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Mastering Real Estate Investing: Insights from Carlos Reyes and Sal Shakir

In the competitive world of real estate investing, mastering the art of scaling your business is key. Today, we’ll delve into the insights shared by industry experts Carlos Reyes and Sal Shakir from Phoenix, Arizona. In this detailed guide, we’ll explore their experiences in growing a multi-million dollar national real estate acquisition company, hiring the right team, and implementing the systems required to succeed.

Business Overview

Carlos Reyes and Sal Shakir, founders of a highly successful real estate firm, have built their empire from the ground up in less than four years. Operating in 15 states, their business showcases impressive growth and scale. Here’s a breakdown of their journey:

  • Team Size: Over 20 personnel in-office, expanding to around 75-100 people including external teams.
  • Company Culture: Emphasizes a team mentality, with Carlos and Sal referring to themselves as leaders rather than bosses.
  • Background: Carlos, an immigrant from Mexico, and Sal, an immigrant from Iraq, navigated through numerous challenges to achieve their current success.

Early Marketing Campaigns

Carlos and Sal’s initial marketing efforts were marked by caution and frugality. They were hesitant to spend money on marketing, opting for handwritten bandit signs to save costs. However, they soon realized the importance of investing in their business:

  • Initial Hesitation: Relied on handwritten bandit signs to save money.
  • First Campaigns: Partnered with a friend to split marketing costs, leading to significant returns.
  • Mindset Shift: Transitioned from viewing marketing as an expense to seeing it as an investment.

Importance of Systems and Structure

Finding the right systems was a critical part of their success. They experimented with various CRM platforms before settling on Podio, which allowed them to build customized workflows.

  • CRMs Explored: Tried over ten CRM systems before choosing Podio.
  • Customization: Invested time in developing workflows and processes within Podio.
  • Results: Built a solid foundation that supports their business expansion and efficiency.

Hiring from Social Media

Carlos and Sal found that hiring from social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook was highly effective. This approach allowed them to attract candidates familiar with their company culture and values.

  • Social Media Influence: 99% of their hires came from social media.
  • Advantages: Candidates already familiar with the company’s vision and culture.
  • Platforms Used: Primarily Instagram and Facebook.

Principles for Hiring

Their hiring success hinges on several key principles:

  • Core Values Alignment: Ensure candidates share the same values as the company.
  • People Skills: Look for individuals who are likable and trustworthy.
  • Problem Solvers: Essential for navigating the challenges of real estate investing.
  • Closing Skills: Ability to finalize deals effectively.
  • Commission-Based Experience: Familiarity with commission structures.
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset: Seek individuals with a background in entrepreneurial activities.

Importance of KPIs and Tracking Numbers

Tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is essential for making informed decisions and optimizing operations.

  • Marketing ROI: Know where to spend marketing dollars to maximize returns.
  • Performance Monitoring: Keep an eye on team member performance to avoid inefficiencies.
  • Avoiding Mistakes: Helps prevent costly errors from unnoticed inefficiencies.

Acquisition Manager Hiring Criteria

When hiring an acquisition manager, several criteria are non-negotiable:

  • Core Values: Alignment with company values is crucial.
  • People Skills: Ability to build rapport and trust with sellers.
  • Problem-Solving: Essential for overcoming obstacles.
  • Closing Ability: Must be able to seal the deal under pressure.
  • Interview Techniques: Use practical tests, like asking candidates to sell an item, to assess their skills.

Slow to Hire, Fast to Fire

Carlos and Sal emphasize the importance of being methodical during the hiring process and decisive when it’s time to let go of underperformers.

  • Due Diligence: Thorough screening to avoid hiring mistakes.
  • Quick to Act: Don’t hesitate to remove underperforming team members to minimize losses.

Finding the Right Seat for Employees

Not every hire will start in the perfect role, but recognizing their strengths and repositioning them can lead to success.

  • Identify Talents: Assess skills and fit them into suitable roles.
  • Repositioning: Shift employees to roles where they perform best.
  • Example: Transitioning an underperforming acquisition manager to a successful disposition specialist.

Building Company Culture

Creating a thriving culture is vital for long-term success. Carlos and Sal foster an entrepreneurial mindset and a team-oriented atmosphere.

  • Entrepreneurial Spirit: Encourage a sense of ownership and initiative.
  • Team Environment: Promote collaboration over a strict hierarchy.
  • Growth Opportunities: Support team members in their professional development.

Upcoming All In Freedom Event

For those looking to take their real estate business to the next level, Carlos and Sal host the All In Freedom event.

  • Event Details: Held on June 7th and 8th in Arizona.
  • Content: Focuses on strategies for active real estate investing and finding off-market properties.
  • Speakers: Includes industry leaders and experts.

Resources and Tools

Several resources have been instrumental in Carlos and Sal’s journey.

  • Investor Automation: The Hercules CRM system tailored for scalability.
  • Traction by Gino Wickman: A must-read for understanding business processes.
  • KPI Tracking: Regular monitoring to ensure optimal performance.

Giving Back and Serving

Carlos and Sal are committed to sharing their knowledge through various channels.

  • All In Entrepreneurs Podcast: A platform for sharing insights and tips.
  • YouTube Channel: Offers valuable content for aspiring real estate investors.

Advice for Investors

Carlos and Sal stress the importance of reputation and integrity in the real estate community.

  • Reputation: Handle all deals with integrity as the real estate world is tightly knit.
  • Integrity: Always operate with honesty and transparency.


Carlos Reyes and Sal Shakir’s journey from humble beginnings to leading a multi-million dollar real estate company offers invaluable lessons. Their insights into marketing, hiring, systems, and culture are essential for any investor looking to scale their business. Whether you’re just starting or looking to expand, applying these principles can help you achieve real estate success.

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