Dave Edwards of Key Real Estate Discusses the Denver Real Estate Market
September 4, 2018
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Erik Wolf: Hello and welcome to The Denver Executive Association Trusted Advisor podcast. Twice a month our Stonemason like secret society of 30 of Denver’s top execs gather at the Ritchie Center in DU to share knowledge, share connections and do business. And twice a month someone is I assume tricked into sitting here with me. My name is Erik Wolf. I’m with the digital marketing agency estound. We serve small and mid-sized business owners with CMO-level digital strategy, website design and development, Search Engine Optimization, pay-per-click advertising and all that good stuff to make your pixels more profitable. Today my guest is Dave Edwards, founding and managing broker of Key Real Estate Group located in the Denver Tech Center. Dave has been involved in over 2500 real estate transactions over nearly 35 years in the business. He’s married, he has two teens at home and a vicious seven-pound dog named Baby Bear. Welcome to the show, Dave.
Dave Edwards: Thank you. Glad to be here Erik. Thanks for having me here today.
Erik Wolf: Well you know this is just what we do. I’m not even sure that I have a choice.
Dave Edwards: Well you did rope me into it but you know hey after you had me down I decided OK.
Erik Wolf: You know at the end of 20 minutes they cut the duct tape and I’m allowed to leave.
Dave Edwards: So you let me off the wall. OK. Good good.
Erik Wolf: So tell me how you got started in real estate. Obviously, it’s been a long career so you know I assume it was done in some sort of intentionality. What made you get in, what made you stay?
Dave Edwards: Well I think after living with about 10 roommates and feeling like my home was Animal House, I decided that maybe baking pies for a living at 5:00 in the morning wasn’t the ideal future for me. Not that being a baker is not an admirable career, but I just didn’t have the income source and the ability to change my lifestyle and so I went off into the real estate industry after running it up the pole with my parents because I was young when I got into the business. I was barely out of school when I first got licensed. And you know it was kind of one of those things where I just decided to give it a go and here I am 30 some odd years later.
Erik Wolf: So talk to me about the business. Talk to me about Key and what you guys do and what you specialize in. What makes you guys special in the market.
Dave Edwards: I think one of the things that makes Key Real Estate group an excellent company and an excellent choice for the public to work with is we don’t have a lot of “fly by night” type agents. We are not what we call a licensed shop so we don’t just allow anybody and everybody to hang their license in our office. Everybody’s a qualified veteran agent typically. And so nothing against the training shops, everybody needs to be new and everybody needs to learn how to do all the various tasks in a real estate transaction, however, our emphasis is on promoting advanced levels of selling. Our agents in our office typically have half a dozen or more years experience. We have many people in my office who have 20 plus years experience. And we’ve been involved in literally thousands of transactions between our core group which is roughly 35 brokers.
Erik Wolf: That sounds like a lot of people. Does that make you large for a privately owned shop outside of the Remax’s and things like that or how do you stack up in terms of that?
Dave Edwards: Well as far as quantified as far as what we call a boutique agency our sales are far superior to our sales volume, far superior to a similar size shop with a similar number of brokers. And it’s kind of strange because most of the agents that are licensed at Key have come from doing transactions with these brokers when they’ve been with the different firm across the table at a closing and they’ve kind of self-recruited themselves. So we don’t have a true recruiting program. Everybody that’s come to Key has come because they liked what they’ve seen and heard with transactions with other brokers at Key. So it’s kind of a feather in our cap really.
Erik Wolf: So Denver is obviously a very fast growing market. We’ve got a lot of people wanting to move here. We’ve got houses that seemed to go on and off the market within a matter of minutes.
Dave Edwards: That long?
Erik Wolf: One just came and went just like that.
Dave Edwards: Just sold.
Erik Wolf: Sold by Dave Edwards at Key Real Estate. But seriously with the way things are going here, what’s something that you feel like somebody in this market should know before buying or selling a house. What’s something that may be a lot of folks aren’t thinking about when it comes to either preparing to buy or sell in Denver?
Dave Edwards: I think a lot of people have been misled by some of the things they see in the world with their friends and in the media and whatnot.
Erik Wolf: The fake news media.
Dave Edwards: Does that exist?
Erik Wolf: It does exist. It’s all fake.
Dave Edwards: It’s all fake. That’s what I heard. So a lot of people aren’t correctly pricing their properties because there’s a lot of hype and hoopla and the days of people paying attention to what their broker tells them. You’ve seen some news lately stating that maybe the market’s flattening out when in reality homes have just been overpriced beyond where they should have been to start with. And so really all we’re seeing is a market price adjustment back to where they should have been priced to start with, which is still probably if you take a home that’s sold now, it still has increased in value probably five or six percent over the last six months. So one of the things people need to really be careful with is not getting sold a bill of goods by interviewing five brokers and just picking the one that shoots them the highest price because they really need to have a justified reason why their home is worth 10 percent more than the one two doors down that just sold last week.
Erik Wolf: Well that’s an excellent point although I like to think that my house is, the sentimental value alone is just tremendous.
Dave Edwards: Well your home’s special. That’s why.
Erik Wolf: Thank you. So with over, I think you said 2500 transactions that you’ve been involved with, I’m sure that there may be a couple that sort of stand out in your mind as situations that were special or very difficult. Can you give me maybe one really great story about how you helped a homeowner or a buyer out of a particularly tough spot?
Dave Edwards: As a matter of fact we had one this year, a longtime customer, I’ve sold this couple several homes over the course of time. The homeowner, Mr. Owner travels internationally on business a lot and so does his wife. And they got into kind of a little pinch where they got behind on a few home payments and finally got down the road where their lender was going to give them a re-workout, a modification on their loan and we’re going to keep them moving forward because they’ve always been able to keep current with their debts and it was kind of a unique situation with some overseas pay that hadn’t come through. And at the very last minute while the home was kind of lingering on the brink of foreclosure literally going into public sale, the lender actually withdrew their offer to modify the loan and we ended up with literally just a matter of about 10 days to get their property cured of this delinquency which required us selling it. We were able to find a buyer on a Monday and close on a Friday and kind of pulled them off the edge. And also they had a lot of equity in the property which preserved that for them as well and their family.
Erik Wolf: So all within one business week this happened and I’ve been told that it’s really hard to get stuff to close quickly nowadays. A lot of times it takes, I remembered it used to take, you know within 30 days you could get it done and now it feels more like 45 ish and you got it all done literally in five days.
Dave Edwards: Yeah. Start to finish and a unique situation but everybody involved realized the nature and the magnitude of how significant this would have been to this family’s life had this not have happened and so we had to just pull out all the stops and we’re able to cure it and get it done and preserved a lot of equity for their financial future and really they’re just a fabulous family. I’m just so so proud of everybody involved that made it happen.
Erik Wolf: That is really actually an incredible story, you came through. I like it. Thank you I appreciate that.
Dave Edwards: You bet.
Erik Wolf: All right here on the DEA Trusted Advisor Podcast. So because this is the Trusted Advisor Podcast it is my obligation and duty to ask you for some free advice. So there are a zillion real estate agents out there nowadays.
Dave Edwards: Yeah, about 10 or 20 thousand of them lingering around.
Erik Wolf: Basically we’ve got enough realtors to basically fill a town now. Yeah, it’s a little nuts.
Dave Edwards: Next time you get your license just check the little box that says real estate license and go ahead and check that at the same time then you can get both.
Erik Wolf: And you can become an organ donor.
Dave Edwards: Yes you can, all at once. I’m just joking. Don’t get mad at me brokers out there.
Erik Wolf: But so with your 20,000, you got your town full of 20,000 brokers, how in the world does somebody know if they’re hiring the right one?
Dave Edwards: Well one way to do it is to actually find out maybe a little track history of what the broker is that they are interviewing, what have they done. Maybe they can show them some proven sales and so forth. I’m not saying that a broker that has limited sales is a bad broker but oftentimes you can kind of track over the course of time if this person’s really doing it full time as a career versus just kind of a sideline to make a little extra pocket money. Some part-time brokers are excellent but typically part-time anything in the world gets part-time results and part-time problems. If you got a brain tumor you don’t go to a part-time neurologist right.
Erik Wolf: That is definitely a good way to decide if your guy’s part-time that might be something that should set off a red flag. Any others that come to mind?
Dave Edwards: One of the things that, I made this mistake years ago. I was talking to a gentleman who was relocating corporately. And you know I told him I was number one this and number one that and at the end of the conversation he looked at me, of course, I was much younger, and he just said, “Kid I don’t care if you’re number one in the world. What are you going to do for me?” And so that really hit home and the fact that people don’t want to just know all your accolades they want to an actual schedule of what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, why it works or why it doesn’t work and accountability is huge. You’ll find a lot of Brokers simply are not accountable. A lot of people get into the real estate business and I’ve had people tell me this, “Oh well, geez, I like to play a lot of golf and I don’t want to work that much. You know my mom’s a broker in Palm Springs and she plays a lot of golf and makes a lot of money and really doesn’t work that much.” And you know and these are all fallacies. I mean the only place that you know success comes before work is truly in the dictionary.
Erik Wolf: Nicely played it like it.
Dave Edwards: How do you like that? I’ve got a couple of gems.
Erik Wolf: Yeah your cliche game is tight. So how can folks get in touch with you my friend?
Dave Edwards: The best way is to contact me on my direct cell, 303-946-3602. Of course all day and night. I get emails piling in constantly. So you’re welcome to contact me at Dave@Keyrealestategroup.com.
Erik Wolf: Thank you so much, Dave, and thank you to everybody listening to the DEA Trusted Advisor Podcast. We’ll talk to you next time.