How LiveComm Helps Agents Sell Houses & Beat the Competition, Solocast Episode #2
Episode 454: How LiveComm Helps Agents Sell Houses & Beat the Competition, Solocast Episode #2
If you’re not utilizing technologies in your systems and processes in this day and age, then you are missing out and falling behind. For Mitch Stephen, one of the technologies that have been greatly helping him in his sales department is LiveComm; and in this episode, he is going to take us through it, sharing his owner financing strategy and how he developed it. He lays down the reasons LiveComm can help agents sell houses and beat their competition, be it from the time-saving aspect to the great features it offers in terms of text distribution, forwarding options, and more. Mitch also shares how you can get the most qualified people to call you and why you should switch from email to text messaging when reaching out. Capping it off, he then guides us in effectively using the site, be it for our real estate business or outside the industry.
I’m going to be talking to you about LiveComm.com, why I use it, how I use it and how to get you some technology into your sales department. There are other ways to use it as well. I’m going to tell you why I like and love LiveComm. I’m going to be talking to you about how to increase your down payments and how to shorten the length of time that you have houses in your inventory. In this episode, I want to tell you about a strategy that will help those of you that have a full-time job and that you no spare time or maybe you have a family and you don’t have much spare time. For those of you that are in a small market or a very large expensive market and it’s not the place to flip houses because it’s just not the right market.
I have a strategy for you and I want you to go listen to this webinar that we did. This guy is amazing and you can read it at REInvestorSummit.com/leaseoptions. This strategy is for people that want to do a deal within the next 45 days, and they want a strategy where they don’t have to low-ball sellers. The seller and you win. It’s a perfect strategy where you can learn how to gain cashflow and equity on nice homes. You can do from anywhere in your pajamas. Go to the website and check it out. This could be your way to the financial independence you have been looking for. No more excuses because you’ll get it done anywhere in the nation.
Owner Financing Strategy
You hear it all the time, “I can’t seem to sell my houses. Where do you find customers to buy your houses? How do you sell your houses so fast, Mitch? How do you get such good down payments, Mitch?” I’m fixing to tell you how I do it. As you know, I specialize in the strategy niche called owner financing, the art of owner financing. I buy houses with other people’s money, and then I sell those houses with owner financing. Essentially, my buyer gives me a down payment and promises to make payments to me for 15, 20, 25, 30 years. That’s my strategy of choice. I get paid upfront and I got a cashflow coming in every month. I think it’s the best of both worlds. Most importantly, I’m not a landlord. That’s my niche and my strategy.
The two main things you have to find are a house and money. We can add a third thing, which is you’ve got to find a buyer for your house. What makes the strategy so great is I’ve taken the banks completely out of the equation. When the recessions hit, I’m still in business full force. I haven’t slowed down a bit. I don’t need the banks to help me buy houses, because I’m buying houses with Other People’s Money, OPM. I don’t need a bank to sell the houses and my customers, who are buying my houses, don’t need a bank. They don’t need to go get a loan from a bank, because I’m giving the loan. I’m taking a down payment and collecting their payments, for years and years. The banks are completely out of the equation. I’m not affected by whether the banks want to loan money or don’t want to loan money. I don’t care.
That’s why I love the business. I hate depending on cycles, and this takes me out of the cycles. What I want to talk to you now about is selling my houses and how I use LiveComm to sell my houses. When we get towards the end of the program, I’ll talk about some other things I use LiveComm for, like how I’m using it to raise private money, find houses, track my advertisements and the success or the failure of my different kind of advertisement ideas. It’s a wonderful tool.The three main things you have to find in owner financing are the house, the money, and the buyer. Click To Tweet
What Is LiveComm?
Let’s start with, what is LiveComm.com? LiveComm provides regular phone numbers. Not pretty numbers, just regular phone numbers. You get to choose what area code these phone numbers have. You may order one number in this county and then another couple of numbers in another county. If you’re sitting right on a boundary line, those might be two different area codes, so you look local. Every single one of those phone numbers has a text distribution list attached to it. You get a phone number, it has a text distribution list attached to that phone number. It also has a landline bucket.
Let’s talk about the text distribution list first. What does that mean? Any time that number gets an incoming caller, the LiveComm system will decide if it’s a cell phone or a landline. If it’s a cell phone, it’ll put that phone number into the text distribution list so that you can text those customers at will. Every LiveComm phone number also comes with a landline bucket. If it decides that the phone number is a landline and not a cell phone, then it’ll put the number in that bucket. I’ll explain to you later why that’s important.
That’s the basic function. Could you imagine having a business? If you used LiveComm phone numbers throughout your business, you would have the phone number of every person who called your company and all your customers. You can figure out where they called you from based on the number that they called in on. These phone numbers also have call forwarding capabilities. Not only can you forward it from one phone to another, but let’s say you had five salesmen.
You can also forward your sales line to ring on all five salesmen phone numbers, at one time. It goes up to nine phone numbers that you can do that with. Whoever answers the phone first is the winner of the lead. That’ll cause some competition among the salespeople there. You can also forward those phone numbers to voice messages so that when someone calls your LiveComm.com phone number, they’ll be sent right to a recorded message. I’m going to show you how I use that strategy.
One of the most important features of LiveComm, if you don’t get anything else, get this. It automatically populates your text distribution list. It’ll take the landlines and drop them into the land bucket. Another feature that LiveComm offers is the Hello Auto Response. You can check a box if you want the Hello to go out or you don’t want it to go out. What the Hello is, when the LiveComm system recognizes that there is a pristine caller, this incoming caller has never called your company before, you can choose to send a Hello message after they hang up. It’s a text of course.
Let’s say a brand-new customer calls your company. They listen or talk to whoever it is they need to talk to, and then they hang up the phone. Within a few minutes, they’ll get a text from you. It could say anything you want, “Thanks for calling Homes2Go.net. You’re going to be put on an automatic text distribution list. You’ll be texted automatically every time I have a new house in the inventory. If you ever want to unsubscribe, just hit the unsubscribe button next time you’re texted.” You can put some kind of Hello messages like that.
I always like to inform people how to unsubscribe, because if they’re not looking for a house, or they’re out of the market, or they’ve already found a house, I don’t want them to stay on the list. Go ahead and unsubscribe. That’s a neat feature to start branding your name. Here’s a new feature that hasn’t been around for too long. It’s been implemented here at LiveComm. One of the things that LiveComm does is they always want to hear from their customers like, “What features do you wish this program offered that it doesn’t offer now?” There was a very interesting feature that they came across. It has a lot to do with the real estate agents and real estate brokers. The traditional real estate business was asking for this. It’s called Instant Call Connect.
What happens there is, say you have a LiveComm number in a magazine and it’s an advertisement for your company. In that advertisement it says, “Free recorded message.” Someone calls to listen to that recorded message. As soon as the incoming caller gets connected to the recorded message and starts listening to it, you would receive a text saying that, “Someone from the phone number, 210-669-4135, is listening to your recording right now.” If you know that the recording is 30 seconds long, then you can wait 30 seconds. You could dial that number and say hello to the person who had just called for the free recording.
It also offers the incoming caller the chance to connect to a live person, by just holding for a few seconds, after the recorded message. You’ll include that in your message, “If you want to speak to a live person, please hold for about 5 or 6 seconds, and someone will come on the line.” That’s called, Instant Call Connect. I love that feature because it’s in real-time. When you get that text on your phone, you know that you can call this person. It works good too when you’re trying to buy houses. This is where the landline bucket works so well. When you’re trying to buy houses, you don’t care what phone they’re calling from. Cell phone or landline, you don’t care. As soon as you get the text message that someone’s listening to your recording, you’re going to call whatever number it is, and you’re going to try to talk to that potential motivated seller.
That’s one of the reasons we have the landline bucket is because you get a lot less phone calls when you’re looking for houses than when you’re selling houses. Those phone calls, when you’re looking for a motivated seller, they’re very important. You don’t get a whole lot of those calls compared to those buyers, so you’ll want to call them. What’s neat about it is, when you get that text, you know that that motivated seller is listening to your recording right now. You know he’s on the other end of that phone right now. You know he’s there. That’s an important feature.
Selling Houses Through LiveComm
Let me tell you how I’m using this to sell my houses, and then we’ll talk about some other strategies. Let’s say you have ten houses. You would get on the LiveComm system, and you would order ten phone numbers, one for each house. Instead of having to answer the phone and talk to potential customers and say over and over again, “This particular house is a 3-bedroom, 2-bath. It’s 1,200 square feet on a half-acre lot, built in 1969, with a composition shingle roof that’s approximately five years old and a gas hot water heater and an electric stove,” and have to say that a thousand times a day.
In my strategy, when I’m trying to sell a house, I put twenty bandit signs around the neighborhood where my house is. If I have ten houses that I’m trying to sell right now, then I have 200 signs around the neighborhood, plus, I have a sign in the front yard of every house, so that’s 210 signs. If you’ve never done this before, you won’t believe how many phone calls you can get. There were times it’s 50 to 100 phone calls a day, depending on the season. If it’s income tax return season, you know how things are going off where your houses are.
The point is, your salesmen, even you, you can’t answer that many phone calls a day and be an effective salesperson. You’ll go nuts. You’ll be crazy. You’ll be the worst salesperson on the planet with 1.5 days of phone calls. This is how I figured out the gate and get the incoming callers to vet themselves. I assign a phone number to each of the ten houses, and then I make a recording for each house. When people call that number and those signs have my LiveComm number on it, it says, “Home for Sale, owner-financed, 123 Main Street,” and then the LiveComm number. They call the number then it goes to a recording. The recording tells them everything they need to know. I do not give out my phone number or the salespeople’s phone number at the end of that recording.
At the end of that recording, I tell the customer, “If they’re interested in the house and they think this might be the house for them and their family, then get in your car, drive to the house, get out of your car, walk around the house, look through the windows, check out the neighborhood. If you still believe this is the house for you and your family and you have a substantial down payment, as described in the recording, then call the sales number in the front window of the house.” My two salespeople who were running away from the phone, because it was ringing too much and people were asking them all the same questions over and over again, are now fighting over the calls because I cut the 100 phone calls a day down to eight good prospects a day. The people who are calling them are from the phone number in the front window on the house.
That’s the eleventh number. There were ten numbers, one for each house, and then the eleventh number was your sales line. Your sales line was forwarded to your salespeople. That’s a good strategy to keep from driving your salespeople nuts. Here’s the thing. I’m looking at my phone right now, I have 4,600 people in my text distribution list who are looking to buy a house with owner financing and they have not unsubscribed. There’s an Auto Schedule feature that LiveComm offers also. On the 1st and the 15th of every month, automatically a text goes out to every single person and it says, “If you’re no longer in the market to buy a house, or you want off this list for any reason, just hit unsubscribe now.” On the 1st and 15th, I have it set up to go out because I don’t want people on my list if they don’t want to be there.
If they’re not looking for a house, I don’t want them on there. Still, 4,600 people in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas, have not unsubscribed. They want my text messages. Every time I get a new house, I say, “Homes2Go.net has another house for sale, with owner financing. Click this link to get pictures and details.” You send it out. You want to send out these text messages in 140-character, tweet-like text messages. You want to try to stay under 140 characters. Whenever I get a new house in the inventory, I can hit 4,600 people who are looking for an owner-financed house.
Here’s another strategy that I use, and I’ve taught it to the salespeople. Whenever you have a house, you’ve got a client that did what you asked them to do. They went out and looked at the house. They walked around the house and looked through the windows. They checked out the neighborhood and they said, “This is the house for me, and I do have that 15% down payment.” They call the sales line, get ahold of the salesperson, and the salesperson schedules an appointment to meet with him and show him the inside of the house at 7:00 in the evening. When 4:00 rolls around, my salesperson sends out a text message to 4,600 people and says, “I’m going to be over at 123 Main Street at 7:00, with the lights on and the doors open. If you want to come to see the house, please come over to the house at 7:00 PM tonight. I’ll be there.”
He goes to show the house to one person. There are 5, 6, 7, 8 people in the front yard. Now, he’s showing the house to nine people, instead of one person. This is why my down payments are going up because I have multiple takers. I get to pick which one has the most money, or which one is the best deal for my company to owner finance to. I have already six sales this month and it’s only the fourth. I have six sales and I’m collecting $48,000 in down payments. This is an important number because that payment directly affects what I make this month. I’m building cashflow, but I can’t eat future cashflow. I need some money so I can eat and drink and put gas in the car now.
Those down payments are what does that. I pay my salesperson 25% of the down payment. Let’s see here, 25% of $48,000, I’m still keeping $36,000 this month for myself that I have. How many people could live off of $36,000 a month, and not even need to touch your cashflow or ever sell any of your notes? That’s the importance of it. I’m also getting much better people than I used to get it. I’m also finding them faster so my houses are on the market for shorter periods of time.
As we all know, when you’re selling a house and it’s vacant, nothing good can happen. I’ve never gone to a house and found it to be repainted beautifully, the windows cleaned, and the yard mowed and edged. If I go there and something’s changed about the house, it’s usually gone backwards. It’s been graffitied or someone broke a window, or someone kicked in a door, whatever. Shortening the time that it takes to sell your house can save you a ton of money. Not to mention the interest, holding cost, taxes, insurance, and all that. It’s just that bad things have happened at vacant houses. That’s one of the ways I’m using LiveComm to up my down payments and find customers for my houses faster.
Systems And Advertising
Let’s talk about systems, advertising and how to track your advertising. With LiveComm phone numbers, you can see how well your advertisement is doing or your advertising strategy, like one of the signs that I put out all over neighborhoods. In the example, I had 10 houses and I had 20 signs around those houses each, for a total of 200 signs, and then one in each front yard, so that’s 210 signs. One of the strategies I use to build my homebuyers lists was to put up a generic sign all over town that read, “List of owner-financed homes. Free recorded message,” and then a LiveComm number.When you’re selling a house, and it’s vacant, nothing good can happen. Click To Tweet
People would call who were interested in owner-financed homes. My recording simply said, “Thank you for calling Homes2Go.net. Because you’ve called this number, your cell phone has been automatically placed into a text list, and you’ll be notified any time and every time Homes2Go.net has a new home in their inventory that they’re willing to owner finance.” That’s the end of it. You can put up 300, 400 of those signs, around a town as big as San Antonio. Believe me, the amount of calls that sign got and because I assigned its own specific number, the free list of owner-financed houses. I know how many people have called that sign and how many people have been added into my distribution list because of that one sign.
The other reason I like using free recorded messages is they’re non-confrontational. People will call a free recorded message when they would not call a live person. There are at least two reasons for that. Non-confrontational, meaning they’re not going to have to talk to a live person, get ahold of a salesman, and have to fight their way out of a conversation so they can hang up. Also, time. What time are they calling? If someone sees a free recorded message at 2:00 in the morning, they might call that free recorded message to listen. I’m going to capture their phone number using the LiveComm system.
If all you have is a number to your business or to a person, no one’s going to call that number at 2:00 in the morning. They’ll do it out of respect or they won’t think that you’re even going to be there to answer the phone because you’re closed. This is important to the conversation about buying houses. A lot of people send out postcards to suspected motivated sellers. Everyone knows how to put a phone number on their postcard, so they can get a call and they can try to negotiate the purchase of the house. I think if you’re smart, you’ll put two phone numbers on there. One, to a direct person, and you say that, “To contact Bill immediately, call 210. For a free recorded message, call this other number.” I’m still going to get their phone number either way.
They can call direct or they can call the recording, but I’m going to get their phone number. I’m giving myself a better chance to get their phone number because they’ll call that free recorded message at 2:00 in the morning. They’ll call that on Sunday at 10:00 at night. They’ll call that at 5:30 in the morning when they’re up early reading the newspaper and going through their mail. They’ll call that free recorded message when they won’t call a person directly. The reason why the landline bucket is there, is because if someone calls that free recording from a landline and they’re a potential motivated seller, I don’t care what phone they’re on. I want that phone number. That’s where the landline gets so significant is when you’re trying to find motivated sellers.
I’m going to switch gears now on you and talk about systems and how LiveComm can help you with your systems. In my book, My Life & 1,000 Houses: 200+ Ways to Find Bargain Properties, the first 30 pages describe how you would set up your business, so that when it comes time to stop being a one-man show and then start hiring people to help you facilitate your business, you won’t have to go back and change a whole bunch of stuff. Let’s say you’re buying and you’re a selling site. You’ve got a LiveComm number for buying, and you’ve got a LiveComm number for selling. In the beginning, they’re probably both forwarded to your cell phone number, because you’re the only person in the business. Most people start out as a one-guy shop.
As you grow, you’re going to want to find someone else to help you sell your houses. You’ll find other people to help you find houses. You’ll be able to forward those phones away from you, and then one over to John over there because John is your salesperson who sells your houses. You’re going to forward the motivated seller website over to Bill because Bill is your acquisitions manager. Now, you’ve been able to effectively delegate off those two departments, without having to change your numbers, business cards, letterheads and phones. You haven’t lost any goodwill or any advertising.
It’s important that you check out the first 30 pages of My Life & 1,000 Houses: 200+ Ways to Find Bargain Properties, to make sure that you start your business in such a fashion, that when it comes time to grow your business and hire people into your business to take over certain tasks, that you don’t have to go back and lose all your goodwill or change all your numbers on your cards or letterheads and everything. It’s worth reading the first 30 pages. The whole book is worth reading. If you’re just starting out your business, then why don’t you read that first 30 pages before you make some major mistakes?
As I said, LiveComm numbers are cheap. They’re $2 a month per phone number. Literally, I have 15 houses for sale right now, if not 20. There’s a phone number for every house because every house has its own unique recorded message about that house. Whenever I sell that house, I don’t delete the numbers out of that text message. I change the description of that phone number. You can add a description to these numbers, any time you want to. I have those particular phone numbers described as 123 Main Street, 567 Jones Street, so I assign this number to Jones Street. That’s what it reads, “123 Main Street.” That’s the name of that phone number. When I sell 123 Main Street, I change the name of that phone number to 5678 Jones Street, whenever I assign that number to another house.
I do not empty out the text distribution list. The people on that list are still looking for owner-financed houses, and they’re still important to me. I don’t care what house they called on, or what sign they called on. If they called from “I want to buy an owner financed-home” sign, then I’m keeping them until they unsubscribe. You can use LiveComm.com to set your business upright and be able to forward numbers as helpers or employees come and go. You can forward the number to the next person who’s taking that department, and you don’t have to lose phone numbers.
LiveComm For Businesses Outside Real Estate
If this sounds interesting to you, please go to LiveComm.com. They’re also one of our sponsors on our shows lots of times. Watch the video on the home page. It’s about a four-minute video. It will tell you a lot about what I told you now, but it will be a little more succinct. It’s fun to watch. If you want to sign up for LiveComm, you can sign up there right on the site. If you need some help, you go to Support@LiveComm.com. We also have an affiliate program, so if you want to refer this to your friends who are in the real estate business or real estate agents, you can do that too. Let me tell you, LiveComm.com is not just for real estate investors or real estate agents. I don’t know of any business in the world that couldn’t benefit, most likely, from collecting the phone number of every prospect that ever called their company.
Let’s think about the pizza delivery guy. You’ve got a pizza house over here and delivers pizza. What if they’re slow on a Tuesday at 6:30 or 7:00? What are you going to do about it? You’ve got three pizza delivery guys, sitting around on their thumbs and the ovens aren’t cooking pizzas and nothing’s going on. Do you think that pizza shop has the phone number of everyone who ever called their shop, ordering a pizza? Of course, they do. Probably, 95% of those phone numbers are cell phones. LiveComm has the ability to also import huge lists of phone numbers if you want to. The pizza company could import all their phone numbers using a text file into the system. Any time they’re slow, they can start texting 100 to 200 people at a time.
Probably, a big pizza shop in a decent city might have 2,000, 3,000 phone numbers. I don’t think you’re going to want to hit all those phone numbers at one time because you may get overloaded. This is what’s going to happen. You’re slow at 7:00, you send out a text to 200 or 300 people at 7:01. In that text, you give them your special offer, your irresistible offer, “For those who order a pizza in the next fifteen minutes, we’re not only going to give you the pizza you ordered, but we’re going to throw in a medium pizza,” or whatever it is. You send out that text, the phone will start ringing within seconds because we all know how quickly people look at their text messages. Especially versus how quickly people look at their emails, if they even look at them at all, because everyone’s getting flooded with spam emails. That’s the way the pizza shop might use it.
Let’s talk about someone who does business by appointments. Let’s say a massage therapist. If a massage therapist has an appointment at 4:00, and then the person who has that appointment calls in at 2:30 and cancels, that’s an hour and a half before the appointment. What are the chances that this massage therapist is going to be able to fill that hour-long commitment that went blank because the client canceled? That might be $60, $70, $80 that this massage therapist is out, because the person canceled and didn’t leave very much time before the appointment to refill it. If you have LiveComm.com, you could text every single one of your clients and say, “I had a cancellation for 4:00. Is anybody up for an impromptu massage at 4:00? The first person to call wins.” Hit the send button. The chances are that 4:00 appointment opening is going to get filled.
I could go on and on about how you could use LiveComm, but think about a florist. If you had customers walk in and you say, “Why don’t you fill out this sheet, sir? All the important people in your life. When is your anniversary date? What is your wife’s name? Do you have kids? What are their names? What are their birthdays? When are their anniversaries?” Put all the important dates down. LiveComm has a scheduling tool, and you can schedule text messages to go out in the future, on certain days and times. A florist could set up a system where all their clients who have filled out the sheet get notified 7 days, 4 days and 1 day before the special event happens. Always asking the client, “You have an anniversary coming up, do you want us to send flowers?”
That’s what they do, they send flowers. You’re planting the seed, you’re making it easy for them. You’re sending them a text, you’re helping them out. I think this could hugely increase the business of a florist or a masseuse or a pizza delivery place. The list goes on and on. I don’t know any company that doesn’t need it. Again, it’s 1000Houses.com/Livecomm. I hope you enjoyed this. I hope it got you thinking about how you can use LiveComm in your business. We’re out.