In this episode, we’re flipping things around a bit with a guest host who actually interviews yours truly! That’s right, Mitch Stephen, an investor from our Mastermind group, is firing questions at me.
Are you one of those investors who thinks you can’t do deals while you’re out of town? Well, I’m here to tell you, you can. But, to do so, you have to understand that your focus needs to be on the basics. The basics of investing in marketing, creating systems and delegating. Don’t overcomplicate this. There’s no need.
In fact, in this episode, I’ll go over in detail my 3 keys to success: marketing, automation and delegation. I’ll walk you through step by step how to create a marketing plan; walk you through how to target zip codes; and exactly why I have a crush on Podio and Vumber… and why you will too.
Plus, we cover lots of good stuff on the all-important VAs.
This episode is packed with terrific info about how easy and doable it is to work in virtual markets.
Dive in, people!
Listen and enjoy:
- 3:13 – Who is Joe McCall
- 7:43 – Pictures of the actual checks from deals Joe did while on vacation (see, it is possible!)
- 13:10 – Joe’s three keys to success
- 18:41 – How Joe creates a marketing plan
- 26:09 – Why Joe sends yellow letters and postcards
- 30:45 – Why you need to have a marketing plan that your VAs can work from
- 35:00 – How to easily hone in on a good virtual target area
- 43:25 – Why Joe targets a different group of investors than most people do
- 50:50 – What Joe uses to send out text blasts
- 54:45 – How Joe uses Zillow to find deals
- 1:01:43 – Other marketing techniques Joe uses
- 1:05:05 – Why Podio is so awesome
- 1:09:58 – Why Vumber is so awesome
- 1:14:35 – How Joe handles the difference when working with VAs
Mentioned in this episode:
- Sly Dial
- Might Text
- Chris Ducker’s website
- RE Investor Summit
- Virtual Staff Finder
- Joe Like Carrots
- Joe’s 1 Hour Leads course
- Joe’s Brilliant at the Basics book
- Click 2 Mail
- List Source
Joe: Hey, everybody! Joe McCall, Real Estate Investing Mastery podcast. Glad you’re here. Listen, I just want to record a brief introduction to what’s going to be playing next. About a month ago or so, I did a special webinar with a friend of mine from Texas. And on that webinar, I talked about how to flip deals remotely, how to wholesale properties virtually. And, I talked specifically about the trip that we just took with our RV. We flipped about six to eight deals. In fact, actually, I was just looking at my post-it note here. We flipped eight deals, made a total profit of $34,644.69 flipping these houses while we are in the RV, travelling around the northwestern quarter of the United States. Now, I’m hoping that doesn’t sound braggadocios, if that’s a word. I’m not trying to brag. But it was really cool because on this trip, we are able to go see the most beautiful parts of the country, spend a lot of quality time with my family, and my business was able to run without my involvement. Now, I didn’t work a few hours every day, but I had a blast.
And… And while we are gone as well, I… I wrote this book with a business partner of mine, Peter Vekselman called “Brilliant At The Basics.” And, I wanted to just tell you about it, because while we are travelling, I was doing the same exact things that we write about in this book. It’s about a hundred-page book. You get it for free. Just pay shipping and handling. But, it’s all about discovering the exact systems and simple tools that we use to flip over 30 properties a month in our business. Peter is a rock star. He’s actually wholesaling five times the amount houses than I am. He’s got a huge staff, like 12 people. It’s going… It’s crazy. But, we wrote this book because we want to talk about what’s most important in this business, and it’s being brilliant at the basics, understanding the basic things that you need to do every day in your business.
And, we’re also looking for people that we can partner with and start doing marketing force. So, we want to implement the same systems and the same marketing that we’re doing in our business. Peter is doing it in Atlanta, and I’m doing for my RV while we’re travelling in the country. Those same systems, that same marketing, work in any market, any market condition, anywhere in the country. So, we want to do that for you as well. So, go to FreeBasicBook.com, FreeBasicBook.com to get this book. FreeBasicBook.com. All right. So, that’s enough for now. We’re going to start the video here and I hope you enjoy it. Take care. See you. Buh-bye.
Mitch: Hi, this is Mitch Stephen. And, I’m here today with Joe McCall. Joe McCall and I are in the same mastermind group. And, we haven’t met personally. But, I was attending the mastermind group and everyone was raving about this CRM or Client Relations Management Software kind of set-up that he’s got going called Podio. P-O-D-I-O. And, I kept hearing about this guy of “Joe McCall, Joe McCall.” So, I decided to give him a call and see if he would join us today and be in one of our interviews. And luckily enough, he said yes. And, he just filled me in… He’s been on a 2 and a half months RV trip. He’s been all over the place. He’s been to 10 different national parks. And what I thought was brilliant was, he flipped over six houses while he was out on vacation with his wife and four kids. So, he’s written a book called “Brilliant at the Basics” and is co-written by Joe McCall and Peter Vekselman. And, he’s also got a link to the book that we’re going to give you, a little bit later here. And with no further ado, Joe, how are you doing this morning? It’s nice to have you here.
Joe: Good Mitch. Thank you very much. I’m excited. We just got back from our trip about five days ago. So I’m still… I’m still adjusting.
Mitch: Well. And, I love the title of this segment here, “How to Flip Houses While on Vacation.” I thought, that’s an irresistible… that’s an irresistible title. So…
Joe: Well, it’s true. I’ve done it several times… On several different trips. But I… You know, I love this business. I love the freedom that it gives me. And, I’m just going to talk about what we did. And, I’m going to talk about how other people can flip houses while on vacation themselves. It’s really simple. It’s not complicated. And, that’s why wrote this book called “Brilliant at the Basics” just because it’s important to be brilliant not at the complicated things, not at the difficult things. But, it’s important to be brilliant at the basic things. And if you’re good at the basics, you’re going to do really, really well in this business. And maybe some people thinking about flipping houses while traveling around the country or traveling around the world seems like overwhelming or I could never do that. It’s really not that hard. You just have to understand the basics of investing, the basics of marketing, the basics of creating systems, the basics of delegating those systems out. And, it’s really not that bad.
Mitch: So, I’m looking at your mind map here.
Mitch: The first things I guess is, you got to get some customers so… Do you start with marketing? Where did you start with?
Joe: Well yeah, I’ll walk to that. Let me tell you a little bit about who I am. We… My name is Joe McCall. I got a wife, four kids. We homeschool our older boys. We’re big into homeschooling because it allows us to travel. And we traveled to… We do travel quite a bit. We just take it one year at a time. And it’s been a fun ride. My boys are nine and 10. And, I have two girls that are three and six. Here’s a picture of our family at Estes, near Estes Park, in Rocky Mountain National Park. That was just about a week ago. And, it’s pretty crazy to think about. We were there and we… Let me show you just some quick pictures of us. This is one of our campgrounds in Colorado. This is Lake Tahoe. This was Napa Valley. It’s funny. There’s a story here. This guy… My son is right there. This guy right here… When he was one year old, we were at Napa Valley. This is one of our favorite wineries. It’s called Peju. And, it’s Peju. Anyway, this guy was outside yodeling. He was singing and yodeling. And, my son cried; it scared him to death. He’s like balling up and crying. He’s still scared to this guy. Well we came back 10 years later, he’s still there. And, we bought a bunch of wine from him. And, he came outside and sang for our kids and yodel. Thankfully, none of them cried. But, we just had blast.
Now, I only have… This is a weird picture. I took it. There’s a fountain. There’s our camper right there in the background if you can see it. It’s a big 37 foot camper. It sleeps like 10 people. It’s really big. We just bought it last December. But, this is… You know Mount Rainier was one of our favorite places that we spent a lot of time at. Misty Fjords… This is me and my wife, Victoria and myself. The Misty Fjords in Alaska was just incredible. We took a float plane trip. So, we took a cruise up to Alaska and, just had a blast. This was our vehicle. That’s my one daughter. She’s reading a book and my other one’s sleeping. And, we spent a lot of time at Yellow Stone and Glacier on the Grand Teton. This is the Grand Tetons, one of our favorite places where we’ve stayed at. And, this is the vehicle that we pulled our big camper in. And, it’s a beast. We call it the “Gold Beast…”
Anyway, so I wanted to show you too what we did here. This was for two and a half months. This is a website, maps.google.com/locationhistory. This is crazy. If you ever looked at this, if you ever use your iPhone or your Android and you use Google Maps or get on Google to check your Gmail or whatever, Google keeps track of you. And, I didn’t know about this until somebody told us about it. But, this is a map of the first few weeks. We went from Missouri to Mount Rushmore and had a blast there. Went across Wyoming to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. And from Grand Tetons, we went up to Glacier National Park, which is amazing. Montana is just gorgeous. It’s incredible. We love this whole area, Montana and Idaho and Wyoming going through the mountains. We went across Washington to spend… We spent a lot of time in Seattle. Spent some time in Vancouver, British Columbia. Then, we took a cruise up Alaska and had a blast on that cruise. From the cruise, we went back to Vancouver. Down through Washington, we saw Mount Rainier. We saw Olympic National Park. We went to Oregon and stayed at a bunch of state parks and national parks along the coast. It was gorgeous. We went to the Redwood National Forest and parks in northern California. We went to Yosemite. We went through Napa. We spent some time at Napa Valley. Just like a week before, they had a big earthquake there recently. We went to Lake Tahoe, love that. And then, we flew through Nevada and Utah. No offense but, there’s nothing to see there. On that route we went. No offense to anybody who lives there. Then, we stayed at Rocky Mountain National Park and we came back to Missouri. And, it was the blast. Anybody that has the chance to do that… It was awesome fun. We drove at least, I think kind of about 6 or 7,000 miles. Had a blast!
And at the same time we were going, we made checks like this. I tried to get some of the checks that we made. And, I’m not sure if I… I only found some of them here but… We’re making a lot of… Let me see if I can get this here. …A lot of little checks like this. $5,300 bucks, five grand, $9,605 grand, $1,500, $3,700. These are deposit checks. My assistant would deposit my checks for me. And you know, some of them are… You know, they’re not huge home runs. They’re $1,500 bucks. But, we did a lot of deals. We helped a lot of people. And, here’s a thing. Last… A year and a half ago, 2 years ago, we also went to Prague in the Czech Republic for… We were in Prague for about two or three months. Let me see if I can get a picture of us in Prague. Yeah, you don’t want to waste your time going through this but… Oh yeah, here we go. This is us in Ireland, in England. And… to to to to to. We… If you’ve ever been to Prague, it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I’m trying to find a really cool picture, one of my favorites while we were in Prague. Anyway, this is one of them. You got the bridges in the background. So, we were there for two and a half… two months as well doing deals while we were in Prague. And here’s a thing. I’m going to talk about this in my presentation. We asked questions. Instead of asking, you know, “I don’t know how I could every afford that. I can’t afford that. Our family could never do that.” We started asking questions like “How could we do that? How can we afford this? How can I set up my business so we can take trips like this around the world?” Then, we’re going back to Prague again in a… next year. We’re already talking about that. So anyway, we travel a lot.
And here’s a thing, I’ve… I’m part of another group called Lifeonaire. And, it’s a coaching group that I’ve been a part of for a long time. One of the things they teach us in that group is you develop a vision for your life first. What do you want your life to look like? What kind of lifestyle do you want to have? And then, only then, after you’ve designed that, only then, design your business. So, I designed a business that fits around my lifestyle. God and family are first in my life. We want to travel. We want to let out kids see the world. And so then, I decided, you know what? If I want to do that, I need to have a business that allows me to do that. And so, we designed a business that would let us travel the world, homeschool our kids, buy RVs. And go crazy, do crazy awesome things that very, very few people get to do.
So, when I started wholesaling deals in 2009, I quickly realized and, I’ll talk about this in my mind map here. I quickly realize that there’s three keys to success: marketing, automation and delegation. And so, even while I was in St. Louis here flipping deals. I started developing systems where I would never go look at the house. I would never even talk to the seller. I would never even talk with the buyer. And, I would wholesale these deals. And I thought, if I can do these deals virtually in my own local market, then why can’t I do them from anywhere in the world. As long as I have a laptop and a cell phone… And anymore, I don’t even need a cell phone. Or, if I just have internet access for the laptop, anywhere in the world I can flip deals. And you know what? You don’t have to make… This is a really cool thing, Mitch. You don’t have to make like 30, 40, 50 grand a month to be able to afford this kind of lifestyle. You don’t. You know, where we were traveling, we… in parts of Europe, in Prague where we were. The cost of living is a little cheaper than it is in the U.S. But, it’s not like we were living this rock-star lifestyle and we were staying in these luxury hotels. There’s parts of South America, parts of Asia where you can live in like the lap of luxury for like half of the cost of what you can here in the U.S. So when I share these things, it’s not like we’re making a million dollars. We were making 10, 20, $30,000 a month. But, we could have survived very comfortably on just 5 to $10 grand a month wholesaling one or two deals a month. So, it’s very attainable… It’s more attainable than you think. And, a lot of what holds people back unfortunately is the debt that they have. And, we’ve been working really hard the last few years to eliminate all of our debt. And, we’re real close. We’re not there yet. So here’s the thing, I don’t want to wait till I’m 65, 70 years old before I travel the world and see the world. I don’t want to wait till my kids are gone and then we can go travel. Why not do that now? Why not wholesale properties now? So, I’m going to be talking about that. We spent some time in Prague and RV. And, it’s important to learn to ask the right questions. You shouldn’t be saying “I could never do that” or “We can’t afford to do that.” But instead, be asking yourselves better questions like “How can I do that?” or “How can I afford to do that?” and start being creative.
There’s 3 keys to success: marketing, automation and delegation. I wanted to be talking about this because it’s really important to understand. We’re not in the real estate business. We’re in the marketing business. Plain and simple. And, I’ll repeat that. We’re not in the real estate business. We’re in the marketing business. And once you understand that, then it becomes a lot easier to create the systems and then the delegating to get other people to do all that stuff. I like to call it “Marketing Done for You in Spite of You.” And I’ll just tell you my story when I was a civil engineer working for an electrical contractor building large power plants. And, I started flipping lease options and I have course on that on wholesaling lease options. And within about 4 months of flipping lease options, my part-time income surpassed my full-time income. That’s why I quit my job. But, I learned real early on the importance of marketing. Because if I didn’t get it done, it just wasn’t going to get done. And I knew that when I stopped marketing, the leads dried up, my pipeline started drying up. And, I started to go through a… these really vicious cycles of making a lot of money and then not having any leads and making no money. And, starting my marketing up again and then doing, getting more money.
So, I realized I have to get someone else to do the marketing for me because I didn’t have the time to do it, number one and, I realize how important it was. Leads are the lifeblood of this business. So, I started hiring virtual assistants to do all the marketing. And so then all of a sudden, I had a good problem, right? I started getting a ton of leads in but I couldn’t handle all of it because I had a full-time job. So, I started developing systems for someone else to take these leads for me. And, I found a friend quite paid a 100% commission so he would take the leads and meet with the sellers and get them under contract. And then, that’s great. Now, he’s doing his job and I’ve got a bunch of properties under contract.
I don’t have the time to advertise them or sell them to buyers and stuff like that. So, I hired a Realtor to do all that for me. And then before you know it, here I am. I have a full-time job still. I have a virtual assistant doing all the marketing for me. I have a friend in St. Louis who’s meeting the sellers, taking the calls, getting them under contract. And, he’s getting about 25, 35% as a commission, which is kind of high but anyway… And then, I have a Realtor who’s selling these homes for me for $500 bucks. And before you know it, I’m doing a bunch of deals and I’m not even involved. I’m just working on my business and I’m not in my business. And, that’s when I realized I can do this more and more. And, I can do this in more markets. I can do this from anywhere in the world. So, I quit my job. I started doing more and more deals. I’m teaching and coaching. And, I love it. I love the life that it gives me. So now, we’re wholesaling deals in about four or five different markets. There’s still at least three more deals that we got under contract while we were gone. And, they’re about ready to close and those checks will be coming in the next week. But… So now we’re wholesaling deals in multiple markets and doing deals here still in St. Louis. All because I’ve understood the three keys to success: marketing, automation and delegation. And, I’m going to be talking about that because it’s real simple.
And I’ve… We wrote this book called “Brilliant at the Basics” because it’s… You don’t need to complicate this business. You need to keep it simple. Just take one piece at a time. And if anybody’s interested, it’s a free book. You just have to pay shipping and handling at freebasicbook.com. There’s a little video that we recorded that talks a little bit about it. It’s really, really good book. And in that book, we go through what I’m going to be sharing here in a lot more detail. But, I’m going to go through it right now anyway. We have nothing to sell on that book. We do have a coaching program. We talk about it’s application only. It’s a lot of really, really good book. Really good information at freebasicbook.com. And so, I’m going to… Just keep that in mind cause I’m going to go through a lot of marketing techniques and systems and things. I try to keep it as simple as I can. But, it’s important to understand these three things and keep them simple. You know the phrase “Keep It Simple Stupid,” right? This is exactly what I do in our business every day. This is what our students do that are having tremendous success. And, it’s all about being simple at the basics. But, it’s important to have a marketing plan. And, I’m just going to review real quickly with you what a marketing plan kind of looks like. And, I have here a spreadsheet. I should’ve opened this up before we got on this call. So, I apologize. Let me do this. Marketing number. I know the title contains marketing numbers.
Mitch: Just take your time, Joe. You can edit it.
Joe: Okay. Yeah, this is good enough right here. I have a lot of different versions of these spreadsheets. And, I’ll include this in the… I’ll give this to you, Mitch if you want to put it on this page. This is a spreadsheet I put together. Simple Marketing Plan. This isn’t… The results are not typical or guaranteed. Results are varied. They depend on your ability to sell. But, one of the things I like to walk people through is creating a marketing plan because you can’t control the fact that you want to do three deals a month. Or, you want… your average profit is five grand per deal. But, you can control how much marketing that you do every day, every week. And so, one of the things I look to do with this is look at, “All right, what’s your monthly income goal?” Let’s say your goal is to make 10 grand a month. Let’s say your average profit is… Let’s be real conservative here. …Four grand a month per deal. Let’s see if we can be more conservative here. I just want to keep this down to earth. Let’s say your average profit is only three grand, okay? Excuse me. And, let’s say you only sell 75% of the deals you get under contract. It should be more like 90 but let’s just say it’s 75. So that means, you need to get five contracts per month. And on average, you need 30 to 40 leads per month, per… You need 30 to 5… 30 to 40 leads per contract, okay?
In general, you need to talk to 30 sellers to get one contract. Let’s say there’s 35. And you know, I’m a little worried I’m being almost too conservative here. Let’s make this four grand. Let’s make this 80%. Let’s make this 40 or 30. That’s a little better. All right. And, let’s say you’re working five days a week. How many sellers do you need to talk to every day? That’s six, all right? So generally speaking, you need to talk to 5-10 sellers every day to make your goal of 10 grand a month. That’s a really, really important number to know, right? Let’s say you’re working six days a week. You need to talk to five sellers a day. You just fill in these yellow things here. So, it’s important to know that number because if you are doing your marketing and you’ve only talked to two sellers that day. Well, you need to do something different. Maybe, you just need to pick up the phone and cold call a bunch of FSBOs or cold call some Realtors or whatever. But, it’s important that this becomes a habit that you practice constantly when you’re talking to sellers. And, you need to talk to about five or six a day. And, that’s hopefully sellers who were responding to your marketing or calling you back.
One of the favorite things I like to do is Craigslist. And, let’s say 25% of your leads come from Craigslist. And what I mean by that is not putting ads in Craigslist. I’m talking about contacting sellers who have listed their properties on Craigslist for rent or for sale. Contacting them. I’ll talk a little bit about that. So, let’s say your average response rate is 15%. You… If you get 25% of your leads from Craigslist and your average response rate is 15%. That means, you need to be contacting about nine per day. Let’s give it a fudge factor. I just like to double it or whatever. So, you should be talking to about… You should be contacting 14 sellers a day. Let’s just bump it up to 20, okay? And, I’ll show you how to do that. It’s really, really simple. It’s just, you go to Craigslist and you find a… somebody who’s renting or advertising their house for rent. You send them a text message and you say “Hey, I saw your rental property on Craigslist. You wouldn’t be interested in selling it, would you?” That’s it, okay? If it’s a for sale by owner, you send them a text message saying “I saw your property in Craigslist. I’m an investor. Is your price negotiable?” Okay? Just send a simple text like that. And, you’re going to have your virtual assistants to do that, too. And, that will get about… If you send about 20 a day, you’ll get about 3 to 4 people respond every day and say “Yeah,” “Maybe,” “Tell me more,” “If the price is right,” “Depends.” You know, you get different answers. You get them on the phone and you talk to them. And, if it’s a landlord and they want full price for their house, maybe that’s not going to be a deal. But, you say “Well listen, are you looking to buy more deals?” And they may say, “Yeah, I am. I’m looking to buy more deals.” That’s a buyer. Now, you can add that guy to your buyer’s list, right?
So then, let’s say that 50% of your leads come from postcards? And I love, love postcards, okay? So, if 50% of your leads come from postcards and your average response rate is… for postcards about 3%, we’re doing about 5% with our postcards right now. So, you should be sending about 2,000 postcards per month. Or if you give it a fudge factor, let’s just say 25%, you should be sending about 625 postcards per week, all right. So again, I’m breaking this down into goals that you can control, okay? And, let’s say I love yellow letters. And here’s the thing, a lot of you guys are watching Game of Thrones or Downton Abbey or House of Cards on Netflix, right? And, you’re watching TV at night and you’re just kind of… brain is being fried by the television. Listen, by the way, while were camping, we had… we bought one of those satellite dish receivers that you can take with you. And, you subscribe to Dish Network on a monthly plan. So, we’ve bought this satellite. It was like $400 bucks and we subscribed for about three months of satellite service. We only watched TV about two or three times. It’s crazy. So anyway, some of you are watching TV every night and you’re wasting a bunch of time. Why not handwrite 20, 30 yellow letters every night and send those out, okay? So, let’s say 25% of your leads come from yellow letters. Average response rate is 10. This doesn’t look right here. I’m doing something wrong. Hold on here.
Mitch: This is really interesting, Joe. Can you… Can people get their hands on this little Excel spreadsheet that you have?
Joe: Yes, I’ll give it to you. I think… You know, I think I… Let me do this… I made… There’s a calculation error in this thing.
Mitch: Take your time.
Joe: Let’s do $4,000 here. 75… Let’s do 25% Craigslist. Yeah, this one’s a little better here. 16… Postcards, 70%. Well… I… Yeah, I will send this to you. Something looks… doesn’t look right here. This thing is saying you only should send about eight yellow letters a week. That’s so…. I’m doing something wrong.
Mitch: It doesn’t make sense.
Joe: No, it should be like 20 yellow letters a day. And, it’s really, really cheap but anyway…. The point of this is… And, I’ll fix this spreadsheet, Mitch and I’ll send it to you so you can give it to everybody.
Mitch: What’s the difference in the postcards and the yellow letters and you… as far as content? What’s the distinction of what, why do you use the two different things?
Joe: Oh, I just like to mix it up, you know. I will send postcards to large lists and I’ll send yellow letters to more narrow, specific lists.
Mitch: There you go. That’s what I’m looking for.
Joe: Yeah. So like you know, probates, evictions, divorces, late taxes, the smaller niche type of the list, I will send yellow letters to. But, the point of this exercise is into look… Maybe that number is right. Number of leads…
Mitch: Well, yeah. If it’s a tight niche, it could be possible. But, you got someone who responded to postcards something, you know. Your numbers will go way down, right?
Joe: Yes, I see my problem here. Okay, that was my problem. Here, this is better. Okay, so… My average response rate with yellow letters, let’s just say it’s 13%. Okay, so… And then per day, that’s 16 or 17, all right so… What I’ve done, did here is I fixed my spreadsheet. And, let’s say 25% of my leads come from yellow letters. And again, average response rate of about 13%. I could do a fudge factor. I should be sending about 84 yellow letters a week. It’s about 17 letters a day, okay now… Now, I’ve taken my marketing plan of making out my goal of $10,000 a month. I’ve broken it down into actionable goals, all right? I want to contact seven… I need to talk to seven sellers a day, okay? I need to contact 16 people, 20 people every day in Craigslist. I need to send out about 700 postcards a week. And, I need to send about 84 or 17 yellow letters a day. And while you sitting at home watching TV, you can handwrite 17 yellow letters and send them out. Now, there’s other things you can do like bandit signs. Maybe, you could call, just cold call and make offers on MLS properties. So, you need to have a written plan of all the marketing that you’re going to do and then, hold yourself accountable to that. Yeah.
Mitch: You know, I don’t see you sitting around a problem, writing 17 yellow letters a day. What if you do? You didn’t like the letters, did you or did you?
Joe: No, I did not.
Mitch: Oh good. I was just going to say but…. I could understand both theories. You’re homeschooling your kids. You can have them involved in this and it could be like, part of their education but also, understand that you’re on vacation and that wasn’t the point. So work on, you know… You didn’t want to work in Prague. You wanted a vacation in Prague so.
Joe: Oh, yeah. And believe me… Well, I did work in Prague too. We, we, I worked a couple or three hours a day but, you know…
Mitch: You got to, right? Or we can’t survive. It’s in our nature. We don’t know how not to.
Joe: Oh yeah. I totally enjoy what we do. And on this trip, this RV trip, I did try to work a couple hours a day if I could. Most of the time, we were just out of cell phone coverage and we had no internet access. So, I couldn’t even if I wanted to. But…
Mitch: That was a question I was going to ask too. What kind of coverage did you have in Prague? Are we just using Skype or what?
Joe: Ah, yeah. Let me show you a Verizon coverage map. You know these coverage maps from Verizon. They’re supposed to have the largest network in the U.S., right? But if you look at it, we were, spent most of our time in the white areas in here. In Montana, Washington, Nevada and parts of the coast here. I mean anytime, anywhere where there’s white space up here is where we spent a lot of time. And a lot of times too, they tell you that it’s red but it’s just like the… It’s just the edge of their network and you can’t… You can only make phone calls. You can’t make… You can’t get on the internet. So yeah, it was tough. It wasn’t easy. And, that’s why I have to rely really heavily on my team to get all of the stuff, the marketing done for me. But as my kids get older, they were to write yellow letters now. It would be a little embarrassing because their chicken scratches would be kind of comical. I don’t know if the sellers would take me that seriously.
Mitch: [Laughs]. Yeah. It looks like it was written by a fourth grader, right?
Joe: In crayon, right. So… And then maybe that’s a good idea. Maybe, I should test that and have my kids do that. But my point is, you’ve got to have a marketing plan. And, just start with something like this, like a spreadsheet like this and have written down what you need to do every day, every week. You know, you need to talk to 7 sellers every day. You need to send out… You need to contact 16 sellers in Craigslist. You need to send out 700 postcards. You need to do 17, 18 yellow letters every day. You need to put out 20 bandit signs every week. You need to make 25 offers every day on the MLS. That sounds like a lot, okay. But, it’s really not and you can… The cool thing about this business is you can outsource all of that. And, you can get other people to do that for you. You can get a $2 dollar an hour VA to do it for you. You can get your spouse, your kids… You know, I’ve hired local assistants and virtual assistants in the Philippines and it’s pretty… I have stay-at-home moms here in St. Louis to do my yellow letters for me. And I paid them, I forget what it was, .20 cents per letter which worked out to be about $15 an hour. And, they loved it, right? They could work on it whenever they wanted to from home. And, it was cheaper to pay them to do it than it was to hire, to pay a company to do it for me. And, it was done all handwritten from one… from a real person. So anyway…
Mitch: Were those payments on results or do you pay them by the letter or what?
Joe: By the letter, yeah. If somebody’s doing the marketing for me, I pay them by the letter.
Mitch: Can we talk about what that fee is?
Joe: Well, yeah. Like yellow letters, I was paying her about… Ah, I forget what it is… .15 cents per letter
Joe: But, she was doing so many of them. It worked out to be about $15 an hour. And, she would work about an hour to two hours a day.
Mitch: Now, when you… when people work just a few hours a day, you got to pay them a little bit better, right?
Joe: Yeah, but that’s all she wanted to work so, you know… It worked out fine. Now what, I have another assistant. She just prints the letters on our printer and does the… She handwrites the envelopes and I just pay her. She does a bunch of stuff for me. So, I have to look into how much time she’s actually spending just on the letters. But, I still know it’s cheaper than if I were to go online and order a bunch of yellow letters and pay them to mail it for me. So, it works out to be about .80 to .90 cents per letter. And if you were to order them online, it would be, depending on the posts that you get, anywhere from .80 cents to a dollar per letter. So, you got to keep this simple. It sounds like a lot of marketing but you have to have at least three to four things going on, okay?
Maybe, you don’t want to do Craigslist. That’s fine. But, direct mail is by far the best form of marketing, in my opinion. There’s nothing better than direct mail. Notice I didn’t have anything on here with pay-per-click or Google search engine optimization (S-E-O). I don’t, you know… That may work for some people. I’ve never made that really work for me. But, I love direct mail because you can target specific homes that you want to buy. You can target sellers that have equity, etc. And, it’s easy to outsource stuff. So anyway, it’s… it’s really good. In my book, I’d talk about the services that we use for the postcards. And, the messages that we send to Craigslist sellers. And, the tools that we use to send the text messages. How can my VAs in the Philippines send letters? I show you how to do that in there. One of our favorite websites is Click2Mail. Click2Mail, we use a lot. And it’s… You can send letters or postcards through Click2Mail. And, it’s a good service to use. All right, so…
Let me get back to the Mind Map here that… Oh, let me… Yeah, this is really important. One of the things that… You… Now, you have your marketing plan. You know what you need to do. You need to know where there the best areas to target. I’m going to show you a little, really cool trick here. If you go to ListSource and you can create a free account. And, you need to… Let me see… My log in here… Ah… Let me log in real quick. How do you like that password?
Joe: It’s just a phrase. It’s a sentence. All right. So, what I like to do and I’m going into a new market. And, we just went in… We’re starting to do deals in Palm Beach right now. What I like to do is go in in CRM of Palm Beach County. What are the best zip codes? Let’s look here. Ah, let’s go to maps.google.com. I’m going to do “Palm Beach Country, FL.” It’s a big county, right? Yeah, a lot of cities there, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Palm Beach… Okay, it’s a big, big county. It’s right north of Fort Lauderdale. So, I have a partner there who’s doing a bunch of deals. And so, I’m doing the marketing. He’s the boots on the ground guy. He’s going to be taking these leads. He actually lives at Port St. Lucie. He has basically dominated this area. And, he wants to start now going down here into the Palm Beach County area. So you know, we’re looking and we’re doing some research. We’re saying, okay, we want to target Palm Beach County. What are the best zip codes to target? We can’t just go after the whole county. We want to be very, very focused.
So what I like to do is, I like to go to ListSource. And, just follow me here. I’m going to pretend like I’m buying a list of absentee owners, okay? I’m going to go right here to Investor. I’m going to click on Absentee Owners and I’m going to go to County. I’ll select the state, Florida. I’m going to go find Palm Beach. Now, not every county in the country is going to be available for this but… Now, it’s going to give me a list of, there’s 125,000 absentee owners in Palm Beach County, okay? So, bear with me. Here, I’m going to click on Next. And, I’m going to try to make sure I’m only getting resid… single-family homes. So depending on the county, they may not have… Here you go… Single-family home. Let’s see if… Sometimes, counties don’t keep track of that information. All right, there’s 32,000 single-family homes. And then, what I’m going to do is I’m going to go to Last Market Recording Date. I want to find all the properties that have been bought or sold in the last six months. I clicked on Add. So, this 32,000 is going to drop down to 2,000. So, 2,200 properties were bought in the last six months by investors. Now, wouldn’t it be cool to know which part of the county most of those transactions happened. Well, let me show you how to do this real quick. So, I’m going to be pretending like I’m buying this list. There’s 2,200 and maybe there’s better ways to do this, I don’t know. If anybody knows of a better way or easier way to do this, let me know. I’m going to say No Preference to Corporate-owned Properties cause I want the properties that corporations are buying. All right, there’s 3,500. I’m going to go to Purchase List here. All right. I’m going to go to Purchase Partial List. I’m going to pretend like I only want to buy from certain zip codes. I’ve clicked ZIP Code. It’s going to give me a table here. Just a minute as it comes up. It’s going to give me a table of all of the transactions that happened in that county by zip code. I’m just going to click this Export button right here, okay? I’m going to email it to myself. I’ll pause my video for a second. All right, I just emailed it to myself. Let me go open it. And, da-da-da-da-dat-da-da… List… Source… I download it. All right, I open it up. Okay, you should see my screen now.
Here is the table it gave and this is really cool. Wait till you see this. I’m going to delete the top rows. I’m going to call it Zip code. I take this number and paste it right there. That’s the total number of transactions, okay? I’ll call this COUNT. Okay. What I want to do is, I’m going to sort this list by zip codes. And here at 33414, there were 251 transactions. At 33411, there are 183. And, what I like to do is kind of look at the incremental percentage of this. And, I’ll show you kind of what I’m talking about here. It’ll just take a second. Equals this plus this… All right. Now here, if I look at these zip codes right here… These are 14 zip codes that have at least 50% of the investor transactions, right? So, of the total list of 52 zip codes in Palm Beach County, I have now the top 14 zip codes where at least 50% of the transactions occurred. So, do you see what I just done? Instead of sending…
Mitch: That’s amazing information right there. That’s… that’s… that’s super smart. I like it.
Joe: Well, yeah. All this does is tell me now where the most active zip codes are where most of the investors are buying properties in. All right, maybe I want to add a couple more in there. Okay, I could do that. No big deal. But so, instead of wasting a bunch of time and energy targeting all these other zip codes. I’m going to first target the zip codes right here, okay? And then, what you can do is you take this list. Okay, I’m going to copy this list of zip codes. I’m going to go back to ListSource. And, one of the things I like to do when I’m doing direct mail is I like to go for ZIP Code. And, I’ll paste those zip codes in that I’ve just copied. And, I want to now target absentee landlords who have properties in those zip codes. But, I’m going to do something different that most people don’t do. Most people, when they’re targeting absentee owners and landlords, they’ll go after the ones that have owned their house at least 10 years, 15 years, who have a lot of equity in them. I like to target all of these absentee landlords who bought their homes between the height of the market to the bottom of the market. Why? Because a lot of them, when they bought their home, they bought their investment property, bought it with cash cause the banks were not lending during that time. So, all the other investors are targeting absentee landlords that have owned their houses for a long time. I’m targeting the ones who have owned… who have bought them between, let’s just say here… This is top secret stuff. Don’t tell anybody.
Mitch: Oh, did you just… We lost you there for just a second. Did you say anything during that period? Right before….
Joe: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. [Laughs]. I was…
Mitch: Right before the top secret time.
Joe: No. No. No. I… You did lose me, seriously?
Mitch: Well, I thought you went kind of dark there for a minute. I was wondering if you were just…
Joe: Oh what? I was just saying, I apologize… But, i was just saying that most investors are targeting all of the investors that bought their homes at least 10+ years ago, 20+ years ago because they know have equity. I like to target to sell the absentee owners who bought their homes between like 2008 and 2012 because when… If they bought their homes during that time, the chances are pretty good that they paid cash because banks weren’t lending during those years. And, nobody else is mailing to them. So, I like to mail to absentee owners during that time. And I… I go to Next here. And, I could… Here I have list now. 3,200 investors that bought their homes during… in those targeted zip codes during those few years. And, I like to send them postcards. We do really, really well with that. But, you can also target homeowners that have a lot of equity in those zip codes.
But what I’ve just done, what I wanted to show you… The purpose of this is to show you… Look, there’s a lot of zip codes here and the worst thing you could do is just like, do a shotgun and try to cover the whole county and not be very focused cause you have a very limited budget, right? You only need to send 700 postcards a week. So that’s, what? 2,800, 3,000 postcards a month. So, you got to be very targeted and specific. And the cool thing now, what I can do is I can pull a list of all the investors who bought houses in these zip codes in the last six months. Now, I have my buyer’s list. So what do I do when I get a property under contract? I send a motivated seller yellow letter to all of the investors who bought properties in that zip code in the last six months. I send them this motivated letter that says something to the effect of “Hey, I’ve got to sell this property at 123 Main Street. I’ve had it list for some time. It’s not selling but the title is clear. The taxes are paid. Drive by. Take a look at it. I’ve got to get this thing sold today. Call me.” I write a handwritten yellow letter and I send it to all the recent cash buyers who bought properties in that area. In that… In, in, in that area. And, I send them a yellow letter and my phone rings off the hook. It’s the easiest way to find buyers for your deals. I’m telling you.
And, if all of you learn from this little webinar is this… Is that what I just showed you right there? You’re set! Cause now I know what the most active zip codes are, where the highest demand is, okay? And, I know who the buyers are who want those properties. So once I get a property under contract, I have a thousand cash buyers right there who’ve bought properties recently that are probably looking for other deals as well. All I need to do is once I get a property under contract, send a hundred yellow letters to the recent cash buyers who bought in that area. And I guarantee, if you send a hundred yellow letters to these cash buyers, making that yellow letter sound like you’re a motivated seller. You’re going to get 20 calls out of 100 letters, which is phenomenal. And the cool thing is… Let’s say those guys find out that you’re asking too much. Well, that’s okay. You’ve get them on the phone. You can find out “What are you looking for? What price would you pay for this property?” And, they can be your buyers for other deals, okay? You can find out what they have, find out how many properties they are looking to buy and find out what they would pay for. And then, you can go back to the seller and renegotiate a lower price if you have to.
This is basic 101 wholesaling. This is being brilliant at the basics, okay? It’s understanding your market. It’s having a marketing plan, number one. Then knowing, okay, who am I going to target in these markets? Where’s the best places to mail? Who are best list to mail to? Who were the best buyers that are buying properties right now in this market? Who are they? Right? This is basic elementary stuff and it’s so easy to figure this stuff out, okay? It’s not complicated. And, I cover this stuff again in the book. We go through a lot more detail in the book about how to do this stuff. So, having that plan is going to help you be accountable, all right? The best marketing that we send out, postcards work phenomenally well. Let me just say, with postcards, we drive everybody to a 24-hour recorded message. On our postcards, it says “Hey, we’ve been trying to reach you. We recorded a special message for about your house. Call our 24-hour recorded hotline. We recorded a message just for you.” No one will answer, okay? We get 2-3 times the calls on our postcards because we put a 24-hour recorded message on there. And so, there’s always been the age-long debate… Should I have a live operator answer the phone? Should I have to go to voicemail? Should the voicemail be real short or should it be real long? I don’t know if it matters but we found that you really should have a 24-hour recorded message. You get more calls. And, you’ll also get more leads which means… You can call first all the ones who’ve leave a message. But then, call back all the hang-ups. It’s really important. We love sending yellow letters. Craigslist is real simple.
You… I… I came out with a course that you guys can look at it if you want, onehourleads.com. It’s… The course that we did, it’s like $97 bucks. It’s really crazy cheap. Onehourleads.com talks a lot about Craigslist and some of the stuff we do in Zillow. But, if you go to Craigslist… Craigslist.org… And, let’s just go to Palm Beach… West Palm Beach, Florida. Okay. Go to apartment housing and what I like to do is, I’ll say… And look for any ad that is not… that does not have the word apartment. Apartments or condo, let’s just say. That’s 3+ bedrooms and has a rent of at least… Let’s just say 800 and no more than 2,000. And, I click search. All right. It brings… It’s going to… It got lot of properties here. So here’s a list of all the properties. And maybe, there’s some townhouses here. So maybe, I can take out “-townhouse.” Okay, search. I got 6,900. And so, what I like to do is go through these things. This looks like a nice house. And, I do a lot lease options. This is probably a really good lease option candidate, right? Cause it’s a nice house. And, I’ll contact them. I’ll send them a letter or I mean, an email or a text message, all right? So, here’s a phone number right here. It felt like they had to do it four times. And, I will send him a text message “Hey, I saw your property on Craigslist. You wouldn’t be interested in selling it, would you?” That’s it! Right? And, my VA does that.
Let me just tell you something too. I… We use Google Voice to send text messages. But sometimes, Google Voice will shut you down. They’ll shut down new accounts if they see you sending the same text message over and over again. So what I did is, I bought a… one of those cheap prepaid phones from Boost Mobile. It’s like $30-$40 bucks a month. But, I bought one of those prepaid phones from Boost Mobile. And, there is a program called Mighty Text. Go to MightText.net or .com. I… This is really dirt cheap if it costs anything. Okay, this is an app that allows you to send text messages from your laptop, from your phone. I mean from your computer. So, what I’ve… What we do is we have our VAs in the Philippines sending text messages from our phone through MightText.net, okay? It has to be an Android phone. But, if Google Voice won’t let you send text messages then just buy a stupid phone. And, you know… And then, send text messages from the internet through Mighty Text. Pretty cool. We get about a 15% response rate when we send text messages to the sellers. And you know, let’s say it’s a nice house that you know, that’s probably not going to want to sell in a deep discount. So, I might ask him “I saw your property on Craigslist. You wouldn’t be interested in a lease option, would you?” or “You wouldn’t be interested in a rent-to-own.” And even though it’s a Realtor, I’m still going to call him. Because of my message to them, it will be “Hey, I saw your property, Ruben. Your client wouldn’t be interested in selling it, would they?” or “Would your client be interested in doing a lease purchase?” They’ll probably say no and that’s fine. I don’t care. What I want is that email, that Realtor’s email address. And I talk to them and say “Hey, do you have any other clients with properties they might want to sell. I’ll let you represent me if you bring me any deals.”
Holy smokes, Mitch. Can you imagine, if you talk to 20 realtors a day and you ask them that question “Hey, do you have any other clients with the… be that property that you might… You want a quick sale on. I have cash. I need to buy these… I need… I got money burning a hole in my pocket. And, I need to buy some deals.” If you talk to 20 Realtors a day and ask them that question and say, let’s say “Well, I don’t know. Maybe. But, I don’t have anything right now” or “Let me think about it.” And you tell them, “Look, you can represent me on any deal you bring me, okay? Great! Well listen, Mr. Realtor, Ruben. Listen. Can I just email you my contact information if you find a deal you can send up my way?”, “Yeah, sure. Here’s my email address.” Bam! I got their email address. “Ruben, thank you. All right!” So what I do, I keep their email addresses. You get 20 emails a day, a hundred emails a week, 400-500 emails a month, all right.
This is what you do. This is basic brilliant stuff. You email your entire list once a week. “Hey, this is Joe again. How’re you doing? Do you have anything? Do you have any deals?” Just send one or two sentence emails to your entire list. “Hey, we talked a few weeks ago. Just wondering if you’ve got any properties that need work. I’m looking for something in these zip codes. I’m an investor. If you have anything, send it to me, would you?” So I’m just, once a week, I’m sending a couple sentence email. No spam. I’m not driving them to a website. It’s amazing how well it works. We were doing this. We started doing this in the fall. And we were… We’re actually, for a period of time stopped doing any more marketing because we were getting so many referrals from Realtors. So, I had to get more people on my team to take more of the leads. I’m telling you guys, brilliant stuff! Call these guys. Text them. Email them. “Hey, I saw this property. Would your client be interested in selling? Do you have any other clients who might be interested in selling or lease purchasing their house?” Okay?
The other thing we like to do is, we like to go to Zillow. I remember we looked at the spreadsheet here. And these are our top zip codes here, right? So, I’m going to go to 33414. I’m going to go to Zillow, to the For Rent. I’m going to look for all the homes that are listed for rent in that zip code. And, I’m going to take out the Apartments. I just want Houses. Okay. Holy smokes, there’s 228 properties listed right now in Zillow for rent. That’s a lot! I look in St. Louis for a standard zip code and we maybe have 20 properties for rent. And you know, this is really a big zip code, okay? Or, there’s a lot of investors who have a lot of properties here. You think at least 227 properties. Guess what, guys? They’re vacant. These are vacant homes! You think maybe one of those landlords might be interested in selling it? They’re just sick of it? These are vacant properties. You know, a lot of these are clean and nice. They’re expensive, okay?
But, call these guys up, say “Hey, I saw this property in Nantucket Bay. And, you wouldn’t be interested in selling, would you?” Now, this is a property management company. So, my conversation with them would be “Hey, would your client have any interest in selling? If they are, I let you represent me.” All right? Well no, he’s not interested in selling. “Do you have any other clients? Do you know anybody who’s looking to buy a property? Do you have any clients that’s looking to buy homes right now? Well listen, can I email you my contact information? And, we can talk if you ever find a deal in the future.” And, you start emailing these guys, okay? This is awesome key, powerful stuff. It just still blows me away. Here in Zillow, there’s 327 properties listed for rent right now. That’s insane. How are these things… I mean, I wonder how long they are on the market? So you know, you’re going to find really good properties here, that you could either lease purchase or… or buy and wholesale. And when I say lease purchase, I’m talking about getting them under contract to lease purchase and then wholesaling them to a tenant buyer, okay? There’s very few homes in this zip code that are available for lease options. And that’s… So that, the supply is low and the demand is high. I love flipping lease options. All right, so…
Mitch: Hey, Joe. What is that?
Mitch: What is that website? Leads in one hour or is it one hour on leads or… you know…
Joe: One hour… One hour leads.
Mitch: Is it O-N-E?
Mitch: O-N-E. Hour. H-O-U-R. Leads.com. All right.
Joe: Yup. It’s going to forward you to a page called leadsinanhour.com.
Mitch: Okay. And, it has a… It has a video on it?
Joe: Yeah. You got to watch the video. Onehourleads.com. So in that website, in that course, we talked a lot about how I do this marketing, with the Craigslist, with Zillow… The thing that I like to do with Craigslist, it depends on how much, on the… what area you’re in. Cause I like to go after… Let me show you here. Duh-duh-duh-duh-duh. Real estate for sale… By owner. I like to look for “By owner” homes. 3+ bedrooms. And, I like to put a minimum price to take out the spam properties. And, I contact these people. “Buy my house and rent it back to me.” So let me… Boca Raton. His offer is someone to buy his house and rent it back to him. I understand that. So, what I do is I contact these people and say “Hey this, I saw your property in Craigslist.” And, here’s their phone number. So, I send them a text. Here’s their email. I’ll send them an email. I was wondering if, “I’m an investor. Is your price negotiable?” Or, I’ll say “I saw this property on Craigslist. Looks like a really nice home. Would you consider renting it for a couple of years and then selling it?” I tell you, this is a gorgeous house, right? On prop… on land.
If I can get an investor, I mean a homeowner that would be willing to do a lease option on this? I can make at least a $10,000 – $15,000 assignment fee by wholesaling that lease option to a tenant buyer. This is a beautiful house. So I’ll find out, “Hey, do you want to lease purchase this home?” Get them on the phone. Follow up. The other thing I like to do is, cause here’s their phone number right here, okay? 334-493-9620. What I like to do is… Well, there’s a service call Slydial.com. And again, we have a VA doing this, okay? If you dial… If you go to Slydial.com and dial 267-759-3425, 267-759-3425… This is a service where you can leave voicemails on people’s phones and the phone doesn’t ring. So it bypasses the ringing and goes right to their voicemail. And I’ll just say, maybe 9 out of 10 phones that you find here in Craigslist are cell phones, okay?
And so, what I like to do is… I don’t like to just cold call. I like to leave messages or send text and only talk to the ones who respond positively. So, I might send a text and I might go to Slydial and it’s just free, by the way. Dial this phone number yet to listen to a short, little advertisement. And if it’s a cell phone, it takes you right to their voicemail. If it’s not a cell phone, it’ll just hang up. It will tell you it’s not a cell phone. But 9 times out of 10, it’ll take you right to their voicemail and I leave them a message. I say “Hey, Mr. Seller” or I say “Hey, my name is Joe. I saw your property on Reaves Road. It looks a really nice house. I was just wondering if, would you have any interest in renting it maybe for a couple of years and then selling it. Give me a call. My phone number is da-da-da-da-da,” all right? I can go through and do a hundred of those in a couple of hours or my VAs can, right? And then, I only talk to the people who call back and say “Yeah, I might be interested. Tell me more.” All right. That’s marketing basics 101, okay? So, that’s it. There’s other things you could do. I talked about in the book.
Mitch: That’s really incredible, you know. I’m going to go get your book myself, Joe. [Laughs]
Joe: Well, get it. [Laughs].
Mitch: You got me excited here. You have a lot of nice resources. I might find a nice place to use them. Wow, you’re a… There’s no wondering you were able to be so successful on vacation because you’re just brilliant at the basics, which makes sense, huh?
Joe: Well, yeah. Yeah, it is. Well, I’m not bragging on myself but it is really simple. There’s other marketing you can do. Networking… I’ve talked about this already. Emailing your list every week. Making offers on the MLS. Follow-up is huge. You got to have systems in place to do follow-up. Automation, I’ll just say one word, Podio. Podio.com. And, I talked about Podio in the book as well. Podio is a simple, free CRM. And, let’s see if it takes me to Podio cause I’m logged in here. Let’s do this. I open up my Firefox cause I don’t want to… Podio.com is a free CRM that enables you to work the way you want to work. Teamwork made easy. It’s a company owned by Citrix which is a huge company.
And, they have this… Here we go, we can go to, let’see Pricing right here. Look at that, $0… Podio Lite… You can have up to 5 employees for $0 bucks. And if you decide to have employees, it’s $9 per month. It’s outrageously expensive. But the cool thing about Podio is it’s so simple and easy to use. I’m not going to spend that much time on this. But you know, I go to a lot of custom apps. It’s by far and away, the best Podio… CRM out there. If I were to name drop and tell you some of the people that I have consulted, it’ll blow you away. Some of the biggest guys in the industry that I have personally helped set up their Podio. Some guys who are in our Mastermind, Mitch and some others. They’ve seen… We’ve all seen all of the tools that are out there. And, they’re good. Nothing wrong. I’m not going to bash any other programs that are out there. But by far and away, the most customizable and easy to use and most mobile-friendly is Podio. And, you can use Podio not just to manage your business, your deals, but you can use it to manage your entire business. We use it to manage our leads and deals in multiple cities. I use it to manage my VAs. We keep track of meetings in there. We keep track of our procedures and documents. We keep track of timesheets. We use it to keep track of… My wife’s texting me. I thought I turned my notifications here. Hold on a second.
Mitch: No worries.
Joe: It is off.
Mitch: Life in seconds.
Joe: Yeah, I hope she doesn’t… [Laughs] She sent me a text. She’s saying “This is the first time I have to get gas since coming back from our camping trip.” And, she found herself thinking about how she’s going to pull the old camper, the whole camper through the lot. One of the problems you have when you pull a big camper is like, always thinking two steps ahead. Like, okay, if I pull in to this lot, am I going to be able to get out? All right.
Mitch: That’s okay.
Joe: Whenever we pull in to a gas station to get gas, she had to look at traffic and where all the cars are and where the diesel is, at which prompt. And think about, all right, if I pull in there, will I be able to get in? And then, will I be able to get out? And, you have to sometimes pass up a lot of gas stations before you find one. All right. So anyway, Podio is amazing. I love it. It has changed my entire business. Let me just show you one of the… I’ll just show you real quick in my… I have a demo workspace here. It’s really simple. And I wish at a time, I could show you the mobile version of it. But, you build these simple apps up here. And then, these apps, you can keep track of sellers. It keeps track of your tasks and workflows. And, you have… It’s so simple. You just build it any way you want it to be built. You click on Modify Template here. And these are, when you build these apps, you just drag and drop these things in here and you can track whatever you want. And, the mobile version is very, very friendly and easy to use. You just make sure that nothing falls through the cracks. You could add as many apps as you want. I have one on lease options and property management, on rehabs, wholesaling deals… It’s an amazing, powerful system. And, you can have organizations and workspaces in here. So, my different cities that I’m working in, the different partners what we’re working will have their own workspaces. Okay and, you can go in here. This is one of the markets I’m in. And, you can here in my Seller Leads. We have… We just started a month ago. We have 590 leads so far. Here’s a voicemail that just came in 18 hours ago.
Joe: And if you go down here, you can listen to the voicemail of that seller that called right here. So anytime a new lead comes in, it will automatically create a new seller lead in Podio. So, that’s an amazing system. It’s just incredible. We track our offers, our appointments, our expenses, our agents, list of agents, all of our cash buyers and our contracts. We just keep tons of things in here. And, it’s a really robust, flexible, easy system to use.
Mitch: You know, I’ve actually talked to you about one day, just show us more about just Podio cause that’s a whole conversation in itself. And, we’re bumping off here on a time constraint. So, is there anything else that we need to say? I want to make sure that you guys the link to get the free book, FreeBasicBook.com. FreeBasicBook.com. And, this is really showing you how to generate your leads and how to become a person who’s working on their business, not in their business. And, get you these ideas on how to set up your systems and who to delegate to. Or, where do I find these people and what kind of procedures to delegate to each person… So that you can generate leads and flip houses while you’re on your vacation, using your computer or your phone or your system that you set up at home. So, I’m really excited about this. Have we left anything out? We still going to get to the delegation part here, don’t we?
Joe: Well. It won’t take long. Cause I’ve kinda been talking about this stuff as we go. Let me just say “Websites.” There’s a really good service called Investor Carrot. My affiliate link is right here, JoeLikesCarrots. And, let me just show you St. Louis cash flow deals. It took me literally five minutes to build this website. And, it’s amazing. It integrates with Podio. And, it’s a simple website to track buyers. I get a ton of buyers from this. And, these are just some of the properties we’ve wholesaled. And, it’s amazing. You click on this thing; it gives you these beautiful squeeze pages. St. Louis Investment Properties… They put in their name and email in here. I get notification and it jumps, it goes into Podio. It’s super, super cheap and easy to build this really cool-looking websites.
And, if you go to JoeLikesCarrots.com, that will forward you to a… I get a little affiliate commission every time you do that. But, it takes you to Investor Carrot. And a really, really amazing system. Let me just tell you, for my voicemail, I use Vumber. The cool thing about Vumber is it’s really inexpensive. Plans start at $9.95. Every different marketing campaign in every city that I am, I get a new unique local phone number. And, I’ve set it up real simply in Vumber. When a new lead comes in, it gets emailed into Podio. And, Podio creates a new record for that new lead and it creates a new task for either my VA or my local guy to call that seller lead, okay? So, it keeps track of the hang-ups. It keeps track of the voicemails. And, it’s really simple. Like if every new local phone number that I get… Excuse me. And, I have about a hundred or two. It’s only like a $1.50 a month or something like that. You get a free trial. It’s really simple. It’s the simplest thing I’ve ever seen and I like it a lot. Vumber, it’s a great place to get voicemails.
Mitch: And so… You pick up phone numbers…. Wait, I’m a little bit confused.
Joe: Yeah. So with Vumber, it gives you local phone numbers, okay? So if I log in to my system here, I got all these phone numbers right here, okay? And every time we do a new marketing campaign for like a postcard, they get their own yellow… They get their own phone number or yellow letters get their own phone number.
Mitch: Oh. So, you can track all your different mailings in all those phones?
Joe: Yes. So when a lead comes in, I can look right here. Ah no, let me go to… I can show you real quick here something. It’s really simple. When a new lead comes in, this is St. Louis, I can tell from the phone number that came in that it came from a seller postcard in St. Louis, okay? And, real simple. It just allows you to track your calls.
Virtual assistants. I have VAs. There’s two sites I’d recommend. And, many of you have already heard of oDesk. That’s where I get a lot of good VAs. If you want to get a good full-time VA, I’m going to recommend VirtualStaffFinder.com. Virtual Staff Finder is amazing. They will… They charge you like, I think $400 or $500 to find three potential candidates for full-time VAs. These are VAs that are only going to work for you. They’re dedicated to only work for you. They’re full time. They’re not going to be taking on working for other people. And, they’re about $500 a month to find a good VA. Now, when they… So what this service would do is, they’ll go and find… And, you’re telling your qualifications, what you want. They will find three good pre-qualified VAs. You interview them on Skype, okay? And if you like one, then you hire them and you pay them yourself. You don’t have to pay them through Virtual Staff Finder. Most these VAs are between $500, I’ll say between $400-$600 a month, okay? Full-time, full-time VAs. And you can talk to them on the phone. They’re fantastic. If one of the VAs don’t work out or you didn’t like any of the three that you found that they gave you, they’ll find another three and you don’t have to pay anything extra for it. I’ve been using, recommending Virtual Staff Finder for a long time.
Mitch: And, what does Virtual Staff Finder charge you?
Mitch: So, they’ll charge you $500 to find you a VA. And, that VA is full-time, works only for you and it’ll probably cost you $500 a month to keep the VA paid and… It’s a one-time fee at $500 to Virtual Staff Finder to help you locate the VA that you’re going to be doing a lot of business with.
Joe: Yes. But the cool thing is, yeah, you could go find your own on oDesk. But, the problem with oDesk is a lot of those VAs are working for multiple employers. And, they’re just doing small-time, smaller jobs, part-time jobs. And so, your VA may all of the sudden get a, really busy. And, other people can find them on oDesk. So sometimes, they’ll get job offers. You’re paying them $4 bucks an hour. They’ll get an offer from somebody to make, to pay them $4.50 an hour and will jump ship because they’re getting more. And, that’s like a 10-15% raise. So with Virtual Staff Finder, you find dedicated VAs, you know. I’ve had really good success with them. And, they’re full-time. They work only for you. And, they’re really, really good. And, they pre-screen them. So, they’re very… They have a very careful vetting process of who they vet in. And it’s funny, the… one of the VAs who used to work for me a couple of years ago from oDesk is now applying for a job with Virtual Staff Finder. I think, I knew what happened. I think she had a baby or shift. Somebody in her family got really sick. So, she stopped working for me. And, I told her she could come back and work for me later. But, I just never heard from her again. But anyway, she’s getting a job… She’s trying to get a job with Virtual Staff Finder. And, she put me on her resume. Virtual Staff Finder contacted me because they’re doing a background check on her. And, they were asking me if she was a good VA or not. And so, I appreciated that because it’s showing me that Virtual Staff Finder is working hard to do references and background checks on their people that they recommend.
Mitch: All right. So, how do you handle the time difference? What countries are your VA in and how do you handle the time difference and stuff?
Joe: They’re usually in the Philippines. And I tell them, I want them to work between… Some of my VA, I tell them, I want you to work between 9 and 5 Central Time. And, that’s fine. That’s normal. They’re used to that. Some of them, I tell them like I don’t care when you work. This is a stuff I want done every day, okay? So, it just depends on what, where using them for, okay? There is some really good information down here. And if you click on this, on the bottom of this website, you’ll see this good book, an E-book that they’ll give you. And this guy, Chris Ducker is the guy who runs this site, owns that company. ChrisDucker.com. He’s got a really good book on here called “Virtual Freedom, How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Be More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business.” And, this book is on Amazon. It’s doing really well on Amazon. And, how much is it? It sells for like… Here’s Amazon.com. Yeah, $10.90 on paperback. Kindle, $10 bucks. Get it. It’s really good. It’s called Virtual Freedom by Chris Tucker. Look at all these reviews. It’s insane. And, he really does a good job of explaining virtual assistants and how to use them, how to hire them, how to manage them. Very, very good book. Okay? And, that’s the same guy who started that company, Virtual Staff Finder.
I also use Realtors. I have other partners that I’m wholesaling deals with in other parts of the country. So, that’s kind of the delegating part of it. So, understanding marketing is the most important piece of it. Then, you needed to develop systems so that marketing gets done for you, in spite of you through delegation. All right. Having those three pieces in place just like, you know McDonald’s develops these systems where teenagers can run their entire restaurant. And, they still make millions of dollars, right? Every second… Because of systems, okay? But, you also have to learn delegation cause when you have the good systems in place, you need now other people to do that stuff. So, you can yourself travel around the country. So anyway, FreeBasicBook.com. We… There’s a little video here of me talking with Peter about it. We talked about how to get more leads, more money and most importantly, more freedom by being brilliant at the basics. We do ask for $5.95 shipping and handling. It’s a real book. And when you buy, you’ll also get access to a PDF of the book. And, we throw in some other bonuses in there that are really cool. Some workshops…
Mitch: I lost you there.
Joe: Oh, I’m sorry. I was just saying that this book, we do ask for $5.95 shipping and handling. But, it’s a real book. But when you buy, you’ll also get a PDF of the book so that you can start reading it right away while you’re waiting for it. And, we also throw in some bonuses in there. We don’t even talk about on this page some video workshops, videos from some workshops that we’ve done and things like that. It’s a really good book. I highly, highly recommend it.
Mitch: I’m going to recommend it myself. And, I’m going to put it on my recommended reading list, with your permission, sir?
Mitch: And, I’ll put the link in there so that people can get to it cause I think it’s a wonderful book. I haven’t read it yet. But, just judged by… just judging by what you’re showing us here, it’s got to be a terrific book. I’m definitely going to absorb it soon. So, you know, I really appreciate all your time here and this has been really a surprise. It was much more here than I thought we were going to get. And, hats off to you, Joe.
Joe: Thank you.
Mitch: You’ve done a great job. And, there’s also going to be a link to this book right here next to the interview on REInvestorSummit.com. So, if you didn’t catch all this or whatever, it’s so easy to find this link. It will be right there next to Joe’s picture where you can click on and listen to this interview. So, Joe, thank you very much for everything you’ve done for us today. It’s really been big where you’re getting on. I’m excited. I’ve got a lot, lot to do now. So… I’ll be talking…
Joe: All right, Mitch.
Mitch: …And getting myself more automated by the minute. So, thank you very much and I appreciate you being on the call.
Joe: All right. Well, take care. Thank you everybody!
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