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I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about my tools, my systems, and my CRM because my students want to know if they can keep it simple, or if they need to track their leads like me. A lot of people are thinking, “I want to do deals, but all of this technology stuff is just overwhelming.”

I’ve got the 1980 edition of Robert Allen’s book Nothing Down, which is over forty years old, and 98% of the stuff in this book is still relevant today. Because while there’s been a lot of changes in the technology side of real estate, the principles are still the same.

I embrace change. I love it! But you don’t need all of this advanced technology stuff to get started. When I first started in real estate, I was tired of being on the computer all day at work, so I developed the “manila folder” system.

Hot leads, cold leads, warm leads, these all got different follow-ups, and I share how I tracked them,  and why I did it this way.

Some of you are technophobes. And some of you want the latest and greatest. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert at Podio. The only way you’re going to make money in this business is making offers and talking to sellers.

If you show me an expert in Podio, I’ll show you a broke wholesaler. Because how do you make money in this business?

Make offers, make offers, make offers.

It wasn’t until I’d been wholesaling for 3 years that I moved over to the fancy technology. If you’re stuck with technology, use the manila file system. But whatever you choose, don’t get distracted or sidelined by CRMs or apps or whatever it is that someone’s selling.

Get on the phone and make those offers.

Watch and learn:

Listen and learn:

What’s inside:

  • I share my original, old school paper tracking method.
  • If you’re overwhelmed, use my manila folder system to help you out.
  • This one thing is the key to your business, no matter what tracking method you use.
  • Why a 1980 edition of a real estate book is still relevant today.

Mentioned in this episode:


Download episode transcript in PDF format here…

Hey, what's going on, everybody? How are you doing? Joe McCall here. It's a beautiful day outside. You want to see what's going on outside, check this out. It's snowing, it's beautiful. And I just wanted to do a video to show you… Ain't that cool?

So, I've got a couple of things I want to share with you. I've been getting some questions lately as I've been teaching more and more about how I do my deals, how I keep it really, really simple, the technology and the tools that I use and getting a lot of good feedback from that. But people are asking me things about my tools and my CRM and my systems. Like, how do you do it all? Like, it's a little overwhelming. So, everybody's on different scales in the technology world. And a lot of people are thinking, I want to do deals, but all this technology stuff, and especially in my teaching videos, you go through it so fast, it's just overwhelming. Do I have to learn all of this stuff?

And the answer is a surprising no. Or how about a resounding no, you don't need to do that. I have a book right here. Alright. This is a Robert Allen book. I bought this on eBay. It says Nothing Down here, right? Totally revised for the 80's! This book was originally published in 1980; that was 40 years ago and it was updated in 1984 and “totally revised for the 80's with dynamic new profit strategies for cashflow and appreciation in real estate. The new revised edition of the all-time bestselling real estate book”.

This is a really, really good book. Not read it yet. I'm going through it now, but 99% of the stuff in here is still relevant for today. You know, maybe he talks about classified ads or maybe some of the pricing he talks about, or a lot of these older books talk about, you know, the average historic appreciation and you know, and at that time prices never really, we didn't see the recession that we had in 2007 and 2008 but 98% of what he talks about in that book is still relevant for today. Right?

And I'm not the old school type of guy who doesn't like change. You know, I do. I embrace technology. I'm using this fancy gimbal thing right now on my phone with a fancy microphone right here and using the latest and greatest iPhone. But do you need all of this advanced technology to do deals? No. You sure don't. You really, really don't. And when I was getting started, I want to show you what I used. I had a coach who told me I needed a CRM and a database to manage my leads and I didn't want to listen to him. I don't know why. I was just tired of being, oops, sorry. Here we go. I got tired of being on the computer all day at work. I didn't want to go home and be on the computer while I was talking to sellers.

So, and also, I was spending a lot of time driving and so I started, I developed this little simple system for tracking and managing all of my leads and all of my deals. And this is it. It's a Manila folder. This isn't the exact one, but it's one that I grabbed up for illustration purposes; this is a Manila folder. Okay. And I had four of these and one of them held blank lead sheets. And so, I had this lead sheet that I got from my coach. Here it is, this is a blank lead sheet and he probably got this from somebody like Robert Allen, who in the 80's wrote a book about when you talk to sellers you need to write down all this information. Here's the lead sheet.

So, this lead sheet has really simple things in there. The address of the property, the owner name, phone number, the lead source, where did it come from, asking price, market price, asking rent, market rent. How did you determine that? Square footage, garage stories, bedrooms, baths, repairs, needed information on the mortgage, payments, is payment current, how much is it behind? And then the section for it, there's a box right there for notes. And then what are you going to send them? The dates of the contact. Did you put this in the database? Yes or no. And then the lead rating, one to 10, so one to six motivation scale, it's a dead deal. Seven to 10, it's a yes, you want to follow up on.

So, I printed about 50 of these and I put them in a blank folder. Okay. And then I had another three folders. One of them was for hot leads, one of them was for warm leads and one of them was for cold leads. When I talked to a seller, and especially as, you know, as I'm driving in my car and I did pull over a lot of the times, not all the times, but I would write my notes in that thing and I would do a little box like a checkmark and I would say, I need to send the, tell the seller I'm gonna send them an offer.

So, I would provide a little box, send offer with a due date for today and that would go into my hot folder. If it was a lead where I told them, you know, I'll send you something or they weren't super motivated or I was gonna follow up in a couple of weeks, that would go into my warm folder. And then all of the things that were not, were just cold but I wanted to send an offer anyway, I put that in my cold folder. Alright?

And so, at the bottom of each one of my sheets, I could see my little square what needed to happen next. So, every lead sheet had what has to happen next. Maybe it was follow up in three months. If I called them and left a voicemail, I would check off the box to call and I would have next to that a dash VM for voicemail and the date. And then I'd write a new box call again with a due date, whatever. And then when I'd get home, I'd open up my hot folder and look at all the leads in there. And after I did the thing that was supposed to do, I'd put it on the back of that hot folder and then go to my next page. And you kept on going through all of these every day. Then I'd go to my warm folder and start going through all of those.

And then the once a month I'd go through all the leads in my cold folder and I would send them follow up. And that's how I did it. And it wasn't until probably investing for about three years that I finally got a database and started actually keeping track of my leads with technology. Right? So, technology makes everything a whole lot easier. But some of you guys, you fall into two camps, okay, my phone is giving me a message here. Some of you fall into two camps: One, you're a technophobe, you hate technology, you hate change. You just learn something and then they change it and it makes you mad, okay?

So, a lot of the other of you also are you love technology and you're always out there playing with the latest and greatest technology. Well, here, here's the problem that you guys have because I'm kind of like that, right? I like technology. I like, and I'm always farting around and playing with the latest and greatest. Well, here's the problem with that. Being an expert in your CRM is not going to make you any money. Being good at Podio or knowing how to build websites or building all of these workflow automations that can help you do follow up automatically and all of that… None of that will help you make more money.

Well, how do you make money? How do you make a lot of money in this business? You talk to sellers and you make offers. That's how you make money. In this business, you've, you show me an expert in Podio, I'll show you a broke wholesaler. Okay? That's just the way it is. So, sometimes you're not good with technology and you get frozen in analysis paralysis and you get overwhelmed and you don't do any marketing because you think like you have to understand the CRM before you do anything.

Well that's wrong. You can do it with paper and pen. You don't need all this fancy technology and the others of you, you're doing leads and you're doing marketing, but you're stuck with spending way too much time in the computer making everything look pretty. So, you need to stop that. Okay? How do you make money in this business? Make offers, make offers, make offers, make offers. That's the number one rule in this business. It's not study books, even old books from the 80's although that'll help. It's not having a fancy, pretty looking website. It's just talking to sellers. Make an offer.

So, I hope that helps. If you're stuck with technology, just use the Manila file system. Use pen and paper. If you're stuck with like I can't get the contract to fill out properly in the CRM, that's fine. Print out some blank contracts and get an old-fashioned pen and write the data in there. That's what I used to do too. I feel like I'm, I feel like an old man when I'm talking about what I used to do… Kids these days! Everything has to be fancy technology. I'm like, but that's just the way it is. Right? I hope that helps, guys.

Hey, if you're watching this video, go get my book. I have two books… I'm going to give you both of them. I was trying to decide which one; I'm just going to do both. REI Secrets is a book of daily nuggets of real estate investing wisdom and you can get that at REIsecrets.com. The other book is called Wholesaling

Lease Options and it's all about how to flip lease options for fast cash. It's one of the easiest ways to make money in real estate. You can get both books for free: REI Secrets at REIsecrets.com. And get the Wholesaling Lease Options book at WLObook.com. Alright? REIsecrets.com, WLObook.com and you get those books for free. Appreciate you guys. We'll see you later. Bye bye.

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