Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
Welcome everybody to tonight’s Monday’s call. For those of you joining us for the first time,
my name is Bryan Holmes, and I’m the one that runs the Monday night calls for Michael’s
What I’m going to cover tonight are a couple of things. I want to look into accountability
when it comes to running this more like a business and tracking what our rates are, in
terms of conversion on mailing and other efforts to bring in leads. Then I also want to
introduce another strategy that hopefully when implemented will allow you to increase the
amount of leads and potentials to do deals in a bit of a different strategy than you’re used
to hearing or even possibly considered. Hopefully, a combination of these two will set you
all in the right direction and increase the amount of opportunities that could be put in front
of you to convert to deals.
When we talk about direct mail, you know, Michael has put together extremely powerful
pieces in a process that I think has been beneficial to everybody. One of the things that
you want to look at is how do we as investors track our marketing dollars and determine if
those particular pieces or those mailing lists or those types of properties are the right ones,
the ones that are converting at the rates that we need them to convert at. We want to make
sure to keep some type of spreadsheet.
I use Google Docs. It’s free. It’s a way that you can create tons of spreadsheets that you
can manage on your own like, types of properties, letters sent, track costs and everything
to manage your business in a spreadsheet environment. It allows other people say, if you
have partners or virtual assistants or anybody that wants to access that information and
they can access it online through Google. It’s up to you to give them a read only or the
ability to edit access.
Let’s take direct mail, for example, and look at the process of executing a direct mailing
campaign and in terms of what expected conversion rates are and what annually or
monthly you’ll typically be spending in order to get up and running and gain the momentum
in this business. Let’s take, for example, you’re processing your mailing campaigns and
you’re sending out an average of 34 letters per day. That’s about 12,500 per year. If we get
an average of a 2% response rate, that’s roughly two out of 100, this rate would be
accomplished by sending to what I call targeted lists. These are like absentee, out-of-state
homeowners, non-owner occupied and things like that.
Then roughly you should average just in a campaign like that about 21 sellers that respond
each month, and so if we did that annually, that’s about 250 per year, but 21 positive
responses is a good response rate to deal with. Then if you throw in the fact that you need
to really be following up consistently, the only way to do that is to systematically resend
that mailing campaign. What I like to do is send it on the exact same day the following
month so we know that it’s systematically going out.
If you follow up on a consistent basis and you’re converting let’s say, one out of 50
responses into deals and deals that we can assign that’s going to be roughly fives annually
and these are conservative numbers. By no means is this the approach that I want you to
Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
take, but I’m just giving you a very conservative model of someone like myself who started
out wholesaling, having another job, managing other responsibilities, being a dad and
making this transition into the real estate investment business full time. I generated these
numbers when I first started.
So five deals annually, I was spending around $440 a month in direct mail marketing.
Letters, postcards – 12,500 letters times about $0.43 each, was an annual mailing expense
of about $5,375. So the way I came up with that monthly was just divide that by 12, and
that’s about what I was spending a month. I would say my average profit on assignments
was around $10,000 when I started. Did I assign properties for $5,000 and $3,500?
Absolutely! But an average of around $10,000 each assignment that first year would be a
gross of around $50,000 in profits.
That’s an astronomical percentage return if you look at that from an annual investment of
$5,375, and a first year gross amount of $50,000. That’s over 900% return on your
investment in your marketing and in your business. Once you reach that point, you move
beyond that fairly quickly once you successfully have some type of conversion system in
place. Then you can increase your ad spend or your spending on your budget. We do that
in a scalable way so it’s proportionate to our income, but most importantly really
implementing a mailing system; really the most important thing is having that implemented
so you can do it every single month consistently.
You’ll get to a point where you will apply several different marketing strategies and some of
them will have better returns than others. You goal is to optimize your marketing and get
rid of the ones that aren’t working, and then double or triple down on the ones that are. So
you’re going to try a lot of different strategies in the beginning, and you’re going to
eliminate the ones, obviously, that aren’t converting and stick with the ones that are.
Some of these would be just testing wording, word placement in your ads, the color of
paper on flyers, just changing around the message in craigslist ads or placement of that ad
or placement of those flyers or bandit signs or whatever your marketing medium is, and
really getting offers accepted is 100% purely a numbers game. The only way to increase
yours or anybody’s odds in this business is by implementing what we call a scalable
solution. That is the only way you’re going to be able to efficiently handle a direct mail
So, when we look at that, we have to have some type of management system in place in
order to effectively run a campaign and understand what’s working and what’s not working.
Michael provides a turnkey solution with a mailing list and a mailing house mailing system
that I think, on a cost basis, is hands down the best resource for you. There are other
resources other there. A lot of them cost to access them.
1. One is ForeclosuresDaily.com.
2. You can actually go down to the courthouse and pull notices of default; properties
where it’s now public record that they are in default.
Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
There’s a lot more competition there than in the pre-notice of default list or types of
properties there, but that is a way to get lists cheap or in some cases, without a cost if you
go down to the courthouse. Like I said, you’re going to be experiencing more competition
using that resource, but if you’re limited in terms of your marketing budget, then it’s not a
bad place to start.
Sometimes we overcomplicate the process of doing certain things in our real estate
investment business. What I want to do– for those of you who have kids can probably
relate to this– a paint-by-numbers process, if you will that we can follow. Paint-by-numbers
books relatively have the numbers, which type of color you’re supposed to put where, and
every time you make a move toward completing a process, it’s filled in, completed and it
takes you to the next level.
So some of the things you want to start thinking about if and when you’re at that point are
selecting a name for your company, for your website and what is your brand going to be?
We can go out and do that. Obviously, go to GoDaddy and make sure what urls are
available, but you want to look to see what people are searching for. What are the key
search words that people in real estate are using repeatedly? Then we want to incorporate
some of that search criteria into our URL, our link to our website so that we can grab that
What I’m doing here is I’m kind of blending the old traditional ways of prospecting, like the
direct mail component, and a little bit of the new process of the Internet and social media
and things of that nature that are going to allow us to combine our approaches to business
and generate more results. It’s just simply a search engine keyword optimization strategy.
At that point, we do want to set up a website.
It’s also important to keep good records and setting up a real file cabinet. I know a lot of
people do this online on the computer, but sometimes just having a filing system in your
desk will really help you. Some questions have come in.
I have a job or I have two jobs, how do I manage any incoming calls?
I’ll give you a couple of ways we can do that.
1. You can use a Google Talk number.
You can go onto Google to Google Voice and get a phone number in your area or if you’re
a virtual investor and you’re out of the area, get a number that is in that area code. You can
have it revert to your phone where they can leave a message, so you can return the call.
2. A company in the marketplace that’s cost effective and offers real estate investors
and other business owners a resource to manage small businesses, in terms of a
phone service is called PBNext. Their website is PBNext.com.
Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
Their process in managing calls is simply a potential lead, will call your PBNext number,
they’ll then route that call to a PBNext switch and then that caller will hear an auto-tenant
greeting that you’ve prerecorded or asked them to set up. Then they’ll go through and
make a menu selection.
For example, if we’re mailing to foreclosure people for short sales, cash buyers, motivated
sellers, we would have multiple extensions that would be offered to allow that person
responding to any of our marketing to go ahead and select. Then they would then select
and find and direct that call to you or to your home, to your work, to your cell or whatever
you specify there.
Then on outbound calls too, you can click and instant dial function that would allow the
switch to connect to a party that you’re trying to call as an outbound call as well. We really
do want to get to a point, if in fact we’re still juggling another job, that we do set up some
type of 800 number. Once that’s set up, it runs anywhere from about $20 to $40 a month.
So that’s something to look into and get situated as you start to implement a mailing
system as well.
So now I want to talk a little bit more about types of buyers we go after and the qualities of
those buyers. As a wholesaler, our goal should really be to find between six to, say, 10 of
what we call great buyers. Now I know you’re probably asking, what is a great buyer? I’m
going to break that down and go through that with you, and take notes as something to
look back to.
When I started this was kind of broken down for me, and I’m really just re-establishing it so
you guys can find and see the benefit to it, but each letter in the word great stands for
something, a quality that we look for in the buyers that we want to look for. Let’s go through
the first one.
→ G is for good – what we’re really for in a great buyer is they’re good at what they
do. They take their business very seriously and they want to succeed in what they’re
→ R is for read– A great buyer is ready to buy, meaning they’re not going to waste
your time or waste their time. If it fits their needs, they’re going to buy.
These are typically, like I said, rehabbers, the ones that have two or three rehab projects
going at one time, paying one additional month of interest, say, on one of their deals is
going to be the cost of doing business. So they want to be ready.
→ E is for eager– Any great buyer is eager to close.
They know that they won’t make money unless they close and convert that property into
dollars. So the sooner they can close, the sooner they can get a rehab crew started on it.
→ A is for accountable– Any great buyers out there are accountable to their word.
Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
They are not going to, I guess, waste time and sit around and not do what they say they’re
going to do. So you don’t have to wonder if they’re going to go out and disturb the tenants
if you have renters in there, or if they’re going to go poke around the property without your
permission. You know they’re going to do exactly what they say they’re going to do.
→ T is for timely– Great buyers are timely and on time, meaning if you set up a
meeting at a property at 10:00 o’clock, they’re going to be there at 10:00 o’clock. We
like working with those types of buyers.
Now that we know exactly what they are, what are some reasons that we want to work with
them? Well, we just want to work with them because they’re proficient at what they do, and
we’re proficient at what we do. When we selectively work with just those types of people,
we tend to do more deals because we’re converting and dealing with people that we know
are going to get things done.
Resources for finding deals– Like I said, I like going out and actually seeing things, and if
you don’t have the ability to go do that, then what we want to do is we want to start,
obviously, hiring a birddog or someone to go out there and find those properties for us. So
we want to be very specific about what types of properties we want to look for. We also
want to be specific in the locations of the properties that we want. We want to be able to
tell somebody exactly what to go look for.
Based on what they find I know that when birddog brings me a lead that it’s a qualified
lead. Therefore, when I know it’s a qualified lead, then I know that I have a higher
probability of converting that lead.
Now let’s jump into step two of marketing– doing low-cost or manageable marketing.
Marketing is really going to be your sole responsibility and like Michael says, be a marketer
first. We have to be in this business because if we don’t market effectively, we’re not going
to have leads, and if you don’t have leads, we’re not going to convert them into deals. So
marketing will be your single biggest expense in the wholesaling business.
Now that you know that, we want to be able to manage that and keep a lid on it so it
doesn’t go through the roof, and we’re not spending more money than we actually have
available for our marketing. The reality is, like I said, an average assignment fee is about
$10,000, maybe a little bit less, depending on the type of property and where it’s located.
The price of properties that we want to target – it’s very important that we conduct a
targeted search. So, whether its absentee owners, foreclosures or particular zip codes, we
want to make sure that our search is as targeted as can be.
Keep in mind that properties that were deals, say, six or 10 months ago that a buyer would
normally jump at, are now probably just one of those average deals and there’s a reason
why it’s not even really considered a deal anymore. It’s just an available property. So going
out and talking to people that know the market a little bit more than you or just to have a
different perspective or insight is definitely helpful. I always encourage everyone I talk to in
Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
this business to exposure yourself to and have conversations at the local real estate
investment meetings. You also might want to ask the President of those REAs exactly what
percentage of rehabbers of buying these days and where are they buying? These guys are
talking to people every day about this business.
As a little key, if you are going to spend money on putting ads in the paper, then a way to
negotiate price is to call or commit right before the classified deadline. In this instance, they
may be willing to offer you a better deal. We want to be utilizing craigslist as frequently as
we can, and we want to make sure that we are repositioning those ads as frequently as
possible so that we are exposing it to the highest traffic times of the day.
Like I alluded to, in the cases where a lot of you are still juggling jobs and this is something
that you’re trying to implement to make that transitions then, by all means go out and hire
people to help you. I’m not saying hire people because you have to pay them a salary; I’m
saying go look for people that are going to birddog properties for you. These are people
that you can pay either a referral fee to per lead, or you can offer them a piece of the deal,
but these people that are willing to be birddogs are really the best use to find vacant
properties or properties that just appear to need major repairs.
These people have trained eyes to go out and find these types of properties and it makes a
ton of sense if you provide them with list criteria so they know exactly what you’re looking
for. Let’s say, for example, I say you pay $1,000 referral fee if I buy the property – so not
just because they give you a lead – to anyone that brings me a lead that meets any of the
The property must be vacant, single- or multi-family residential property. I want it to have
moderate to extensive repairs, but to be in somewhat of a nice neighborhood surrounded
by nicer homes or properties than the property you’re bringing to me; vacant residential
land that could be in low-income neighborhoods or manufactured homes that need
So, when you’re out there talking about what you’re doing, there are a lot of people that
make good birddogs – students, mailmen, garbage men, firefighters, people that work in
restaurants. So that’s why I never stop talking about what I do. As we move forward, once
you get a couple of these birddogs bringing you properties, what you’re going to do is
you’re going to find that it’s going to be a lot easier to profile them, rate them and convert
them because they’re qualified leads.
Now I want to touch upon – we’re just going to go into another stage of marketing and
another process that really needs to be perfected, and that is how do we handle responses
and how do we follow up? This is when the phone has started to ring, and you’re now
possibly going to be in a position where you might have to negotiate or ask those
First, we need to pre-screen the seller and determine what we like to call what the
difference is between a prospect and a suspect.
Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
A prospect is a seller that’s not only interested in selling, but by the answers to
your questions, has the potential or is in position to actually consider and
accept your offer.
A suspect is a seller who calls you back that is interested in selling, but they’re
only interested in selling on their terms and most likely those terms at that
price are not going to be a profitable venture for you.
Utilize those prescreening worksheets in the manual, and make sure you ask those critical
questions so you can determine if they’re a prospect and if they’re motivated. Then once
you determine that, then you can consider moving forward and look to see what potential
deal structure you’re going to now put together. That’s typically in a follow-up call once we
determine that, and then we’ll call them back and let them know what kind of offer we’ve
In many cases, you may find that the seller is a good prospect, but they may not be open
to any of your offers in terms of price or terms. Those are what we’d rate probably as (B)
category leads or semi-motivated. Now they may not be ready now, but this is why
following up is so important because are a lot of profits can be made in just staying in touch
with people. These semi-motivated prospects become motivated over time, and a lot of
your competition will not follow up. So just the act of following up with sellers is extremely
Many investors will just do this. They’ll just make an offer and then move on if it’s not
accepted. So take the time to continue to follow up with everybody. Build relationships with
people. You will have a much better chance of getting an offer accepted if time and
circumstances then start to force them to become motivated, and they’ll think of you first.
So always leave that door open. If your offer’s not accepted, it’s not the end of the world.
They still might be motivated. Stay in touch with them, whether it’s via email or phone.
Set yourself up with a structure in place so you can stay in touch with them. Then simply
leave it with them and say hey, I appreciate your responding back to me and I know you’re
not open to accept an offer at this time, but would you mind if I touch base with you in a
month or so to see if you’ve changed your mind? Almost every single person that you ask
that of is going to say yes.
Then you send them a follow-up letter each month, call them, email them or whatever.
Someone who is under distress is not only feeling the stress of selling a property, but
they’re stressed in their life, especially people that have to sell but they don’t want to sell.
So not everybody is going to want to accept that first offer, but time changes their mind.
When there’s some relationship built, they may just start to trust you. They may not even
know you, but because you’re the one that kept reaching out them, they may feel that they
can trust you, and when they change their mind, you’re going to be the one that they turn
Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
It’s important that we also keep track of these prospects. Like I said, using a Google Doc
spreadsheet is probably the easiest and most efficient way to manage it. Getting these
offers accepted is purely a numbers game. The more offers that we make the more that get
accepted. The more follow-ups that we make the more potential offers we get to be
Once we get one accepted, the next step is going to be we have to engage in some form of
negotiations. This is typically where a lot of investors lose deals because negotiating is just
a topic that a lot of real estate investors don’t spend enough time learning. The ability to
negotiate is an essential skill to real estate investors. You must master the ability to
negotiate in order to do deals. I’m not just talking about price. You need to be able to
negotiate a purchase contract, the terms and conditions of a contract and the assignment.
Every single component of the whole entire deal you need to be able to negotiate.
I’m hoping that everybody on this call has a goal to become a successful wholesaler, and
the art of negotiation really is a crucial factor in your success. A great book that I’ve read
over and over– if you haven’t read it, I would high suggest going out and getting it – is a
book by a gentleman named Tim Ferriss entitled, The 4-Hour Work Week. He reiterates
repeatedly that the only way he got to where he is, is because his skill set of learning how
to negotiate was the single most important skill that you need. He talks about that people
are going to say no. Nine times out of 10, they’re going to say no. You have to figure out
how to get around those objections without blowing the deal, without losing the deal that’s
on the table.
Now I want to talk about how we do that. Well, one of the most important ways or
significant ways that we do that is we have to determine their needs first. So the key part to
determining a need really is in your listening. Listen to what that seller says and start to
make mental notes. Repeat things to them, but ask for their permission. For example, you
might say to somebody, if you don’t mind me asking, why are you letting this property go?
Or something like, this sounds like a nice house; are you sure you don’t want to hang onto
it? Then open the door to being quiet and allow them to answer.
Now they may tell you several reasons that they need to sell, or simply they might just
reiterate that they just need someone to help them solve the problem and that’s more
important to them. Also remember, do not name your price. This is the golden rule of
wholesaling. The first person to name a reasonable price loses. Listen extremely well,
because if you listen well enough, that seller that you’re talking to will establish their
reasonable asking price without actually saying that.
Now we’re doing most of our negotiating over the phone. So when we do that, we want to
get proficient using the scripts that are provided around what we think we need to sell,
what we need to say on this call. Once again, the key here is to listen to what the seller
tells you. So how do we pick up on some keywords? Well, if they ask you, I’m just curious
what kind of offer you’re willing to present, then they’re probably not motivated.
Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
If they ask a question like, when can you come look at the property, that’s someone who I
would consider highly motivated? That’s where I would essentially go for what I call a
verbal close and make an appointment to go see the property and sign the contract. It’s
very important that we become more observant and aware of what those things are to keep
We always want to ask someone on a scale of 1-10 what they would rate it. Then we want
to deduct two to three points on that scale. So for example, if I ask somebody, on a scale
of 1-10, what would you rate this property and they told me a seven, then I would obviously
think it’s a four or a three. Then you want to say something like, well, I can offer you (x), but
try to avoid sounding like this rehearsed person on the other end of the phone. You don’t
want to waste their time, you don’t want to waste your time and you want to be proficient in
asking the right questions to get to the point of getting the deal done.
So, get over the fear of thinking you’re going to ask the wrong questions and just start
practicing it. So you might say something like, well, I’d be willing to offer you the range of
$30,000 to $40,000, or whatever your target is. They’re only going to hear that high
number, but if you are in the range, then they’re going to agree to probably meet with you.
You want to know if they’re the only person on title. Even if the tax bills only show one
person, it’s very important that you actually ask that question because if there are
additional people on title, they’re going to be required to sign as well.
Your next question will be, I’m coming out to make an offer on this property. Is there
anyone else that needs to be there to give you advice or to sign anything? That way you
give them the opportunity if they want their wife there, their husband there, a son,
daughter, mother, attorney or whoever that wants to be there or needs to be there to
review the contract, then you give them that opportunity.
Then you want to tell them that you’re extremely busy and that the amount of properties
that you have to look at, you can really only afford to go out there and make one visit to the
property. In that visit, you need to assess repairs, do comps, finalize the purchase contract
and get things done. So when we go through this process, it’s very important that this is
personal. People that own property or those who have been living there– this is still
something that they may be attached to.
It may have been in the family. They may have inherited it. It may just be their first
investment property, it went bad and they don’t want to acknowledge it. It’s important that
we do listen to those things and we address those things so we can bring up them when
we’re actually dealing with them. At the end of the day, it’s really up to us to get them to
say yes, and it’s our goal to get that property under contract.
Constantly remind yourself what the objective is, and we know that we need to accomplish
that objective and get the deal done. It’s very important that we know values when we go
into a property because the last thing you want to do is have someone ask you, what do
you think its worth, and have you sit there and say, I don’t know. You need to at least know
or get familiar with the area and make sure that when that question does come up, you do
have the knowledge to answer that question and be reasonably in the ballpark.
Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
I wanted to talk about another subject here. I’m going to transition out of traditional
methods of wholesaling one-on-one, and I’m going to dive into a topic that might be new to
some people, and some of you may have either heard me mention it or may be a little bit
more familiar with it as a means to become more successful in this business. Let’s throw
this question out there.
How many of you on this call actually have considered partnering with other
A lot of people just say, I’ve never thought about that because they’re my competition and
why do I want to partner with my competition? Let me tell you something. It’s the smartest
thing you can ever do. It’s how I got to where I did so fast in this business. I was open to
that, and I actually actively pursued other wholesalers. I would advise you to go out, look in
the paper, look online and look for ads, investor specials or handyman. We buy houses. I
buy houses. Call other bandit signs, be proactive and contact those people, and ask them
if they have inventory. Hey, are you willing to possibly work with me and let me try to sell
that property to anybody I know? Nobody is going to say no. You just want to make sure
that you understand what the rules are.
So if I, for example, control a property and have it under contract, I’m going to tell you that
the price is (x), I’ve already advertised it on Craigslist, Postlets and put it video on
YouTube, so I’m telling you don’t go do that and/or change the price. Keep the price
constant. Go out and try to expose it to areas that I haven’t exposed it to, and try to bring a
buyer forward. Then we would establish and sign a co-marketing agreement so you know
that you have a fee agreement in place. You want to determine if that wholesaler is, in fact,
qualified. How many deals have they done and can you work together? Are they open to
working with you?
It’s very important that you know exactly what’s been done to market that property and
what the timeframe is to close, who controls it and what availability you have to actually
show a buyer the property and everything else. It’s very important that you get your
agreement in writing in terms of any fee agreement that you have established, and then go
out and either find a buyer or find the other side of the deal. Then get paid when you help
facilitate the closing.
Now some people say, I don’t really want to do that because that’s not fair that the
wholesaler that I’m working with has a $10,000 fee in there, and he’s going to make $7,000
and I’m only going to make $3,000. I always ask for half. Hey, if I bring a buyer forward on
one your properties and you have a $10,000 spread, are you okay with us splitting that
50/50. I make $5,000 and you make $5,000. I always assume that, but in some cases, the
wholesaler may say no for whatever reason, and you negotiate it. I guess I have to ask you
this. If you can make $3,000 in a matter of a day or two and that guy makes $7,000, do you
think that was worth your time? Absolutely! It’s something I would do repeatedly.
You will get to a point where you’ll be that person on the other side, and people will be
coming to you asking to co-wholesale properties with.
Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
It’s a strategy that you can go out and implement tomorrow. You can call bandit signs, you
can call other ads in the paper and you’re calling your competition with the intention of
partnering with them. It’s not hard, it’s a way to increase access to other people’s buyer’s
lists and have a reciprocal relationships where anybody that has properties that they need
to get sold, you can help them facilitate and be proactively involved in that process. Or, if
they don’t have any inventory but they have buyers looking for properties, then you can
actually proactively go out and find those types of properties, bring them to them and get a
So what I want to do now is to open the floor up to questions and comments. What I’d
really like to hear is if you have been applying any strategies in the manual in this process
or anything that I’ve said previously on any calls. I’d really like to know if things are working
for you, if they’re not working, what kinds of things are you running into, are you making
any progress? Anything that proactively you can bring to this call in the interactive process
here will allow me to be as value added as I can, and really that’s my commitment and
that’s my objective when we open this call up to Q&As.
It’s really to get specific, have you bring things to the call and really there is no such thing
as a stupid question. Just don’t sit there and feel that your question doesn’t have value or
isn’t something that you really want to have answered on this call.
It’s important that you start to practice speaking up and being proactive because if I’m
telling you to go to REI meeting, I’m not telling you to go to a REI meeting so you can sit
there and just sit on your hands and listen to people. I’m telling you to go to a REI meeting
because I want you to jump out of your seat, stand up and say– my name is …, I’m a
wholesaler and I’m looking for cash buyers or whatever your intention of being there is.
Practice that every day in the things you do, by all means, this is a perfect opportunity.
Moderator, do we have any questions in the queue at this time?
Yes, would you like to take that question?
Yeah, one of the questions that I wanted to ask you was on the bandit signs, should
logically we put – because I know the book said putting –
How do you keep it simple and try to put the webpage on in the squeeze page
and your phone number on, with trying to keep it simple?
Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
I was talking about that very topic with some people this past weekend.
I personally feel that you have a higher probability of having people respond with the
handwritten bandit signs instead of the blank ones that you write yourself because the pre-
printed ones look very professional. If there’s a lot of them I a certain area, either the City,
based on the City’s policies, will take them down or someone who’s in distress may not
want to call one of those. So the rationale there is people who put up signs that look like
garage sales signs that are handwritten don’t necessarily get taken down, but I would
advise you to just go out and get blank ones and use like a black Sharpie.
The message can be very simple. It could be anything from just like, for example, if you’re
looking to pull buyers, it could be just a fictitious property– three bedroom, two bath, ARV
$150,000, cash price $70,000 or it could be something like lost my job, need to sell now at
a discount, call. Then just put your number on there. Depending on what the message is,
as an alternative message, I would put my squeeze page link.
If you’re trying to attract buyers, then if you have multiple squeeze pages for buyers and
sellers, then I would put that squeeze page link on there and the phone number because
typically you’re going to find that some people just like to go to the squeeze page and other
people will call. You want to provide them with both options.
Then on the other side, like I said, you could put a fictitious property sign out there in the
neighborhood that you’re looking to buy or sell. You want to position these signs in high-
traffic areas, like at major intersections. Also, over the weekends – I know this sounds kind
of funny– putting them around churches on Sunday, not necessarily right on the front lawn,
but in the general vicinity of churches.
One of things you have to ask yourself is, if people are in distress when it comes to the
property, if they have faith and believe in God, they’re obviously going to go to church and
positioning a sign of solution to their problem– like ‘I buy houses cash, quick offer, call now
or whatever the case may be. Save you from foreclosure’ whatever the message is they’d
be more inclined to call or respond to something like that. We’ve seen it. We’ve had good
results doing that. That’s what I would advise.
Use the handwritten ones. I’d write them yourself, and I would position them in high-traffic
areas. Check with your city as to what their policies are regarding signs or signage. Make
sure you’re somewhat compliant with that so you don’t get fined or they don’t just get taken
down the moment you put them up.
If you have a city that’s somewhat stringent, then I would put them up on a Friday night and
take them down on a Sunday night.
Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
Yes, I’m in California and I know you are too. You’re in the Bay Area, right?
Yeah, I split my time between the Bay Area and Alabama.
I’m south of San Jose in Morgan Hill.
Okay. My in-laws used to live in Morgan Hill. That’s probably not as regulated. You have a
County Sheriff’s Department down there.
A block over I do, but I don’t on my sight.
I would check with the City down there regarding their policies. There are a lot of local
resources too that you can use. This is a strategy we’ve used before and some of my
students have used. Just drafting a letter and sending it to the local Fire Departments
simply asking them, hey, do you know of any fire damaged or abandoned houses in the
area that may be potential for someone like myself as a real estate investor? Please
We would be willing to donate based on any closed deals, $1,000 or $2,000 to a charity of
your choice kind of thing. That’s been effective. I would just utilize people that are out and
about – mailmen, garbage men.
Let me ask you another question real fast. You keep talking about letting everybody know
what you do.
Do you tell them as wholesaler or do you tell them that you’re a real estate
investor or you use a combination?
Let’s say if I ran into you at Starbucks and we just started chatting. You may ask me hey,
what do I do; or if I overhear you having a conversation, I may insert myself in that
conversation. In most cases, I don’t want to just say I’m a real estate investor, although I
may lead in with that, but I say I’m a real estate investor who focuses on bringing solutions
to distressed homeowners. I buy distressed properties and my intention is that I provide a
solution to that homeowner.
It has to be a win-win solution or a win-win situation. So that’s kind of the approach I use. I
am an investor. Obviously, I’m not looking to hide that, but I’m an investor whose focus is
on distressed properties, and my intention is to obviously bring a solution to the table and
will work with any homeowner who needs it.
Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
Then from there, if someone seems like they’re interested then you want to hit upon the
value points of dealing with you. You’re not going to pay a commission, there are no
upfront fees, you’re really not 100% locked in and committed to me until we get to the
contract. Then what they can count on is that I can bring a cash offer and get the deal
done, or I may be able to bring some other type of solution to the table if, in fact, they’re not
wanting to sell. I’ve been doing this long enough where I know what those things are, but
there are ways to monetize helping someone stay in their house as well.
That’s why it’s important to focus on their level of motivation. I always say, you’ve got to
find out what the pain is and then kind of allude to what the pleasure – it’s kind of a
pleasure/pain experience. What’s the pain? Here’s the pleasure. The pleasure comes from
you bringing the solution. What if I could take this just pain in your backside property off
your hands and allow you to do whatever it is you want to do? If I did that, would that help
you? Oh yes. Or maybe no, there’s something more
Then there’s more pain there. What is it? Well, maybe this was my grandmother’s house
and I’m having a hard time letting it go. Look, I understand this was your grandmother’s
house, but you can see the condition of the house is not forwarding you. I can relieve you
of this burden by making you a cash offer and taking it off your hands.
It will be sold to somebody who most likely is going to rehabilitate this house and make it
livable, and I think maybe your grandmother would probably want that. Oh yeah, you’re
right that she would probably want that. So, yeah, I would be open to looking at your
offering. You just continue to kind of reiterate the pain and then what your solution would
be to that pain.
That’s neat. I like that.
Not to say that you’re taking advantage of that. You’re bringing that to the surface because
its reality and what they’re going through. I think it’s always important that the way you’re
going to distinguish yourself from a lot of other people out there is you want to get related
to that person and you want to make it very clear. Hey look, this only works for me if it’s a
solution to you and your situation.
Those people that years ago were out there just convincing people to sign over the deeds
to their houses are being sued now, and you will generate referral business by doing
business that way.
That sounds good.
Do you have signs on your car?
Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
I used to have a car wrapped, I don’t employ that strategy anymore, but I did. I had one of
my old cars, an old 1992 Ford Explorer that was wrapped in yellow and just said, we can
stop foreclosures, short sales, distressed property solutions. I had the phone number and
website on it and it was like a mobile banana, but it attracted people to call.
Yes, I’ve used signs before on my vehicle, and I’ve always thought the signs were probably
the most brilliant thing out there. I was thinking, just getting a sign that says we buy houses
– I’m still waiting for my website to get up so I can have that, I can do the website, have the
squeeze page done at the same time, put them on and that’s the only reason I haven’t
done it yet. I’m relatively new so I’ve been going back into some of the old archives and
reading a lot of the stuff on there and trying to pick stuff up from that.
My biggest thing is I’ve been waiting for the web page to get up and going so I can add the
squeeze page to it. Then from that point, I’ve already ordered the bandit signs because if
they’re ordering them blank, it makes a lot more sense. Like you said, just doing your own
writing on it, that’s fine. Like I said, I’m just waiting for the website to come up so I can put
a squeeze page on there, and then get some business cards made up, simple business
cards, and also I was thinking about dealing with the other program Michael’s got where
they’re doing the cards for you. I’m not sure if I’m ready to do that right now. I’m still…
Here’s the thing with mailing. It’s costly. I think the way Michael put it together, it’s probably
the most cost effective systematic approach to it that you could implement. I’m all about
turnkey systems. I don’t like creating more work than is really needed.
I’ve done it before.
It’s something I would do consider doing. At the same time, you want to combine mailing
efforts with online social media and Internet means of marketing and branding yourself as
Let’s say you’ve got everything going, you’ve got somebody that will answer the phone,
you’re doing the mailing–
At what time would you consider or would you even consider using the
I’ve had one before, but I never really understood it well enough to get it to work.
An autoresponder in your email?
Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
Yes, if you’re doing email.
Is that a plus or a minus?
It’s definitely a plus because of the frequency of contact with someone. So if someone
comes into your squeeze page and submits, they should get an email immediately and
then you want to drip on them fairly frequently in that first month. Maybe not so much
thereafter, but yeah, I definitely think you should have some type of sequence set up and
ready to go.
Very good. I’ll let somebody else talk. Thank you.
You got it.
Okay, there are no more questions in the queue.
No more questions? Come on, guys!
All right, let me see what else I could throw your way while I have you on the phone in
regards to what would be beneficial to you. While I brought it up, let me briefly talk about
some of the, I guess, new ways in which to generate leads, drive traffic and increase the
exposure of your business online.
Anybody on this call that does not have a social media presence – Facebook, MySpace,
LinkedIn, YouTube – go out and create a profile and start to utilize one of those means to
interact with other real estate related groups and people. LinkedIn is a very good one to
use. I’m not saying it’s any better than Facebook, but one of the reasons I’m advising
LinkedIn is because if you create a LinkedIn profile, you want to make sure that you
optimize that profile, and then join as many real estate related groups as possible and
increase the amount of connections you have.
Then you get to a point where you can export those connections. There’s a button down at
the bottom of LinkedIn that says export connections, and you can export those connections
out onto a spreadsheet. Then you can import those contacts into an email server, like
AWeber, iContact or Constant Contacts and then send them out some type of
autoresponder, drip campaign or blast out properties to them.
It’s a way you can quickly build your list without any additional costs and it’s very beneficial
to run simultaneously with your mailing campaign. That is a little tip I have in terms of
online lead generation for you tonight.
Weekly Q&A February 21, 2011
Any questions that come up after the conclusion of the call, by all means, send them to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Most importantly, just go out there and take action. Take some
type of action every single day. Set yourself up to just get things done. Learn it and then go
apply it. Learn it and then go apply it. I think the manual and Michael’s program are laid out
perfectly so you can just go step-by-step. Implement and see some progress, see your
efforts pay off and have fun doing it.
Just go out there and take the action to forward your business. Use the manual as a guide
and the resources that are provided in there, and just go out and get a deal done. Don’t be
afraid to make offers. We have to make offers in order to get something done.
All right, that’s all I have for you tonight. I look forward to speaking with you again. Like I
said, any questions that come in after this call shoot them into an email. I look forward to
talking to you in a week.