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First Person

How Piper Moretti Found Her Niche in Crypto Real Estate

"Zero in on the people who are making it happen and befriend them and ping them. I'm not too obnoxious about it. But I do ping them once a quarter.”- Piper Moretti CEO of the The Crypto Realty Group

Here are a few highlights:

  • Why fate can sometimes make the best decisions for you.
  • Why integrity and communication are the keys to long-term success.
  • How niche marketing really works.

Rather read it? Check out the transcript here:


Mike Schneider: Welcome back to another episode of First Person. I'm really excited about this one because we have Piper Moretti of the Crypto Realty Group. And I think this one will be interesting. We're talking about something as unique as cryptocurrency in real estate. But as always, we're really interested in that intersection of relationships and business. So first, tell us, why'd you get into real estate? Rewinding all the way back.

Piper Moretti: Uh, how I got started. I was actually working in entertainment.

Mike Schneider: Okay.

Piper Moretti: There are a lot of gaps in between jobs. So I just finally said, "You know what, I gotta fill this. You know, I gotta pay the rent." You know. [laughter]

Mike Schneider: Right.

Piper Moretti: So, I got my real estate license.

Mike Schneider: So you took another 1099, 100% commission job in real estate.

Piper Moretti: Exactly. Yes.

Mike Schneider: Yeah, that's the right answer.

Piper Moretti:[laughter] Right? I know. It is so similar to entertainment, it's, it's sad. Um, but yeah. So I was filling my summers, you know, with--

Mike Schneider: Yeah.

Piper Moretti:--real estate and, you know, hiatuses and all that and it got to the point where I got so busy. Uh, you know, I'm  answering texts and emails on set and I'm like, "Oh my god, I'm gonna have to make a choice at some point." And then the choice was made for me when my show got cancelled. I didn't pick up another one. And so I thought, "You know what, I'm gonna be the best realtor I can possibly be." [laughter]

Mike Schneider: Wow.

Piper Moretti: So here I am.

Mike Schneider: So you were, you were doing two jobs and--

Piper Moretti: I was.

Mike Schneider: --then it became your full-time job.

Piper Moretti: Yes, it did. 

Mike Schneider: That's great. And then, how did that transform, transition, how'd you get to crypto?

Piper Moretti: Well a buyer found me randomly online through a search. And we  hit it off. And I was showing him properties at Manhattan Beach where he wanted to live. And, got into about, you know, two or three  showings, then he said, "You know, I'm gonna buy this with bitcoin." And I thought, "Oh, okay. No problem." You know, and you're talking about a 3.2 million dollar price point--

Mike Schneider: We'll figure that out.

Piper Moretti:--you're gonna make it work, you know. Yeah. So I just-- I had no idea what I was doing, and I just did as much research as I could possibly find. There was another one that was done up in Tahoe a couple years back,  before it was really even what it was at that time, which was-- when he found me it was $750 per bitcoin. So, you know, relatively cheap in today's standards. I thought it was a lot, you know? But there wasn't a lot of information. But through-- I just, just dug deep. I found a payment processor. We found an escrow company that would cut a deal with it. We did the payment outside but everything else they took care of. And we just made it work. We just bootstrapped it. It was kind of crazy. 

Mike Schneider: That is crazy.

Piper Moretti: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: What a fun first transaction. And then you said, "Hey, that was interesting. I bet--" You know, one of the things that I like in business is when you find a really hard problem.

Piper Moretti: Mmhmm.

Mike Schneider: Usually there's business there.

Piper Moretti: Exactly.

Mike Schneider: And so, if there's gonna be more people that want to buy in this way, there's probably a business and you zeroed in on that niche.

Piper Moretti: I did. And it wasn't until my fourth one, where a colleague of mine actually, shinned some light on it,  and said, "You know, this might be a thing. You might wanna look into this." And so, I did. And I just, I created it.

Mike Schneider: Wow.

Piper Moretti: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: Well, tell us about the relationship side. How-- what's your view on relationships and real estate?

Piper Moretti: Oh gosh. I-- they are absolutely necessary. I feel like integrity is definitely part of it. 

Mike Schneider: Mmhmm.

Piper Moretti: It's so nice to be able to work with agents, you know, who are on top of it. I mean, I could do an entire transaction and not actually see their face, you know?

Mike Schneider: Sure.

Piper Moretti: But, if they're responsive and they have a good sense of integrity, I really respond to that. You know?03:58

Mike Schneider: Mmhmm.

Piper Moretti: It's really hard, especially in certain price points, you know, like-- unfortunately the lower price points where, the agent really isn’t that  into it, you know? And that makes me sad, because I wanna be able to work with these people later on. I'm kind of in the middle of that right now. But, um, yeah, I just-- communication.

Mike Schneider: Mmhmm.

Piper Moretti: Um--

Mike Schneider: How about in growing business? How has that been for--

Piper Moretti: Growing a business--

Mike Schneider: --for your business? How much of it comes through relationship versus other source?

Piper Moretti: Oh, it's all relationships. Um--

Mike Schneider: 100%?

Piper Moretti: Well, a lot of it's online. Um, it did help that, Forbes and Entrepreneur and all that, all those magazines--

Mike Schneider: You got all the press.

Piper Moretti: --picked up the, the story.

Mike Schneider: Sure.

Piper Moretti: That was very helpful. Um, but, I started, just, grassroots. I had no idea where to start, and so I found meetups in my area that were blockchain  based, you know. And I went and I just talked to people and I thought, "Oh my god, I have no-- I'm not a techy. I don't know what I'm doing." And-- but once I told  these people that were in this space what I've done, their eyes got big and they were like, "Oh my god. I didn't know you could buy houses with this."You know, because they were, they were just people who were holding these coins and--

Mike Schneider: Sure.

Piper Moretti: --not really sure what to do with them, you know?

Mike Schneider: Yeah.

Piper Moretti: So yeah-- once  I met some wonderful people in that space, also in fintech. And in real estate and investors-- and I-- it literally takes a village to, you know--

Mike Schneider: Sure.

Piper Moretti: --start a company like this. So, you know-- I couldn't have done it without those people.

Mike Schneider: So I think that's a really interesting case study, because you, kind of, stumbled your way into a niche but then you went all in.

Piper Moretti: Mmhmm.

Mike Schneider: And I think that's where a lot of people-- if you've done three or four-- and that could be medical residents and fellows, or crypto, or something.

Piper Moretti: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: But then you actually pursued that community, got to know that community, built relationships in that community, and now you're the go to.

Piper Moretti: I-- thank you, yes. [laughter]

Mike Schneider: So, tell us a little bit more about, you know, how did that-- what else did you do to intentionally pursue that? Can you give everyone tips and tricks? If they say, "You know what? I, I think I have a niche, whether that's, you know, dog owners in my city," whatever it might be. How did you, how did you go about building the relationships in that community? What would you say to go do?

Piper Moretti: You know, definitely keeping in touch. Um, I don't care who it is. I mean, there are companies out there, for me, you know, they know way more than I do. And so I keep in touch with them and I have lunch. I-- it's a, it's a face to face--

Mike Schneider: Mmm.

Piper Moretti:--thing for me.

Mike Schneider: So you went from meet ups to face to face? You actually--

Piper Moretti:To face to face.

Mike Schneider: --people, whether or not--

Piper Moretti:Yes.

Mike Schneider: --they're selling real estate.

Piper Moretti: At these meet ups. [laughter]

Mike Schneider: At the meet ups.

Piper Moretti:[laughter] Yeah. Yeah. And also there's  blockchain conventions and token conventions, like, it seems like once a week. You know, and some of them are good and some of them are, eh not great. But, those really help too, you know? And you kind of zero in on the people who are making it happen and you just befriend them and ping them. I'm not too obnoxious about it. But you know, I do ping them once a quarter, maybe.

Mike Schneider: Okay.

Piper Moretti: You know, and I have them-- I take them out to lunch, coffee or whatever and just discuss what's up and coming in the space.

Mike Schneider: Yep.

Piper Moretti: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: And then, as everybody's gonna be wondering on the other side of the camera, how has that impacted your business? So, what I love is, you're pursuing that community whether or not they're thinking about selling, right?

Piper Moretti: Mmhmm.

Mike Schneider: And has that resulted in them referring you business? Or what's the, what's the outcome of that?

Piper Moretti: Oh, absolutely.

Mike Schneider: How has that worked?

Piper Moretti: Yeah. It's great because, there is an escrow company, in southern California who approached me. They're all into the blockchain crypto space. And they say, "Hey, we wanna get set up with this payment processor that you've used."

Mike Schneider: Yeah. Yeah.

Piper Moretti: So that's-- that is my now-- now my go to escrow company, you know? So,  if-- when the market does shift, hopefully, we'll be using that a lot more. And people that I trust who like I said, are in the space, know a lot more than I do, if they send me referrals I know that they're legit. Because I get people contacting me from all over the world with, this crazy new coin that I wanna convert into a property, or they wanna sell something. And they-- and I'd say 90% of the time they're just trying to pull a fast one, unfortunately.

Mike Schneider: Mmm. That is--

Piper Moretti: There's a lot of that.

Mike Schneider: --a bummer. Okay, got it.

Piper Moretti: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: Yeah. I'm, I'm guessing it's, it's lead to other referrals outside of that as well, though, would be my--

Piper Moretti: Oh, absolutely.

Mike Schneider: --guess.

Piper Moretti: Yes. Yeah, "Well this guy doesn't have crypto--"

Mike Schneider: Even outside of the crypto side.

Piper Moretti: "--but he wants to buy a house and--"

Mike Schneider: And I know you and we're friends.

Piper Moretti: Right.

Mike Schneider: That's great.

Piper Moretti: It's wonderful.

Mike Schneider: I think that's one of the beautiful benefits, is even if-- I don't think picking a niche pigeonholes you. Do you feel like that?

Piper Moretti: I, you know, I try to be very careful with that. Um, that was my fear at first.

Mike Schneider: Yeah.

Piper Moretti: Um, you know--

Mike Schneider: Cause you even have the brand, right? Crypto Realty.

Piper Moretti:I've got a brand.

Mike Schneider: Yeah.

Piper Moretti: But I do have to say, Mike, that is just a very small portion of my business. Um, like I said, if I relied solely on crypto transactions right now I wouldn't be able to eat. [laughter]

Mike Schneider: Well, the-- yeah. For those that don't know, the crypto market has been hammered over the last six months.

Piper Moretti: A little bit, yeah.

Mike Schneider: And so, yeah, that's-- that makes it hard.

Piper Moretti: Right. Yes.

Mike Schneider: Okay. And so, where does the rest of your business come from? Just, just out of curiosity.

Piper Moretti: Just traditional, uh, real estate transactions. Uh, it's mixed a little bit with commercial--

Mike Schneider: Okay.

Piper Moretti: --uh, residential. Um, I'm in what they call the South Bay of Los Angeles, that area. So that's my, that's my niche. Um, so yeah.

Mike Schneider: Great. Well, if you were to, to rewind-- our last question is around what's something you would do differently? What's something you would do differently if you think back on the last few years?

Piper Moretti: Oh my gosh. Um [laughter] I would've done-- I, oh god. There's, there's a lot, actually. But, it's-- finding partnerships. People who are really willing to just to dig in with you and, you know-- I was on a huge learning curve. And unfortunately there are people who [laughter] just kind of wanted to, I hate to say it, ride the coattails, and just, get the referrals but without actually knowing what they're doing. I did have one agent that, bought ethereum and all of a sudden he was an expert. And I thought, "Oh, no, you need to do a little bit more. You really need to know the block chain space. You really need to meet these people. You really need to know the language, and present yourself in a positive light, as an expert."  So, it was, it-- we had some growing pains at first. Um, but, we're good to go now. So--

Mike Schneider: Great.

Piper Moretti: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: Well, thanks for being on the show.

Piper Moretti: Absolutely. Thank you.

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