Where others see insurmountable challenges, Watson Saintsule of Covenant Real Estate Investment Group sees just another “ordinary” day in his extraordinary profession. His willingness to roll up his sleeves and untangle the gnarliest of property transfer knots has earned his firm the reputation of the one to turn to get the deal done.
As a teen working in a bookstore at the Philadelphia airport, Watson Saintsule gravitated to the shelves when times were slow. One day he picked up Robert Kiyosaki’s, Real Estate Riches: How to Become Rich Using Your Banker’s Money, followed by Cashflow Quadrant, and he made a decision: real estate was for him. He became a realtor at 19, but youth, inexperience, and timing were not in his favor. He left real estate and embarked on a successful career in sales. He started out selling credit cards in airports throughout the country and eventually landed roles in personal and business banking at Bank of America and Citizens Bank.
In the spring of 2020, Watson was working in business banking at Bank of America and became increasingly concerned with how the pandemic would shift traditionally secure employment arrangements. “I realized that betting on myself and returning to my passion for real estate could offer a better chance for prosperity than a traditional 9-to-5,” he said.
Watson took inventory of his skills, experiences, and the kinds of things he enjoyed doing the most, and that helped to narrow his focus to wholesaling. “I love to solve problems and think outside of the box,” explains Watson. “Wholesaling was the best fit for me and would allow the greatest potential for me to create a business that could scale.”
Learning from the pros
Watson turned to Better than Success and enrolled in a one-month workshop that taught him how to structure and set up a successful wholesale business. “The course, and more importantly the people I met who were doing well in the business, gave me the confidence to make the leap,” he said. One of the most valuable things he learned throughout that workshop was the importance of follow-up. “The market is pretty saturated, so the best way to stand out is to approach each project with a relationship-building mindset and follow through on what you say you will do.”
Coming from the corporate banking world, Watson was no stranger to goal setting and scorecards. BTS helped him expand on that and understand the daily activities, processes, and key performance indicators that would eventually lead to success. Watson internalized these BTS tips and now spends the first couple of hours each day planning his activities. Following that, he has a Zoom huddle with his team to go over the previous day’s activities and results, and then outline what needs to be done today.
Watson remembers his first wholesale deal for Covenant Real Estate Investment Group, when all the theories, ideas and work translated to revenue. The property was located on the 6000 Block of Reinhard Street in Southwest Philly and he and his team had to stay the course, have faith, and work a solid plan until they finally saw the fruits of their labor.
Taking follow-thru to the next level
While connecting with sellers and investors is part of his daily routine, his tenacity to get deals done has won Watson the greatest accolades. He worked on a deal where a disabled seller who was living in Washington, DC had spent ten years trying to sell his deceased mother’s home in West Philadelphia, but had encountered numerous probate issues over the years. Through BTS, Watson engaged an estate attorney who got the estate across the probate finish line and connected the seller with a qualified investor who purchased the property – all within 45 days, and without the seller having to leave his home in DC. Watson said that the most rewarding part of that deal was that it was the investor’s first-ever real estate rehab project, making it truly a win-win all around.
Stick with it
When asked what advice Watson would have given to his 19-year-old self, faced with the decision of whether to continue with his career as a realtor or seek employment elsewhere, Watson’s smile lit up the room as he confidently said “I’d tell myself to stick with it!” Watson has a tangible measuring stick of what might have been, had he stayed in real estate in the beginning: his friend, who got his license at the same time, now has 50 properties.
Watson has come a long way from his youthful days of selling credit cards outside of Eagles games. Today, his professional goal is to grow and scale Covenant’s wholesale business, putting the right people and processes in place that will allow him to explore different angles, including buying and holding, lending, and financing.