VA’s – Click2Mail – Lead Generation with Joe McCall
Success begets success. Real estate investors can attest to this. It’s easy to get started in the business and the payoff is real. What you need to watch out for is getting overwhelmed and overworked with the nitty-gritty tasks of wholesaling and lease option business, which includes marketing and lead generation. How do you build meaningful connections and close deals? The key is to set up systems and find the right people who can deliver the job. Host Mitch Stephen and guest Joe McCall get you up to speed with the technology and methods to help you free yourself up and continue to be the success you ought to be. Joe has flipped over 100 deals and hosts the highly-rated podcast, The Real Estate Investing Mastery Podcast. —
I’ve got Joe McCall, formerly “Podio Joe” but maybe we’ve lost that name. I met Joe at the Collective Genius Mastermind. I met a lot of cool people there. In fact, that’s where I learned to own a real business. I went there on purpose to figure out how to get out of my way, get out of my business and make a business that runs. I can happily say thanks to Joe and a lot of people in that room, even some alcohol, I was able to unwind and let these guys rewind me back. I have not seen the last 350 houses I’ve bought in my hometown. I have not seen nor talked to the last 350 people that bought my houses. I’ll do 120 houses this time and I won’t see any of them but make no mistake, I’m in control. I’ve got my spreadsheets. I’ve been in this town for 24 years, Joe. I figured this out. We did the math. I have bought a house in San Antonio, Texas every four to five days for 22 years. I’m like, “Where does it go? No wonder my forehead’s now a seven head.” We’ve met at Collective Genius. What a great group of people with quarterly meetings. It costs you $30,000. It costs you a penny that year to go to that thing because, A) The seat is not cheap and rightfully so. B) You pay for your own hotel, your own flights and C) We go out a lot in the evenings and these people don’t go to Whataburger or Burger King. These people go to nice places. It was fun though. That was quite a long time ago.
That was long, but probably a few years ago.
You were doing a lot of Podio stuff, but you’ve always amazed me with your ability to travel around the world and do wholesale deals all over the place and doing from afar. One time I interviewed you a long time ago and you were in an RV in Yellowstone or something, you bought a couple of houses that we can make more money than most people make in a job. They have to show up to 60 hours a week.
Isn’t that awesome? This business allows you to do that. I have been fortunate. It’s simple, Mitch. We were talking about this. I heard this one guy talk about in his business how he set up his systems and he says, “It’s easy. I make a list of everything you’ve got to do. I ask myself a simple question, ‘How can I do none of this?’” What a revolutionary concept. I started doing that in my wholesaling and lease options business. I said, “We’ve got to do the marketing. We’ve got to talk to sellers. We’ve got to make offers. We’ve got to take pictures, show the house and sell the house. How can I get myself completely 100% removed from that?” I had an acquisitions manager at the time. I thought the key to doing more deals and make more money was hiring an acquisitions manager. I did train him. It was hard work training him. At first, he went from making $8 an hour at Home Depot and then he left. Here’s what happened. He was all excited about making $3,000 per deal. He thought that was the best thing in the world. I was trying to push him to get $10,000 per deal, the wholesaling profit. Finally, I got him to $5,000. He was comfortable with making a $5,000 profit. I got uncomfortable in making $7,000 then $8,000. Our average profit started being around $8,500 per deal. We were doing three to four deals a week, which was awesome but I was busier than ever. I was still going to the title company. I was still putting out fires, coaching him and answering questions from him all the time. Every single deal is different. There was always something that came up at the last minute. It was like we had an emergency, I had to fix something, pay for something to get it closed. Depending on what was going on with the buyers, something’s going on. There’s always something. I didn’t like it. At the end of the day as I was looking at all my marketing costs, paying the acquisitions manager and my overhead, I was still only netting 45%, 50% of the deal. I thought, “This is a lot of work for 40% of the profits,” which I shouldn’t be complaining because that was still good. I made that list and I said, “How can I get someone else to do all of this for me?”
When you’re complaining about the 40%, about what was that a month or a year?
It’s $4,000 per deal on average, about $12,000 a week, $48,000 a month.
I want to get straight what he’s complaining about.
I was complaining about the work involved, not the money. To put it in perspective, we’re doing well the business right now. It’s better than I ever have. I’m looking at different opportunities.
The point is making the money starts to be the easy part. The problem is how do you get free and still keep most, if not all or more of the money. That’s becoming the new level of the challenge, which was you’ve gotten to a point where that was your new challenge, “How do I don’t do anything and make this or more?”
I look at an opportunity, I can only make $10,000 a month doing that. I’m like, “I don’t want to waste my time.” I remember thinking back several years ago, if I could make $10,000 a month doing this thing, I would be all over that. I’d be super excited. The more successful you get, sometimes the more opportunities come your way as well. It becomes a challenge to figure out, “I can’t do all of these things. What’s the number one thing I could do?” This comes back to what I was talking about. I was part of this coaching program called Lifeonaire at the time. I was taught by a guy named Shaun McCloskey and Steve Cook, you might know them. They were teaching about designing a vision for your life first and then designing a business around that. I started thinking about what I want my life to look like. I don’t want to work super hard 50, 60 hours a week, retire and finally get to live the lifestyle when I’m 65. My kids are out of the house and who knows what they’re doing? They’re living all around the world. I would rather live that lifestyle now. I’d rather go see the world now with my kids. We have four kids. I’d rather go travel around in our RV while we have kids now when I can enjoy it and I’m not old and crippled or whatever. I heard so many stories that people are retiring at 65 and then dying a year later. That’s depressing. I don’t want to do that. I said, “Let’s design a vision for my life now. What do I want my life to look like now? I want to work from home. I want to be able to work from anywhere in the world. I want a mobile independent business where all I need is my laptop and a cell phone and I can run my business from anywhere in the world.” I’m not tied down to an office. I have low overhead, maybe a couple of employees. That’s it. I have a bunch of VAs maybe. I don’t want this big organism with 20, 30, 50 people and a big office and all of that. I thought, “I want to be able to travel. I want my kids to be homeschooled.” We have this house. It’s on three acres. It’s private. I thought, “Let’s design a vision for life first and then design a business around that.” That was the thing. We want to travel. We want to go on an RV for three months. A year later, we went to Prague in the Czech Republic for three months. I want to do deals. How can I do none of this? I thought, “For the marketing, I can get my assistant to do the marketing. Handling the calls, I can get a VA to handle the calls.” I had Podio. It is managing all the leads. I built the systems. The more successful you get, the more opportunities come your way.CLICK TO TWEET I went out and I partnered with local wholesalers, guys that I knew and trusted that were already doing deals. I said to them, “What if I brought you prequalified pre-screened leads? Could you get them under contract and sell them? We’ll split the deals 50/50.” I was working with three or four guys at the time and they were like, “Yeah, that’s a fantastic idea.” They’re not the ones that like to be handling a ton of leads. They get buried in Post-it notes and yellow pads of paper. They want to be in their car or truck driving around looking at houses and talking to sellers. That’s all they want to do.
There are some people that’s what they do. That’s what turns them on. My business partner, Mike Powell, is like that. He didn’t want to do anything else. He wants to write contracts. He likes that game.
Find that guy and say, “What if I did the marketing? I’ll get my VAs to prescreen the leads. I’ll give you pre-screen, motivated leads. You work them. You get them. You negotiate and get them under contract and flip them. We’ll split the net profits 50/50.” That worked out great. We did that for a long time.
The challenge for them is, “How much can I get in a wholesale deal?” They don’t limit themselves. The ones that are good at what they do, they’ll let the predicament predict how much they can make or not make. They won’t call themselves. They won’t say, “I’ve got $3,000. That’s good enough,” and leave. They want to know how much is in every deal that they can get. You let that wholesale profit rise to wherever it can go.
Here’s the crazy thing. I was making more money doing that than I was with my acquisitions manager and doing zero work. Here’s the reason why I was making more money. He said, “Joe, you’re splitting the deal.” I said, “I’m splitting the pie, but it’s a bigger pie because these guys are better at negotiating deals.” They’re meeting with the seller at the kitchen table. They negotiated a lower price than I would have gotten over the phone. Because they had good buyers, they were selling them at a higher price than I would have on my own. We’re splitting the pie. It’s a bigger pie. Because I’m doing this with this guy, I can do more deals. I’ve got more pies to split as well. There are a lot of things that need to go on administratively with systems and stuff. People are worried, “What if the guy goes behind your back and whatnot?” We wouldn’t let that happen because I managed the leads. I owned the leads. All the leads were in my CRM and I had to see the A to B side and the B to C side all had to be tracked inside of my CRM. I had my assistant constantly following up with the wholesalers. That’s how we were able to travel and do deals virtually. I wasn’t on the phone at Yellowstone talking to sellers. You certainly could do that. I just found somebody that could do that for me instead.
In this scenario, are you responsible for the money or are you flipping contracts?
It’s flipping contracts at this time. When I was doing a lot of lease options when I first quit my job, I would be the guy on the phone getting the sellers to agree to a lease option. Once that happened, I had a local realtor, a leasing agent that would find the tenant buyers for me. That’s the hardest part of the whole thing, getting advertising and marketing a property. I just hired a realtor to do it.
You were doing it all and you were making $48,000 a month. Even if you’re making $28,000, it doesn’t matter. The point is you got to perfect a system in a way to get above sea level. You get your head above water, your torso above water and all the way up to your ankles. You have some research and development money where you can go out and try some things that don’t necessarily work but you’re not going under. That’s where a lot of people hit a roadblock. A lot of people will try to do what you’re telling them to do right out of the gate. It takes a little bit of a cushion. Do you agree or you don’t agree?
You have to have some money to pay for marketing. You have to frontload it with some investment of capital to pay for the marketing. Especially when you’re doing direct mail and cold calling, it takes two, three months to build up the momentum to get the leads coming in. One thing you’ll find out is that most of your deals come from the follow-up. It’s not the first time you talk to the seller. It’s the sixth or seventh time.
We’re on our eighth. We’re buying things after the seventh call. After that, something happens. We’re tracking that.
Many people forget that, Mitch. The most important thing at this is you’ve got to make sure you have the systems and the people in place that are willing to follow up seven, eight, ten times with these sellers because that’s where the deals happen.
The more you can automate that, the better it is too. That’s a good CRM. That stuff takes time too and money. We’ve put together a Podio CRM with the use of Podio professionals. We drew the tree with what we wanted to happen. Then we coached with the professional to get it done. It’s taken six months and it’s been a royal pain in the ass. It’s been horrible. I was like “When can I get my hands on it?” The whole office basically is going to function from that CRM because if you don’t know how a CRM works, Customer Relations Management, a salesman gets a house under contract. He enters it in or just gets a lead. It’s entered in there. Who takes it from here? The sales guy is going to call or the VA is going to call. Once they’ve made contact, they turn it over to the closer. Every time someone clicks on a button, the task moves on to the next person. “We got this house under contract, Shannon. It needs to go to the title company.” It starts bouncing around and multiple people are getting multiple messages of, “This house is in this stage. Now you need to do this for that house.” It’ll take about 80% of your load off your office if you get the right one and you have a good one. Everyone says, “Can I use your CRM?” I said, “My CRM is not going to work for you.” My office is not like your office. The people I got doing this and this chair, you may have over in another chair doing three other things. It doesn’t work like that.
Let me give you and your audience some advice if that’s okay. A lot of you guys are a one-man show. Maybe you’ve got a VA, maybe you’ve got somebody helping you on acquisitions. This is easy. This is one of the first things that you should automate. First of all, you need to get away from your CRM. You need to step away from the computer. Your money is made on the phone talking to sellers and making offers. If many people fall into the trap of sitting behind a computer for hours a day trying to update the CRM with notes, tasks, follow-up and trying to do it all themselves, that’s a $5 an hour activity. You need to get a VA as soon as possible to manage your CRM for you. It’s easy once you find a good VA that manages your CRM. I use Voxer a lot. Voxer is a smartphone messaging app. It’s like a walkie-talkie for your smartphone. You can have it on Android or iPhone or whatever. I can Voxer my notes to the VA, “I talked to the seller at 123 Main Street.” The CRM I use records the phone calls. I can say, “Listen to the recorded phone call, take the notes from there. Remind me in the notes added. It’s listed right now at the realtor. It expires in two months. Remind me in 30 days to call them back and follow up with them. Go ahead and send them a letter.” Getting leads and deals is a numbers game.CLICK TO TWEET The VA then gets that message, updates the CRM and does the follow-up and remind your tasks and appointments and stuff like that for me. The VA looks into the CRM to see who’s the next person that Joe needs to call? She sends that to me in Voxer, “Go ahead and call this seller. Here’s the information.” One of the things you could do is on your phone, set up an email account that only your VA has. Every seller that you need to call, she puts all that information into one email and sends you the email. When you’re sitting there in your car or at Starbucks, you look at the next email and you see all the information that you need to have on that deal. You call that seller back with the notes. You Voxer your notes back to the VA. You delete the email, then go to the next email.
Let’s be clear. Voxer is voice-driven. It’s safe to use in the car when you have the automation. When he says he’ll send them your notes, you’re going to tell him with your mouth into the speaker. You’re off to them a recorded message. Tell me if you agree with this. I don’t think there should ever be a one-man show if you’re going into this business. You have to have at least one VA. It’s stupid not to have one. You can get one for $5 an hour. No matter what level you’re at, there are probably ten things that they can do for you if you sit down and think about it that you’re wasting your time on.
You touched my heartstrings here because VAs can do so much for you that you don’t even realize. The most important thing they can do for you is your marketing. There are many things a VA can do for you. They could go and they could scrape data off of websites. They can go to your court websites and pull evictions, divorces, sometimes you can get public information on utilities or in probates. If a utility has been shut off or tax delinquents, they can go get that data. Another thing I like my VAs to do is to go and find rentals. I have my target zip codes. They go in and they get the rentals that are in that zip code. They put them into a spreadsheet. They find out who the owner is and send them one-off letters. We send letters one at a time through Click2Mail with a picture of the seller’s house to the seller from rentals on Zillow. They can go and they can send text messages. They can send emails. One of the things we’d like to do is go find older listings on the MLS. We send the realtor an email, “This property at 123 Main Street, is this still available? It looks like a nice house,” to start the conversation. We talk to the realtor and say, “Why isn’t it sold yet? It seems like it’s a good price.” We’re looking for properties that need some work that only an investor would buy that have been listed for 60 or 90 days or more. My VA starts the conversations for me. When it elevates to a point where I’m like, “I need to get involved,” I join in the conversation at that point. Almost everybody here could hire one full-time marketing VA and have that VA busy pretty quickly, 40 hours a week doing marketing, getting you free leads. It could go to Zillow and send text messages to rentals and Fizbos, send emails to realtors, scrape data from the county court websites. There are 100 things that the VAs can do for you.
One of the things they do for us is there are 37,000 people that are delinquent on their property taxes in my town. I don’t want to deal with all of them. I just want to deal with the top 25% of those houses that tell me through the data that they have the most equity in those houses. There’s room to bargain with me. They got a new loan on it. There’s no equity in it. You can still buy those houses and make money, but that’s not what I do. What I want to do is tell me the ones that the mortgage is over twenty years old or over fifteen years old and put those in a spreadsheet for me. There shouldn’t be a one-man show ever in this business. I don’t even understand it.
The first thing you get a VA to do is marketing. The second thing that you get a VA to do is to update your CRM. You shouldn’t be the CRM expert in your business. Your VA should be the one that goes in there and manages it for you. You’re only spending your time talking to sellers and making offers. That’s the only thing you should be doing. I know some guys that they chicken scratch their notes on a yellow pad of paper but it’s legible. They take a picture of their notes on that yellow pad of paper and send a picture of those notes to the VA. Maybe you have a seller lead sheet with fields that you fill in, like bedrooms, baths, address, notes and motivation level one to five. You can circle and write in these things. Take a picture of that from your phone and send it to your VA, have your VA update the CRM for you. If there’s a task for somebody that you need to call that day, they send you one email for each task first thing in the morning and they only send you three emails. It goes to an inbox that only that VA has. The only emails in there are the emails from your VA that things that you need to do. You call that seller. Voxer your notes or take a picture of you notes back to the VA, delete the email, go to the next email. By the time you’re done with those three emails, Voxer your VA back again and say, “I need some more sellers to call.” Here’s the whole point. You get away from losing your notes, yellow pads of paper and Post-it notes everywhere to immediately that gets inputted into your CRM by your VA. A lot of times I like to make offers to every single seller I talk to. Even if they say, “I’m not interested,” I still want to send them something in the mail. We send them a letter. We send them an offer. We send them a lease-purchase offer or a cash offer.
Even the ones that tell you to get off their property. You’ve insulted them with your price and they’re mad. We will send to everybody. We still send whatever that offer was to them. You’d be surprised in eight months from now they finally figure out the property is not worth $1 million. I remember some of these people back when this was happening. I’d say, “That’s the guy that chewed my butt out and kicked me out to the street.” I want to acknowledge that. I said, “I’m glad you called back. Why me?” Many times the answer was, “You’re the only one that ever bothered to send a real legitimate contract.”
Did you send it in the mail or by an email?
It’s all about touches. I’m going to send it in the mail. Three days later, it’s programmed to send out an email with the contract that says, “I sent this out in the mail, but in case you didn’t get the physical contract in your mailbox, here’s a digital copy.”
You are going to love this. Go to Click2Mail.com and it’s so easy. Here’s the cool thing. Your VA in the Philippines, they should be working for you full-time during your hours, 9 to 6 Central Time or whatever. They’re used to that. I’m going to sign into my Click2Mail account. You have to preload credits. I have $50 in there at a time or something like that. There are two ways that your VAs from the Philippines can send physical mail for you from the US first-class, next day. It’s simple because it’s not like they’re sending mail from the Philippines. They’re sending mail through a website to the sellers for you. There’s something here called Email-to-Mail. If you log into your account, you’ll see it. Email-to-mail allows you to send an email from a pre-approved email address to a specific Click2Mail email. If you attach a letter or PDF, in the subject line, put the person’s name; address; city, state, zip in the subject line of the email. You email that to Click2Mail. They will print the attachment and send it in the physical mail first-class to the seller the next day. All your VA needs to do now is create the letter in Google Docs or in Word, and email that letter to Click2Mail and Click2Mail will next day print that letter and mail it to the seller. For one-page letter, it costs $0.80. It’s absolutely crazy. This is Click2Mail, how it works. There’s one more thing that you can do with Click2Mail. It’s called Easy Letter Sender. If you Google Email-to-Mail, Click2Mail, you’ll find this page and it explains how to do it. It’s super easy. It’s sent to click to mail from a pre-approved email address. In the subject line you have the name, the address; city, state, zip. You attach your letter and it will print it and mail it to you. There’s also one more thing. If you Google Click2Mail, Easy Letter Sender, you’ll be sent to a page. What I have my VAs do is they’ll go to Zillow. I’ll go into one of my favorite zip codes in Zillow. I’m going to look for rental properties in that zip code. I look at a house which has been on Zillow for 113 days. It’s $750 a month rental. What’s going on in here? Maybe it’s ugly, it needs some work. It’s listed by some listing agent or property manager. I want to send a letter to the homeowner. This rental property is vacant. It’s outdated. There’s a good chance that this seller might be motivated. What I have my VAs do is they’ll put this address in a spreadsheet. They’ll go to the county records, get the address, the name of the owner and the address of the owner. Put it in a spreadsheet. What they’ll do is they’ll take a little picture of the house. They’ll be going to go to Easy Letter Sender. They’ll be going to send a letter to the seller with a picture of the house. It’s a letter with a picture of the house with a word across it that says something like, “Can I buy your house or is this your house?” They open it. Here’s the letter. I do it in Old Typewrite font, big and bold, “Sorry for being short, but I’m interested in buying your property at the address. If you’re interested in selling, call me.” That’s it. Since I’m a realtor, I’ll say on there, “If your property is listed with the realtor, please give them this letter,” and my name and phone number. Your VAs can now do this super easily. You can do a letter or postcard. Your VAs can do this from the Philippines. This postcard costs $0.60. Your people will get a kick out of this. I’ll have my VA go to Google Drive and we’ll create a new Google Slide. This is free. Google Slide is Google’s version of PowerPoint. I’m going to insert a picture from my computer. I’m going to insert a little text box and say, “Is this your house?” I’m going to highlight it. I’m going to make it a bold. I’m going to make it 50 font. I’m going to move it a little bit, make it bigger. Let’s do 45 font and make it red, highlight it yellow. I’m going to do a screenshot of that. I’m going to save it on my hard drive. The master in the art of living knows not if he’s working or playing. He’s always doing both.CLICK TO TWEET I’m going to go to Click2Mail and select a new image. This is the picture that’s going to go on the postcard. I’ll do fit to size. It’s going to put it on the postcard. I’m going to say, “My name is Mitch. You wouldn’t be interested in selling this house, would you? Call me.” I’m going to make is Courier font size 18 and make it bold. This postcard costs $0.60. You can put a picture of the property. You can do another picture of maybe something that arouses their curiosity. I don’t want it to be boring. Add that picture and you put the recipient’s address. You can go to the county records and get the name and address and you put it right there. I’m going to proof this. It adds this to the cart. If your VA is doing 20 or 30 of these, it adds it to a cart and you can do all of them at once. You can do this as a letter or as a postcard. The reason I said at the beginning you need to have credits in Click2Mail is that they have a minimum $2 charge. If you have prepaid credits in Click2Mail, they don’t require that. I could send this postcard for $0.60. You could go into Missouri Casenet. Your VAs can go in here and they can look for all of the evictions that are going on right now in Missouri. I’m sure Texas has something like this. I could go to St. Louis County. I could pick a certain day of the week and it looks for all the evictions in those seven days. Once a week or once a day, your VAs could go in here and some of these are judgments. Breach of contract, landlord actions, that’s an eviction right there. This is an apartment complex. If you wanted to, you could send a letter to the apartment owners. There 68 pages of crazy stuff. This company REVI Rentals LLC is now doing three evictions on their tenants. Here’s an eviction from the plaintiff. The plaintiff is the person doing the lawsuit. This is the owner. He may be an attorney. Here is the defendant. The defendant is the tenant that’s being evicted. I have their address so I can send two letters. I can send a letter to the plaintiff. I can send a letter to the owner of this property and say, “I can see you’re going through an eviction right now. I’m sorry to hear that. If you’d like to sell this property and get it off your hands, I’ll buy it right now as is with the tenant in there. Call me and we’ll talk.” Your VA can do all of this right from here. They can go get that address, get a Google map of the property, Google Street View and my VA can get a picture of the house. They put that picture on a postcard or letter, “Is this your house? Are these your tenants that you’re evicting right now? I’d like to buy it.” I can go into the county records. I use PropStream sometimes to get property data,Reinvestorsummit.com/Data. I can get the address of the owner. People are getting some value out of this. Here’s the property. It has been listed at one time on the MLS so I could use this picture. Here’s the owner, Yeti Holdings. They’re out of Denver, Colorado. It’s out of state and they’re going through an eviction right now. As soon as that hits the court records, your VA is sending them a letter with a picture of their house saying something along the lines of, “Are you tired of being a landlord? Are you tired of evicting tenants? If you’d like to sell this house right now, we’ll take it as is and with the tenant in it. Give me a call.” He gets this letter or postcard with a picture of his house the week that he’s going through the eviction. Do you think maybe he might be motivated to want to sell you something?
One thing I would look for, it doesn’t happen often enough, the last name of the plaintiff, it has the same last name of the person that’s being evicted, which means it’s a family member. That means it’s been heated. It’s been very stressful. A lot of times, I’ll buy those houses with the guy in it because the relative doesn’t want to go through the heartbreak of doing all this stuff. They’ll say, “Screw it, I’ll sell the house with him. It won’t be my problem anymore.” This guy is going to be the one to put them on the street, not me. I would be looking for matching names for sure.
You can also go into court records and get divorces. You can get judgments, like if somebody is getting a judgment for a $500 target credit card that they’ve not paid yet, do you think they might have some financial difficulties right now? They might want to sell their house, which is interesting too because with this house, the plaintiff is in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. This property owner is in Denver, Colorado. Maybe this is the property management company that’s managing it from Minnesota. One thing you could do, you could send a letter to this person, Beth Wampler. You can send a letter to the attorney. The letter to the attorney could be, “I see you’re working with some clients and doing some evictions. If you have any clients that would like to sell their properties and be done with them, please call me. I’d even like to buy this house. Let me know if there’s anything that I can do to help you.” I would also send a letter to the owner of the property, of the defendant. Your VAs can do all of this for you from a computer from the Philippines. They can get a picture of the house, do something silly like this and go to Click2Mail and send it as a letter or as a postcard. It prints the same day. It cost $0.64 to send that postcard.
Let me ask you, what phone number do you put in there? Maybe in the beginning, they need to but a lot of people are going to say, “That has to be my phone number. I have to take those calls.” I know you’re not doing that because you’re way too free. What phone number are you putting in there and where’s that call going?
I have a CRM called REI Simple. It’s a CRM that I white-labeled from FreedomSoft. When I’m doing a campaign, I’ll create a new campaign. I’ll get a unique phone number for that campaign. I have some lease options in St. Louis. If I’m doing a direct mail campaign, I’ll get a new phone number. It’s $4 a month. Every call that comes into that number will be automatically assigned to that campaign. From there, we can manage the lead and stuff like that. If it’s direct mail, there are a couple of different ways you can do it, but I’ll make sure every different campaign of my direct mail has its own unique phone numbers so I know where the lead came from. It automatically puts it into my CRM here. I can see the statuses of all my leads. Here’s where I can associate a phone number with that campaign. REI Simple will record the inbound and outbound phone calls. I can send and receive text messages to the sellers as well. We use SMS a lot with texting the sellers, “We had called. We got a voicemail.” We send them a text, “I called you and left a voicemail.” We can also put them into an autoresponder drip sequence where they get text messages and emails from us. The other cool thing about this, we’re talking about Click2Mail. Let me give you an example of one of our leads. This was a property I was messing around with in Hermann Missouri, a little town. I sent the seller a text message, “I saw your property at 402 Stark Boulevard in Hermann on Zillow. You wouldn’t be open to leasing it for a year then selling it, would you? Thanks, Joe.” They sent me a text back. It came through a different way, but that’s my fault. I duplicated the record. They said, “Thanks for your note. That’s not our current plan, but I’ll keep your info if in case that changes.” I went and I sent them a letter. I created a letter quickly. It’s a simple letter. I could have created this with my logo. I haven’t done that yet, but it sent to the owner, “Dear Catherine, I saw your house on Zillow. I’m an investor looking for more properties. You wouldn’t be interested maybe leasing it for a year and then selling it, would you? Give me a call. This is my REI Simple number.” Remember I was telling you about Click2Mail, Email-to-Mail, I have a template called Email-to-Mail. Go to send an email, it’s attached that letter right down here and it put the information in that subject line. It’s got the owner’s name, property mailing address, property mailing, city, state, zip. It’s coming from a pre-approved email address to a specific Click2Mail email, Click2Mail will send that letter first-class to that seller. All I did was click a few buttons. The other cool thing about REI Simple the way I’d do it, I’ve already done it, but there’s a button that says find owner, it pulls up the owner’s information. I get their name and their mailing address right here. I’m not trying to sell my CRM or whatnot, but there are so many simple things that the VA can do.
Do you have a CRM for sale?
I only sell it to my students who buy my course. If you’re interested in getting it on your own, you can go get it from FreedomSoft.
You’d done a lot on that modification to that.
I’ve customized it for lease options because that’s my thing. I teach lease options.
What’s that course called? Simple Lease Options is the name of my course.
For people who don’t do lease options but still need leads, is there a way they can benefit from all of that computer moves with all those different resources tied together?
I’ve taught it and showed it before. I’ve been thinking about creating a little $97 course teaching people how to do what I did.
I would love for you to do that. I was thinking about making a little simple course. There are no simple courses. They take a lot of work.
That’s not a bad idea. Let me think about that, Mitch.
I would love to help you promote that too. You make it look so easy because you’ve done it so much. You’ve got to have the one, two, three steps for all of us monkeys over here until making it a routine.
Here’s the thing though. Some of you reading this, you’re like, “I have no idea what he did.” You can go to Upwork and find somebody that’s good with spreadsheets or databases and say, “Watch what he did there and do it for me.” You’ll find somebody that can do it. That’s a good idea, Mitch. I will create a little simple $97 course that teaches people how to do marketing like that. It will be good. People will appreciate that. It’s simple.
You come from a technology background, so you know what I’m saying. It could use some simplification for people not as savvy in tech with you. The concept I get right away, it’s easy. The concept is brilliant. It’s easy to get your head around that. Could you imagine what you’re driving for dollars would be like on a day? By the end of the day, you have 100 letters going out. As you’re going, the VA is figuring out each house and even driving for dollars has gone extinct because with the amount of data that you can get these days on the computer. There’s something to be said for getting out there and getting in your neighborhoods especially when you’re new, getting the feel of all these neighborhoods, calling on the houses across the street for sale and become an expert in your territory. Many of the people we’re talking to are brand new or haven’t even bought one house yet. It does a lot of good to get out there, immerse yourself in your market and see what’s going on, where the pockets are, what zip codes and what they look like and what they smell like.
Let me tell you a story. I had a friend, his name is Haim. He’s a super cool guy. I can’t remember his last name. He’s from Israel. He was a virtual wholesaler when I was talking to him. He’s still doing that. He was doing this thing where he had an army of VAs, about four or five of them. Every day, each of them would send 100 emails to realtors in about three different markets. They would send out emails to realtors. Not sending a contract, but sending an email to realtor saying, “I saw this property you had that’s been on the market for 65 days. Would your client maybe accept something in this price range?” They were sending emails making offers at 65%, 75% of list price and consistently doing deals from that. There are many things you could get virtual assistants to do for you, to find deals for you. You’ve got to be a little creative. It’s a numbers game. It’s like you overwhelmed the market with your marketing. You’re going to do deals. You’re going to get leads.
You have to overwhelm the market. You have to get someone doing it for you. I was talking on the podcast the last time, they asked me, “What’s the number one thing?” I said, “It’s not one thing. It’s several things, but the top two things are you have to be consistent. It has to happen every day. Then you have to be fast because it’s competitive out there right now.” When someone raises their hand and shows an interest, you’ve got to go get the contract. Joe has been around a long time and he knows how to make money. We were going to talk about getting over that fear of doing deals outside your immediate market because that’s been a big fear of mine. I did 2,400 houses in my own town, but I have a big town also. I also have a town that has affordable housing. There are people in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Nevada and other places that are not conducive to do certain strategies in that area. You have wholesaling and lease options. What we’re going give you a free copy of a book, just pay for shipping and handling, called Wholesaling Lease Options. I want you to go to REInvestorSummit.com/mccall, get your free copy of Wholesaling Lease Options, but also check out his Wholesaling Lease Options Course. He also has a course out there called The Z-Code, which he and a friend perfected how to find motivated sellers on Zillow. That’s a $97 little junket here and there. How many deals did you get to do to get back $97, a fraction of a deal? Go over to REInvestorSummit.com/mccall and check out what’s over there. If you want to learn more about this guy, he’s been around a long time and he’s a genius at what he does. I don’t use that word lightly but you are a genius, Joe.
It’s fun though. I enjoy it. I love hanging out with people like Mitch Stephen who every time you talk to him, he was like, “I did 100 this month or something crazy.”
I’ve also been around a long time too and have my scars. I have my 10,000-plus hours in. God only knows we would probably be around 40,000, 50,000, 100,000 hours in. Who knows?
I’ve never counted my hours. That would be an interesting activity.
I don’t even know how you do that because like Michener said, “The master in the art of living knows not if he’s working or playing. To him, he’s always doing both.” You couldn’t separate my play from my work about 50% of the time. Am I working right now or am I having fun talking to you? I’m having fun. I would talk to you whether there was a podcast or not about all this stuff. That’s how I’m wired. I’ve started talking about real estate 24 years ago and I haven’t stopped.
I’m only ten years into it, Mitch. I’m hoping I’m as passionate and energetic as you are when I hit that 24-year mark.
You did it a lot more effectively than I did. I spent several years banging my head against brick walls. You guys are way ahead of me. Some of us take a little longer. Some of us take a little less long. I want to thank our audience who stopped by to get you some Joe McCall. Please follow up REInvestorSummit.com/mccall, pay shipping and handling and get a free copy of his book, Wholesaling Lease Options. Check out the Z Code, how you find motivated sellers on Zillow. I appreciate you. It’s wonderful the conversation we had, but it wasn’t nearly what we were going to talk about. I do want to talk about your Wholesaling Lease Options strategy but we didn’t get to it. Thank you very much.
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