Are you tired of seeing your old leads listed with another wholesaler? Do you often feel like your leads are slipping through your fingers? Are you tired of feeling optimistic about a potential client, only to find out they had no intention of listing their home with you? So many wholesalers agree, losing a lead that felt promising is crushing. You pour all your time and energy into a potential client and they drop off the face of the earth. Or worse, you see their home listed with another wholesaler two days after you meet. Ouch. Steve Trang can help.
In today’s episode, Steve Trang talks about his experience as a wholesaler, from just starting out in sales to really knocking them out of the park, as well as his proven systems and programs that can help YOU convert those leads into clients in The Disruptor Selling System.
When you are trying to get leads, effective marketing channels are so important. Steve discusses the most effective marketing channels, including an old-school one that might surprise you. The psychology of a sale is just as important as getting leads. It can really make or break your deal. It is very important to understand what is going on in a client’s world, as well as why you should give them permission to say “no.”
When meeting a potential client, Steve recommends NEVER leaving an offer on the table. Leave with a contract or a definite “no.” Knowing one way or the other is best for both the wholesaler and the client to avoid awkwardness and possible disappointment later. Listen and be assertive without being aggressive. Lastly, real estate is a game, and you have to play the game.
Watch and Learn:
Listen and learn:
- Importance of setting expectations and guidelines with a seller right out of the gate.
- How to seal the deal so your blood, sweat, and tears aren’t wasted with a potential client who decides to go with someone else.
- Steve’s process for bringing a nearly dead offer back to life.
Mentioned in this episode:
- Sign up for The Disruptor Selling System
- Book: Who Not How
- Book: The Road Less Stupid
- Book: Principles
- Book: Good Leaders Ask Great Questions
- Find Steve Trang on Instagram
Download episode transcript in PDF format here…
Joe: Welcome. This is the Real Estate Investing Mastery podcast. What’s going on everybody, Joe McCall, Real Estate Investing Mastery podcast, glad you guys are here. It’s going to be a good episode. We’ve got a friend, Steve Trang. You’ve heard him. You’ve seen him. He’s the one and only the famous, because he’s everywhere. Owner, creator, president, master of the Real Estate Disruptors podcast, YouTube channel and everything. And here’s the cool thing about Steve. If you don’t know him, he’s a great sales trainer, one of the best in the country. And so we’re going to be talking about sales, how to close more deals, but we’re going to be talking about some things that he’s working on. A lot of you guys, you’re already doing some deals and you’re tired of seeing your houses on other wholesaler’s lists. We’re going to be talking about how to stop that in its tracks. But Steve, he’s well known all across the country, especially in Phoenix. And he’s had hundreds of incredible guests on his show. It’s funny, you can only be on his show if you fly down to Phoenix. So he gets people all the time, he’s booked two or three months solid with people flying down to Phoenix to be on his show. And so I got him on ours and I’m excited to introduce him to you guys. We’re going to be talking about sales. We’re going to be talking about wholesaling your deals and making sure that other people aren’t stealing your deals. And Steve has been in the business a long time, he’s very successful. So I’m excited to have him on the show. I hope you guys are, too. I got a few things real quick. This podcast is brought to you by PartnerWithJoe.net. If you go there, you’re going to get my offer software for free. I have this cool method to help you create multiple different cash offers and then give you a cover letter, a one page contract and two pages of benefits of why people should sell their house to you. This is a great tool you can use to send a cash offer to a seller if it’s cold. Just send them an offer, send them this letter. It’s a four page thing and this is a great tool that you can use to follow up with them. So this calculator helps you figure out the ARV, estimate the repairs, and come up with a quick cash offer. You get a PDF or a word document, you send it to the seller and it’s pretty ninja. I built it, it’s free. You can get it at PartnerWithJoe.net. And the other cool thing you’re going to get with it there is, after you get the free thing, you’re going to see an opportunity to get one of my best courses ever for just seven bucks. And I’m going to be teaching you over thirty days how to get your first check the fastest, easiest way possible. And I’m also going to give you access and ability to partner with me on deals if you want. I lend money on deals. I partner with people on deals. And you get the full version of my software, which helps you come up with lease option offers and owner financing offers and a bunch of different cool things that you can send to the sellers that does the selling for you in a certain sense. If they’re not ready right now, send them something in an email, send them something in the mail and just keep that relationship going with the seller to follow up with them, because that’s where most of your deals are going to come from with the follow up. So that’s what the software is created to do to help you make more offers, talk to more sellers, close more deals, make more money, because of the follow up, which is awesome. I know you going to love it. So go to PartnerWithJoe.net. Right, good. Let’s get Steve Trang from the Real Estate Disruptors podcast show. Steve, how are you, man?
Steve: I’m doing awesome. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
Joe: I’ve wanted to have you on my show for a long time. You invited me to be on your show, but you said, yeah, just come on down to Phoenix. I’m in St. Louis. I think in Phoenix it’s like two hundred degrees down there.
Steve: But it’s a dry two hundred.
Joe: Yeah, of course. Of course. You got some of the best sushi restaurants and steak restaurants in the entire country. I’ve been down to Phoenix many times. So I’m glad to have you on my show. A lot of people, maybe my audience don’t know who you are yet. And if they don’t know who you are, they’re probably just not on YouTube. But you exploded a couple of years ago onto the scene. I mean, you’ve been doing deals in real estate for a long, long time.
Joe: So for people who don’t know you, though, talk about what you do and how you started in it.
Steve: So we do many different things. So I started off as a realtor. Well, I started off as an investor, then realtor, then broker, then I started buying houses to flip, ran out of money. So we started wholesaling, right, cos we needed money.
Joe: When was that, by the way?
Steve: When we ran out of money? 2012 / 2013.
Joe: Yeah, OK.
Steve: We were buying houses not by design but because I wanted more listings. How do you get more listings? Let’s make cash offers and then convince them to list it instead but no, they wanted the cash offers. So we started buying houses and then started wholesaling, started a title company and then started a podcast. It’s funny, you may appreciate this because you also have a podcast. I’m the same exact person I was three years ago, but now I’m known. Same person, but now I’m known.
Joe: Well, OK, before you get to this, how do you start or why you started the podcast, talk about your journey. So you were a realtor / investor. When did you start doing real estate?
Steve: So I started buying rentals in 2006, became a realtor in 2007. I did short sells, because what else are you going to do in 2007? Listed properties for banks, Wells Fargo, Chase, Fannie Mae and then you can kind of see the writing on the wall, right? Every REO agent…
Joe: Oh yeah.
Steve: Should have known, most of them kinda didn’t, surprisingly, but you knew that the writing was on the wall, so I said I gotta figure something else out. So, I got into coaching. So I started with the best real estate coach, the best coach ever. I got into coaching not to coach, but to actually receive coaching. And doing that I was like, oh, my goodness, real estate is a business. It’s not a job. It’s a business. And so I started marketing for listings and I have a technical background, former engineer, so I said, well, what’s the best way to get listings? Well, let’s just start doing Google pay-per-click. And so I do a free appraisal, what’s my home worth? And I got leads, but they were mostly junk. But the ones that worked really well was “buy my house” and “sell my house”.
Steve: And then I looked at that and I said, OK, well, how do I do more of that and what would I do? This is 2011 / 2012. Oh, there’s this guy in town, Sean Terry, and he does this. Let’s just go ahead and steal all his keywords. Right. Because you could use keywords at that time and you can literally copy all of his keywords and copy all of his ads. There’s software out there that did that. So that’s what I did. And then, you know, you borrow a little liberally from his website. And I would go to appointments and say “I can make you a cash offer or we can list it”. And I got a lot of listings that way.
Steve: Every once in a while they’re like “No, I want the cash offer” And I’m like “No, you don’t want the cash offer” and they said “No, we want the cash”. I was like “I don’t think you understand”. “I understand. I want the cash offer”.
Joe: Wow, really?
Steve: So we started buying houses with me only wanting to get listings. So we started buying houses to flip, whole-tail, whole-tailing before whole-tailing was a term.
Joe: So let me just clarify here. You were kind of modeling. Maybe it’s a better way to say that because you and Sean are still friends, right?
Steve: Oh yeah, we get along.
Joe: All right.
Steve: Maybe he hasn’t heard this version of the story, though.
Joe: Well, he listens to every episode that I produce so I’m sure he’ll find out. Just kidding. But OK, so you modeled what Sean Terry was doing, which is brilliant, by the way. I hope you guys wrote that down. You know, that is one of the best, easiest, fastest ways. I mean, this isn’t rocket science. There’s no secrets in this business. Find somebody who’s doing deals and just do what they do.
Joe: So you modeled what was already working and you weren’t even trying to do wholesaling. You were just trying to get listings. You were just trying to find sellers that wanted to sell their house, right?
Steve: Right. Yeah. You think someone that wanted to find out what their house is worth would be a good lead?
Steve: No, no. Someone that says “sell my house fast” is a phenomenal lead.
Joe: I want to sell my house now.
Steve: Yeah, exactly.
Joe: By the way, Caleb Pearson in the house. Caleb, what’s going on man? I wish we were golfing in two days, but we’re not. I was supposed to golf with Caleb this coming Sunday. But I hope you get better. I hope your wife gets better soon, brother. All right. Anyway, sorry I had to bring him on. OK, so you start getting these. Now, one of the questions I had was sometimes a seller thinks you’re doing a bait and switch with me. You know, I thought you were going to. Now, did you feel like you lost some credibility with the seller immediately when you gave them two different options? Did they feel like they were you were trying to trick them or something?
Steve: No, initially when I was going with a cash offer, but convincing them to list because they would get more, that never felt like a bait and switch. That always seemed to be OK.
Steve: But once we started to go in there to push one more, that became more of a problem. So like there were times where we would go in there and we would present that we can list it or buy it. When we went that route, presenting both options immediately, it kind of got a little weird towards the end. But initially, when I was going with one offer, and then saying, by the way, there’s this other option where you can get more money, they were OK with that. But then when we started going in with two offers, it got kind of confusing. So then we had to stop, which is crazy.
Joe: Yeah, yeah.
Steve: What we learned was that we get to go in there with a blank slate. Let’s figure out what’s going on in Joe’s world. And then after understanding what’s going on in Joe’s situation, it’s like “Joe, it sounds like you’re trying to get the most amount of money for your home”. He says ‘that’s right”. “You know what? Can I suggest we go this direction?” And then it’s like, “Joe, it seems like you really need to get this done right away”. It’s like, “yeah, I do”. I was like “OK”, then we would just move forward with the cash offer. So, I started with a bait and switch. Then it became “here’s two options” and offering two options was bad. So then we went back to really just understanding the homeowners situation and then prescribing the best solution, and that’s when things were good again.
Joe: What a great concept, because that gives you time to build some rapport with them, to build a relationship and really just find out what they need. Right. Because maybe there isn’t anything you can do to help them.
Steve: Right. And offering multiple options, which is a whole other world, there’s way more options you can offer. But coming in with multiple options just makes you a better solution provider. And if you didn’t have the solution, at least then you can figure that out versus pushing something that they don’t even want.
Joe: OK, all right. So 2012, you start doing this, you’re doing some PPC. You’re still doing that today?
Steve: We are. We are. But I’m not doing it any more. So back then it was easy enough. And then our friend Sean Terry told the world about it. And even then it was still working. Right. And it kept working until the iBuyers got in the game. Now with Opendoor and Offerpad where their business model is not to be profitable, it’s a lot harder to be a company that does need to make a profit.
Joe: I’m still scratching my head on that. I still have not figured it out.
Steve: But we hired a company now that we use and we’re very happy, so we’re back in the PPC game again. And it is a positive RoR again. It’s not the five or 10 X it was before.
Joe: But are you still just targeting Arizona or are you going out bigger than that?
Steve: For PPC, we’re targeting only Phoenix.
Joe: Which has some of the most expensive cost per clicks in the country, right?
Steve: It is. But we’ve got someone who is really good at what he does: Cody Huffines, a good friend of ours. And so you can do in Salt Lake City, which is also very competitive, you’re equipped to handle Phoenix.
Joe: I was literally talking to Cody two minutes before we got on this podcast here. That’s one of the reasons I was late. He won’t shut up when you get him talking. He just won’t.
Steve: He’s an Energizer Rabbit.
Joe: Yeah. Anyway, Cody, I love you. So then what? You started getting into this right when the market was at the bottom, starting to come back up in a tear. What did you start doing then for the next seven or eight years?
Steve: So we ran out of money, so we started learning how to wholesale, started a title company. And the whole time I was wholeselling on the side, it was a side hustle, because my primary focus really was the traditional side of business. And it wasn’t until I partnered with Max Jimenez in 2018 that we really had a dedicated person. And the reason why I knew the buying the houses, the pay per click, I knew that was the best use. But I also had these other businesses. And so for me I wasn’t going to go hard on wholesaling or flipping until I had the right person in place. And so there’s a book right now that everyone is talking about: “Who Not How”. And so for me, I wanted to have an investment arm, but I knew I couldn’t run the investment arm. And so I didn’t want to go hard on it until I had the right person in place to run it.
Joe: All right.
Steve: That’s when we went hard on it.
Joe: You started a brokerage, too, didn’t you?
Steve: I started a brokerage January 2013. We got as big as 120 agents. I think we’re at 97, 98 now. We culled a handful in the last five months and we’re very close to one percent market share. I think we will exceed one percent market share this year in the Phoenix market. Yeah.
Joe: That’s huge.
Steve: It’s pretty good for something that’s not a core focus. I wouldn’t call it a side hustle, but it’s not my primary focus. I have other people in place who are the managing work. I got two people who I trust and love dearly that run the brokerage.
Joe: And you have a lot of well-known wholesalers and investors inside of your brokerage handling their license with you, is that right?
Steve: Yeah, we have the batch guys, Justin Ebow, Brent Daniels, the other Energizer rabbit, is here. Yeah. We had Hall and Keegley for a little bit but Keegley is now trying to be a nationwide brokerage or something. I’m not exactly sure. So they went off and did their own thing. So yeah, we got some major players, Templeton Walker, another guy you might know who he is, does a bunch of deals. So we’re investor-friendly.
Joe: So you’d be considered more of an investor-friendly broker in the Phoenix area, is that right?
Steve: Absolutely. I am first and foremost about how do we create wealth. And so we don’t have all the agents. And I don’t want all the agents. I want the agents that are committed to excellence and I want the agents that want to create wealth, because if you’re not interested in creating wealth, we are not going to have interesting conversations. I am naturally introverted. It may not appear that way, but we’re talking about business. If we’re talking about creating wealth, I can talk to you all day. But if you want to talk about the weather or how difficult the market is, or I don’t know what to do about this and so on, and you want to whine, I am gone five to ten seconds into that conversation.
Joe: Which I imagine is one of the biggest reasons why you started the real estate disruptors podcast, right?
Steve: Yeah, people say “Steve, you ask some really great questions” and, I appreciate that feedback, but I ask those questions because I genuinely want to know the answers.
Joe: Yeah. Yeah. This is why I want to be on your show.
Steve: Yeah. I get to hear from other people doing it a very high level and how they’re solving this problem that I haven’t solved it. It’s like a free mastermind for me.
Joe: Oh yeah. I get free coaching every day of the week. I just texted a well-known guy that’s hard to get a hold of. I just want to talk to him and see what he’s doing. But I invited him on my show. I’ve got a big audience and I was like, hey, listen, how can I help you grow your business? It’s the whole principle, and this is this why I’m kind of dwelling on this for a minute here. You guys listening to this podcast, there’s a whole principle of this. If you want some coaching, some help from somebody who’s active in the business, don’t just call them and say, hey, can I pick your brain a little bit? Can I take you out to lunch. Don’t do that. Go to them and say, hey, how can I help you do more deals? How can I help you make more money? How can I help you grow your business? And when you come at it with that attitude, they’re going to be like, OK, cool, how can I help you? Russell Brunson, if you all know Russell Brunson, I know you do, Steve. Just a quick short story. He was in St. Louis. He owned three really crappy rental properties in St. Louis. Like in the worst part of the town, and I offered to help him for free to get rid of them. I said, listen, I’ll either buy them from you, I’ll wholesale them and I won’t make a fee, or I offered to list them on the MLS and reimburse him any commissions, or not charge any commissions. And then I offered to help them fix them up and manage them for free. And do you think I got his attention? He was here to speak at a Dan Kennedy event and did really well. This is right when Click-Funnels came out and I remember I picked him up in my big old beat up diesel truck. And I was so intimidated because this is the Russell Brunson. He’s really laidback. But I picked him up in this stinky big diesel truck and he looked at it and kind of laughed, I said, come on, let’s go look at your houses. I picked him up on a Sunday morning at 7a.m. because I said this is the only time of the day that I would be comfortable taking you here to go look at these houses. And so early Sunday morning, I took him there and he’s crapping his pants the whole time he’s there, you know. I offered to help him. Long story short, I helped him rehab them, manage them and then sell them a couple of years later. He still lost a crap ton of money on those things.
Steve: But he’ll be OK financially.
Joe: Yeah. You know what he said to me, though? He said “How can I help you, Joe?”, I said, “Well, jeez, I don’t know.” So he gave me some advice on the podcast, my coaching and consulting programs, how I had my funnels. He started giving me advice. He invited me to come to Boise and hang out with them on their masterminds and stuff that they do in Boise. So that’s how you approach business. When you see somebody who is doing what you want to do, offer to help them for free, right?
Steve: Absolutely. And you mentioned pick a brain. And for me, for the longest time, I have a hard time saying no. So I stopped saying no. I don’t say yes. I send them a link for a Calendly call where they have to pay. Then you charge a thousand dollars for an hour.
Joe: Oh you do.
Steve: Yeah, but I’m not saying no anymore. They’re saying no. They’re saying it’s not worth a thousand dollars an hour, which is fine.
Joe: Well your time is worth every penny of a thousand dollars. You’re really good at sales training. I want to ask you more about that here in a second. But if you can help somebody get some little mindshift tweak or learn some new technique or just a better way to ask a question to a seller, I mean, that’s easily one deal a year, which would be worth a thousand dollars of your time.
Steve: Well worth more than a thousand dollars for them to their bottom line.
Joe: All right, nice. OK, you’re successful in Phoenix doing a lot of deals. What is the key to your success? Is it sales? Is it learning how to talk to sellers? Because that’s kind of what you’re well known for, right?
Steve: That’s what I’m known for, yeah. So I would say the key to my success is that, I’m gonna sound terrible, is that I’m really lazy. And so because I recognize this, I’ve created guardrails around me that allows me to just do what I really enjoy doing and then hiring people, learning to hire the right people, to do everything else, all the stuff that I don’t want to do, like paperwork or, you know, opening escrow, even going to sign. I don’t want to do anything except what I love doing. And so I’ve been able to create a 40 hour work week where the whole 40 hours I get to do what I enjoy doing.
Steve: So that’s been, I would say, the key to my success. But going back to the sales part, I was able to geek-out on sales for the last few years because I have other people in place.
Joe: And you have the time to do it.
Steve: I have the time to do it, yeah.
Joe: That’s awesome.
Steve: And so, yeah. So sales is something that I geeked-out on it. And one of the reasons why is because I really sucked at sales for a long time. So going back to what I was saying earlier, it was me versus Sean Terry. We were paying $2.50 a click and $12 per phone number.
Joe: That was a bargain back then.
Steve: I would literally murder someone right now if I could get that again.
Joe: That’s not really done, but I know what you’re saying.
Steve: I left a lot of money on the table. I got a lot of “I’ll think about it”. I got a lot of “I’ll get back to you”.
Steve: And for me, the solution wasn’t to get better sales. I read the books. I read all these different sales books and none of them helped me. And so instead of me getting better at sales, what I did was I hired pushy sales people and it worked. But I wonder how much money I left on the table. But now, since I’ve been able to learn sales from the right places, I’ve geeked-out on it for the last few years, and I’ve got to the position now where I’m able to teach what I’ve learned along the way. So what I teach now in sales is a combination of what I’ve learned from a few different sources. I would name them, except they’ve told me I’m not allowed to say their names in public, which is mind boggling to me. So I can’t name them well. But from a couple of different sources, along with getting kicked in the nuts for the last few years, for the last ten plus years. And you know what that’s about, right? You’ve experienced being in the living room. It is not always fun in the living room.
Joe: Well, that’s how you learn.
Steve: That’s exactly how you learn. And so the sales training that we offer now is based off learning from a couple different places and applying what we’ve learned. Because you take these things, you take these principles and you apply them and then you see the reaction. You think, OK, that does not work. Don’t do that again.
Steve: And so you were able to tweak along the way.
Joe: You know, one of the things that I think I’ve heard from other people that you’re really good at is training your sales team. There’s a lot of guys and gals listening to this that have a team and when you’re good at sales yourself, you’re not always good enough maybe to train people. So do you do that a lot? Do you train somebody’s company?
Steve: Yeah. So one of the things that I’ve been doing for the last couple of years is training people, training wholesalers and flippers and their team on how to run the appointments, how to set up to sell from the get go all the way to closing it. And when I say closing, I don’t mean getting a signed contract. I mean getting a signed contract, preventing remorse and then making sure it goes all the way across the finish line because that’s when we get paid. We don’t get paid on contracts. We get paid when escrow pays us. And so we teach a lot of those principles again, from the first phone call all the way til the check clears. There’s a lot of different processes and systems in places that you’ve got to follow consistently. And I think part of it is, I have an engineering background, and so I care about systems and doing things the right way and I do them the right way, but doing it the right way every time, which is something that salespeople may not always know.
Joe: Let me ask you about that, Steve. Let’s say you were sitting down with a young guy who’s hungry, ready to go, and he comes up and says, “Steve, I want to hit the streets. I’m going to knock on doors until my knuckles bleed. I’m going to make calls for 10 hours a day. I’m going to bring you leads, OK? Can you just train me for five minutes on how to talk to sellers?”. OK, so I’m just trying to figure out a good way to ask this. How can you condense sales training into five minutes? Can you tell him how to talk to sellers and what to say?
Steve: Yes. So the first thing I would say, if we only had five minutes, I would focus really on just setting the ground rules for the meeting, because that’s the most important thing in everything we do. That’s the most important thing.
Joe: I agree.
Steve: And so I would say, “Hey, Joe, before we sit down or before we walk around the house can I just share with you how these meetings normally go”. And they say, “yeah, sure, go ahead”. “OK, well, first of all, these calls, these meetings normally take about an hour, an hour 15. Is that a good amount of time for you?”. And they should say yes, right. If they say no, then that means that they just wanted you to walk around and give them a number, and they’ll call you back in two days. And if they call you back, that means you won and you pay the highest. Right. So we don’t want that. And so we say, “Can I tell you how these meetings normally go?”. And then they say sure and we stay for an hour, an hour 15. Typically, homeowners want to know how does this process work, how much money am I going to get, how soon am I going to get it? Am I missing anything? And I say “No. That’s exactly what I want to know”. “Perfect. Obviously, for me to figure out if this is a house that we’re going to buy, I have to ask you some questions. Some of these questions are going to be kind of personal. Will that be OK?”. And they say, “Sure, that’s fine”. “And at the end, naturally, one of two things will happen. Either we buy your home or we don’t. Either way, it’s fine, Joe. If the price we offer doesn’t make sense or you just don’t have a good feeling about me, would you feel comfortable telling me no?”. We’re empowering them to say no. “And then, likewise, if I’m not going to buy your house are you OK if I tell you that?”. Which is weird for them, right? “If it makes sense for us to work together, what that means is we’re going to go ahead and take everything we talked about today and we’re going to go ahead and put that in writing. Is that fair?”. And so what we’ve done is we’ve said “Joe, you can tell me “no”, I might tell you “no”, and if it’s a “yes”, we’re walking out of here with a contract. And the reason why we do this, there’s two things. We’re setting the tone for the meeting. We’re establishing that this is an important meeting. So if you’re telling me you don’t have fifteen minutes, then obviously this is not that important to you. And then we’re telling them the agenda, which is something that most people don’t understand. If you don’t tell them what the agenda is, then they’ve got their own preconceived agenda and their own preconceived agenda is “Joe, why don’t you go ahead and walk around my house, give me a number and I’ll call you back in two or three days if it’s the highest offer”. Do we want to play that game? That’s not the game we want to play. And so we establish rules. We set the expectations because if you look at every situation where one person is upset with another, generally speaking, it’s because of failed expectations. The seller thought you were going to walk around the house and they’ll call you in a couple of days. You went there to buy a house, but if you don’t tell them that it’s going to be uncomfortable. Someone’s walking away from that meeting upset. So we’ve got to fix that in the first five minutes.
Joe: That’s excellent. That’s good. All right. So maybe maybe five minutes isn’t enough time to answer this question. After that, then what? Real quick.
Steve: After that, we go through pain. Everyone talks about pain but people think of pain as foreclosure, divorce, probate. Right. But that’s not pain. And when we talk about pain, we’re talking about how are things? How is this affecting Joe at home? Is behind with his car payments? Are his credit cards maxed out? Is he fighting with his wife? Has his car been repossessed? Does he need to be out of here in six days? Has he been going to apply to move into apartments and ben refused because his credit sucks? There is foreclosure and there’s all these other things that happen because you’re in foreclosure. And we’re actively reliving that whole experience with the prospect, because when they sign a contract with you, it’s because they’re hoping that you can fix all their problems. Right. In their mind, it’s “let’s get the highest number”. But really why they’re selling the house is to solve all these problems. And it’s our responsibility to help them realize the pain that they’re in and how we’re going to solve that problem.
Joe: Moving away from pain towards pleasure. Right.
Steve: Moving away from pain towards pleasure. Absolutely right. How much sleep are you losing over this? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to just lay your head down on your pillow tonight and just know that this is taken care of?
Joe: All right. OK, so good. You’re setting the agenda. You’re discovering their pain points and then what?
Steve: And then we’re going to go over price. And the important thing here is that the price is like a game, you know, what’s your number? And I’m going hold on to my number. What’s your number? And you got to do this dance. And so we’ll we’ll say “Joe, I don’t know what I can pay, but I saw that there were other investors buying homes in an area for 70, 80 thousand. I’m not saying that’s my offer, but if someone were to offer you 70 or 80 thousand, what would you see yourself doing then?”. And then you’re going to hear one of two things. It’s either going to be “Well, that’s what I was hoping for”, or “That’s a ridiculous offer”. If they say “That’s what I was hoping for”. Perfect, right. You guys are on the same page. You can pay them that number. If they say “That’s ridiculous”, you say “I agree. That’s a really low offer. What were you hoping we were going to say?”. And now they’re telling us their number because they thought we said our number, even though we haven’t. And this all might seem really cute. It might sound excessively cute.
Joe: That’s amazing. I’ve never heard it that way. I’ve never heard it positioned that way before.
Steve: So it might sound excessively cute, but at the end of the day, we’re playing a game and it sucks. I don’t want to play the game. You know, when you’re first dating, when you first get married, all these other things. Like everyone said, I hate playing this game. Too bad you’re not getting married. You’re not playing the game. In sales, it’s just dating. We’ve got to play the game. So that’s the reason why we do what we do. And again, we throw this line out and then they’ll tell us they’re number and now we can figure out whether we can pay it or not.
Joe: That’s really, really good. Fantastic. What’s your opinion of meeting the seller in person or closing deals over the phone? You teach like you gotta meet them in person as much as you can.
Steve: So our personal preference is in person, but we also recognize that can’t always happen. You get rental properties, out of state landlords, or absentee, whatever the case is. So if we can, we prefer it. But obviously we all did just the last year with Covid. And so we would prefer to do it in person, but if we get any hints, any kind of telltale signs that they’d rather do it over the phone, then we’ll just do it over the phone and we’ll pivot. And this is something that I see some of the younger salespeople kind of screw this up. They think the seller is ready to sign, so they’ll go for the closure on the phone. And what happens is you come across as a pushy salesperson. And so there’s an important line that we want to throw out here also. “Hey Joe, given our conversation so far. I was just calling to see if you’re interested in selling. It kind of sounds like you want to sign something right now”. And then they say, “Yeah, I want to” and now we have permission to go for the close. But if they say “no, no, no, that’s not what’s going on here”. “OK, perfect. I just want to make sure we’re on the same page”. And then we’ll proceed to go for the appointment. That way you don’t come across as this pushy salesperson trying to push hard for the close right now because there’s nothing that kills more deals than commission breath.
Joe: OK, good. Getting some good feedback here from Tim. Great stuff, Steve Trang. That’s awesome.
Joe: OK, most of your youryour own deals, the deals that you’re seeing people in your brokerage do, are they doing it in person or are they doing it virtual?
Steve: We’re doing everything pretty much in person. It’s going to be a lot harder. We just expanded into Oklahoma City. That’s definitely going to be virtual. But yeah, we do predominantly in-person.
Joe: What are you seeing right now in terms of marketing channels that’s working best for you? What are you guys doing?
Steve: So for us, direct mail has been the strongest. For a long time it was texts, but that responsiveness has kind of gotten a little harder and then it was cold calling. That responsiveness has gotten a little bit more difficult. And it might be just because there’s too many darn gurus in Phoenix teaching it and so there might be more wholesalers.
Joe: Who’s doing direct mail anymore? Nobody.
Steve: The guys who are having a lot of success that aren’t talking about it. That’s who’s doing direct mail. It’s been a poorly kept secret. I talk to guys in town that are doing lots of deals and having tremendous success. And they say to me “I’m so glad that people are coming on your show talking about texting and cold calling, because my direct mail RoR has gone way up”.
Joe: It has. And especially, guys, if you can do it in small towns, I mean, even a year or two ago when direct mail was half of one percent if you’re good, in small towns, we were seeing three to five percent.
Steve: That’s incredible.
Joe: Oh, my gosh. Small towns. And people still will buy a house in a small town. That’s the crazy thing. People still want to live there. Yeah. And there’s very low inventory in small towns.
Joe: Easier to negotiate, bigger discounts.
Joe: We’re seeing five to ten percent consistently response rates with our direct mail for vacant land, five to ten percent response rates. And we don’t even send them off. We don’t even talk to them until we send them an offer and they accept our offer, which is crazy.
Steve: That’s amazing.
Joe: All right. So one of the things we talked about early on is you have a lot of investors, especially in the Phoenix area, hot markets like Denver and Southern California. You’re seeing your house, if you’re a wholesaler, on other wholesalers’ lists, right?
Steve: Well, when when we were talking about this earlier, my point was that the worst part of it, if you’re not good at sales, is that I’ll talk to Joe and Joe says, “Well, I gotta think about it”. And I say “OK, you think about it”. And then two days later, I’ll see that house on another email blast from another wholesaler and it makes you sick. I was talking to Chris Richter a couple of months back. He calls them pukers. You kind of puke in your mouth a little bit because you were at that house and the homeowner said “Let me think about it”, which you know now is their way of telling you “no”, but they don’t have the guts to tell you “no”. That’s what I was talking about as far as preventing seeing your property, that went to, you met with the homeowner, you cried with them for two hours and you had a great time. And they said “You know what, just give me a night to think about it”. And you call them tomorrow and you never reach them again. And then a couple of days later, you see it in an email blast. Has that ever happened to you, Joe?
Steve: Isn’t it the worst feeling?
Joe: What was the Rechter call it? Choker?
Joe: Maybe I should put that into my title of this podcast. How to not get the puker. How do you prevent that?
Steve: It’s what we talked about, right, if you have five minutes to train somebody. You gotta give the homeowner permission to tell you “no”, because if you don’t give them permission to tell you “no”, then it’s weird telling someone “no” and if it’s weird to tell you “no”, they’re going to be nice. They’re going to protect us. They’ll say “Joe, just let me think about it”, and that’s their way of saying no. And then you see it somewhere else. But you have happy ears. You feel like you’re going to get it. They’ll tell you things like “I really like your offer. You seem really nice. I like you a lot. Let me sleep on it. I’ll get back to you tomorrow”, and you never hear from them again.
Joe: So what do you say when they say that?
Steve: Well, that’s why we established the rules.
Joe: Oh yeah. So you just refer back. You basically say, correct me if I’m wrong, I say “Listen, usually when somebody tells me that, it’s just their polite way of saying no. So are you telling me you really aren’t interested, are we done?”.
Joe: And you pull away. You take your offer off the table, right?
Steve: Yeah. So, we will even go as far as saying “Hey, Joe, you need to think about it. So, we talked earlier about whether it was going to be yes or no. But you still gotta think about it. OK, well is it the process you gotta think about, Joe? Were we unclear about the process?”. And he says “No, it’s not that”. “Oh OK. So it’s got to be the price. You don’t like the price”. And he says “No, it’s not the price”. “I get it. It’s me. You’re uncomfortable with me”. And they’ll jump out and say “Oh my God, no, it’s not you. It’s…..”, and they’ll tell you what the problem is. You might it really is the price or whatever it is.
Joe: So you don’t leave an offer with them, do you?
Steve: Absolutely not. I don’t want to get shopped. If you leave an offer behind, then for sure you’re seeing that property on someone else’s email blast.
Joe: Right now. OK, now, but what about a cold lead? This is something I’ve always done. I actually teach this. I think it’s a great idea, maybe it’s not. You got a cold lead, and the seller says “no”. I say send them an offer anyway and I’ll email it to them and send it in the physical mail with a cover letter, a couple of pages explaining, comparing working with me versus the other way.
Joe: Would you send a cold offer like that on a cold lead?
Steve: We don’t personally. That’s not our preferred methodology. But I will say I know other people that do that have success. There’s a guy actually in my office who does a deal every quarter from just sending blind offers.
Joe: Well, this is kind of blind, but you’ve talked to them already. And for whatever reason, you’re miles apart on your numbers or they’re not interested in selling right now. They’re not super motivated. Why not send them an offer?
Steve: Because for us, we just feel like we’re going to get shopped. So we’d rather just kill it all the way dead.
Steve: We’re going to kill it all the way dead. Now, I’m not saying we don’t follow up with them ever again, but we’re taking it all the way. It sounds like it’s over. There’s no way that it’s going to make it or we’re going to come to terms. And then after all of that, when it sounds like it’s over, I say “Joe, you seem really nice. Before I go, can I just share a couple of things with you? Just make sure you’re protected”. “Yeah, sure”. “And make sure you get ten thousand non-refundable earnest. Make sure the contract’s not assignable, make sure they got funds. Make sure you get a driver’s license from everyone that walks through the home. You don’t want strangers walking into your home”.
Joe: You’re telling a seller this?
Steve: I’m telling a seller all of this. And they say “Oh, wow. I had no idea. OK, so what number do we need to be at for you to buy my house?”.
Joe: Wait a minute. You’re telling the seller to ask for a $10,000 earnest money deposit, to make sure the contracts not assignable, make sure you get driver’s license pictures.
Steve: Of people walking through your home afterwards, yeah.
Joe: From anybody who walks in the home afterwards. And what else?
Steve: Proof of funds.
Joe: Proof of funds. OK, that’s good. OK, so I see I see why you’re doing that, but like to explain the psychology of that.
Steve: Yeah. So they’re going to look at you and think “Oh my God, I had no idea that these other cash buyers don’t actually have the cash. You mean they’re trying to sell the contract? OK, well, I want to sell it to you. What price does it need to be at?” And that’s the last thing I will do to get them a bit lower in the price. Like I said, we want to kill the deal all the way dead before we leave.
Joe: That’s pretty mean Steve. That’s brutal.
Steve: Do you know what market I’m in? There are more wholesalers here than anywhere else.
Joe: That’s brilliant. I love it. We got a good question here from Lado, I believe. If you had to start over and reconstruct the structure of your wholesaling business, what would you change?
Steve: If I had to start all over today, if I could go back in time, I would have started sales training earlier. If I had to start over today, I’m pretty happy with what we’ve got going on now. We’ve got the right infrastructure, we’ve got the right people in place, we’ve got the right operators, got the right systems. But if I could go back in time, I don’t know how many countless millions I left on the table because I was a lousy salesperson. It was my biggest weakness.
Joe: Yeah, well, it’s so important. I’ve always said this. It’s the million dollar skill. Sales is the million dollar skill. Why they don’t teach you in college is beyond me. Sales training can help you in any business you’re in.
Steve: Absolutely. And at home with the wife and kids.
Joe: I was going to say that. But I thought, no, I better not. But you’re absolutely right. And the biggest sales thing that you could learn is just how to be nice.
Steve: Yeah. How to be nice, how to listen, how to be assertive without being aggressive.
Joe: That’s really good. OK, we gotta wrap this up. We’re at the top of the hour. What are some of the favorite books you’re reading right now, Steve?
Steve: Favorite books, “The Road Less Stupid” by Keith Cunningham. I think it’s fantastic.
Joe: It’s on my list.
Steve: One of my favorite books recently, I just went through “Principles”, which felt like an encyclopedia. I think it took me three months to get through that one. What else, recently? I’m going through some classics right now, so I haven’t gotten as many new books recently. My favorite leadership book is “Good Leaders Ask Great Questions”, by John Maxwell.
Steve: So I think you need to know those three. You need to know the questions to ask the people around you if you’re going to be a good leader. If you’re not asking the right questions, you might be in for some rude surprises. Blindsided by people quitting.
Joe: Do you ever read any fiction?
Steve: No, I don’t.
Joe: You should try it.
Steve: I know. I’ve heard that. But I’ve got too many things I’m trying to accomplish.
Joe: It’s sometimes good to let your brain take a vacation.
Steve: That’s what the kids are for.
Joe: Maybe vacation means watching TV or playing video games. I don’t know. But for me, I read maybe one fiction book a year, but it’s sometimes helpful, I think.
Steve: I watch movies with my wife and I watch TV shows or movies with the kids on the weekends. I’m very intentional. I don’t do anything work-related on Saturdays. Never. And then on Sunday afternoons it’s family. I give myself some time to work to catch up on Sundays, but I’m very intentional spending time with the family on the weekends. That’s the winddown.
Joe: Tim Harvey says here “Yes, sales training does help with family”. That’s right.
Steve: One hundred percent.
Joe: And Lado is going to be one of your 100 millionaires.
Steve: Keep an eye out, Lado. We got something coming out. We just got the poker chips today that we’re going to be using to enroll our community in The 100 Millionaire Challenge. It’s exciting.
Joe: Do you know how many you have? Have you looked at that?
Steve: Verified? Not that many.
Joe: You give awards out don’t you?
Steve: We do. We’ve given out three plaques, but we’re going to be giving out a lot more awards. So keep an eye out for all that.
Joe: Well, guys, I proudly recommend Steve to anybody wanting to learn sales and sales is super important. We’ve talked about it. Steve Trang has some of the best sales training on the market today. And if you’re interested in getting more information, check out JoeMcCall.com/sales. Can you explain a little bit about what they get.
Steve: Yes. So, with that they get our twelve modules. So what we talked about today in an hour, broken out over 12 modules because I couldn’t go over all of it. But the psychology, just make sure you maximize it, because we’ve got no problem spending all this money on marketing, but it costs so much to actually get in the living room, you got to maximize each and every opportunity. So for just $2,000, you’re going to make sure you’re not going to have those pukers coming through your emails.
Joe: You know, getting good sales training is the difference between maybe getting one out of 40 offers accepted to one out of 20 offers accepted.
Joe: Or even if you just went from one out of thirty to one out of twenty five, I mean, you’re talking about an extra deal or two a year, an extra deal a month.
Steve: Every extra sale goes directly from the top line to the bottom line. Your expenses are fixed.
Steve: Every single dollar that comes in as an additional sale goes straight to the bottom line.
Joe: No, that’s a great point. It’s a great way to look at it. All right. So go to JoeMcCall.com/sales. That’ll take you right to Steve Trang’s website to check out his sales training there. I highly recommend it. A lot of the biggest players in the industry have taken it and are super glad they did. Literally, I’m talking about the biggest wholesalers in the industry have done that. Real quick, can they get a hold of you on Instagram, Steve Trang?
Steve: Yup, @Steve.Trang. The best way to get hold of me is on Instagram.
Joe: Good. Steve, I know you’re a busy, guy. I appreciate you being on the show. Thank you so much. I appreciate you.
Steve: Thank you. I had a lot of fun. See you later.
Joe: Bye bye, everybody. Take care.
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