivier Rigon: A mix of both.
Christine Kwon: Yeah I mean we actually do a lot of audio books. I mean we don’t really have the time to read any of these books anymore. But we do a lot of audio books because we travel so much. We read pretty much all sorts of real estate related books. Literally all the books came from Bigger Pockets, we read it, any books from [inaudible 00:46:55] or that, we read it. Any other books, you can think of, we probably read it.
Christine Kwon: So we continue to read books, that’s one of the ways that we educate ourselves and we also do a lot of motivational inspiration books by Green Cardon or Gary Vien all of those too. But I think apart from this we do network with already successful people a lot, and I think that’s one of the way to learn.
Julie Clark: Have you guys thought about [crosstalk 00:47:26] you guys thought about applying the collective genius, you know collective genius is?
Christine Kwon: No.
Olivier Rigon: No.
Christine Kwon: Well we’ll talk about that separately. We’ll follow up on that because we’re starting to get short on time here. So let me ask you, let me go do some … let’s talk about some fun stuff. Olivier what was your favorite thing to do in high school? Tell me.
Olivier Rigon: Won’t say girl because right next to me. And I was a shy boy so anyway. But I’m a french guy, I’m a real French guy so eating sweets all day long, why my stuff. Watching TV and during sport. That was my only focus in life.
Julie Clark: What sport was your sport?
Olivier Rigon: Well I actually played table tennis for 15 years. Yeah I’m pretty good at it so I can teach us to anybody who wants.
Julie Clark: Table tennis, is that the same thing that we call here ping pong?
Olivier Rigon: Yeah, you can call it that way.
Julie Clark: Okay, it’s on. We’re going to a summer SIC barbecue and we’re going to break out the table tennis. How about that?
Olivier Rigon: I got it right over.
Julie Clark: We should do something fun with that like wholesalers against rehabbers-
Olivier Rigon: I like it.
Julie Clark: Whoever wins, gets a deal, or something like that. That would be cool. How about you Christine? What about you in high school? What were you up to? What was your favorite thing?
Christine Kwon: I partied a lot and I danced a lot. I was totally into dance when I was in high school. So I did some modeling and I did some dancing in [inaudible 00:49:10]. That’s all I did. I didn’t really do anything else.
Julie Clark: Awesome. Joe, how about you?
Joe Bauer: In high school I actually partied as well.
Olivier Rigon: So are we saying that it’s good to party to be successful?
Joe Bauer: I guess so.
Julie Clark: Rites of passage.
Joe Bauer: Partied and sports that was-
Julie Clark: Were you into the fitness thing Joe and high school?
Joe Bauer: I played baseball, soccer and basketball in high school and then I got into … I went and played college baseball, so baseball was a huge focus. And I did work out but-
Julie Clark: What position were you on baseball?
Joe Bauer: I pitched.
Julie Clark: Of course you did. Yeah of course you did. Well how about now. What are your hobbies now aside from raising kids or do you even have time for any hobbies?
Olivier Rigon: Not really. We love to travel. We try to travel as much as we can. We actually have a lot of traveling coming up starting this summer. We are going New Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii and probably New York fundraisers. So we try to travel as much as we can and we really love to do hikings. We didn’t have much time to do it but we want to get back into that, [inaudible 00:50:33] young, so now we can start to do it again. So hikings, campaign-
Julie Clark: Your girls are not old enough for this but my new thing this year that Joe, that I’m going to be attempting to try considering I live almost on the water out here is the whole stand up paddleboard thing with kids [crosstalk 00:50:53] third graders, they’re nine, they’re going to be 10 years old. I mean they are right out here in front of our house, and going to try and do that and even bring buddy along, I think buddy might [crosstalk 00:51:05]
Olivier Rigon: We actually [crosstalk 00:51:08] paddle boat too, we do paddle boat as well. also too, we can definitely come to your house and do paddle boat barbecue. I mean [crosstalk 00:51:14]
Julie Clark: Hey wait a minute, what are you doing out there yet? No you guys that would be fun. Sorry everybody we’re just making our personal plans now. But you’re all invited to come along if you’re in Seattle Investors Club. We’re going to attempt maybe to do a summer barbecue party. I have a good potential spot for that. So that would be super fun and let me tell you what it is on and the ping pong, the [crosstalk 00:51:39] right?
Olivier Rigon: I’ll brought my personal rackets to make it more professional.
Julie Clark: That’s right.
Christine Kwon: He doesn’t have it yet.
Olivier Rigon: I don’t need it anymore.
Julie Clark: Awesome, well I think we’re getting close to wrapping it up here guys. So you guys can pretty much buy any deal that anybody sends you as long as it makes sense. There-
Olivier Rigon: Exactly.
Julie Clark: You guys don’t have probably a good amount of I don’t want to say unlimited but funds to do deals. So how can people reach you if they want to send you deals or do you want them to reach out to acquisitions person hey?
Christine Kwon: Well, they can reach out to us and then we can forward them to acquisition … but they can reach us at Christine with a C-H. [email protected]. Well [email protected]. They can also visit our Web site, you know we have a Facebook page. It’s a rap P-I. You can send us an email through that too, or we can probably message you or anything like that.
Julie Clark: Awesome guys. Well here’s to your continued success. I think we’re all envious of how seamless and awesome and glamorous [crosstalk 00:53:01] presidential. Like what are you guys going into politics or what those photos that you took, I’m like yeah, I think Olivier you had like an American flag behind one.
Olivier Rigon: I know, I love this copy too much.
Christine Kwon: Well, that was not our intention but our photographer took the picture that way, it was not how we wanted it to.
Julie Clark: That was awesome. All right guys love you guys. We need to get some [crosstalk 00:53:29] on the books. We need to go out to dinner so we can go drinking, all of our high school hobbies right?
Olivier Rigon: You know we are heavy drinkers so you …
Julie Clark: Awesome. Joe, I’ll let you wrap us up.
Joe Bauer: Yeah if anybody wants to check out the show notes or get the contact information in writing and you can do so by going to Seattle Investors Club dot com slash 32, that’s Seattle Investors Club dot com stocks 32. And if you have any comments you can always put those in a show notes at same place. So thanks a lot guys. And we will talk to you all soon.
Olivier Rigon: Thank you. Thanks for having us.
Julie Clark: Awesome guys, over and out.