Interview with FW Inc Magazine

Jeremy Brandt interviewed by Fort Worth, Inc. Magazine
Jeremy Brandt interviewed by Fort Worth, Inc. Magazine

The kid who sold you chocolate bars in the neighborhood? Yeah, that kid. He went big with a couple of digital real estate platforms.

Jeremy Brandt was that kid. The one who bought bulk candy at Costco and sold it for profit in the neighborhood. The one who went door to door selling the surplus leather gloves his dad brought home from his job at the machine shop; who got a job at 16 at a computer shop and resold the discarded parts at a flea market.

The computer store job led to freelance work designing computer networks, which led to a consulting gig at the height of the tech bubble. “I had 15 or 20 people reporting when I was 19, which was ridiculous,” Brandt says. Then the bubble burst, and Brandt was out of a job in his early 20s. What next? He put his expertise in technology to work with a friend who was flipping houses. Today, at 37, Brandt owns Fast Home Offer, one of the country’s largest lead generation businesses, and WeBuyHouses.com, a national licensing platform for investors. In his spare time, he helped co-found the Fort Worth chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

“I’ve been a lifelong entrepreneur since I was seven,” Brandt says. “I’ve just had an aptitude for viewing the world that way. Even the bad things look like an opportunity.”

Growing up homeschooled:

Being homeschooled afforded me the ability to do what I wanted and excel at it, not spend a set amount of hours in school. My parents really encouraged that.

His fast start in real estate:

When I got started in this business, the first thing I did was put an ad on the Internet to buy houses. Because nobody else was doing that at the time, everybody that went to the Internet wanting to sell their house quickly contacted me.

Founding Fast Home Offer, 2002:

I started getting home sellers from all over the country contacting us. And I wasn’t going to fly to Miami to look at a property. So I cold-called investors in Miami and L.A., asking them if they were buying houses and if they would give me a fee if I sent them a lead. Now, we do large marketing campaigns all over the country; people who want to sell their house quickly contact us and then we refer them out to our clients, local real estate agents and investors. We work with about 10,000 home sellers a month.

How he gets paid:

Fast Home Offer is a bid-based subscription service. Let’s say you’re a real estate investor in Dallas and you want all the leads we can generate in Dallas and you pay us $100 a lead for home sellers in Dallas County. We’re selling every lead to you. If another investor wants to come in and buy leads, they’ll need to pay over $100 to join the market, bidding the price per lead up. And at any time, you have the opportunity to go over the top of him.

Where the idea came from:

We modeled it after Google’s Adwords system for advertising. The problem it allowed us to solve is that our advertising costs are incredibly variable by market. In Dallas, it might cost one-fourth to generate a lead, for example, what it costs in Los Angeles. We needed a way to match our revenue to our costs.

What his leads sell for:

Nationally, there’s a wide range because it’s a bid-based system. The price could be anywhere from $50 to many hundreds of dollars per lead. The price is lower in North Texas than the coasts.

Buying WeBuyHouses.com four years ago:

I was looking for a brand that I could build a company under that could give reputable  investors a national brand under which to operate.

His pet peeve:

One of the biggest problems in our industry is there are a lot of people coming out of real estate seminars who don’t know what they’re doing. A lot of these seminars teach ‘no-money-down’ investing. While it’s possible to buy a house with no money down, these seminars are churning out legions of people who do not have the money to buy a house.

How WeBuyHouses.com works:

We find people that fit our criteria from an experience standpoint, ability-to-close standpoint, and an ethics standpoint, and then we license our brand and provide marketing, technology, and ongoing education support to them. That generally looks like a license up front that might be $20,000 -to- $50,000 and an ongoing monthly license fee that might be a couple thousand dollars. People operate as WeBuyHouses.com in their local market.

 

Tim Harris Real Estate Coaching Radio Interview

Today I did an interview with Tim Harris, a real estate coach and founder of Real Estate Coaching Radio.

We primarily talked about our lead generation platform for real estate agents and how to grow a business by working with motivated home sellers.

Go to 14:08 to hear me explain what I believe is the most important thing an agent can do when working with home seller leads.

Listen to the Complete Interview Here

Tim Harris

Tim & Julie Harris

 

FastHomeOffer.com is Growing Fast!

Fast Home Offer, our company dedicated to connecting motivated home sellers with real estate investors and agents is growing like crazy – and we need your help!

We are looking for the following amazing people to join the Fast Home Offer Team:

Phone Sales Superstar
Do you love talking to people and enjoy real estate?   We should talk!  Spend your time educating real estate professionals about Fast Home Offer and how you can help grow their business!

Executive Assistant
Insanely organized?  Love detail?  Have a bright and cheery disposition?  Calm under pressure?  Tech Savvy?  If you said yes, you might be the perfect person to join our team as an executive assistant.

UI/UX Designer
If you have great design skills, know Rails, and are looking for a great opportunity to impact real estate professionals around North America, let’s chat!

If you or anyone you know would be a good fit for these positions, give us a call at 888-424-4722 or contact us online!

 

 

 

Trademarks and We Buy Houses

How much do you value intellectual property your business?

At We Buy Houses, it’s one of our most important assets.  So much so that we’ve recently launched a Trademark and IP Portal to help educate real estate investors, educators, and technology providers about the We Buy Houses intellectual property.

Especially when it comes to Internet activity, there are generally two types of people that seriously violate copyrights, trademarks, and other IP.

The Uninformed

This is the person who just doesn’t know any better.  Prior to starting a business, I was one of these people.  Generally this person just doesn’t know any better and didn’t fully think through what they were doing and why it was wrong.   Here are a few examples of IP violations that this person might engage in:

  • Copying a website design they like and changing the company name to their own
  • Copying blocks of text off of another web site and using it themselves
  • Finding pictures on the Internet and using them in their website without permission/attribution
  • Using another company’s trademarks in marketing because “other people do it”

Most of the time, as soon as this person is made aware they are infringing on another company’s or person’s rights, they are apologetic and quickly fix the issue.

The Conniver

This is someone who knows what they are doing, and think they can get away with it and “beat the system”.  Generally The Conniver will copy a more successful company’s well-known trademarks (i.e. “We Buy Houses” or “Just Do It” or “Starbucks”) intentionally in order to trick consumers into thinking they are somehow associated with the larger company.

Unfortunately, The Conniver often times feels a sense of entitlement, and does not respond to notices or requests to stop infringing.  These people often end up with a lawsuit before realizing the severity of the game they are playing – costing tens of thousands in legal fees before the lesson is learned.

Take Away:  Don’t copy slogans, designs, images, websites, or marketing materials from others!  It will cost you much more than it is worth.

Learn more about Trademarks and Copyrights.

Interview with Jim Krautkremer, Top Real Estate Broker

Jim Krautkremer has been a client of Fast Home Offer for many years, and I’ve enjoyed seeing his business continue to grow as he’s implemented many of the strategies we teach real estate agents.

He’s now started a real estate coaching company, helping agents build their own business by working with motivated home sellers.

We sat down for a call to discuss various real estate topics, and how agents can best take advantage of our Fast Home Offer program.

Here’s the full interview.. Enjoy!

Jim Krautkremer
Jim Krautkremer

 

Investing Coast 2 Coast on We Buy Houses with Jeremy Brandt

Today I had the pleasure of speaking with Pete Asmus for his radio show Coast 2 Coast Investing about our We Buy Houses® program and how we are helping real estate investors grow their business.

We cover a lot of topics and Pete has as much energy as anyone I know!

Here’s the full interview along with a link to Coast 2 Coast REIA.

Investing Coast 2 Coast with Pete Asmus

Fortune Magazine – Protect Your Ideas

I recently did an interview with Verne Harnish with Fortune Magazine about how we protect intellectual property at We Buy Houses®.  Here’s my excerpt and the full article below.

 

 

4. Play offense

Jeremy Brandt, whose Dallas real estate investing firm We Buy Houses owns the trademark to its brand, knows he has to stop infringers so he doesn’t lose control of the trademark. He has a team of legal interns track unauthorized uses — and the company’s efforts to stop copycats — in its customer relations management system. Once warned that they’re infringing on a federally protected trademark, some violators ask to license the brand. “This has helped our sales process,” he says.


Here’s full story from Fortune Magazine.

1. You snooze, you lose

Eighty-eight percent of big companies’ value is based on their brands, methodologies, content, training systems, and other innovations, and the same holds true for many smaller players, says attorney Andrew Sherman, a partner at Jones Day and the author of Harvesting Intangible Assets. Unfortunately, he says, many firms are “asleep at the switch” and don’t protect their assets — to their peril. Do an intellectual-property audit with your attorney to prevent rivals from monetizing your ideas.

2. Speed counts

Until 2013, you had to prove you invented something first to own it. Now, under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the first to file for a patent usually wins, says Dallas intellectual-property attorney Russ Schultz. To beat lumbering Goliaths, apply now for provisional patents, which you can write in a week, to get a year’s protection, says Doug Hall, CEO of Cincinnati-area innovation systems company Eureka! Ranch. “To the nimble go all the rewards,” he says.

3. Lock down contracts

Insist that contractors for creative projects like writing software sign an ironclad work-for-hire agreement that says you own the copyright. Otherwise, the law assumes that they own it. Also, have staffers sign employment contracts that assign you ownership of their inventions. Have you forgotten to do this? “Now is the time to get it fixed,” says Sherman — especially if you plan to sell the firm. Prospective buyers will walk if you’re missing this paperwork.

4. Play offense

Jeremy Brandt, whose Dallas real estate investing firm We Buy Houses owns the trademark to its brand, knows he has to stop infringers so he doesn’t lose control of the trademark. He has a team of legal interns track unauthorized uses — and the company’s efforts to stop copycats — in its customer relations management system. Once warned that they’re infringing on a federally protected trademark, some violators ask to license the brand. “This has helped our sales process,” he says.

5. Hire legal veterans

You’ll be better off with seasoned pros in a boutique law firm than with inexperienced associates in a giant firm. “The quality is better and cost is lower if you can work with senior partners who have been doing patent prosecution for a long time,” says Andrew Levi, founder of Dallas digital marketing and analytics firm Blue Calypso. He has used that strategy to obtain and protect five patents, with six pending — vastly increasing the firm’s value.

 

Accelerator Program Launch

For the past year I’ve had the pleasure of serving as President of the non-profit Entrepreneurs’ Organization Dallas Chapter, and it has been a pleasure meet and learn from so many amazing and successful entrepreneurs in the Dallas / Fort worth area!

This year, we are launching an exciting new program called Accelerator!

If you are an entrepreneur, do you remember when you first started your company?

I do.

And I remember having to learn everything as I went, from from accounting, sales, and managing people, to strategy and defining my mission/vision & values. I made a lot of mistakes, and at each step, I tried to find mentors to guide me through the process so I could learn from their mistakes and grow my company faster.

My membership in Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) largely serves that function now, and has provided more real-world business education than any MBA could.

This is why we are starting Accelerator. To give early stage entrepreneurs the foundation to quickly grow their companies to over $1 million in annual revenue so they contribute more to the local & global economy, have a greater chance of long-term success, and qualify to join Entrepreneurs’ Organization for continued growth and learning.

Accelerator is part of our EO Mission – To Engage Leading Entrepreneurs to Learn and Grow – and is only for those individuals who are committed to company growth and are willing to dedicate the time, effort and learning required to do so.

This program is by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, and affords participants the unique experience of learning from, and connecting with, the world’s most influential entrepreneurs.

ACCELERATOR FAST FACTS

  • Accelerator is a program of Entrepreneurs’ Organization
  • Applicants must have gross revenue of $250k to $999k in the previous 12 months, and be a founder or majority owner of their company
  • This program is non-profit, and entirely funded by sponsors and Accelerator participants
  • Only 30 applicants are accepted each year, with a focus on those dedicated to company growth
  • This is an annual program with 3 years of curriculum. The expectation is that within 24-36 months a participant will graduate to over $1 million in revenue and exit the program
  • The program consists of:
    — Monthly accountability group meetings made up of 4 participants and an EO mentor
    — Quarterly learning days focused on Strategy, Sales, People and Finance
  • This curriculum is best of breed, and was selected by the U.S. State Department for their “Entrepreneurs for a New Beginning” program

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

There are many ways to get involved and support the Accelerator program!

  1. Mentor – if you’re an EO member, share your entrepreneurial expertise and experience with early stage companies
  2. Nominate – do you know an early stage entrepreneur who wants to grow?  nominate them for membership
  3. Support – give back to the entrepreneurial community by sponsoring Accelerator
  4. Apply – apply to be a participant in the Accelerator Program
  5. Attend – if you are an EO member, attend the Accelerator learning days!
  6. Follow – we’ll be blogging about the process and participants, listen in as we tell the stories of success!

Join me on this exciting journey, and I promise you will be inspired, learn a lot, and grow along with the rest of us!

Jeremy Brandt
CEO, 1-800-CashOffer, FastHomeOffer.com
2010/11 – EO Dallas Chapter President
2011/12 – Accelerator Program Champion