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Here at Fund That Flip, we're geeks about data. Nerds. Mega-fans. We use it in every facet of our business and rely on it to drive our market-related decisions and operational efforts.
Our partnership with Forecasa, a private lending analytics platform, occurred naturally. Their dedication to getting the data out there in a manageable and actionable way for anyone seeking a source of truth when it comes to market analytics mirrors our values of transparency. This week, we brought on a good friend of the show Sean Morgan, the CEO of Forecasa, to get into it over the numbers and stats to make predictions, get deep on the current state of different geos, and more!
This episode is brought to you by Flipperforce! FlipperForce is the all-in-one platform for real estate investors to successfully run their businesses. Offering solutions for those working on flips, new constructions, or rentals, they provide the ability to analyze deals, estimate rehab costs, create project schedules, and track your project expenses so you can focus on what matters. Click here to start your free trial today!
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Brendan: Welcome back to another episode of Real Estate Investing Unscripted. I'm your co-host, Brendan Bennett, VP of Revenue here at Fund That Flip and with me is your other co-host, regional sales director, David Duggan.
David, what's going on?
David: Not a lot, Brendan. Ready for another fabulous and exciting episode here. Excited about who we're about to bring on here, and I'm assuming it's a very happy guest. So for those of you listening, we are actually recording this in the, the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. So, this gentleman is from Philly, lives in Philly, so he should be very excited to talk all things real estate and probably football.
Sean: Awesome. Go Birds.
David: Let's welcome on, Sean Morgan here from Forecasa. So quick, intro on Sean. Sean is a former CPA turned oil and gas guy, turned real estate guy, and uh, now runs a show over at Forecasa. They are a private lending analytics platform. Uh, Sean, welcome to show.
Sean: Thanks guys. Thanks for having me.
Brendan: Sean, before we get too far into the real estate talk, I gotta know, the listeners wanna know what, what prop bets you got for, for the birds. What, what, what are you picking?
Sean: I'm not gonna lie. I can show you the proof. I have a I have a bet from before the AJ Brown trade, which was $175, which pays out at five grand. So yeah, I am I am very, yeah. There was an option to, you know, take the money before the last game and I said, no, I'm just gonna let it ride. And you know, I was very very happy with the results.
Brendan: analytics funneling into the sports betting world a little bit too. I love it. That's awesome.
David: listen, I don't have a horse in this race either way. So for your sake, you know, friend of the company, friend of the podcast here go Birds, I guess I'll be pulling for you.
Sean: Nice. Appreciate it, man.
Brendan: So Sean, real quick, I want to tell the listeners what our interaction between Forecasa and Fund That Flip, how we leverage you guys, how the relationship's been building over the last year. But before we get into that, if you can just give the people listening a quick overview as to what Forecasa is, who your target customer is, and we'll go from there.
Sean: Cool. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. So Forecasa has been kind of born out of a couple of different experiences that me and my team have been a part of. Um, so like the intro said, former cpa, you know, worked for Pricewaterhouse for all of five years, you know, survived. Uh, you know, that that environment which was uh, you know, I look back on it was just, it's great.
They kind of throw you to the wolves very early on and you either sink or you swim. Right? And I was able to, To do pretty well there. Uh, but knew I didn't want to be, you know, a partner in a CPA firm longer term. So left there, kind of fell backwards into the oil and gas industry. Um, got hired by a Philadelphia based frack sand company, which, you know, didn't even know what frack sand was at the time, but it's used in the process of extracting oil and gas out of the ground. Right. But while working there, I really, you know, I've always been a data person and analytics person. Uh, I found some interesting data sets where you have to disclose to the government what you're actually fracking into the ground. You know, the environmentalists kind of want to know what you're, what you're putting in.
And one of those ingredients was something that we were using to sell. So we were able to use the data to identify, you know, opportunities both in sales and, and logistics. You know, cuz the same we were selling it was very heavily levered to, to, you know, how it was moved. Um, but by while working there, you know, and using this platform that we created internally, I knew that there was a lot more ability outside of the, of the company.
So the CEO there was very, very supportive in helping me kind of carve out a couple of folks with me and just start up a company from scratch. So we started off and, you know, we're selling to a lot of the players in the space, you know, the same players I was selling to selling sand, you know, buying sand from selling to the service companies, the Halliburtons of the world.
And just really got an understanding of how to, you know, start a business from, from scratch. but you know, that company, you know, we kind of ran its course. We, our company was able to. Have two successful exits. And at that point I said, look, you know, I don't really wanna move to Houston, which is where really the epicenter of oil and gas in, in, in the United States.
And I said, well, what, what can I get into that is agnostic to geography? Right? And real estate was the answer. Right? And, and on the side, I had been flipping properties myself, you know, leveraging. My family, you know, my dad's a retired roofer. My brother's in the insulator union, you know, I have, you know, family in the carpenters union, the, you know, the Mason Union.
Right? So leveraging my team, I was able to, to flip about, you know, eight or nine properties. but the whole idea there wasn't really doing that to be a long time, you know, flipper, now I do do some, you know, rental properties. I have down Ocean City, New Jersey. But, you know, the, it was really getting into the game and understanding how is the data structured.
How can I understand, you know, what data's out there. Um, and that was really how Forecasa was born. Um, you know, I was able to find a local lender that I knew that was showing up in the dataset, and I said, Hey, see your name all over this dataset. There's gotta be a way I can help you. And he said, you know what?
You can't. And I said, what do you mean I can't? He said, everybody's in this, you know, everybody in this industry is a little shady. They're operating under different entities. The borrowers are setting up different LLCs for every property they operate under. You know, the lenders have different names they operate under.
Um, the aggregators have multiple names. They're securitizing under. So all the parties involved are trying to kind of mask themselves a bit. So we viewed that as an opportunity and kind of jumped into it. And that's what we've been doing for the you know for over the last, you know, year, year or so.
Brendan: that adds a lot of context and some of that, I, I think I knew that you did a couple flips that I didn't realize the evolution from doing the fix and flips to then finding the lender and then developing the need out of there. I think that's super interesting to give some context to the listeners.
So we met Sean and the Forecasa team maybe about a year ago. Uh, You got your team approached ours saying, Hey, we think we can help you guys understand who are the other major players in the field from a hard money lender perspective. Uh, where are some of these loans being sold off to? So who are, are some of the big loan aggregators in the space?
Where are they getting their capital from? And in addition, which is the really interesting thing, is some of that cryptic LLC assignment that you were talking about, Sean your guys' platform now allows us to say, okay, Brendan Bennett has three LLCs and he's doing deals in these three LLCs. We can tie all of that back to Brendan Bennett, whereas before, it'd be very difficult for us to, to trace that back.
So you now offer a lead sourcing opportunity, which we've been leveraging you guys from you guys monthly over the last 12 months. So just to give the viewers a quick background on how, how that relationship's going.
Sean: Yeah. And when we first started out, you know, lead gen was really the only option because, you know, we, we were limited in the amount of data we had. So the, the whole idea and what we were, what we've been building in the background is what I call the flywheel. So the flywheel is going county to county, And understanding, you know that in Georgia, they call it a security deed.
In the northeast, you know, United States, they call it a mortgage. In Texas, they call it a deed of trust. In the Midwest they call it a deed to fixture filing. So the data is so disaggregated, and that's where we saw an opportunity. It's, you know, yes, it is public data. That's what, you know, some people counter with. It's like, oh, all you're doing is grabbing public data. I said, well, go ahead. Do it yourself. Go ahead.
Brendan: You guys are translating. You're, putting it into one language.
Sean: Yeah, it's getting it, it's normalizing it. And then it's also, you know, putting it into a, a vehicle that is consumable for the end user. Right. And it started off lead gen, but then we were listening to our clients.
How, how else can we help you? Well, we also wanna know what our existing clients are doing. Okay. So then we created customer analytics. Where our lenders can now track their existing clients, not just, you know, net new people that they want to go after. And then in. You know, July of this year, which everybody experienced.
The secondary market capital markets froze. And every inbound call that we were getting was, Hey, Sean, do you know who's buying private loans in our areas that we're, we're originating in because we were single sourced. And now we're, we're hurting. And that was something that we learned in this space.
Because oil and gas, there's usually contracts associated. So, Yes, they may not adhere to all the contracts, but there's at least a piece of paper telling you, Hey, I'm gonna be your customer for a period of time in this space. You could be buying loans or selling loans to somebody, and then tomorrow they can call you up and say, Hey, no longer buying the faucets turned off.
And that's really what happened in the second, you know, second week, third week of July and carried through August. And it was, you know, devastating for some of the originators out there. and, and I think, you know, a lot of people learned at that point that. Capital markets, you know, is just as important.
So that's when we started creating reports and analytics around, you know, who are buy, who is buying loans in these markets. So a lot of our product development is really just from listening to what our clients are asking for, which is really easy if you just take the time to do it right? You have to take the time and meet with your clients and listen not just kind of tell them what you're doing.
Brendan: Yeah, and a quick anecdote there, just to compliment you on that, Sean, we, so for the, for the listeners that have been around for a little bit, you guys understand our, our platform, but I'll do a quick explanation. So we have our borrower base, which are our. Flippers or developers, the bars that are borrowing money from us on a, on a weekly basis, but we also have a group of accredited investors that we syndicate these loans to on our website.
After having a meeting with Sean just a couple weeks ago, he was saying, Hey, I didn't realize that this was such a core fundamental piece of your guys' business. We can actually use our data to help identify. Which individuals are writing the most mortgage notes from a private lending perspective. So the country club money, the aunts, the uncles, the doctors, the whomever.
It might be Sean's, like not only can I show you leads for borrowers, but I can also show you how to grow your bandwidth on the accredited investor network by showing through mortgage data like you guys have done.
Sean: Yeah, and it's really, you know, when we look at data, we took a different approach than most of the other folks out there. Everybody else seemed to be very focused on property level data. Hey, I wanna look up a property and see associated information. We took it from a transaction standpoint. We wanna look at transactions which have parties. Those parties get normalized to companies, and that's how we report analytics. The analytics are reported on the companies, but there's so much noise. Because when we're going out and grabbing this data, we're getting conventional. We're getting commercial, we're getting sba, we're getting self-directed IRAs, we're getting family trust.
And then the category that Brendan just mentioned is what we call like the individual lenders. And the interesting part is that the investors, the borrowers, right, they're all the same. Whether they're using self-directed ira, whether or not they're using private money, some of them are using, you know, conventional money.
So there's so many different players all working with the same kind of investor base, which is really interesting to us. And the lack of consolidation is amazing. When we're in the oil and gas services sector. Halliburton, Schlumberger, baker, Hughes. They would make up 50 to 75% of the market.
Even the top lenders in this space. You know, you're, you're less than 10, 11% of the market. So highly disaggregated market, which you know, means there's a lot of opportunity.
David: Yeah, that there's a ton to dive in there, Sean, as far as like, the different types of data sets that you guys offer and how you can use each of those and, and how different lenders or aggregators, can put that data to work. But one of the thing that has resonated most with me in seeing your data in the reports that Brendan sends out, you know, every month or so, I love diving into that personally because I like seeing, Hey, how are we doing in each of the markets that I oversee in the Midwest?
Right? How are my territory managers performing? How are we doing against competition? But you mentioned you started in lead gen. I can speak on that because a big part of the, the territory manager job is, is going out and prospecting for new business. You know, you guys are providing a, a very targeted list of like, these are the people doing deals in this area.
This is the type of deal they're doing. here's all the information you need to know about them, which is awesome. because doing that manually, which I've done through before, go to the county website, sift through the data, then find the contact information that's super. Time consuming, and by the time you get all that data, it's like, is this even the person we're looking for or not?
Right? So, you know, you, you kind of send these guys on a wild goose chase going to find people that way, which is traditionally like the only way to do it until we started seeing these four casaa leads where it's like, Hey, this is exactly what we're looking for and we have everything we need to go call 'em.
Let's go get after it. Yeah. It's, it's cool. And then, you know, then after a few months you can kind of show 'em, hey, here's where you're tracking in your market and here's who's beating your ass and here's who's not. You know,
Sean: you know, you have to be careful showing people, cause sometimes you don't want to like rub it in their face. Right. But the, at the end of the day, if you want to be a data driven company, you have to know when things are good and when and when they're bad. Right? So like we work with some lenders and they'll say, Sean, yeah, we know our markets, but we only know our top three markets.
We don't even know some of these competitors that are showing up on your reports. Right? Because people don't realize like, there's a lot of money that's flowing in and out of this space. Right. And there's constantly people changing hands. So knowing that, you know, at this is now, you know, operating on our hometown equity mortgage.
And different moves and things like that are happening. Like we're in the weeds on the data. So we kind of see things happening as they happen. Um, and it's only gonna continue to grow. Because we're now looking at. SEC registered documents. Look at a form Ds for people that are raising equities.
Uh, there's the securitization forms that we can look at. There's building permits. There's what I call synergistic and creative data sets. Just think of it like an M+A transaction. Like you're out looking to buy a company. Well, it's the same thing when you're looking at data sets.
There's so much data out there. How do you know what to focus on? Well, you only want to a, you talk to your clients. You have conversations with guys like David and and Brendan and say, Hey, this is what we're looking at guys. What do you think? Would this add value? Well, actually no, we're already getting that from somebody else or yes, actually.
Yeah, that you kidding me? Like that would save me so much time. As soon as we hear save time, then we know that there's value generated. So it's all about trying to listen to the customer, figure out what they're doing. And then, you know, the capital markets thing has been huge, like. You know, I, I talked to a customer yesterday who told me, Sean, I wouldn't be funding loans in Texas right now if it wasn't for a conversation I had with him.
It wasn't even the data, it was the monthly call we have where I said, Hey, did you know that this note buyer who traditionally only buys from one facility is now buying from multiple? And he said, oh, shoot, I did, did not know that. Got a conversation and now he's literally able to fund outside of his balance sheet because of that relationship.
Right? So, Sometimes it's just a conversation and other times it's, you know, leveraging the data. But at the end of the day, you wanna leverage each other's knowledge of the market. And we're always listening too, because we're new to this. Like, every time I have a conversation with you guys, I learn something new about, you know, how we could be doing something different or better.
Brendan: one of the biggest applications that we've seen, so David mentioned the very tactical lead gen and, and giving our territory managers people to go meet job sites, to drive past, from a strategic level, what's been really helpful. When our VP of sales, pat and I are, are trying to figure out what market should we go into next?
Where do we want to place a territory manager? There's a lot of unknowns We don't know. Are there borrowers doing fix and flip and ground up construction in these areas? Is home price appreciation an issue here or is it super strong? Who are the aggregators or insurance companies buying these loans from the originators?
Your guys' dataset provides us pretty much all the information so I can, if we wanted to go into, let's say, Austin, Texas. Right. And depending on the timeline, maybe that's a good idea. Maybe it's not. But if you wanna go to Austin, Texas, I can use Forecasa to say who are the the highest volume borrowers in this area?
I can get an idea of that. I can get leads from you guys for who those top 20 are. I can understand who are the top 10 lenders in that space currently. I can do a quick search in each of their websites to see are our terms competitive with the top 10? Cause if they're not, We need to get competitive before we run into market or we'll get our, our teeth kicked in.
Right? So, and then the last thing is, are we already working with some of the institutional partners that are some of the top aggregators in Austin? Cause if so, it's a simple conversation like, Hey, we want to break into this market. We see you're offering this other lender, these competitive terms.
We want those terms too. How do we, how do we get that to be able to break in? Or we could see the, the opposite maybe. we had a guest on I, a couple episodes back where they talked about the headline effect, where, you know, it's either it's the best city ever to live in, or it's the worst city ever to live in.
There's really no in between your guys' data helps us sort through that and figure out what's, what's the facts, how many mortgages are happening, who's buying, what's going on? And it's, it's been super helpful for us from a strategic standpoint of where'd we go next on the sales side.
Sean: Yeah. Thank you. And, and it's really been, Interesting to, to follow. Right? Because, and I'll get, I'll drop some numbers on you here. So like, you know, the private lending space, we just finished up our December report, right. Which was positive, you know, I don't, you know, definitely it was positive. It was the first month that we haven't had a double digit decrease month over month since August.
Right. So, positive month and, and it, there are a couple laggards in the reporting that we do. Some, some areas of the, of the country are a little bit late in reporting. So it's gonna either finish kind of. You know, basically flat with November or um, slightly above November. Right. Which is great because the last two years, even with Covid and everything, like we have seen increases in December relative to November, just nationally speaking.
That being said, every market's not been created equal. Right. So we see you know, I think I was just looking at it the other day. So the top markets, like in the top 10, Houston has been the strongest, most resilient market. Right in the top 20, Jacksonville, Florida has been resilient. And then in the top 30 you guys are like this Cinci.
So, you know, Cinci Ohio has been pretty resilient that on the negative side, I mean, Phoenix has gotten crushed. Um, you know, California is not doing great, but not as bad as Arizona, Northern New Jersey And then Chicago was actually a little bit of a surprise for me cause I didn't realize Chicago had taken a hit, but, Of a, you know, overall market though, Florida, I mean, everything, everything's still positive in Florida relative to the market.
So when we look at things like, we look at things, how it's relative. How is Florida doing relative to Texas, relative to Arizona. So the whole market may be coming down, which we're seeing. Um, but it's, you know, it's, it's definitely relative. And in Texas, you know, all the major markets, with the exception of Aus Austin were also positive.
Austin though was kind of like net, net neutral. Um, for the last period. and then lenders, you know, there's really three groups of lenders today. There's lenders that are surviving, which means they're just doing enough to get by and maintain. There's lenders that are thriving, right, that are looking at this opportunistically and saying, Hey, why everybody else is sitting on the sidelines.
We wanna, we wanna jump in there. And then, Unfortunately there's lenders that have already kind of gone under. Right. Um, and I think everybody knows, you know, who's out there, but, and there's still gonna be some, I think that will continue to struggle. Um, but you know, like I said, we, we do think that we're at least stabilizing and, and I see it in the capital markets as well.
Cuz people will come to me and say, Sean, so and so says they're not buying loans. I said, well, they are, they're just not buying your loans. You know? So, you know, unfortunately that's the case sometimes. But the good news is, I mean, the, the documentation trial doesn't lie. They're not gonna
file. Yeah, you want to know
and use that if you can, and in having these conversations, right. So,
David: can we dive more into that, Sean? Because I think this is a Silver Linings podcast. We like the good news. We like to, to spread joy to the people. Uh, and so, you know, here, and you've seen some positive trends, November to December, I think that's, that's great to hear. When you're seeing this data, are you kind of taking it at face value and saying like, Hey, this is where things are at now or is it enabling you to make some predictions and decisions that.
You know, are looking forward 2, 3, 4, 6 months down the road. And do you encourage your, your clients, your, lenders that you work with to, you know, move in certain directions based on the data?
Sean: Yeah, a hundred percent. So 2023 is gonna be all about us getting more predictive with the data. 20, 22 is just about building the foundation. Get the foundation built. figure out which, you know, documents you want to focus on. Originally it was deeds, mortgages, assignments, satisfactions.
Then the whole world starting to fall apart and people are caring about lease pends, loan modifications, notice of trustee sales, liens, judgements. Like I gotta be aware of my borrowers other investments. Because I feel comfortable with the loan I underwrote to them. But I don't know about all the other things kind of that are out there.
So yeah, we look at the data and then geographically you could see it pretty quickly how things are either turning off or turning on. Um, and the good news is in this space, unlike oil and gas and oil and gas, we were always dealing with data that was two to three months in arrears. So it was really difficult to be, be predictive in the short term, predictive in the long term, you could still do because, you know, it was a more of a macro look.
But the fact that like in Texas and Florida, I mean, our data is within a week old. So we're not, like, we can see the trends as they're happening. We can see the stuff happening and then we can call it out. Um, so, you know, and that, and we, like I said, we meet with each of our clients each month and the level of conversations we have with our clients, it's, it's great.
It's not like your typical vendor client relationship. It's like, Hey, this is what I'm hearing. What are you hearing? You're talking to same people I'm talking to, and. We have a, you know, a kind of an investor on the, on the note buying side that we talk to pretty regularly, and they have not been more positive.
The last conversation I had with them was the most positive conversation I had in probably six months. Right? So, I think things are starting to normalize on the interest rates. You know, anybody who didn't think interest rates were gonna go up, I don't know what, where you live, you know, like what environment you, we were at 30 year lows.
People are getting 2.75, 2.5%. On 30 year. Like, that can't last forever. But I think the speed in which it changed, people got a little complacent and said, Hey, this, this capital markets providers, why would I go somewhere else? They're, they're, they're taking the stuff. It's going fast. We have a great relationship.
Right? And then when things go sideways, it's different. It's like everybody's got a plan to get punched in the mouth. Right? Um, so what we, we, we've experienced that. Like oil and gas is the most volatile industry in the world. Like when a, when oil's a hundred, everybody's fat and happy. Right? You don't have to be strategic, you don't have to leverage data.
Because you just need to be in the industry, I used to call our sales guys note takers. When, when we were back, when you know, things were great, and then a year later when things aren't great now, it's like, all right, well, who's being strategic? Who's having hard conversations with their client versus just being told?
No, I'm not doing something. Well, I see it in data. You are, you know, how come I'm not getting that business? How are we gonna, you know, work together? Right? So in times like this, people actually have time now to think and be a little bit more strategic. So leveraging data is more important.
Like we have people that six months ago, eight months ago, said, Sean, you could be giving me the greatest thing in the world. I don't even have the time to talk to you right now. Those same people are coming back and saying, Hey, what, what data did you say you had again? And how are you leveraging that? You know?
Yeah. And, and how can I figure out who are other no buyers in my market. Right. And everyone, some people think they know all the players, but then you don't realize the local banks, like you said, the insurance companies. Right. The private equity guys behind everything. So yeah, there's a lot of players in this space.
It's exciting and. Yeah, I'm very bullish, you know, personally you know, I, I thought house prices would've taken a little harder dive, you know, they've been pretty resilient. Yes, they have come down, but I don't think they've come down to the level people thought. And, you know, demand and, and supply.
I mean, it's, it's basic economy stuff, you know, it's like there's not a ton of supply out there, and that's just, that's gonna be that way for a while.
Brendan: Makes sense. Sean, I'd like to round out the podcast with two more just business focus questions, so maybe not so data, data forward. But I think the one thing that, that you do extremely well, that you shared with me over the last six months and, and something that you spend dedicated time daily. Is expanding your network, and I know you, you've chosen LinkedIn as one of the ways that you're doing that.
Can you just talk to some of the people that are very business forward listening to the podcast, that maybe it's a real estate business they're running. Maybe it's something completely unrelated. Talk about your networking strategy and how you had success and what's it done for your business.
Sean: Yeah. So as a X cpa, I'm not your natural sales person. Right? And that was honestly one of the most challenging things for me when I was, when I was an accountant and kind of flipped over to the business side of things. It was being told no, you know you know, trying to network with people that you've never met with before.
And for me, I was a Philadelphia person getting thrown into oil and gas. So now I'm having to talk to people that. I had never talked to before, whether it's Calgary, you know, Texas, Denver, right. Even globally, we had stuff that we were talking to people in Saudi Arabia. Right? So there was a, it was difficult for me to get into it, but once you get into it, once you're confident and you believe and, and you know what you're talking about, like, you know, my part, one of my partners asked me today, are you nervous about this podcast?
And I said, well, no, I know Brendan and David are good guys. First off. So this is, I'm not walking in this blind, but I'm also confident and I believe in what we do because, I spend so much time into it, and I'm passionate about what I do. Right. So I would say for anybody that's in any business, if you're not passionate about what you're doing, you should look to find something else.
Right. And that's, I've ran out a passion in oil and gas space. It was just like, it was kinda like for old reference for the Eagles fans out there, for who? For what? Ricky Waters. You know what I mean? Like, it became, it became a point where it was like, like, and, and you know, so I just decided, hey, like, you know, I want to change it up, but it, it takes risk.
But, but like, as long as you take educated risk. Because there's people out there I run into all the time. They know that I do startup companies. Oh, Sean, I got an idea. And sometimes like, oh man, here we go. Right? But, you know, there's people out there if you're gonna take risk, just talk to the people that are in the industry and say, Hey, this is what I'm thinking about doing.
Is this realistic? What, what else do I need to do in order to make this something that you would want to buy from me? Right. And if they can't answer that question in any line of business you're doing, they need to think about doing something else. Right. And for us, like we started out lead gen.
Lead gen was very important for us as a starting point. But now we do more on the analytics side than we do on the lead side, just because we now have access to a lot more data. So, yeah. So for us, I would say always listen to your customers. Be willing to pivot. Right. Don't, like, don't feel it like it's a failure if something didn't work.
Right. I always tell people two steps forward, one step back, two step forward, one step back. Right. And you kinda have to live that way. And not everybody's made out to, to live and work in a startup environment or a high growth, you know lender organization, right. Where you know you're gonna hire the best of the best and you want to grow, but you, you want everybody to be part of that and, and fit that mold.
So I think for us, yeah, we. I would tell everybody just, you know, be passionate about what you're do, and if you're not passionate, find something that you are passionate about. Right? And then building a product, just listen to what your customers say and go from there.
Brendan: Yeah. I love that. Any, any good business, the customers shape the product. Right. And I think especially with the SaaS business, it moves so quick and it's constantly evolving that your, your customers need to be shaping. How your product shows up in the UI on a day-to-day basis. And if it's not, you're probably getting left behind by other people in the space.
So I think you guys definitely, practically you preach in that front. We meet with you once a month, if not more frequent, to talk about what's working in the interface, what's not what new products can you launch. Like the one you told me that's a Q1 objective for you guys. Uh, hopefully I was a small part of that, but that's super exciting for us.
It's a huge part of our business. So yeah, that's, that's great advice for the people listening. And then the last question I have for you, Sean, you've. Started a couple different businesses. You've had a few successful exits Forecasa to my understanding, it's, it's your baby, you're gonna take this thing to the moon.
What is, what is the plan with this? Is it, do you have an uh, idea? Like is it strategy in mind? Are you looking in to be the CEO of, Forecasa, you know, for the next 30 years? What, what's your objective?
Sean: Yep. No. So, you know, I think everybody that starts a company, you have to have some type of exit strategy. So like I, the number one thing I would say, and it's gonna change. Based off of how things shake out. Like when I first started our nav port, the first company, it was like I had these grand plans and had all these.
Things I was gonna do Right. That weren't very realistic, but I had a plan. Right. Um, I had something I was gonna work off of Now with, Forecasa, like I'm not super eager to go out and like raise money and do it. Like, I call it maximum sustainable growth. Right. I want our team to be kicking ass Right. And growing, but I don't want it to be a detriment to your work life balance.
Right. And that may sound, you know, you know, silly a little bit to, to people, but it's, it's true. Like, You don't need to be working 15 hour days to be successful. You need to be smart with your time. You need to be efficient, you need to build a team around yourselves that are gonna help you survive.
So, like for us, yeah, and an eventual exit would probably make sense. You know, there's a lot of kind of larger folks in the space that we could potentially be in exit for. But I think for, you know, the next three to five years, our plan is just to grow this thing. As much as we can without taking outside investment.
Um, if we need, if there's something arises, an opportunity comes up and gets put in front of us and says, Hey, Sean, in order to do this, you need to, you know, we need to go out and raise money. I'll do it. I'm committed to it. But I, I don't foresee that happening. I like the pace of growth that we're at and the team.
In the bus, in the SaaS business model like that, we're in, it's totally different. It gets value different. Like if a lender's gonna sell, they're gonna get traded on ebitda, like a multiple vida. For a SaaS based business, it's all about monthly recurring revenue. So for us, it's about growing that incumbent customer base, but we don't have to do it with thousands of customers.
We want, we want to be really strategic with the customers we add, and then just scale over time. Right. So for us, I would say, yeah, over the next three to five years, it's really, and fortunately, you know, you know, I just turned 40, so I'm not too old, but I'm old enough. So I don't have any retirement plans.
I don't golf. Uh, so, you know, so like, you know, so I don't have any like these grand retirement plans. Um, and our team is young, so, I mean, we have, you know, a really young and hungry team. So, yeah, I would say grow this thing organically. I've never been a fan of grow, growing by acquisition. Right? There's just so many cultures and things, just different things that could happen.
It's like, unless it's a super synergistic, accretive, you know, deal. I, I don't see us doing like acquisitions, maybe like acquisitions of data sets and things like that, but not of companies. I'd much rather hire our employees ourselves and, and kind of grow that way.
Brendan: I love it, man. I, I appreciate the vision that you guys have and you know, David and I and the fun that flip team, we're, we're rooting for you guys to continue to grow and grow and expand and however we can help,
David: Do we, do we have time for for two quick crystal ball questions?
Sean: Yeah, go ahead.
David: People love a good prediction. So disclaimer, not investment advice. In your opinion, Sean, a guy that looks at date all day, if you were gonna put your money to work in real estate. And loaded question, a lot of different strategies.
But let's just say you wanted stable real estate in a slightly appreciating market. Where are you putting your money to work? Is there a certain asset class you would look at as far as, you know, geo and type of of property?
Sean: Yeah, a hundred percent. So Geo, I've learned. I love Philly. Philly. I've grew up in Philly my whole life. Love it. Right? It's a great market. And if you're doing new construction, ground up, that type of stuff, still a great market. If you're flipping stuff, just, you gotta know where you're at. Like, you know, like I, the last couple propers I worked on, my dad was my gc.
And then I gotta be worried about where I'm sending him to do some of these jobs. And I was getting in this, I was in a neighborhood I grew up in, so that's why I felt comfortable. Cause I knew the, even though it wasn't the best neighborhood, I knew people that still lived there. I had people looking out for me.
My dad knows people there. So the biggest thing is I wouldn't go into a market that you don't know. Right. So like my two markets, I'll, I'll be in, I pivoted more away from Philly to the Jersey shore just because that's where I spend my, my summertime. Now that I can work from home, I literally built an outside desk in my driveway.
So I work out, the CPA days have have burned and scarred me for, for years working in a closet, you know, with no windows for 15 hour days. So yeah, it's, so I would say, Anywhere where you know your market price. I wouldn't expect any like serious price appreciation unless you're like down the shore. Like where I still think there's some areas that ha have not.
Like some areas are overpriced already and some are coming down, but I love the shore. The rental model down the shore is great, you know, I But to do it though, you either gotta go single family. Go single family, there's not many of those left and they're really hard to find and expensive. But like Wildwood for instance, there's gonna be more opportunity in Wildwood than there would be in, you know, Avalon or something like that.
The other thing is, if you're gonna get, and I learned this the hard way, if you're gonna get into the condo rental model, Airbnb know what the policies are at the condo facility itself. I got hoodwinked by an agent who is not from that market, who didn't know the Airbnb laws for that specific. And they made it so hard for me to use the property as a rental that I had to sell it and I, and I still made a little money off it, but like I was, the amount of BS these people put me through because I wasn't part of the rental program.
If you're not part of the rental program, well you don't get a parking spot. Oh. If you're not part of the rental program, you don't get to use their cleaning people, which were discounted. Right, and it was just like tooth. And now with every little thing.
So know your local like, you know, policies on Airbnb and VRBO. I would also say know your condo policy specifically. Cause that will change policy to like area to area. Every, every condo association has different laws and sometimes they make 'em more confusing to others to, to understand at the bottom line if they have their own rental program.
And you're trying to Airbnb, you better be really sure that you got a good plan in place, cuz they're gonna make things more difficult cuz they want you to go through their rental program where you make 6% on your money and it's like 6%. Like, I'm, I'm getting 20, 25% returns on my money, like with my model.
And they're like, oh, you'll never get that. And I'm like, no, I, I will. And I have like, there's a model to it. And the last thing I would say is, and I only do this now cause my wife manages it for me, but. Have market do on both v rbo and Airbnb. I don't know why people don't like, I get like it's, you have to manage it.
Because if they No apps talk to, they purposely don't talk to each other. They're, they're competitors. They don't want you marketing on both. But why not open yourself up to an, an entire other base of clients. So like, and down the shore, the rental rates, like they're, they continue to go up and occupancy is like, I'm, I'm averaging 95% in the, you know, from, May 1st through September 30th, and then find somebody to take it for the winter, even if you're getting enough money to cover utilities, you know what I mean?
Or your taxes or whatever. Like, just, that's what I would recommend. So like the, and the rental model is a lot easier. The flip model, unless you have a contractor team that you are tied in with. Right. Like I had my dad, my dad's not going anywhere, you know what I mean? It's like, you know, like he eventually told me I'm not doing it anymore, so that's why I stopped.
But um, yeah, if you're gonna do the fix to flip, know your contractors are, but the rental model is very lucrative. You just need to know what the laws are so you don't get pinched like I did. And then you wind up having to sell it even though you didn't want to sell it. Right. But
David: Great Intel. Last question. This is an easy one for you.
The final score of the Super Bowl.
Sean: 31 23 Eagles.
31 23. So Jalen Hertz is gonna have a great game. He might throw one pick, Patrick Mahomes. They're like, you know, I, you know, you want to not like the guy cuz you know, I'm, I'm an Eagles fan. But like, you know, he's, he seems like a legit guy. And Andy Reid, you know, obviously X Eagles, you know, coach for so long.
But no, I really think it's, It's, it's a special year this year. It feels just like the year we won it where we weren't expected. Nobody even thought Jalen Hiz was gonna be a starting quarterback at the beginning of the season. That guy is nothing. He's done nothing but win everywhere he is been and he's been a leader.
Right. And so, yeah, he's got me pumped up. Now I'm about to like get, jump up through the wall
David: the, the great news for you, Sean, is uh, this probably doesn't air until after the Super Bowl. So if you're right, you're gonna look really smart
and, and nobody can blame you for placing a bad bet cuz they, they didn't hear it until after the, the Super Bowl. So there you go.
Sean: Cool. Well, no, I appreciate everything you guys have done for this, and hey, if you ever need me on again, you know, just I'll be more than welcome to, to come back.
Brendan: Hell yeah. Sean real quick before we go, could you plug some of the different ways that if people have interest to reach out to Forecasa or to you personally? What's the best way for people
Sean: Yeah. LinkedIn's the easiest way to be honest with you. I'm always on LinkedIn. I spend about an hour, an hour and a half a day on it. Right? If you do want to grow your network, Spend half hour every day on LinkedIn, try to get 10 new connections a day. That's what, that's a, a simple, short goal to get. And just know that if you do try to connect with too many people LinkedIn, we'll send you their user term agreements again and all that stuff.
But yeah, check us out on LinkedIn, Sean Morgan forecasa.com Uh, and Kyle Welch is also on there. He's our president, so if you need him, reach out to him as well.
David: Awesome, Sean, really appreciate having you. Thank you for all your time. You've been awesome. I'll go ahead and wrap us up here. So for Sean Morgan. For Brendan Bennett, I am David Duggan. Thank you for tuning into Real Estate Investing unscripted. We'll see you next time.
Sean: Go Birds.
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