In this episode, I’m talking with Rick Hein – a friend and fellow tech geek, like myself.
Rick is a great success story… he had lost his job – knew nothing about REI but jumped in anyway – quickly learning as he went along and is now killin’ it.
You guys know I love technology and use it in my business… so today, Rick is going to share with us software that he uses as his CRM – Evernote. It’s actually really simple to implement and use, and Rick’s gonna walk us through step by step how the system works and how we can use it to manage leads, deals, contracts… basically, everything in your REI business.
Get ready to take some notes, friends, this is good stuff.
Here we go…
Listen and enjoy:
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- 4:50 – Rick tells us about his background and how he got started in REI
- 8:08 – Why Joe likes working with Rick
- 11:39 – Why buyers are Rick’s main focus
- 21:35 – Rick explains what Evernote is and walks us through – step by step how it works
- 38:37 – Rick talks about attachments in Evernote
- 43:22 – How to set up reminders in Evernote
Free Bonus – Evernote Template & YouTube Videos
Click HERE to Access Rick’s Evernote Template
Mentioned in this episode:
- Apply for one-on-one coaching with Joe
- Rick’s website Invest With Integrity
- Rick’s email address Rick@investwithintegrity.cc
- Real Estate Tools
- Real Yields
- Real Estate Investing Mastery
Download episode transcript in PDF format here…
Joe: All right. Hey, everybody. Welcome! This is the Real Estate Investing Mastery Podcast and this is a special show. Rick, you’re live. It’s like millions and millions of people are watching you right now.
Rick: I’m excited.
Joe: Trillions of people are watching you right now.
Rick: No pressure.
Joe: Guys, this is my good friend, Rick Hein and this is a special podcast. I don’t know if I have ever done one like this before. I’m wearing the nerdy goofy looking headphones, and Rick is wearing the cool Mac earbuds. But, this is a going to be a different little show. It won’t take long. I’m big on technology. I love all the newest, coolest, greatest little gadgets and Rick is kind of the same. But, he keeps things really, really, really simple and that’s one of the keys to his success. We’re going to talk about Evernote and how he uses Evernote as a CRM, as a tool to manage his leads and to manage his deals and his contracts. So, Rick, welcome to the Real Estate Investing Mastery Podcast.
Rick: Hey! Thanks, Joe for having me.
Joe: We’ve been friends for how long now?
Rick: Couple of years, yeah. It’s going on for two years.
Joe: Give a little background of yourself, would you? How did you get started in real estate and what about it?
Rick: Yeah, basically…
Joe: Please don’t talk about the Cornhuskers. Nobody cares. Nobody cares, Rick.
Rick: Well, it is basketball season.
Rick: My background for most of my adult life is full-time ministry. And so, up until about three years ago, that changed. We were part of a new church plant here in the St. Louis area. We ended up having to shut that down. I was looking for work and actually saw an ad on Craigslist that Joe had advertised. He was looking for an administrative assistant and I thought, I can do that. We did a phone interview. Joe did not give me the job. So, in the midst of the interview, I said, “Hey what do you do?” And he said, “Well I’m a real estate investor and I’ve got a podcast.”
So, I started listening to his podcast. I thought, “I could do this.” So, I started my own LLC, and then started heading down that road even though it wasn’t making too much progress because I was doing some other part-time job just trying to scrape together enough for my wife and I to live on. And then, not too long after that, a few months later, Joe… I was following him on Facebook. He advertised that he was going to be interviewing for an acquisitions manager. I had no idea what that was. I told Joe. We were e-mailing back and forth a little bit and I said, “Look, the least you can do is give me a cup of coffee. Give me a few minutes of your time since you turned down my role for the administrative assistant.”
So, he kindly agreed. He interviewed me and I ended up getting the job. So, Joe basically taught me the ropes in terms of how to wholesale and how to do it. So, he handled the marketing side of it. I did the other side of that and we did that for a few months together. And, I ended up going on my own and have been with my own company now since probably about mid-December of 2013 and so…
Joe: How many deals would you say that we did together, Rick?
Rick: We probably did… We were headed upwards of 20 to 25. And, that was like from August through mid-December of just that little time.
Joe: I remember one of the things I talked with you about was the importance of finding your buyers.
Joe: And, we really took that. I was in the middle of working with my own coach at the time and it’s like, “How can I create a…? How can I do more deals? And, how can I…?” I wanted to create like a turn-key business, but I didn’t want all the hustle of a turn-key business, right? And, I didn’t want a ton of employees. And, he just reminded me of something that I had heard a hundred times before. I had even taught people this stuff before. But, he said, “Number one, go out and find a bunch of buyers,” Dah, okay. “Go and find a bunch of buyers that are looking to buy properties.” So, that’s what we started doing. We started sending letters and postcards. Do you remember?
Joe: One of the things that we did was we sent out letters to people who were cash buyers and who were buying properties in other turn-key markets. That is… Maybe, I shouldn’t be giving our secrets away. Like, that’s what we do on this show.
Rick: Yeah, there you go.
Joe: So, but we started getting people to call us. And, the reason I liked working with Rick so much is because he’s such a down-to-earth person. And, he cares more about doing the right thing and taking care of our clients than making money. Honestly, I mean, I really think that’s where Rick’s heart is at. So, it was great. And, we started doing deals and it just turned out to be this right time. I gave Rick a hard time. I say, “Listen, I taught you everything. I didn’t teach everything I know so watch out.”
Rick: The interesting thing is that we had this one guy who ended up buying a lot of homes from Joe and I. Anyway, to make the long story short, when it was all said and done, he invested millions in St. Louis. When he actually came to St. Louis to meet with me and the property manager, he made the comment, “I have tried to invest in St. Louis previously a couple of years ago.” And I said, “Really? What happened?” He said, “I couldn’t get anybody to return my phone call.” And so, I was just like, “You are kidding me.” So, it was in our…
Joe: And, I was probably one of those guys.
Rick: You may have been.
Joe: I probably was. Because you just get busy and you know what you’re supposed to do. But, it just goes to show you who’s our real customer Rick.
Rick: Well, I mean, the real customer for me is the buyer. The buyer, for me, is the most important person that I deal with. If I don’t have a good trusting relationship, I don’t know if I… So, when I think of customer service, I think more of the buyer.
Rick: Because that relationship for me is paramount. Because if they’re… If I’m not making sure their needs are met and they’re happy with the service that I’m providing them, then I’ve got nothing. I know a lot of the guys focus on the sellers. I tend to focus on the buyers. It’s just kind of my niche. So, I tend to work with the outer state guys, and I like to be viewed as their man on the ground here in St. Louis.
Joe: Which is really, really important. And, I’m so glad that Rick came into my business and my world the same time I started thinking the same thing because I had before been seller, seller, seller, seller marketing, find the leads, find the leads, and then the buyers will come, and that works. But, if you look about, “Who’s the real customer?” A customer is the one who has the money, right?
Joe: The sellers don’t have the money. All right. It’s the buyers who have the money. And so, Rick has really kind of just risen in St. Louis and is known all around real estate circles as being the guy with the money. You get deals and leads coming to you all the time. One of the things that we did and I know this has nothing to do with Evernote, but it kind of does. We started getting buyers and we started finding out about “How much money do they have?” “What kind of properties are they looking for?” “What are their numbers?”
And then, we’re just spreading the word. “Hey, we’ve got money. We’re looking for deal. Send us what you have.” And, we really didn’t have to do much seller marketing anymore because Rick was getting so many leads just from referrals and other wholesalers and realtors and agents saying, “Hey, here’s a property. Would your buyer be interested?” And, they were happy just to make a little bit piece of the pie. So, I think that if there’s anything that we got out of this, for everybody listening, it’s to take your buyers very, very seriously and treat them like gold.
Joe: They are you customer. Would you want to add anything to that, Rick?
Rick: No. I would completely agree with that. Because especially with the outer state buyers, they don’t have anybody else in town to go to. And, if you can become that go-to guy and you can earn their trust over a long period of time, then it’s just going to bond well for you. And, Joe is right. I got through most of my leads from other wholesalers as a result of networking. And, these are guys that I know who’s not taking me to the cleaners in terms of markup and things like that.
Sometimes, my buyers are on and off. But typically, when they’re in buying mode, I get their best leads because they know I’m going to sell them for them. So, I tell them what my criteria is. I let them know. I send out a weekly e-mail. Sometimes, it’s once every two weeks, but most of the time, it’s a weekly e-mail. I’ve got a list of about 30 wholesalers that I network with. They know what my criteria is. And so, once a week, they send me their leads. I work together with them and it works out pretty well.
Joe: So Rick, in the last year, how many deals would you say have you wholesaled? Or, what’s an average month for you?
Rick: Well, I just had a guy from California came out. He was an out of state guy and he likes to see his properties. So, he comes out like once or twice a year and he bought four from me last week. So, typically I don’t… I’m trying to think. Last year, I think I’ve sold a little over 100. It’s something like that last year. So, it was pretty incredible.
Joe: Score! How awesome is that?
Rick: Yeah, I would have never… I mean, after we shut down the church, I was basically unemployed and to think that…
Joe: Oh, geez!
Rick: I mean, I didn’t know anything about real estate. Literally, I just didn’t know anything. And so, even some of the very first homes that I bought, those first two or three, I kind of cringe over those because I’ve learnt a lot. The guy…
Joe: Let’s not talk about those…
Rick: Yeah, the guy who was our property manager really has worked with me well. And, I’ve asked a lot of questions so he has taught me a lot. And then, just being around the business with other wholesalers, I just ask, “How do you this? What do you do in this situation?” I just ask a lot of questions. So, I continue to do some of those things.
Joe: I look to you as a friend, Rick. But, I hope it’s okay to say this to a friend, “I’m so stinking proud of you like…”
Rick: Oh, yeah. I appreciate that. Joe.
Joe: Because you’re almost like you’re this real mature guy. And, here I am. I still feel like a 20-year-old. And, I know I look 20. I’m just… But, it’s so cool to see Rick just take this and run with it and does over a hundred deals in the last 12 months.
Rick: I think one of the things that… I made a decision once when I went down this road with you. I thought, “I’m not going to try this out. This is a career and it’s either I have to make this work because I wasn’t interested.” I’m just like, “Well, let’s see if it works.” And so, I may have taken more risks in the last two years than I would have ever dreamed. My wife and I owned a duplex previously. But now, we’ve bought another property and we’re going to buy… I mean, our goal is to probably buy a total of 10 in the next two or three years. So, we’ll have our own portfolio as well. So, when you’re wholesaling, you can wait on the really good deals.
Rick: Because they’re out there so it will turn really well.
Joe: And so, it still gives you the freedom to help in the ministry when you want to, right?
Joe: So, you’re still involved in ministry as well?
Rick: I’m part of the leadership team in our church. And so, I’m involved there and that sort of thing. So, yeah.
Joe: Awesome. Who cares about Evernote? This is so cool. I’m so excited. Because I remember meeting with Rick and I remember you telling me, “Joe, these offers are too ridiculously low. Nobody will take this. This is crazy. Why on earth will I want to offer such a ridiculously low price on this house? Nobody will take it.”
Joe: Do you remember those conversations, Rick?
Rick: Oh, yeah. I do. I remember a lot of them. I just thought, “How are we going to do this? I just couldn’t see the big picture. I just knew what we were to do when I thought, “How does this work?” And, it was until… The good thing about Joe is obviously he’s trustworthy. He’s honest. So, it’s easy to deal with him. He’s a systems guy. I’m a systems guy. So, we worked really well together. Once we had our systems in place and we were going, it really became, I’m going to say, easy. But, it flowed pretty smoothly.
Joe: And, we both like Macs.
Rick: Yep! Yep, sure do.
Joe: But, you’re a Cornhusker. That’s so funny. I gave him a hard time about Nebraska. How can you not?
Rick: Yeah, well…
Joe: I was…
Rick: Go ahead.
Joe: I was going to say I was in Colorado and I saw this Cornhusker shop. What store is it? That’s near Rocky Mountain National Park…
Rick: Estes Park.
Joe: Estes Park.
Rick: Yeah, Estes Park. Yeah.
Joe: When you go to Estes Park in the middle of Colorado, there’s this store right in the middle of this tourist area that has a bunch of big giant red ends everywhere. And, I think of… We go there often. Okay. Anyway, Rick, thanks for…
Rick: No problem.
Joe: Sorry about that. Again guys, I keep going back to this whole strategy of “Find the buyers.” Who are your customers? They’re the buyers. They’re the ones who have the money, right? And, start networking. Start marketing to buyers finding out what they want. And then, answer the phones. And Rick, if I understood that very early on, I think you got a lot of it from just being in ministry and understanding the importance of…
Rick: Right! And, even with your wholesalers. When your wholesaler gives you a lead, you need to… Typically, if you don’t like it, they’ll never hear back from you. At least, give them the courtesy to respond to the wholesaler. With that, you’re actually building a trusting relationship with your wholesalers as well. And, they know that you’re not going to leave them hanging. It works on both ends there too.
Joe: And by the way, Rick, remind me at the end. We have listeners to this podcast in over 150 countries and it blows me away. But, remind me at the end that maybe you can give your email or your website for people to go to. Actually, do it right now. But, do you still have more inventory than you do buyers right now or do you have more buyers than you have inventory? What…?
Rick: It’s pretty even right now. I don’t typically maintain inventory. So, I find out what my buyers are looking for. Because typically, what a guy does… I say, typically, a wholesaler will… Maybe, he’ll have a website. He’ll put a bunch of properties on the website. They may or may not… Most of them wouldn’t apply to what their buyers if they have specific buyers that they’re looking for. So, what I do is I find exactly what my buyers are looking. I get the word out to the wholesalers as well as in that market specifically in that direction. And then, my leads are geared towards them.
For example, I’ve got another guy. He’s coming out from California. He’s coming into town today, I’m going to be with him tomorrow, and I’ve got like five homes they’re right down his ally I’m going to show him tomorrow. So basically you just let me know what you need, I can get you the leads, and get them at the price you want. If I can’t I’ll tell you, “I can’t,” and if I know someone who does I’ll point you in that direction, it’s not a problem, so it works out pretty easy. My website it’s real easy it’s investwithintegrity.cc, and that’s www.investwithintegrity.cc, and my email address is Rick@investwithintegrity.cc.
Joe: Good we’ll put those in the show notes, but again investwithintegrity.cc, St. Louis is great market lot of really-really good cash flow producing properties here in St. Louis. Say the great thing about St. Louis is very stable, you don’t see the huge ups and downs, you get good steady cash flow, good steady appreciation, and Rick is in St. Louis, do you hear the alarms the sirens?
Rick: I do hear the sirens, or tornado warning or something.
Joe: I don’t know we’ll find out, we could be live like getting tornado to come while we’re recording this. So anyway there’s a… St. Louis is great cash flow market, you get good solid rents, prices are still really cheap. I mean you can get pretty easily anywhere from 12-15% cash on cash, or return on investment on your money, considering property management, vacancies, repairs and maintenance. So when you go to Rick and you tell him, “I want 13% of my money, I want 13% ROI on my properties,” he’ll do that.
The other thing that Rick brings to the table is relationships with really good property managers, really good contractors, and a team in here that can manage your properties well. And then Rick is available to answer the phone, so if you’re looking for good cash flow rentals, give Rick a call, go to his website. And I wholesale a lot of our deals to Rick sometimes too, so everybody wins.
Cool well Rick before this siren we figure out what this siren is for or what we should about it, let’s talk about Evernote because believe it or not a lot of people use Evernote as a CRM, as a way to track your leads, manage your leads, and to keep track of your contacts, once you get a property under contract. So would you mind sharing a little bit about Evernote I see your screen here.
Rick: Okay great.
Joe: Tell us what you have here, what is this?
Rick: Yeah basically Evernote is a software format, and it formats on three different levels. your desktop which is what we got here and you’re looking at, it also will format online so you get… if you have web access anywhere you can… we’ve got an account there, and also mobile devices, so iPad, iPhone, whatever it is. So anytime you make a change in any of those formats it records that change to all of them, so it’s a great deal.
This particular… I use Evernote… I’ve used it for a number of years now, basically I’ve gone paperless with this, so I do all my personal finances here, all my bank statements are in here, everything like that. So what you’ll see here you can set it up a different way, these little squares here are notebooks, these are all the notebooks that I have created in Evernote. The main one here is this real estate stack, now some people do it differently, you can tag things, some people only have like one or two main notebooks, and then they differentiate things based on tags.
Rick: I’m a guy who likes to see everything, so here’s my real estate stack and so here is… these are properties that were sold to this company called AC sold in April, sold in December, sold in February, so I can look at these notes say, “Okay I sold 12 in February, sold 12 here January and 14…”
Joe: So each note in the notebook is a property, right?
Rick: Correct, I’ll just pull this up, here’s the properties, here is this particular property, and I’ll show you what I do with this… what all this information is. When I put every there is my assignment contract, there is the contract for sale, here is the property report that I put in here. Everything that I get goes in here, settlement statements, there’s all this stuff I put it on here. And so if I ever wanted to do a search, let’s go back here, so now let’s type in since where is that it’s on… somewhere there it is right there, boom there it is, I’ve got all the information.
And you can you can take pictures with your phone, so if I’ve got my mobile phone say even when I’m out and I have a receipt, say I take a client to lunch or something like that, once I take him to lunch, then I’ll pull up in my business notebook, I’ll pull up expenses 2015 expenses, put the cursor where it needs to be, take a picture of the receipt voom it goes in there, and then I can throw the receipt away, and I don’t have to worry about it.
Rick: I’ve got it there for tax purposes.
Joe: They even have with Evernote when you’re on your phone you can take a picture like with the document photo, is that what you do as well?
Rick: Yes, you can do a document photo yeah.
Joe: It will crop off the… everything outside of the paper.
Rick: Yeah it’s great you don’t have… it’s not like a regular photo, it’s just records the document.
Rick: I’ll show you what I’ve got here, these are my… you can create shortcuts over here on the left hand side you see this where my cursor is a short cut. You can put any notebook you want into your shortcut thing, so you can take them out you can put them in. So for example this is new leads shortcut here, this particular notebook is probably the one I use the most, and you’ll see what I’ve got here is I’ve got a template, when I get low I use this template for all my new leads.
So for example this lead came in just the other day, and so I just start filling in the numbers, I get on the lead comes to me these are the price, there is the rent value, I use rent to stuck on that, and he’s running me the median value. I’ll get property management company go in there, they’ll give me initial rent repair estimate, I get this from Zillow, I get the taxes from the county website, it’s vacant. If I’ve got pictures like for example here’s a property I’ve got pictures in drop box, I just put the link in there and so it’s really easy.
Then what happens is when I get so say like this property… I’m now going to be careful here because there’s names here, but anyway I have pitched this property to various buyers, so what I’ll do they’ll say, “Hey do you have something like this? I say well listen, “I’ve got something, here’s a three bed one and a half birth,” and so I’ll just copy and paste this, I won’t give them the lockbox, I’ll copy and paste that into an email, they get all this info, they can look at it, and then if they are interested I’ll give them the lockbox and we go from there, so it just makes it easy.
Joe: Rewind a little bit to the this is the new lead template so…
Joe: This is kind of what you… go ahead and scroll down a little bit. And by the way would you mind if people go to my website, I can give them this template that they could use on their own Evernote?
Rick: No that would be great, yeah that’d be great, yeah and then they can change it up anyway they want.
Joe: So you take this and copy it and paste it into a new note, when a new lead comes in right?
Rick: So like for example this is my template, I just do two finger touch copy to notebook, and it will say, what notebook? And I’m going to do it in new leads there it is, and boom its up there at the top.
Joe: Ah okay.
Rick: So I don’t have to copy and paste this folder, I just do two finger touch, then now it’s going to do a copy to new leads again, I’ll do it now I’ve got two templates.
Rick: So whenever I get a new lead I just go there and I enter the address, here’s my home address, so now there and then I just start filling things in.
Rick: And so once I filled in my lead source whoever sent me the lead if it’s me I just put my own name in there, title company we’re going to use once you get it under contract and you do an email. Once I’ve gotten that far then, the rest of the stuff is basically reminders I need… so every time once we identify our title company, once I email my contact to the seller I check that, and you can create these things up here, here’s the text box right there, so it’s really easy.
Rick: So once in there I say, “Okay did I get my contract back? Yes I did,” and then if we did a copy of the current lease, and then I’ll check that, so if it’s occupied I got it back, if it’s vacant then I need occupancy inspection if it’s rent ready, and if it’s not I just don’t worry about it. But these are things that are over the last two years I use… you can create your own template and it’s really, really easy and so…
Joe: So this is basically a checklist of like, the first part of this note is the deal information: the information about the seller, where the lead came from, the address of the property etcetera. And then below that would be, once you are interested in this and you want to wholesale this property to one of your buyers, this tracks everything after this. And you are using the checkboxes which is at the top of the note there right next to the bullets. You can do either numbers or bullets or check mark boxes. And you do the check mark boxes because you can just check those off and you can see that’s it done.
Rick: Yeah. Now the other thing I do say for example I’m going to pitch this one to Joe… I’m going to call or I’m going to pitch him at home, I’ll put the date on. So on three, three, 15 I pitched this Joe. So let’s say Joe says, “Hey Rick, I’m not interested.” So I’m going to put a note, “Not interested.” And I’ll put the date because usually then that means there is an email, and I can find the email if I go look for it.
Rick: So I pitched it to Joe, if it was a set price then I’ll put the price on because sometimes depending on the buyers you may pitch at different prices, so I make sure that I keep… I’ve got all my information straight there. Then I know who I pitched it to, what they said, what was their reply all that kind of stuff. So once… go ahead.
Joe: I was just going ask, will you talk about attachments. Maybe you can do that later, but when you attach things it attaches it right in the middle of your check list, right. Do you have to go to bottom to attach things?
Rick: You can give wherever you want to put it, wherever your cursor is it will attach.
Joe: So if you don’t want to interrupt your check list with a bunch of PDFs and attachments…
Rick: You can do it at the bottom.
Joe: Okay, all right.
Rick: So then you up here to this paper clip and then there is my thing. So let’s say here is an eBook that I’ll save 10 hours after work by Michael Hart. So we are going to attach, I mean it has nothing to do with this, it just attaches right in there, so I’m just going to leave there. So that makes it easy. Now here is where things get simple. So let’s say I’ve got my home here, and so let’s say Joe did buy it. I’ll say… wants the house. So now it’s no longer a new lead, now it’s pending because now I’m going to get it under contract. So I send Joe a contract, he sent me a contract back and if I did an assignment I’d do that. Sometimes I do assignments, sometimes I don’t, but let’s say I got it under contract and so once now it’s pending I’m going to drag this into my pending file right there.
Joe: So that’s a notebook, you are dragging it out of the active new leads notebook into the pending notebook.
Rick: Yeah. In a way you can move it to any notebook you want. See up here where it says pending, that’s your notebook. And now I can put it in any notebook I want right there.
Joe: But you can also do tags if you wanted.
Rick: If I want to do tags I can do tags. Like for example let’s do… this is my personal home. So I’ll say home and I’ll just do that or I’ll put Joe McCall, I’ve got the tag for Joe. And so anytime I want to do a search for Joe, I just do a search up there and this would come up. The other thing Evernote does… any time you have a document, any PDF, even a hand written note it will scan anytime you do a search, it will scan all the words in that hand written note and in the PDF and it will pull it up.
So like for example I’ve got an electric smoker, I smoke meat. Let’s do poultry, so all these say poultry… all these recipes here have the word poultry in them somewhere and they are going to show where it is. So if I want a chicken recipe, I want to grill something then I can just pull it up like that.
Joe: I keep an Evernote, I use it all the time whenever I barbeque on my grill I have an Evernote. When I bought the grill it came with a really good cooking guide Weber… it has this really cooking guide like how long you cook your beef, your chicken, your fish and all that. And so I took a picture of that and then put it into Evernote and it has shown up every time I can never remember. Every time I need to barbeque something I open up Evernote, I do a search for Weber, it shows up there it comes with the image of the cooking time chart.
Rick: Go ahead.
Joe: I like how you use tags. You could also use tags maybe if you wanted for like a motivation bucket. So you can have a tag for hot motivated seller, warm, cold and then you can filter out… you can say, “Show me all of the leads that have the hot tag on it,” Right?
Rick: Correct. You can tag anything; anyway you want it, so it works out really, really easy. So I’ll show you something. It’s like for example… I told you about this thing I do with wholesalers. So here is my note, this is weekly emails that go to wholesalers. So this was the email the week of February 22nd. This is the email I just emailed out yesterday. And so this one was just a short one, “Hey, this is what I’m looking for.” And so usually what I do is I just take these… I’ve got like four buyers here looking for specific things. I’ll just copy and paste this and change it a little bit, but I do all of that. Joe taught me this one, it’s a really good… you can do mail merge in Google Drive. So I use Google Drive to do my mail merge to my wholesalers.
Joe: And what you’re talking about is a service called… it’s free, it’s an add-on you add to Google spreadsheet called Yet Another Mail Merge. So if you go to YouTube and do a search for Yet Another Mail Merge you’ll see videos on how to do that. It’s really simple, so you can send emails from your Gmail accounts, from your Google spreadsheet where you keep your buyers. So that’s an email you send out reminding the other wholesalers and investors out there in St. Louis, “Hey, I am looking for these deals.”
Rick: Correct. I keep a list of cash buyers in here as well.
Joe: Don’t show us.
Rick: I’m not going to do it. Another thing that I do is I’ve got this folder called RE services. You know what? Let me do it this way. You can do a search here… oh yes. This is a notebook. I’m part of a… I get the group here in town, I get their emails and people all the time are saying, “Hey, who do you have that’s a good roofer? Who do you have that’s a good plumber? When those go out, I keep all that stuff. So here… this is a notebook and these are individual notes in there. So these are plumbers that I would use, clean services, house clean outs, all this kind of stuff I just keep it all in Evernotes so if I ever need it it’s all there. So it’s a great tool. It’d be on my cell phone, it’d be iPad, wherever I’m out and about, I just pull this up and it works out really well.
Joe: Do you guys understand the power of this? How many times has it been where you have… somebody is asking you about, “Hey, do you know any painters?” And you just come to Evernote and look for the note. So you have a note for each different major trade for housing, and you can see all the plumbers that people have recommended in the past and that’s fantastic. It’s really good. Go back to your new template and let’s look at the rest of your checklist there. You have email contract to the seller, email assignment to investor… go ahead.
Rick: And then I’ll say, “Email contract the title company,” if it’s copy make sure you say something about… if it’s occupied… excuse me, make sure you say something about rent credits because it just takes one or two times when you forget to tell the title company, “Oh by the way. This is rent and we are ready to close the next day,” and they haven’t issued rent credits.
So I put that note that in there, and then what I do… I just go ahead and do this. I just copy and paste this. If it’s an assignment I copy and paste this part right there, right to the title company. So it attaches my cells contract and assignment of that contract to… and it’s got the name of this particular… I’ll take that out… to this particular company that I was assigning to. For the above property, the property is currently vacant/occupied and I’ll do that, so then I check that.
Once it all closes then I’ll email the property manager and this guy Dwirk, he is a good friend of mine who does insurance so he handles the insurance for a lot of my investors, I’ll email him this note right here. I’ll say, “Here is the info on home. We just got a new contract. The White Property report is tax free your convenience.” And I do the address, purchase, state, title company, and so… knew this before we close I guess. But it gives him when the close date is, the value, blah-blah-blah. And that’s everything the insurance needs, the title company needs… sorry, not title company, property management company.
So then they are ready to go by the time we close, they’ve already… because they are going to change the locks as soon it closes, they are going to put a lockbox on it, they are going to change locks, they are going to do all that stuff. So they’ve got to be good to go, they got to deal with the utility company. I want to make sure they’ve got everything heads up before we even get to that point.
Joe: The cool thing about this again because Rick’s on the road a lot looking at properties and he gets a phone call and it’s a title company or the property management company or his inspector that says, “Hey, you remember that house at 123 agreement?” Well he’s going to pull up his Evernote real quick and pull up, and he sees on one screen all the information in there. That’s really, really helpful. So if you were to go down a few lines, you’d start entering attachments to this lead. You would start attaching… what are some of the attachments that you would attach?
Rick: Anything that pertains to this house. So like for example here is a house that is an assignment contract. So here is the contract, there is the assignment, here is the property report, I put it all in here. Once it closes I’ve got the herd in here, I’ve got the warranty copy, the warranty deed if I’m part of that because I’m assigning it and I’m not a part of that. But if I was double closing I’d have all of that information in here. So anything that pertains to this house, I’d put in here and I’d make sure it’s in this file, so then I don’t have to go around looking for it in another place, it’s here.
Joe: People are asking probably about this property report that you have. It’s from Realestatetools.com. Is it only Mac that lets you do that report?
Rick: That’s a good question Joe. I don’t know. It’s property… the name of the actual thing is Property Evaluator… is the name of the software. I think it’s free and so…
Joe: Well it’s not, but it’s real cheap, like 25, 50 bucks.
Rick: Yeah. But it’s worth it because you can add your pictures in here and it ends up looking really nice and it looks really professional. My investors, they know… because when I give them… like here on this particular thing, the cash on cash return, the ROI and this one is amazing… 21.2%. So they know… a lot of times you’ll get leads and somebody we’ll say, “Oh yeah 20% return on investment.”
So what they take into account is all this other other stuff like for example they can see rate10%, all this kind of stuff which we take into account… Joe taught to me all this stuff is extremely helpful. Insurance 10%, property management, repairs, taxes… it says percentage but actually it’s not. I got to the county website, find out what the taxes are and all that kind of stuff. So I make sure that this stuff, that the ROI that I give my investors is a true ROI.
Joe: That’s so important. And I remember also talking a lot about this with you Rick was you always need to underestimate, over deliver. When you are putting together these reports to send to your cash buyers don’t estimate on the high side. If you know of a price range, the rent range is going to be 700 to 750, use 700. If you know that the vacancies are going to be eight to 10%, use 10%. Use the more conservative numbers. And so it’s important when you are giving ROIs or cash on cash return estimates to your investors, you are covering things like closing costs and estimated repairs, maintenance, vacancies, taxes, titles, insurance, maintenance, stuff like that.
So this kind of report is really, really helpful and if you don’t have a mark there is other services that will offer that. In fact let me open up my Evernote here because I just saw one last night. I just was- let me go here. Last night I was reading somebody’s email, here it is, and somebody mentioned this website that does property reports and it’s called Really Yields I think. Hold on one second here. I don’t know if you can see my… well you can’t see screen. We are all looking at yours. This website is called Realyields.com R-E-A-L… you might want to look at this Rick because it might even be better than what you are using, R-E-A-L-Y-I-E-L-D-S.com, Realyields.com. And the cool thing about this is it will give you property fliers for your properties like give you the cash flow and the pro formas and things like that.
Rick: Wow! That’s good.
Joe: But anyway I like how you have the PDF because that kind of helps with seeing… you can email that to folks, and you have something they can print it and looks really professional and looks nice… Realyields.com, okay.
Joe: Nice. One more thing how do you set up reminders if you want to remind yourself in a week to call this seller back or this buyer back? What do you do there?
Rick: Typically you go up here. Like for example… let’s say, here, I’ve got a new lead. So let’s use the one we just did. We put in pending. So let’s say it’s a new lead though, and I want to remind myself. I go up there and the date… and so I will click that and I’ll say, “Next week I’m going to… at eight o’clock”… I can change the time to whatever time I want. Let’s say nine o’clock in the morning, and it will send me a reminder then I’ll just click that and I’ll get a reminder in Evernote, it will be a notification.
Different people do different ways, I typically use a to do list in a different software. But the cool thing about this is you can take this… so say for example I’m going to do a double click here and I can say, “Copy note link.” So now basically what I’ve done and I’ll show you… I can’t go into it. I’ll go into my… I’ll just do it down here. I’ll go into my to do list, my daily reminder list and I’ll say, “Hey, call Joe on this date.” And I’ll copy and paste this.
Joe: That link.
Rick: And so that’s the link to this note. Now let me do this, let me just do this differently. Let me put it in another… let’s just put it here. Here is a property that that guy is going to buy. And so we’ll put the link here, and so I when I go to click this, watch what happens, it takes me boom, right to the note.
Joe: I use that a lot actually. Sometimes like if I have some notes… I did this recently for an event I was speaking at. I had my notes for my presentation in Evernote and all I did was like… there is a button up there in the upper right, share. You pull that drop down and it will give you a public link that you can share that note with, copy public link right there. And you can then send that link to people and they can see your notes. They can’t edit them, so it’s just like a read only view and they don’t have to have Evernote. It takes them right to a webpage.
Rick: And if you’ve got a partner that you are working with, you can share this note. And so you can share this note with them, and so they can make changes, you make changes and it all records it, and so it works that. Now they’ve just come out with a work chat, so you can actually chat at the same time going back and forth just like a regular iMessage chat or something like that.
Joe: Now can you share a notebook with somebody?
Rick: Yeah you can. So for example I’ll go to notebook, here is… let’s just do… see I’ve got a huskers notebook there Joe.
Joe: Yeah share that one with me.
Rick: Here we go. So you double click, share a notebook… there we go. Joe McCall, there we go. Let’s do this one and so I’ll send it. So Joe now has access which I’m sure he is happy about to my huskers notebook. And once he accepts that, this red thing… I’m not going to give you any chance to edit it, I’m going to remove it. So this red group thing will show up so that’s a shared notebook. That means it’s shared with someone. That’s kind of how that works.
Joe: That is really cool. And again guys this is not something that just sits on your computer. You can set it up where it synchronizes with the cloud as it were, but it’s still secure. In fact I have it set up with my iPhone that if somebody were to get my iPhone and go into my Evernote, they have to put it in a code. So I have coded my Evernote with a four digit pin number that some people can’t just get it because I have so much valuable information in my Evernote. But this has been really, really helpful. So let me just clarify real quick then when you put something in Evernote it resides on your computer.
So if you were to go into wherever this is held in your hard drive you’d see probably a really big Evernote folder with all your stuff. But it synchronizes with the Cloud and it happens in the background, so when you are on your iPad or your iPhone or your Android or on the library… the public library, like I’ll go on my wife’s computer some times, and I need to get into Evernote, I’ll just go to Evernote.com and I can log in to my Evernote account, and see on the browser all of my notes that are on my other computer. Does that make sense? It’s just absolutely amazing. And you can use this for so many different things: keep notes of sermons when you are church, or just as a diary, as a journal and it’s really to make flex.
And the other cool thing that you can do… I don’t know if you have this turned on Rick but you can actually geo locate your notes as well, right?
Rick: Yeah, you can. So wherever you create a note it will locate to that. I know some people use it like when they go to say, they are at a big event and they’ve parked their car somewhere, they’ll take a picture of the car, it’s got a geo location on. So then you go and you’ve got quarter of a million people at a big park and after you say, “Where did I park?” They just pull up the Evernote and it will take you right there.
Joe: I’ve never thought of doing that, I need to.
Rick: The cool thing about Evernote, it will be whatever you need to be and so this is how I use it. For every 10 guys that use it, they use it 10 different ways and so you just have to create… the good thing is you… whatever you want to out of it. And I would say subscribe to the blog because you get a daily email which is basically tips, and kind of tricks, shortcuts. I remember the first time I saw Joe on an excel spreadsheet, it was just like work, speed… I just… I had no idea what he just did last minute. You did about 50 different things and I missed it all. A lot of people, it just takes time to learn it, but if you subscribe to the blog you’ll get daily reminders and you can always unsubscribe if you get tired of it.
Joe: Now you have the premium version, right?
Rick: I do, it’s 45 bucks a year.
Joe: It’s well worth it.
Rick: It’s very well worth it.
Joe: You can do basic stuff with the free version, but I really recommend getting the premium version. And listen I’m a big Podio guy. I use Podio to manage all my leads, I love it, I think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, but coming in at a close second is Evernote, because Evernote is just everywhere. And it’s really simple, it’s easy to use and it’s great. Here is the point; whatever you are using you need to make sure that you’ve got it set up where nothing falls through the cracks. Rick has got up this setup where there is a checklist for everything, he gets… he reminds himself when a deal is supposed to close or reminds himself when he is supposed to call a buyer or a seller back.
He has different folders for new leads, pending leads, closed leads and I’m sure you have a folder for dead leads too: dead deals you throw in there. And then once it’s closed it goes into another folder for closed. So you can organize it anyway you want, and I think for a lot of folks this kind of maybe be a breath of fresh air for you because you may look at Podio or you may look at Freedom soft or the other software that’s out there and just… this is freaking me out, I can’t handle this. This is a great little tool. And I’ll say one more thing and we’ll end here, if you go to YouTube… I did this the other day. You go to YouTube and do a search for Evernote CRM and you’ll find 100 videos in there on how people use Podio – I’m sorry, how people use Evernote as a CRM.
And if this is something you want more information about, go to this little website that not too many people know about called YouTube, do a search for Evernote as a CRM or Evernote CRM and you’ll find 100 videos in there and some really good stuff on how people use what Rick does. But I think this is going to be really popular podcast Rick and I sure appreciate you taking the time to show us this stuff.
Rick: Good. Thanks for asking me Joe, I appreciate it.
Joe: So again, give us your website again Rick if people want to join your buyers list.
Rick: Yeah, please do. It’s Investwithintegrity.cc and my email address is Rick@investwithintegrity.cc…
Joe: Excellent, good. There’s one more thing that I’ll say again. Go to the show notes if you want this template that Rick has. Go to the show notes and you can download the template with the checklist and it’s yours for free. We are not charging anything for that. So go to Realestateinvestingmastery.com, look up the show notes, just look up the search box Rick and you’ll find this podcast, and you go into the show notes and click a button and there will be a place where you can download the same exact template that Rick is using. And I’ll even throw in some of the YouTube video links that I’ve found when I’m doing that. Hey, thanks Rick. Take care.
Rick: Thanks Joe, I appreciate it.
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