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  • 092 Video » How to Flip Houses While on Vacation » Mitch Stephen interviews Joe McCall

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In this episode, we’re flipping things around a bit with a guest host who actually interviews yours truly! That’s right, Mitch Stephen, an investor from our Mastermind group, is firing questions at me.

Are you one of those investors who thinks you can’t do deals while you’re out of town? Well, I’m here to tell you, you can. But, to do so, you have to understand that your focus needs to be on the basics. The basics of investing in marketing, creating systems and delegating. Don’t overcomplicate this. There’s no need.

In fact, in this episode, I’ll go over in detail my 3 keys to success: marketing, automation and delegation. I’ll walk you through step by step how to create a marketing plan; walk you through how to target zip codes; and exactly why I have a crush on Podio and Vumber… and why you will too.

Plus, we cover lots of good stuff on the all-important VAs.

This episode is packed with terrific info about how easy and doable it is to work in virtual markets.

Dive in, people!

Watch and enjoy:

Get the Mind Map

What's inside:

  • 3:13 – Who is Joe McCall
  • 7:43 – Pictures of the actual checks from deals Joe did while on vacation (see, it is possible!)
  • 13:10 – Joe’s three keys to success
  • 18:41 – How Joe creates a marketing plan
  • 26:09 – Why Joe sends yellow letters and postcards
  • 30:45 – Why you need to have a marketing plan that your VAs can work from
  • 35:00 – How to easily hone in on a good virtual target area
  • 43:25 – Why Joe targets a different group of investors than most people do
  • 50:50 – What Joe uses to send out text blasts
  • 54:45 – How Joe uses Zillow to find deals
  • 1:01:43 – Other marketing techniques Joe uses
  • 1:05:05 – Why Podio is so awesome
  • 1:09:58 – Why Vumber is so awesome
  • 1:14:35 – How Joe handles the difference when working with VAs

Mentioned in this episode:



Download episode transcript in PDF format here…

 Joe:            Hey, everybody! Joe McCall, Real Estate Investing Mastery podcast. Glad you're here. Listen, I just want to record a brief introduction to what's going to be playing next. About a month ago or so, I did a special webinar with a friend of mine from Texas. And on that webinar, I talked about how to flip deals remotely, how to wholesale properties virtually. And, I talked specifically about the trip that we just took with our RV. We flipped about six to eight deals. In fact, actually, I was just looking at my post-it note here. We flipped eight deals, made a total profit of $34,644.69 flipping these houses while we are in the RV, travelling around the northwestern quarter of the United States. Now, I'm hoping that doesn't sound braggadocios, if that's a word. I'm not trying to brag. But it was really cool because on this trip, we are able to go see the most beautiful parts of the country, spend a lot of quality time with my family, and my business was able to run without my involvement. Now, I didn't work a few hours every day, but I had a blast.

And… And while we are gone as well, I… I wrote this book with a business partner of mine, Peter Vekselman called “Brilliant At The Basics.” And, I wanted to just tell you about it, because while we are travelling, I was doing the same exact things that we write about in this book. It's about a hundred-page book. You get it for free. Just pay shipping and handling. But, it's all about discovering the exact systems and simple tools that we use to flip over 30 properties a month in our business. Peter is a rock star. He's actually wholesaling five times the amount houses than I am. He's got a huge staff, like 12 people. It's going… It's crazy. But, we wrote this book because we want to talk about what's most important in this business, and it's being brilliant at the basics, understanding the basic things that you need to do every day in your business.

And, we're also looking for people that we can partner with and start doing marketing force. So, we want to implement the same systems and the same marketing that we're doing in our business. Peter is doing it in Atlanta, and I'm doing for my RV while we're travelling in the country. Those same systems, that same marketing, work in any market, any market condition, anywhere in the country. So, we want to do that for you as well. So, go to FreeBasicBook.com, FreeBasicBook.com to get this book. FreeBasicBook.com. All right. So, that's enough for now. We're going to start the video here and I hope you enjoy it. Take care. See you. Buh-bye.

Mitch:        Hi, this is Mitch Stephen. And, I'm here today with Joe McCall. Joe McCall and I are in the same mastermind group. And, we haven't met personally. But, I was attending the mastermind group and everyone was raving about this CRM or Client Relations Management Software kind of set-up that he's got going called Podio. P-O-D-I-O. And, I kept hearing about this guy of “Joe McCall, Joe McCall.” So, I decided to give him a call and see if he would join us today and be in one of our interviews. And luckily enough, he said yes. And, he just filled me in… He's been on a 2 and a half months RV trip. He's been all over the place. He's been to 10 different national parks. And what I thought was brilliant was, he flipped over six houses while he was out on vacation with his wife and four kids. So, he's written a book called “Brilliant at the Basics” and is co-written by Joe McCall and Peter Vekselman. And, he's also got a link to the book that we're going to give you, a little bit later here. And with no further ado, Joe, how are you doing this morning? It's nice to have you here.

Joe:            Good Mitch. Thank you very much. I'm excited. We just got back from our trip about five days ago. So I'm still… I'm still adjusting.

Mitch:        Well. And, I love the title of this segment here, “How to Flip Houses While on Vacation.” I thought, that's an irresistible… that's an irresistible title. So…

Joe:            Well, it's true. I've done it several times… On several different trips. But I… You know, I love this business. I love the freedom that it gives me. And, I'm just going to talk about what we did. And, I'm going to talk about how other people can flip houses while on vacation themselves. It's really simple. It's not complicated. And, that's why wrote this book called “Brilliant at the Basics” just because it's important to be brilliant not at the complicated things, not at the difficult things. But, it's important to be brilliant at the basic things. And if you're good at the basics, you're going to do really, really well in this business. And maybe some people thinking about flipping houses while traveling around the country or traveling around the world seems like overwhelming or I could never do that. It's really not that hard. You just have to understand the basics of investing, the basics of marketing, the basics of creating systems, the basics of delegating those systems out. And, it's really not that bad.

Mitch:        So, I'm looking at your mind map here.

Joe:            Yeah.

Mitch:        The first things I guess is, you got to get some customers so… Do you start with marketing? Where did you start with?

Joe:            Well yeah, I'll walk to that. Let me tell you a little bit about who I am. We… My name is Joe McCall. I got a wife, four kids. We homeschool our older boys. We're big into homeschooling because it allows us to travel. And we traveled to… We do travel quite a bit. We just take it one year at a time. And it's been a fun ride. My boys are nine and 10. And, I have two girls that are three and six. Here's a picture of our family at Estes, near Estes Park, in Rocky Mountain National Park. That was just about a week ago. And, it's pretty crazy to think about. We were there and we… Let me show you just some quick pictures of us. This is one of our campgrounds in Colorado. This is Lake Tahoe. This was Napa Valley. It's funny. There's a story here. This guy… My son is right there. This guy right here… When he was one year old, we were at Napa Valley. This is one of our favorite wineries. It's called Peju. And, it's Peju. Anyway, this guy was outside yodeling. He was singing and yodeling. And, my son cried; it scared him to death. He's like balling up and crying. He's still scared to this guy. Well we came back 10 years later, he's still there. And, we bought a bunch of wine from him. And, he came outside and sang for our kids and yodel. Thankfully, none of them cried. But, we just had blast.

Now, I only have… This is a weird picture. I took it. There's a fountain. There's our camper right there in the background if you can see it. It's a big 37 foot camper. It sleeps like 10 people. It's really big. We just bought it last December. But, this is… You know Mount Rainier was one of our favorite places that we spent a lot of time at. Misty Fjords… This is me and my wife, Victoria and myself. The Misty Fjords in Alaska was just incredible. We took a float plane trip. So, we took a cruise up to Alaska and, just had a blast. This was our vehicle. That's my one daughter. She's reading a book and my other one's sleeping. And, we spent a lot of time at Yellow Stone and Glacier on the Grand Teton. This is the Grand Tetons, one of our favorite places where we've stayed at. And, this is the vehicle that we pulled our big camper in. And, it's a beast. We call it the “Gold Beast…”

Anyway, so I wanted to show you too what we did here. This was for two and a half months. This is a website, maps.google.com/locationhistory. This is crazy. If you ever looked at this, if you ever use your iPhone or your Android and you use Google Maps or get on Google to check your Gmail or whatever, Google keeps track of you. And, I didn't know about this until somebody told us about it. But, this is a map of the first few weeks. We went from Missouri to Mount Rushmore and had a blast there. Went across Wyoming to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. And from Grand Tetons, we went up to Glacier National Park, which is amazing. Montana is just gorgeous. It's incredible. We love this whole area, Montana and Idaho and Wyoming going through the mountains. We went across Washington to spend… We spent a lot of time in Seattle. Spent some time in Vancouver, British Columbia. Then, we took a cruise up Alaska and had a blast on that cruise. From the cruise, we went back to Vancouver. Down through Washington, we saw Mount Rainier. We saw Olympic National Park. We went to Oregon and stayed at a bunch of state parks and national parks along the coast. It was gorgeous. We went to the Redwood National Forest and parks in northern California. We went to Yosemite. We went through Napa. We spent some time at Napa Valley. Just like a week before, they had a big earthquake there recently. We went to Lake Tahoe, love that. And then, we flew through Nevada and Utah. No offense but, there's nothing to see there. On that route we went. No offense to anybody who lives there. Then, we stayed at Rocky Mountain National Park and we came back to Missouri. And, it was the blast. Anybody that has the chance to do that… It was awesome fun. We drove at least, I think kind of about 6 or 7,000 miles. Had a blast!

And at the same time we were going, we made checks like this. I tried to get some of the checks that we made. And, I'm not sure if I… I only found some of them here but… We're making a lot of… Let me see if I can get this here. …A lot of little checks like this. $5,300 bucks, five grand, $9,605 grand, $1,500, $3,700. These are deposit checks. My assistant would deposit my checks for me. And you know, some of them are… You know, they're not huge home runs. They're $1,500 bucks. But, we did a lot of deals. We helped a lot of people. And, here's a thing. Last… A year and a half ago, 2 years ago, we also went to Prague in the Czech Republic for… We were in Prague for about two or three months. Let me see if I can get a picture of us in Prague. Yeah, you don't want to waste your time going through this but… Oh yeah, here we go. This is us in Ireland, in England. And… to to to to to. We… If you've ever been to Prague, it's one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I'm trying to find a really cool picture, one of my favorites while we were in Prague. Anyway, this is one of them. You got the bridges in the background. So, we were there for two and a half… two months as well doing deals while we were in Prague. And here's a thing. I'm going to talk about this in my presentation. We asked questions. Instead of asking, you know, “I don't know how I could every afford that. I can't afford that. Our family could never do that.” We started asking questions like “How could we do that? How can we afford this? How can I set up my business so we can take trips like this around the world?” Then, we're going back to Prague again in a… next year. We're already talking about that. So anyway, we travel a lot.

And here's a thing, I've… I'm part of another group called Lifeonaire. And, it's a coaching group that I've been a part of for a long time. One of the things they teach us in that group is you develop a vision for your life first. What do you want your life to look like? What kind of lifestyle do you want to have? And then, only then, after you've designed that, only then, design your business. So, I designed a business that fits around my lifestyle. God and family are first in my life. We want to travel. We want to let out kids see the world. And so then, I decided, you know what? If I want to do that, I need to have a business that allows me to do that. And so, we designed a business that would let us travel the world, homeschool our kids, buy RVs. And go crazy, do crazy awesome things that very, very few people get to do.

So, when I started wholesaling deals in 2009, I quickly realized and, I'll talk about this in my mind map here. I quickly realize that there's three keys to success: marketing, automation and delegation. And so, even while I was in St. Louis here flipping deals. I started developing systems where I would never go look at the house. I would never even talk to the seller. I would never even talk with the buyer. And, I would wholesale these deals. And I thought, if I can do these deals virtually in my own local market, then why can't I do them from anywhere in the world. As long as I have a laptop and a cell phone… And anymore, I don't even need a cell phone. Or, if I just have internet access for the laptop, anywhere in the world I can flip deals. And you know what? You don't have to make… This is a really cool thing, Mitch. You don't have to make like 30, 40, 50 grand a month to be able to afford this kind of lifestyle. You don't. You know, where we were traveling, we… in parts of Europe, in Prague where we were. The cost of living is a little cheaper than it is in the U.S. But, it's not like we were living this rock-star lifestyle and we were staying in these luxury hotels. There's parts of South America, parts of Asia where you can live in like the lap of luxury for like half of the cost of what you can here in the U.S. So when I share these things, it's not like we're making a million dollars. We were making 10, 20, $30,000 a month. But, we could have survived very comfortably on just 5 to $10 grand a month wholesaling one or two deals a month. So, it's very attainable… It's more attainable than you think. And, a lot of what holds people back unfortunately is the debt that they have. And, we've been working really hard the last few years to eliminate all of our debt. And, we're real close. We're not there yet. So here's the thing, I don't want to wait till I'm 65, 70 years old before I travel the world and see the world. I don't want to wait till my kids are gone and then we can go travel. Why not do that now? Why not wholesale properties now? So, I'm going to be talking about that. We spent some time in Prague and RV. And, it's important to learn to ask the right questions. You shouldn't be saying “I could never do that” or “We can't afford to do that.” But instead, be asking yourselves better questions like “How can I do that?” or “How can I afford to do that?” and start being creative.

There's 3 keys to success: marketing, automation and delegation. I wanted to be talking about this because it's really important to understand. We're not in the real estate business. We're in the marketing business. Plain and simple. And, I'll repeat that. We're not in the real estate business. We're in the marketing business. And once you understand that, then it becomes a lot easier to create the systems and then the delegating to get other people to do all that stuff. I like to call it “Marketing Done for You in Spite of You.” And I'll just tell you my story when I was a civil engineer working for an electrical contractor building large power plants. And, Iut? We still going to get to the delegation part here, don't we?

Joe:            Well. It won't take long. Cause I've kinda been talking about this stuff as we go. Let me just say “Websites.” There's a really good service called Investor Carrot. My affiliate link is right here, JoeLikesCarrots. And, let me just show you St. Louis cash flow deals. It took me literally five minutes to build this website. And, it's amazing. It integrates with Podio. And, it's a simple website to track buyers. I get a ton of buyers from this. And, these are just some of the properties we've wholesaled. And, it's amazing. You click on this thing; it gives you these beautiful squeeze pages. St. Louis Investment Properties… They put in their name and email in here. I get notification and it jumps, it goes into Podio. It's super, super cheap and easy to build this really cool-looking websites.

And, if you go to JoeLikesCarrots.com, that will forward you to a… I get a little affiliate commission every time you do that. But, it takes you to Investor Carrot. And a really, really amazing system. Let me just tell you, for my voicemail, I use Vumber. The cool thing about Vumber is it's really inexpensive. Plans start at $9.95. Every different marketing campaign in every city that I am, I get a new unique local phone number. And, I've set it up real simply in Vumber. When a new lead comes in, it gets emailed into Podio. And, Podio creates a new record for that new lead and it creates a new task for either my VA or my local guy to call that seller lead, okay? So, it keeps track of the hang-ups. It keeps track of the voicemails. And, it's really simple. Like if every new local phone number that I get… Excuse me. And, I have about a hundred or two. It's only like a $1.50 a month or something like that. You get a free trial. It's really simple. It's the simplest thing I've ever seen and I like it a lot. Vumber, it's a great place to get voicemails.

Mitch:        And so… You pick up phone numbers…. Wait, I'm a little bit confused.

Joe:            Yeah. So with Vumber, it gives you local phone numbers, okay? So if I log in to my system here, I got all these phone numbers right here, okay? And every time we do a new marketing campaign for like a postcard, they get their own yellow… They get their own phone number or yellow letters get their own phone number.

Mitch:        Oh. So, you can track all your different mailings in all those phones?

Joe:            Yes. So when a lead comes in, I can look right here. Ah no, let me go to… I can show you real quick here something. It's really simple. When a new lead comes in, this is St. Louis, I can tell from the phone number that came in that it came from a seller postcard in St. Louis, okay? And, real simple. It just allows you to track your calls.

Virtual assistants. I have VAs. There's two sites I'd recommend. And, many of you have already heard of oDesk. That's where I get a lot of good VAs. If you want to get a good full-time VA, I'm going to recommend VirtualStaffFinder.com. Virtual Staff Finder is amazing. They will… They charge you like, I think $400 or $500 to find three potential candidates for full-time VAs. These are VAs that are only going to work for you. They're dedicated to only work for you. They're full time. They're not going to be taking on working for other people. And, they're about $500 a month to find a good VA. Now, when they… So what this service would do is, they'll go and find… And, you're telling your qualifications, what you want. They will find three good pre-qualified VAs. You interview them on Skype, okay? And if you like one, then you hire them and you pay them yourself. You don't have to pay them through Virtual Staff Finder. Most these VAs are between $500, I'll say between $400-$600 a month, okay? Full-time, full-time VAs. And you can talk to them on the phone. They're fantastic. If one of the VAs don't work out or you didn't like any of the three that you found that they gave you, they'll find another three and you don't have to pay anything extra for it. I've been using, recommending Virtual Staff Finder for a long time.

Mitch:        And, what does Virtual Staff Finder charge you?

Joe:            $500.

Mitch:        So, they'll charge you $500 to find you a VA. And, that VA is full-time, works only for you and it'll probably cost you $500 a month to keep the VA paid and… It's a one-time fee at $500 to Virtual Staff Finder to help you locate the VA that you're going to be doing a lot of business with.

Joe:            Yes. But the cool thing is, yeah, you could go find your own on oDesk. But, the problem with oDesk is a lot of those VAs are working for multiple employers. And, they're just doing small-time, smaller jobs, part-time jobs. And so, your VA may all of the sudden get a, really busy. And, other people can find them on oDesk. So sometimes, they'll get job offers. You're paying them $4 bucks an hour. They'll get an offer from somebody to make, to pay them $4.50 an hour and will jump ship because they're getting more. And, that's like a 10-15% raise. So with Virtual Staff Finder, you find dedicated VAs, you know. I've had really good success with them. And, they're full-time. They work only for you. And, they're really, really good. And, they pre-screen them. So, they're very… They have a very careful vetting process of who they vet in. And it's funny, the… one of the VAs who used to work for me a couple of years ago from oDesk is now applying for a job with Virtual Staff Finder. I think, I knew what happened. I think she had a baby or shift. Somebody in her family got really sick. So, she stopped working for me. And, I told her she could come back and work for me later. But, I just never heard from her again. But anyway, she's getting a job… She's trying to get a job with Virtual Staff Finder. And, she put me on her resume. Virtual Staff Finder contacted me because they're doing a background check on her. And, they were asking me if she was a good VA or not. And so, I appreciated that because it's showing me that Virtual Staff Finder is working hard to do references and background checks on their people that they recommend.

Mitch:        All right. So, how do you handle the time difference? What countries are your VA in and how do you handle the time difference and stuff?

Joe:            They're usually in the Philippines. And I tell them, I want them to work between… Some of my VA, I tell them, I want you to work between 9 and 5 Central Time. And, that's fine. That's normal. They're used to that. Some of them, I tell them like I don't care when you work. This is a stuff I want done every day, okay? So, it just depends on what, where using them for, okay? There is some really good information down here. And if you click on this, on the bottom of this website, you'll see this good book, an E-book that they'll give you. And this guy, Chris Ducker is the guy who runs this site, owns that company. ChrisDucker.com. He's got a really good book on here called “Virtual Freedom, How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Be More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business.” And, this book is on Amazon. It's doing really well on Amazon. And, how much is it? It sells for like… Here's Amazon.com. Yeah, $10.90 on paperback. Kindle, $10 bucks. Get it. It's really good. It's called Virtual Freedom by Chris Tucker. Look at all these reviews. It's insane. And, he really does a good job of explaining virtual assistants and how to use them, how to hire them, how to manage them. Very, very good book. Okay? And, that's the same guy who started that company, Virtual Staff Finder.

I also use Realtors. I have other partners that I'm wholesaling deals with in other parts of the country. So, that's kind of the delegating part of it. So, understanding marketing is the most important piece of it. Then, you needed to develop systems so that marketing gets done for you, in spite of you through delegation. All right. Having those three pieces in place just like, you know McDonald's develops these systems where teenagers can run their entire restaurant. And, they still make millions of dollars, right? Every second… Because of systems, okay? But, you also have to learn delegation cause when you have the good systems in place, you need now other people to do that stuff. So, you can yourself travel around the country. So anyway, FreeBasicBook.com. We… There's a little video here of me talking with Peter about it. We talked about how to get more leads, more money and most importantly, more freedom by being brilliant at the basics. We do ask for $5.95 shipping and handling. It's a real book. And when you buy, you'll also get access to a PDF of the book. And, we throw in some other bonuses in there that are really cool. Some workshops…

Mitch:        I lost you there.

Joe:            Oh, I'm sorry. I was just saying that this book, we do ask for $5.95 shipping and handling. But, it's a real book. But when you buy, you'll also get a PDF of the book so that you can start reading it right away while you're waiting for it. And, we also throw in some bonuses in there. We don't even talk about on this page some video workshops, videos from some workshops that we've done and things like that. It's a really good book. I highly, highly recommend it.

Mitch:        I'm going to recommend it myself. And, I'm going to put it on my recommended reading list, with your permission, sir?

Joe:            Yes.

Mitch:        And, I'll put the link in there so that people can get to it cause I think it's a wonderful book. I haven't read it yet. But, just judged by… just judging by what you're showing us here, it's got to be a terrific book. I'm definitely going to absorb it soon. So, you know, I really appreciate all your time here and this has been really a surprise. It was much more here than I thought we were going to get. And, hats off to you, Joe.

Joe:            Thank you.

Mitch:        You've done a great job. And, there's also going to be a link to this book right here next to the interview on REInvestorSummit.com. So, if you didn't catch all this or whatever, it's so easy to find this link. It will be right there next to Joe's picture where you can click on and listen to this interview. So, Joe, thank you very much for everything you've done for us today. It's really been big where you're getting on. I'm excited. I've got a lot, lot to do now. So… I'll be talking…

Joe:            All right, Mitch.

Mitch:        …And getting myself more automated by the minute. So, thank you very much and I appreciate you being on the call.

Joe:            All right. Well, take care. Thank you everybody!



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