In this episode, I’m talking with Direct Mail king, Rick Ginn.
Rick used to work 80 hours a week in a corporate job and finally kicked it to the curb to jump into REI. Why? The main reason, he says, is because it gives his absolute freedom to do whatever he wants, which is mainly spend time with his family. It’s been about 10 years and Rick hasn’t looked back.
In fact, in today’s episode, I’m talking with Rick about the direct mail postcard program that he created to help your direct mail campaign get the best response results ever. Plus, Rick will tell us the 2 keys to direct mail success, his ‘crazy’ idea regarding phones and much more. So much more that this is actually just Part 1 with Rick!
There’s so much to cover, so get going…
Listen and enjoy:
- 4:16 – Rick tells us about his background and why he got into REI
- 13:33 – Why Rick is the Direct Mail king
- 21:37 – The 2 keys to Rick’s direct mail system
- 31:58 – Using a print house or not
- 38:30 – What’s coming up in Part 2 of Joe’s podcast with Rick
Mentioned in this episode:
- Rick’s Free Report: Joe Likes HW Postcards
- Joe and Alex’s Free Fast Cash Survival Kit: Real Estate Investing Mastery
Intro: Welcome, this is the Real Estate Investing Mastery Podcast.
Joe: All right. Hey everybody, welcome. This is the Real Estate Investing Mastery Podcast. Glad you're here. I’m excited about this podcast. We've got a good friend named Rick Ginn. Did I pronounce it right?
Rick: Ginn. Ginn.
Joe: Ginn. Sorry…
Rick: It’s okay.
Joe: I meant to ask you that before we started recording.
Rick: It’s all right. We get it out of the way.
Joe: Ginn, okay. Rick is from Florida. Alex couldn’t join us today. But, I wanted to just first let you guys know that if you go to RealEstateInvestingMastery.com, RealEstateInvestingMastery.com, you get some really cool stuff like our Fast Cash Survival Kit. I say that a hundred times, Fast Cash Survival Kit. And, in there, we talked about how to flip properties for fast cash. And, we made those videos probably about three or four years ago, and I know we need to update it. I know. I know. But, I’ve looked at it, and you know what? That stuff is still relevant. It’s still the same stuff that we're doing today in our business.
So, it may be old. I guess, you could say four years, three four years is old, but it’s the stuff that we’re still using today. In fact, Alex is still using the same virtual assistant that he was talking about in those videos, and I am not using the same VA, but I have a lot of them right now. In fact, I think I’ve been working with the same VA for about three years now. Anyway, the stuff works. It’s really cool. It’s called Fast Cash Survival Kit. I also want to ask you guys to please leave a review. If you like the show, leave a review. We’d appreciate it.
And, people like John Cincola just left us a review here. He says, “Life changing,” five stars. I want to thank Joe and Alex so much for the great information that they provide in this podcast. By listening to this podcast and implementing Joe’s system, I have been able to get my wholesaling lease options business up and running in the last couple of months. I’m looking forward to future episodes and learning more. Thanks guys.” That’s awesome, John. I appreciate that.
And then, Angel 1007 leaves a review, “Joe and Alex Deliver.” I love this podcast, not only do I wear my hand out taking notes, but I have bought material that have actually been put to use and not sitting on my desk. Joe and Alex offer real information that helps me get better and better in my business. In addition to what they teach and talk about, they have turned me onto so many other great people to learn from because I heard them first on this podcast.”
And today, it’s going to be no exception, by the way, guys. “Truly a givers gain attitude with these gentlemen. Thank you both so much for what you have shown me.” Appreciate that! And, I got a bunch more than I could read. Steve says here, “They deliver the goods! Can’t stop listening.” “Hands down. This is the best podcast filled with most the practical and actionable ideas and recommendations etc., etc.” Thank you, Hector for that.
So guys, please leave us a review. And, if you go to one of the episodes that we did recently, it’s called “Leave a Review, Get Free Stuff,” or something like that. My team will actually send you some books and some videos. So, if you leave a review, good or bad, let us know about it, and we will send you some free stuff, and that episode talks about that.
Just go to the podcast, Real Estate Investing Mastery website, and take a look at the episode. Do a search for the word “free” and you’ll find it. Okay, cool. Intro is out of the way. See, our intros are a lot shorter when Alex isn’t here. We don’t have to listen to all of these stories about all the deals he’s doing. And, I’m just joking. That’s… I get so many people telling us how cool it is to hear about the deals that we are doing. But, I want to jump right in real quick here with Rick because Rick is a guy that I met through a mutual friend recently. And Rick, how long have you been doing deals?
Rick: I actually started out in 2005. My background is… I went to college. I followed all the advice of my parents and I wound up in a corporate job for 12 years, and I led a sales force and I round up at an REI seminar. Actually, I went up in Georgia. And, I was blown away with the information that was presented to me, and decided to jump in and take action, and here I am ten years later. I’ve been through quite a roller coaster of markets…
Rick: And I’ve learned a lot…
Joe: From Florida, where you’ve probably…
Rick: From Florida.
Joe: …Had the wildest roller coaster ride.
Rick: Yeah, I mean the… Actually I’m in the Stuart, Florida area so I enjoyed. I grew up down in Fort Lauderdale. And, I’m originally a wholesaler…
Rick: …And, I really love this market. I think I sent you a picture today of three closings.
Joe: Yeah, that’s right! I forgot to mention that.
Joe: I wanted to do that in my intro.
Rick: Oh, okay.
Joe: Guys, wait. So, don’t steal my thunder. Rick just sent me a text while I was having some lunch with some friends and he says, “Rick’s closings for today, one more at 5 o’clock. $36,000 a week. Talk to you at 2:00.” And yeah, these checks are dated April 23rd, which was yesterday. That is so awesome.
Joe: Beautiful! I love checks, man.
Rick: Yeah, I know. I love it man because that’s… I know most of the guys you worked with are hands-on in the business, and that’s what I love about you, yourself and Alex does, and I listen to your podcasts.
Rick: I listen to all of them. I think you're dynamite because if I can get a little piece of information from everybody…
Joe: …You can really crash it in this market so…
Joe: Here’s something Rick. Well, you mentioned just a few minutes ago like you came from the sales… Were you leading sales team or you were in the sales industry?
Rick: Yeah, it was a sell or die. That's the environment. And, you were only as good as your last sale, and my destiny was controlled by my team. And, if they decide to rearrange the corporate structure and they wanted to shift me off to St. Louis, and knock on there in St. Louis…
Joe: Yeah, come on.
Rick: …California, and I just said, “You know what?” You know what changed my mind is I started to have kids, and I said “You know what? I’m a family man, I’ve got a… Right now, I got a 15 year old boy, and I got a 13 year old girl, and I want to spend more time with them. I don’t want to live on the road.”
Rick: And, that’s where they wanted me to go, and I just said, “I got to find something.” And, the grace of God, I found real estate investing.
Rick: And, the main reason I do this is it gives me absolute freedom of whatever I want to do. I actually told my wife about the little trip you just took.
Rick: And, she kind of gave me a look. Now, you got to understand. My wife is not an RV type of girl.
Joe: Oh, not yet, not yet.
Rick: And, she’s like, “No, no. We’ll just take that trip and we’ll go over to Europe for 12 weeks.” So, I said, “Okay, okay.” I'll go, “Man, I going to have to kind of yell at Joe when I see him on it. But…
Joe: Well, you just got do both. Do the one that she wants to…
Rick: I love the whole RV thing man. She knows it, man. I just love like traveling all over the United States. I think that’s really cool what you did, and I spend a lot of time with my kids, and you might hear some background in the back. My son will be coming home from school…
Joe: That's awesome. Awesome!
Rick: And, that’s why I do real estate. I love it so…
Joe: I was looking at pictures the other day of our trip, and ah, such good memories. It was tough. It was hard. It was stressful at the times. It wasn’t always easy, but I tell you, it was so much fun. Just…
Rick: They’ll never forget it.
Joe: They never will. And, the scenery up there. I mean, we live in a really awesome country. We’re so blessed. I think we probably… I’ve not been to every country in the world, but I’ll bet you a nice glass of lemonade that we probably have the most beautiful country from natural sceneries, parks, standpoint than any other country in the world.
Joe: Just stunning – the mountains, the ocean, the desert, the prairies.
Joe: And so, just to see all that stuff, I think everybody needs to do that at least once in their life. Just go take a super-long road trip. Travel as much as you can. Go camping. Get dirty. Our kids, they were like… They couldn’t bring many toys, right? So, it's like they each got two toys, and they started playing with sticks and rocks and dirt.
Like, my 6-year-old daughter, my girl, she loves worms so she’d go and find as many worms, pick them up, play with them, then she started collecting some kind of… It’s a little bug that crawls up in… Oh, I forget. Like, it crawls up into a ball or whatever those little things are called and…
Rick: Like a roly-poly.
Joe: Yeah, yeah. yeah. And then, she started… One day, her and my little son, they found like 30 slugs, and they put all of those slugs under their arms. Oh, it was nasty. We took some pictures and put it on Facebook and everybody freaked out. But, that’s not what this show is about. The reason I asked you Rick about the… We know what that is. That is what this show is about, right, isn’t it? It’s like…
Rick: Well, that’s why I do it.
Rick: …And just to… Like, I travel with my son all summer. He does high school wrestling. It's a very intense sport. It's very one-on-one. And, my goal was to teach him the life lessons of how wrestling really relates to the business world. I mean, we’re out there on our own, and your efforts will yield the results that you put into it.
Rick: And, it’s no different that I’m constantly pounding hard work, and you got to practice the technique. It's no different from what we do. It’s just you get really good at it. You can get the freedom you want, and that’s the one thing. I mean, I used to work 80 hours a week.
Rick: I killed myself six days a week, and I said, “There’s got to be a better way.” And, the first three years, I’ll be the first to admit, I had no idea what I was doing, and I was still making money. And, I figured it out quick. You don’t have to figure out and study every manual head to toe. You just got to take action. And, in the first year, I figured out that if I can’t get the phones to ring, I’m a dead man.
Rick: So, I laser-focused on direct mail. And, that’s a little bit of what we're going to talk about today.
Rick: I considered you're probably… I’m a direct mail expert. My job is to make the phones ring. I love direct mail.
Rick: I rely on it heavily. It’s not my only way, but when I started, it was that door knocking that those were my two specialties.
Joe: You know, I… Once a month here in St. Louis, I have a mastermind of other wholesalers. You have to be somebody that's actively doing deals to be invited into the group. It’s a small group of about 12 people, 15 maybe sometimes. And, some great guys are in that group. And, I was having lunch with them before coming here, and they're just some awesome guys. We were talking about direct mail. And, the cool thing about this group is… Yeah, we’re all competitors going after the same deals, but we’re all still sharing with each other like what’s working and what's not, and we talked about direct mail. And, maybe right now, the responses aren’t as good as they used to be a year ago.
Joe: I would argue or even debate that whether that’s really true or not. But, here’s the bottom line. There is still nothing else that works better than direct mail. It has always worked, and it always will work. I remember when I was first was getting started in this business. I didn’t think it was quote, unquote sexy enough. Like, I thought, “Well, it seems like everybody is doing it. I don’t want to do what everybody else is doing so I’m going to do some other stuff. Or, I’m not going to use that postcard that everybody else is using. I’m going to do something else.”
So, I fell in love early on with direct mail because I saw that if I did it: number one, the phone would ring, and if I didn’t do it, guess what? The phone didn’t ring. And, you put two and two together and you figure out, “Well, okay. I guess, I’m doing… I get more leads with postcards and direct mail than I do with any other type of marketing that I’m trying to do. Why don’t I just stick with what works?” And, that is exactly what we’re going to talk about because the reason I wanted to ask you on the show Rick is you’ve recently created a course about postcards.
Joe: And, I’ve looked at it. I’ve been digging into it. It’s phenomenal. It’s a really simple idea, but it’s kind of taking the industry by storm and a lot of people are getting excited about this because the results are phenomenal. You’re starting to get… I want you to talk about it, and why don’t you just give people like and introduction of what it is, and why you are the authority, Rick, on this topic specifically.
Rick: Let me tell you why I’m the authority. It's because I am the king of trying everything a thousand wrong ways and spending a ton of money in finding out what doesn’t work. So, when I initially started out… She’s actually a good friend of mine now, and she's Kathy Kennebrook.
Joe: Oh, yeah.
Rick: She taught me how to do direct mail. I was just… I mean, she was mesmerizing and it was… She gave me such a simple system. I said, “Kathy, are you sure?” She’s like, “Rick, the phone is going to ring off the hook. And, when I started out, we used to pull a little piece of paper, and they would actually have to write in their information, and mail it back to you. That was my system.
Joe: She’s still doing that.
Joe: I interviewed her a year or two ago.
Rick: And, I was just… I go, “Kathy, there’s no way.” And, lo and behold, I did a batch of like 500 and like six people like, “I really need to sell this house.” So, when I first started, that was the ultimate sign of a motivated seller. If they’re going to mail a piece of paper back to you and say, “I need to sell it quickly,”
Rick: …Then, those were our priority customers and it’s… We’ve come a long way from those days. So, I had instant success when I did it. I did very well when I first started, and I instantly fell in love with wholesaling. And, when the markets changed, I worked with Nathan Gerard's system and I learned how to flip short sales.
Joe: Oh, yeah.
Rick: And, I quickly got turned on the yellow letters. And, we had phenomenal success with the yellow letters. It was innovative. Nobody was kind of doing it. And, I think I would spend like… I want to say, at the time, like two and a quarter per letter, and I’m talking like thousands of them. And, as the result started dropping down and yellow letter stopped, I felt like I was kind of in a predicament. So then, I went to the professionally printed postcard. I go, “Let me figure this out.” Now, when I did this, I was looking at a lot of different systems, so I tried to make one myself, and it's a complete epic disaster. I think I got two phone calls. I was really down. I said, “Man, there’s got to be…”
Joe: Well, what kind of postcard was this?
Rick: I just did like a professionally printed and I came up with what I thought would work.
Rick: And, it didn’t. I wasted my money. I was trying to reinvent the wheel too hard.
Joe: Yup, yup.
Rick: After spending about $10,000, I would use some of the formatted postcards out there, and I started getting good success with that. The advantage of that is it costs way down. I mean from $2.25 down to $0.40, $0.50 apiece. I go, “I mean, we’ve got gold here.” And then, all of a sudden, everybody started sending out. I mean, we had it going around 2011, maybe 2012. Don’t quote me on this. But, everyone started sending the exact same postcard out. And then, all of a sudden, the yellow letters kind of switched to like the yellow postcards you see out there, which worked very effectively.
Rick: And, how I know this is, I own property, and I started getting the exact same yellow letters from four or five investors, and I’m thinking, “Man, I don’t… Why would you guys send the exact same postcard?”
Rick: And so, I just said, “Hey, listen. Let’s think back to the old days. I pulled out my Kathy Kennebrook book, and she taught me, “Rick, you got to hand-address your letters.” “Well, Kathy. How do I do that? I don’t want to do that.” She said, “No, no. Just outsource it.” So, I found a little lady down the street, and she hand-addressed the envelopes, and that was the key to the success. And, anybody who's going to hand-address your envelope, you’re going to get it open. Well, I think I caused this lady severe arthritis…
Rick: And, I probably owe her a compensation package because I quickly found out she couldn’t keep up witch the volume I’m doing. You try to hand write 1,000 letters…
Rick: …And then, you go back, “We’re going up to 2,000 a week,” and she’s like, “I can’t do it anymore.” I was paying $0.10 or $0.12 per letter to have her do that. I said, “There’s got to be a better way.” So, I said, “You know what? What if we took the effects of a handwritten yellow letter, and we took the cost savings and the production of post card and put it together?” And, people are like, “Man, you're nuts!” So, what we did is we did a campaign where we wrote 200 postcards. I paid some people that I worked with. I go, “Let's just handwrite them.” I mean, I paid a lot to do it. And, we had such a phenomenal response on it. It was unbelievable.
And, I said, “Man, we got something here and nobody else is doing this. We have to find a way to ramp it up.” So, after two years of every trial and error, from basically 2011 till about 2013, we found a way to what I call kind of automate it, and make it to where your average investor could do it from home and print them out. So here’s my goal, and tell me if you’ve ever been in this situation. It’s Monday morning. I had a great weekend. We had a blast with the family. We had a good time. I just cashed some checks. I got to get some more deals going. I mean, we’ve all been there as real estate investors.
I found when I used my outsourced company which was Dynamite; they were getting so busy with other investors, realtors. They were giving me a four to six window to get some of my production going. And, I would call around and I get a little bit better, but if you didn’t plan like two to four weeks out ahead of your marketing, you were in trouble quickly. Now, I was never that organized, and I said, “Man, I can’t wait for weeks. That’s a month without doing deals.” So, we've developed the automation of what we now call the “Handwritten Postcard System.” And, it’s basically just a software that uses handwritten fonts just like you would do it on a yellow letter, but you get the cost savings of putting it on a post card. And, as you know with a yellow letter, you don’t have to stumble. It’s right there on the post card.
And, once I figured out how to do this and how to print them from like a home printer, we started running like multiple printers, and I said, “Listen, let’s get 500 in one week. Let’s get 1000. Let’s get 2000.” I quickly found out that while other investors around the country were sending out 10,000, 12,000, 15,000 piece mailers, I swear, Joe, I was sending out 1,000 and I was doing three to four deals, like high quality deals out of them.
And, I found this out quickly because I go meet with the homeowner. I sit down at the kitchen table, and I always have this ridiculous curiosity like, “Why are you using me?” And, they pull out this bag, and they pull out all these letters, and they go, “Listen. You're the only one that took the time to actually write me a letter and stand out. Everything else is either yellow. I can tell it’s printed. It’s got a bulk mailing on it, and I just trust you by how you did the process.”
And, I have a couple of little tricks to the trade, and you'll find out my post card system that really increases the response rate. And, even right now, I just did the three deals of the checks I showed you. Two were from postcards. The other one was from a branding business I do. And, it’s intense competition right now, and I stand out. So, when an owner gets 15 pieces of mail and he gets one white post card that looks like it’s handwritten and it’s personalized, I stand out. I always get a shot at them.
Joe: Awesome! Now, I want to ask you because I touched on it at the beginning. You were part of a sales company…
Joe: …That you taught and managed a team of sales people. How much of closing that much or that many deals have to do with the marketing that you send out and how good you are on the phone and talking to sellers? Does that make sense?
Rick: Yeah. Well, let me explain this to you. I have always subscribed to most real estate investors and their theory is, “Let’s take the low-hanging fruit. It’s easy.” My theory is, “As long as you put out the right message or actually just take action, the key with my system is standing out from everybody else that’s doing it.”
Joe: Right, okay.
Rick: Okay. I mean, you still have to work. I don’t have a button you can push and they just show up. They call. You got to follow up, make appointments, make offers, follow up relentlessly, but I will tell you this, I love low-hanging fruit…
Rick: But, I teach everybody who works for me the low hanging fruit is a gift. We want it. We love it. But, I have found in this market that low-hanging fruit is awesome
Rick: But, I’m all about mid-level fruit now, and I have found it. And, there are two keys to grabbing the mid-level fruit because here’s the reality, Joe. No one is reaching up above that tree. So, it’s like if you have a… I don’t know what you call it, a herd of cows around the tree and they eat all the low-hanging fruit, there’s some fruit you just got to raise your hand a little bit higher and it’s there.
Rick: And, I’m talking about… Let’s talk about this. There are two keys to getting that mid-level fruit, sales training. It’s just having a system and it’s mostly scripts, and it’s just teaching people how to rehearse, and the second one is relentless pursuit of leads. I don’t give up on a lead until they block me, or politely tell me, “Don’t ever call me again.”
Joe: That’s good.
Rick: And, that’s what I teach with it, and you're going to find that we find so much fruit. Investors need to kind of turn their game up a little bit especially in this market. There are plenty of deals out there. We go back and we call on every hang-up and I’m going to throw an absolutely crazy idea at you, okay? Because I’m all about zigging when everybody else is zagging, or I don’t know if I even said that right.
Joe: Yes, you did.
Rick: But, that’s how I came up with the handwritten post card because everybody… I knew this was coming. Everyone was kind of going to dive in like, “Man, let me just stand out and just be so ridiculously loud with it,” and people love it. So, I was taught and I subscribe to this system which is to just leave a voice mail. It is by far the most efficient way to do it and I agree, okay? I wish I could do it all the time. I have 10 different marketing phone numbers, and I will tell you I have switched. I have really switched. It’s such a competitive market, and it does cost me some money, but here’s a crazy notion, answer the phone.
Rick: We answer the phone because you know what? Every other investor in my market, it’s all a voice mail.
Rick: And, people recognize that with my company and it stands out. Is it more work? Yes. Does it cost more? Yes. Do I make a lot more money? Yes. You’ve got to set up the system, get people you trust to help answer the phones, and have as protocol for an answering service for after hours so you don’t drive your employees nuts.
Joe: So, how do you set up the “answering the phone” part? What do you do for that?
Rick: Well, we have an office and we… There are basically three of us that work the phones, and one person is responsible for answering the calls. Now, you can’t answer 100% calls. Stuff happens, okay? So, we go to a mark, and our mark is 80%, and we’re going to work on pushing that higher, but it takes more manpower to do it. You got to pay someone to do this. But, the idea is we get people have such buy-in. You got to understand from a seller’s mindset.
When they call you, they’re reaching out to you. They might be reaching out to chew you out, do anything, but the bottom line is, he who speaks to the seller first will always get him, and it’s always been a rule. I can tell you the days back in 2010, I used to wait two or three days to even call a seller back sometimes. I knew it was easy, and today I’m shifting more and more. But, like we have a deal we just did… It’s going to net a $29,000 assignment and she told me, “You guys are the only people that answered your phone.”
Joe: We were just talking about that today at the mastermind that we're in.
Rick: You’ve got to answer you phone, Joe. I mean, it’s crazy. Again, listen, I tell you what. You’ve got to find that mid-level fruit. It’s not that hard. It’s not this giant climb. You’ll spend thousands of dollars on marketing and the phone is everything. It’s your first impression, and if you can make an impression on people, homeowners are pretty loyal if you’ll solve their problem. And, we find that we get… We work with a real estate company. I’m sorry, insider company, and when people just want or need to sell their house, we give a referral.
The company earns a marketing percentage of the deal correctly and they do all the paper work. I believe that you may handle that, and we get a check every month. So, if we do it correctly and reach out for the higher fruit, in today’s market, the Realtors should more than pay for your system and cover all you expenses in your office and everything. So, we just took a $500,000 listing, and I think we did just three or four like mid-levels in the $200 to $250 and they handled it. I don’t want to deal with that part. I’m not a realtor. I’m not licensed for that. I don’t want to do it.
Rick: But, they are more than happy to take that lead. They jump all over it. They go out there. They signed the listing that day and say, “Rick, it's signed up. I’ll let you know when it closes and we’ll work out a marketing fee.” And so, that mid-level fruit is the handwritten post card system, and if we can just get the call, we know we can work it. The sales training part, it’s just rehearsing, and I learned this in 12 years in the business of training employees on how to answer the phone. The phone is your biggest tool and I’ve been a big follower of Grant Cardone, the sales push, and I just…
Rick: You know what? I love the low-hanging fruit. I’m really good at it. If you put me in front of a motivated seller, I’ll slam dunk it. So, give me the guys and kind of give me a little flip-flop and some feedback, and then I create sales people just like myself and you just work a little bit harder on it. But, the money is there. Everyone gets paid. We solve the homeowner’s problem. A buyer gets the deal at the end and everything works out. And, the other key I do with it is I completely outsource my sales to my realtor team, and they get the highest price through the realtor. We get people to close in a day or two, and I get more money I never planned on, and I can spend more energy on marketing.
Joe: So, you're…
Joe: You're selling your whole sale deals on the MLS. Is that what you are saying?
Rick: Yeah. I mean, every one of them is bidding more, and I’m a business man, and he who pays the most can get it. We work our butts off to get those leads.
Rick: And, I want to make sure that everybody gets rewarded for it. And, I’ve even shut down my internet buyers list leads because I have so… My Realtors have such a long list of people.
Rick: And, the beauty of that is they'll tell me, “If you can find a three, two and this zip code, I‘ve got these guys ready to go.” So, when a call comes in, we'll even write it on the board, and we keep like a Google spreadsheet of what we call our hot zip codes. So, if we have like a marginal deal, say we think the house is… We have to buy it at $90 and the guy won’t budge off at $100, but I know I got a guy that will pay at $110 on assignment fee. It’s kind of like backwards marketing for us.
So, I love working with realtors because they provide us with great information, but don’t keep me talking too much on the mid-level. It’s there. You just got to reach a little bit higher, and that’s what I focus on. I think that the low-hanging fruit, what you guys teach is phenomenal. I mean, I followed it to a tee, and it’s always going to be there. But, in a market like this, you can just reach a little bit higher, answer your phones and pursue people. We get deals off of the hang-ups. I mean, we call them back. They are not the easiest phone calls in the world but…
Rick: And, I know a lot of… We do the texting and we do all that, but there’s nothing like having somebody rip through the phone and actually call them. So, with the handwritten post cards system, when everyone else is doing something a little bit different, with being in the business for ten years, I try to stay a little bit ahead of the curve and go, “Okay, let’s try this.” And, I just timed it perfectly with the handwritten postcards system.
So, the idea is, if you think writing like 500 postcards is a daunting task, I have a very inexpensive product that solves everything for you, and in 15 minutes you can be printing them. So, on Monday morning when you haven’t put out your leads, you can get them printed up. And, we do like a lot of test batches on new lists and stuff we do with that. And, here's the best part, Joe, the only real assembly required is you have to stick a $0.34 stamp on it.
Rick: I know that is overwhelming.
Joe: Right, right.
Rick: So, I have my stamp progeny which are my kids. I put it in a box and I think I pay like a buck a stamp. It feels like I do. They kind of see it in a good way. I'm teaching them. They are like, “Why do you do this daddy? Why are you doing this?” I go, “This will get the phones ringing.” He goes, “It looks like you wrote them a handwritten letter, Dad.” I go, “Yeah.”And, the beauty with a handwritten postcard system is we included… What is it? I think I have seven variables of fonts. So, I even put a guy’s font in there…
Rick: …A lady’s phone in there, and we customize it to too. They don’t say Rick Ginn. You can go in there and put in, “Hey, this is Joe McCall,” and people just love it. I mean, it really simplifies it. Have you ever done a daunting task of a mail merge like the first time you ever tackled one of those?
Joe: Yeah, I have. I mean, I have a… Well, do you ever use a local print house to do this for you or do you always print them yourself?
Rick: Well, I mean there's… I've set the system up so a guy can or who wants to do it yourself in sweat equity, if you want to do it at a higher level, the great news about this is all you have to do is switch the printer out. So, in my office, we have two giant address printers that can load 10,000 at a time and in one hour spit them out. Somebody sticks the stamps on them. You can get a machine to do it. It’s actually cheaper to do it yourself.
Rick: And so, we print them at 9:00 in the morning, and by around 2:00, somebody has them in the mail and guess when the phones start ringing? The next day.
Joe: Wow, really?
Rick: And, that’s the powerful part. It used to try… I love… Listen, I still use the professional postcards for my branded, but I have to plan it out because I get the best price possible. I can’t call Monday and go send out 4,000 postcards. It doesn’t happen. So, with this one, it's like… The other way we did it is I used to have my students and bird dogs. They’d write down a spreadsheet of 100 like vacant homes or the grass is high. And, I'm like, “Man, I can do your marketing for you,” and I use them as my beta testing when I did this. I go, “I'm going to give you a software and you guys are going to do the marketing.”
What I found out is they could cover a whole ground than I did so I shot a couple of videos. We tried it out and they're like, “Rick, man, this is dynamite! This is awesome.” Because, listen, they didn’t have money to mail out like 75 postcards. I mean, like 7500 but it goes, “Rick, I want to mail this 60.” I know I can get a deal out of these 60.” I'm like, “Well, I don't want to handwrite 60 postcards?” And, this is how we came up with it.
Rick: So, back to your question, if you want to do it on a bigger scale, you can. All you have to do is switch your printer. You just got to get a higher volume printer. But, some of the problems a little bit on the bigger scale is I found out quickly that Rick Ginn can’t answer every phone call.
Rick: So, I've done some big batches and you’ve got to come up with a hierarchy on. If this is Rick Gin, they are going to expect the guy and that’s a little better. But, the system is not really designed, Joe, where we have to send out 5,000 postcards. It's really for the guy where for 500, it costs… The stamp costs $0.34 for a postcard as opposed to $0.49 for a letter. And, I've set it up where it costs you $0.02 to get the paper cut and get everything going so you're talking $0.36. So yes, you are donating your time. Welcome to the sweat equity world of real estate in the beginning.
Joe: Well, real quick, Rick, because I see we are going to have to break this up into two episodes because this is just so good. I want to ask you real quick though about response rates. What are you seeing an average response rate being with this postcard depending on… Let’s just say a normal absentee owner list.
Rick: Well, for a normal absentee owner list right now, I get anywhere from 6 to 7% and those are true accurate measured numbers. I'm not going to tell you it's 10, 15% because those are not real numbers. And, those numbers are down from my last two years. I mean, I used to get 9, 10%. So, what I did, Joe, with this product is we offer a great little upgrade. It's very inexpensive because you know what? My number one question with this product to just have people buy it…
Joe: What? Who do I mail it to?
Rick: How do I get the list, Rick?
Joe: Yeah, yeah.
Rick: And, I said, “You know what? You can send out the best messages in the world. You can stick a dollar bill in an envelope, but if you don’t mail it to the right person, no one is ever going to catch it, and they are not going to call you.” So, I got into, “Here's how I put a list together.” And, long story short is that it went out being absolutely huge, because what I did with that is I did a little test after I worked with my students and some of my bird dogs, and I did a beta test. I threw it out on Facebook and like right away I sold like 75 units. I go, “I didn’t expect that!”
And then actually, Rob Swanson picked it up. He says, “Man…” He goes, “Do you mind if I try it out.” I said, “Yeah, you bought it. You’re rocking yourself out.” So, Rob went and tested it out and he said, “Rick, I don’t know how to tell you this because my results are through the roof.” He goes, “Nobody is doing this in my market,” and he goes, “Man, you got to deliver this to the world. I mean, people need this. It's going to help people out.” And, after twisting my arm further and further, I said, “Let’s go ahead and do it.” So, we’ve recorded…
Joe: This is the seller list secrets, right?
Rick: Seller list secrets which is… We actually wrapped it up in the handwritten postcards because we quickly found out that they really work very well together meaning…
Rick: It's… I mean, I'm bringing ten years of experience on lists and I sat down and Rob was like, “I've never tried that. Let me try that.” And, Rob has the ability. I mean, he will put out a 5,000 piece mailer, and he’ll get instant results and go, “Rick, I tried that in Colorado and you're not kidding!” I go, “You know, Robbie.” I've known Rob for about three years because I bought a lot of his products.
Rick: And, he says, “Come on out here.” I go, “I'm not going to go out there right now.” So, we just worked out of the beauty of the internet and collaborated on it, and he's really good at putting everything together. And, he was a person that I trusted and he tested it out and said, “I love it. I've ran it across some other guys. I mean, everybody loves it.” I said, “Okay, let’s do it.” I'm a full time real estate investor. I'm not as much of a product guy and I just said… And, I get emails everyday saying, “Listen, man. I've tried it. It’s awesome. The phones are ringing and I've already got three or four more testimonials and it makes the difference. It really does.”
Joe: Well, Rick, if it's okay with you, I’d like to do the part two for this because I’d still like to talk with you about kind of the script that you use. You got a postcard that converts. You know how to pull the lists that other people are not using. And so, there's still a lot more that goes on. And, if it's all right with you, I'm putting you on the spot because…
Joe: …Millions and millions and millions of people are listening to this, okay?
Joe: Now, can I interview you again and talk about the script that you give to the people that answer the phones? It's like, what are the questions that you ask? Talk about how you do the follow-up. I like the word that you use, the relentless follow-up, at the beginning. I’d like to talk more about that. And, talk about the little things like, what are the specific days of the week that you find “to mail” are better than others? Because if you can print them yourself, you can control a lot of that. You can control that a lot more, correct?
Rick: And, here's the key with the system: when you go in and click on the product to find its control which was crucial when I first started doing it and creativity.
Joe: Yeah, good, good, good. So, okay. Guys, listen, Rick created a special report called “Direct Mail Top Secret Tips”, “Direct Mail Top Secret Tips.” And, can you talk real quickly about what's in that special report you did for just our list here?
Rick: Yeah, here's what I did. I recorded a video and here's the best part. I did the video when I was in a height of like really buried in this product testing it, and I burned the bridge. I go, “I'm going to try this for four months and nothing else,” because I know if it works, then I can help a lot of people out with it. So, I recorded about a four minute video, and I walked you through the challenges with direct mail and your options as a beginner.
I talked about some of the problems I had with yellow letter marketing. I believe I ran it as far as I could to its course, and it just got too expensive, and it wasn’t creative anymore. I mean, it was a great thing. And then, I just run you through how to do the system, why it works, and then the best part is, I walked you through the case studies of actual deals I did. I show you the checks, and it's absolutely awesome. The next time we're on the phone, I actually have voicemails of people thanking me buying their house.
Rick: “We just loved your marketing piece.” And so, it's a four minute video and it's sums it up. It's nice because it's kind of short and to the point. And, what I did is, I'm such good friends with Joe and Joe says, “Listen, Rick. You’ve got to bring something to… You’ve got to bring value to the table.” I basically took my seller script that I train my employees. I still use it to this day. It’s not rocket science, but man, it works! I've been through hundreds of thousands of motivated sellers. And, I walk you through the questions, the quality of the questions and the idea is, “When do we stop and when do we move on?”
Rick: And, I kind of show you the point in the script when we do it. I mean, it's not rocket science, Joe, but this is the part of the business people understand if you just will train and learn simple sales techniques and ask the right questions and redirect the questions.
Rick: Because I tell my sales team, “As long as you get an answer, I'm fine with that,” but an, “I don’t know” doesn’t work for us.
Rick: We spend too much money marketing for “I don’t know.” So, I give you simple techniques on how to redirect the question of someone who won’t answer it. It's a different way to ask it and come around so you will see some of my techniques with that. I mean, that’s it! You're going to get a four minute video. You’ll get the seller script and…
Joe: And, this report, “The Direct Mail Top Secret Tips.” So guys, the website to get this is JoeLikesHWPostcards.com. It's a special link. It's a special page that Rick created, JoeLikesHW for handwritten, postcards.com. And Rick, I'm in the middle right now of testing this stuff myself. I'm excited about it. Like you, I’ve spent thousands or probably hundreds of thousands of dollars on direct mail, and you always got to be ahead of the curve. You’ve got to do what other people aren’t doing. And, I really like your emphasis as well on just answering the phones and talking to sellers and learning what to say. So guys, if you go to JoeLikesHWPostcards.com, you get this free report. You get some more information about this handwritten postcard system that Ricks been talking about. Rick, I’d like to interview you again.
Rick: No problem.
Joe: And, please go to JoeLikesHWPostcards.com. You are going to get a real kick out of what Rick is teaching here because this is something that you just don’t hear a lot of people talk about. Some of you may think, “Oh, that’s just sounds so simple. Can it really work?” Yeah, it really, really does. So guys, thanks a lot. Thank you so much, Rick. We will talk to you soon in part two of this podcast. I've got a list of a bunch of questions to ask you. I'm looking forward to it. Thanks a lot, Rick.
Rick: Awesome! I appreciate it, Joe. Thanks so much.
Joe: All right. See you.
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