Just Start Real Estate with Mike Simmons

My guest today is Paul Wakim. Paul is the founder of Fly Over Properties, a real estate photography company and he is also the co-founder of TwnSqr, a web-based company that works as a lead generation engine for real estate agents. Paul started TwnSqr as a project to create an algorithm to predict who was going to sell their house next so he could find more deals. TwnSqr is 100% free and very easy to use, and with the recent influx of institutional and hedge fund money moving into the single-family rental space, it’s focused on simplifying access to properties and giving investors the tools they need to quickly and easily sell their properties.


We begin the episode with Paul sharing his background story and how he ended up in real estate. He shares that he has always been his own boss, even through middle and high school. He owned a landscaping company with his brother, and he kept the business alive through college. He also started a real estate photography company with his wife, and they ended up working with the biggest real estate company on the east coast. For the first year and a half, Paul was the only photographer and had a lot of interaction with top agents and investors before they hired their first employees. The start-up was really a grind for him, but he’s happy to have started there.  


We then talk about Paul’s transition from real estate photography to investing in properties. He shares that he spent hundreds, probably thousands, of hours in the car listening to podcasts about real estate investing while he was driving around to do his work. They were the primary photography companies for some of the highest flippers, and he saw their operations and the kind of money they were making. All of this exposure to real estate led Paul to his own investment journey. He got his real estate license and eventually started ground-up residential development. Because he started as a realtor agent, he appreciated the experience it gave him about the real estate market. However, he says it’s not a necessity if you want to start investing.    


Next, we talk about Paul’s first investment in real estate. Paul shared that his first investment was a conservatorship which took them two years to complete. They ended up purchasing the house for a dollar in front of a judge, and then two weeks later, they sold it for $89,000. According to Paul, the deal was worth it, and he learned a lot in the process. Paul also shares that he lost his access to MLS when he started investing after getting rid of his realtor's license. As a result, he taught himself how to code and built a very rudimentary algorithm that successfully predicted who was going to sell their property next. This enabled him to wholesale properties for a profit and opened up an opportunity to do high and ground-up real estate construction.  


We then talk about Paul's coding algorithm and the company he created out of his coding experience.  Paul shares that the program was based on properties with similar attributes in the same neighborhood and geographical locations. From this coding experience, Paul built a web-based company called Twnsqr that serves as a predictor of who will sell next and as a lead generation engine primarily for real agents. However, according to Paul, COVID screwed up the prediction algorithm, and it’s no longer a part of Twnsqr. It also made it difficult for them to find people who wanted to sell on-market, and they primarily deal with off-market sales.       


Lastly, we talk about the process that they use on their platform to vet buyers for different properties. Paul shares that anybody can submit a proposal or an offer through the platform, but it’s up to the person who has posted the property to determine who they want to work with. According to Paul, when sending in your proposal, you can include your preferred purchasing price and information about yourself to increase your chances of getting the deal. However, they are working on incorporating profiles, proof of funds, and reviews to help sellers make the best decision possible. 


Make sure you don’t miss another amazing episode of the Just Start Real Estate Podcast with Paul Wakim and get valuable information on how you can buy and sell off-market properties with Twnsqr!

Notable Quotes:


“You don’t need to be a real estate agent to be an investor, but it will help 100% in understanding the legalities of the real estate market.”

  • Paul Wakim


“The best way to learn is to work for somebody for free. Just be valuable, absorb and ask questions without charging anything.”

  • Mike Simmons


“Listening to podcasts and interacting with people who are successful in real estate can help you get the ball rolling.“

  • Paul Wakim 



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Level Jumping: How I Grew My Business to Over $1 Million in Profits in 12 Months

Direct download: Buying_and_selling_off_market_properties_with_Paul_Wakim.mp3
Category:Real Estate -- posted at: 3:30am EDT